Christmas morning. You’ve opened your presents- disappointed by many- but crazy excited about one- your new iPhone (or iPod Touch). You’ve got it. You’re officially one of the elite. One of the “cool” people you read all about. Welcome to the club.

Now comes the fun part. Buying apps. But my goodness, there’s thousands of apps! So many to choose from. Don’t worry. I have you covered. I’m going to share with you 20 MUST HAVE PAID APPS for the iPhone.

Air Sharing
Forget ever needing a flash drive again. This app turns your phone into a wireless 8 gig or 16 gig external drive, (depending on the size of your phone, obviously). You can transfer files of any kind from one device to another so long as your computer has WiFi. Definitely worth investing in.

Bejeweled 2
Okay, it’s a game with jewels and you make them explode. In my review, I said that its fun and addicting, and it is, though I think it’s more addicting than it is fun- if that makes any sense. The fact is, I’m still playing it, and now I’ve gotten others hooked on it too. Ever see that horror movie from the 80s called ‘The Stuff?’ It’s kind of like that.

Todo
I like lists! I’m making one right now! As a matter of fact, making this list of 20 must have apps is at the top of my lists in Todo! That’s so post modern! Todo is a great app for people with a lot on their plate. It’s also great for people with very little on their plate but who want to feel more important.

Gas Cubby
Okay, I know gas prices just dropped back down to where they were in 2003. But… fuel economy is still very important because guess what? Those prices are going to jump back up before you know it. Gas Cubby will help you track your mpg and maybe, just maybe, help teach you to drive more efficiently thereby saving you money! (Hint, don’t accelerate to red lights, coast as often as you can, and don’t speed excessively on the freeways. You’re being dumb.)

Sim City
I think everyone has played this game, in some incarnation, at least once in their lives. And here it is in all it’s glory. I can already imagine hours of my adult life slipping away, lost to the power of building a metropolis… so I can destroy it with many disasters. And just when they think they’ve had enough- just when their spirits are at the brink of snapping- I’ll pull out my ace in the hole- Harvey Dent. Oh wait, no… an alien attack. Yeah, that’d do it.

AppSniper
Let’s say there are many apps on this list that you want to get- but you can’t afford to yet. Or… you can’t justify spending $9.99 on an app… I understand. I’m frugal too. But you still really want them and you don’t want to forget about them, (I mean, you’ll have this page bookmarked, obviously, but you can’t check it every hour). That’s where App Sniper comes in. It tells you what’s currently on sale, and it can track apps you’re interested in. Yes… Yes… go ahead and do the “raise the roof” thing, you nerd.

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D
I’ve found that Crashes seem to come in twos, one good, one very bad. Follow me here… back to 1996. David Cronenberg’s ‘Crash’ hits the cinemas. It’s good. Dave Matthews Band releases an album/song titled “Crash.” It sucks. 2004, the overrated, predictable, trite critically acclaimed ‘Crash’ is released. It sucks. Then comes Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D. It has to be good. It’s science.

Knot Guide
Seriously. I know, I know. But seriously. You have no idea when you’re going to need to tie a knot. And it’s equally embarrassing and frustrating when you fail to do so. Now you can relax, because you have the power of 36 knots in your hand… or… wherever your phone is. Maybe it’s on your desk. Then the power is there. But, you still have possession of it. And hey, seriously, nothing impresses better at a party than showing off your knot tying dexterity. Trust me.

Word Warp
If you don’t like anagrams, keep walking. But if you do… gather ’round and hear a tale… a tale of a game that challenges you to find words in six jumbled letters. Okay, it wasn’t so much a tale as it was a description of the game. However… it’s fun. If you like thinking. If you don’t…

Star Wars Sound Board
The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force. But what about the ability to play sounds and phrases from the movies?! Where does that stack up in your equation, Vader? Honestly, this app serves no other purpose than making the inner geek in you giggle. And sometimes, it’s the little things in life like that are most important. The force is strong with this one.

Monopoly
Who would have thought that Monopoly, (yes, the board game), would be fun even when you can’t steal money from the bank. (After all, that was the point in being banker, wasn’t it? Who volunteers to do more work without getting any kind of kickback? That’s just silly.) But this game is fun. So get it.

iTalk Recorder Premium
This is a great app for those of use who can’t afford those fancy digital recorders. Plus, it works just as well, and you can transfer it to your computer with ease. Unfortunately there’s no dictation interpreter thing- something that would transfer your voice to typed words. Maybe someday. But still, as a voice recorder, this one is great.

Bonsai Blast
Check this out. You shoot colored balls at matching colored balls. They form a chain and explode. The object is to stop the balls from reaching the end of the course. Now tell me, what’s not to love about that? It’s easy to play, it’s sometimes challenging but in the end… it’s a lot of fun.

Starmap
If you’re not interested in the cosmos, then I don’t think we can be friends. If you think out of the billions of galaxies in the universe- each galaxy composed of over 400 billion stars- that life doesn’t exist out there- then you’re just being ignorant. This app is great for the star gazers. And how romantic is that? I mean that. Nothing impresses better at a party than pointing out Betelgeuse with expertise. Trust me.

iFitness
I don’t know if you know this or not, but working out is important. Well, that’s what the “experts” say anyway. If you believe that, then this app is something you’ll want to have. You’ll learn how to safely perform an exercise and you’ll be able to track your progress as you go. Working out isn’t just for the meatheads anymore!

Countdown
Okay, it only serves one practical purpose. It tells you how much time is between now and another point in time (be it the past or future). So, it’s great if you’re wondering how many days left until the Lakers meet the Celtics in the NBA Finals. But it’s REALLY GREAT if you’re looking to depress your friends by informing them of tidbits such as, it’s been 17 years, three months and four hours since Nirvana’s Nevermind was released. For those of us in our mid to late 20s… that is crushing. Because that means we’re getting old. Sigh.

Touch Physics
This is a game that is both cute and fun. It has sort of a Little Big Planet feel in it’s simplicity and creativity. You have to move a ball across the screen to reach a star. And you need to take physics into account to do so. You know, that whole for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction thingy. It’s fun. Get it.

TanZen
Tangram puzzles are very relaxing to do. And sometimes, they’re challenging. But usually, they’re not that hard. This is a great game that you can play for a couple minutes before class or when waiting for a drug deal a friend or something. Well worth the dollar price tag.

Wine Enthusiast Guide
I’m going to tell you a secret. There’s nothing better in life than being a wine snob. (Have you seen ‘Sideways’ yet? I mean, come on!) Drinking good wine is a very sophisticated, grown-up activity. This app will help you find the right vineyards for the right price. With any luck, your palette will expand and you’ll be able to become an elitist like me and all my alcoholic friends!

Ocarina
There are a lot of apps that are practical. There are also a lot of apps that make you appreciate everything that your phone can do. Then there are the apps like Ocarina- apps that show you your phone is capable of doing things you never dreamed possible. I’m not good at playing the Ocarina. Maybe I would be if I took some lessons or watched the demo video. But I don’t have time, I’m a busy guy. But I still love and recommend this app- because you can see/hear what others in the world are playing in realtime! Then you don’t have to feel so bad about being so awful at playing!

You’re welcome.