REVIEW: Best iPhone Apps by Josh Clark

If you want to load your iPhone or iPod Touch with some interesting apps, odds are you'll be overwhelmed by the number of choices at Apple's App Store--all 35,000 of them (and counting). What you need is a reliable guide to the best, most useful, and most entertaining iPhone apps, concisely cataloged and described. Well, look no further, because Best iPhone Apps is on its way!

Full of colorful and helpful illustrations, this one-of-a-kind catalog gives you the quick lowdown on each app, with brief tips on how to use it. No other guide can help you sort through the wealth of iPhone apps to find the true nuggets. Written by Missing Manual author and iWork specialist Josh Clark, Best iPhone Apps is the guide for discriminating downloaders.

Title: Best iPhone Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders
Author: Josh Clark
Format: PDF (Paperback version has 239 pages)
Genre: technology
Source: NetGalley
Published: July 2009 by O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Buy the book:
The Book Depository | Amazon
Find the author online: website | twitter

Why I Read this Book: I was browsing the selections on NetGalley when I came across this book. I have an iPod Touch so I thought it would be a great book to read. At first, I tried uploading it to my Kindle, however, this is not a Kindle-friendly read. This book is best display on paper or on your computer, either way – in color. So I read the book on my computer. I usually don’t read books on my computer but this was a pretty fast read.

What I Liked: I liked the way the book is organized. The book is divided into sections:

  • At Work
  • On the Town
  • At Leisure
  • At Play
  • At Home
  • On the Road
  • For Your Health

And then there are categories within each of those sections. For example, in the At Work section you’ll find the following categories:

  • To-Do Lists
  • Tracking Big Goals
  • Remembering Stuff
  • Tracking Time
  • Tracking Packages
  • Working the Web
  • Brainstorming
  • Shutting Out Noise
  • Offbeat Inspiration

For each app that is listed, the author gives you the app name, price for the app, version of the app and the app creator. Paid apps as well as free apps are listed. The author picks a Best App for each category, with a few apps getting an honorable mention. There is even a Best App for Elvis Sightings! (Who knew there was even an app for Elvis sightings?!!) Here are a few Best Apps mentioned in the book that I use on my iPod Touch:

Stanza – Best App for reading books. The Kindle App got an honorable mention. Before I got my Kindle 2, I used both of these apps. I haven’t used either of these apps lately but I still have them on my iPod Touch.

Twitterrific– Best App for Twitter. I agree! I’ve tried lots of Twitter apps and this is the only one I’ve stuck with. Twitter now has its own app (not mentioned in the book because it’s a fairly new app) which I only use when Twitterrific is on the fritz. But Twitterrific remains to be my main, go-to app for Twitter. Twitterrific has done a very shady tactic by no longer supporting their current version. They have come out with version 3 but have taken away all the perks, which you are now required to pay for. I am now going with Echofon. – Best App for checking your finances. I use this app all the time!

Here’s one app that won Best App that I disagree with:

Wikipanion Plus – Best App for browsing Wikipedia. What?!! And it’s $4.99! I am not sure when the official Wikipedia app came out but that’s the one I use. And it’s free – Bonus!

What I Didn’t Like: The screen shots of the apps in the PDF copy of the book I had were blurry. I assume (and hope) that this is only a problem with the PDF file and is not a problem with the bound version.

This book was outdated the day it was published. Technology is extremely fast-paced and there are hundreds of new apps that come out each week. To paint you a picture, check out these stats I found on Wikipedia and from Steve Job’s 9/1/2010 Keynote:

55,000 - Number of available apps on iTunes on 7/11/2009 (2 days after the book was released) [Wikipedia]

250,000 - Number of available apps as of 9/1/2010 [Keynote]

That’s 195,000 new apps that have come out in a little over a year since this book was published!

Overall Impression: I think it would be better to have this type of information available on a website as opposed to a book. Funny thing is, there is a Best iPhone Apps website that discusses newly released apps. And this website has a lot (if not most) of the same information given in the book. Did I just debunk their secret?

I cannot justify spending $9.99+ on this book only to have it be outdated as soon as it hits the shelves. Was this book helpful? Yes, it was. But it’s best to get this one from the library.

The Book Vixen Rating 

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I usually just use trial and error OR watch the iPhone/iPad commercials for new apps :)

  2. I'm a trial and error kind of gal too :)

  3. Very nice review! I wish I had an iPhone. :(

    I spend all of my disposable income on clothes and books. :)


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