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Welcome to the Century

March 19th, 2011 by Troy Goodfellow · 18 Comments · Me, Tech

For years I have had what one dear friend not so affectionately called a “shit phone”. I only needed a cell phone for conferences and ad hoc communication for the most part, so the shit phone worked fine.

Today that ended with the purchase of a proper iPhone. I am already filling it with the apps I need to do my job – Tweetdeck, Facebook, Trillian, Daily Burn (yeah, don’t ask) – but am clearly a bit behind on the state of the art in iStrat Technology.

Fill the comments with suggestions for things I must have if I want to do my job selling and writing about games I like.


18 Comments so far ↓

  • Cory Woodrum

    I don’t have an iPhone, but I think I have some app advice in a more general sense.

    A great RSS reader I’ve been using on my Android phone is Pulse. It originated on iPhone, I believe. A good RSS reader is essential on a phone, in my opinion.

    I think the iPhone might have one built in, but get a good voice recorder to take voice memos with. I use mine constantly for when I have flashes of brilliance and I don’t want to peck away at the tiny screen keyboard to jot it down.

    Welcome to smartphones!

  • ian

    The two most used apps on my iPhone are the gmail web interface via Safari and the Reeder rss reader.

  • Bruce

    I stood in line in 2007 on Day 1 for the original $600 iPhone, and have upgraded ever since (except for the iPhone 4) but I think I’m done. You should buy a Droid.

  • Lernest

    Appshopper keeps me up to date on game deals, feedler is the best free rss, dragon dictation is note as cool as it could be, but I still use it for memos to myself. Oh and Dropbox for moving files on and off

  • UncleBoogie

    Way to be completely unhelpful, Bruce.

    “My personal choice is the same one you should make after you’ve already invested in something I personally now disagree with.”


  • James

    Ok, Here goes!
    these are some of the strategical games that are worth checking out in the iphone (in alphabetical order/non exhaustive):-
    Drop 7
    Land Air Sea Warfare
    Medieval Battlefields
    Neuroshima Hex (one of my favourites!)
    Red Conquest
    Reiner Knizia’s Ra
    Rimelands:Hammer of Thor
    Shadow Era (free online TCG)

  • Chris White

    Here are a few must have apps for my producitivity.

    OmniFocus is the todo manager I prefer but Wunderlist has been looking good for a simplier and sexier todo app, especially if you want to sync with Windows.

    Billings for tracking time.

    Evernote for Notes (syncs with Windows) as well as Note & Share for quick note entry that then sends them on to Evernote and other services.

    1Password for passwords and personal information I want at hand but private.

    Instapaper & Kindle for reading.

    Articles for Wikipedia

    Reeder and/or MobileRSS Pro. Both are fantastic, I go back and forth.

    Due for alarms.

    I don’t do much writing on my iPhone since I got an iPad but there are some really nice apps for writing. I like Elements & PlainText. TextExpander is a great writing utility and I use Speak it! for text-to-speech (my last editorial pass).

    There are some decent gaming news apps if you don’t live in your RSS reader: Gamekicker, IGN, Joystiq and Steam Updates are on my phone but rarely launched.

    Soulver for superb human readable calculator with a lot of nice tricks.

    If you need to send out HTML email Markdown Mail is nice.

    Folio is fantastic and gorgeous PDF reader but GoodReader, while ugly, has tons of power and seems the prefered reader for most people.

    Dropbox is essential, both the app and the service as it’s used by a lot of apps for syncing these days.

    If you chat for work using Campfire or IRC then the Campfire app and LimeChat are great.

    And a couple of better replacements to Apple apps:
    Calvetica replaces iCal. It’s just sexier.
    Groups replaces Contacts. It adds a lot more power for managing a lot of contacts.

    That was a little long but I hope you find some of it useful.

  • Troy Goodfellow

    Awesome guys. Ra is on here!? Such good news.

  • MFToast

    Ascendancy is on the iphone? Crazy…

  • Khab


    Kept me busy for weeks.

  • James

    Knizia also has – robots, high society, oracle, samurai, medici, battlegrounds, money, labyrinth, through the desert.

    Ascendancy is actually really good on the iPhone, they just updated it with some good UI tweaks specific to iOS. It’s not quite the best 4x that you will ever play, but can be great in short bursts if you fancy a decent 4x in your pocket.

  • Sarkus

    Don’t forget that the Ipod Touch lets you play all the games (as well as access many of the other apps) if you don’t want a phone or already have one.

  • Michael A.

    Can’t believe no one here has mentioned: Uniwar.

  • Joe

    I just read about some DUI checkpoint notification apps on Ars Technica. Add that to the list! Essential for a fun night out without the DC metro to take you home. It’s especially relevant now that you have a boring square job and will be drinking more.

    It might be hard to find one that works in Canada. Do they even have DUI checkpoints in Canada?

  • iLame

    Owning and ipod touch for 2 years i find that i dont really want to play any games on it. Its just.. boring. Only one i paid for was civ rev, but even that cohld keep my interest. So i guess: try the games if you want, but i suggest dont buy 15 of them right away..

  • R Simmon

    Public Radio for streaming NPR
    Cocktails + for mixing drinks
    Netflix for streaming movies (if you have an account)
    Believe it or not, it’s perfectly pleasant to read a book on an iPhone. Any of the major ebook readers should work well

  • Ginger Yellow

    There are a ton of Knizia games on iPhone now. I have Ingenious, Topas, Ketlis Oracle, Charlegmagne, Samurai, High Society, Money and Ra. There are a few more I haven’t yet bought like Poison and Monumental. To add to James’s list, there’s a great Carcassone, an OK Catan, a surprisingly good old school Settlers, a Civ Rev which is basically identical to the console version, though the interface is a bit awkward, a million Risk clones, and Slay. In terms of original games, iOS is a bit short on decent RTSes – you may want to check out Conquest and the newly released Starfront. Galcon is a great simple action strategy game along the lines of Dyson/Eufloria. On the other hand, there are loads of great tower defence games – in particular Geodefense and Geodefense Swarm, Fieldrunners, and the Sentinel series. There are also quite a few Advance Wars type games – the above mentioned UniWar and Highborn are probably the best. Finally, there are surprisingly few city builder games – other than a rather poor official Sim City port which is just too fiddly on that size of screen, there’s Virtual City, which is more of a logistics-em-up than a city builder. Well, there’s a ton of Farmville/Cityville rip-offs, but they don’t count.

  • Ginger Yellow

    Oh yes, I meant to add, there’s no Ticket To Ride yet. Sort it out, iPhone devs!