Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Six Must-Have Applications For Your iPhone

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Its snazzy touch interface may have grabbed headlines (and forced other manufacturers to look more closely at touchscreens), but perhaps one of the most radical innovations served up by the iPhone 3G is the App Store. This is an online store (accessible from the iPhone as well as through iTunes) from which users can download applications for their iPhones. These apps vary from RSS readers to instant messengers to games. Many of them are absolutely free to download!!!
1. AroundMe
While Google Maps is an excellent application, it does not give you the option to find hotels, cinema halls and other hang-outs near you (unless you are willing to squint at the map, of course). For that you need to try out AroundMe, which uses the location provided by Google Maps to find out key landmarks in your vicinity. These can range from pharmacies and restaurants to parking lots and banks. The information for Indian cities is not as comprehensive as expected!

2. iBowl
iBowl requires to select your bowling ball on the screen, position it, and then — hear this carefully — just move the phone as you would move the ball. To release the ball, you just have to move your finger off a particular onscreen button hey presto, the ball will roll down and crash into the pins at the end of the alley with neat sound effects. It’s not the Wii, but it’s not bad either and is terribly addictive. Keep a firm grip on your phones, though.

3. IM+
Texting is not the iPhone’s strong point, so an instant messenger becomes a necessity for those who want to swap texts. IM+ is perhaps the best option around with its support for MSN, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk and Jabber. It may not be as feature-rich as some of the IMs you get on desktops but it's neat and works at a decent clip. However we wish it would work in the background – the moment one moves to another app, one gets logged out.

4. Midomi
Midomi is an app that identifies any tune that you hum or play before it. So if you are in a mall and are hearing something you like, but cannot remember the artist who composed it, just turn on Midomi and it will identify the artist for you and even give you links to places where one can find the number. It works for Hindi songs too. There are times when it will fail to accurately identify a number, but that will not happen too often.

5. Stanza
With its magnificent 3.5 inch display, the iPhone is perfect for reading not just documents, but entire books. And the app Stanza not only gives you access to a massive database of books (including Project Gutenberg) but also allows you to share books from your computer using Stanza Desktop. We were blown away by the fact that you can turn a page by flicking your finger across the screen.

6. Writingpad
If you find the iPhone’s onscreen keypad a pain, try Writingpad. It’s a simple notepad application with a delicious twist — you can enter words by just running your finger across the letters on the onscreen keypad. It works a lot quicker than the normal keypad as long as there aren’t too many long words. You can even e-mail the text you write, although there is no option to SMS it. Handwriting recognition fans could try out WritePad, though its handwriting recognition is supremely iffy.

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