iPhone apps

Dear Lazyweb,

This is the part where you tell me about cool iPhone apps that I would like. Go.

I already have: OpenTable, Taxi Magic, Now Playing, Apple Remote, Shazam, Facebook, Google Earth, Photoshop Mobile, Katamari Lite, Sol Free, Twitterific, Wikipanion, and AIM.

Other questions:

  • Is the official AOL AIM app the one to use? Isn't there something that integrates SMS and AIM into one app? And that also speaks Jabber? It's weird that Apple's bundled messaging app doesn't do this.
  • What's the closest thing to Bubbels?
  • What's the best Tetris?
  • What's the easiest way to convert MP3 snippets to ringtones?
  • Can I make it stop asking me to confirm every time an app wants to know my location, and just always assume "yes"?
  • Does the mail reader really have no "mark all read" or "delete all" commands?
Tags: , , , ,

91 Responses:

  1. ckd says:

    I don't do enough IM on the phone to need anything more than the AIM Free edition, so I have no useful opinions there.

    MP3 snippets to ringtones? Probably iToner. (I use Garageband, but I haven't done enough of them to make it worth the $15 to save the effort.)

    I think if you keep telling it "yes" for a given app that it will stop asking after 2 or 3 times.

    Flight Control and Strategery are my two current addictions.

  2. wetzel says:

    Note: I know nothing about what can be done via jailbreaking. Consider all these answers as prefaced by "Without jailbreaking, ..."

    > Is the official AOL AIM app the one to use? Isn't there something that integrates SMS and AIM into one app? And that also speaks Jabber? It's weird that Apple's bundled messaging app doesn't do this.

    I find the official AIM app unstable and frustrating to use. Unfortunately, 3rd party apps have no way of accessing your SMS messages, so you can't escape Messages. I use IM+, which costs money, and has a slghtly clunky UI, but it's not as awful as the official AIM app, and it does support Jabber.

    > Can I make it stop asking me to confirm every time an app wants to know my location, and just always assume "yes"?

    No.

    > Does the mail reader really have no "mark all read" or "delete all" commands?

    Correct.

    • pallmalls says:

      IM+, which costs money, and has a slghtly clunky UI, but it's not as awful as the official AIM app, and it does support Jabber.

      It also does all other major chat protocols (except IRC*) including Twitter. There is also a free IM+ Lite. Beware of most of the other multi-protocol chat clients (especially the free ones). They all seem to use a proxy instead of talking to the real servers, and I don't hand my passwords over to just anyone.

      And I absolutely have to recommend Archon. It's not Tetris, but it is a faithful port of the classic, with shiny new graphics.

      * I use Colloquy for that

      • assbarn says:

        They all seem to use a proxy instead of talking to the real servers, and I don't hand my passwords over to just anyone.

        They all do this, and there's no getting around it, at least if you want push notifications.

        Their servers act as the client to the IM system, so that they can receive messages while the app is not running on your phone and push notifications to it. I don't think any of the IM services support an authentication scheme like OAuth, so they need your password to log in. They might not store it on their servers, but you have no idea if they do or not, and have no idea as to their trustworthiness.

        The IM story on the iPhone is incredibly shitty, and although I have complaints about my Android phone (the MyTouch 3G), instant messaging definitely isn't one of them.

  3. greyhame says:

    TouchCalc is vastly superior to the built-in calculator, though there may be other good calculator apps. TouchTerm is an OK SSH client (though again there may be better ones). The Frotz port is pretty nice and has an integrated browser for downloading games; there's also a Rogue port. Stanza is a good, free, e-book reader, though FileAid lets you transfer files directly from your computer.

    • strangedave says:

      +1 to all of this. iSSH is another ssh client that is worth checking out. Stanza is excellent. PCalc is another good calculator.

    • riffraff says:

      PCalc++, and also check out m48 for RPN calculator goodness, especially if you're fond of the HP 48 graphing calculator (it's free, but do donate to the author's paypal for his good UI effort).

      While we're on the subject of calculators, Spacetime is a nice Mathematica-like CAS that's also got desktop versions, it's not cheap (~$30, but it's worth it).

      Things is a nice to-do list/GTD app that has a companion desktop program.

      Also, Simplenote is a great no-frills note app that syncs with a webapp so you can get your notes on the go or off a (password protected) web page... think Notational Velocity for the iphone and you've pretty much got simplenote. But DO set up an account when you first run it (otherwise your notes will be deleted and not synced when you finally do set up an account... which sucks).

      Also, totally buy Space Invaders Infinity Gene for $5. Rez for the iphone, truly.

