So App-ealing

It’s no secret how much I love my iPhone; I think it is a brilliant device and I’m not quite sure how I ever lived without it!  Being so far away from friends and family, means I can keep in contact with them when I’m in the car for hours on end.  But, it’s not just the email facility that makes the iPhone my must have gadget.  It’s the huge array of apps that are available.  There is an app for pretty much every thing!

Below is my selection of the basic apps that I can’t do without.  I’m focusing on the iPhone, as that’s what I use, but where the app (or an alternative) is available for an Android ‘phone, I’ll highlight it.  Over the coming weeks, I’ll be suggesting more apps that might be of interest.

Google maps – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

Whatever you do, do not delete this app!  An amazing app, which has got me where I need to on countless occasions and probably helped avert many a marital breakdown.

Find My iPhone – free

This was one of the first apps I downloaded, as being slightly dizty, and prone to losing/ misplacing ‘phones, I thought it would be pretty essential.  Thankfully, I haven’t had to use it yet.  However, should that fateful day happen, the Find My iPhone app will let me locate it from my Mac and protect all the data on there.  I’ll be able to see where my iPhone is on a map and display a message on it, remotely lock it or wipe all my data held on the ‘phone.  Phew!  But, fingers crossed I never have to do this…..The app for Android ‘phones is called Plan B and is free to install and the great thing about this app, is that you can install it AFTER you’ve lost your ‘phone – genius.  Apple are you listening?

 Instagram – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones 

Instagram is a simple way to make the pictures you take on your ‘phone look so much better, as there are several gorgeous filters that you can choose to apply.  You can also choose to share your ‘photos with other Instagram users or post them to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I love the “Earlybird” effect.

Facebook – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones 

There’s not much to say about this app, except from it let’s you keep up with your friends when you’re on the move, including the chat function.  Another good feature of Facebook mobile is that you can check-in to different places, which sometimes gain you some nice freebies!  Also, you can see if any friends are nearby.

Tube Map – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones 

This is the most downloaded tube app, which I think speaks volumes.  This app allows you to check your Oyster balance, plan the quickest route, check which route has the least number of changes, find out what lines are down and see live departure and station information.  Essential for any Londoner or somebody who is a regular visitor to the capital.

UK Train Times – £4.99 on iPhone 

For anyone commuting, this app is a must-have.  It provides real-time journey planning across the National Rail network, together with live arrival and departure information, even including the platform trains will depart from.  There’s a great “Next Train Home” feature that will automatically find your nearest train station and plans your journey home (to avail of this function, you need to set your “home’ station).  This exact app isn’t available for Android ‘phones, however, a good alternative that offers pretty much the same features is Rail Commute – Live UK Trains for £2.49 from Google Play.

TuneIn Radio – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app is wonderful and lets you listen to your favourite radio station wherever in the world you might be.  Plug your device into a docking station or a set of speakers and hey presto, you have what is essentially a DAB radio!

Viber – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app allows you to make free calls (including international ones) to other Viber users using 3G or wi-fi.  It’s great for keeping costs down when travelling.  All calls from Viber-to-Viber are 100% free – bargain!

Whatsapp Messenger – £0.69 on iPhone & free on Android ‘phones

 This app is a great alternative to sending costly SMS and functions across different handset types, so save yourself some money and get this installed asap!

Shazam – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

When I first used this app, it felt magical and I’m still in awe of it.   If you love music, then you’ll love this app.  So, how does it work?  If a song comes onto the radio you don’t know, but would like to, simply hold your ‘phone near to the source of the music and the app “listens” to it and then tells you the name of it.  Genius!

AroundMe – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app makes use of Google’s location-aware software.  No matter where you are it can locate points of interest that are near to you.  The app quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest hospital, hotel, cinema (movie theater), supermarket, taxi rank, restaurant, petrol (gas) station.  You can choose to see the point of interest on a map, view the best route to it, email the information to a friend and add the information to your contacts.  This is a great app and is especially useful when visiting a new place. – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This is a new download to my iPhone.  I was recently reading away from home with no wi-fi access and poor 3G reception, and needing to look-up word definitions, thankfully solved this problem.  It contains a million definitions, and is most importantly available offline.  The app also includes a thesaurus.  It’s a very fast app and that includes phonetic and audio pronunciation of words.

Red Laser – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

Now, who doesn’t love a bargain?  I know I do!  This app is great at helping you find the lowest prices possible.  You use your ‘phone to scan the barcode and the app searches for the best prices for the item – especially useful on big ticket items.  A must have app for all shopaholics!

BBC News – free on iPhone & Android ‘phones

This app gives you quick access to breaking news – great for keeping abreast of current affairs whilst on the move.

What are your must have apps?  And do you think there are any essential apps that I’ve missed?  I’d love to hear from you.

With much love

The Domestic Princess




  1. Excellent – very clear and concise. I have several on my iPad, but intend adding UK Train times and AroundMe as a result of your descriptions.


  2. Marysia McDonnell Smith says:

    Thanks Em I didn’t have some of these! very helpful!!

  3. Sarah Collard says:

    I shall look for some of these for my iPad. Very helpful info, thank you! HRH xx

  4. I dont have an iPhone (i know, way behind the curve) but my phone here is an android, so this is helpful 🙂 I will also forward your post to my mom who just got an iPhone (she’s clearlly cooler than me), guarenteed she will find some of these incredibly useful! Thanks for this one xoxo

  5. For a techno moron like me, this was a great blog. I’ve already downloaded 3 of the apps!
    Sarah xox

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  1. […] & Fitness Apps May 9, 2012 Leave a Comment A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the basic apps I can’t do without on my iPhone, and promised to come back and share some of my other favourite […]

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