Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

While I was out camping with the girls last week Andrew decided to take time off and bring the kids down to see me on the Kenai Peninsula to celebrate my birthday.

He brought with him peach pie (a favorite), chocolate pie, vanilla soup (that was once ice cream in a former life) and a present.

An iTouch!

I didn't have much time to look at it while camping but now that I'm home I've been playing and playing with it in utter contentment.

I've downloaded a to-do list application, a budget app, a shopping app, even a crossword app and a few games but my question is: which iTouch/iPhone applications are the best?

Which apps can I not live without because I'm a novice here and am pretty sure there are some great ones out there that will make my life pure bliss from this moment on.

I'm particularly interested in good audiobook or ebook programs but am open to anything with extra helpings of "cool." Which apps do you recommend?


Congratulations to Karen of Bloomington, Minnesota (hey! I've been there!) for winning this weekend's celebrity gift basket. Woo hoo!


Sage said...

Happy birthday and what a great present... your hubby couldn't have picked you something nicer.

Blog O' Beth said...

Not to toot my own horn, but I wrote a whole blog post on this very subject. I LOVE MY iPhone, in a way that is not normal. It is all about the applications, so check out my list here:

Kathy G said...

Sadly, I don't have an iphone or itouch. Blog O'Beth was tooting her own horn, but I'll toot my sons; he and several other students developed a newsreader app as part of a school project, then added it to the iphone store . Read here for more information: http://www.newsflashapp.com/

Amy said...

Happy Birthday, Michelle!! How lovely! I don't have one of those yet, but they do look like fun. I will be anxious to read what you think your favorite downloads are when you get accustomed to it :)

Anonymous said...

how lucky you are! i would love the iphone, but think that i would enjoy the thoughtfulness of your husband even more....that's dedication!

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

Happy Birthday!!

We bought our son an iTouch this past Christmas but I am clueless as to the apps.

Kelcie said...

Happy Birthday! Here are some of my favorites. My husband thinks I'm addicted to my Iphone.

News- Wall Street Journal, New York Times are just a few of the newspapers you can get for free daily. They have a few NPR apps that are free as well. The Today show can be a fun app also.

Books- I have the Kindle app (Which is great if you have a kindle), Free Classic books (Austen and such), Shakespeare, Fairy tales,

For Fun - Translator programs, Dial 0 helps you talk to companies rather than machines, Skype, Big Oven, Facebook, TwitterFon, Tv.com, Flixster, Lose it, Google Earth, craigsphone, pandora radio, the weather channel, they also have LDS scriptures and hymns which have come in useful.

Jolanthe said...

Love my itouch! :) I'll have to pull it out and let you know. I do love my cozi app since it links to my online calendar too and then links into outlook all at the same time. :) the level app is pretty fun too - really pointless, but fun.

Do NOT download the bejeweled blitz app...especially if you have a tendency to get addicted to games...I'm just saying. :)

Chele said...

Too cool!! I want one!! Someday it will happen! Have fun with it!!

Maddy said...

I am also a novice, although I've had mine for a few months now. I think I need a password or possibly a user name to download the apps. Forget the techy ones, I want the 'recipe' app as I need the instant inspiration. Failing that a free chef with every sale would do at a pinch.
Ooo and many happy returns of the day.

twinsunplus1 said...

I've heard that ifart is pretty darn fun.... I don't have an iphone/itouch, but hey, who would love a phone that makes noises! Sorry I have nothing useful to offer....

Laura said...

Just wondering what grocery app you picked. I am looking for a good one. There seem to be 3 leaders in the app store.

CountessLaurie said...

(you can thank me later for this :)

The only reason to get an iTouch / iPhone is for the light saber app. I can't believe you don't already have it!! Embrace your inner geek and GO GET IT NOW!

Here is a review: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1274350/lightsaber_iphone_application_review.html

Sadly, after a vow of poverty, I can't get an iAnything right now, but if I could, woo hoo, this would be my first download...

Oh, and before I forget, happy birthday!!

CountessLaurie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen B said...

Happy birthday Michelle!
Thanks again for the gift basket.

kadusey said...

Stanza is a great eBook app, though make sure you get the desktop application as well if you want to add an already existing library of eBooks to your iPod Touch. I found that transfer a bit overly complicated and confusing but did eventually get it to work and really like the reader app itself.

Randy, Ally, and Wes said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like it was a fun one.

Your post and the previous comments reminded me of this simpsons episode:


Jill in MA said...

I just inherited my husband's old iPhone, so I'm glad you asked this question. I'll be checking out all the responses!

Kacie said...

I just wanted to wish ya a happy birthday! I know nothing about the Touch. :)

Scribbit said...

Oh Beth that's a perfect list--thanks!

