Anyone can find out what the most popular free apps are for iOS by just popping over to Apple's website, but that's not nearly as fun as reading about a real bonafide iPhone user's favorites, right? There's nothing particularly shocking on this list, but just in case you missed one...
FREE Logitech's Touch Mouse turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a wireless trackpad and keyboard. That's it. Whether you're too lazy to get out of bed or off the couch, or in case you just want to show off to your friends, Touch Mouse is an awesome piece of software for controlling your computer from a distance. See also: Remote is an app that lets you control your iTunes from over Wi-Fi and VNC lets you actually see and control your computer screen from your mobile device. Now that's nifty.
$3.99 This one's for the old-school, hardcore gamers. Originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987, Final Fantasy is one of the most influential and most successful role-playing games ever, providing the basis for a brilliant franchise and inspiring a generation of copycats. Be warned, though: this isn't your flashy CityVille or Angry Birds. Also, I lied. This is the only app on this list that costs money ($3.99), but come on! It's a classic! See also: anything developed by Square Enix.
FREE Too obvious? Well then allow me to use this space to make a confession: for the longest time, I was not sold on the astronomical value Twitter's creators, investors and users placed on the service. That slowly changed once I downloaded the official app, a rebranded and slightly redesigned version of Atebits' Tweetie, that quickly put third-parties like Twitterific and EchoFon out in the cold. Now, following all my favorite musicians and record labels, local news providers and friends, I can hardly imagine living without this time-wasting information network. See also: um.. Facebook?
FREE If you're a loser like me and still love reading literature and poetry, you probably already have your iPad or Kindle stocked with electronic versions of all the classics. But when it comes to poetry, sometimes it's best to read something completely serendipitous. The POETRY app from the Poetry Foundation lets users discover new and old poems by selecting between moods (optimism, passion, etc.) and topics (family, nature, etc.). Results include poems by T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Lucille Clifton, Emily Dickinson and more. See also: iBooks.
$0.99 Look at all you fancy, technological people with all your Last.fm's and Pandora's; don't you miss the gritty, personal feel of real radio? Okay, maybe not, but Tunemark Radio came through for me when I needed a way to hear my college's independent radio station when I was far from campus and far from a computer. You can add a station to your favorites either by entering the station's stream URL (if you know it) or by browsing stations by genre, built into the app. See also: Last.fm, Pandora.
FREE My name is Ronny Kerr and I'm addicted to StumbleUpon. That stupid social discovery engine for years caused me to ignore school assignments, neglect my most basic human needs for sleep and food, and, perhaps most importantly, clouded my judgment when deciding on the best browser to use (Google Chrome didn't get a Stumble toolbar until March of this year). Now, with StumbleUpon!, I can bring my addiction to discovering weird, interesting and funny things on the Internet with me everywhere I go! See also: going outside, talking to people.
FREE or $0.99 (sans ads) Everyone is all about Angry Birds, but I have yet to get into it. Here's an addicting game you might not have seen yet: NinJump is a fast-paced arcade-style game where you control a swift ninja that can do nothing but jump from one building to another and back and forth; you must avoid other ninjas, foxes with enough balance to run across clotheslines, and... angry birds. I first discovered it by looking over the shoulder of an elderly man playing it on the subway in Tokyo, so you know it has to be good. See also: Angry Birds, Doodle Jump.
FREE Honestly, I still have trouble believing that this is both very real and very free. Audiogalaxy Mobile, which you must first set up online, is a cloud-based platform that lets you stream music and playlists from your computer to your iPhone while you're on-the-go. No DRM or monthly payments or anything money-related necessary. The RIAA cannot like this. Get it while you can. By the way, isn't Apple supposed to be working on something this awesome? Too bad it already exists. See also: nothing is this amazing, sorry.
FREE As far as QR readers go, you can't really do better than Paperlinks. I'm repeatedly astounded by the accuracy and quickness of this app when scanning QR codes. Every time I put the camera up to a code, I'm still steadying my hand and centering the frame when the app has already registered the code and is delivering me my data. Look no further for "magical," because I expect QR codes to become a much bigger deal in 2011, as smartphones go more and more mainstream. See also: RedLaser if you're into barcode scanning as well.
FREE They allowed *what* into the walled garden that is the Apple App Store? An application that is confusingly similar to another service already offered by the iPhone? Oh well. After over a year of playground-style wars of words with Google and an FCC investigation, Apple finally allowed Google Voice, Google's powerful telecommunications app. My favorite feature is its voicemail transcriptions. Get the message without ever pressing play! As a whole, the app is still a little buggy, but I'm hoping it'll be improved in future updates.