Best app that came pre-loaded: Maps, as in Google Maps. More than once, it has saved my bacon finding a place I was trying to reach. Once, it helped my wife and I detour around an accident that had blocked an entire 4-lane highway.
– Runner-up: The default Weather app is not bad at all, and I must admit that I found great amusement with the icon representing “Sunny with a chance of rain”, and I pointed out to
my wife, “…and on Wednesday, the sun will melt.”
Best Social Networking app: This one should be a no-brainer, but honestly, I am still a little non-plussed with the Facebook iPhone app. Oh, it lets me see status updates and friends’ photos, but I have had issues with sending messages, posting comments, and changing my profile picture. As much as I am not a Twitter freak, the Twitteriffic user interface is very sleek, and all of the essential Twitter functionality is very easy to use, making it my pick.
– Runner-up: I have read a negative review of the LinkedIn app, but for my needs, I like it, and I ended up connecting with a few people from the iPhone that I even overlooked on the computer.
Best interface for an online store: I’m not rich enough to do that much online shopping, but my pick for the app that best interfaces with the store is Barnes & Noble. The catalog is easy to search and integrates seamlessly with the website when you check out.
– Runner-up: While you may not agree with my definition of “store” here, I like the Fandango app. It has everything you need to find and order tickets for the movie you want at the theater you want. What more does it need to do?
Best interface for an online service: As someone who lives and breathes music, Pandora is a Godsend. The Pandora app is just as heavenly when away from a computer, so it gets my pick.
– Runner-up: As many times as a movie or TV show sends me scrambling to the Internet Movie Database because “that’s the guy who was in that movie with that girl, right?”, having an iPhone with the IMDb app makes it even easier to satisfy that burning need to identify ‘that guy’.
Best surprisingly useful app: Coming from a household with a mom who was a kitchen whiz, and marrying a girl whose mom gave her a ton of recipes as well, I never thought I’d have a use for a recipe app, but AllRecipes Dinner Spinner has already given us some new meal ideas that were delicious. Plus, it has a nifty tool to E-mail a recipe you liked to someone right from the app, so you can share the gems you find with your family or friends.
– Runner-up: While I have yet to plunk down the 99 cents for the Pro version, AppBox Lite from AllAboutApps has some really useful tools, all in one place rather than individually installed. I have made use of the tip calculator, loan repayment calculator, as well as the calendar that helps you track your lady’s…um…well, you know…time of the month.