In October, I spoke at a conference for the Seattle Interactive Documentary Summit on Non-Fiction Transmedia ...
Best iPhone Apps
Posted on February 19th, 2009
The iPhone has thousands of apps and hundreds added every week. The iPhone is unique in not just its breadth, but also the variety in which a user interacts with the device. The API allows you to use standard controls or create custom controls including its ability to detect movement and position. This has created unprecedented freedom for a mobile device developer. Here is a list of the must-haves for any iPhone user.
The best app you can possibly have for the iPhone and is astounding this did not ship standard with the iPhone. You can use voice command for twitter updates, web searches, phone calls and mapping. The importance of an app of this nature since it is converting voice to text is the flexibility to allow the user to make corrections, which this allows you to do by editing the text.
One of the great capabilities of the iPhone is its seamlessness to the Mac. This is a must have for any presenter using Keynote as you have control of not only moving the slides, but you can look at slide notes or preview what the following slide will be. I happen to be a wanderer when I present, so an app like this is a life saver.
Another Apple provided app that seems almost ridiculous that it doesn’t ship with your iPhone. This one allows you to commandeer your computer’s iTunes, including volume control.
The secret for reading on a handheld device is readability. The New York Times is probably the best paper in the country and having it available and legible while on the go in your hand is worth putting up with the quirks that still need to be worked out with it.
As long as you have the 3G version, this is a great utility for music listening. It behaves just like the web app, just a little simpler. The draw back like most iPhone apps is that you cannot have this run in the background.
Great classics with chapter jumping, bookmarking where you left off, original illustrations and a nifty page turning animation. The cream with brown text makes it easy on your eyes to continue reading on a flight or train ride for long periods of time. They also continue to add to the 18-book library with its free updates.
Tell it to locate you and what kind of food you are looking for it will give you all the functionality of the website with a hook into your dialer and the map finder.
This app is quite easy to use, especially considering how comprehensive it is. You can view not only what the television schedule is for your particular cable or dish network, but you can also find out movie listings for your area. Using the same panel slide metaphor as the Mac Finder, you can easily select by a genre, location or specific movie to find listings – including booking through the app itself for participating theaters. You can also view previews, view reviews and Tivo shows.
Record notes to yourself and mark them. You can also append to a audio note. The only thing you wish it could do is convert into a text note, but sometimes a dictation tool is just handy enough. The UI has a big fat button to start and stop making it nice and easy.
I haven’t lived in LA for seven years but aside from friends and sunshine, I miss most KCRW. I can grab it while attached to my computer but having it now available through my iPhone means I can plug into it as well as hundreds of other stations while in my car or on the train. The 3G network is dodgy, so its not reliable to hear for long periods of time while moving, but at least with this app, I can catch Metropolis while driving home. Another great feature it has is a recommender for similar stations.
For us fat fingered folks, the fact that you can only have a landscape keyboard when in the browser but not in email is maddening. Easy Writer fixes this obvious oversight, but only for new messages rather then also for replies. But at least I can type faster and more reliable when I have the opportunity to start a message screen using this app.
The Swiss Army knife of what’s around me. Pretty good to have handy when needing a quick idea where to park or the closest pharmacy.
Get hooked for free to the wi-fi the next time you are at a Starbucks. Not sure how it does it without the payment normally required, but no UI knowledge necessary. You open it, and it lets you know when you are on.