And Kathy G--I'm amazed. Here I am just learning about apps and he's written one.

Great tips Kelcie--I'll go look at those right away.

Jolanthe--you know I'm going to look at it now. It's like telling someone "Don't look behind you but . . . "

Laura--I got "Shopper" and haven't really used it yet. I'm hoping it's as good as my Handy SHopper I used on my Palm.

Laurie--I will check it out right now. I'm embracing that geek as we speak.

Kadusy--thanks for the recommendations. I'm excited about getting a book on there. And movies though they're rather expensive to buy I noticed that our Blockbuster had the DVDs you could buy for putting on your iTouch/iPhone for about $3. Much better price.

And thanks to all for the birthday wishes. It was really a great birthday. Peach pie, kayaking and sun. What could have been better?

april said...

I really like "Stanza" for reading books. They have free ones (and purchasable ones) you can download from them, or you can upload your own using your computer. Just put text in a plain text file (extension .txt) and it'll read it, though the formatting might be a little weird (chapter breaks in odd places, etc).

I do both of those and get more ebooks from http://truly-free.org/

I use my iPod Touch for this app, mostly. Music being second. I'd use the Internet A LOT if I could, but unlike the iPhone you can't just get online anywhere. You have to be somewhere where there's a WiFi connection (that you have access to) and no where in my daily routine is there a connection except a home, where I have my computer. :(

Someday I'll get a MiFi and be able to use it anywhere!

Here's a NY Times article about the MiFi. http://tinyurl.com/c9uuth

thediaperdiaries said...

My faves are Pandora radio and Grocery Zen. I haven't tried any other grocery ones, but this one works really well for me. Urban spoon is fun for finding places to eat at when you are traveling. I also can't live with out my Facebook and Twitter app :)

Laura said...

Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...


dieMutti said...

Welcome to the world of iTouch! I downgraded my phone so my husband would let me get one! I use it as an organizer a ton. My top 10 (besides the ones that come with it):
1. ToDo ($10). It's the lists app I like the best.
2. Facebook (Free)
3. Shopper is my grocery app ($.99)
4. Lose it! (Free) - to track what I'm eating and exercising, etc.
5. Stanza (Free - great eReader app)
6. Scriptures (Free - LDS version)
7. 9-Toolbox (Free - has some cool utilities like a tip calculator and unit conversion, etc)
8. Sportacular (Free - I'm a sportsaholic so I can keep track of my favs)
9. Lock n' Roll (Free- strategy dice game)
10. Allrecipes/Betty Crocker Cookbook/BigOven (Free recipe apps)

Oh and one guilty pleasure one- Sally's Spa ($.99) - it's addicting.

Hope you love it as much as I do! Happy Birthday!

Sam said...

Happy Birthday!! And, whatever you do, don't get Scramble - it drives me crackers as I try to beat my own score but I just cannot, for the life of me, seem to see the words that are in the game!! And I keep on and on and on trying!! ;-)

jubilee said...

I'd love an iTouch. And the first app I'd get is the Bejeweled Blitz. I play it way too much on Facebook.

Happy Birthday you lucky duck! (Are ducks really lucky?)

Stephanie said...

Happy Birthday!.

Alice Wills Gold said...

I am still old fashioned with my grocery list and calendar on my fridge.

I don't even text, but facebook is making me want to get more savvy....but twitter is a daunting technology that is keeping me from wanting more...seriously, how much technology can a girl handle?

LLG said...

Happy Birthday! I have an I-phone, and I LOVE it. Its so cool and fanatistic. All the things you can do over that tiny, skinny peice of technology is amazing! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine!

luckyzmom said...

Happy Birthday to you!!!!! I will go out to dinner this evening in celebration of this occassion. Hope your day is fabulous.

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Just wanted to say happy birthday! Hope you had a great week off.

Madeline said...

Happy Birthday! You made out pretty well with that one.

Nancy said...

I hope you enjoy your iTouch. I have an iPhone and I adore it.

Most of my apps are games or for my children, but I will share the ones I enjoy.

1. Bejeweled
2. Monopoly (my husband and I play against each other on our wifi at home)
3. eReader
4. Classics ($.99): I have used this book application often. It comes with a set number of 'classic' books. I loved it and have read three or four books on it.
5. Finger Piano
6. Flight Control
7. KidArt
8. Wheels on the Bus
9. FirstWords: Vehicles
10. Centipede by Atari

As I said, most are games or fun things for my young children (4 and 3). I have the Star Wars Light Saber app and never use it. I couldn't figure out what the point was (maybe I'm not using it right?). I enjoy Star Wars, so I was a little disappointed.

I am interested in seeing what other USEFUL applications there are out there.

I have a Mac Computer, so my calendars/pictures/contacts automatically sync when I charge it. Love that.

