A few of my favourite recent iPhone/iPod Touch applications – all very different – all recommended:
- OffMaps is a map browser. It lets you do similar things to the built-in Google maps, but based on OpenStreetMap data (which is sometimes better, sometimes worse, but generally more up to date). However, the reason you might want to use OffMaps is that the Off stands for ‘offline’. If you’re like me, one of the main times you want maps of an area is when you are in another country where roaming data charges are extravagant. With OffMaps you can download the maps for an area in advance and use them when you have data roaming turned off – very handy.
- Glyder. I’m not much of a gamer, but I really enjoyed this, and played it through to the end. It’s a lovely demo of the graphics capabilities of the platform, and a very nice use of the accelerometers as flight controls. Passed quite a lot of time very happily with this.
- RightMove is one of the biggest online estate agents in the UK, listing properties from very many sources. Their iPhone app is brilliant if you’re in an area and think, ‘I wonder how much it would cost me to move here?’. It can use your current location, and with one click list the properties for sale or rent near to you. You can enter an address as well, but that’s not so cute! Very easy to use and very nicely done.
- HereIAm is a simple utility for iPhone users trying to find other iPhone-owning friends. It gets your current location, shows you an estimate of how confidently it knows it, and pops up an email-composing window which includes a link to google maps pinpointing your position. Desktop users clicking the link will get a browser window, iPhone users will get the Maps app. It works fine on my tests and it’s free… it would be nice to be able to preview the location before sending, though – something that should be possible in OS 3.0. But I guess you can just switch to the Maps app for that – it’ll be the same location.
- Now, given that most iPhone apps cost a pound or two, it may seem ridiculous to pay £14.99 for one! It must be pretty revolutionary, right? No, it’s a dictionary. A Collins French-English dictionary, in my case, though they have a variety of other languages available as well. So, yes, this does cost about the same as a nice hardback edition of the same dictionary, but it’s really very good, much quicker to search, and much easier to carry in your pocket. If you look up ‘frog’, it will also give the translations for ‘to have a frog in one’s throat’ and ‘frogman’. It includes verb declensions, it auto-completes searches… well, anyway, I took a deep breath before buying it when going on holiday, and have absolutely no regrets.