Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Favorite iPhone and iTouch Apps. So Far.

I already mentioned how excited I was to try out the new iTouch and I was thrilled to get so many great recommendations for new apps. (I won't tell you how much time I wasted looking at apps and thinking about apps and installing apps and playing with apps . . . it would just disgust you).

But I made progress and I've found a few that I'm pretty excited about. I've got a list here and to those who made such great suggestions, a big "Thanks!"

As it happens today is my day to chaperone at cub scout camp so it'll be a good thing I have my iTouch . . . I'll be off in a corner playing Pac Man while the boys go at it with Dodge Ball.

1. Crossword Light.
I'm a huge crossword fan (I credit my love of crosswords for allowing me to completely dominate Andrew at Scrabble . . . though that's a bitter story that is best left for another day) so one of the first apps I ferreted out was a crossword puzzle. This one is the "light" version and only has a few puzzles but I can try it out for free and see if I like it before going for it's "paid" older brother version. That's actually a nice way to go. Most good apps have a free "light" version that gives you a taste (kind of like Baskin Robbins with their mini spoons) before you have to invest in a couple dollars for the meatier thing. Niiice.

2. Pandora Radio
A few of you recommended this free app (thanks!) and I felt sheepish that despite having heard about Pandora here and there I had no idea what it was. I'm still not entirely sure, all I know is that I can now listen to digital quality radio via internet by artist. I can type in a group I like (say the Killers or Muse) and they'll not only pull up their songs but others they think I might like. It's really fun. Of course with the iTouch it must be on a wifi system so you have to be in range of a signal.

3. Flixster
Another recommendation and another free app from another nice commentator and being the movieaholic that I am I grabbed this one first thing. It allows you to see movie times and recommendations as well as trailers and other juicy tidbits.

4. To Do's
I am a consummate list maker. One of the first things I do in the morning after hoisting my bones out of bed is to sit down and make a list of the things I need to do. Crossing things off is a rush of endorphins every time I put that pencil to paper (and I prefer using pencil). However this sweet little to do list program helps me keep everything in one spot rather than on the various pieces of random paper and backs of receipts that I normally use. Verrrry handy. I think this particular program was a free version (and so far I like it fine--I mean it's a to do list, how fancy do you really need it?) though you can get some that are as much as $10.

5. Spend
Not a bad deal for $.99. This one is a fairly simple budgeting plan that allows you to keep track of a budget then record your expenses. The only problem I've encountered so far is how to change the amount of a certain category without messing with the entire budgeted amount total. Say, I have extra in one account and I want to add it to another account. How do I do that without messing things up? I'm sure there's an answer but so far in every other way I like it.

6. Big Oven
Yet another recommendation--this one for an app that lists 160,000 recipes. Yes, as in enough recipes to feed every household in Anchorage. Twice. So far, so good. I've seen other apps of a similar nature listed but this one was free (are you sensing a theme here? I'm a cheapo at heart) so I'm trying it to see if I'll really use it. Hey, free recipes! Who's going to argue with that?

7. Spongebob Tickler
Bring on the games! Now I could lie and say that I downloaded this one for my kids. However you know I'd never lie to you. Unless I really, really needed to.

Anyway, yes I'm a goober and think Spongebob is funny so I got the free "light" version which made me at least feel good about myself by knowing that I wouldn't actually spend money on something so stupid but nonetheless poking and stretching him and watching him giggle is kind of funny. At least for the first 20 seconds.

8. Labyrinth
Why do I have such a hard time spelling that word? It's like "rhyme" where I have to think about it every time. Must be that Greek "y" thing. Regardless, this game is much more sophisticated than the previous (as if there was anything that could be less sophisticated than touching a cartoon sponge) and I find it not only rather relaxing but somewhat addicting. I like the music it plays while you role the digital ball that you swear is real through a computer maze. How do they make it feel so real? Well however they do it, it's free and it's fun.

