If you’re a working member of the media, you’d better be sure your iPhone is equipped to be a reporter’s best friend—or else those bloggers and new media aficionados are going to snatch that job from you. OK, so it’s not exactly that cut and dried. But, facts are facts and mobile journalism has skyrocketed while newsrooms are shrinking. Stay relevant and make that iPhone or iPod Touch work for you with some of these apps.
In the loop
Clearly, being a member of the media means you need to keep up with the media. The Associated Press’s app AP Mobile (free) keeps you current with breaking news push notifications (you get an alert when news breaks), and its customizable front page means you’ll get the news you need fast.
An RSS reader is essential. NetNewsWire (free) syncs with a NewsGator account, which means any feeds you read on your computer also goes to your iPhone, and you can save articles for later via Clipping. Free RSS Reader is mostly frill-free but can expand your reading space with just a shake. Add feeds by URL, or import (the free version will only grab your first three feeds) from Bloglines, Google Reader, NewsGator or OPML. Pro RSS Reader ($1.99) will sync with Google Reader and offers e-mailing and archiving of items. NewsStand ($4.99) has an out-of-the-ordinary newspaper-like interface and a built-in mini-browser and supports searching by article title.
It’s a good idea to have a word-processing app on your iPhone or iPod Touch that’s a little more complex than Notes.
If you’ll primarily want to share text documents, WriteRoom (99 cents) is a home run. Create your document on the iPhone, and then using its built-in Wi-Fi sharing, you can edit the file from your computer’s Internet browser, seamlessly transferring the edits back to your iPhone version. For editing documents as well as sharing photos, videos and sound files there’s MobileStudio ($1.99), which transfers your content using wireless FTP. Evernote (free) requires that you sign up for a free account, limited to 40 MB of transfer per month. Evernote can save text, photo and voice notes which sync with Evernote.com, accessible from anywhere, and its ability to organize pretty much everything and still retain its free price tag makes it a killer deal.
Artist at heart
If you’re a journalist on the go, you may have to rely on your iPhone camera more than you’d like. Crop For Free can’t help the quality of your photo, but it can help you better frame your image with its tap-and-drag cropping tool, and its rotating feature is just a bonus. Camera Genius (99 cents) gives iPhone users the luxury of zoom, anti-shake, guides and a timer, plus voice-activated capturing.
PicPosterous (free) has limitations, such as not being able to include text with your images, but its real benefit is instantaneous uploading of photos and video content to your page at posterous.com. Plus, the microblog can be set to autopost across Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and pretty much every other platform you can think of. The service is relatively new, but I’ll go out on a limb to say that Posterous very well could revolutionize breaking news, as we know it.
Blogs & Tweets
Seemingly everyone has a Twitter account these days so you’ll want to keep up with the Twittersphere whether it’s for fun, networking or gathering story ideas and sources.
If you don’t want to drop dough on an app, Twitterrific (free) is the best option with its clean interface, slew of options and support for multiple accounts. If you are willing to invest, TwitterFon Pro ($4.99) offers landscape typing and TwitVid integration. If money is no object, couple TwitterFon Pro with SimplyTweet 2.0 ($4.99) so you’re equipped with push notification.
For blogging, personal or job-related, there are lots of options. If you’re on the WordPress platform, you can’t go wrong with its dedicated app WordPress (free), which offers landscape typing, an inline post preview and comment moderation. If you blog across multiple services, BlogPress ($2.99) is an option, especially if you want to publish to multiple platforms simultaneously. This app currently supports Blogger, MSN Live Spaces,WordPress, Movable Type, TypePad, LiveJournal, Drupal and Joomla, and makes posting multiple images a snap.
And don’t forget about the reporter’s new best friend, iPhone’s now-standard Voice Recorder.