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Apps Round-up: The Best Productivity Apps for iPhone

December 2nd, 2011 by

Productivity-Apps The list of Productivity apps that might interest you, depends actually upon what you expect out of your iPhone. I will detail some areas below and the apps suitable for getting the work done with the greatest speed and ease. These apps will let you share, sync, download, make music, communicate and do a lot more with your iPhone.

Keep in mind that these are opinions based on my experiences using the apps mentioned. Your opinions may of course vary, but this might be a good reference for people who are looking for an app to perform a certain task. Please feel free to share the apps you use. 🙂

Sharing and syncingshare-sync

The most popular app in this category is of course dropbox A lot of apps like note-taking apps can be hooked to this dropbox app for extra functionality.

Of course, you may not want to put your data in the cloud. If you want your iPhone to behave like a file server, the fileApp app may be a good choice for you. It turns your iPhone into a kind of FTP server, so you can connect to it using an FTP client like filezilla for windows or cyberduck for mac.

Finally, you may need to access your data on your PC using your iPhone, from far away. There’s no doubt that Zumocast started this trend a year or two ago, but currently the most feature-rich program to do this is Tonido .

Tonido allows you to share certain folders on your PC using a special client program. Than, by logging into your Tonido account, you can access these files from your iPhone.

File download and managementdownload-apps

If you truly want the best experience in this regard, you are going to want to invest in filer. This app lets you download and view a lot of file types, and is still being actively developed.
This app has one restriction however: You can only work within the directory Filer allows you access. This is not due to the app, but more an iPhone restriction.
To get around this, you will have to jailbreak your iPhone, and then use the iFile app from Cydia.

Making musicmusic

Of course, Apple’s recently released GarageBand is a very good option for this particular goal. It allows you to play some nice instruments, record your songs and so on.

If you want some more instruments, some more loops or just an alternative, the Thumbjam app is a very good competitor. It is a bit more expensive but in my opinion the app is well worth the price.

Audio recording and editingaudio-recording

You have a few options in this category. The gigdaddy app gives you a lot of tracks to work with. The free version should be enough to get you started, but if you need more you can always upgrade to the paid version.

There’s also Pocket WavePad which allows you to play with the audio some more, it is a free app with some pretty nice effects and bells and whistles.


Hurray, we are actually going to use our iPhone as a phone now …..or are we?
There’s a lot of communication protocols around these days. Many have their own app, for example Skype . For those who don’t know, Skype allows you to call other skype users who are online for free using your internet connection. Also, phone numbers can be reached all over the world, usually for quite a low price per minute. Other popular media to reach one another are things like AIM, MSN, ICQ and so on.

There’s a few clients that cover all these and more, the most popular being IMPlus and Palringo .

Be warned though, the latter is known to encounter crashes now and again, but is a bit lighter then IMPlus.

Lastly, we of course have the social networks. Facebook and twitter both have their own app. The link for faceBook is here and the one for Twitter is here .

There are loads of clients available for these protocols. Not being an avid FaceBook user myself, I will let you decide which one works best for you when it comes to FaceBook. Personally though, I like TweetList best when it comes to reading and using Twitter on iOS.

Some final productivity tips

If you are like me and haven’t bought the iPhone 4S yet, you will like the Dragon Dictation app by Nuance. It lets you dictate into your phone’s microphone and copy the recognized text to an email, text message, or just the clipboard so you can paste it anywhere you like.
Also, a new feature in iOS 5 called keyboard shortcuts exists. It lets you define custom words that expand into something else. For example, Typing address results in seeing “Leaflane 54, 1234ab, Hutchinson’ if you tell it to do so. This can save a lot of typing.


Yep, here we go again. Since I use these apps myself, I can guarantee they are mostly or fully accessible to visually impaired users. VoiceOver plays nice with most of these apps, a bit less with others.
The two you have to keep an eye on are Skype and Dragon Dictation. Skype is regressing in accessibility at the moment, a lot of people are telling them about this and this will hopefully mean it will be fixed soon. Dragon dictation has a tendency to break accessibility in an update sometimes. Usually they fix it when enough users of the app let them know about this, but it can be annoying.
A good resource for accessibility of iOS apps is AppleVis, a community-driven website to catalog any accessibility issues these people have found.

If you would like any other area covered or if I have missed any good app worthy to make it to this list, please do feel free to share them by commenting below.

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