What are your must-have apps?

Resistance to the iPhone proves futile. Have you succumbed, and if so, how do you use it?

Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters / File
iPhone appeal goes interplanetary: U.S. astronaut and International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly looks at his iPhone after putting on his spacesuit at Baikonur cosmodrome Oct. 8.

My wife is a member of the LA tribe (late adopter), kin to the technophobe nation and the Luddite people. So when I got her an early Christmas / late birthday gift, I knew how she would react. Not with a big thank you. Not with a hug and a giggle. Definitely not with one of those wide-eyed, open-mouthed, slow-motion shocks you see in diamond store commercials.

Instead, she gave me the Full Luddite. Resistance. "No, Tim, I don't want it. Take it back! I won't use it. It's a waste of money!!"

Only a husband like me can enjoy a gift reaction like that. Besides, resistance is futile, honey.

So guess what "it" is that she unwrapped? An iPhone 4.* The 15-year old was quite upset because (1) he's still using a hand-me-down original iPhone with a cracked screen (which he loves by the way), and (2) he knew Mom would not could not appreciate the awesome power in her hands. In fact, the only reason she accepted the phone is that I had pre-emptively cancelled her dumb phone contract and moved her number to this one. Kind of a techno-bully move, true, but it worked. She glowered at me and let me show her how to set up her gmail and hotmail accounts. Actually, she gave me the wrong password for 30 minutes as payback. But I'll say it again: Resistance is futile, honey.

Off she goes to Japan with our youngest, visiting family. She is sending photos every day, and yesterday sent a .MOV file of young cousins playing peek-a-boo. From half a world away! This is all set-up for the email my wife sent, which I have to share:

I am loving my iPhone!!! One of the best gifts you gave me! Knowing that the best way to show you how much I love this gift is learning and using this phone, so I am exploring and experiment. As I feel more comfortable with this phone, I am becoming more and more dependent on it. Now this phone is becoming a part of my life.

Look, I know this is giving Apple some over the top free publicity, but I have zero interest in the company beyond fascination and admiration for the iPhone. This new technology - the smart phone - reminds us that even in dark economic times, progress is relentless. Life gets better.

So, all that was set-up for a question to you. What you your must-have apps? Bob Tedeschi at the NY Times list a few (and I recommend the article). I'd love to get your advice in the comments.

Kane's must-have iPhone apps:

  • Maps
  • Camera (seamless email!)
  • Politico
  • Fandango
  • ESPN Sportscenter
  • Doodlejump
  • HoldEm
  • Voice Memos (recorder)
  • geoDefense Swarm

Kane's must-have iPad apps:

  • WSJ
  • iBooks
  • Kindle
  • National Geographic
  • 3D Brain
  • Netflix
  • CookieDoodle

As you can tell, the list is necessary, but not sufficient. Can you help a techie out?

*This is not an endorsement of the iPhone over competing smart phones. We have path dependency and network effects inside the Kane household. Other smart phones may be just as good or better. Do not tease happy fun ball. (Anybody gets that reference: be the first to tell me in the comments and I will send you a no-prize. Get that reference?).

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