With the recent release iOS 4 (the new operating system for the iPhone), I’ve been slightly encouraged about the future of Apple – though some of this has been tempered by the lack of impressiveness of the iPhone 4G. In particular, the addition of real multitasking is a winner, along with several subtle but effective improvements in the user interface.
So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a brief list of some of the most clever/entertaining/useful apps I have on my iPhone at the moment. Not that anyone with an iPhone doesn’t already have enough, but it’s a handy reference list if you’re being picky about what to install, or browsing through streams of ratings! I’ve also thrown in a few iPhone/mobile-specific websites that are worth noting.
Information and Utilities
- Wikipedia/Wikipanion – pretty similar, but the former is a new official app, and the latter a slightly more established one
- Wolfram – great native interface for accessing Wolfram Alpha
- Google Earth – touch interface for Google Earth
- Tube Map – map and other utilities for London Underground
- Bloomberg – live updates and news for stocks, bonds, and currencies
- GraphCalc – advanced graphing and calculator for mathematical functions
- RedLaser – scans any bar code using camera and looks up best prices online
- iBooks – official app for downloading and reading books from the Apple store
- Stanza – download and read books, with interfaces for websites like Project Gutenburg
- IMDB – browse and view information about films
- Google Translate (website) – instantaneously translate text between any two languages
- BBC iPlayer (website) – watch recent BBC shows anywhere for free
- TVCatchup Mobile (website) – watch UK FreeView channels anywhere for free
- NYTimes – best news app around, though it doesn’t cover local UK news of course
- BBC News – pretty useful app for UK and World news, though could do with a few usability improvements
- Remote – control iTunes on any computer within the local network
- Files (lite) – local file system for viewing images, Microsoft Office, and other files, can upload from anywhere in local network
- Dropbox – upload and download files from/to your space on the Dropbox.com service
- Facebook – a great (and pretty complete) app for accessing Facebook, also an effective time sink!
- Skype – official Skype app, works alomost exactly like the normal phone app, and completely free
- Messenger – official MSN messenger app
- Google Talk – web app, accessible via the GTalk site
- Colloquy – IRC client
Fun and Games
- Angry Birds
- Physics Free
Note that most of these apps (and all of the websites) are completely free, though a few cost a small amount of money, typically no more than £1 (or $1 in the US, I presume).