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As a devout Mac geek, I think there should be a People’s Magazine devoted solely to app developers. Let’s be honest, computer apps are what make our lives easier, not celebrities and cheating spouses. So with that said, I’m honored to release my personal list of my top 10 most used inexpensive and free iOS apps of 2011.

Some of these apps have been reviewed in MUO, while a few others may not have received the attention they deserve.

NewsRack

After checking email, the iOS and OS X RSS reader NewsRack ($4.99) is the app I start off with every morning. I tried several other RSS readers, but none provided the synchronization features I get with NewsRack. Talk about a time saver. I use NewsRack to synchronize with Google Reader 6 Best Desktop eBook Readers For Reading At Home (Or At Work) 6 Best Desktop eBook Readers For Reading At Home (Or At Work) Do some reading on your computer. Whether you're looking for free access to classic works of literature or desktop access to your current Kindle, Kobo or Nook books, there is a wide variety of eBook... Read More , so that when I check and read feeds on my Mac, iPhone, or iPad, they automatically get updated on all those devices. The app also allows you to share articles on social network sites and services including Instapaper Instapaper Gets A Huge Update On iOS Devices [News] Instapaper Gets A Huge Update On iOS Devices [News] Yet again, another iOS application pushes out a game changing update to go along with the release of Apple's latest software version, iOS 5. The changes to this version of Instapaper are pretty extensive, and... Read More .

Newsrack

Instacast

When I finally go to bed at night, Instacast ($1.99) is the app I use to download and check the handful of podcasts I choose from to listen to as I fall asleep. Instacast makes it easy to discover, subscribe, and listen to audio and video podcasts over Wi-Fi and 3G.

The latest iOS 5 version synchronizes podcasts between devices via iCloud. In terms of podcast downloads, Instacast makes iTunes obsolete for end users.

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Instacast

Handoff

For some odd reason Apple has yet to make it easy to simply send documents from your Mac or iOS device to another Apple device. So I use Handoff ($1.99) nearly every day to wirelessly send articles over my local network, using the Handoff Safari extension, to my iPhone and iPad. Handoff should be a built-in feature in Apple devices using iCloud.

Handoff

Photosync

Nearly every iOS screenshot you see in my MUO articles gets sent to my Mac desktop using PhotoSync ($1.99). I simply launch the app, select screenshots in my Camera Roll, and push and hold my finger on a button that automatically sends selected shots, via wireless transfer, to my computer. PhotoSync also works with Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, and other photo sharing sites.

Photosync

PriceCheck

I feel a little guilty every time I use PriceCheck, because now whenever I go shopping at say BestBuy, the local Apple Store, or Borders, I pull out PriceCheck How To Use Your Smartphone As Your Personal Wallet How To Use Your Smartphone As Your Personal Wallet The recent launch of Google Wallet is another indication of how practical and useful smartphone technology has become in just a few short years. Many people carry their phones with them everywhere they go. Based... Read More and see how much I would save by ordering online, particularly from Amazon. As much as I would like to buy locally, 20% to 30% savings is something I can’t ignore. PriceCheck makes the process way easy with its built-in barcode scanner.

Pricecheck

Mint.com

I’ve written several articles about Mint.com How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online Read More , the free online personal finance tracking and budget management service. Each iOS version Mint.com Releases Newly Designed iOS 5 iPad App [News] Mint.com Releases Newly Designed iOS 5 iPad App [News] The online personal finance and budgeting site, Mint.com released this week the iPad version of its mobile application. The app not only includes features found in the iPhone version, but it is a completely redesigned... Read More of this Mint app (free) has gotten increasingly better. I can easily launch this app and get balances on my financial accounts and see if I’m staying within budget. If you want to save money, use Mint.

Mint

JotNot

JotNot Scanner Pro ($1.99, free version also available) is one of several apps Go Paperless By Scanning Your Important Documents With Lemon & JotNot [Web & Smartphone] Go Paperless By Scanning Your Important Documents With Lemon & JotNot [Web & Smartphone] Read More that enabled me to use my iPhone as my wallet How To Use Your Smartphone As Your Personal Wallet How To Use Your Smartphone As Your Personal Wallet The recent launch of Google Wallet is another indication of how practical and useful smartphone technology has become in just a few short years. Many people carry their phones with them everywhere they go. Based... Read More . When I need to keep track of receipts or other documents, I simply launch JotNot, snap a photo, tag it, and toss the paper receipt in the trash or a desk drawer. The iPhone camera shots are nearly the same, if not better, as traditional scanners.

Jotnot

iMovie for iPhone

iMovie for the iPhone ($4.99) makes it totally easy to edit family and event videos How To Edit Video On Your iPhone Using iMovie How To Edit Video On Your iPhone Using iMovie The HD quality of the iPhone 4 and 4S video camera app is just as good as many consumer video cameras. While it may be a stretch to shoot hour-long video productions with an iPhone,... Read More I shoot with my iPhone. After using iMovie for over a decade on my Mac, I thought it would be cumbersome to do so on an iPhone, but it’s not. iMovie is a fun, practical, creative, and easy-to-use video editor for your iPhone or iPad.

