The best iPhone apps: 15 ways to find them

Let’s face it: the App Store isn’t the easiest way to find the best iPhone or iPod touch apps.

Sure, it’s great to have all the apps in one place, but the App Store is a pain to navigate, and you can’t sort apps by rating, making it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Since the App Store now contains over 15,000 apps this can be a bit of a problem.

Fortunately, there are some great sites out there that make finding the best iPhone apps that much easier. Here’s my top 15:

1. Macworld’s iPhone app reviews

There’s a great list of over 250 (at the time of writing) app reviews at the Macworld site. Each app is given a thorough review (with user comments), and the list is sorted by rating. (The Sort by Date option is useful for finding new apps.)

2. App Shopper

This handy site lets you find apps in all sorts of ways. You can look at just paid or just free apps; find recently-updated apps; look at just new apps; and browse different categories. You can also browse the current top 100 free and paid apps.

A really nice feature of App Shopper is that it shows you the pricing history of each app (iPhone apps tend to go up and down in price a lot), so you can see if you’re getting a bargain.

3. Touch Arcade

This blog features tons of iPhone and iPod touch game reviews, often including a handy YouTube video with each review that shows off the gameplay. A great way to get a feel of a game before you download or buy it. Also has news of upcoming games and a busy forum.

4. iusethis iphone apps

The iPhone section of iusethis.com, a site that ranks apps by the number of registered members using them. As they put it, this is “a much more democratic way to rate apps” than the usual five-star ratings system. Interesting idea, and a great way to find and compare popular apps.

5. AppVee

If you prefer your app reviews served to you in video format then this is the site for you. Each app is accompanied by a video review and walkthrough of the app’s main features. This is a great way to get a quick overview of an app. If you’re really keen you can even download the AppVee app to your iPhone, letting you browse, search, and watch the video reviews right from your phone.

6. Gizmodo iPhone Apps

The famous gadget blog’s iPhone Apps tag gives you access to the latest iPhone app news, reviews, and funny stuff like this.

7. iPhone App Podcast

More iPhone app video reviews. You can watch the reviews on the site, or subscribe to the podcast to watch them on your computer or iPhone. The reviews are decent quality. It’d be good if each podcast episode (review) included a rating and price in the episode name, so you could see this info at a glance. Otherwise a great idea.

8. Apptism

Comprehensive list of all App Store apps. Each app features a wealth of information, including description, price, recent app activity, news related to the app, reviews (both professional and user-submitted), and screenshots/videos. A nice touch is the iPhone-style badges on app icons, showing you when they’ve recently been updated.

I’d like be able to sort or filter apps by rating, as well as see an iPhone-optimized version of the site.

9. Apple Web apps

Apple’s own site has a useful list of web apps that work with the iPhone and iPod touch. The nice thing about web apps is you don’t have to install anything – just point your Safari at the app URL and you’re good to go. (Obviously you have to be connected to the internet.)

Top tip: You can also add useful web apps to your Home screen by making Web Clips of them (In Safari tap the + (plus) icon, and then tap “Add to Home screen”.)

10. Art of the iPhone

A blog featuring well-written iPhone app reviews and news, as well as useful iPhone tips. If you want just the good apps check out the Best of iPhone Apps and Top 20 iPhone Games pages.

11. AppCraver

Another decent blog reviewing iPhone apps. Also features app news, roundups, and developer interviews. Also check out the editor’s picks, top free apps, and worthwhile apps sections.

12. Ars Technica’s iPhone Application Reviews

Not a vast collection right now, but in typical Ars Technica style each reviewed app gets a thorough treatment.

13. iPhone App Reviews

A nice blog with a clean look, giving decent-enough reviews of the latest iPhone apps. Tends to focus more on games and entertainment apps.

14. appsafari.com

On appsafari.com you can find thousands of App Store apps, Web apps that work on the iPhone/iPod touch, and other iPhone-related websites such as wallpaper sites. Each app or site has a short description and, occasionally, a YouTube video illustrating it.

One minor criticism is that clicking the thumbnails bounces you off to the App Store or site, rather than giving you more info on the app or site (for which you have to click the small app title above the thumbnail).

15. What’s On iPhone

This one’s been around a while. A blog with news of the latest App Store apps and Web apps. Also reviews a large number of apps, as well as iPhone/iPod touch accessories.

Have a favourite site for finding the best iPhone/iPod touch apps? Tell us about it in the comments below. :)

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4 Responses to “The best iPhone apps: 15 ways to find them”

  1. Jason Gordon Says:

    Another way to find a gem of an App are blogs like the one you are reading right now! My App, “BumperCars” launched last week. Its especially great for kids – but fun for all ages!

    The link to the App store is below. Check it out!

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=313260518&mt=8

  2. Josh Says:

    Even though I’m just starting, my blog has a lot of reviews of apps that I believe are the cream of the crop. Check it out, let me know what you think!

  3. GMAT Club Says:

    Thank you – great list. We have just released a community iPhone Application for GMAT test takers and MBA applicants and this list is very helpful to make people aware of the app. Kudos!

  4. Michael Says:

    A really good app review site I found is appspydotcom, mainly for just games, but most of their reviews include a you tube video of the game in action. A picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million words.