  4. yan_1976 says:

    iUse:
    urbanspoon
    chess with friends
    echofon (twitter client)
    skype
    speed test
    bump
    TUAW
    mover
    ...and of course my app i mentioned in your previous post:)

  5. jmissig says:

    > Can I make it stop asking me to confirm every time an app wants to know my location, and just always assume "yes"?

    No, but it will only ask you twice for each app. After that you will not be asked again.

    > Does the mail reader really have no "mark all read" or "delete all" commands?

    No, "Edit" mode is the closest there is.

    > Is the official AOL AIM app the one to use? Isn't there something that integrates SMS and AIM into one app? And that also speaks Jabber?

    No, there isn't an app that will consolidate SMS. The official AIM app is rather crappy. BeejiveIM isn't perfect, but it does AIM and Jabber and actually supports things like, you know, tapping on links in messages, so it's what I use for now.

    ---

    Other apps to look at:
    Tweetie 2 instead of Twitterrific (though I know you're not a big twitter person).
    TV Forecast (if you watch TV not time-shifted)
    Locavore (when are local foods in season?)
    iBART/iCaltrain
    Starmap (has GPS+Compass support for seeing what's where)
    Deliveries (syncs with the Dashboard widget)

    Games:
    Space Invaders Infinity Gene
    Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor
    Edge
    Frenzic
    Fieldrunners

  6. giles says:

    I'd second Tweetie 2. I want to like Twitteriffic but I always find myself wanting to do something it doesn't do that Tweetie does. Do.

    Also, Zen Bound. It's a game. It's sort of like Katamari. Except with creaky ropes. And no scary royalty. And it's not much like Katamari at all really.

    And yeah, AIM is a disaster. I wind up just forwarding it through my SMS at the server because I get sick of their stupid app logging out and texting me to tell me to log in and get my IMs. I'd almost miss my sidekick... except Microsoft would've just lost all my data.

  7. jered says:

    * iStockManager - since I have a TD Ameritrade acct
    * Sonos - since I have a Sonos
    * Last.fm - about 10x better that Pandora
    * Simplify Music 2 - access to remote media library
    * Handshake - exchange contacts, photos, etc w/nearby iPhones
    * Shazam - music recognition, though Midomi seems better
    * Midomi - see above
    * Yelp - Useful, even if morally questionable
    * Kindle - since I have a (etc)
    * Scrabble - connects with Facebook games. Terrible addiction.
    * TouchTerm SSH
    * MochaVNC
    * Drinkspiration by Absolut - surprisingly good cocktail resource
    * i.TV - TV schedules, controls my TiVo remotely
    * Zipcar - since I have a (etc)
    * Crayon Physics - addictive game, and they've fixed the bugs
    * Enigmo, Trism, Civilization Revolutions - see last item

    • What makes Last.fm better than Pandora in your mind? I sure do love my Pandora app, but I'm open to changing my mind.

      • jered says:

        Two things:

        1) (less important) Last.fm gives me more information, such as bios, related artists, and tour dates.

        2) The music selection from last.fm seems significantly broader than Pandora. When I listen to Pandora, I feel like I'm being aggressively sold on their sponsors, and rarely discover recent new (small) bands. When I listen to last.fm I find significantly more stuff that's new to me.

        They both have their niches, I suppose. Pandora is less likely to give me something I don't like, but also less likely to give me something I'm not already familiar with.

    • riffraff says:

      out of curiosity, why do you say Yelp is morally questionable?

  8. scullin says:

    > What's the easiest way to convert MP3 snippets to ringtones?

    Maybe not the easiest, but using all off the self components, since I gather you're running Snow Leopard:

    0) From iTunes "Show in Finder"
    1) Open MP3 in Quicktime Player
    2) Trim clip to something < ~40 seconds
    3) Save As: iPhone
    4) Rename m4v to m4r
    5) Drag back to iTunes
    6) Sync

    • thargol says:

      So the iphone doesn't just let you say "use this MP3 as my ringtone", then? Ye gods. 2004 called. They'd like their technology back. Yet another reason why I'll be sticking with Nokia for the foreseeable future.

      As for iphone apps, how about Grindr? I have no idea if jwz is the target audience or not :-)

      • keimel says:

        It's certainly not a question of 'technology' but of licensing and stupid and making the RIAA feel like they have say in the matter. "Buy a ringtone" exists and works fine, if you want to. But as above, you can do it manually for anything, which is great, cause I choose no ringtones that are easy to make.

        Technology isn't in the way on this one, asshattery is.

      • jmtd says:

        I think it's a purposeful barrier to encourage people to pay for ringtones. It's sufficiently non-appley that I suspect it was one of several deal-breaking compromises with the telecoms industry.