9. Hidden Mysteries
Here my love of mysteries comes out. This (also free) game is a sleuthing treat where you look at scenes to solve a crime. This is the app Sherlock Holmes would have if he had an iPhone. I haven't used it much yet but it's very highly rated and so far seems a great deal. Of course it's free so who knows what that means.

10. Flashlight
It is what it is. An app that turns your iTouch or iPhone into a flashlight. For those who like to spelunk while listening to their tunes. I downloaded it (again, free) purely for the thrill of another gadget. Kind of like making my iTouch into a Swiss army knife or something and while I don't know if I'll ever use it, if I have to find my way some day in total darkness with only my iTouch to guide me you can bet I'll be pretty glad I loaded this baby.

11. Light Saber
When I saw this mentioned in the comments I immediately had to go and find it and download it stat. If you aren't a Star Wars fan you might run the risk of devaluing this highly exciting app where you can turn your gadget into a light saber (or the closest thing you'll ever have to it) and can even creat your own Jedi alter ego. Yes, you read that right. You're own Jedi character. Me? I will now be known as Peekup Yermez, the mother of all Jedis.

12. Remote
This one is really, really cool. It turns your iPhone/iTouch into a remote control for your computer or your Apple TV. It's tricky to get it working properly, you have to have your units on the same wifi network but once you get it installed (for free) you can use it to play your computer or tv. Sweet!

13. Finger Piano
Again, very intuitive as to what this app does but I find it strangely fun. I've got the light version but as always you can pay for something fancier if you really want to.

14. Art Gallery
I'm still not finished deciding on some book apps but in the meantime this particular toy allows you to see all kinds of paintings from throughout the history. Interesting and kind of fun. I have another that gives you a tour of various museums which I found but haven't tried yet. Basically, if it's free I'm willing to give it a try. Charge me and I'm much less interested.

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glitzen said...

Those all look fun, especially word games. wooh hooo! I don't have the Itouch but love my blackberry and need to find some fun apps. Thats going on MY to-do list. Ha ha!

Jolanthe said...

I'll have to look into a few of these. And I completely understand how much time one can spend finding apps... :)

I'll have to send you a few of mine now that I'm home!


Adventures In Babywearing said...

I love Pandora for the iPhone and home. And of course lightsaber. Ice Age 3D has a free app that my kids love playing around with. I love the free aps! You have to check out "the moron test" (so fun!) and istylist- where you can use any photo and try on a bunch of celeb hairstyles. It's super entertaining.

Also, StitchMinder will keep track of your rows and stitch count while knitting!


Karen Olson said...

These look really cool. I covet your iTouch. I really would love an iPhone. But it's an expense right now that I can't afford. So I will live vicariously through others :)

InkMom said...

If we're talking about games, try Pocket Tanks. It's like the old worms game -- you pick weapons, then take turns blasting each other. Very fun.

The iPhone Pandora app is great, but you should check out their regular website. It's amazing the things it can tell you about yourself. I've been using Pandora for years now. Well, not like 10, but 4! It's a great place to go if you can't remember the name of a song or who sang it (or a classical piece of music, which is what I'm usually looking for) but you know it kind of sounds like another song, or has a beat like this song, or whatever. It breaks down every song by basic characteristics and then makes recommendations for you based on pieces with similar traits. It's awesome, and you can see more information on the site than you can in the app.

That's my spiel.

Suzie B. said...

I'm so ENVIOUS, as I sit here with my ol' Nokia camera phone (which I BARELY know how to use!)

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing your list, some I have and some I have to check out. I find a lot of useful apps on a blog I follow, Mashable, a social media guide, this is a link to their iphone area,

Some fun apps my granddaughters enjoy are, iPlayPhone, TicTacToe, Moo & Bubbles.

some I find useful are:
Pet Notebook

Iown (helps me keep track of books and movies that we already own, but is useful for a lot of other things too.)

