Hit me up with apps
June 22, 2009 2:44 PM   Subscribe

What are you favourite iPhone/iPod Touch apps? I'm particularly interested in those that are free or cheap.

I finally broke down and upgraded my iPod Touch OS. Finally, I can download apps.

What I'm looking for now are recommendations for both useful and fun apps, particularly if they are free or low cost. I could really go in any direction here, but my most pressing need at the moment is a good .pdf reader. The few that I've tried seem to wipe out if the file size creeps over a few hundred KB.

I am a grad student, so anything that would help me organize my notes/life would be greatly welcomed. But really, if you really like a certain app of any sort, please let me know.
posted by hiteleven to Technology (36 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
Pocket God rules. And is only $1.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:54 PM on June 22, 2009

I love Period Tracker. YMMV.
posted by jennyb at 2:56 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

tap tap revenge 2 is pretty fun. (game)
if you've got netflix, i love phoneflix.
Pandora is good when you're not in the mood for your own music
Twitterfon is bar none the best free app for twitter, and it's always updating and making itself better!
Remote is good for controlling iTunes, if you're lazy or need to look suave.
Cardstar lets me get rid of all those member cards to book and grocery stores. (like B&N)
and, to end with another game, NeoCross keeps me busy doing crossword puzzles when i've got down time.

(all the above apps were free when i downloaded them. your mileage may vary)
posted by cmchap at 2:58 PM on June 22, 2009

I love Love LOVE ZenBe Lists. It's a web site as well as an iPhone/Touch app (you sync one to the other) and it's FREE. It's a fairly simple app but it does everything I need it to -- and it does it with a lovely and intuitive user interface. It's really worth trying.
posted by rhartong at 2:59 PM on June 22, 2009

My essentials (all under $5, I believe)

Drop7 (the iPod version of chainfactor)
Air Sharing, a small finder for carrying documents (Office, PDF, High-Res photos...)
Snail Mail (I spent too much time playing it)
Stanza for reading books
Units for conversions
Simplify to acces your iTunes library
FlightControl (addictive)
posted by ddaavviidd at 3:01 PM on June 22, 2009

Instapaper. It lets me download articles from the Web onto the iPod Touch for consumption at a later, non-computer accessible time.
posted by reenum at 3:02 PM on June 22, 2009

Seconding Instapaper. It's definitely awesome for use offline and they now support comments on Metafiler.

Yelp and Twitterfon are the other two I use regularly.
posted by dhammond at 3:06 PM on June 22, 2009

Easy Wi-Fi (for instant logons at Starbucks and other free hotspots)
Clinometer (bubble level and other level-type tools)
The Weather Channel's weather app

Solebon (Solitaire)
Black and White
Bejeweled 2

Plus a couple of astronomy-related apps for the pure hell of it: Distant Suns Lite and iEphemeris
posted by jquinby at 3:07 PM on June 22, 2009

Stanza. Get the desktop client as well, which will allow you to upload pdfs or text docs (Word, etc.) via wifi onto your ipod and read them there - it doesn't yet deal with images or fancy formatting, though. But I've got large files (more than 3 MB) that transferred with nary a hiccup and no problems opening or reading.

For putting pdfs that have images or heavy formatting on your ipod, you can use Airsharing (it was cheap when I got it) or briefcase lite, which I think is still free.

Stanza's the one I use most, though.
posted by rtha at 3:16 PM on June 22, 2009

Information: Bloomberg, BBC, Wunderadio, WeatherPro, National Rail (UK), Wki Tap
Astronomy: Star Walk
Music: Bloom, Noise.io Pro
Games: Trivial Pursuit, Peggle, iShoot, Bloons
posted by the cuban at 3:22 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Make sure to do a search as this question has been asked quite a few times. That said if I was new to the iPhone I'd download:

MLB (if you're into baseball)

Not sure which ones costs or were free, but for me if it costs about as much as a cup of coffee, and most apps do, they're cheap.

Easy Wi-Fi (for instant logons at Starbucks and other free hotspots)

With 3.0 connection is automatic at starbucks (and I'm guessing at other hotspots). No need for this application.
posted by justgary at 3:29 PM on June 22, 2009

Response by poster: Make sure to do a search as this question has been asked quite a few times.

I apologize for missing the most recent question...all the others I saw were at least a year old, so I figured the responses would be out of date.

