Neat I-phone Apps?
June 9, 2009 5:06 AM   Subscribe

I've ordered my first I-phone. What are the must have apps?

So I've ordered my I-Phone, I am largely interested in it as neat-o computing gadget. What applications will rock my world? I view the I-phone as Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide made real, and want to load it up with neat info.
posted by Ponderance to Computers & Internet (31 answers total) 68 users marked this as a favorite
Hey. I really dig "3 Numbers" -- it's a tip calculator, measurement converter, and travel etiquette guide all in one, with a cool steampunk aesthetic (seriously, no sneering here) that also serves as note-taking device that's an ideal way to track expenses, while traveling or not, by letting you record notes, numbers, etc. and then export them. I thought it was a cool way to combine a bunch of helpful functions in an appealing visual format.

Full disclosure: I know and like the developer, who is also a fellow MeFi-ite. That said, it is a seriously cool application.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:17 AM on June 9, 2009

Simplify Media lets you listen to your home iTunes library, which can be pretty awesome.

(by the way, it's 'iPhone' or 'iphone'-- writing 'I-Phone' is like writing 'X-Box'- it comes across as stilted.)
posted by dunkadunc at 5:18 AM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

Apps I use every day:

- Evernote - ties into the evernote website / note taking system, lets you access notes anywhere.
- RTM - Remember the Milk. Access to the RTM todolist
- Google Search App- does voice recognition for local searches
- Pandora - Streaming music
- LastFM - More streaming music
- Stitcher - Streaming spoken word podcasts (news, etc)
- Yelp - find food when travelling
- Stanza - great ebook reader with access to lots of downloadable content

Have fun!
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:27 AM on June 9, 2009

posted by the cuban at 5:33 AM on June 9, 2009

Instapaper -- read long web pages offline
Tweetie -- Twitter client
Pennies -- uber-simple budget tracker
pCalc -- hardcore calculator
Remote -- apple's iTunes remote control
Wikipanion Pro -- this brings you closer to the hitchhiker's guide -- best way to get around Wikipedia
posted by fightorflight at 5:43 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Shazam (identifies music) and ipint (game) are fun.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:52 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Showtimes-gives movie times based on your location

Flashlight-never hurts to have some extra light around

airsharing-for when you gotta move files back on and off the iPhone

Constitution-The complete US constitution

Kindle-for downloading books

Dictionary- thesaurus and speaks the words to you!

U.S History-every major US historical document from the 17th century to Obama's address to a Joint Session of Congress.

Factbook- Facts about every country in the world.

Remote: for controlling iTunes on your 'puter or Apple TV

Cro-mag: Goofy and fun racing

Enigmo- challenging construction of water puzzles

Checkers- oldie but goody

Myster-classic fun

Glyder-best iPhone game ever, oddly fun and relaxing.

Antimatter-colorful puzzle fun

Brushes-fantastic sketching app

How do calculate tips: 20% is 2 dollars for every ten dollars spent. 15% is $1.50 for for every ten dollars spent. Round up or down based on service and/or whether the server was cute.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I challenge you to a duel.

Yes, and the best app for that is definitely the charming iShoot. (Hi, Ethan.)

Some others.
posted by rokusan at 6:32 AM on June 9, 2009

Stanza - nthing as the best ebook reader
Twittelator - an excellent Twitter client
To Do - a todo app that syncs with toodledo
Foodle - shopping list manager
Read It Later Pro - for tagging web pages in firefox to read later
posted by cpdavy at 6:39 AM on June 9, 2009

We did a really good thread on this two months ago. You might want to read that one again.
posted by Lame_username at 6:40 AM on June 9, 2009

I swear I read the thread looking for that link, yet completely missed it not three posts higher. Mea culpa.
posted by Lame_username at 6:41 AM on June 9, 2009

Response by poster: Re: Ishoot, I remember this game when it was called something else and was an early homebrew PC game! Awesome!
posted by Ponderance at 7:20 AM on June 9, 2009

I gather from your profile that you may live in Chicago. If so:

CTA Tracker, which provides a (mostly) easy interface to bus tracking information

iTrans Metra, if you ever take Metra trains (interfaces with schedule info and has some not great but somewhat useful location services)

TribuneNews, the Trib's dedicated app

EveryBlock, which is local news down to block level; Chicago is one of the early cities covered (I think the developer lives here)
posted by j-dawg at 7:36 AM on June 9, 2009

For Chicago CTA bus tracking, I prefer "Buster."

