Top 10 iPhone apps for the techie

If you're an IT pro these apps are for you!

  • Most iPhone users don't care that they can get a root prompt on their phone, and most wouldn't think of opening the device to a world beyond iTunes. Well, these iPhone apps aren't for most users. If you're an IT pro wanting to use the iPhone or iPod touch to monitor and control other systems, or to satisfy other geek needs, these jailbreak and native apps are for you.

  • Pandora Radio The marriage of Pandora and the iPhone should be on the cover of People magazine. Assuming that the government doesn't kowtow to the corrupt recording industry and inexplicably shut down streaming radio, this app will provide you with all the music you could ever want for a very low price, and it even works over the EDGE network. Free through App Store.
  • NES Yet another jailbreak app, NES is a Nintendo emulator. When paired with a collection of NES ROMs, this app allows you to play Super Mario Brothers, Paperboy, and any other original game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The controls can be a little hard to get used to, but as far as the geek factor goes, this has it in spades. Free through Cydia.
  • ToggleSSH/OpenSSH This is actually two packages, both available via Cydia on jailbroken iPhones. OpenSSH provides the SSH client and server, and ToggleSSH provides a quick method of enabling/disabling the SSH server. Copying content to and from my iPhone with a simple scp command is terribly handy. It's how I pulled all the screenshots for this list. Free through Cydia.
  • Cydia PwnageTool Cydia, the package manager for jailbreak apps, is the very model of a major modern manager. It's slick and quick, and it installs apps and updates faster than Apple's App Store. You do need to jailbreak your iPhone to use Cydia or any of the unofficial iPhone apps, but this is where it all starts. Free download and jailbreak instructions at
  • NetNewsWire If you subscribe to RSS feeds, NetNewsWire is an absolute must-have for gathering all your RSS feeds in one place, easily accessible, readable, and searchable. The links to NewsGator keep everything together whether you're on your desktop or your phone. What's not to love? Free through App Store.
  • Twitterific If you Twitter and carry an iPhone, you need Twitterific. Sporting a sleek look and feel, Twitterific beats using Twitter's Web interface, and it enables location tweets using the iPhone's GPS or triangulation features. Free through App Store, with a $9.99 premium option.
  • Mobile AIM This one's a bit obvious, but the capability to IM from wherever and not incur SMS charges can really come in handy. Imagine essentially the same functionality as SMS, yet it's free when most carriers are charging as much as 20 cents per text message. Despite using more bandwidth than SMS, it allows messaging to anyone logged into AIM. Funny, that. Free through App Store.
  • Evernote Evernote's iPhone app provides a very simple interface to record voice, text, or picture notes, linked with Record something on your phone, sync it with your Evernote account, and access it from anywhere. It's perfect for remembering to grab milk on the way home or save and share photos, or you can set a reminder to reboot the mail server on Friday night. Free through App Store.
  • Drinks No techie list would be complete without a bit of booze. Drinks is a slick little app that contains everything you ever wanted to know about making drinks, complete with 4,500 drinks already in the database. It searches for drinks by ingredient, lets you save and note specific drinks, add your own recipes, and even select a random drink. Of course it might be overkill for those of us who prefer our Scotch neat, but it's invaluable for entertaining. US$3.99 through App Store.
  • MobileTerminal MobileTerminal is the OS X for the iPhone. It's a native shell running right on the device, complete with gesture controls, macros, and more. I use this app constantly to SSH into servers, run ping tests from the iPhone, and anything else I might need to do from a standard shell. It's the reason why I'm still using my iPhone. Free through Cydia.
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