I will definitely be one of the estimated 11 million people switching to the Verizon iPhone this year. As a long-time Verizon Blackberry customer, my patience is up. I want to be able locate the nearest gas station en route to returning a rental car. I want real-time assistance navigating Brooklyn afoot. I would also like to occasionally find a bar offering half-price margaritas using my phone, even if it will have a touch-screen keypad, a feature I am afraid will slow down my response time to emails.
Ultimately, it's the iPhone's growing library of applications that's winning me over. I look forward to downloading several that'll save me time and, most importantly, money.
Money Management & Budgeting
- Pageonce: This personal finance app lets you organize your various bank and credit accounts to monitor your balances, something that can come in handy before swiping your debit card. The app also alerts you when bills are due, when your frequent flier miles are set to expire and how many minutes are left on your cell phone. Cost: Free
- Mint.com: If you want to get a better handle on your spending and stick to a budget, Mint is a better fit than Pageonce. For example, if your goal this year is to buy a house, Mint will tell you how much you need to start saving. Cost: Free
- iExpense It: For individuals and especially business travelers who want a more robust application to review daily expenses, iExpenseIt comes highly recommended by my techie friends. It lets you store digital photo receipts and convert your expenses into different currencies. It can also help you with daily budgeting. Cost: $4.99
- GasCubby: This app helps you save gas and then some. It will alert you when you need to change your oil, tracks mileage, stores vehicle data such as the VIN and creates charts based on your gas expenses. Cost: $4.99
- CheapGas: Find the cheapest gas station wherever you are. Station pricing is provided by GasBuddy.com. Cost: Free
- RepairPal: Whether you need roadside assistance or a tune up, this app will find you the nearest help. If you're thinking about a repair, it will also give you some pricing advice. Cost: Free
- Carticipate: It's the "carpool app." With this nifty tool you can organize carpools or rideshares in your neighborhood. Just tell it where you're going and when and it will help coordinate your plans with others in the area. Cost: Free
- GroceryIQ: Helps you build your grocery list from a database of more than 130,000 items, instantly find coupons and review grocery products all while you're perusing the aisles. Cost: Free
- CardStar: This grocery app stores all your loyalty, reward and club membership cards so you don't need to dangle them all on your keychain. Once they're stored you can scan right from your iPhone's screen at participating merchants (CVS, BlockBuster, Best Buy, etc.) Cost: Free
- SnapTell: While you're in Borders, snap a photo of any book, DVD or video game and see ratings, price comparisons and descriptions within seconds. Cost: Free
- RedLaser: Known for its incredibly accurate barcode scanning, RedLaser will tell you if the item you're considering has lower-cost versions elsewhere. It uses product results from Google, eBay, Half.com and others. Cost: Free
- Yard Sale Mapper: Find a yard sale near you with this app, which bases its listings on Craigslist ads. Cost: Free
- Save Benjis: This app gives you both on-line and in-store cost comparisons. Cost: 99 cents for basic and $2.99 for Save Benjis+ which allows you to scan barcodes with your phone to review prices.
- CouponSherpa: No need to clip coupons for hours on a Saturday. With CouponSherpa you can bank on its active database of exclusive coupons and store-specific coupons found online, all while you shop. Just present the code from your phone to redeem the discount at checkout. Cost: Free
- Drink Specials: Updated by users, this app will tell you where to find those half-price margaritas. So far it lists more than 50,000 specials in more than 1,000 cities and towns. Cost: Free
- MatchPin: Find out about promotions and special offers at local restaurants and bars. Also, earn loyalty rewards points at certain eateries each time you dine. Right now the app only works in San Francisco, San Jose and Salt Lake City but coming soon: Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Cost: Free