App Starter Kit

Getting a new iPhone or iPod Touch can be a very exciting moment. But once you get the device, what apps should you have? For the most part, the “Top 25″ lists in the App Store do help, but those only show current top apps, and older apps that may not have currently popularity are thrown to the wayside. Here are some essential apps to get you started with your iPhone/iPod Touch.

Make sure to check out 10 Insanely Useful iPhone Apps for more app suggestions!


Angry Birds

app starter kit - angrybirds

Description: Basically, green pigs stole some eggs from some birds, which pissed these birds off enough to let you fling them in a slingshot at the pigs, attempting to take out as many as possible. The concept is very simple, but the levels get increasing harder and harder. Yet the game progresses as a steady pace as to not overwhelm you with the difficulty (which is very appreciated). Also, the gravity engine is very smart and reacts like it should when a bird is thrown suicidally into a wooden house with pigs living in it.

Price: $0.99 (also a FREE lite version available)

Doodle Jump

app starter kit - doodlejump
Description: This extremely simple looking game may look outdated and childish, but it is anything but. It has been featured in dozens of “best game/app” lists all over the web, and is still getting “5 stars” and excellent reviews daily. The developers are constantly updating the game with new and exciting features and fun.

Price: $0.99

Words With Friends

app starter kit - words with friends
Description: Words With Friends is basically a social game of Scrabble.  You can play up to 20 games at once with different people, as well as the ability to chat with each of those people (in an SMS sort of interface).

Price: $2.99 (the FREE lite version is everything the full version is, but it has ads)

Slice It!

app starter kit - slice it
Description: Slice It! is the game, where you slice different figures into the same ratio or surface area. It is a very simple concept, but is very addicting (especially to get a perfect slice on every level).

Price: $0.99 (also a FREE lite version available)


Amazon Mobile

App Starter KIt - Amazon Mobile
Description: This app is basically a simplified version of the site. You can search, shop, compare prices, read reviews, and make purchases all in the app. Existing customers can also view their cart, wish lists, payment and shipment options and order history. I have used this many times to price shop, read reviews, and to make purchases.

Price: FREE

Ebay Mobile

App Starter KIt - Ebay Mobile
Description: Similar to the Amazon app, this is a streamlined version of the site. Users can search, bid, and check their activity in this app. This makes it easy for buyers to sneak in at the last minute to buy an item, and sellers to check on their sales, all while on the go. Essential app for anyone who buys/sells on Ebay.

Price: FREE


App Starter KIt - Red Laser
Description: RedLaser is one of (if not THE) best barcode scanner in the App Store. You basically take a picture of an items barcode, and the app gives you details of that item, as well as the prices on google, amazon, etc. RedLaser can also show you the full nutrition label including Calories, Fat, Sodium, and everything else on the label, as well as food allergens.

Price: FREE

Apple Store

App Starter KIt - Apple Store
Description: Another simplified version of the actual site, You can buy products and accessories, read customer reviews, find an Apple Retail Store, and make Personal Shopping, Genius Bar, or One to One appointments. Nice app to have if you are an Apple Store lover.

Price: FREE


AT&T Wireless

App Starter Kit - Att&T Wireless
Description: With this app, you are capable of managing your AT&T wireless account on the go. You can view and pay bills, view voice and data usage, as well as being able to add or remove features (such as switching to a larger text message plan half-way through the month, as I had to).

Price: FREE

Grocery IQ

App Starter Kit - Grocery IQ
Description: This app is basically a shopping list, on steroids! You can build your shopping list by either typing in what the item is (with a very smart search feature that has millions of items to choose from) or by scanning the barcode. You can then share this list with other users of Grocery IQ (if you need to tell your wife you need toilet paper, just add it to the list and share it with them). You can sort your lists by aisle, create favorite items/lists, use coupons, and well as create lists for multiple stores.

Price: FREE

Discover Mobile

App Starter Kit - Discover Mobile
Description: This app is everything that the web version is, but mobile! View your account summary (balance, last statement, minimum payment due, payment date, Cashback Bonus balance), make a payment, recent transactions, pending payments, rewards activity, and being able to enroll is quarterly 5% programs. I know Discover is one of the least common credit cards, so here are some others that you may have: American Express and Chase Mobile

Price: FREE

PNC Mobile

App Starter Kit - PNC Mobile
Description: I use this app on a daily basis and love how easy it is to use. (I’m sure all of the other major bank apps are similar). You can check your balances, view transactions, pay bills, easily transfer funds between accounts, and even locate the closest PNC bank to your current location. Here are other bank apps: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, TD Bank and Citi Mobile )

Price: FREE

Social Media

Mobile RSS

App Starter Kit - Mobile RSS
Description: Mobile RSS is a fully-featured Google Reader in the palm of your hands. Easily customize how you want the app to be setup; including feed and folder management, keyword searching, easy sharing with Facebook, Twitter, email, offline reading (download everything by wifi and then read it on the go), and landscape view with rotation lock, which is a nice feature. If you use Google Reader, this is THE app to catch up on all of your RSS feeds.

Price: $2.99 (free lite version available – has everything paid version does, but has ads)


App Starter Kit - Tweetdeck
Description: You can create groups, search Twitter, manage multiple accounts, reply to tweets, send direct messages, follow/unfollow people, and easily post tweets, pictures and links. The app also syncs to the desktop version.

Price: FREE


App Starter Kit - Facebook
Description: If you are one of the millions that use Facebook, then having this app is a necessity. You can have conversations with Chat, check your friends photos and wall and view/change your profile, friends and messages. You can also upload photos (on your device, or take a new one) and share them instantly with all of your friends. All of the daily things you may do on, you can do with this app, on the go!

