Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Top 10 iPhone Apps

Since I got my iPhone in January 2009 it has become an invaluable gadget for me. I thought it might be worthwhile to share the top 10 iPhone apps that I regularly use and why I like them so much.

Here goes then:

This is an invaluable little app. Instapaper is a service that allows you to press a button in your web browser which instantly stores the URL from a web page for later reference. You can then go to your Instapaper page and see them all listed. So far so good. However the iPhone app "scrapes" the textual content from your bookmarked pages and stores them locally. This means that you can very easily and quickly have a load of web pages you are interested in reading the content from cued up on your iPhone for long journeys etc. even if you are out of signal area. I use this application multiple times every day. The only problem I now have is too much content stored to have time to actually read!

This is the best iPhone Twitter client I have found so far and I have tried a few of them. It does cost money (unlike some of the other ones) but it is well worth it for the ease of use and the features it has. There are elegant touches like swiping across a tweet revealing various options for replying, retweeting etc. Highly recommended.

Imagine going back in time 20 years and explaining to somebody that you had a device in your pocket that could listen to a 15 second snippet of music and tell you with well over 90% chance of success who the artist was, what the title of the song was and what album it was off. Oh and also provide you with a way of purchasing the song there and then. It would have sounded like something out of science fiction. But this is exactly what Shazam does. It listens to the snippet, encodes it and sends it off to its servers which pattern match the audio with its huge database and most of the time tells you everything you need to know about the song. Great for impressing your mates down the pub. Or at least it would be if they didn't all already have it on their iPhones too!

4) TV Guide (warning - link opens iTunes)

Neat little app that tells you the current and next two programmes on UK TV channels (including digitial, satellite and cable) in a synopsis page with the ability to give you even more detail for each programme as well as being able to scroll up and down through the entire schedule and also skip forward to future days. It's actually quicker than picking up the paper and flicking through to the relevant page as well as having much more detail. Oh, and it's free.

I hesitate to publicise this any further. Ariane Sherine drew my attention to this little gem of a game in a Guardian CiF piece a couple of weeks ago. You control the position of balls dropping into slots with numbers on. If there is a contiguous number of balls to the same total as that on the ball then the ball disappears. There are also grey balls without numbers that need to be "cracked open" by exploding balls next to them twice in order to reveal their numbers. It sounds complicated but you get the hang of it pretty quickly and as Ariane warned it is hopelessly addictive. She told me on Twitter than she has now deleted it from her phone as it was just taking up too much of her time! And now I have infected you...

Over 20 classic books such as The Time Machine and Treasure Island on a virtual bookshelf and with a very pleasing interface which allows you to swipe across or tap to turn the pages. And it's free.

The best RSS reader for the iPhone I have seen. It caches and stores the feeds locally too. Although it can take a while to update but that's probably down to the sheer number of RSS feeds I follow!

Quick and easy interface to access Wikipedia which has good predictive completion, gives section headings to jumps between and related articles in easily accessible menu options as well as the ability to change the font size and search within a page amongst other features. I use this application several times a week.

The game I was addicted to before I found Drop7 (It's like swapping heroin for crystal meth!). Simple game which fills the screen up with random coloured blocks and you clear them by tapping on any continguous grouping of 3 or more blocks of the same colour with scores related to the number of blocks you clear with each tap. You only get 100 taps per level (1000 points threshold each time) and need to keep the ratio of score to taps high because as you get closer to each threshold it speeds up! There is a free and paid for edition of this game.

Risk for the iPhone. I used to have a version of this for my iPaq by the same author (Sean O'Connor) and it is the best mobile variant of this game I have found. There are different maps as well which means you don't just have to play the battle out across the world, it can be on alien worlds with different numbers of territories.

I should just reiterate that is my personal view about the best iPhone apps I have found but there are bound to be loads I haven't even seen.

Feel free to point out other good ones you use in the comments.

I would also like to thank Stuart Sharpe who pointed me in the direction of numbers 1, 2 and 7 on this list.


Uncle Marvo said...

I've just got my iPhone. The best app is without doubt Curry Finder.

That is all.

iPhone Apps said...

Nice iPhone Apps list

you can find some more on

Unknown said...

The best iphone app for 2010 so far for me is FastMall by Turn by turn guidance at the mall, find the bathroom quick and be taken to it, get deals, remember where you park, check in at the mall and stores, full community of features. So much fun :)