Part One: 16 - 25
Pocket Informant - While iCal is nice, sometimes we need a more robust solution - hopefully one that works seamlessly with Google calendar. This is that app. While there's no universal app yet, we find this one to be compelling enough on either device type.
American Presidents for iPad - With over 300 gorgeous vintage images and photographs, this is an educational app for everyone. There are biographies of every US president, a historical timeline, and detailed quizzes on the text itself. Presidential history never looked so good.
Camera+ - This one gets a lot of play on our personal iPhones, bringing a ton of extra funtionality we really wish the native Camera app had, including multi touch exposure adjustment, grid line compotition help, and loads of effects and post-processing abilities. Also, it's super easy to share to a ton of different services, not just the default Apple ones.
1Password - Seriously, we have a ton of passwords out there. Some we use a lot, and remember, while others, well, not so much. We're guessing you do, too. Enter 1Password, the super vault of all those pesky passwords that we can't seem to keep track of any more. There's a version for iPhone only, iPad only, and a universal version.
Sketchbook Mobile - Feeling creative? Artsy, even? Want to doodle a little while you wait for your constantly late friend to show up to the cafe? Pull out that iPhone and sketch a little, why don't you? The smaller version of this app (there's also a pro version available for iPads) packs quite a punch in a tiny little package, including multitouch navigation, up to 6 layers per image file, and 10 levels of undo and redo.
Band of the Day - We're huge music fans, so finding this app was a happy day indeed. Selected as App of the Year runner up in Apple's own Rewind section, BotD updates us daily with free songs, reviews, bios, charts, sharing, videos and the like. It's also, you know, free, which earns it some points, though we'd gladly pasy some money for this level of awesome.
Jamie's Recipes - Jamie Oliver is a chef for the everyman and everywoman. Each of the included 12 free recipes is easy to make and the food is approachable by a wide range of palates. Many more recipes can be downloaded as in-app purchases, each with its own theme, making this recipe app well worth a look.
Instapaper - Here's the original and still the best too-long-didn't-read-but-want-to-read-it-later app out there. Instapaper lets users save web pages for later offline perusal with a simple browser extension and a mobile device. We're also still happy this is a one-person operation, showing us all that independent development is still a thriving industry. If you don't have this app yet, you should.
Shop Savvy - Here's a simple idea, well-implemented, made possible by that powerful networked computing device with a camera you have sitting in your pocket. Scan a bar code at any store, and Shop Savvy will find it online as well as locally, telling you if there are less expensive options out there for you. This is a daily must have app, even when it's NOT the holiday season.
Localscope - This app uses the geo-tagged info from local search engines, social networks and media sharing services to connect you to the people and places around you. Walk around the places you frequent and try this one out - you'll be amazed at how fun and informative it can be.
We hope you've enjoyed the best apps of 2011. Come back on Friday to see our top five favorite apps and games of 2011.