I got my iPhone a couple of months ago and after several years of using Windows Mobile devices, I have to say that the iPhone is a game changing device.
The sheer usability of the iPhone and its apps make it a device to put at the very heart of your life and there are several apps that are especially useful in Switzerland. I use mine with a data-only sim card from Orange.
The most useful iPhone app by far is the SBB Mobile application. You can do pretty much everything you can at a ticket machine, as well as view timetable information. If you set a Home location, you can just press the Take Me Home button and it will calculate a route and timetable to get you home based on your current location and the nearest train, tram or bus stop.
You can even buy a ticket on your iPhone with the ticket image stored locally on the iPhone. You must have the iPhone with you for the ticket inspector, and make sure your screen is set to high brightness. The inspector scans the iPhone screen and it works very well. I have used it six times without fail.
Again in the transport arena, Wemlin gives access to all transport in Zurich, offering great route planning and timetables.
AroundMe has a surprisingly good database of amenities in Switzerland, for a US-focused app.
Again, using the iPhone’s GPS, AroundMe will tell you the nearest Banks, Bars, Coffee Shops, ATM, Petrol station, Hospital, Hotel, whatever! I have found it especially useful for petrol stations and post offices. You can set your favourites if there is a place you use regularly.
The Skype iPhone application works really well and coupled with a Skype Unlimited subscription, you can make all the calls you need to make back home. I use it to make those unavoidable calls to utility companies etc, as well as keeping in touch with family. The Unlimited subscriptions give you unlimited calls to landlines either within Europe or Worldwide and can really save you a good amount of money.
A really useful application is the Bargains application from Comparis which every week is updated with the special offers from the main retailers in Switzerland. You can find the deals by the largest reductions, category or by retailer. It is a real little nugget.
For keeping track of daily savings and then applying them against debt back home, try Cashflake.
Finally, there is a good application called Swiss Events which offers information on what events are coming up soon.
That’s my list, if you have any of your own that you find especially useful in Switzerland, please feel free to add them in the comments.