As you all already know, I am loving my new iPhone. While the phone itself is awesome, the true enjoyment of the phone comes from the third party apps. Below I am going to walk you through the useful apps I have choose to follow me everywhere I go. This list is only the useful apps; I am going to review games in Part 3 of my iPhone coverage.
If you think I am missing some great apps, please let me know so I can check them out.
The default weather app on the iPhone SUCKS! It is missing a lot of information that one might want when looking for a weather report. WeatherBug gives you all the normal stuff like current temp, heat index, humidity, and a few day out forecast, but what I really find useful is that WeatherBug allows you to view radar maps that use the Multi-Touch pitch zoom functionality.
While I have had some issues with the radar maps not loading completely, it has not really bugged me. WeatherBug also allows you to view weather webcams around your area. Also, you can track multiple locations very easily.
iTunes Download Link: WeatherBug
As most of you know, I am a twitter fanatic. I love posting tweets when I am away from my computer. I have been doing this for sometime via text message, but now I can easily post tweets without using up my text messages.
Twitteriffic has some nice extras too. You can post photo tweets directly from Twitteriffic as it is integrated with the Twitpic.com service. Twitteriffic also uses the built in iPhone GPS to update your profile on Twitter with your exact location. I find this to be a little to intrusive on my privacy. I don’t want people knowing exactly where I am all the time so I don’t use this function.
There are 2 versions of this app, a free version and a pay, I use the free because well, it is free. The only real difference is that with the free version, you see an ad appear in your Twitteriffic home screen. This does not bug, because the ads are tastefully done, and placed in non annoying locations.
Additional Note: Twitteriffic is very complex and might be overwhelming at first, but read the hints and give yourself some time to figure out how it all works then you will love it!
I have the Facebook app, but don’t really use it to much. I have it on my iPhone just incase I need to read a message, or get a friends contact information. The program is very smooth and visually beautiful. If I was a true Facebook junkie this app would be great.
For those of you that don’t know me personally, might not know that I am a total Pandora junky. I love discovering new music. Being able to stream Pandora when I am walking down the street is just awesome.
For those of you that don’t know what Pandora is, it is a auto generated online radio station. You tell the site some of your favorite bands and songs, then it plays recommendations. You can rate the recommended songs to better define your station. The best part of the service is how well it works. I love probably 95% of its suggestions.
The app is full featured. You can create new stations, rate songs, bookmark songs and artists, and play/pause/skip. The app also features very rich album artwork. This is one of my favorite apps so far for the iPhone.
Remote is an app written by Apple, so technically it is not a third party, but it is an extra download to get the app so I am including it on my list. I have a tendency to lay my iTunes from my computer and point my speakers out my window when I am having a party or just hanging on the back porch. Before this app, I would have to go into my computer to change songs or playlists. The Remote app solves this problem by allowing you to control your iTunes from your iPhone. It works over the WiFi so no line of sight is needed. You can browse your playlists, songs, artist, and pretty much all of your audio. The program tells you what is playing now, and it allows you to view album artwork right on the iPhone.
I give this program the most creative award because it is a very good idea that was executed beautiful.
iTunes Download Link: Remote
Some of you might remember my post about Evernote at To Be A Geek, if you don’t check it out, it will explain to you just how much I use this program. In a nut shell, Evernote is a note taking application for PC, Mac, and the iPhone that syncs all your notes via a web server. This means you can make notes on any computer, iPhone, or a website and it will save on your web server and be synced back to any where you use Evernote.
The iPhone app is exactly what I was hoping it would be. It allows you to view notes with images and rich formatting. It also allows you to create notes directly from the iPhone. This app is great, but only because it is associated with an amazing desktop and web application. Defiantly check this one out.
OK, so one of my all time favorite activities to do on the weekends is discover new hidden treasure restaurants around Atlanta. With that fact being known, you can imaging how much I enjoy having Yelp on my iPhone. I was on my way to pick up a girl that I am seeing for dinner, but I was not sure where to take her. Well at a stop light I whipped out the iPhone and browsed Yelp. About an hour later I was in a restaurant in Cabbagetown called Agave.
