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Some Must Have App on Your iPhone

Updated on January 29, 2020
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Before retiring, Jack worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


The smart phone has taken over our lives. It has become our life line. Besides making calls, these devices can do so much more that makes our live easier, and also complicated. It seems like a contradiction but true. These devices can be both helpful and complicated at the same time.

- Jan. 2020

A Long List...

  • Texting - messages
  • Facetime
  • GPS - Waze
  • Google map
  • Music - Spotify
  • Accuweather
  • Fitbit
  • Blink
  • Uber
  • Soundhound
  • Google translate
  • stocks
  • Find my phone
  • books - ebook reader
  • compass
  • Kardia - EKG heart monitor


Besides the primary function of a smart phone of making a call and receiving a call, it has many other functions that can come in handy.

It has a built-in camera and a calculator and a flashlight and a compass. These are all good utilities when you are roaming about.

There are also thousands of apps that can do all sorts of things. Most are free but some require a purchase or a subscription fee.

Some will work standalone but some require a connection either a cell service or wifi connection.


The most easiest and fastest way to communicate is via text. This is a short text message that you can type on your phone and send to a recipient. This method of communication is the preferred method for most young people. It does not require you to pick up and answer. It just pops up on the screen or on a tablet or on a smart watch.

The other advantage is that it can go through with very low signal. In some buildings where the cell service is poor, texting is the only way to communicate.


On the other spectrum, if you have wifi connection, a full two-way video conference can be performed on your smart phone with another person equally equipped using Facetime. This is great if you want to see the expressions or check-in on grandkids and family members that are located far away. It does require a data plan because you are sending a lot of data back and forth.

A GPS App - Waze

Waze is my preferred app for GPS. It is owned by Google but it is designed for the driver in mind. It is a map but mostly concentrated for the car driver. It can guide you through traffic, avoid red light cameras, speed traps and police and other road hazards. It does require you to mount your phone on the dash and connected to a power source.

This app is interactive as well. You can report road conditions to alert other users. It is by far the best app for driving around town or across the country.

Google Map

This is an alternative to Waze. It is good for general directions while driving or walking and hiking.

Music Streaming - Spotify

This app is a subscription service. There is a free version but that has embedded ads. For access to all sorts of music, this app is great. You can also have family sharing. A monthly service charge of $9.95 will provide access to all venues. I found some famous Chinese pop singers on it as well. My favorite Chinese singer is Tsai Chin.

Weather Forecast - Accuweather

This app is great to find out what the current forecast is for your location. There are a few other similar app like "Weather" which is owned by the Weather Channel. I prefer the Accuweather interface.

A Health Monitor - Fitbit

This app requires a wrist monitor from Fitbit. It is the app that sync with your device via bluetooth. It also require wifi access to the host server. All your daily activity is tracked online on the cloud server. It tracks your steps, stairs, heart rate and sleep patterns. Here is my review of the Fitbit Charge 2. There are several other models of the tracking device.

Blink Security Monitor

This is a very easy to install home security monitor system. This is an Amazon owned company. The basic unit comes with a home base and two cameras. You can add additional cameras as needed. This system works with your home internet network. It uses motion sensors to detect any activity and will send you a short clip. You can monitor your door way or any room in your house. I have one setup in my basement where I may have issues with water flooding when my sump pump stops working during heavy rain falls.


This app is for calling a ride with Uber. Wherever you are, you can get a car services within 10 minutes. It is free to sign up and the setup is easy.


This is a great app for music lovers. It can identify any tune. It also will play the song on your device while showing you the lyrics so you can sing along. Not all songs have the lyric feature.

Google Translate

This is a great app when you travel abroad. You can translate any text to/from various languages. Even Chinese...

Investing - Stocks

This free app will track your investments in the stock market. It will give you up to date quotes on the value of a stock and the various indices.

Find My Phone

This app will locate your iPhone or iPad if you misplace it.


If you like to read, this app will allow you to read various books on your phone. Not the easiest format to use but you can read a book using your phone.


This is a great app when you are hiking in the woods. It will show you the way out.


This KardiaMobile device cost about $90 but it does a lot. It can track you heart signals and detect any abnormalities.

The App is what allows you to track your history...

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jack Lee


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