SLIDESHOW

The Nine Essential iPhone Apps

Apple may have sold 1 billion apps through the App Store, but there are only 9 that are must-haves for my iPhone.

Facebook

As a technical journalist, I am charged with keeping up with the latest in social-networking trends and gossip aggregation services. Facebook is a definite stop whenever I'm on the Internet, either on a computer or the iPhone. I do have some grievances, but it works well for basic tasks.

Tweetie

The perfect iPhone interface for Twitter remains elusive, despite the microblogging service's simplicity. Do too much and your tweet stream becomes too cluttered; do too little and doing even basic things like following a reply chain or clicking on a tweeted link can be a hassle. Tweetie certainly isn't without its flaws but its attractive interface and minimalism are complemented by a well-rounded feature set.

Palringo

I am definitely not one to subject myself to the torture that is using the iPhone's often cramped software keyboard, but for those quick and necessary MSN chats with friends, Palringo does the trick. Managing multiple conversations or multiple IM protocols is fairly easy and the app elegantly gets around the iPhone SDK's limitations.

Tap Tap Revenge 2

Whether the iPhone and iPod Touch are viable competitors to the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP is still up for debate, but there is no doubting that there are some great games available from the App Store. The follow-up to the immensely popular Tap Tap Revenge, Tap Tap Revenge 2 brings more of the Guitar Hero–style fun to the table. Quick multiplayer jaunts with friends make the app a mainstay of this finger tapper's iPhone.

Superball 3

All manner of classic games have already been ported in some fashion to the iPhone but one close to our hearts is the current incarnation of 1970s arcade game Breakout in the form of Superball 3. Any resemblance to the original game has since been buried underneath physics-based craziness but it's still the most fun way to destroy rectangles and squares that we know of.

Drop7

The idea of combining Sudoku and Tetris was simply preposterous until Drop7 came along. Now it has become one of the most tapped applications on my iPhone and has led friends and occasionally strangers to rip the phone out of my hands in their eagerness to have a go.

Wolfenstein 3D Classic

The biggest regret of my childhood was never getting further than I did in Wolfenstein 3D, but the recently released iPhone port from id Software has given me a second chance. Complete with circle strafing and that cheesy grin William Blazkowicz has when picking up the Chain Gun, Wolfenstein 3D is definitely one of the best games available for the iPhone. If only Drop7 wasn't so addictive, I would have destroyed Hitler already.

Boxee Remote

The reason I haven't used Remote as often recently? Easy: Boxee came along. Ever since Boxee was installed on the Apple TV there has rarely been a need to switch back to the FrontRow interface. On the recent occasion where the house went days without a working physical remote for the Apple TV, Boxee Remote was the saviour, providing entertainment in a bleak, bleak time.

Multi-Photo Email

This is the iPhone app that gets used whenever I review iPhone apps. Having to transfer individual iPhone screenshots is a hassle using the smartphone's own Mail app, so being able to send them as a batch through Multi-Photo Email is definitely a plus.