I am more than willing to challenge any iPhone hater to a duel, such is my love for the phone. The applications make what is otherwise a pretty expensive call maker into something so essential to day-to-day life, the thought of going back to a Nokia makes me break out in hives. Hives in the shape of Apples.
Here’s the apps that make my day worth living. Our comments section is a little borked at the moment – if you’ve got apps that would make my, or anyone’s, bus journey go quicker, email me here. [Update: comments seem to be fixed, so go ahead and try your luck]
I don’t often pay for apps, but this has been worth every one of those 299 pennies. It’s an RSS reader which syncs with your Google Reader account, ensuring the same categories and tags appear as you have on your PC, and allowing you to star and forward stories and have it replicated in your Reader account. The best bit is that it automatically updates, which means if you’re out of a signal area i.e. on the Tube, you’ll still have entire articles to read. It’s virtually got rid of the Unread Stories Guilt I previously suffered, as I catch up with all my feeds whilst I’m commuting.
Fring is the most reliable of IM and VoIP apps, in my experience. It allows you keep up with Skype, MSN Messenger, Twitter, AIM and Yahoo (amongst others). It shows you who’s online, and supports VoIP when you’re in a WiFi area, and IM if not. It doesn’t support Facebook Chat, but I don’t use that anyway, so I’m fine with that.
I honestly don’t know why I have this, but I use it all the time. It’s for when my laptop is no more than 2 metres away from me (seriously, my flat is *really* small) but my iPhone is within arm’s reach. That, my friends, is true laziness. It’s good though – it shows the album artwork, allows you to skip, pause, adjust the volume etc, and means you don’t have to get up and walk those two steps to your laptop. Score.
I was a Twitterific fan, until someone one Twitter (obviously) recommended Twitterfon. It’s what Jonny Depp is to Peter Andre. What chorizo is to cocktail sausages. What Champagne is to Blue Nun i.e. it’s heaps better. It categorises your replies and messages separately, so you don’t miss any, automatically pulls out links and @ mentions, so you can check them out, and it’s far easier to follow/unfollow, DM, and check out people’s profiles. And it looks nicer. And it’s still free. And I love it.
It’s had an update, so it’s slightly less buggy. It’s still not perfect, it’s still a bit slow, and it still tries to convince me that any status update happened no less than eight hours ago, but hey. It’s Facebook – without it, life would be nothing.
Remember the Milk
Price: Free (for 15 days. After $25)
I lovelovelove Remember the Milk. I feel more productive just thinking about it. It keeps track of all your ToDo lists, syncs them back to the ones you keep online, and even tells you when you’re near a location linked to a task, if you’re organised enough to fill in that information. I wrote all about it here.
OK, so we’re onto the second page of the iPhone, which is where I keep the use-it-once-in-a-blue-moon-but-want-it-none-the-less stuff.
This app is actually freakin’ awesome. I should definitely use it more. Not only does it link to your Last.fm account, playing all your recommendations, tailored radio stations and the like, it links the songs to iTunes so you can buy them, pulls up biogs of the artists and even alerts you to any gigs they’re playing in the future. The only issue is that it works best in a WiFi area, where more often than not, you’ve got a computer anyway. Also, it can’t run in the background, so you if you’re listening to a radio station, you can’t do anything else.
I’m constantly wondering what that song was (the answer is normally Dancing Choose by TV on the Radio, btw) and finally this is a Shazam service where I don’t have to remember a number to call to get them to ID it. Once you’ve tagged a song, you can check out the artist’s bio, watch the video on YouTube or buy it on iTunes.
Free? Ha! This app will cost you hundreds in instantly accessible bargains, trust me. Avoid at all costs – it does pretty much everything you can do at your computer making it impossible to resist.
This is one I downloaded this morning, and it’s already brought a smile to my face. It’s a location based search for Twitter, which will pull up any Twitterers near you, even if they’re not friends of yours. So far, someone down the road is going to see Slumdog Millionaire at 2.10 in Camden, someone nearby can’t be bothered with coursework and there’s a man near Warren St who is looking for sex. It must be with a girl. It stops short of plotting it on a map, preferring just to state ‘2 miles’ etc, therefore stops just short of A Stalker’s Dream.
They reckon they’ve got a catalogue of 160,000 recipes in this app, and that’s enough to have you eating a different dish for dinner for over 450 years (personally, as a fussy eater, it keeps me in fresh menu ideas for two and a half weeks. Ho hum). You search by ingredient, key word or full title and you can then favourite the recipe or save it in your ‘Try Later’ queue. It makes visits to Sainsbury’s infinitely more exciting.
So, those are my can’t live without ’em apps, but there are ten trillion billion others out there. What are your hot tips? I always need more ways to amuse myself on the bus.