AirMe for sending photos to Flickr.

I have both "Showtimes" and "Now Playing" for local movie times - sometimes I feel one is better than the other.

THe NYTimes app is nice - basically downloads the whole daily paper

"Bloom" is a fun music-generation app by Brian Eno

Games: Black & White (it's "Othello" with a different name) - TanZen (Tangrams puzzles) - Pente - Labyrinth - Flight Control

Locavore is supposed to tell you what food is in season in your area

Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium has info on different kinds of fish and which are the best choices in terms of being safe for the environment and sustainable fishery populations.
posted by dnash at 7:58 AM on June 9, 2009

Seconding Wikipanion as the most HHGesque of the apps. Fact checks any argument at the pub in 30 seconds flat - lovely.

Also, I think "Chess With Friends" is the nicest multiplayer chess app, but your enjoyment will obviously depend on your opinion of chess :-)
posted by so_necessary at 8:45 AM on June 9, 2009

seconding Simplify Media, Kindle, and Shazam.
My Suggestions:

Air Mouse - Set up a server on your pc/mac and use your iphone as a second mouse/touchpad over wifi.

Ocarina - Strangely Addicting musical instrument

Games: Drop 7 (really cool puzzle game), Flight control, MotionX Poker, Scramboni
posted by theDrizzle at 8:55 AM on June 9, 2009

My home screen's got, in addition to some Apple apps:

BeeJive IM, Tweetie, NPR Public Radio, Qik (streams a video upload to Qik's site, jailbreak only), WeatherBug Elite, Klick for Flickr and GMail and Google Notes bookmarks (lots of the google apps are awesome on the iPhone).

Boxee Remote is cool if you use Boxee. The iTunes Remote is nice, too. Yelp is super handy if you're traveling and want to know where to eat (very Hitchhiker's Guide).

Other nerdy stuff I can't live without that is jailbreak-only:
IntelliScreen puts my email/calendar/sms/rss feeds on my lock screen. Backgrounder lets stuff run in the background. Clippy does cut and paste (soon to be made obsolete). SBSettings lets you reboot, toggle 3G/Edge/Wifi, turn sshd on and off, hide unwanted apps, and kill processes. PdaNet lets you use the iPhone as a wifi base station so your laptop can get the internets anywhere.

Games-wise, some of what's out there is just amazing. I've liked Dropship, Isotope, FlightControl, Galcon, Eliss, Zen Bound, Rolando, Drop7, Monospace, & Edge Lite. Circuit-Strike One and Star Defense are on my todo list for the next couple of weeks. :)
posted by paanta at 9:36 AM on June 9, 2009

twitterific - great multi account twitter client, free version works fine for me
flickit - fine flickr uploader
1password - good password manager
groceries - great looking shopping list manager
mover - allows you to share files on local wireless network amongst iphones
convertbot - great looking convertor app
skype - works on wireless only on my first gen phone, but cool all the same
what the font - neat font identifying app
zenbound - weird but beautifully done game
epicurious - search thousands of recipes
darkslide - cool flickr client
urbanspoon - ok tool for looking for local restaurants
evernote - cool multiplatform notes organising application

and form what i have seen logmein ignition looks great, but am waiting to pony up the money for it.
posted by spyke23 at 9:43 AM on June 9, 2009

rogue (old unix ascii dungeon-crawling game, predecessor to nethack) has been ported to the iphone.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:05 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've got a bunch of suggestions. I'll try to sum each up as best I can (if they need an explanation).

