Saturday, February 28, 2009

9 Must Have Apps for the iPhone

Google – Aside from the search feature, the Google app has its own apps built in, namely Gmail, calendar, Talk (Gmail chat), Photos (Picasaweb), etc. Pretty much everything you can do on Google via a pc or mac you can do on the iphone. It’s saved me more than once, and it helps me to keep up with my pictures on Picasa.

Mobile Banking on AT&T – This has been a wonderful app because it allows me to keep track of all of my accounts without the hassle of having to log in to the bank’s actual website. One of the better banking apps I’ve found, it does require a pin each time you log in (for added security) and has been dead on accurate with my bank’s online updating of account info, purchases, and so on. I would also recommend Mint.com’s new app for those who like Mint’s built-in budgeting feature.

Shazam – Most iphone users (and non-iphone users for that matter!) know about Shazam, namely because it can tell you the name and artist of any song you play for it. There are a few restrictions, though. For one, I’ve read that Shazam is only able to detect English songs, whatever that means. I’ve given it a try with some of my Italian pop music, to no avail (Ma dai!) Shazam is also limited in that it cannot detect live music, though it has on several occasions been able to read live classical music for me. Regardless of the limitations, this is one of the better apps I’ve come across. Now whenever that song I’ve always liked but never knew the name of comes on the radio, I can pull out Shazam and finally know!

Slydial – This gem of an app is the one I’m most proud of. Why? Say you need to call someone back, but you know they’ll talk your ear off and you simply don’t have the time, or perhaps you have only a quick second to let your friend know the answer to a question they’ve been bugging you about all week. This app takes care of it for you. When you open Slydial it will prompt you to choose a contact from your phonebook or to dial a number. Take your pick and let Slydial do the rest. The number will be called, but will be preceded by a series of numbers inserted by Slydial. What this does is take you directly to the voicemail of the cell phone user you just called. I hate to admit it, but I have used Slydial a couple of times, and both times were to give answers to people that I didn’t have time to talk to otherwise. Needless to say, it was not anyone I speak with regularly or would see this blog.

Public Radio Tuner – For the regular NPR listener, the Public Radio Tuner (by American Public Media) is your link to your favorite public radio stations when you’re not otherwise able to listen. Admittedly, Public Radio does not have my local 90.7 fm WXEL station yet, but as long as I can hear Car talk and Fresh Air I don’t really mind.

Balls – Designed by iotic, this is an interesting app I found only in the last couple of weeks. Balls that can vary in size fall and bounce off of each other creating sounds that imitate wind chimes while their colors change each time they hit another ball. Settings include volume, ball size, gravity, friction, bounce, balls (number of), and trails (left behind by bouncing balls). I like to set mine up with the lowest number of balls (3) and just let them bounce around, creating very calming ambient noise.

AroundMe – Granted, I’ve only had this for a day, but this cool app by Tweakersoft is one of the best. Once it has your location, you can find nearly anything that is around you. Not sure where to find gas, hospitals, theaters, restaurants, bars, hotels, banks and more? Now you do. Get it. It’s free.

The Weather Channel – The built-in iphone weather app is good, but The Weather Channel app gives you hourly updates and a 10 day forecast, as well as any weather alerts. It’s definitely worth getting.

Pandora – For those who don’t necessarily have a specific library of music, and even those who do, Pandora will be a necessity on your iphone. Simply type in the name of a song or artist you like and Pandora creates a playlist of songs around that search. Pandora is your free personalized radio.

There are plenty more apps that are just as awesome, but these nine did it for me, not only because they're useful and fun, but because they are all free.

2 comments:

Nicolet said...

also - try photo swap - you'll love it!

Fenton said...

I'll give it a try and let you know!

Also, does this mean that YOU have an iphone now?