I am especially after a good .pdf reader, though, which still seemed to be at large before I asked.
posted by hiteleven at 3:38 PM on June 22, 2009

With 3.0 connection is automatic at starbucks (and I'm guessing at other hotspots). No need for this application.

Oh, nice! I haven't been to a hotspot since I updated. This is good to know.
posted by jquinby at 4:25 PM on June 22, 2009

Favorite games, some free, some not (but cheap): Flood-It!, Critter Crunch, Pocket Tanks, SET, Yahtzee...
posted by illenion at 4:32 PM on June 22, 2009

tap tap revenge 2 is pretty fun. (game)

and so far it's the only one I've seen that lets you play with two people on one iphone.

This let to cuteness with me and the pretty girl I gave my old 2g iPhone to, thus I am a fan.
posted by flaterik at 4:45 PM on June 22, 2009

I can't say enough good things about the note-taking app Evernote. I think I've tried every app out there for organizing random notes and info, and Evernote has me for life.

If you like relaxing strategy games that aren't timer dependent and also make you think a little bit, try Bejeweled or Peggle from PopCap Games.
posted by _Mona_ at 4:48 PM on June 22, 2009

Yes, definitely Peggle. I'm not a gaming-type person at all, but that one got me hooked. I didn't care for Bejewled as much, but the person who turned me on to Peggle loves it.

I also like to make apps from pages I visit a lot (add to home page); the IMDB mobile interface is great for those times when you're watching a movie and wonder what else that actor was in, for example.

Yelp (restaurant reviews), Now Playing (your local movie listings), iPhlix (manage your Netflix queue) and i.TV (what's on right now?) are others I use a lot.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 5:00 PM on June 22, 2009

Seconding Evernote.
posted by brundlefly at 5:14 PM on June 22, 2009

The 10% of apps I spend 90% of my time with are:
- Yelp
- Instapaper
- Wikipanion+ (as with Instapaper, offline syncing is a godsend)
- Amazon Kindle
- Evernote

These may not all work with iPod Touch; I'm an iPhone user.
posted by svolix at 5:18 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Airsharing should provide a way to list & show .pdf documents.
If they're pdfs that are already online, documents to go lets you download and view them offline.
posted by ijoyner at 5:39 PM on June 22, 2009

If you're going to get a radio (like Pandora mentioned above), you may want to get the last.fm player instead. It is better quality and has a better "songs like this" algorithm.
posted by Pants! at 6:03 PM on June 22, 2009

Lots of familiar stuff... I like:
- Darkslide (for Flickr)
- Tweetdeck (Twitter)
- Convert Any (Conversion between various units)
- PNSBear (For Prime Number Shitting Bears)
posted by ph00dz at 6:03 PM on June 22, 2009

Public Radio
Google Mobile
Lose It!
MotionX GPS
posted by birdwatcher at 6:25 PM on June 22, 2009

skype, with earbuds with a mic turns your itouch into a phone (if you have a wifi connection)

and, thanks for the question... I'll check all the suggestions...
posted by HuronBob at 6:26 PM on June 22, 2009

and so far it's the only one I've seen that lets you play with two people on one iphone.

Scrabble lets you do this, too. My wife doesn't have an iPhone, so we play by passing mine back and forth. The scrabble app also lets you play against friends on Facebook. I have six games going right now, one with jessamyn.
posted by grumblebee at 6:33 PM on June 22, 2009

I've had my iTouch for a month so far and the apps I use a lot are:

Utilities: Amazon Kindle, Amazon, Units, Quicken, Weather Channel, Flashlight, Fandango (for movie times)
Social: Twitterific, Facebook
Games: Pocket Tanks, Toobz, Removem, Stickwars (a friend's son loves this), tap tap revenge (a friend's daughter loves this).

I went a bit mad and installed a lot of apps, but I'm pruning some now. Which is good as it makes space for a few of the ones mentioned above!

