We have 70 different applications on our iPhone, not including the stock apps that Apple includes with the phone.Of the apps we’ve downloaded, you could take away 60 and we wouldn’t bat an eye. But if you were to take away 10 of the apps, you’d pretty much be turning our smartphone into one dumb, and sort-of pointless, phone.
Which apps do we hold near and dear? We’ve assembled them here and we’ve taken a look at how they do as a business.
Instagram, despite its annoying insistence on only square photos, has become our default photo application. We like the tilt-shift, we like the filters, and we really like the interface that allows us to flip through our friends' photos and share our own.
Business Analysis: No revenue for Instagram yet. It will probably not worry about money for a few years. We have no idea how it monetizes, aside from ads. We'd hope there's something more interesting, but we're not betting on it.
Free, iTunes link
We don't always read all the stories we save in Instapaper, but it's reassuring to know we have an app stuffed with high quality long form journalism.
Business Analysis: It must be doing pretty well since developer Marco Arment left his job as CTO of Tumblr to focus on Instapaper. He charges $5 per download for the app and it's definitely worth it.
$4.99: iTunes link
At various points of our iPhone lives, we have fallen in love with Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, Tiny Wings, Tiger Woods Golf, and Doodle Jump. But, Apple's Texas Hold Em app has managed to hold our interest longer than any of those other apps.
We don't play it every day of every week, but we definitely find ourselves playing it a few times a month which is more than we can say for the aforementioned iPhone games.
Business Analysis: It's a drop in the bucket for Apple. They don't update the app, and don't promote it much. It was one of the first apps just to make sure there were some great games early on for Apple.
$4.99, iTunes link
Twitter is the number one reason we're staring at our iPhone when we're supposed to be paying attention to people at the bar, or at the dining table, or anywhere really. Without Twitter, we're not sure how much we'd ever use the phone.
Business Analysis: Twitter is about to roll out advertising that could prove to be quite lucrative, as long as it doesn't infuriate the user base. The company is valued at $8 billion and is a smashing success.
Free, iTunes Link
Foursquare is an increasingly valuable resource when we're out and about. We like getting specials, and seeing deals syndicated from Groupon, but we love to see tips at restaurants and bars. There was a time when our significant other hated that we were checking into restaurants. Now, she wants us to do it before we order so we can get an idea of what's good and bad.
Business Analysis: Foursquare has great potential. It's an inherently commercial product. Users broadcast their location -- almost always some sort of business -- to their friends. This means there are any number of ways to monetise from ads to deals to something we can't think of. Its biggest challenge is breaking through to mainstream users.
Free, iTunes link
When you're out, or in, it's always nice to know what's going on in sports world. (Assuming you care about sports.) We've used a few sports apps, and we found ESPN's Scorecenter to be the best for getting just the score of a game.
Business Analysis: This isn't going to move the needle for ESPN, but the cable network is probably going to be able to sell a lot of mobile ads in the future. ScoreCenter will be part of that.
Free, iTunes link
We prefer the GV Mobile+ app over the official Google Voice app for our phone, but it costs $2.99. We got it for free one night when the developer had a special sale. Its worth the $3.00.
We use Google Voice for all our texting now, and are saving some money on our monthly bill. Google Voice isn't as fluid as Apple's texting app, but we don't mind too much.
When Apple releases iMessage, we'll probably use this a lot less.
Business Analysis: Probably a small business for its developer. Not bad for one guy, but we doubt he sells enough to make a big living. As for Google and Google Voice ... it could become a Skype rival some day.
$2.99, iTunes link
Our number one music application is still the iPod for the iPhone. It has podcasts, which is what we mostly listen to.
However, our next most important music application is MOG, which gives us unlimited free music. MOG hooked us up with a free account, which is why we use it, and why we're conflicted on this. We used Spotify for a while when they gave us a free account, but we actually liked MOG a little better. Rdio is another option, but we haven't had a chance to play with that.
Business Analysis: We don't know if a music startup can make it. Many have tried, many have failed. Can MOG beat all the competition?
Free app, $10 a month for the subscription, iTunes link
This is our list, and on our list Golfshot GPS is a must have app. It gives us yardage on the golf course, it keeps track of our scores in one place and is loaded with other stats like putts and percentage of time we hit the fairway.
Business Analysis: Shotzoom, the company behind Golfshot GPS seems to have developed a nice little business around Golf apps. It charges a relatively steep price for its apps, but it seems to be succeeding. Golf is a niche sport, so there will be challenges along the way, but at the prices it charges, it should do well.
Kindle for the iPhone is better than dragging around a big fat book, and if you have a Kindle or iPad, it syncs very nicely with those devices. Which is great if you don't want to drag them around with you, but still want to get in bits of reading.
Business Analysis: Not surprisingly, Amazon has developed a strong eco-system around its e-books. The iPhone app is just one part of the business.
Free, iTunes link
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