My new iPhone 3G “sport” and some app store recommendations
So i finally got an iPhone. Look it was a long drawn out decision and I still debate whether a Blackberry would have been better. What I’d actually like is probably an Android but it seems like it could be a while before a decent Android handset comes to market let alone is available in Canada and the iPhone still probably has the larger selection of applications (lets face facts market share rules).
So iPhone it is. I am no Apple fanboi but I will say it is a pretty versatile and well designed device overall. I personally can’t wait until I can jailbreak the thing and make it even more versatile. I am thinking SSH client, remote VNC/RDP to my other computers, all sorts of stupid geek tools. Until then I have to make due with the selection of apps available in the app store.
Personally, I hate the app store. It seems to just encourage adware companies which typically make two versions of every little conceivable app. Most of the free ones come with annoying ads or crippling limitations and the paid ones where you pay as much as $10 for an app just let you do something on your iPhone that a dozen free programs can let you do on a PC (e.g. RDP and VNC clients). Not that I am not willing to pay for good software, but I am not willing to pay for commonplace functionality just because it is on an iPhone. But I digress, there are still some amazing apps for free in the app store:
- Shazam: You’ve all probably seen the commercials showing this one. It listens to a song that is playing nearby and tells you what it is. This thing is near flawless. If you have not tried it you absolutely must!
- TweetDeck: The newest, if not the best twitter client for the iPhone and the desktop. On the desktop it is easily the most powerful twitter client with multiple groups and columns, on the iphone it doesn’t have the greatest interface but it is the only free twitter app that does not have ads all over it, so I say use it!
- Facebook: Nothing really needs to be said here.
- WeatherEye: Much better than the Yahoo weather app with data from The Weather Network
- CanPages: Best 411 app for Canada. Voice recognition search without even making a phone call. A number of other features like reverse lookup and traffic cams
- Translink: Obviously only for Vancouver, but an awesome app if you need to take transit in Vancouver. Can find stops near you using GPS and tell you when the bus is coming
- Stanza: Since the Kindle for iPhone app is not available in Canada (thanks Rogers…) this is the only decent eReader. The company was actually bought by Amazon so hopefully you will be able to buy books through Amazon soon.
- RK_Free: A GPS Running application. Will track your route and other statistics on your run. I actually have a nike+ but I will probably never use it now.
- Epicurious: A great recipe application
- Google Earth: A really cool way to look up where you are, but largely a redundant map application
- Truephone and Fring: Since you can’t get Skype for iPhone in Canada (again, thanks a lot Rogers…)
I find it amusing that Rogers is too ignorant to realize how ubiquitous VOIP apps have become. You can’t get Skype but you can still download one of these two for free and make VOIP calls using either a Skype account or some other VOIP system (I can’t remember the name now). I have tried this with Skype already and I can guarantee it works. Enjoy cheap long distance and sticking it to Rogers! Of course if you jailbreak your phone you can just install the regular Skype app, or you can follow one of the many blogs online on how to setup an American app store account.
I am not posting this from my iPhone yet. I couldn’t find a decent free bloggin tool that works with b2evo and iBlogger is $10!!! (yeah I’m cheap) Anyways, I doubt I would want to type much in a blog post from an iPhone, even with the landscape keyboard typing isn’t exactly 100WPM.
Edit: Well I got to try out RK_Free for a run yesterday and I can say that it is fraking awesome! It even tells me my average speed as I run. Sure it is only as accurate as GPS allows, but seeing the uploaded results for distance, speed and altitude (yes altitude) are awesome pants.