I find this app very useful if you enjoy discovering new restaurants around where you live. It also works for coffee shops, bars, and some stores. Check it out, it is a very useful guide to your city!
Midomi is a program that you wont use much, but when you need it, you will be glad it is there waiting for you. Midomi is a song identifier. When you here a song on the radio or in a bar, or else where, you just open up Midomi and it will record a few seconds of the song then cross reference it to a database of songs, and will identify the song and provide a link for you to purchase it from iTunes.
I have tested this app pretty rigorously, and have found that it works about 9 out of 10 times. It is best if you record about 10 seconds or more of the song. Midomi also has an option to be able to sing or hum a beat into the iPhone for identification. This doesn’t work as well, but it does work sometimes. I used it once to figure out what song was stuck in my head. This program is not a big everyday use type, but when you need it, you will be happy you have it!
iTunes Download Link: Midomi
Box Office is one of the many movie apps for the iPhone. I checked out about 3 different movie apps, and finally settled on this one for two main reasons. First, Rotten Tomato ratings; I am a big supporter of Rotten Tomato, so having an app that allows me to read reviews and ratings was a big selling point. Second, was movie trailers; when sitting at dinner wondering what to go see it is nice to whip out the iPhone, for people who don’t follow movies like I do, to watch a trailer.
Besides those 2 items, this app does all the other items the other apps do like showtime, theater listings, synopsis, and cast list. This one is a must have for the iPhone because everyone will use it every once and a while.
Associated with: http://www.RottenTomato.com/
iTunes Download Link: Currently Unavailable
NOTE: It appears this app has fallen victim to the strange occurrence of apps disappearing with no reason why. Some believe it is due to a name change, but the new app believed to be called “Now Playing” is not available as of yet. I will keep you all posted on this topic.
Save Benjis is an program that has potential to be great but is still missing some functionality. Save Benjis is a app that allows you to search almost any tangible item and do price comparisons across various stores. It is useful especially during money crunch times like most of the USA is currently experiencing.
Currently you can search by keyword or UPC code. What I would really like to see with this app is the ability to take a picture of the barcode with the iPhones camera and have it read the barcode and automatically look up the product. As of now, this is not an option, but I hope they will consider adding it if the iPhones camera is able to do this.
iTunes Download Link: Save Benjis
Urbanspoon is the most fun of the non game apps. It is a restaurant selector that suggest excellent restaurants. It works like a Las Vegas slot machine. You have 3 different wheels, neighborhood, genre, and price. You can hold these wheels by locking them. I normally lock the neighborhood, and the price then let the app pick genre. When you are ready to push your luck, you give the iPhone a shake. Just like in Vegas, the wheels turn stopping at random then suggesting a restaurant based on the criteria that appears in the wheels.
What makes this app stand out from the other restaurant finders is that it suggest high quality restaurants, now Applebee’s or McDonald’s in this app.
iTunes Download Link: Urbanspoon
Not much to say about this app. It is exactly what you would expect, it is the Yellow Pages for the iPhone. Great for searching for a business in your area. One thing it does handle very well, is how it links with the Maps app. If you click on an address, it opens up Maps, and will let you get directions.
iTunes Download Link: YPmobile
myLite is probably the most basic, and one of the most useful apps on the iPhone. All it does is makes the whole screen a solid color. Use white if you need to use the iPhone as a flashlight, and put it in strobe light mode with all colors the colors pulsating when at a concert. That is it. Pretty basic but everyone reading this can say that they have used their mobile phone as a flash light when looking for their keys when they fall under the car. Don’t Deny It!
iTunes Download Link: myLite
WordPress, is an app for the bloggers out there. For those of you that don’t know what WordPress is, surprise surprise, you are looking at it right now! WordPress is the back end blogging software that I use on this site. This app pretty much takes it mobile. You can create post, and edit post. My one complaint is that you can not work with drafts that are on the server. This is a big issues, because I would love to be able to proof read my blog entries when I have sometime sitting in line at the DMV or else where.
Well, that is it for my list. I hope you learned something. Also, please leave comments. I am very interested in discovering new apps. If you have something I should try out please let me know so I can discover it!