Monday, November 24, 2008

Cool iPhone apps

So a friend and his wife just bought iPhones, and we were discussing the coolest apps out there for the phone. There are about eighty trillion, some free, some not. I generally get the free ones because I am cheap, but I will occasionally pay a buck or two for one.

Here are a few of my favorites -- what are yours?

Who is Hot?
Rates your friends, not by looks, but by temperature in their hometown at the moment. I just love this. I guess I'm nosy...I always want to know the weather where my friends and family are!

Zip Code Decoder
Yes, shameless plug...Rob wrote this. But it's still useful, and fun. It works with other programs to tell you the zip code you’re in and the 4 zip codes nearest to you. He wrote it because he works with a number of programs that require a zip code and he's not always in our home zip when he wants to use them. But for some reason, it's also kind of neat to just run it when you're out and about and see where the various zip code boundaries are.

Some people think this goes too far, but for me, it's awesome. If someone on your Loopt list ping you, Loopt tells you where they are, and you can respond by doing the same. Good for spouses who are stuck in traffic.

Grocery IQ/ShopStop
Both are shopping list programs, I think I like Grocery IQ better. I actually have yet to find the perfect grocery list app. It would be cool if I could get one that would let me type in prices at different stores.

Awesome, lets you pick a restaurant by setting cuisine/price/neighborhood and then shaking your phone

For when you're out and about and you just really need to know how badly the Gophers are losing.

Novel little program that lets you put cool filters on your photos so they look like snapshots from 1974, 1962, like they were taken with a Holga or Lolo, or other cool effects.

Update: Someone sent me this link in the comments, but I accidentally rejected instead of approved their comment. Still, looks like a good resource for new iPhone apps: Stored Apps.


Hp0 said...

Shazam - hold up your iPhone to a speaker and it tells you the name and artist of the song playing. I'm always going "What IS that song?" even if I can sing along perfectly. It also tags them if you want to buy them from iTunes. And it's FREE!

Anonymous said...


If you'd like to have an app like Loopt without the weirdness, check out zhiing. It doesn't invite unwanted people into your world, but it easily let's you send, save, reply, and forward your location like you would with email or a text message. It's free.

Anonymous said...

Weatherbug, which is much better than the already-installed weather app.

YouNote, which lets you take a picture, record a voice note, or type a note. Great when you want to remember something while you're out, like the name of a book you just saw or something.

WhitePages, for looking up phone numbers. Includes a reverse lookup, for when you have the number but no name.

Stanza, a book reader, with tons of free books for downloading.

Units. Converts all sorts of measurements, and includes an onscreen ruler.

AOL Radio, and Pandora. The best in free music.

Google app, which lets you search by speaking into the phone.

Instatpaper, so you can save web pages for reading later.

i.TV, which has TV listings, movie listings and times, and lets you organize your Netflix cue.

TerraC said...

I don't have an iPhone but a co-worker does and he downloaded the UrbanSpoon app but it only works in major metropolitan areas such as St. Louis or Kansas City. I'm from SW MO and I have just as hard time deciding where to eat here as the big city folk do, lol. So needless to say he didn't keep that app.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I lived before I had interactive subway map/planner applications on my phone. There are different apps and app makers for different cities, but iTrans has me covered for the NYC subway, PATH, New Jersey Transit, and the DC subway. These are all pay apps.

And then, because Safari on the iPhone is so godawfully crashy, I love apps that give me a more reliable way to access certain websites I use all the time, like's iPhone app, or the very new ICanHasCheezburger/ IHasAHotDog/ FailBlog app, which is pure win, except when it accidentally serves up email icons instead of the actual photos, but I trust this is going to be worked out soon. These apps are free.

I also have a seriously rocking interactive periodic table app that's totally worth whatever I paid for it, but probably nobody else cares :D

Heather said...

I'm loving the Grocery IQ app after using it for a few weeks. The only things I would change:

1) I wish I could run two different grocery lists simultaneously (yes, I'm one of those people who'll go to more than one store to get specific sale items).

2) I wish it had a built-in calculator feature so I could keep a running total as I shop. As it is, I use a separate pocket calculator because it's easier than switching back and forth between Grocery IQ and the calculator on the phone.

Copy Editor said...

Re: The grocery list idea. Doesn't help you, but I saw on Good Morning America that the G1 phone has an app that lets you scan in a bar code, and then it finds out where there is price matching or a better deal.