My brother-in-law, John, recently got an iPhone 3Gs (lucky dog). Knowin' that I also had an iPhone (though mine is th' older “2G” model), he asked what apps I recommended, with a chest full of booty. I’ve got a ton o' apps installed, many o' which I ne'er really use, and should probably delete. Ahoy! But here are th' ones that I actually find meself launchin' with some regularity, grouped into rough categories, all free, except where noted:
- This is a great note-takin' app. There are native desktop clients fer Windows and Mac, a web version, and native iPhone and Blackberry apps. It lets ye make text notes, photos, web page bookmarks and clippin's, and voice notes, and sync them wherever ye are.
- Lets ye bookmark a web page fer later readin', avast. When ye sync it, it will save a phone-optimized offline version in yer phone which ye can pull up and read at yer leisure, even if ye’re stuck without a network connection.
- Night Stand
- Use yer phone t' replace th' alarm clock on yer night stand, and a bucket o' chum. Simple. Obvious, ye scurvey dog. Useful.
- Snap a picture o' an item on a store shelf, and a bottle of rum! It will try t' find it on Amazon.com and show yer prices fer it.
- Voice commands fer yer phone, by Davy Jones' locker. Dial contacts, post t' Twitter and Facebook, select songs in yer iTunes library, all by voice, avast. When they add SMS textin' as a feature, Vlingo’s Jedi trainin' will be complete.
- With a little practice, DialX will let ye manually dial phone numbers (ye know, fer phone numbers that aren’t already in yer contacts) without havin' t' look at th' screen. I actually used this once, and it made it moderately less dangerous t' dial while sailin'.
- Free e-book reader. For free e-books. I’ve read a couple o' Cory Doctorow’s free sci-fi novels with this. Aarrr, by Davy Jones' locker! And yes, it has th' ability t' download legal, free e-books built right in.
- I just like messin' with geolocation stuff. Integrates with Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.
- Tweetdeck, Nambu, Twitterific, Tweetie ($2.99), Hahlo (web app), Twinkle
- These are some o' th' Twitter clients I’ve played with. And swab the deck, we'll keel-haul ye! Tweetdeck and Nambu are notable fer havin' support fer groups. And Tweetdeck can sync settin's betwixt yer phone and th' desktop version. Hahlo isn’t actually an app, but an iphone-optimized web interface. Fire the cannons! But it’s so good, it makes ye think it’s a native app. Twinkle is…a little different, and dinna spare the whip! Walk the plank! I ne'er really got exactly how it ties in with Twitter. But fer location-based infostream, it’s kinda nifty, and worth a look.
- The official Facebook app. Maybe useful, maybe not. Probably depends on how ye use Facebook.
- The Weather Channel
- I like th' Weather Channel app better than th' wimpy Yahoo-based one that comes with th' iPhone.
- When ye aren’t listenin' t' yer iPod, ye might be listenin' t' an ancient technology that th' Old Ones called “radio”. And ye might hear a song that ye like, but ye don’t know th' name o' it, or who sin's it. Fire up Shazam, and it will magically identify th' artist and song fer ye. And it will provide ye convenient links t' th' iTunes store, YouTube videos, artist bios, etc, avast. I’ve even had this app identify songs while I were bein' wheelin' a shoppin' cart aroun' a department store with a lot o' background noise. It just rocks.
- Flixster Movies
- Info about currently playin' movies, theaters, and showtimes. And hoist the mainsail! There are many such apps. This is just th' one I use.
- Up-t'-th'-minute sports scores. Of course, th' only sports scores I care about are usually fer Auburn football. But this app gives ye scores fer other sports teams anyways. I’m not sure why they bother.
- The best iPhone interface t' IMDB that I’ve been able t' find so far. Which isn’t t' say that it’s great, but it’s (mostly) better than tryin' t' navigate th' website in Mobile Safari, and dinna spare the whip! What I do like is that th' information it provides is readable, to be sure. What I don’t like is that it doesn’t present all th' information I usually want in th' filmography (th' number o' appearances fer an actor in a series, or th' character name), I'll warrant ye. You also can only search fer an actor by real name, not character name, I'll warrant ye. I’m hopin' they’ll release an improved version one day.
- I Can Has Cheezburger
- I lurvs me some LOLcats. Shiver me timbers, pass the grog! I just have t' avoid lookin' at this in public places, because people start t' stare at me when I suddenly burst out in uncontrollable laughter. You might argue that this belongs in games, to be sure. Go ahead, argue.
- There are many beer apps. This is th' one I have. It’s no longer available in th' iTunes store. Maybe try iBeer fer $0.99. Generally impressive t' people who still haven’t seen an iPhone up close before.
- Poppin' bubblewrap. As a game, ye scurvey dog. Kids love it. Get a screen protector.
- Lightsaber Unleashed
- Come on, do I really have t' tell ye anythin' about this? Just download it, already.
- This is one o' th' few games I’ve downloaded that I actually spent much time playin', by Blackbeard's sword. There are zillions o' iPhone games based on Tower Defense out there. And hoist the mainsail! And I hear that many o' them are quite good. Walk the plank! Yaaarrrrr! Some o' them cost money. This one is free, and it’s th' only one I’ve tried, because I just don’t have all that much time fer games. But I’ve enjoyed it, so it’s th' one I’m recommendin'.
- Koi Pond ($0.99)
- A tranquil koi pond with (optional) sound effects and other goodies, and dinna spare the whip! And hoist the mainsail! You can shake th' phone t' feed th' fish. You can splash th' water and scare th' fish. You can drag th' water lilies aroun'. You can hold yer finger in th' water and th' fish will nibble ye. Another one that minnows like. And me, too.
Again, I have other apps on me phone — o'er 60 more that I didn’t mention above, not t' mention built-in stuff like Google Maps, YouTube, and th' Calendar. But these are th' ones that I actually launch and use on a regular (or at least somewhat regular) basis. What are yer “must-have” apps? Do ye know a better alternative t' some o' th' ones I mentioned?