Sorting through apps can be one of the most tedious tasks out there. We all know there are great apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, people tell us as much, but how do you discover them with the number available constantly growing? Well, we’re here to help you with that by breaking it down to a handful of essential apps in a number of different categories. Sure apps vary by taste, but these are some of the ones we feel will appeal to a wide audience.

And, oh yeah, we’re only doing free ones, so put your wallets away.

All links will take you to the iTunes page for more information and a link to download the app.

Top 5 Free iPhone/iPod TouchCommunicationApps

Skype iPhone app

Bump: Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to give someone all of your details upon meeting them.  Well, if both of you have bump installed, you can easily transfer contact info and more to one another by simply opening the app and then “bumping” your phone together.

Fring – Video Calls + IM: Allows for free video calls over 3G and Wi-Fi to any other type of cellular phone.  Also provides instant messenger access to Facebook, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, SIP, Twitter and Yahoo.

IM+: Pretty much a “one stop shop” for all of your IMing needs with support for AIM, Facebook, GTalk, Jabber, MSN/Live Messenger, MySpace, Twitter and Yahoo.  You get a centralized friends list so you don’t have to flip back and forth to find people, push notifications of new messages and more.

Skype: The official application from Skype allows you to make free Skype-to-Skype calls over Wi-Fi and still access their low international rates to call people in other countries.

TextPlus: This app provides you with your own phone number so that people can text you just like they would anyone else, including to the iPod Touch.  Works in the U.S. and Canada, send images, form group chats, even use it when out of the country so long as you’re on Wi-Fi it will remain free and lots of other features.

Top 5 Free iPhone/iPod TouchTravel Apps

Taxi Magic iPhone app

Cheap Gas!: See gas stations near your location and the prices as reported by other users so you can find the best price without having to drive around aimlessly looking for it, burning more in gas than you’d save.

OpenTable: See what restaurants are near your location (so long as they participate in OpenTable), reserve tables and get them confirmed all without having to make phone calls.

Taxi Magic: When first arriving in a new city, it can be frustrating knowing where to find cabs.  With Taxi Magic you just set up an account, use GPS to locate yourself and then choose from a list of taxi companies that service the area to summon one to you.  You can also pay via the app if you so choose.

The Weather Channel: A gorgeous looking app that brings you all of the most pertinent weather information for the city you’re in and the ones you may be traveling to.

Wi-Fi Finder: Locate both pay and free Wi-Fi spots near you, narrow them down by providers, types of business and more.  Perfect for when you’re in a city on business that you aren’t familiar with.

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