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 Touch E-Reader Apps

Kobo iPhone App

Amazon Kindle: The Kindle app from Amazon gives you access to all of the books you’ve bought from the company no matter which device you did so from.  You then can have them sync across readers so no matter where you leave off reading on one, you’ll pick up in the same spot on another.

Barnes & Noble NOOK for iPhone: Nook from Barnes & Noble will let you see a sample of any book in the inventory and also includes the exclusive LendMe technology which allows you to lend books to other Nook users.

Borders eBooks: Sitting as the second largest retail chain of bookstores in the United States, Borders has entered the digital age with its own e-reading app for iOS devices.

iBooks: Apple’s official e-reader app features allows you to buy books from Apple itself and also synchronize your books and reading with your other iOS devices with the app installed.

Kobo: Kobo offers its own bookstore, but you can also load your own PDFs and EPUB formatted books, look up highlighted words in a dictionary or in Wikipedia, newspapers & magazines available and more features.

Top 5 Free iPhone/iPod Touch Social Networking Apps

Facebook iPhone app

Facebook: Get access to all of your favorite Facebook features such as status updates, checking messages, uploading mobile photos on the go and more.

Foursquare: Foursquare lets you discover what is around you, check-in to locations to earn discounts, see where your friends are and several other features.

Gowalla: While Gowalla is considered the second biggest location based network and focuses on being more graphically engaging than Foursquare, it awards you with random items you find at locations, awards you with pins for different activities and follow the locations of your friends.

Twitter: The official Twitter application gives you access to all of the best features of the service and will also let you turn on push notifications so you are automatically notified of new messages.

Yelp: Yelp is a mixture of a social network and a location-based app with its primary focus being a social review service.  The service has already been around for years as a Web app, and with its move to mobile it makes it easy for you to find businesses around you and see reviews while out and about.  You are also encouraged to add your own reviews to the site to keep building up the service.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.