One of my favorite tech writers, MG Siegler, recently made a list of the iPhone apps in his arsenal throughout 2013, highlighting the services that impacted his daily life. So I decided to follow suit by making my own list, along with a few quick notes about what I like about each app, or why I use it over others. You’ll also notice that I follow some of the same rules: I’m leaving off pseudo-apps like Settings, limiting the list to 25 items, avoiding games (I might do another list, but my two favorites right now are QuizUp and Ski Safari: Adventure Time), disqualifying iPad apps.

Without further ado, here are the apps I kept in heavy rotation in 2013 in alphabetical order:

  • 2Do – the to-do app I’ve been using for a couple of years. Still waiting on an iOS 7 update, but I have a lot of recurring reminders built in, and I’ve been too lazy to migrate elsewhere
  • Camera – always accessed from the lock screen (one of the many features I love about iOS 7). My default for a quick pic, but otherwise I use…
  • Camera+ – my favorite camera for the iPhone, and a pretty deep photo editor—especially with their latest update. I hope they’re working on replicating the stock camera’s new “burst” mode
  • Chrome – the browser I use everywhere, which is the main reason it’s useful on mobile. Chrome keeps my bookmarks, history, and current tabs synced across devices
  • Downcast – the best podcast manager on the market, and it gets daily use during my commute. Love that it syncs with the iPad app
  • Drafts – a surprisingly powerful note taking app. I use it for everything from tweets to observations for my freelance work
  • Dropbox – the best photo manager on mobile or desktop, and a great way to access my personal files anywhere
  • Evernote – I use Evernote for everything from project management at work to expense tracking for tax season. I feed it constantly, and the search function is like a second brain to me
  • Facebook – Remember how awful the Facebook app used to be? I use it for chat the majority of the time—some swear by the Messenger app, but I like the “chat heads” interface
  • Fantastical – everybody needs a good calendar, and I greatly prefer the Fantastical UI. Syncs with Google Cal, which syncs with my work schedule
  • Google Drive – used for professional work. My go-to for mobile word processing
  • Google Maps – switched when Apple Maps had problems, and never went back
  • HBO Go – I’m one of those people who’s leeching off of my parents’ cable (I’m a “cord cutter,” but now that term sounds ironic). I watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, Game of Thrones, and The Sopranos at the gym and at home. Chromecast has made it vastly more useful
  • Mailbox – my favorite mail app (I’m probably a bit biased, since I once interviewed the founder)
  • Messages – a must, especially since the whole family and my close friends are on iPhones
  • Mint – I’ve been using Mint for a few years now, and it’s tough to beat the convenience it offers for bank account tracking. Much easier than jumping through the security hoops of first-party banking apps
  • MyFitnessPal – I’m a believer in calorie tracking, and although I’ve fallen off the wagon lately MyFitnessPal helped me lose 10 lbs in the past few months
  • Pocket – I save anything I want to read, write about, or share with friends here. Very powerful thanks to third-party friendliness
  • Snapchat – love it for the super-quick photo sharing. Hate that the founders turned down a $3 billion buyout
  • Spotify – not loving the mobile UI lately, considering checking out Rdio, but standing by for now
  • Tweetbot – the most full-fledged, elegant Twitter client out there, bar none
  • Jawbone UP – I have a love/hate relationship with my Jawbone UP—I’m wearing my fourth one, since the other three malfunctioned in various ways—and I dislike the “plug in to sync” necessity, but I’m very interested by the quantified-self idea
  • Velocity – for those who haven’t heard of it, Velocity pulls from sources like Pocket and Instapaper and displays your articles word-by-word, at a speed you determine, to help users master speed reading. And I can report that it works: my “inner voice” is more silent than before, and I really do seem to be reading more quickly. My favorite way to consume saved articles
  • Vine – near-daily consumer, rare contributor
  • VSCOcam – my secondary photo editor. I prefer the filters over Camera+’s offerings

There are some apps that I left off of the list since I mainly just use them for notifications (SportsCenter, MLB Trade Rumors, Breaking News+, NY Times), and although I have Netflix and Hulu+ installed, I mostly run them through my PS3.

Oh, and for good measure, here’s a screenshot of my home screen:

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