I’ve just bought an iPhone, now what? Part 1

15 07 2010

So, you’ve done it, you finally taken the plunge and bought yourself an iPhone…congrats. The device you have just bought is one of the best smartphones on the market, but, only when it’s coupled with the best Applications. So, I have taken the time, to prepare a ‘starter kit’, a set of ‘must have’ Applications for every new, and old iPhone owner. I will be covering the 20 App categories, over three posts, and each category will feature three of the best Apps in that genre. To download Applications in this post, click the corresponding App icon. If there is a review on the blog, for an App mentioned below, then there will be a link to it.

Books :

iBooks- Apple’s offering to the eBook market, that has all the hallmarks of a quality Apple product, with the premium price tag for books. The app allows you to highlight, look up words in a dictionary and sync settings and bookmarks across multiple iDevices. iBooks is strangely not part of the iTunes store, but instead, only accessed through the app. The store offers a growing selection of both paid and free books for download. (Free)

Kindle- Access the vast Amazon eBook store, with over 600,000 titles for you to pick from, with a free sample of the first chapter of every book. Amazon is also starting to include additional video and audio content within their eBooks which can be played within the App. Like iBooks you can add notes, highlight words, and Amazon have their own sync service, in the shape of Whispersync. The service acts very much like it’s Apple counterpart, in the sense that it syncs bookmarks, last page read, however the difference between the two is the range of devices you can sync across. iBook allows syncing across iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads only. Whispersync will sync across all the above, as well as, the Kindle program on your Mac, PC or other mobile device, such as Blackberrys. (Free)

Marvel Comics- A new way of experiencing comics, through a beautifully constructed App. The App is free but comes with no content, only the ability to browse through the comic store. Comics are sorted into a number of ways and readers can rate individual comics, just like in the Appstore. Free previews are available, but to add to your electronic collection, you will need to make use of the in App purchasing system. There is also an identical DC comics app, for those who prefer Batman to Ironman. (Free with in App purchasing)

Business :

Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite- When you are away from the Office and your computer, it’s time to turn to your iPhone and the Quickoffice App to make those last minutes changes to that important Word document. The App can work with pretty much anything that you care to throw at it, since it supports a number of file formats, such as DOC,DOCX, PPT, PDF and iWork, just to name a few. You can import files from cloud services such as mobile me, Google docs and Dropbox. The App supports an intuitive and simple interface that helps promote the functionality of the App, with the tools confined to along the bottom of screen, allowing you to focus on your work. The size of the iPhone means that you’re never going to be typing your next novel on it, however for making small alterations and last minute changes, this App is perfect. (£5.99)

Genius Scan- This App turns your iPhone into a pocket scanner. What differentiates this App from a standard camera app is that, Genius Scan has built in page detection. This means that when taking pictures of receipts, whiteboards etc, the app will recognise this and crop out any unwanted background. The App also comes with perspective correction and post processing to ensure that the final image is good enough to view again. (Free)

PDF Reader Pro- Is a multifunctional PDF viewer for the iPhone platform that allows you to upload, scan and view PDFs along with many other file types, such as MS Office files, image files, video and audio files. The App excels at viewing PDFs, with an array of features such as pinch zoom, remembering the last viewed location and bookmarking. The App can pull down PDFs for emails and website and can upload PDF zips files. If you need to view files and documents on the move, then, this App is tailored for you. (£0.59)

Education :

myHomework- Provides a free way for students to track homework, classes and projects across a school year. The user interface is heavily inspired from a school book, with a note pad style background and a hand written style font to match.Once you’ve entered information into the App, tasks can be sorted by day and month, and data can be synced back and forth from the Mac desktop client. (Free)

Cram- The exams are looming, and your revision has taken a back seat as usual, so how do you salvage a respectable grade? Turn to Cram. The App has taken the prompt card format and digitised it for the 21st century. You create flashcards on your iPhone, using text and images. Cram, then does all the hard work by creating tests based on the information that you’ve put in and owners of the Mac desktop application, can import their tests from that, into the App. But that’s not all, the App also ships with a large test database from which you can download thousands of tests, that range from learning a new language to driving tests. (£2.99)

iStudiez Pro- Is a complete planner for students, which covers planning for lessons, assignments and grades.The App has a beautiful interface with individual polished icons to symbolise different tasks and an overall professional feel. iStudiez features a calendar which helps highlights upcoming tasks and a smart today view that automatically displays the upcoming events for that day. Push notifications means that you will never forget that assignment on Karl Marx, and back up functionality means that your data is safe. A must have for all budding students. (£1.79)

