One Million Apps and Counting

The twitterverse and tech blogs are abuzz: as of today, one million apps have been launched via Apple’s App Store. While gaming apps tend to have the highest number of downloads (shout out to Angry Birds), there are a number of food, photo, news, and music apps worth checking out. To commemorate this million-app milestone, I’m sharing five of my favorites.

Hipstamatic: For an analog experience in a digital format, photo fans turn to Hipstamatic. Users purchase virtual “Paks” containing various lenses, films, and flashes, which can be used interchangeably to produce a variety of effects. While this photo app requires a bit of patience (the processing of each photo takes a few seconds), the resulting high-quality images are worth it. Plus, it integrates with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, allowing users to post their photos to multiple social media sites directly from the app. Hipstamatic makes my top five for the clarity and vibrancy of its images.

Allrecipes: The name speaks for itself. Users can find almost any recipe through the Allrecipes app. In addition to searching for, rating, and bookmarking recipes featured on Allrecipes.com, you can receive recipe recommendations through the Dinner Spinner. Just choose a meal type (breakfast), an ingredient you’d like to use (vegetables), and how much time you have to prepare it (less than 20 minutes), and you’ll receive a list of highly rated recipe suggestions that meet your criteria. Allrecipes makes my top five for the plethora of community-rated recipes it shares.

Flipboard: Integrating social media content, topics of interests, and news, Flipboard provides a custom visual experience based on user preferences. Users can flip through a compilation of their chosen content in a magazine-like format. Compiling content from multiple preferred sources, Flipboard’s incorporation of social media features – including “comment,” “like,” “retweet,” and “favorite” – still gives users the ability to respond through individual channels. Flipboard makes my top five for its ability to assemble a variety of content in an easily navigable, visually appealing design.

Pandora: Great for exploring new tunes, the Pandora app is a pocket-sized version of Pandora.com. Users create stations that reflect their tastes in music by identifying specific songs and artists they enjoy. The app uses this information to determine user preference and recommend other music. The ability to give thumbs up or thumbs down to each track played enables the app to further hone in on a user’s musical taste. Pandora makes my top five for playing the tunes I love and introducing new ones.

Corkz: From the wine connoisseur to the first-time imbiber, Corkz is a handy tool for those interested in keeping track of bottles they own, rating and recalling wines they’ve tasted, and weighing the opinions of a discerning crowd. On the go, you can use the in-app barcode scanner to quickly identify a wine’s recommended timeframe for consumption, average rating by other community members, and standard price per bottle. Corkz makes my top five for helping me navigate the world of wine and make more informed purchases.

From creating a meal to capturing a moment, the App Store has introduced one million ways to inform, entertain, and assist users in their daily lives. What apps would make your top five?

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