        I wouldn't let the minor inconvenience of transcoding and renaming files stop you considering a handset.

        • thargol says:

          Transcoding is easy enough, and doesn't in itself put me off getting an iphone. It's Apple's "No, friend citizen, that's not what you want to be doing" attitude that puts me off. I really dislike the lack of control I'd have.

  9. lx says:

    +1 to Beejive. It does AIM, Jabber, a ton of other protocols I don't use, and supports IMs by push notification for a configurable time period.

    As far as MP3 clips to ringtones, I've had success just converting my clip to AAC (in iTunes, or whatever) and then simply re-naming the file to .m4r and importing that. It gets seen as a ringtone. Only caveat is that it needs to be 30 seconds or less or it won't even open in iTunes.

  10. rpkrajewski says:

    NetNewsWire ("Pro" version is reduced for a limited time)

    Skype

    Convert (unit and currency conversion, also a calculator, very slick)

    Corbeau (ransom note writer - well, my kids like it !)

  11. cetan says:

    In discussions I've glanced at regarding the "60 days and counting" approval process that Trillian's iPhone App is going through, people have mentioned BeeJive ($10) as a great solution. On the surface it appears to do what you need but I'd be curious if any other readers here have used it.

  12. Bubbels has strange play dynamics. You probably want Snood (http://bit.ly/snoodiphone) for the "shoot colerful objects at a descending wall of the same" genre, but Bubbels strangeness make me wonder if I'm missing something.

  13. thorfinn says:

    http://thorfinn.dreamwidth.org/46091.html has my iPhone fu list.

    Fring is what you want.

    Bubbels and Tetris I dunno.

    Mp3 snippets to ringtones, there's a googleable procedure. It's fiddly to do manually, but probably some handy applescript could be crafted. There are a variety of small payware apps to do the right thing, but why pay? :-)

    If you confirm an app twice for Location Services, the iPhone remembers it and you don't need to confirm again.

    And yeah, the Mail app doesn't have that. "Edit" will give you a list where you can move and delete once you tick each thing, but it's annoying... and Mark All Read just doesn't exist at all. Probably the biggest annoyance with the iPhone Mail app, yes. OTOH, if you need a real mail client, you have a real computer.

    • rane500 says:

      The irritation really kicks in when you - for better or for worse - have your work e-mail tied into the phone and you typically get a lot of mail. Of course, the iPhone never claimed to be a Blackberry and to be honest I'm just ecstatic that it ties into Exchange as well as it does.

    • fantasygoat says:

      What I don't understand is why hasn't someone written a better one?

      Thunderbird for iPhone?

      • freiheit says:

        Why hasn't somebody written a better iPhone mail client? Because Apple won't allow apps that compete with the built-in apps.

      • thorfinn says:

        I'm guessing that either or both of:

        1. Would not be approved

        2. Why bother? Nobody's going to pay for an app that Apple provide for free... even if the Apple one isn't entirely uber, it's pretty close to sufficient.

  14. deviant_ says:

    Can I make it stop asking me to confirm every time an app wants to know my location, and just always assume "yes"?

    Thankfully, it counts responses on a per-app basis and stops asking after a couple of times.

    In terms of handy apps:
    - listwrangler - easy checklists, shopping lists, etc.
    - birdfeed - twitter
    - shizam - sends FFTs to some database to identify music
    - snapture - better than the built-in camera
    - the public radio player - npr
    - i.tv - tivo remote control ;)
    - accufuel - if you've got a car and think tracking your mileage is worthwhile
    - flight status - what its name says
    - seismometer - just neat, that's all
    - call a cab - what its name says
    - amazon.com - amazon.com, organized a little better for a phone

  15. It's not Tetris per se but Booty Blocks is a good clear-the-falling-blocks game - starts deceptively easy then rapidly gets challenging.

    I am liking Tweetie 2 way better than Twitterific.

    Seconding the recommendation of Zen Bound.

    • jorm says:

      There was a game called "Tris" - a perfect tetris clone - that was in the app store for a limited time and I snagged a copy of it. It might be still available through the Undiscovered Country, but they pulled it out of the app store.

  16. jorm says:

    "Bookworm" is the total bomb.

    I like the yelp app, but not because of, you know, "yelp", but because there a cool "monacle" mode if you have a 3Gs that does some nifty "virtual world" overlays through the camera. Check it out; it's free, you can delete it if you hate it.

    My Dark Masters have a solid version of Sim City up there. It's slow to load but still a lot of fun to play.

    (Skip the Sims 3, though).

    Photoshop Mobile is useful, as are several camera apps: QuadCamera, ToyCamera, NightCamera.