Entertainment :

EyeTv- This App is for those of you with an EyeTv, which is a device which allows you to watch and record live TV on your Mac. For owners of the EyeTv, this app really extends the functionality of the device by allowing you to watch live TV, previous recording shows, check the program guide and set up recordings anywhere you go via either WiFi or 3G. (£2.99)

Remote- Most people have come across this Application in their time with an iDevice. The original remote App in the Appstore, that follows the Apple mantra of, ‘just working.’ The App uses your home WiFi connection and works with PC ,Mac and Apple TV, and allows users to control their iTunes library. Users can create and update genius playlists, control music playback and search the library. As mentioned before, you can use this with your Apple TV, to navigate around the interface, instead of using the Apple TV remote. Remote borrows the iPod app interface for playback, with the controls along the bottom and album artwork being displayed. In terms of usability, there is no better way to control your iTunes library from afar. (Free)

RunPee- The idea behind RunPee is to provide weak bladdered moviegoers with some much needed relief by providing them with a massive databases of movies, each with their own ‘Pee times’, in which they can leave momenterially without missing any important parts. Each ‘Pee time’ comes with a basic narration of what you’ve missed and the App ships with a timer, so you know how long you have before you have to dash back in. The App features an enhanced user interface that when compared to the website, makes browsing and viewing content far easier and unlike other websites that have created an app, Runpee is free. (Free)

Finance :

Expenditure- A finances App that focuses around the user interface and simplicity. The interface is based on a calculator, with input being done through the number pad. The App can cover both income and expenses and this is dealt with via two simple buttons, green for income and red for expenses. Users can sort expenses by a number of categories and transactions can even by added in other currencies and the App will convert it. The App also supports photos, so you can upload pictures of receipts as part of your transactions. (£1.19)

Spendometer- A simple finances Application that focus around a giant, ‘spendometer’, that provides a visual key as to how much the user has left to spend. The App features a number of customisable categories to sort your expenses and you can set an overall weekly budget, and individual budget from the categories. Overall, Spendometer makes for a good, but basic, guide for people who want a casual way of tracking their expenses. (Free, scored 4/5 in an Appjudge review)

iXpenseIt- One of the most sophisticated and comprehensive financial Apps on the Appstore, this is not for the faint hearted. The App not only tracks your monthly expenses, but your income as well. IXpenseIt boast a plethora of features such as the ability to set multiple budgets, each with their own sub categories and preset limits. Users can take advantage of their iPhone’s camera and import paper receipts into the App. The App also covers the analytical side of your finances by providing detail graphs that represent monthly expenses and incomes. All of this comes with the safety and security of knowing that your data can be protected by a password, and backed up and restored over WiFi. (£2.99, and free version, with ads and reduced features)

Games :

Flight Control- The first line drawing App for the platform, and arguably the best. The App combines frantic gameplay with intuitive controls that take full advantage of the multitouch screen. Flight Control offers the user a number of different levels, each with their own unique factors and challenges that helps prevent the game from becoming repetitive and easy. (59p, scored 5/5 in an Appjudge review)

Angry Birds- It’s been in the charts for ages and is currently occupying the second position. The App has you playing as a bunch of, you’ve guessed it, angry birds, who are venting their anger at a group of pigs. The oddly coloured green pigs made the mistake of stealing and attempting to eat the bird’s prized eggs.The pigs have taken refuge in fortified protection and over 165 levels, it’s up to you to see their destruction. Your weapon of choice is a catapult and the birds willingly line up to be fired. The levels present increasingly peculiar and harder challenges. (59p)

N.O.V.A- The first quality first person shooter for the iOS platform. Features some of the best graphics on the iPhone with rich 3D environments and a variety of enemies. An important aspect of any game on this platform are the controls, and Gameloft have nailed it with N.O.V.A. The App comes with three different control schemes, however I believe the default setup works the best, with a stick either side of the screen- left controls movement and right controls where you aim. The campaign boasts a solid 13 levels, and players can take on friends via multiplayer deathmatches over WiFi and Bluetooth. (£2.99)

As you can imagine, restricting myself to just three apps per category was very hard. An especially tough category to do this with was the Games category, since the Appstore is blessed with many great games, such as the above mentioned, and others such as Edge.

Got an App that you think should be in here? Let’s hear about it, in the comments section below. Part two of this post is available here. Part three of this post is available here.

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2 responses

16 07 2010
It Box @ All Around the World News

A-PDF PPT to Video…

I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

17 07 2010

Thanks 🙂

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