Top 10 Free iPhone Apps

July 28, 2008 by Derek Walter 

The Apple App Store has made the iPhone 3G an especially compelling device. Yet with so many to choose from, where does one begin? Well, “free” is a good place to start. While there are some apps worth forking over money for, there are plenty great freebies. Here are the top 10 according to iPhone Nuts:

Google Mobile

You have to start with the masters of web search. The Google Mobile app is useful for several reasons. First, it puts a Google Search button within one easy tap on your home page. Also, searching is customizable. Not only can you search the web, but your contacts as well. As you type you get suggestions, which sometimes make it even faster to find what you are looking for. Tap the Google button and you not only get the ability to search, but access to all of Google’s mobile apps, such as Reader, Gmail, Notes, Blogger, and others. And if there is one you use frequently, say Reader, you can download it to your iPhone screen.


One of the many complaints about the iPod’s successive generations was that it did not include an FM tuner. Well, consider that problem solved. Pandora is the top app for getting streaming music on your iPhone. It works by creating channels tailored to your specific musical tastes. A fan of Weezer? Not only are you listening to “Buddy Holly” but getting a sampling of similar bands, such as Vampire Weekend and The Strokes. It may not have all your local radio stations, but hey, who wants to listen to those annoying DJs and commercials anyway?


Get your blog on. WordPress, the Godfather of blogging apps, has finally arrived and lets you blog from your iPhone. Its interface is very easy to use and give you access to your prior posts. It’s still pretty new, and doesn’t give you the ability to moderate comments or tweak your plugins. But I have to suspect that with future software updates you will get even improved functionality.

AP Mobile News

The Associated Press gets huge credit here for making themselves relevant to the mobile computing world. This is a very forward-thinking, well-designed news app that is probably one of my favorites. You can customize the Local News section to get news tailored to where you live. And there is a section for sports, showbiz, and plenty of other news topics so you can drain your battery getting informed.


So you want to go on a date at the newest, hip restaurant. So where to go? The Yelp app solves that for you. It’s the best-regarded app for getting reviews on places to go, despite the recent flap over planted comments. Having it on your iPhone page will make you the king of nightlife amongst your friends.

Google Talk/AIM

These two share the 6 and 7 spot, as they’re both fairly effective at offering a smooth chat experience. The only weakness is once you close out of the program you become unavailable to your chat buddies.


Facebook and MySpace round out the 8 and 9 spots. Here it will depend on how much you rely on either site for your social networking needs. Sure, I could have included Twitter, if you really really need to know what your friends are doing every second of the day.

New York Times

How cool is it to have the New York Times in your pocket? Impress your friends and look sophisticated by reading the latest Times articles on your iPhone. Just one catch: this is a slow app. Even at Wi-Fi speeds, it takes quite a while to load. So if you are on 3G, or especially EDGE, AP may be the better app to hit for a look at the day’s headlines.

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One Response to “Top 10 Free iPhone Apps”

  1. Ryan Ray on July 29th, 2008 3:54 pm

    Great list! I like where some of these apps are headed in the near future. Especially apps like AIM, when Apple delivers their “push” system so we can stay connected with AIM and Google Talk. My AP news app has problems displaying local news, but I definitely think that that’s not the apps fault. I like using Pandora so much more than all of the crappy radio stations that don’t play anything I like. Good riddance FM Tuner!

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