    I'm a big fan of Rummikub, and there is a version called Romi in the app store.

  17. jorm says:

    Oh, yeah. The ringtone thing:

    In iTunes, take any MP3, and export it to m4a. Find the file in your library, copy it and rename the extension to .m4r. Import that back to iTunes; add it to the ringtone library.

  18. skywaterblue says:

    People got to the most useful apps, so I'm going to do some games.

    Zen Bound: already mentioned up-thread, you shibari wrap wooden blocks. The rope spreads paint over the shape - to win you must cover a significant portion. This sounds boring but it's actually really challenging in a spatial orientation way and I find myself losing hours to it.

    Flight Control: it's a game where you have to keep planes from crashing into each other, by guiding them to the right runway with your finger. Lately I also like Lion Pride, which is in the same path trace genre, but in this one you're in charge of lionesses and you have to guide them to prey.

    Rolando: action-adventure sidescroller, with funky cartoon graphics. You have to guide the Rolandos, little ball people, around the map by tilting the iPhone around - obviously based off those metal ball mazes.

    There are 'lite' versions of all these, so try before you buy.

    For art, no one's mentioned Brushes. I'm fucking miserable at it, but there's a flickr stream full of people making amazing art with it.

  19. endico says:

    Dictionary (free)
    http://dictionary.reference.com/apps/iphone

    Tweet deck (free)
    http://tweetdeck.com/iphone/
    This is good if you repeatedly do a lot of searches.

    Comics ($.99) + comics
    http://www.comxcomics.com/news/?p=151
    Kindle for comics. It does a decent job of displaying comics on a tiny screen. The reader is only a dollar but you have to pay for the comics. There are free ones but you need to pay to finish reading the series. Or use it to preview new stuff and then buy the paper version.

    I, Robot (free)
    http://www.robotcomics.net/
    A comic version of Doctorow's short story. Well worth the money.

    Stanza (free)
    http://www.lexcycle.com/
    I thought reading books on the iphone would be extremely painful but its not so bad. Its actually a nice way to read in bed since you can read with the lights off. Definitely worth the price.

    Ramp Champ ($1.99) + extra levels
    http://rampchamp.com/
    A skee-ball game with gorgeous artwork.

  20. solarbird says:
    • Just Light - all it does is turn the screen white. Turn up the backlight and it's a convenient emergency flashlight.
    • Distant Suns - It's astronomy and fun.
    • Ocarina - Play the iPhone like an ocarina. I really enjoy it. ^_^
        And yet another Beejive user here - I use it and it's the best I've found but jesus fuck it can be slow, at least on my first-generation iPhone. It likes flipping to landscape mode way too much - it's way too sensitive to tilt - and flipping back to portrait takes forever, for no reason whatsoever that I can tell.
  21. lemonkey says:

    You can use Garageband to easily convert an MP3 to ringtone since this method allows you to more accurately create loops, etc.

    1) Import into a new track
    2) Drag the loop in/out markers to form the loop
    3) Share -> Send ringtone to iTunes
    4) Sync

  22. jon says:

    Instapaper is fantastic if you like to read web articles on your phone. Here's a good video demonstration:

    http://blog.instapaper.com/post/217259381

  23. obreerbo says:

    Here's how I converted MP3 snippets to ringtones under Windows:

    1. Run a converter on the .mp3 snippet file to convert it to .m4a format. I used something called the Agree Free Converter to do this.
    2. In Explorer, rename the file so it has an .m4r extension. It will prompt "Are you sure you want to do this?" Of course we're sure.
    3. You cannot directly drag-and-drop the .m4r files into iTunes, but, if you right-click them in Explorer and select "Play," they will be slotted into iTunes' Ringtones folder and played. From there, they will sync across to the iPhone.

    Similar steps should work on the Mac.

    • obreerbo says:

      Apps:

      RssRunner for following blogs.
      A free "To Do's" app fills in part of the "PDA" functionality that's missing.
      AppBox Pro has over a dozen useful things in one app, and it's cheap.
      Camera Genius is a better camera app than the Camera app.
      Passwords stores all my passwords, encrypted, protected by a master PIN number. Invaluable.
      If you like Pandora, they have an app.
      TouchTerm acts as a good jackleg SSH client if you need one.
      AT&T's own myWireless app helps in managing your account (yeuch, I know).
      Bookworm is one of my favorite games, though I've tried Flight Control, Zaptap, and Tap Tap Revenge, too.
      Oh, and you absolutely must try out PeeMonkey, at least the free version. It's truly sick and twisted.