I've also been using Safari to make shortcuts to regular pages such as Google Reader, you can make it a pseudo app, like you can with Chrome on the desktop.
posted by arcticseal at 6:36 PM on June 22, 2009

A few free apps not already mentioned:

- ToodleDo (list management, has a web site back end)
- NetNewsWire (hauling rss feeds around, syncs feeds+read status with web/Mac/Windows clients)
- Google Earth (excellent just as a tech demo)

I like Evernote on the desktop but it's frustrating to use on the Touch -- it doesn't store your notes locally unless you explicitly flag them as "favorites" and if a note has any formatting whatsoever, the iPod/iPhone version can only append to it, not edit it. Unfortunately I haven't found anything else to replace it. Gonna give it a few more weeks hoping for updates before loading all my old content over from Backpack and my dead Palm.

Non-free: Twittelator, FatWatch, and of course Peggle.
posted by Lazlo at 8:15 PM on June 22, 2009

Also, previously.

This question has been asked quite a few times.
posted by karizma at 9:06 PM on June 22, 2009

on iPhone, some may work with iTouch:
- iPeng: I have a squeezebox and this just rocks my world
- Shazam and Midomi
- iSSH
- facebook
- Massive Dev Chart (if u do B&W film)
- BOMradar (if you're in AU)
posted by polyglot at 9:19 PM on June 22, 2009

The DVD Hunter app is amazing! I use the software on my Macbook and it syncs to the DVD Hunter app on the iphone/itouch. I have found it very useful when at the store rummaging through DVD sales and I do not remember what movies I already have.

I also recommend MacGourment's app, it coincides with the MacGourmet Deluxe for the MacBook. You can set meal plans, grocery lists, and have recipes on hand!
posted by penguingrl at 10:00 PM on June 22, 2009

The best reader for larger PDF files is Aji Reader (formerly known as "Annotater"). There is absolutely *no* app on the iPhone that does a better job handling large, complex PDF files than Aji Reader (and God knows I've spent way too much time and money trying them all). I like to carry a huge collection of software manuals on my iPhone (i.e. for Final Cut Pro, Shake, etc...most of which are in excess of 400-600 pages long, with tons of full color graphics), and Aji loads them up instantly, with very little navigational lag.

The company has two versions of the app, a $0.99 reader-only version, and a $3.99 version which allows you to annotate, bookmark and "draw" your own markups onto PDF pages

A distant runner up to Aji is GoodReader, which claims to be specifically designed for large PDFs, but is still nowhere near as fast and stable as Aji Reader. However, GoodReader does have a much superior user interface for general reading and navigation. I like to use GoodReader when I want to read a PDF book in a more traditional linear fashion, where screen refresh/navigational speed isn't as important as the overall user-experience of flipping virtual book pages. Aji Reader is better when you want to quickly find things, and pan/zoom around the pages with minimal lag.

Don't waste your time with Stanza, unless all you care about is reading plain, unformatted text with no images.
posted by melorama at 8:24 AM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

READDLE. I have been using it since a year now. It's absolutely worth the price. PDFs look as good as they look in adobe reader.
posted by tvjoshi at 9:21 AM on June 23, 2009

stone loops of jurassica
star defense
flickr app
any one of the great "now showing at the movies" apps.
posted by talldean at 1:32 PM on June 23, 2009

I got asked in email why I suggested Pocket God. Here's what I wrote:

Well, it would have been much cooler for you if you had gotten in a few months ago, but it's still a cool app.

They update often. Like almost weekly. Each week they add in new features (and sadly take some away). They add ways to reward the islanders, and new ways to kill them.

You can explore the app for quite some time. Turn the iphone upside down. Make it night and tap the moon. Kick three islanders into the volcano. Tap the idol.

They add something new with each update, and I think it keeps it fresh. I would have been bored with it in an afternoon as it is now, but with every update I find myself wanting to know what's been added.

They have a decent blog: http://pocketgod.blogspot.com/

I just like it. It amuses me. I do wish their were more ways to reward the islanders, and I wish their were females.

One review I read chastised the authors for the potty humor (the farts in particular). The developers found it funny that he had no problem with feeding islanders to sharks and throwing them in a volcano, but passing gas was a step too far.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:42 PM on June 23, 2009

BeBot seems pretty fascinating. If your iPhone is jailbroken, there's a port of osu! (itself a PC gameplay remake of the Ouendan series of DS games) in development.
posted by archagon at 1:58 PM on June 28, 2009

Second Bebot (nice to chill out with)
Weightbot (weight tracking)
convertbot (units converter)
Strategery (very addictive!)
posted by mahke at 12:15 PM on July 3, 2009

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