iPhone apps I still use and my wishlist

The iPhone App Store and the Android App Market have changed the mobile game forever. 

Joel Falconer over at Mashable has a post of the 8 iphone apps he still uses and the ones he doesn’t

I thought that was a great post.

So here’s my list of iPhone apps I use regularly. (I’ll cover my favorite Android apps in a future post.)

1. Twinkle. My favorite twitter client for the iphone. Latest version also allows re-tweets.

2. Tumblrette. A beautiful 3rd party app for Tumblr users. Never been easy to post a photo, quote or text post to Tumblr. I use it whenever I’m traveling. Also easy way to browse your Tumblr Dashboard.

3. Summizer. This is a really well done app for Twitter Search. And it includes the ability to save search results and update them on the fly. My current saved searches include:

-@bijan. tracks when folks send @reply to me that I don’t follow

-“welcome to twitter”. the happiest search results page I’ve ever seen. Twitter users welcoming their friends to twitter

-Spark portfolio companies. I check them all.

-Startups that I’m considering investing in. Great feedback from the community.

-Obama. you know why.

4. ToDo. The iphone doesn’t come with a task manager or todo list app. This 3rd party app called “ToDo” is the best and I’ve tried a ton of them including (OminiFocus & Things). ToDo is fast and simple. And the best part is that it syncs with Remember The Milk (pro user subscription required). Many thanks to Brad for telling me about this solution and he blogged about it today as well.

5. Shazam. This app still blows my mind

6. Yelp. We use this app all the time in our house. Usually whenever we are about to walk into a restaurant that we’ve never been to before. 

7. Wikipanion. I’m sure there are others. But this 3rd party app for Wikipedia does just fine for me.

Apps I Still Want:

1. Copy & Paste

2. Email search

3. Real-time, turn by turn navigation system

4. Video capture

5. A remote control app for the Sonos.

6. ability to click-call a phone number from the Calender.

UI vs UX

There is a big difference between a great user interface (UI) and a great user experience (UX).

Every week I see new product demos. Most of them are early in development so often the founders are just trying to show me the core functionality of their product.

But the next step is a hard one. And it’s not just about finding a great designer to make pretty pictures. A beautiful design is one thing. But a great user experience is something else.

Few examples to consider.

iDrive.

Take for instance the BMW iDrive system. The NYT has a story about this system today. The idea was to remove the majority of the buttons and dials of from the dashboard. That’s a good goal. And the design was a marvel. But the user experience was a step in the wrong direction.

I know some loyal BMW owners that simply stopped buying BMW’s because of the iDrive

Gmail.

I’ve been using Gmail a lot these days. Probably because of my new Android powered G1. I don’t care for the design at all. The screen seems crowded. There are even ads on the screen.

But the damn thing is so functional. It’s faster than anything. Email in a browser is faster than my Entourage client. Search is a joy. Integration with gcal is smooth. Filters and threading is so efficient. The UX is a breath of fresh air.

I think there a lot of lessons to take from just those two examples when building consumer products.

Investing during a downturn

It’s amazing that Apple has more cash that Microsoft right now.

Say what you will about the two companies prospects but the cash speaks to the different strategies between Cupertino and Redmond.

Microsoft is using cash to acquire companies and provide dividends to shareholders.

Apple is accumlating cash while making big bets on new R&D projects – just like they did with iPod in the last downturn.

And they have a growing cushion that must feel mighty nice right now.

The war in Iraq

I know the economy is all the news these days

And so is the presidential election

But I’m shocked there isn’t more discussion about the war in iraq. 

Take a look at todays New York Times.

Goto to their home page. No real news/insight about the war in Iraq.

Yet there even is a Movie Reviews section on the main page above the fold. 

How about the Opinion page?

Nope, nothin there either.

Isn’t this war and the lives lost and at stake important?