  24. wtfwtf_ok says:

    Facebook
    Rhapsody
    Zipcar
    geoDefense - Fun, a few minutes to play any level, and I'm still working on a few of the over 30. Because the original took me a while to warm up to, I won't yet pass judgement on "Swarm", the sequel.
    LOLCats
    Dropbox

    • rane500 says:

      I *love* geoDefense so I bought Swarm instantly on faith, and I like it...but I feel like it's definitely a bit harder to wrap my head around.

    • pete23 says:

      have finally finished both geodefense and geodefense swarm. probably the best playtime per cent games i've found to date.

      other essentials for me: pcalc, oblique strategies (an iPhone version of eno's idea generating flashcards... hmmm, might be a niche thing), strategery. all the other must have stuff is UK specific (ocado for shopping, tube and rail network apps).

  25. spoonyfork says:

    Other than what has already been mentioned more than once...

    The Weather Channel - weather app (free)
    Fandango - movie show times, location aware (free)
    What's On - TV listings (free)
    Lux Touch - Risk game (free)
    Galcon Lite - addictive real time Risk-like game (free)
    geoDefense - tower defense strategy game ($0.99 best money I spent on an app)
    RDP Lite - remote desktop control (free) for those of us that have to use Windows :(

    Configuration tips...
    Setting fetch to hourly really helped with my battery consumption issues.
    If you travel internationally (even to Canada) turn off data roaming. Yikes!

  26. Instapaper Pro(worth paying the upgrade to pro)
    Files Lite (turns iphone into file server you can transfer stuff to and from with little hassle)
    Stanza (kicks every other reader's ass)
    ShopShop (simple, no-nonsense list maker, easy to edit and use)
    Crosswords (limitless crossword puzzles! from around the world)
    TapDefense (tower defense game with demons and lawyers)
    Urban Spoon (shake it, get food recommendations)
    Suicide Girls (completely useless, but entirely entertaining widget from the site of same name)

  27. rane500 says:

    I'm an app addict, 7 pages and counting - but I can sum up the useful ones easily enough:

    • at&t myWireless - pay/view your bill
    • The cart site ones...Paypal, eBay, Amazon.com, etc
    • NPR Addict
    • Pandora
    • LiveJournal
    • BlogPress ($3, but it interfaces with everything. I don't like the LJ support though, no security groups, etc)
    • AccuWeather
    • Files lite - free 200 meg WebDAV server with a good built in viewer for docs, etc. Since, you know, you can't copy/sync ordinary files. Thanks Apple!
    • FreeMindLite - cumbersome, but a fun geek toy.
    • Flickd - direct access to upload pics to Flickr, but you do have to specifically link and grant access.
    • BargainBin and/or AppMiner - the app store is ponderous, filled with crap, and the popularity weighting sucks. These are two apps that sort apps in ways that are actually useful, like "show me every free app posted in the last three days."
    • geoDefense ($2, but there's a free "lite" version) - Best tower defense game EVER.
    • Strategery ($2, but there's a free "lite" version) - Two words: Dice Wars.
  28. danomite55 says:

    - FStream (for streaming any internet radio)
    - ConvertBot (most awesome unit converter ever)
    - Ramp Champ (very addictive, beautiful carnival-type games)
    - Wikipanion (a must-have to settle bets)
    - TED (so you have stuff to watch when you're bored)
    - FAIL Maker (for mocking)

  29. dr_memory says:

    Other apps you need:

    iWant
    FourSquare
    MuniApp or Routsey SF
    iBART
    Pandora
    1Password
    Flickr
    Paypal
    Rooms (IRC client)
    Night Camera
    Frotz (Infocom-and-other text games)

    To answer the other questions

    1. Ugh, not sure. Why there isn't an iChat for the iPhone is something of a mystery to me.
    2. Bubbels: no clue.
    3. Tetris: no clue.
    4. Ringtones: load the mp3 into GarageBand, select a loop, click 'send ringtone to iTunes'. (It's slightly more involved than that but not by much; tutorials abound.)
    5. Location confirmations: no, but you only have to click "yes" once or twice per app, then it decides you really mean it.
    6. Um. Maybe?

    • kingfox says:

      I'll second the Foursquare recommendation. Made by the creators of Dodgeball (after Google bought it and ran it into the ground), it's a way to summon friends when you want to. Check in to a location, it lets your friends know where you are if you want.

      Bonus over Dodgeball, it has a scoring system, achievements, mayoralship, and all the gaming elements that appeal to the Pokèmon collector nature. And some businesses offer incentives with it (free or discount drinks, etc).

    • elusis says:

      have you tried Now Arriving for bus times? I don't bus often so I'm not that savvy about Muni/AC Transit and any help I can get is awesome. Just wondering what the advantage of your recs is over Now Arriving?

