The iPhone is a revolutionary product. It is a camera, HD video camera, calendar, email tool, reminder system, game pad, computer, messaging system, and social networking device. Oh yeah, it also has a phone with it!
Seriously though, in the last 3 years I have had an iPhone in ministry (first a 3GS and now a 4), it has completely changed how I do all aspects of youth ministry. Whenever I see another pastor/youth worker with an iPhone, I always ask what their favorite apps are. In return, here are my 5 must-have free iPhone apps for youth ministry:
Evernote – Evernote is a great tool for youth pastors. The Evernote iOS app is a great way to quickly add a picture, voice memo, or text note to your Evernote account. The iPhone’s smaller screen means it is not as great as a computer or iPad at reviewing notes or notebooks. However, the iPhone is better than those other devices at note creation.
Bible (YouVersion) – The Bible iOS app, developed by YouVersion, is a remarkable app. It provides very simple access to a variety of Bible versions (both text and audio). With built-in social sharing, dozens of Bible reading programs, and rudimentary highlighting and note taking, this Bible app is perfect for students, youth leaders, and all believers. Personally, I don’t use this app as much as I do Logos, but that is mainly because of the massive Logos library I have already purchased.
Pandora Radio – Pandora is an amazing internet radio app. Also available on the computer, on Roku, and in some vehicles, the Pandora iOS app allows you to create personalized radio stations. It also gives you the power to like, dislike, and skip songs playing on the station. My wife and I have created a dozen stations, ranging from “Modern Worship” to “Hans Zimmer Soundtracks” to “Christmas.” Because of the Pandora iPhone app, I am able to limit the amount of mp3s on my phone – as well as limit the amount of music that I purchase from iTunes!
Shazam – The Shazam iOS app is serious magic – it can identify pretty much any song within 30 seconds. Just start the app, hit the button, and in less than 30 seconds you have the artist and track title on your screen. This is extremely useful when listening to the radio, at a concert/event, and even at weddings!
Facebook – As I have said before, Facebook is the portal through which most students communicate. The Facebook for iOS app is a helpful way to stay connected with Facebook on the go. You can access all the normal Facebook features: Newsfeed, photos, a person’s wall, and Facebook Messages. What’s more, you can update your own status and attach a picture from your iPhone, or you can check in to a location.
Twitter – The official Twitter iOS app is a great and useful Twitter client. It has all the features found on the Twitter website, including Twitter Search, trending topics, and lists. It has built-in integration with popular 3rd parties such as Instapaper, Posterous, yFrog, and many other image services. The app also allows for multiple accounts, so you can update both your personal and ministry’s accounts at the same time. It doesn’t have some of the extra features like other Twitter iOS clients, but it works great.
Logos Bible Software – My primary desktop Bible software is Logos. While in seminary, I had to purchase the top base package at the time, and since then I have purchased additional commentaries and books. With the Logos iOS app, I can access many of those Bibles, commentaries, and books on my iPhone. The iPhone’s smaller screen makes it prohibitive to do any long sermon prep on the device, but the app is great for a quick look up of a Bible passage or quote from a commentary. If you already have books and commentaries with Logos, you need to get this free app so you can have access to that library from anywhere.
Wunderlist – Wunderlist is a beautiful to-do list created by 6Wunderkinder from Berlin. The free Wunderlist iOS app is not as feature-rich as some of the paid apps (such as Things or Omnifocus), but it syncs with the desktop and online apps, allows for iOS notifications, is beautifully designed, and is FREE!
Question: What free must-have app am I missing?