Good apps for the iPhone?
April 4, 2008 5:55 AM   Subscribe

What are some good downloadable apps for the iPhone and where can I find them?

I just bought one 2 weeks ago and I love it, I haven't been too impressed with the apps I have found in the usual locations. Is it just too soon or have any of y'all found any gems? Entertainment, organization or business apps are all good.
posted by psmealey to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Is your iPhone jailbroken? If not, it shouldn't be all that long until the official App Store is along and so you may want to wait. However, if it is jailbroken, seems to keep a list of decent applications (inside the app itself).
posted by xvs22 at 6:11 AM on April 4, 2008

Response by poster: Je ne sais pas ce c'est "jailbreak". // Looks it up.

Ah, ok. Didn't realize. I saw some other threads on this topic, but it didn't mean anything to me. Anyone have any tragedies/successes to share with respect to whether jailbreaking and iPod is worth it or not?
posted by psmealey at 6:56 AM on April 4, 2008

Mine has been jailbroken and unlocked for a while... I used it in Iraq on the local carrier. I used ziphone to unlock it, and it has been smooth as silk. I use it on AT&T here in the US like a good boy.

My favorite couple of apps are the solitaire and the HP calculator emulator you can find in
posted by paschke at 7:04 AM on April 4, 2008

My understanding is that Jailbreaking is completely safe, because you can always remove it by just restoring the firmware in iTunes. Unlocking, on the other hand, is potentially risky, since it may be possible to completely ruin the baseband. I, for the record, do both and love it.

Oh and if you want to Jailbreak, right now the easiest way is the tool at

Applications I use include SwirlyMMS (send/receive MMS messages, still a little shaky at receiving them though), VNsea (VNC client to remote control my desktop), iFlix (netflix client), (NES emulator) and gpSPhone (GBA emulator).
posted by tsmo at 7:48 AM on April 4, 2008

Lots 'n lots about jailbreaking and apps over at Lifehacker. I haven't done it yet myself (for my ipod touch), and at this point will probably just wait for the SDK releases in June-ish.
posted by rtha at 8:39 AM on April 4, 2008

My understanding is that Jailbreaking is completely safe, because you can always remove it by just restoring the firmware in iTunes.

Sorta. I just last weekend decided I'd finally move mine up from 1.1.1 and use the much-vaunted ZiPhone to re-activate/jailbreak it once I was at 1.1.4.

Two hours later, I was done.

My experience may differ from people who went through the legitimate activation process from AT&T, but I have a deathly allergy to being under contract. So when I tried to apply the 1.1.4 upgrade on top of my jailbroken 1.1.1 I feared briefly that I had turned it into the legendary iBrick.

Eventually I was able to install 1.1.1 and then 1.1.4 (after finding out how to force it into recovery mode even before it was activated) and THEN ZiPhone it, so you could claim that it was in fact perfectly safe. However it was a little scary and a lot annoying, and took some persistence and web surfing to find out how to do some things and get an older bios. So be warned: there's multiple values for "perfectly safe."
posted by phearlez at 8:41 AM on April 4, 2008

Jailbreaking allows you to add applications to the iphone through a third party (non-apple) installer. It's a hack...and upgrading the phone in the future (via itunes updates) may cause all the cool apps to disappear. Very reversable.

Unlocking is allowing the use of the iphone on other networks. One way street. Apple is constantly trying to prevent people from unlocking the updating an unlocked phone might result in a non-working phone (bricking the phone.)

I've jailbroken my phone...three times...and it was cool...but each time, as I installed more and got progressively buggier and more frustrating.

I'm waiting the 90 days for the apple itunes store applications.
posted by filmgeek at 10:36 AM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Side question about jailbreaking: if I jailbreak my phone right now - what happens to my notes and safari bookmarks and stuff? do they get restored when I sync after the jailbreak?
posted by soplerfo at 11:08 AM on April 4, 2008

They do get restored. But, do yourself a favour and email yourself all your notes and make sure that your bookmarks are also on your computer. I have unlocked/updated/restored about 30 iPhones, and twice, the restore option didn't restore my notes.

So, it works MOST of the time but not 100%.
posted by smersh at 12:14 PM on April 4, 2008

fantastic! I ran ziphone yesterday and everything went smoothly - all notes and bookmarks restored perfectly. thanks!
posted by soplerfo at 6:14 AM on April 5, 2008

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