The iTunes App Store can be quite daunting when you don’t know what you’re looking to add to your iPod Touch. Currently, there are over 500,000 apps. They span range from the niche apps like calculating your blood alcohol content after a night of drinking to full on games. For every request there are dozens of apps that offer similar features. Which ones belong on your Touch?
We’ve scoured the App Store and picked out a handful of our favorites for you to try out. We’ve tested our Touches and solicited friends and coworkers for their picks.
You’ll note that we didn’t include any games on this list. We’ve also compiled a list our picks for the Best iPod Touch Games. This list is more about lifestyle and utility apps like UrbanSpoon or ESPN ScoreCenter
This list is continually updated as new apps are released.
Sleep Cycle ($1)
A good night’s rest is the best way to maintain your sanity and set you up for an active day. The Sleep Cycle alarm clock app is all about ensuring that you wake up feeling refreshed. It analyzes your sleep pattern and wakes you up when you are in a light phase of sleep. Even with a 30 minute window limitation, it can make a big difference to how you feel. You can also use your music collection as a wake up sound or choose from a range of alarm melodies.
Harness the potential power of the handheld computer in your pocket with WolframAlpha. The whole idea with this app is to provide you with expert knowledge. You can ask questions on a wide variety of topics and get detailed answers and reports. Whether you want up to date weather data, you want to brush up on your knowledge of the American Civil War, or you need an answer for a complex math problem, this app delivers.
Why not use your iPod Touch as a phone for video and voice calls and text chats with Skype? It’s free and it works over Wi-Fi. If you splash out on a little credit, you can even use it to call mobile and landline numbers. The iPod Touch isn’t ideal for use as a phone when you’re out and about because of the low volume, the placement of the microphone, and the need for Wi-Fi, but for use around the house or office, it performs perfectly well.
PumpUp (Free trial, $5 monthly subscription)
It’s good to stay fit and healthy and PumpUp could be just the app to help you hit those fitness goals. The app starts by asking you questions and creates personalized workout sessions for you. Over time, it changes your routine and pushes you toward reaching your aims. It’s a good mixture of motivational encouragement, with easy to follow animated exercises. Try the free 30-day trial before deciding if the $5 monthly subscription is justified.
This is a stylish news aggregator that lets you pull in the news you are interested in from multiple sources. It also has as much social media integration as you can handle. The whole thing is presented in a clear visual style with a compelling flip animation. Catch up on all the latest posts, photos and news in a tailored magazine format.
Here’s a music discovery app that serves up playlists from people with similar musical tastes. You can access suggestions by logging in with Facebook and you’ll be served up playlists from friends, strangers and even famous musicians. Over time, the app learns about your preferences and suggests following people with similar tastes. At the moment the app is free and there are no ad breaks so it’s worth checking out.
Xfinity TV Player (Free)
If you are an Xfinity or Comcast subscriber then you can get content on demand direct to your iPod Touch over WiFi (as long as it’s running iOS 5 or later). There’s a big choice of TV shows and movies from HBO, Showtime, Starz, TBS, Cartoon Network, BBC America, and others, depending on your subscription. The app also has a handy set of parental controls.
The battle for second screen dominance is heating up with quite a few new apps hitting the App Store. If you want additional information on the show or movie you are watching, the ability to check what friends are watching, tweet and chat about it, and get generally interactive instead of sitting there passively then check out zeebox. It’s a free second screen app that enhances your viewing pleasure.
ESPN ScoreCenter (Free)
You never know when you won’t be able to see the big game. ESPN’s free ScoreCenter app makes sure you know the score and stats for as many games as you desire. The app is well designed and allows you to enter which sports you want to follow. Page between the various categories with a flick of your thumb. Check your favorite teams on each individual sport’s page, with the most recent or ongoing games at the top. Clicking on a game gives you a summary, additional stats and other details. Sports fans can’t go wrong here.
Yeah, it takes some of the legwork out of actually plotting a map, but for casual or first time geocachers this app is great. Fire it up to find nearby caches, read the details and drop a pin on the map then get to searching. You can post field notes to help others from the Touch. It’s great for some on the fly caching when you’re taking a stroll through the city or hiking in a park.
Solve the age-old question of “Where do you want go tonight?” with UrbanSpoon. The shake options allows you to set some specifics for a type of restaurant (genre, price range, and neighborhood), then you shake the phone and it scrolls to a place. If you’re not in the chance mood, there is a bare bones search method for browsing nearby establishments.
Catch up on your queue with the free Netflix app. Nicely, it works over Wi-Fi and loads pretty quickly. The picture quality on the iPod is great. You’ll have no more excuses for not being caught up on Breaking Bad. *While the app is free you will need a Netflix subscription to access content.
Pocket Informant ($12.99)
Okay, right off we know that not everyone needs the micromanagement that this app allows, but if you do it’s pretty much perfect. It’s a calendar and to-do list merged into a powerful scheduling and task management app. You can sync with Google Calendar which allows appointments to be added and modified from a PC and then displayed on the Touch.
Sometimes the music on your Touch just won’t cut it and you’ll want to hear something fresh. That’s where the free Pandora app steps in. Pandora’s app mimics Pandora.com by spinning one artist or song into a never-ending playlist of similar tunes. Love a song? Vote it up. Hate it? Down vote. Of course, you’ll need Wi-fi access to make it work, but it’s worth it.
Skip the lines at the movie theater and head straight to the concession stand (or your seat) with the Fandango app. You can buy your tickets online and show the screen to the ticket taker. You can also view trailers, find theaters close to you and look up showtimes.
AllRecipes Dinner Spinner (Free)
There are days when you stare into the fridge or pantry and nothing looks good. Perhaps you’re at the grocery store thinking about dinner but not sure what you want. The AllRecipes’ Dinner Spinner taps the AllRecipes site for their bevy recipes. Pick a course, a main ingredient and a prep time and the Spinner finds dozens of potential meal options for you to try.
The Weather Channel (Free)
The Weather Channel’s app has a simple interface that makes it painless to view the current, hourly, 36-hour and 10-day forecasts. The app also lets you view accurate weather maps superimposed over the Google Maps interface. Zoom in as far as you’d like and animate the radar data. There are some advertisements that feel a bit cluttered but the app is free so it’s not a big loss.
iHandy Flashlight Free (Free)
Every list needs a silly option and the iHandy Flashlight is both silly and surprisingly usable. Yes, it turns your Touch into a flashlight but it comes with plenty of fun options. It offers everything from neon signs and spiral lights to glow sticks. The app even comes with S.O.S. and emergency options for more serious situations.
Turn your iPod into a pocket-sized book with Stanza, an app that lets you wirelessly port e-books and other reading material over to your iPhone or iPod touch. Once the content is on your device, you can access it anywhere – regardless of whether or not you have an internet connection.
Like to mix music but don’t have turntables or other audio-mixing hardware? Then djay is for you. Easily one of the most full-featured and easy to use music mixing apps available, this powerful little program gives you more creative control over the music you can play through your iPod.
If you’re the type who is constantly taking notes and making reminders on your iDevice, then Evernote is a must-have application. The app has undergone numerous updates since its creation, and has recently added an offline notes feature due to popular demand. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.
What do you think of our list of the best iPod Touch apps? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.