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.
Calendar – Fantastical is my app of choice on iPhone but Fantastical doesn’t exist on iPad and I can’t stand using the mini-mode. Until Fantastical is on iPad, I’ll be using the stock Calendar app.
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.
Twitterific – Twitterific is compatible with iOS 6. It’s my fallback since Tweetbot 3 is only compatible with iOS 7. Unfortunately for Tweetbot I don’t like iOS 7 all that much and am holding back upgrading my iPad to iOS 7 until I absolutely need to. Not that I have anything bad to say about Twitterific though. Fantastic app with lots of features for Twitter users.
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.
Editorial – A text editor with Python scripting. I don’t know where iOS development will go over the next half decade but it’s the closest thing to my beloved emacs on iPad I may ever get.
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.