Twitteriffic - awesome mobile Twitter client
Google Mobile - voice search, search history, search-as-you-type
Amazon Mobile
Tipulator - best tip calculator for iPhone/iPod touch, period
Wikipanion - Wikipedia styled better for the iPhone screen
Convertbot - unit conversion with thousands of units to choose from and a nice interface
Delivery Status touch - track deliveries from UPS, FedEx, USPS, Apple, Amazon, etc.
NetNewsWire - RSS reader, syncs with desktop app and NewsGator site
Melodica - neat little synthesizer/beat maker toy app
iStat - free memory on your device, monitor system stats on remote computers/servers
Instapaper - read your Instapaper articles on the go
ESPN ScoreCenter - real-time scores for all the major US sports
Shazam - find out what song is playing on the radio, etc.
MyCal - make a customizable lock screen wallpaper with a monthly calendar on it
Classics - some great classic books in a great reading format for the device screen
Lose It! - keep track of calories and exercise, weight loss goals, etc.
Google Earth
Tap Tap Revenge - Guitar Hero/Rock Band-esque music rhythm game
FlightControl - be an air traffic controller and land planes on the proper runway
Catcha Mouse 2 - fun little puzzle game
Fieldrunners - really engaging tower defense game
Strategery - like a streamlined version of Risk
Peggle - a port of the Mac/PC game
Zen Bound - a relaxing "game" where you wrap up wooden virtual objects with a virtual rope
posted by joshrholloway at 10:19 AM on June 9, 2009

Definitely these free apps: Pandora and Slacker radio - build your own radio stations; Shazam you gotta try this to believe it; TapDefense, Labyrinth, FS5 Hockey, Tap Tap Revenge, Facebook, Mint, FML, Scramble, Lemonade Stand, Knots, Newtons Cradle, Stanley Level, Sudoku, TED.

If you want to splurge on games probably Need For Speed Undercover, The Sims 3, Super Monkey Ball.
posted by glenno86 at 10:36 AM on June 9, 2009

rolando (probably the best iphone game out there)
monkey ball (3 out of 4 stars)
tetris (okay)
line rider (okay)
parkinglot (traffic puzzle game)
labyrinth (best way to show off an iphone to someone that's never played with one)
posted by metacort at 10:37 AM on June 9, 2009

If you are the type who cares about your tweets, I highly recommend the twitter app Birdhouse. It is specifically for writing tweets, and allows you to save and retrieve drafts.
posted by YoungAmerican at 12:49 PM on June 9, 2009

If you like trippy things, rjdj is the trippiest thing you could possibly have short of actual drugs or, maybe, a Gysin dream machine.
posted by juv3nal at 1:09 PM on June 9, 2009

What I have on my iPod touch:

Amazon's Kindle for iPhone
AirShare (nice for dumping PDFs and documents for later reading
posted by mikeh at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2009

allRPNCalc - Reverse Polish Notation calculator
myLite - flashlight with "Rock Concert" mode, a Bic lighter (complete with sound effect)
MiniPiano - one octave keyboard
posted by Wet Spot at 2:38 PM on June 9, 2009

I agree with many apps already posted above but I will add the following:

Bookmarks - bookmarks on your iPhone (you can tag sites too in Safari)

TwitterFon - Simple, clean, free Twitter client.

Flixster - Movie times, reviews, etc.

GPSLite - Awesome GPS locator and compass.

Easy Wi-Fi - One touch connections to AT&T WiFi access points (like at Starbucks).

Skyworks PingPong - Incredibly addictive and fairly realistic ping pong game.

And yes, Shazam is the shiznit!
posted by karizma at 3:22 PM on June 9, 2009

Another vote for Eliss, a beautiful and original game really that really exploits the potential of multi-touch.

I also use Instapaper a lot.
posted by snarfois at 3:49 PM on June 9, 2009

I have had my iPhone for about a year and this little app makes it feel totally new again (I liked the demo, but the thing is even better in real life): Bebot - Robot Synth

Frenzic is an addictive, simple little game. It is like playing Tetris with Trivial Pursuit pies.

Free & silly yet useful: FAIL maker
posted by boost ventilator at 7:32 PM on June 9, 2009

My not very extensive list:

Games: Fieldrunners, Galcon, Peggle, Reign of Swords (mostly just Galcon, though).
Gas: GasBuddy.
Music: Pandora.
Todo: Things.

I'd really like a good SSH app, since they all seem terrible.
posted by pbh at 8:14 PM on June 9, 2009

Addicting games: Stategery and Drop7
Daily use: ShopShop and Don't Break the Chain!
posted by cl3m at 8:38 AM on June 10, 2009

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