Shopper is awesome, only problem I had with it up there is it was right on with marking where the Fred meyer's were, but the Carrs were way off, the one on Hartzell Rd. they insist is on the frontage Rd, Brayton Dr., by my daughters, when I move the pin to relocate it, it drops it right back on Brayton, other then that I find it a great app.

Shazam you can hold your iphone/itouch up to the source the source the music is playing in, like at a store or in a movie and it will identify the name of the song for you, very cool, forget if it's a free one.

Again thanks for sharing yours, keep us updated with what you find.

Connie said...

Forgot an App that works great and I love, just got it and use it all the time. To me it is a must have app.

Cardstar: you have all those reward cards in your wallet or hanging from your keyfob then you travel someplace without it and you don't want to bother entering ID info so you can get your points, well this fixes that problem, it works great, haven't had it not work yet, it is a must have app.

Janet said...

I want the light saber and the piano. Oh wait, I have to get the iPhone first? bummer.

CountessLaurie said...

Congrats Peekup! I knew you'd like it :-)

Off to debate whether I need an iTouch more than my daughter needs preschool... hmmm....

Jill in MA said...

I'm like you, downloading the free apps. I've actually used the flashlight to read lying in a hotel bed next to my 3yo not wanting to wake her. I propped it on my chest and held the book over it. Not ideal, but the kid didn't wake up!

Thanks for your list, and thanks to all the commentators' ideas -- I'll be wasting more of my time checking out apps, too!

Katherine said...

My son has an iPod touch and he says that Stanza is a good app for reading books. If you go to on your iTouch, it will add a library of books to choose from.

Flea said...

I think number 4 may be why I finally give in and get an iPhone. I'm a list maker. I'm a list loser. I'm ADD. To have a PDA/phone would be ideal.

Maddy said...

Okay! Sold to the lady standing at the lap top. I shall definitely make an appointment to go to the Apple store and see if I can figure out the password / username nightmare.

Terresa said...

Thanks for the app reviews. I'm getting my Iphone next spring when it'll be $200 less for me for not doing an early upgrade. I can't wait!!

Scribbit said...

I'm back from cub scout camp and had to check to see what you all were saying.

Connie--Shazam sounds amazing. Shopper sounds great, I'm wondering if it's the shopping app I already got. I had one I downloaded and was having a hard time figuring it out. The one you describe sounds like just what I want.

And I'll definitely check out stanza, I've heard other people say it's a good app too.

Connie said...

this is the link to shoppers website,

Scribbit said...

Thanks Connie!

Laurel Nelson said...

I like to play Bejeweled, Peggle and Trism on my iphone. :) And Pandora is awesome! I will have to check out the Big Oven one too. If you like to cook, there is an app called Little Chef that converts units - teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces, everything, even ones you never heard of. I think it would be very handy!

Laurel Nelson said...

Oh and I second the nomination on Shazam. I LOVE IT. And yes, it is free.

Suzanne said...

Try the Zippo app... we just used it at the Jonas Brothers concert... =)

Jill in MA said...

I've been having fun downloading many of these apps!

Amber Lynae said...

You were mentioned in someones post today(I can't remember who at this moment) but I came on over. I love the apps you listed I will have to try some of them out. I am new to the itouch app thing and am always looking for fun stuff.

I like urban spoons for finding places to eat.

leonbasin said...

Nice information about them!! I already have Apple iPone... I like this!!

Monkey's Momma said...

Love me some Pandora too! Try Crazy Penguin Catapult. It is mindless and addicting, just the way I like my games!

Others I Like:
USA Today
NY Times

And it has actually been quite a while since I've been App shopping!

Cathi said...

Thanks Michelle!
I think the only way to get the best apps is by word of mouth. I just have to read all the other comments to get more ideas.

Buffie said...

I completely understand your App addiction. Sadly, I'm the same way. Thanks for the list and I love all the ideas in the comments. I'll obviously be heading over to the App Store next.

Also, I have Spend Lite (the free version) and it has a transfer button at the bottom of the Budget screen that lets you transfer $$ from one category to another without changing your budget amounts.