Since it’s a lazy Sunday and there’s not tons happening in the MMO world, I thought I’d veer off course a little bit to fawn over my new iPhone. I honestly never thought that a device like this would have such a big impact on my life — after all, I already had an iPod (two, actually) and a cell phone, so I just assumed that this would be a combination of the two, one less device to carry around. But I was underestimating two factors:
- This allows me to have internet connection pretty much everywhere I go, which comes in handy in surprising ways, and
- The iPhone app store.
Applications, or “apps” as they’re called, are probably the #1 reason why you should own an iTouch or iPhone. In a little over a year that the iTunes store has been dealing with apps, well over 65,000 have been developed for these devices, with hundreds coming in daily. After three weeks of using the iPhone, I wanted to share my top 10 iPhone apps — both practical and gaming apps, both free and paid apps — and why I’ve come to adore them.
#1 – Facebook
I’m not as much of a Facebook junkie as you might surmise, but I use it a lot to keep in touch with friends, family and the teens I work with. Having it “on the go” allows me to keep regular tabs on what’s going on without always dashing to a computer. But the best feature? I can take pictures with my iPhone, then go into the Facebook app and quickly upload them onto my profile page with only a couple clicks.
#2 – Lose It!
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m on a diet as of late, bound and determined to live a healthier lifestyle and stop hating how I look when I pass by a mirror. I was going to go back to Weight Watchers, but a little research pointed me to this app, which is a full-featured calore/weight tracker (for free, even) that helps you keep track of everything you eat, how much you exercise, and your weight loss progress. It’s a powerful motivator to tell the app what you want to weigh and how many pounds you want to lose a week, and have it tell you that if you stick to the plan, when you’ll get there. For me, I might be at my target weight (170) in time for my 34th birthday.
#3 – Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition
I have a confession – I never played any of the Monkey Island games, even though they were so up my alley (I was more into King’s Quest and Space Quest). This re-release of the classic first game in the series, complete with new artwork (which you can flip back and forth between the original look with two finger swipes), re-recorded soundtrack and loads of voice-over. It’s pretty funny and a great game to play, even though the cursor interface is a tad frustrating to work with.
#4 – WhiteNoise Lite
“Lite” apps are free versions of the paid ones, and with this app, I see no reason to pay to upgrade. This basically gives you a number (around 10 or so) types of white noise — from fans to airplane cabin to raidfall — that you can set on a timer and listen to. Why is this something I adore? Because I simply cannot go to sleep without white noise. This is okay at home, where every room has a fan, but on trips it’s awesome to have and not worry about toting a fan along.
#5 – Evernote
I’m an eternal listmaker, and constantly writing down things on post-its. Evernote is a great little app that lets you make lists and jot down thoughts into different notes, which I use for everything from planning my fall curriculum to writing down recipes for my sister-in-law’s salsa. Yum!
#6 – Around Me
Around Me is more suited to travel in unfamiliar areas — it helps you find what you’re looking for near your current location (the iPhone has GPS capabilities). If I’m looking for a movie theater, for instance, it checks my location, does a search for nearby theaters, and then shows me my choices. I then can even ask for directions and it dumps me into Google Maps for the quickest way there.
#7 – Stanza
Stanza is the iPhone’s answer to Kindle (which is has as well, oddly enough) — an electronic book reader. There’s lots of books you can buy to read on it, but Stanza also points you to a number of free book sites, which has helped me accrue about 10 titles to read when I have nothing better to do.
#8 – Dungeon Chronicles
I have quite a few games on my phone, some that I haven’t even messed with yet. Dungeon Chronicles is the game that I keep coming back to — it’s an interesting side-view tower defense game with a RPG twist. Even though it’s quite tough and you have to repeat levels over and over to get your character strong enough to face future levels, it’s quite fun and challenging.
#9 – NIV Bible
For the pastor on the go, it’s awesome to have a quickly searchable Bible at my fingertips, no matter what. This was fairly cheap (I think like $8), although there are study Bibles you can get for the iPhone in the $27 range.
#10 – USA Today
I tried a few of the news apps, but the USA Today one is hands-down the best. It’s colorful, quick and lets me scan the top stories without bogging me down into crap I don’t care about.