      • dr_memory says:

        Haven't tried nowarriving. All of the Muni/BART/ACTransit apps scrape their data from the same sources, so I suspect they're largely equivalent -- the primary advantage of MuniApp is that it will use the iPhone GPS to figure out which lines/stops are actually nearest to you.

  30. divergio says:

    TapExpense is a useful program for keeping track of daily spending. It's the app I use most often, and it makes the process painless with it's quick interface. It also has in-app graphing features, so you can actually use the data to help you make decisions.

  31. artkiver says:

    I have several friends who seem very very addicted to http://www.orbital-game.com/

  32. igeeo says:

    For IM : Fring is great and free, and it support Voip/SIP.

    And one more +1 for Stanza !

    I've compiled some of the best iPhone apps here : http://productivebydesign.free.fr/index.php/productivity/top-15-productivity-apps-for-iphone-part-1-267

  33. hasimir says:

    Well, there's Cluck It! a cheap little Frogger-like game made by morganjaffit and a few other former Pandemic employees.

  34. spike says:

    Prowl lets you send arbitrary push notifications to your iPhone from a perl script on your computer. Or from Ruby. Or using curl. Or whatever. Basically a CLI / https interface to sending any push notification you like. Fully integrated into 'growl', so that selected growl notifications can also be automagically pushed to the iPhone, like "IF my Mac has been idle for 60 minutes AND Transmission finishes a torrent, send notification to my phone."
    Must-have for a gluejob tinkerer.

    And then:
    Photogene is substantially better than "Photoshop.com" for fixing the lighting on iPhone camera pictures, etc.
    WiFiFoFum is a decent wifi scanner.
    "Ping" (not "Ping!") is a decent ping and traceroute tool.
    TouchTerm for ssh and VNC for vnc, as needed.
    SkyVoyager for stargazing and astronomy.
    Grocery IQ for the grocery shopping list.
    Flixster for movies.
    Geocaching for geocaching.
    PayPal for paypal.
    Flickr for flickr.
    geoDefense (and GD Swarm) for sucking your life happily away.
    WunderRadio is a pretty good Internet radio directory-and-streamer, PLUS it has a nice feature where if a given stream is playable in QuickTime (ie, MP3 streams), it can hand off the playback to a newly-opened mobile Safari page, which then lets you USE OTHER APPS WHILE THE STREAM KEEPS PLAYING. Nice work-around. Also has good directory of police scanners etc, so you can listen to the Reno Police radio chatter as 40,000 burners exit Black Rock City. For example.

    Layar for a fun "Augmented Reality" demo for grown-ups.

    Fairy Trails is the same demo, but for kids. I swear, if my daughter finds any more fairies in my house I'm going to call the freakin' exterminator.

  35. scorpionis says:

    Post from this week detailing my favorite iPod/iPhone apps:
    http://scorpionis.livejournal.com/786592.html

    I hated the Mail app: I directed everything into Gmail and use Safari to surf to Google. The Calendar app isn't much better: again, I use Google. I *think* you can make it stop asking for GPS confirmation: it would be in the settings. And we thought the genuine Tetris made the best Tetris. At least my 6-year-old did anyway. :) And I know there are several chat clients for the device but chat's not my thing so I don't know which is best.

    Have fun!

  36. Long time lurker, first time poster, yadda yadda.

    Seeing as you're asking, it'd be criminal on my part not to mention my new puzzle game (which it seems is the sort of game you're into) that I released last Friday.

    Chromodyne

    Seeing as who you are and all, if you'd rather not drop a buck on a relatively unknown game, if you'd like I can shoot you a promo code for it.

    Anyway, do let me know what you think!

  37. jmtd says:

    I use very few apps. In particular, apps which are essentially an iphone-formatted web view seem pointless to me. Amazon, Ebay, Facebook etc. all format their site in the browser in an accessible way. The three I would say are the most useful are:

    1. Airshare - amazed nobody else has mentioned this yet. Airshare is a WebDAV server (so you can drop files onto your phone across a wifi network). It can also be used to browse and play files stored on the phone. It can play anything quicktime can handle (music, video etc.) and various office file types too. Oh, it looks like "Files lite" does basically the same thing for free (although I got airshare for free at some promotional point in time) albeit with a filesize limit.
    2. Stanza - mentioned by many others already.
    3. Shazam - find out what a playing song is.

    I haven't really tried many games, but a few notable ones:

    1. doom - expensive, fun, short.
    2. minigore - cheap, cute "The Killing Game Show" / run-and-gun style game.

    "tris", sadly not available anymore, was the only decent Tetris clone last I looked. The official one is terrible. I am yet to investigate sim city or civilisation which look promising.

