Ten of the best iPhone apps

11 10 2009

From the 50,000 or so downloadable apps that Apple offers for its iPhone and iPod touch, we choose ten that are worth the time and money

Apple iPhone

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The beauty of the iPhone is how easy it is to add on small applications, or apps, that give Apple’s wunderkind extra powers. There are currently more than 50,000 apps — of greatly varying quality — and, surprisingly, many of the best ones are free. Here are 10 guaranteed to be worth the time you spend downloading them — and not one costing more than £4.

1 Midomi Ultra (£2.99)
Got a tune in your head that you can’t place? Hum a snippet and Midomi recognises it, plays a clip and reveals the lyrics. It even shows any YouTube videos it can find. In tests, a Bruce Springsteen track was swiftly clocked from some distinctly iffy humming.

2 1Password Pro (£3.49)
Struggling to recall a gazillion passwords? This app will neatly and securely stash everything from an eBay log-in to a passport number. It can also generate random passwords, paste data into the phone’s browser or back up information onto a computer.

3 Flashlight (free)
For all the iPhone’s cleverness, this simple app, which turns the screen into a makeshift torch of varying colours, is extremely useful. Invaluable when navigating a dark staircase.

4 Yelp (free)
Hunting for a nearby pub or art gallery? Reach out to Yelp’s citizen reviewers. Enter a location, or let the app use your current one, and it shows suitable establishments, plus any reviews posted by fellow Yelpers. Anyone can write these, and Zagat it is not. Even so, it’s a fine tool to have on the hoof.

5 WorldView Live (59p)
Savour live, or near-live, images from 10,000 webcams around the world on your phone. Want to check the weather in Covent Garden, or indeed see the pyramids? WorldView opens your eyes.

6 NetNewsWire (free)
This app gathers hundreds of headlines about news stories you might want to read. A cinch to use (albeit simpler to set up on a computer initially), and much easier on the eye than navigating through websites.

7 WunderRadio (£3.99)
This app claims to unleash more than 36,000 radio stations onto your iPhone. Thankfully, it’s simple to sift through this musical maelstrom by genre or location. The iPhone can detect stations in your vicinity — but where’s the fun in that?

8 Fake Calls (59p)
Extricate yourself from embarrassing encounters with Fake Calls. Discreetly fire up the app and it will “phone” you a few seconds later, displaying your pre-chosen caller’s name.

9 Howcast (free)
Uncertain how to prepare a cuttlefish? Find out with this app, which simplifies finding handy “how to” videos from the Howcast website.

10 Chess with friends (free)
There is a slew of chess apps for the iPhone but this one enables you to take on human opponents. If your don’t have a friend to tussle with, it’ll match you up with an unknown foe.

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