10 iPhone Apps I Use Daily As A Web Designer


I’m a full time web designer based in Bournemouth and my job is my life. As such, I spend nearly every waking hour thinking about design and anything that can help streamline my efforts is very much appreciated! First came the iPhone which helped me keep in touch with the world from anywhere. After that a mass of applications were built enhancing the way I used my iPhone.

Here is a list of my favourite 10 iPhone apps. I have tried to choose the applications that relate to my life as a web designer so I’m sure they will be of use to you, enjoy!

(I would like to apologise for the lack of quality screenshots in some of the images you are about to see I searched for a long time to no avail)

1) TwitterFon


What is it?
TwitterFon is my iPhone twitter app of choice. One plus side is that it is free!

How it helps me:
I have heard a lot recently about Twitterific and how great that is etc. So it made me have a look into paid Twitter apps, thinking that maybe I was missing out on something. I tried the free Twitterific app to test it out and really did not get on with it. It just had too many features packed into such a small space.

When using Twitter from my phone I want to easily be able to tweet, @reply and retweet and TwitterFon allows that! It does a lot more than just that allowing for Twitter search, location search, profile viewing, tweet url’s (that are automatically shortened) and post photos. As I said most of these features I don’t use but they are there if you want them. However, the reason I like twitterFon is that the 3 main uses I would like are all there and easy to get at. The only feature Twitterific has over it is that Twitterific allows for multiple accounts, however I only have one account so that is not an issue for me.

TwitterFon has an excellent clean look and is in my opinion a perfect Twitter application.

2) Ego


What is it?
A beautifully simple way to keep track of your web stats.

How it helps me:
I have only recently launched this very site and have found myself an absolute statistic nut since. I heard about the Ego app a few months ago and would have loved to purchase it but as I wasn’t running a website at the time had very little demand for it. However, launching D-Lists gave me that opportunity and I decided to make the purchase.

Ego is £1.19 and allows you to track your Twitter, Feedburner, Google analytics, Squarespace and Mint accounts. Ego does all this while looking stunning with a mac dashboard look about it. It doesn’t go into too much detail but I personally wouldn’t want it to. I love how simple it is, it’s a quick way to check up on how your numbers are. Ego is a classic example of what, in my opinion, makes a great iPhone app, it does one thing but it does it really very well.

3) Instapaper


What is it?
Instapaper is a bookmarking service for your iPhone, allowing you to save web pages for later to read offline.

How it helps me:
I spend a huge amount of time browsing the internet for news, resources and discussions about design and development. However, having a full time job means that during office hours I don’t get a huge amount of time to digest all of my findings. This is where Instapaper comes in!

Instapaper requires that you create an online account (this really doesn’t take long) and then add their bookmark to your browser. After this is done clicking the bookmark saves any web page to your account, allowing you to view the content at a later date. You can either view the whole web page (with design etc), which takes a little time to load or you can view just the text (like an rss reader display) which updates nearly instantly even on edge. The text can be viewed both horizontally or, in my preferred option, landscape with bigger font.

I use the free version but from what I see the paid versions extras really aren’t options i would need.

Instapaper is a really excellent and easy way to save great content to read at a more suitable time. I must admit I love nothing more than sitting in a coffee shop with my girlfriend as she reads a book and I catch up on my saved Instapaper pages.

4) Little Snapper


What is it?
Little Snapper is a great way to organise your iPhone inspiration.

How it helps me:
Little Snapper is first and foremost an amazing mac application that allows you to snap web pages and store, tag and arrange them pretty much creating your own offline inspiration resource. However, very recently the iPhone version of Little Snapper was released and i just had to have it!

The first thing I noticed about the iPhone version was just how beautiful it was. There is a really gorgeous UI and it’s very easy to use. The main purpose of Little Snapper for the iPhone, is to take images on your phone and upload them to your Quick Snapper (an online version of Little Snapper) account, to share with other Quick Snapper users and integrate into your Little Snapper library on your mac.

Little Snapper for the iPhone costs £1.79 and is a brilliant way to store the inspiration you find when mobile.

5) WorkTimer


What is it?
WorkTimer enables you to keep track of the time you have spent on client work.

How it helps me:
On numerous occasions at work I have heard colleagues discuss the difficulty they have tracking the time they spend on client work. Everyone has their own way of solving this problem, mine is WorkTimer.

WorkTimer has a very simple UI allowing you to enter your clients names and then within that clients section you can enter any specific jobs you may be doing for them at that time. You are then able to hit play, leaving WorkTimer to keep time. You can even close workTimer and it will run in the background as you use your phone for other things. When you have finished press stop and the time is stored. There is also the option to manually input time (if you forget to press play like I have on numerous occasions.) After all is complete there is also the option to send your time report in an email

I use the free version of WorkTimer however, there is a 59p version that allows you to categorize clients and send time reports in an email to yourself.

6) AroundMe


What is it?
If you ever find yourself in an unknown location AroundME will let you quickly find out information about your surroundings.

How it helps me:
If you have ever been to a brand new town/city to meet a potential client then you will have been in a situation where you have needed a facility but had no idea where to find it. However, with AroundMe this should be a thing of the past.

AroundMe uses your gps signal to work out where you are and finds the nearest amenities around you. You can choose from a number of options including banks, bars, coffee shops, petrol stations, hotels etc. Results can then be put onto Google maps with directions or their contact info can be displayed. You can even email the location to inform others of where you are headed.