  38. dplex says:

    I've not seen this mentioned here yet, but you can delete messages from your iPhone's mail inbox (without having to go into edit mode) by swiping your finger across them from right to left.

    Though it's not "delete all" by any means, it is a bit faster.

  39. ctakahara says:

    For IM, I use Beejive. It combines all the same things that Adium or Pidgin does - AIM, Jabber, MSN, Gtalk, etc.

    Easiest way to convert MP3 snippets to ringtones is to convert them to AAC using iTunes or your other tool of choice, and change the file extension to ".m4r".

    For most apps, it will only ask you once if you want it to use your location. I've had some apps ask me multiple times, though; the most notorious offender of this, for NO apparent reason, is that stupid T-Pain auto-tuner app. I don't know why it needs to know my location, I just want to make myself sound overproduced, damn it.

    > Does the mail reader really have no "mark all read" or "delete all" commands?

    Correct.

  40. perlguy9 says:

    I'll throw in my hat for Tweetie 2 for Twitter client, along with:

    Beejive for IM is awesome. Two best games: Orbital and GeoDefense Swarm.

    You can create ringtone snippets in iTunes.

  41. avgarrison says:

    If you like engineering/physics type games, then you should check out BridgeBasher.

    From its website:
    BridgeBasher lets you design a bridge and then destroy it. Powered by a sophisticated physics engine, BridgeBasher realistically simulates your bridge reacting to destructive forces in real-time.

  42. cnoocy says:

    I don't have an iPhone, but I do know that the Atari 2600 game Adventure was once and may still be available for it.

  43. Oh I was just reading this:
    1. The bad decision Blocker- keeps you from Drunk dialing
    2. Email 'n walk- So the camera goes on, and you type over a pic of whatever is in front of you
    3.ATM hunter
    4. Run Pee- which tells you at which point in a movie to go pee so you don't miss any action
    5. Red Laser- scan barcodes and find out if it's cheaper elsewhere nearby

  44. roninspoon says:

    Some that I've not seen mentioned so far.

    Evernote - This is a really superb note app. Make text, photo and voice notes on your phone, they get synched to a server. There are clients for many popular smart phones, as well as Mac and Windows, and it has a browser based client. They all synch up like you'd expect and all notes are text searchable, even photos that include text, by some kind of magic. The free version has upload thresholds, but I use it all the time and have not reached them. The free version is supported by minimally invasive ads in the desktop clients, but not on the phone clients.

    NPR Mobile - This is one of the best news readers I've found. I really wanted to like the similar AP Mobile app, but it's terrible. The NPR app does just what it claims to. It has a news feed and lets you stream NPR programs. Free.

    Word Ace - This is one of the most entertaining and original games I've found for the iPhone. It's a card game that uses Texas Hold Em rules with cards that have letters instead of numbers. Make words with the cards. Highest scoring word wins the hand. It appears to use similar scoring and dictionary to Scrabble. Also free.

    Since you don't use google applications and don't have a google account, I don't know that the google app is worth your time. It does have voice search that works pretty well, but it opens search results in its own browser at first, as opposed to Safari, that doesn't have rotation. Frankly, the search bar in Safari works just as well.

  45. logic_lj says:

    What, nobody mentions Cydia? ;)

    Seriously, jailbreaking isn't a big deal, and gives you a few useful things, depending on your degree of geekiness:

    • The terminal implementation is pretty decent if that's your thing. But, see below about TouchTerm.
    • Hivemind Voice ("GV Mobile"). I can probably guess your level of interest in it, but I find it useful. ;)
    • SBSettings, plus a host of plugins to go with it. Basically, an accessible-anywhere pop-up menu of common things, like brightness adjustment, 3g/egde/wi-fi enable/disable, process lists, respring/reboot, etc, from within whatever app you're already working with. You may have noticed the lack of multi-tasking already. :p
    • Carrying on from that: Backgrounder. Not all apps behave correctly with this (although most do); it gives you rudimentary app backgrounding capability, along with a visual hint for apps that are running in the background.
    • iFile. A decent visual file manager. Nuff said.
    • AdBlock. Apparently uses Adblock Plus block lists under the hood, works exceptionally well.
    • Winterboard. Only matters if you're a fan of eye candy/theming.

