The iPhone is still winning hearts and minds around the world and with the latest version, the 3Gs, it’s now more powerful than ever. Thousands of Apps are available, produced by big companies as well as entrepreneurial individuals looking to be the next thing and they range from incredibly useful down to the downright bizarre. Some great apps are available completely free of charge, whilst others are priced reasonably and can be downloaded quickly via 3G or Wi-Fi. Here’s a brief rundown, in ascending order of the top 10 iPhone Apps available in September 2009. These apps are certainly great, but they might not be useful to everyone and if you’ve got a favourite app that you think has been missed off then join in the debate let everyone else know what you think. The only way apps can improve is through community input and voting with your wallets.
10. Bloomberg – For those financial aficionados out there who can’t stand to be away from a stock ticker for more than a few minutes this app represents the best way to dry the sweat from your beaded brow and chill out. You can watch the stock market, get all the latest financial news straight to your iPhone and access market analysis to keep you ahead of the game. This one isn’t for everyone, but with the exhaustive coverage of the money markets it’s by far the best in its class.
9. Currency – If you’re a regular traveller and you want to keep an up to date eye on how the currencies around the world are faring then this is an ideal app. It’s kept up to date with the latest rates of conversion to ensure you’re always in control of your money at home and abroad. This is a simple program to use thanks to an intuitive interface and is rightly popular in the iPhone App Store.
8. Lonely Planet Mobile Phrasebooks – It can be embarrassing when you travel to a foreign country and that ancient GCSE vocabulary is inadequate to express what you want to say, but this app will save you from floundering. You’ll be able to translate words or phrases from English into tons of foreign languages, including French and Japanese, so wherever your destination you’ll be well covered. As an alternative or in addition to this App you might consider the international dictionary of slag, Ultralingua, which is packed with in excess of 350 000 words from the world’s living languages.
7. Bento – If you’ve not been overly impressed with the business and organisational functions of the iPhone in the past, this is the App to change your mind. It’s the ultimate, all in one organisational package for a business person on the go, incorporating plenty of neat features. First there’s the information tracking and storage that allows you to keep client info in your pocket, then there’s the expenses tracking software so that you always stick to a budget whilst on a trip. There’s also facilities for organising events and creating the to do lists that will help run your life. Whilst there are other apps which perform similar tasks, this is the only way to meld each one into a single app with a simple interface.
6.Yelp – There are already tons of travel information apps available on the iPhone which take advantage of its GPS functionality to let you know about the local area in detail. However, Yelp takes it a step further and adds an important element of community into the mix. You can browse to see which specific services or places are available in your local area, whether it’s a restaurant or a petrol station and then read reviews from knowledgeable locals who’ll give you all the gossip and opinion you’ll need to help you make a decision about where to go and what to do. Individual reviews from people who’ve actually been to the places you’re considering are often far more helpful than any guidebook information and there’s a simple star-rating system so you can quickly scan the lists and get a general consensus about a particular place before reading more indepth. What’s more you can then join in with the community yourself and review the places in your local area or that you’ve visited on your travels, either to promote a hidden gem or redress an overrated restaurant.
5. iPhone Remote – If you’ve already got a home filled with other electronic gubbins made by Apple then you may not realise that you can turn your iPhone into a remote and control various appliances without leaving your seat. Using the Wi-Fi connection built into the iPhone you can access your PC or iMac and control iTunes, particularly useful if you’ve got a media centre PC hooked up to your TV. If you’re a subscriber to Apple’s TV service you can also use this App to control all of the functions such as renting HD movies or enjoying video streaming and podcasts on YouTube.
4. Google Maps – This has been popular for a while, but it’s still one of the most important and useful travel apps you’ll ever download. It includes satellite imagery for the entire earth as well as street view navigation so that you can see where you’re going before you get there. It will also work in tandem with your iPhone’s built in GPS to let you know where you are whenever you need to. Though there’s mapping available as standard with the iPhone this is slightly more feature rich and can be used to give you information on the local area as well as letting you geo-tag photos and add them to the Google Maps data base for other users around the world to enjoy.
3. TravelTracker – It can be a pain keeping tabs on all of your travel information, especially if you’ve planned a long holiday with lots of destinations and travel connections. With TravelTracker you can create an itinerary which you can add to as your plans develop or change and the app will automatically add all the salient bits of info to your iPhone’s calendar. It will also give you by the minute updates on flight information so that you know exactly what issues may arise and whether a flight is delayed. On top of all that it can minimise the stress of packing by letting you create checklists to ensure you don’t forget anything important, which is great for going away and coming home again. Finally it will help you stick to a budget by tracking the spending you do whilst you’re away, provided of course that you keep it up to date with your outgoings. At the moment there’s not a better travel app out there in terms of sheer functionality and it’s all intuitive to use with the iPhone’s touch sensitive display.
2. Yoga Trainer Pro – There are tons of Apps aimed at keeping you trim, but this is perhaps the most interesting and well featured at the moment. Don’t be put off by the ‘pro’ labelling, this is a Yoga app that’s for everyone, with over 70 unique poses from the simple to those only a contortionist would attempt. You can run a session for a set time or just experiment with the individual poses and thanks to the soothing tones of the Yoga Stretch instructor you’ll be guided through the whole process without hurting yourself. Hopefully. Each poses is visually represented as well as described and each is also given its correct name so you’ll learn as you go along if you’re a beginner. This app will probably benefit someone who’s already had a little bit of Yoga experience, though with the popularity of this new age exercise most people will know someone who’s been to a class. As with all the best apps this will benefit you whilst you’re on the move and away from home, letting you keep fit when you’re in a hotel room as well as in your own living room.
1. Chef – Everyone would like to claim to being a good cook, but in reality it can be too much hassle of an evening to wrestle with multiple cook books and pans to produce something healthy. However, with Chef on your iPhone you’ll have access to thousands of recipes created and uploaded by other chef and because the list is always being added to you’ll never be at a loss for food ideas. Perhaps the best function of this app though is the fact that it will create a shopping list for you based on a particular recipe, taking a lot of the sting out of shopping. It’s also easy to find other recipes on line using Chef and you can store all of your favourite on your iPhone for quick access, which in the hectic pace of modern life will be a boon. You can keep any of the recipes you find online and set them as an additional home screen so that they’re available instantly whenever you need them, a particularly neat feature to aid in shopping for the ingredients.