Our Family’s Most Used Apps – End of 2011 App List

As 2011 draws to a close, I have been debating whether to post a “best-of” blog (by category) or not. In September 2010, I asked my wife and stepson to tell me what their most used applications were. I decided that I would do the same at the end of this year.First, some summary thought. In 2011, I bought an iPad 2 for my wife and an iPad 2 for myself (I sold the iPad 1 at a loss on eBay, something I won’t do again). Ultimately, we’ve settled into a pattern where the iPad has become my primary device–far above my iPhone and MacBook, but my wife contines to use her iPhone beyond her iPad, to the point that she questions whether she should keep it.  
At this point, future iPads will replace those that we already own, but the existing iPads will be cycled into our family–to our children, and to our parents. This, by the way, is how the iPad system in schools becomes sustainable…schools provide apps, families supply iPads, and they cycle those iPads through their own families.  
A few observations about iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch apps at the end of 2011:

  1. Most apps work just fine on the iPad 1 and iPad 2. There are just few apps that utilize the iPad 2’s cameras. Yes, the camera is a good addition, but it’s not essential.
  2. For teachers, the iPad 2 is the starting point. If you are a teacher and someone offers you an iPad 1, pass on it. You may want to mirror to an Apple TV, and you can’t do that with an iPad 1 (at least without jailbreaking). The iPad 2’s graphics processor is the main selling point here.
  3. We have run into issues with some apps that won’t run on anything less than iOS 5 for my son’s iPod Touch, which was bought in the summer of 2010. It turns out that iPod Touch (8GB) was built off the 2nd Generation iPod Touch, whereas the larger capacity iPod Touches were on the 3rd Generation architecture. So, with some sense of insanity, we may end up upgrading my son’s iPod Touch so it can run the lastest programs (for example, Another Monster at the End of this Book won’t work on that 2010 iPod Touch).

Hopefully some of these apps will be of use to you and your families! 
My wife’s most used iPad applications:  

  • Newsrack  
  • Facebook  
  • iBooks  
  • Fluent News  

My wife’s most used iPhone applicatons:  

  • Newsrack  
  • Facebook  
  • iBooks  
  • Fluent News  
  • iMessage  
  • The Weather Channel  
  • Baby Bump  
  • What to Expect  
  • Instagram  
  • Camera +  
  • Mail  

My twelve-year-old stepson’s most used iPod Touch applications:  

  • Smurf Village  
  • Backbreaker  
  • Falldown  
  • Jetpack Joyride  
  • Extreme Moto  
  • Need for Speed Shift  
  • Tiny Wings  
  • Fruit Ninja  

My three-year-old’s most used iPod Touch applications:  

  • PBS Kids (on our Phones)  
  • Tozzle  
  • The Monster at the End of this Book  
  • MotoChaser  
  • I Hear Ewe  
  • Little People  
  • Elmo’s Monster Maker  

My three-year-old’s most used iPad applications (he uses my iPad):  

  • Noteshelf (drawing)  
  • The Monster at the End of this Book  
  • Another Monster at the End of this Book  
  • Miss Spider’s Bedtime Story  
  • Nighty Night  
  • Llama, Llama, Red Pajama  
  • Train Conductor 2  

My most used iPhone applications:  

  • Clock (my daily Alarm)  
  • NewsRack (RSS reader)  
  • TuneLink (connects with Bluetooth FM modulator in my car)  
  • iMessage  
  • Tweetbot (Twitter)  
  • iBooks  
  • Mail  
  • BibleReader (Olive Tree)  
  • USA Today  
  • The Weather Channel  
  • Sportacular  
  • Pulse News  
  • FingerKicks  
  • 9 Innings 2011 (I have a love/hate relationship with this game)  
  • Fahrenheit (shows temperature in an alert badge, not so necessary with iOS 5 and pull-downs)  
  • Find my iPhone  
  • Calcuator  
  • Facetime  

My most used iPad applications:  

  • forScore (PDF Music Reader)  
  • Blogsy  
  • NBC  
  • Netflix  
  • Jetpack Joyride  
  • Keynote  
  • Symphony Pro  
  • Notion  
  • Twitter (Official App)  
  • Pages  
  • iGuitar  
  • PDF Expert  
  • Instapaper  
  • NewsRack  
  • Pages  
  • Numbers  
  • Downloader (Converts YouTube and other flash video to iPad mp4 files)  
  • Facetime  

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