    For app store applications:

    • TouchTerm. Great SSH app.
    • Mocha RDP Lite. Only matters if you need an RDP client, but I've been pretty happy with this one.
    • Tweetdeck. Meh, it's a twitter client, but not bad.
    • AccuWeather or The Weather Channel, because the default weather app sucks.
    • Chipotle. Mmm.
    • Flixster; better than some of the alternatives. High praise, I know. Others I've used are Showtimes, Fandango, i.TV (also has TV listings).
    • Pandora or Last.FM; pick one. :) Also, the "Public Radio Player" is interesting.
    • Solebon. I played the free version (Sol Free) enough that I felt I needed to give the author a couple of bucks for the full version.
    • Facebook, Flickr, etc, etc. Everyone's got an app for their social site-de-jour. Most of them also have a perfectly usable web interface.

    I'd like to recommend LockBox, but I lost a large number of passwords thanks to it, so I can't. I'd like to recommend iKeePass in it's place, but the App Store approval process speeds up for no one, especially not long-hair open-source hippie freaks.

  46. netsharc says:

    Fring is useful, it speaks Jabber, Skype, ICQ, MSN, etc etc... never used the SMS interface though.

    (self promotion)If you have friends in different timezones: http://bit.ly/nhandsclock (/self promotion)

  47. xrayspx says:

    Looks like someone ported Frozen Bubble to the iPhone.

  48. pmb7777 says:

    Flight Control - fun, play anytime, simple rules, challenging game
    Frenzic - fun, play anytime, simple rules, challenging game
    Card Star - keep all your 'loyalty club' barcodes in one app
    Gas Cubby - MPG tracker

  49. morrisa says:

    Eucalyptus is a lovely interface to the Gutenberg project. You can make the text bigger or smaller, there's a nice page number slider bar, I like the simple page turning look-and-feel, and I like reading James Joyce's Ulysses without giving myself carpal tunnel from the sheer weight of the book.

  50. rog says:

    iDon't iPhone, but iTell my iFriends that they need iDaft to live ... ahem... iLive

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.wo
    a/wa/viewSoftware?id=311671506&mt=8

  51. harryh says:

    foursquare - friend finding, tip sharing, social game. (full disclosure: this is the startup I work at)

  52. rexroof says:

    the official bust-a-move/puzzle bobble game was my first purchase on my ipod touch.
    I add my votes for flight control, ramp champ, and The Creeps! if no one has mentioned that one.

  53. jcurious says:

    Seriously, check out Camera Genius, replacement for the iphone camera app:
    -timer
    -digital zoom
    -audio trigger
    -guides
    -bursts
    -anti-shake
    -full screen button
    yes, it works with the 3GS touch exposure

    VIP Access:verisign token, basicly an RSA keyfob style app that you can connect to paypal,ebay, and other sites

    RedLaser:point the camera at a barcode and it pulls up amazon and google shopping prices for the item

    Live Cams: internet web camera browser, can add your own

    iStat: track health of servers and iphone

    TouchTerm SSH: free ssh client

    SketchBook Express: AutoDesk free sketch pad

    I am T-Pain: autotune on your iphone!

    One Dot Enemy: about at mindless as you can get gamewise

    Also, if you use google voice, create a home button for the website since there is no app.

  54. gadlen says:

    WhatTheFont - Tells you what font you've just taken a photo of
    RJDJ - Reality DJ, a suprisingly trippy interactive audio experience
    italk lite - Microphone recorder. I like this free app better than the Apple version
    Instapaper - web site cache for when you're on the BART and have no 3G
    echofon - Twitter viewer
    facebook - Facebook viewer
    touchterm ssh - SSH
    Mocha VNC Lite - VNC!
    Urbanspoon - random restaurant recommender

    Frivoulous / For kids
    MiniPiano - a piano keyboard
    FartPiano - a fart piano
    Eyetricks - some optical illusions
    Koi Pond ($1) - calming fish

  55. edrabbit says:

    late to reply, but here's what I currently use on my jailbroken iPhone:

    Qik - video streaming
    BeejiveIM - for IM
    foursquare - mostly useless fun
    GV Mobile - for Google Voice
    FotoTimer - for taking shots with a timer when you can't see the screen
    Byline - for reading feeds
    Eye-Fi - for uploading pics to flickr
    Orbital - most addictive game ever
    FlightControl - another mindless game
    WildWest - devent pinball game
    3-Tuple - Set clone
    Remote - for iTunes control
    Tuner - for tuning into streams, usually the SF police scanner
    MCallShow - Shows the location of the phone number calling so I can screen based on location too
    Reminder - sets icons in the top right corner indicating unread things in the same manner as the Sidekick.
    Scrobbl - for last.fm scrobbling
    1Password - password management
    Bump - silly way to transfer contact info
    NetShare - for tethering, although I think this is pulled and there are better ways now
    Don't Look - quick weather based on your current location
    Tweetie - for twitter. I still don't like Tweetie 2 and the state saving since I read twitter on multiple devices.