Mail – It isn’t amazing yet it does a good enough job for my basic email needs. Most of the email applications on iOS are Gmail specific and I’m not on Google for many services, email included.
Newsblur – When Google shut down Google Reader I found Newsblur. It’s subscription based but I’ve loved using it. Good performance and native applications are why Newsblur is my RSS aggregator of choice. The free iOS app works well with the Newsblur website with many features including offline sync.
Remember the Milk – RTM has been my todo list of choice since 2007 or thereabouts. Unfortunately the website and applications haven’t received much love in the past couple of years. But for my money, which I do give to them for a Pro subscription, it has great support for tags, keyboard shortcuts, and recurring tasks. RTM on iOS is free and gives me the ability to natively integrate with the web interface available on all my devices.
Fantastical – My company doesn’t allow email access from our phones natively so most iOS calendar use is lost on me. But Fantastical has a spot on my main screen. It’s a good looking app and its natural language processing engine makes adding most appointments a breeze, especially when using voice recognition. The unsung feature though is how well it shows upcoming events. It’s something you need to use to understand but seeing my events for the day is trivial with Fantastical.
Podcasts – If there is one application I shouldn’t be using because of my reliance on the purpose it serves, it would be Podcasts. The native Apple podcast app was terrible for quite a while but recently has become quite good. I’m sure there are better podcast apps out there but I don’t have the incentive to make the switch.
Forecast.io – Forecast.io isn’t an app per ce. Instead it’s a web page which integrates well with iOS and feels like a native app. It shows current conditions, forecasts for the next hour and the next 24 hours, plus graphical precipitation predictions and weather maps. A 7 day forecast is also available with one tap of my finger.
Soulver – Part spreadsheet, part calculator, part Notepad. It’s a nice app for math which uses more than just numbers.
Tweetbot – Tweetbot 3 feels so fluid. Previously I used Twitterific but Tweetbot just feels right. Gestures are generally intuitive and it has a lot of functionality. Despite my rarely posting on Twitter, I enjoy using a power app for basic functions.
Drafts – Drafts quickly takes notes. Yes, lots of things do. But its ability to tie into other applications via x-callback-url enables Drafts to become my central point for text based actions. I’ve only barely delved into what x-callback-url can offer but even my basics let me use it for relaying text to other applications.
Many apps don’t fit into a category but they’re indispensable for me nevertheless.
Launch Center Pro – Similar to Drafts since it relies on x-callback-url for heavy lifting but allows more functions. I have shortcuts to text my Mom, text the last photo in my Photo Stream to someone, and load favorites in 1Password. Lots of power which Apple doesn’t provide natively.
FlightTrack – Flight status is an application which Apple should be building into iOS natively but they don’t. FlightTrack makes me not care. It supports multiple trips, multiple flights per trip, calendar integration, flight status notifications, and more. I spent a long time looking for a flight status app which I could live with and found it.