Good luck. Keep us updated about what good apps you find.

vivacemusica said...

I absolutely refuse to buy applications, but I love my iTouch. Here are some free applications that I enjoy:

1) Hangman
2) Google Earth
3) Urbanspoon
4) Web Messenger
5) Movies (Flixster)
6) Tap Tap Revenge 2

Scribbit said...

I've been busily checking out all these recommendations and I have to say, the light saber is very very cool. . .

Summer said...

Happy Birthday!

Alison Kelley said...

Happy birthday Michelle!

I have the new iPhone (kids now have my old one and play games on it ) and I love those apps too! One of my favorites is called "check please' it tells you how much of a tip to leave and it can divide the bill and tip amongst how many ever people and a few other functions too. I love it, it comes in handy with a large group.

The kids favorite is called "PBJtime" it's a cute dancing and singing banana that's a timer too.

Carina said...

I have yet to achieve your level of coolness, so I do not have first hand knowledge here, but I do believe there is an app that looks like you're drinking from a clear, glass mug of beer when you hold your phone sideways and sip.. That's gotta be in there somewhere.

Oh, and there is an app out there for Kindle on the iphone/itouch. Speaking as a Kindle owner, that's what I would go for.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Glad to hear your birthday was such a raging success:) !!

I am behind the times. Even my mom has an iTouch. **sigh** My day will soon come :) !!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Yes! Happy Birthday to you!


Jane Hamilton said...

I know nothing about iPhones, Sorry. Just here to wish you:

Happy Birthday Michelle!!

Jake and April said...

I've had an iPod Touch for about a year and half and it's been the best PDA I've had since the Palm IIIc (oh and it plays music).

Road Trip: track you car's mileage and gas and calculate your MPG, also lets you track when you need an oil change, etc.

Score: Keeps your points in (board) games. Also has handy point charts for complicated games like Agricola, Citadels, Puerto Rico, etc.

LDS Radio: Listen to the Ensign, Conference Talks and Scriptures all streamed over your WiFi connection.

Spawn: Pretty fireworks program that the kids love.

Cradle (free): A newton cradle program that the kids love.

TicTacFree (free): multi-player Tic-Tac-Toe

Tap Tap Revenge 2 (free): A Guitar Hero like game with free music.

Slacker Radio (free): A streaming radio app with an excellent, clean comedy channel.


I have also "Jail Broken" my iPod. I don't know if this works on the latest iPod Touch versions but it not only voids the warranty :) but also gives you access to some software not allowed by Apple:

SBSettings (free): This program gives you this pop up window that works from inside any application that lets you adjust the brightness, volume, turn on/off the WiFi, etc, without having to exit your program and go in to the Settings app. I can't live without.

LockCalendar (free): This puts your upcoming calendar events right on the "Slide to Unlock" screen. You don't have to unlock and load up the Calendar app. It's just right there where you want it.

JailBreaking is pretty safe and easy but still risky. But to get those two apps it's totally worth it!


A few websites help you find new and free apps (lots of non-free apps go on sale for a limited time as well). I use appshopper.com and have found lots of games and programs that are free and fun for awhile.

Jake and April said...

I've read over 100 ebooks on my iPod Touch. I use BookShelf Lite but other readers are good as well.

Don't pay for any of the public domain books you find in the App Store. You can get the books for free from the Project Gutenberg and them load them up in your favorite reader (BookShelf Lite supports this and so does Stanza, I've heard).

Reading on the iPod Touch is great, I can read for a few minutes while in line, in the bathroom or in bed in the dark. If I don't use WiFi I can take the iPod on trips and read for about 3 days without a recharge.

I also put my Audio CD books in iTunes (mark them as Audio Books and they'll show up in the AudioBook category instead of the Music category) and then I sync them to the iPod. It remembers my place and I play them over the car's radio.

Also, if you have Netflix the Quetastic program is excellent.


Also, I recommend getting a wall charger. It charges faster and you don't have to always have your computer on. I bought a little USB wall adapter that lets me plug in my normal USB sync cable into a wall outlet for charging. Official Apple charges are pricey but Walmart should have something cheaper that will work.

Crysm said...

I am in LOVE with my iPod Touch!!

My favorite app, by far, is the Kindle app. I do all my reading on it now. (I do not have a Kindle.)

I also use Facebook, iLose, and the Google app (for my reader and chat).

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Happy birthday to you. I know SO many Cancerians - it's scary - not that I really know you, but anyway. No suggestions here for your itouch as I don't have that gadget.

jacjewelry said...

Happy Birthday! Glad you're enjoying your phone!

Janet said...

Happy Birthday! What a fun time!

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Happy belated birthday, my friend. Nice phone.