The 24 most important apps on my phone

Gus LubinThese are the apps that matter (and check out that sweet photo I took in the background)!

You get 24 apps on your iPhone home screen. For somewhat obsessive people like me, that means you have to rank your apps to determine which ones belong in that most accessible location and, moreover, which belong on the bottom half where they can be easily thumbed or on the bottom row where they carry over to other screens.

(Some people cram more apps onto the page using folders, but I find that counterproductive in that it forces additional taps to open an app.)

These are the 24 most important apps in my life right now:

Bottom row (most important):

Mail: You’ve got lots of Gmail advocates, Mailbox true believers, and a people who swear by Microsoft’s new Outlook app, but I’ve never had any complaints with Mail.

Safari: Ditto. I’ve heard people recommend other apps, but this one gets the job done and I use it often.

Messages: Again, I’m sticking with the default.

Phone: I still use the iPhone as a phone often enough to keep it in this row.

_Reddit has everything.

Second row:

Alien Blue: The best way to read Reddit, which is why Reddit bought this third party app a few months ago. (And if you’re not using Reddit, I’d recommend it as a great place to find the best content on the web.)

Newsstand: Oh how I hate the Newsstand. There’s only one publication in my Newsstand and that’s The New York Times, but every time I want to open the Times, I have to open the Newsstand first, and there’s no way around that. Still, I read the Times every day so the Newsstand gets this spot.

Google Maps: Apple Maps may have improved a lot since its disastrous launch, but it still can’t handle subway directions. Living in New York City, that’s a non-starter.

Slack: Business Insider got on Slack recently and we love it. It’s a beautifully designed tool for group and individual chats, and the mobile app works great.

_Business Insider has everything that matters.

Third row:

Business Insider: Check out our app to see the hottest news in business and everything else on the go. The only reason it’s not higher on my home screen is because I read the site 10 hours a day on desktop.

Instagram: A social media app that, unlike Facebook, is pleasant to look at and consistently entertaining.

MSN Sports: This app does scores well but has an only mediocre array of news stories. Still, it’s better than anything else I’ve seen. The ESPN app used to be solid but then turned into a endless array of videos. I tried 365 Sports and The Score but found them confusing.

Music: As an iTunes Match subscriber, I use this app for most of my music and streaming radio needs (as opposed to Pandora).

Fourth row:

Notes: Who needs Evernote or Letterspace? Apple’s Notes app has all the functionality you need including desktop synchronisation as well as nifty Siri integration (“Take note: bla bla bla”).

Grantland: This is a link to the home page of a great site for essays on sports and entertainment, which apparently doesn’t have an app.

Longform: A pretty RSS reader that filters out long-form stories from hundreds of sources and includes editor recommendations.

Yelp: Still the best way to find or contact local businesses.

_Dark Sky gives a superior 7-day forecast, with the option to click any day to get a breakdown of what kind of precipitation is likely and when.

Fifth row:

Dark Sky: I recently switched to this $US4 app instead of the Apple version. The catalyst was my desire to know more detailed precipitation predictions for the coming week. Dark Sky has that in spades as well as a pretty interface, weather maps, etc.

Calendar: Another good enough Apple app.

Dictionary: Yes, you could just Google definitions or ask Siri, but I’m enough of a word geek that I value a devoted app, especially one that has etymologies. I even shelled out $US2 to remove ads.

Wikipedia: Wikipedia is one of the wonders of the internet age. I use the app for easier reading, even though the app is decidedly mediocre.

Sixth row:

1Password Pro: $US10! This app (which is free with limited features before a Pro upgrade) paired with the $US50 1Password desktop licence is not cheap, and yet it holds the solution to your ongoing password nightmare and your inevitable vulnerability to hackers. In other words, it’s word it. Read more about signing up here.

_Chess Pro has four suggestions for the next move in the Danish Gambit.

Chess Pro: $US10! This program is not cheap, but after playing the free version up to its limit and reading reviews for this 5-star app, I took the plunge. I do not regret it. The program offers a clean and highly customisable chess app, including features like a precisely adjustable computer opponent that is just fun to play against and the abilities to view multiple recommended moves and study hundreds of classic games.

Amazon Music: I’m one of the tens of millions of people who joined Prime last year. One of the perks is the ability to stream a bunch of free albums and playlists (thus complementing Music’s paid albums and radio).

App Store: I haven’t found a lot of apps that really matter. Still, hope springs eternal. When I’m looking for some innovative program that will change my life, I call open the App Store.

Disclosure: I am an Apple investor.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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