ITunes App Store logo Christmas

Did Santa leave a brand new iPhone under your Christmas tree? You’re probably looking for good apps to start off, aren’t you? :)

I’ve assorted a list of several apps that I personally recommend to my family/friends. There are obviously great apps out there but here are just a few essentials:


[Update 12/27/2011] There are just a TON of great apps out there. I figured I should split the apps into a few ‘Chapters’ so you don’t have to go through a wall of text. We’ll start off with Chapter 1: Social Networking, SNS and move forward to other chapters. Stay tuned for more picks and recommendations by Digital Cupcake!


Chapter 1: Social Networking, SMS


WhatsApp (SMS)

Price: Free


Did you switch from a BlackBerry and looked for a BBM app on the App Store? Unfortunately there isn’t a BBM (yet, at least) but a lot of BB users now use WhatsApp, which is a cross-platform smartphone SMS messenger available on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia.

It functions just like the stock SMS app for the iPhone and completely Free! WhatsApp uses your data connection and chances are, you already have a data plan for your iPhone already – it could also be sent via Wi-Fi too!

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Boxcar (Email, SNS, Push, etc)

Price: Free

Boxcar is your go-to solution for all-things-push. Ever wondered if your Gmail could be pushed to your iPhone? Ever wondered if you could get push notifications when your favorite person tweets (‘Twitter Follow’)? Ever wondered if you could have a more reliable push notification for your Twitter timeline? Facebook?

Boxcar is the answer to all your problems. It can handle your emails, tweets, Facebook, and even your World of Warcraft notifications.

All you have to do is sign up for their services, and the descriptions are all self-explanatory. Managing push notifications across different apps can become cumbersome. Boxcar is your one-stop solution!

The app includes ads that you could remove for $4.99.

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Tweetbot (Twitter)

Price $2.99


My favorite Twitter app! Yes, yes, Tweetbot isn’t free. You’re probably already happy with Twitter App for iPhone which is free. So why would you want to spend $2.99 on an app that you could get a similar one for free?

  • I love the UI. It’s sleek and well-designed. I even like the ‘click’ sound it makes whenever I switch tabs. It just feels ‘nice’.
  • Swipe a tweet to the right, you could see the conversation list
  • Swipe a tweet to the left, you could see replies to the tweet
  • Double Tap to open tweets
  • Triple Tap to Retweet, Reply, Favorite, Translate, or View in Favstar – all configurable
  • Native notifications that doesn’t trip over itself
  • Tweet Marker – this is HUGE for me. Tweet Marker ‘bookmarks’ your timeline and syncs it across other Twitter apps that are compatible with Tweet Marker.
  • Use your lists as your Timeline
  • Customizable tabs
  • Mute people
  • and many more!
I’ve tried a number of apps, free and paid, and Tweetbot topped my list so far. One thing feature that Tweetbot lacks is Twitlonger support but the whole point of Twitter is to ‘Tweet’ and not ‘Chat-longer’ right?
Tweetbot was also named TUAW’s Best of 2011 for Best iPhone Social Networking App on 12/24 so I’m guessing I’m not alone with this :) Anyway, try it out. You won’t regret it.

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Maha (Twitter)

Price: $1.99


If you want to jazz up your Twitter timeline and want to read them in style, I’d suggest you check out Maha. It’s a beautifully crafted Twitter app that works. One thing is, it really doesn’t have much in terms of functionality – it’s really basic at the end of the day. If you’re a minimalist, I think you’ll love it. If you enjoy a variety of functions for your Twitter apps, I think you’ll love the design enough to use it when you just want to casually browse your timeline. I usually end up hopping back and forth between Tweetbot, Osfoora, and Maha.

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Facebook (Facebook)

Price: Free


Well…need I explain? :)

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iStatus+ (Simultaneous post to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter)

Price: $0.99

Let me introduce you to iStatus+. Most people now have multiple Social Networking accounts. The thing is, it’s difficult to choose which one to post your updates on. iStatus+ makes everything easier – it allows you to post simultaneously across Facebook, Google+, and Twitter!

There isn’t much to this app apart from the simultaneous posting, so if you have multiple SNS accounts and want to post things across all platforms, grab this app!

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Instagram (Photo Sharing)

Price: Free

15 million users and counting…Instagram is one of the essential apps for iPhone users these days. It allows you to edit and share photos, and does a great job at it! You have unlimited number of uploads and easy filters that you could apply to make your photos look great in matter of seconds!

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