21 of the Best iPhone Apps of 2012

So you finally got a new iPhone for the Holidays? Congratulations! Once you’ve put the phone through the wringer of using FaceTime, invoking Siri, and watching that adorable cat video for the 300th time, you start to wonder what other features and nifty things your new iDevice can do. Here’s a list of the top 21 apps that you should get to downloading immediately.

Find My iPhone

Developed by Apple, Find My iPhone allows you to locate your iPhone and display its location on a map either on your computer or any other iOS device. Additionally, it is capable of making your iPhone ring (even if it’s on silent), lock, and display a message. This is especially handy for when you misplace your phone or, in a worst case scenario, it’s stolen. You’ll need an iCloud account to take advantage of everything it has to offer. Best of all, it’s free!

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Gas Buddy


Who doesn’t love saving money? This app is a must have for anyone with a car who hates paying outrageous prices at the pump. Gas Buddy is a free app which finds the cheapest gas in your area. You can filter results by location, distance, or grade of fuel. The app’s data is crowdsourced so you’re able to contribute if a price needs to be updated.

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Angry Birds

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you probably know about Angry Birds. The iconic, and addicting, iPhone app is a physics-based game where the user flings birds from a slingshot sending them crashing into structures built by pigs. The purpose is to kill (read: pop) the pigs as punishment for them stealing the birds’ eggs. Angry Birds provides hours of gameplay and will only cost you a buck.

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Music on demand. Spotify allows you to take your music listening experience into your own hands by allowing you to pick and choose which artists and songs you want to listen to. In order to have access to the mobile app users must have a paid subscription which costs $9.99/mo.

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Instagram is the app when it comes to editing and sharing photos. You’re able to add filters to pictures which change the appearance of the photos allowing you to get really creative. Instagram is a free download.

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ESPN ScoreCenter

This app is for the sports nuts out there. ScoreCenter is a free app that provides live sports scores, news, updates, standings, and schedules for almost any sport out there. With features like myTeams (notifications for your favorite teams) and GameCast (live play-by-play updates) you’ll never miss out on another game!

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It’s date night. You were tasked with choosing a movie to see before dinner. Too much pressure? Fandango to the rescue! With just a few taps you can check the titles playing in your area, read reviews powered by Rotten Tomatoes, decide on a showtime, and even purchase tickets!

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Very few things are as frustrating as hearing an amazing song but not knowing the name or artist. Enter Shazam. Simply open the app, hold it up to the speakers, allow it to record for several seconds and almost as if by magic, the name of the song and artist appear on the screen. The app also provides a link to purchase the song, lyrics, and other useful information.

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What Shazam did for music; IntoNow does for television and movies. It is unbelievable how quickly the app is able to identify what show or movie you’re watching.

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Dropbox is the most popular choice for consumer cloud storage needs. This free app and service provides users with 2GB of cloud storage for any type of file. The UI is clean, simple, and user-friendly. Files opened within the iPhone app can be e-mailed, shared, or saved locally. This is a must have for iPhone owners who opted for lower on-board memory.

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The Facebook iPhone app is essential for any iPhone-owning Facebook user. This app allows you to view your social feed, share pictures, check in, update status, view your inbox and Facebook chat, manage Pages, and even adjust your settings, like Privacy.

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No longer will iPhone owners stub their toes when walking around their homes at night! Flashlight is a free, yet priceless, app that turns the LED camera flash into a full-fledged flashlight. From using it to find your way around a dark room to unlocking your front door, this app is guaranteed to make it to your front page of apps.

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If you’re like most people you probably have countless usernames and passwords for every online service, and recalling the right combination of the two is often an exercise in futility. 1Password is a lifesaver. It’s a secure password keeper which uses 128-bit keys for encryption to ensure that your information is kept safe. Simply assign a login password to the app and that’s the last password you’ll ever need to remember. Aside from login information, 1Password is also capable of storing important notes, financial, and purchased software license information. This app costs $17.99 but is often on sale so keep an eye out!

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Mobile Banking

While this isn’t an app in and of itself, chances are that your financial institution (Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Regions, etc.) has a free iPhone app. These apps provide access to your account balances, transaction history, and funds transfer. Some even have the ability to deposit checks by simply taking a picture. Keeping up with your finances is important and these apps make it easy to do so.

iWorks Suite

When it’s crunch time at work you need solid productivity apps, especially when you’re on the go with your iPhone. Numbers is your spreadsheet app, Keynote handles slideshows, and Pages is a word processing app. These apps are capable of handling Microsoft Office and native Apple file types, and work seamlessly with iCloud storage. Each app costs $9.99 but is universal so it can be used on an iPod Touch and iPad using the same iTunes account.

Get Pages here
Get Keynote here
Get Numbers here

Words With Friends

Bet you didn’t know that ‘qoph’ was a real word, did ya?? Words With Friends is the best way to play a Scrabble-like game with, well, friends. The premise of the game is identical to that of Scrabble’s and the board layout is similar in that there are opportunities for bonus points on certain tiles. Game play is turn-by-turn and you’re notified when the opponent has played a word. You can link your Facebook account and challenge any of your friends to a game.

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Ever miss a flight due to a gate change? Or get to the airport only find that your flight’s been delayed for 6 hours? It sucks. A lot. FlightTrack is an app that keeps you up to date on any changes to your flight. Picking someone up from the airport? Once a flight is en route you can track its progress on a map and view information like altitude, speed, ETA, etc.

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Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

Make a resolution to get back in shape and knock back a few pounds put on during the Holiday season? Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker is a phenomenal tool to help see that resolution through. What sets this food and activity diary apart from other services is its food database, over 2,000,000 different food items preloaded with nutritional info. The app is also equipped with a barcode scanner for easier logging of store-bought items. Post your progress to Facebook and Twitter for support from friends and family!

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Photon Flash Player & Private Web Browser

One feature missing from the iPhone is native flash support. Flash is used on many different websites, and visiting them on Safari can render the site pretty much useless. Photon changes that by enabling flash content through their proprietary browser. Flash based games and videos are now viewable and operable.

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Google Maps

In iOS 6, Apple supplanted Google Maps with its proprietary mapping solution. In response, Google released a standalone version of Google Maps with enhanced features like spoken turn-by-turn directions, vector images, and transit directions.

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StumbleUpon is a free service which crawls the Internet and displays web pages for you to enjoy based upon your likes and preferences. You can either give a thumb up or down depending on whether or not you enjoyed the site. You’ll come across some pretty amazing things that you didn’t even know existed!

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This useful tool is designed to help save you money. When shopping, simply open the app and scan the barcode of the item you want to purchase. ShopSavvy will then determine if the same object is available for less money either online or at a nearby location.

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Let us know what some of your favorite apps are in the comments section below!

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  1. Intonow is unbelievable! Great recommendation! My nephew told me about an program that allows you to access your computer from the iPhone, which is pretty useful. I showed my wife the shopping application, too. We’ll give it a spin at the mall this weekend.

  2. I already have some of these apps downloaded on my new iPhone, but I’ll definitely take your advice and download the others I have never heard of before. They sound like they would be perfect for me, so I’m excited to check them out! Since I’ve only had an iPhone for a little while I don’t have many apps on it yet, but the one I do enjoy the most is DISH Remote Access. One of the guys I work with at DISH got me a Sling Adapter some time ago, so since then I’ve been using the app to watch all of my shows from home, live or recorded, everywhere I go in the world. It is nice to have for entertainment purposes, but as a TV lover, I love the fact that even when I’m half way across the country on business I can still keep up with all of my favorite shows!

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