The 49 Best Apps for All Phones

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News and Reference Apps

Listen to NPR: Even if you can't catch all of the news from NPR at home or in the car, you can still start your day with NPR News for your smartphone. You can listen to national news stories on demand, or allow the app to use your smartphone's GPS to pinpoint local content. Free; Android, iPhone

WeatherBug gives current conditions and forecasts.
Check the weather: The location-aware WeatherBug app has detailed weather forecasts, radar maps, temperature maps, satellite views, and a cool sliding interface. You can configure it to appear as a home-screen widget, too. Free; Android, iPhone

Find facts fast: The Relief Central app puts the whole CIA World Fact Book into your smartphone. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, WebOS, Windows Mobile

Customize your news: You can tailor the AP Mobile app to meet your needs by adding local news to your feed and selecting specific areas of coverage. AP Mobile also nicely utilizes the push-notification system of the iPhone for breaking-news updates. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Symbian, WebOS

Financial Tools

Get financial news: With breaking business stories and complete in-depth market coverage in a customizable format, CNNMoney provides real-time reporting of financial news and analysis, as well as data and charts. Free; BlackBerry, iPhone

Watch the markets: When you're on the go, consult Bloomberg Mobile for financial news, stock quotes, company descriptions, market leaders and laggers, price charts, market-trends analysis, customized lists of stocks, and more. Free; iPhone, WebOS

Watch your money: Balance your budget on the go with the Mint mobile companion to the popular free personal-finance site. Among other features, Mint offers real-time monthly budgets (so you know how much you can spend while you're out and about) and account-activity alerts, all within an incredibly secure app. Free; Android, iPhone

Monitor markets: For continuous access to--and control over--your TD Ameritrade account, use iStockManager. You can get equity and option trading, streaming data, real-time balances and positions, news, and more on your mobile device. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone

Convert currency: XE Currency can convert the currencies of more than 180 countries at up-to-the-minute rates. The app saves the last conversion just in case you may need to repeat it offline, too. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone

Report expenses at once: Expensify takes some of the hassle out of creating expense reports by allowing you to report expenses as they happen while you're on the move. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, WebOS

Social Networking Apps

Foursquare lets you leave your mark by "checking in" at various local establishments.
Share your location: On Foursquare you "check in" whenever you hit a restaurant, a coffee shop, a bar, or even a bus line, and then you can see if other Foursquare members are there, too. You can earn badges for your check-ins, as well as receive the prestigious title of "Mayor" if you check in to an establishment enough times. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, WebOS

Upload in a trice: Pixelpipe Post & Upload Pro lets you post status updates and upload photos or video to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter, YouTube, and other services all at once. It's a great, time-saving way to reach all your social networks. Free; Android, iPhone, Symbian, WebOS

Network effectively: Using HootSuite, you can manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts within an elegant, clean user interface. HootSuite stands out from other social network managers for its extra features: You can schedule updates, set columns to monitor keywords and hash tags, and translate updates in other languages. Free basic version, $3 premium version; Android, iPhone

BeejiveIM lets you chat with pals on multiple services at the same time.
Chat with all of your friends: Via BeejiveIM you can chat simultaneously on AIM, Facebook, GoogleTalk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo. $10 for a single device, $15 for a transferable license; BlackBerry, iPhone

Share your photos easily: Use iTookThisOnMyPhone as a one-stop shop for uploading your pictures and video to photo sharing sites, including Facebook. All of your albums are hosted for free on the iTookThisOnMyPhone Website. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile

Exchange media: One the most ingenious mobile apps we've seen, Bump lets two smartphone users physically bump their devices together to share contact data, media, and bookmarks, as well as to initiate social networking connections and chat sessions. The app employs each phone's GPS radio to detect the presence of the other phone, and then establishes a Web connection with the target device in order to share data. Free; Android, iPhone

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