42 Essential Apps of 2012 for iPhone or iPad

August 21, 2012

If you’ve just bought an iPhone or iPad, or just want to make sure you’ve got the apps you need, then here’s our list of must-have apps that will help you make the most of your device. From reading the news to beautifying your pictures to finding the best restaurants, we’ve picked out the top apps for you.

Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine - for iPhone & iPad

  • Creates a personalized magazine out of everything being shared with you
  • Flip through your Facebook newsfeed, Google+ Circles, Twitter timeline, Instagram photos, YouTube videos, LinkedIn updates and more
  • Use Instapaper or Readability to save articles to read later
  • You can browse, comment and share all news, photos and updates
View on iTunes
 

TED - for iPhone & iPad

  • TED’s official app showcasing talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people
  • Over 1,100 TEDTalk videos, with more added each week
  • Covered topics include technology, entertainment, design and more
  • Download videos to watch offline
View on iTunes
 

KAYAK - for iPhone & iPad

  • Compare hundreds of travel sites at once for flight, hotel and car rental deals
  • Track your flight status, view and manage your trip itinerary and look up baggage fees
  • Book your hotel directly from the app by choosing Kayak as your booking option
  • Access airline numbers and airport info
View on iTunes
 

GasBuddy - for iPhone

  • Find the cheapest gas near you
  • For USA and Canada gas prices only
  • For every gas price reported, you’ll earn points toward prize give-away entries
  • A $250 gas gift card is given away every week
View on iTunes
 

RL Classic - for iPhone

  • Shop smarter with this barcode scanner and QR code reader
  • Search for low online and local prices from hundreds of thousands of retailers
  • Searches for prices with Google, theFind, SDC, eBay, Milo.com, Half.com, and Buy.com
  • Local search powered by Milo.com and TheFind
  • Create a QR code from your contacts, a URL or text
View on iTunes
 

Mint.com - for iPhone & iPad

  • Track, budget and manage your money in one place
  • Add your bank, credit, loan and retirement accounts
  • Mint automatically pulls and categorizes your transactions
  • The app is passcode protected with a 4 digit PIN
View on iTunes
 

RunKeeper - for iPhone

  • Turn your device into a personal trainer with built-in audio cues
  • Track your runs, walks, bike rides, hikes, ski runs, and more using the GPS in your iPhone
  • See detailed stats around your pace, and time
  • Enter your activities manually, including treadmill runs
  • Listen and control your music while you work out
View on iTunes
 

Stitcher Radio - for iPhone & iPad

  • Listen to your favorite news, comedy, sports, talk and storytelling radio shows in one app
  • Over 5,000 on demand podcasts and live local AM/FM stations
  • Create custom stations
  • Get breaking news audio alerts
View on iTunes
 

Discovery News for iPhone - for iPhone

  • Get news on the latest breakthroughs and cutting edge technologies from the Discovery Channel
  • Get news articles, video stories, special features and more
  • News categorized by Earth, Space, Tech & Gadgets, Animals, History, Human and Adventure
  • Access the new random amazing fact generator
View on iTunes
 

Facebook - for iPhone & iPad

  • Stay connected on Facebook and share with friends on the go
  • Start a chat, see friends’ photos and status updates, look up a phone number, upload photos and more
  • Play games and access your favorite apps
  • Added security updates for more security
View on iTunes
 

SkyGrid - for iPhone & iPad

  • Stay up to date on your news from great sources
  • Add custom topics for your interests
  • Read news on specific sports teams, entertainers, political updates, business interests and more
View on iTunes
 

Pageonce Bills - for iPhone

  • Manage all your bills in one place
  • All of your detailed bill statements will automatically push to your  iPhone
  • Receive due date reminders
  • Track your payments over time
View on iTunes
 

Amazon Mobile - for iPhone & iPad

  • Shop from Amazon.com and other merchants
  • Browse, search, get product details, read reviews and purchase millions of products
  • Compare prices and check availability instantly by scanning a barcode, taking a photo or typing your search
  • Shop from global Amazon sites
View on iTunes
 

Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List - for iPhone & iPad

  • Recipes from the award-winning food site Epicurious.com
  • Over 30,000 professionally created food and drink recipes
  • Create shopping lists that can be emailed to yourself and friends
  • App offers cooking-friendly views to follow a recipe step by step
View on iTunes
 

Dropbox - for iPhone & iPad

  • Bring all your photos, docs and videos anywhere with Dropbox
  • Any file you save to your Dropbox is accessible from all your computers, iPhone, iPad and the Dropbox website
  • Automatically save photos and videos to Dropbox and earn up to 3GB additional free space
  • Share a link to your photos, videos and docs
  • Add files to Favorites for fast, offline viewing
View on iTunes
 

Kindle - iPhone & iPad

  • Gives users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs
  • Over 1 million books in the Kindle store and hundreds of newspapers and magazines
  • Get free book samples of the first chapter before you buy
  • Instant dictionary word lookup with 250,000 entries and definitions
View on iTunes
 

Yelp - for iPhone & iPad

  • Search for places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play
  • Read reviews from locals on Yelp.com
  • Find great deals offered by local businesses
  • Add tips, photos, draft reviews for your favorite businesses
  • Make reservations on OpenTable within the app
View on iTunes
 

The Weather Channel® - for iPhone

  • Get the most accurate and relevant weather information from The Weather Channel
  • Beautiful weather-triggered imagery changes the app background based on local weather conditions
  • Detailed weather data by hour, day, and week
  • Get alerts for severe weather conditions
View on iTunes
 

Dictionary.com - for iPhone

  • English dictionary and thesaurus with over 2 million definitions, synonmys, and antonyms
  • No internet connection needed for most content
  • Audio pronounciation
  • Word origin and history
  • Shake your iPhone to re
View on iTunes
 

Pandora Radio - for iPhone & iPad

  • Free personalized radio that only plays music you love
  • Create custom stations that plays similar music to the artist or song you entered
  • Subscribe for $3.99 per month for an ad-free experience
View on iTunes
 

Google Earth - for iPhone & iPad

  • Search for cities, places and businesses
  • Browse layers including roads, borders, places, photos and more
  • Use the new “tour guide” to easily discover exciting new places to explore
  • 3D recreations of select cities, including San Francisco, Boston, and Rome
View on iTunes
 

Skype - for iPhone

  • Call, video call and instant message anyone else on Skype for free
  • Call and text your Contacts or any other number at Skype’s low rates
  • Works over 3G or Wi-Fi
  • Near CD quality sound for Skype to Skype calls
View on iTunes
 

Skype - for iPad

  • Skype built especially for the iPad
  • Flip through recent calls and instant messages in your Skype for iPad history
  • Send and receive photos
View on iTunes
 

Shazam - for iPhone

  • Shazam listens to the music or TV and within seconds you’ll get more info
  • Get the name of the track, artist, streaming lyrics, videos, special offers, exclusive content and more
  • Save and listen again with a 30 second preview
  • Watch music videos and concerts from YouTube
  • Share on Facebook, Twitter and email
View on iTunes
 

Urbanspoon - for iPhone

  • Shake your iPhone and the Urbanspoon slot machine will suggest a restaurant
  • See what’s nearby or browse a list of comprehensive list of restaurants
  • Make a reservation
  • Ratings and reviews from newspapers, bloggers and fellow eaters
View on iTunes
 

Instagram - for iPhone

  • Make your photos gorgeous with several filtered effects or tilt-shift blur
  • Share your photos in a simple photo stream with friends to see
  • Follow your friends’ photos
  • Unlimited uploads
View on iTunes
 

Star Walk - for iPhone

  • A stellar augmented reality app that labels all the stars, constellations and satellites you point your iPhone at
  • See what the sky looks like at any moment in the past or future
  • Plan stargazing with the calendar of celestial events
  • Stunning pictures from deep space
  • Connect a second display to view the sky on a big screen
View on iTunes
 