Imovie iphone

Dragon Mic

This year, I finally learned how to effectively use the speech to text application Dragon Dictate. On days I don’t feel like typing, I can simply dictate text, and the typing gets done three times faster with about 95% accuracy. Dragon Dictate for the Mac is expensive, but its developer Nuance has released free voice to text apps for the iPhone Stop Tapping & Start Talking: Voice Control Your iPhone Stop Tapping & Start Talking: Voice Control Your iPhone You may not know that your iPhone has a few built-in voice command features that can save you the trouble of typing keystrokes. This feature indicates that we can expect even more and similar voice... Read More and other iOS devices. It also produced Dragon Remote Mic (Free) for the iPhone, which turns out to be very good for dictation.

So when I want to get my butt off my office chair and still type, I launch Dragon Mic, increase the font size of the document I’m writing, and dictate text as I walk around my office. Dragon Mic and Dragon Dictate prove that voice technology will only get better over time.

Zite

I’m a huge fan and reviewer of magazine style apps The Best New Features Of Magazine Style Apps For the iPad The Best New Features Of Magazine Style Apps For the iPad I've been a huge fan of magazine style apps ever since the release of Flipboard, followed by Pulse, and then Zite. These apps pull articles from around the net based either upon your specific topical... Read More for the iPad – the device I use now to do most of all my extended reading, including ebooks, PDFs, and articles. I have and use Flipboard Flipboard Gets Optimized For The iPhone [News] Flipboard Gets Optimized For The iPhone [News] Flipboard, the magazine style reader app for the iPad, has finally been optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. If you are a current fan of Flipboard you're going to love the feel and navigation... Read More , Pulse Pulse Is Now Free: A Visual Display RSS News Reader [iPad] Pulse Is Now Free: A Visual Display RSS News Reader [iPad] Read More , and Google Currents Google Currents - Google Releases Its Own Magazine Style App [iOS & Android] Google Currents - Google Releases Its Own Magazine Style App [iOS & Android] As I've said before, there's no shortage of magazine-style content apps for the iPad or other tablets and smartphones. The highly honored Flipboard started it all over a year ago, followed by some awesome competitors... Read More on my iPad, but Zite Zite- Personalized Magazine & News Reader For Your iPad Zite- Personalized Magazine & News Reader For Your iPad Read More  (Free) is the app I browse the most.

Why is that? Well, because Zite offers less, not more to read. It delivers articles based on my reading interests. The content of Zite is based on chosen topics, not direct RSS feeds. I discovered that this is a good thing because it prevents me from adding lots of RSS feeds, as I have done in my Google Reader account. It also means that I get content from sites other than the ones I regularly visit.

Zite magazine

Well, that’s it for my top 10 iOS apps of the year. If I had more space I would iA Writer, Hello, Instagram Apple Picks Instagram iPhone App Of the Year [News] Apple Picks Instagram iPhone App Of the Year [News] Two photo iOS photo apps gained top honors as Apple's annual App Store Rewind 2011. Instagram, an photo editing and sharing app, was named iPhone App of the Year, and Snapseed, a photo enhancement app,... Read More , and iAnnotate. Which apps that came out in 2011 would you add to the list?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

  1. David Haslam
    May 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Also included in this list should be Commodities Today News App

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/today-in-commodities-your/id467719511?mt=8

    This App is well rated on the AppStore and is a great one-stop App for Commodity markets news and analysis.

    CT pulls breaking news and content articles from publications, journalists, institutions and opinion leaders who publish on Twitter and across the Web. The App continuously monitors and adjusts online source lists to include new analysts and publications as well as opinion leaders of note.The App's user interface is beautiful and makes it easy to read articles and research on the iPad, simple and efficient. This is a great App for collecting and reading all this info into one place.It’s most useful commodities related App on the iTunes Store.

    This is one of the best commodities related Apps on the iTunes Store. It’s part of a series, all their Apps are on http://www.algoryt.hm

  2. James Bruce
    December 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I'm sure you already know, but photosync is kind of redundant now that ios5 / icloud and free photostream has been released - at least for syncing to other computers and devices that is. I guess photosync would still be useful for dropbox etc, but you could also do that with a little applescript on the mac side i think?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      December 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      That's true, but I don't like opening up my iPhoto or Aperture library to access iCloud Photostream. I don't like how I can't manually delete photos from Photostream, so I end with up with a lot of iOS device screenshots mixed in with my regular iPhone camera photos. Photosync puts selected photos into a folder and delivers them straight to my desktop. 

  3. draniqa
    December 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

    my personal favorite is instacast. its does really help in relaxing my mind. other app also seems good.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      December 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Yep, you're right. I use it nearly every night.

  4. Bakari Chavanu
    December 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks, Doug, I've heard about Reeder but have not gotten around to checking it out.

    • James Bruce
      December 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Using it now...

  5. Bakari Chavanu
    December 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Dtortot, you know Mint probably is restricted the US and maybe Canada because of the banking laws and regulations. Sorry I didn't make note of that in the article.

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