The iPhone is a pretty amazing piece of technology, but what really makes the iPhone such a hot product is the apps. Maybe one of the hardest things about taking your iPhone out of the shrink wrap and powering it up is deciding what apps you should get.
Unlike the ancient days of computers where you had to go to a store for software, buying an app merely requires downloading it from the app store on your phone (some apps require a wi-fi connection due to file size). Because you don’t want to break the bank, here are the 10 apps we recommend out of the box:
- Redlazer – This is a free app and those are always nice to have on this must-have list. With the addition of a very handy scanner, you can use this app while out shopping to give yourself the edge. When you scan an item in the store, you quickly download all kinds of product information about it. You also get competitive information about where you can buy that item online and what prices you can expect. All of a sudden, your iPhone makes the customer the boss once again in the retail environment.
- Quickoffice Mobile Suite – It is easy to get snotty about people who love the Microsoft suite including Word, Excel and some of the other office products that come with that package. However, that group of programs has powered the business world for a long time. In the spirit of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” this inexpensive app lets you open Microsoft Office programs and perform limited actions on them right on your iPhone. To a mobile business person, this is nothing short of a breakthrough.
- Firefox for the iPhone – This is another step to bring the comfort of desktop applications to the iPhone world. The Mozilla people who pretty much took over the browser world now hand out for free an app to be able to use the Firefox browser interface on your iPhone.
- Star Walk – What if you could navigate the heavens for $3? This must-have app lets you simply point your iPhone at the sky and if you have a clear view of the stars, it can map and explain everything you are looking at. This is one that you have to see to believe that it can actually work and even then you will be in awe.
- Urbanspoon – Many PC users already have this website bookmarked because it is one of the very best places to learn about local restaurants. You get not only what they serve, their themes and prices, you get reviews so you can make up your own mind whether to give your evening over to a night of dining there or not. This is a must-have app for the iPhone that is a slam dunk.
- Angry Birds – This one game has become a watchword for addictive iPhone games. It should come with a warning that you can get the app for $1, but if you get hooked and download the full version, you addiction will only worsen.
- Evernote – With so many digital tidbits floating around your iPhone, this free app lets you bring them all together. You can take a picture, create a caption or note for it, make a voice track for it, and synchronize all of that with your browser and your desktop. By the time you get done, you have a complete digital package to pass to your computer or to upload to the website of your choice, and you did it all right on your iPhone.
- Pandora – Do you ever wish that there was a radio station that only played music you liked? Well Pandora does just that. You can customize different stations to suit your mood based on artist, song, or composer. Pandora uses an algorithm to find other similar artists and plays those. And, if you don’t like one of the songs that plays, merely hit the “thumbs down” sign and it will avoid songs like it.
- Histamatic – In these days of graphics processing and the ability to do amazing things with pictures, it makes sense to have a powerful app on your iPhone that can empower you to clean up, make gorgeous or just have fun with the pictures you take. Histamatic does the trick.
- Google for the iPhone – Never to be outdone, if you can get Firefox on the iPhone, Google is not going to be left out. It’s a free app, of course, so you can cooperate with Google's quest to conquer the world, one computer and iPhone at a time. But who can deny them when all of us want to be able to “Google it” anywhere we are? This app makes that possible.