Twitter - for iPhone & iPad

  • Get short bursts of timely information on the official Twitter app
  • Real-time search reveals breaking news
  • Trending topics show what’s happening now worldwide
  • See suggested users in several categories
View on iTunes
 

iTunes Movie Trailers - for iPhone & iPad

  • Watch the newest and most exclusive movie preview in HD
  • Browse trailers, clips and featurettes for Hollywood blockbusters and independent cinema
  • Explore a year-long calendar of movie releases
  • Find local showtimes and get ticket info
View on iTunes
 

Evernote - for iPhone & iPad

  • Helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use
  • Take notes, capture photos, create to-do-lists, record voice reminders
  • All notes are searchable
  • Email notes and save tweets to your Evernote account
  • Connect Evernote to other apps and products you use
View on iTunes
 

Find My iPhone - for iPhone & iPad

  • If you misplace your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac, this app will let you use another iOS device to find it and protect your data
  • Once you sign in with your Apple ID, the app will locate your missing device on a map
  • Choose to display a message or play a sound, remotely lock your device or erase your data on it
  • Find My iPhone must be enabled in the iCloud settings on your device for users to locate it with this app
View on iTunes
 

Taxi Magic - for iPhone

  • The first online taxi booking service in over 40 major US cities
  • Tap-to-call fleets in over 4,000 cities across the US, Canada and Mexico
  • Find taxis based on your location
  • Track the arrival of your taxi through dispatch updates and a map view
  • Charge the ride to your credit card
  • Expense the trip with an e-receipt
View on iTunes
 

ScoreMobile - for iPhone

  • Get the ultimate mobile sports experience
  • Up-to-the-second sports scores, box scores, player stats, betting odds and more
  • Push notifications for goals, ends of quarters and key moments in any game
  • Live coverage for all major sports and leagues
View on iTunes
 

ACTIVE - for iPhone

  • Find activities near you from Active.com
  • Register for races or events
  • Access thousands of articles from the site
  • Share via email, Facebook and Twitter
View on iTunes
 

Pocket First Aid & CPR from the American Heart Association - for iPhone

  • Based on the American Heart Association Guidelines on CPR & Emergency Cardiovascular Care
  • 34 videos and 46 high-resolution illustrations
  • Searchable content and reorganized to quickly find help in an emergency
  • Section to store your medical information including insurance, doctor and allergies
View on iTunes
 

Meetup - for iPhone

  • The world’s largest network of local groups
  • Over 9,000 groups get together in local communities every day
  • Find friendly locals that share your interests
  • Great for social and professional networking
View on iTunes
 

1Password Pro - for iPhone & iPad

  • Secures your information and can automatically log you into websites with one tap
  • Uses hardware-accelerated AES encryption
  • Store your website names and passwords, credit cards and membership numbers
  • Synchronize multiple devices using Dropbox
View on iTunes
 

Instapaper - for iPhone & iPad

  • Save web pages for offline reading
  • Browse articles friends posted on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr
  • Read long emails on the app
  • Download up to 500 articles
  • Store unlimited articles on the Instapaper website
View on iTunes
 

LED Flashlight The Real Flashlight - for iPhone

  • Flashlight using the LED flash
  • Optimized for reduced battery usage
  • Configurable autostart on launch of app
  • The maximum brightest light
View on iTunes
 

Skyfire Web Browser - for iPhone

  • Optimized browser for flash video viewing
  • Over 200,000 sites supported
  • Related video content suggestions based on your browsing
  • Flash games and flash apps are not supported
View on iTunes
 

Onavo Extend - for iPhone

  • Connects your iPhone or iPad to the Onavo cloud-based techonology and compresses the data usage from most of your apps
  • Stay within your data plan and avoid overage fees
  • After installation, you can use your device as normal while the app runs in the background
View on iTunes
 

iWrecked - for iPhone

  • The original auto accident assistant
  • Easily log in details and info after being involved in an accident
  • Take unlimited photos of the damage and accident scene
  • Generates a detailed accident report in with images as a PDF format to send to your insurance company
  • Find nearby taxi and/or towing companies to assist you
View on iTunes
 

Image credit: Sean MacEntee

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