Evernote is a cloud service for capturing, organizing, and searching notes. The cool thing about Evernote is that you can take a text or voice note on your phone, and it'll sync to their servers and to any of your other devices.
I'll often use Evernote on my phone to take quick notes when I'm chatting with friends. Maybe I'll write down a good movie to watch, a great beer to try, or an idea for my business. When I get back to my computer, I'll open Evernote to edit and flesh out the notes on a real keyboard.
I take almost all of my meeting and conference notes in Evernote. The basic service is free, the app is free, and upgrades to the service are fairly cheap. I love that my notes are backed up to the cloud and searchable.
The Weather Channel
I value The Weather Channel app for several reasons, but one of the most useful is that it will notify you if there is severe weather in your area. These days folks don't really listen to the radio or watch TV as much, so it can be useful to get a ding from the phone when there is a severe storm on the way.
In addition, you can enter a your favorite cities and quickly see the weather in San Francisco or Denver before you decide which $80 JetBlue ticket to buy. Animated weather maps seal the deal.
My buddy Nate got me hooked on this To-Do list app, and it keeps getting better and better. Everyone has things to do, and this app makes it easy to capture those tasks. You can make this app more complex, but I simply enter an item, hit enter, and forget about it.
The best feature of this app is that it now syncs with Google Tasks. Things I enter in this app now appear in my Google Calendar.
There are plenty of folks who have complaints about Yelp, but when it comes to finding a good restaurant or pub in a strange city, the Yelp app rules. In 3 or 4 clicks you can get a list of every cheap restaurant nearby that's currently open. Quickly scan through the reviews and go eat.
The New York Times app is ok, but the USA Today app is more fun and more intuitive. I really like their pictures tab, which lets you browse the news through photography.
Mint is an online service for monitoring your personal finances. Make and account there and you can track your credit card statement, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mortgages, and so on. The Android app lets you check your financial situation when you're in the Apple store trying to decide how much storage you can afford to get in your new MacBook Air.