Kindle. With this you're never without something worthwhile to read, so time spent even on a standing-room-only bus isn't wasted. The Kindle edition of a book costs about the same as its paperback, but is released the same day as its hardcover, so folks who like to start reading blockbusters they day they come out will save some money with this. A tip: also download the free Kindle for PC program so you can read the same books on your desktop or laptop computer. Why It's "Empowering": This application makes it impossible for your time to be completely wasted whenever you're forced to wait. Free.
TuneIn Radio. This is probably the best of all the internet radio applications currently available for the iPhone. You can have it record the rest of a show that you're listening to if you need to stop listening, and it attempts to reconnect to the same station if it's disconnected. Why It's "Empowering": If you get absorbed in a show or news story you never have to miss the end, and your listening options aren't limited by your location. $1.99.
DataVault Password Manager. Lets you store web site login information, PIN numbers, etc., in an encrypted file which only you can access (and which nobody else can access even if your phone gets stolen). A tip: enter as many logins as you can in one sitting, going back through your browser history if necessary to remember which ones you use, so that you don't end up having the one you need during the middle of a busy day be exactly the one you failed to enter. Why It's "Empowering": Constantly forgetting the same passwords wastes your time and makes you feel stupid. $9.99.