Price: FREE


App Starter Kit - Ego
Description: Ego is an app that lets you check all of the essential web statistics that you may care about. It currently supports: Ember, Feedburner, Google Analytics, Mint, Squarespace, Tumblr, Twitter and Vimeo. You can quickly view the number of visits to your website (daily, hourly, monthly, yearly), feed subscriptions totals, how many people are following you on twitter or tumblr, etc. The great thing about this app, is that (somehow) it updates the Google Analytics statistics live! Normally GA only updates its site every 24 hours; but Ego updates your page-views whenever you hit the refresh button (hint hint Google).

Price: $1.99

Fun Apps


App Starter Kit - Shazam
Description: Ever find yourself listening to a song on the radio, or in a restaurant, and thinking “what IS this song?” Well Shazam is the answer for that question. Simply point your phone towards the music, tap the screen, and Shazam briefly “listens” to the song and then identifies the song. You can then buy the song on iTunes, share your discovery with your friends (email, Twitter and Facebook), read the track and album reviews, as well as find out artist bios and tour info. With the free version, you are only allowed five (5) tags per month, and allows you to upgrade to unlimited tags with Shazam Encore.

Price: FREE (Shazam Encore – $4.99 for unlimited tags per month plus a few more features)

Pandora Radio

App Starter Kit - Pandora Radio
Description: Pandora is a very slick looking personalized radio station. You simple enter a name of your favorite artist, or song, or genre, and Pandora creates a radio “station” that plays that music as well as similar music. You can have multiple artists on one station (I have a Jack’s Mannequin, Phoenix, and Citizen Cope station that covers most of the genres that I love listening to). You can either sign up in the app, or go to the Pandora site to sign up (also a web app, which both sync with each other). The only downside to a normal subscription of Pandora is you are limited to 40 hours per month. You can also purchase a Pandora One subscription (which I love having, and its totally worth the price) for $3 per month. Pandora One allows for a desktop application, higher quality audio, unlimited listening, fewer interruptions, no ads, plus it still syncs with your web app and iPhone app!

Price: FREE


App Starter Kit - Urbanspoon
Description: Urbanspoon is the perfect app when you are hungry, but can’t decide where to eat. You simple shake your device, and the app’s slot machine will pick a restaurant for you to try. You keep shaking until you find one that sounds good to you. GPS is used to find the closest places to your current location, you can filter by neighborhood or cuisine or price (or all three), see ratings and reviews from newspapers and bloggers, and well as share with your friends and family.

Price: FREE

Adobe Photoshop Express

App Starter Kit - Photoshop
Description: This app is a extremely simplified version of Adobe’s desktop program. By creating a free account, you can upload and store up to 2GB of photos and videos online, which frees up the hard-drive of your device! Easily improve your photos with one-touch effects (vignette blur, rainbow, soft glow, and more), crop, rotate, or adjust the color.

Price: FREE


Movies by Flixster

App Starter Kit - Movies by Flixster
Description: If you love movies, this is the app for you. You can view the top box office movies, upcoming and new DVD releases, watch high quality trailer and video clips, read reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, look up showtimes and buy tickets, as well as view movie theaters in your area.

Price: FREE


App Starter Kit - IMDb
Description: IMDd is the worlds largest collection of movie, television and celebrity information, all in one place. Search in a database of a total of four million movie and celebrity/actor/actresses, look up movie showtimes, TV listings and recaps, as well as upcoming movies. Also you can view the IMDb charts, including best picture, top rated/lowest rated movies of all times, popular movies/celebrities of the day, most popular TV shows and US box office results. Whenever I am watching a movie or TV show and think to myself “Who is that? What was he/she in?” I open this app, type in the show, find their name, and see every detail I want about that person. Great app!

Price: FREE


App Starter Kit - Whitenoise
Description: Whitenoise provides ambient sounds of the environment to relax you or help you sleep. If your somewhere away from home and miss the sound of your fan or air conditioner (or crickets in my case), this app is the solution. You can mix multiple noises together to create soundscapes, timed playlists, sleep function (turns display into a LED clock), and multiple alarms/timers. Sounds include: Airplane travel, beach, cat purring, chimes, city noise, crickets, extreme rain, fan, fireplace, frogs, thunder, water dripping, wind, and many more!

Price: $1.99 (free lite version available, but includes less features/sounds!)

The Weather Channel

App Starter Kit - The Weather Channel
Description: I replaced the stock weather app (that comes with the device) with this one, as it has tons of more features. It has full screen and fully customizable radar maps, very detailed current weather, hourly/36 hour/10 day forecasts, severe weather alerts for your area, as well as video/news.

Price: FREE

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Written by Lee Gustin

Lee is the creator and designer of He is a freelance Graphic/Web Designer who loves learning new things about designing and art. Feel free to follow him on twitter at ltgustin



October 12, 2010 at 12:12 am

Whoa great list. Angry Birds and Pandora are definitely solid suggestions!
Also make sure to try HiFutureSelf too. It’s a really simple but *oh shit how did I live without it* type of app. The dev posted it on Reddit and it has made my life so much easier.


Lee Gustin Reply:

Thanks for the suggestion! I checked it out, and downloaded it right away! Sounds like it will be useful :)


Daniel Meis

February 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

Great list I have and constantly use them. Another on that I use all the time is Siri. It’s a personal assistant app that’s voice activated and does just about everything.


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December 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Thank you webmaster for such a meaningful blog post. I am impressed with your view on App Starter Kit.



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