AroundMe is a free app that I use all the time when I have a specific need and I’m exploring a place I’ve not chartered before.

7) Shazam


What is it?
Shazam is an astounding way to identify that song title that is on the tip of your tongue.

How it helps me:
Ok, I’m going to be honest with you, this app doesn’t really help me as a web designer. However, it has massively impressed a client during a meeting in a bar once when they wanted to know the name of the current song and I pulled out the iPhone and told them.

Basically, Shazam is a magic little app that works out the name of the track that you point it towards. After hearing about 10 secs of music it will then present you with the artist and title. The option is then there to buy the track among other things.

All I know is that not only is Shazam free but it’s a very cool app to have on your phone!

8) Air Sharing


What is it?
Air Sharing turns your iPhone into a storage device for iWork, Microsoft Office, HTML, PDF, RTF, Soure code, Movies and Audio files.

How it helps me:
Air sharing allows you to connect your iPhone to your computer via Wi-Fi or your computers browser, from here you can drag files over to your phone and use it as a storage device. However, Air Sharing also allows you to view a huge array of files from your phone. I personally use it to store a version of my portfolio, which I can then show to clients during an impromptu meeting.

I have a free versions, however since installing it Air Sharing has stopped allowing that and now it is £2.99. While I do not need to I would happily pay that to be able to take files around with me on my iPhone.

9) WhatTheFont


What is it?
The Shazam of font discovery.

How it helps me:
As a designer I realise the importance of typography. Getting it right can make or break a project. I must be subject to thousands of different fonts every day and I would love to know what some of them are sometimes so that I may possibly use them on later designs, this is where WhatTheFont comes into it’s own.

Take a picture with you iPhone and WhatTheFont will analyse each separate letter and suggest a font match for you. You can then go and buy the chosen font. WhatTheFont is another one of those magical applications that leave you mouth wide in astonishment as time after time it recognises the font in your image.

If you absolutely must know what the font is that you have been looking at for the past 3 hours is the WhatTheFonts free app is what you need.

10) Flashlight


What is it?
Turns your iPhone into a torch.

How it helps me:
This final suggestion also creeps slightly under the designer radar but hey what are you gonna do.

If you have ever woken up in the middle of the night with a full bladder and had to go on an intrepid journey through the blackness of the night (not wanting to turn on a light because of your sleeping partner next yo you) stubbing your toe or walking into every wall or door what you have needed has been a torch. Well flashlight can help you with that. Basically, Flashlight puts a very bright colour onto your iPhone’s screen lighting up the path ahead.

Very simple but very useful.

Now it’s your turn…I would love to see your iPhone app suggestions. What application do you use the most on your phone? What app would you just not be able to live without? Share your thoughts with everyone in the comments section.

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16 Responses to this post

  1. Patternhead said on May 13, 2009

    Nice list of apps, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Bene said on May 13, 2009

    Nice list. I also did a post on iPhone applications for webdesigners: here it is: http://www.bene.be//blog/comments/iphone_tools_for_the_webdesigner_part_1/

  3. GiannisK said on May 13, 2009

    That was great!
    Very useful!! thanks for sharing :)
    Take care.

  4. atikusdesign said on May 13, 2009

    Giannisk, Bene and Patternhead thanks very much for your feedback. I’m always happy to share good content with the web community hopefully there is a lot more to come!

  5. joyoge designers' bookmark said on May 13, 2009

    nice list thanks..

  6. Kent said on May 14, 2009

    Nice list. two things I want to add.

    1. Use new version of twitterrific instead TwitterFon.
    2. Use iTake to record and organize and sync them to your desktop.

  7. lisa b said on May 14, 2009

    Great list! Nicely scripted tips too.
    Thanks so much and keep it comin’ !

  8. atikusdesign said on May 14, 2009

    Kent, I have tried the new version of Twitterrific, that was the version I mention in the post and I still felt it was a little bloated for what I need. I will certainly have a look into iTake, thanks for the heads up!

    Lisa b, I’m really glad you like the post and always great to hear that someone likes your writing style! I hope you like the posts I have lined up in the coming weeks!

  9. Peter Lunn said on May 14, 2009

    An excellent post Michael. Some apps I already use but some I did not know about, so I appreciate this very much.

    Surprised to see that you are also based in Bournemmouth – what a small world! All the best to you :)

  10. atikusdesign said on May 14, 2009

    Hi Peter, I’m always pleased to see that my recommendations are helpful to others.

    I went to uni in Bournemouth and loved it so much I thought i’d stay.

  11. Chris Ryan said on May 14, 2009

    Haven’t seen the WhatTheFont app before. I’d definitely use that. Need to get an iPhone… crappy sony ericsson… grr…

  12. Shane Horsfall said on May 14, 2009

    Know any Adwords iphone apps? That might tip me over to buying one!

  13. Dave Harding said on May 15, 2009

    Great list Mike, though I would argue that Twitterfon is outclassed by Twitterific Premium. Saying that, it depends on what you want in a Twitter App, Twitterfon is simple, and works. Twitterific has more depth to it, but slightly more complicated to use.

    Keep up the great posts!

  14. Wolfie Rankin said on May 17, 2009

    Thanks for using the word “Torch”, Bravo!, Well done!


  15. Frog said on May 21, 2009

    Cool list mate. Waiting for the new iphone to come out then I’ll download these apps

  16. Great People To Follow On Twitter For Web Designers | D-Lists said on June 17, 2009

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