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Practical iPhone Apps

Top iPhone apps for the IT-minded.

iPhone apps seem to have found a permanent spot in the hearts and lives of many Americans. While many apps are generally for sheer entertainment, there are practical ones too. The Apple iTunes store offers nearly 200,000 apps, some of which could benefit those who work in the public sector.


  • American Dreams: Speeches and Documents in U.S. History: $2.99. Here you'll find more than 480 documents, including 90 Supreme Court decisions (starting with Chisholm v. Georgia in 1793 and ending with Citizens v. Federal Electoral Committee in 2010), all the U.S. presidential inaugural addresses and more. Access the Constitution, dozens of key laws, speeches and 18 audio recordings.
  • Free Wi-Fi Finder: Perfect for the mobile work force, this app helps users find Wi-Fi hot spots wherever they are in the world. The app uses the iPhone's GPS and network triangulation capabilities to find free Wi-Fi Internet access. Users can filter the results by location type, such as café or library.
  • Citrix Receiver: This free app provides users real-time access to their Windows applications and documents via an iPhone. It is equipped with safety measures, such as data encryption, so data remains on the company network, not your mobile device.
  • myLanguageTranslator: With 53 languages and more to be added, this free app can save time and alleviate frustration by helping you find a specific location while traveling abroad. The app has a language/country dialect pairing, and its creators are very open to feedback in hopes of improving its accuracy - users can rate the translation and give a correction or suggestion.
  • Dragon Search: A handy, yet hands-free voice search app. Just speak your search request and receive multiple, simultaneous results from top websites and content sources, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Twitter, iTunes and Wikipedia. The app is free and features a horizontal tool bar, enabling quick access to other search sites, and you can easily change or correct search queries by using a list of alternative suggestions.
  • Toodledo: $2.99. This task manager app organizes to-do lists and helps boost productivity. The app includes many features to alert users of their day-to-day activities. Toodledo will: track the priority, start date, due date, length or status of a task; assign a task to a folder, context or goal; flag a task with a star or with keywords; provide an audible pop-up alarm for tasks that are due soon; load repetitive tasks on a schedule; and apply filters to hide unimportant tasks.
  • Geek Reply: $1.99. With Geek Reply, you can create replies to any person or for any situation. It lets you access shared replies from other users and comes with 50 built-in replies, 15 shared categories, and male and female voices. Use and save shared replies to your mobile device for playback when asked common questions, which can be helpful while giving a lecture or hosting a Q&A session.


Karen is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.