iPhone

I happen to own an iPhone, and this is a compilation of reviews of the apps I have on my iPhone and why I think you should get them. It is almost perpetually out-of-date because of the speed at which I obtain new apps! I tend to delete apps that I no longer use rather than keeping redundant apps on the list, since to maintain a list of apps that I don’t feel are worth getting would be a rather masochistic endeavour.

Apps are grouped by their categories in the App Store. Prices are correct at the time of writing the review, and so the listed prices here may be inaccurate as prices change and apps become free. Also, apps do occasionally disappear from the App Store, and although I do my best to amend the reviews when that happens, I don’t always notice. Apologies in advance if you see an awesome app you can’t download.

Categories

Books

CAMRA Good Beer Guide (£4.99)
This app essentially puts the GBG on your iPhone and then merges it with Google Maps. I’d been hoping for this app for some time, and now it’s out I’m more than willing to pay for it.

ComicBookLover
This is an excellent app for reading .cbr and .cbz files on your iPhone. You can either transfer comics from the Mac app of the same name, or, if you’re a Windows user, via FTP on your local network. Of course, file transfer via iTunes works with both operating systems. If you’re into comics this is well worth a look.

iBooks [iTunes Store]
Apple’s own electronic bookstore. If you want to read books on your iPhone, this is definitely work a look. It also allows you to browse PDFs!

Education

Detexify (£0.59/free) [iTunes Store]
This app allows the user to draw a symbol with his/her finger and then returns a list of matching symbols, along with the code needed to reproduce those symbols in LaTeX. If you use LaTeX, this is obviously worth a shot! The paid version is the same as the free version but allows you to give the developer money (although, if you go to the developer’s website and donate from there, I suspect he’ll get more money than he would through iTunes).

iSeismometer
This app allows you to turn your iPhone into a seismometer. Just load the app, leave the iPhone somewhere and it’ll measure the vibrations through wherever you left it.

NASA
Featuring information on the current missions NASA is running, and up-to-the-minute updates on NASA activities (as well as letting you follow a variety of NASA’s Twitter feeds from within the app), this is definitely a good app for anyone interested in space travel or space exploration.

Particle Zoo [iTunes Store]
This app is a companion to the website of the same name, with information about all the fundamental particles. I downloaded this because of a particle physics module I took, but it’s a cool and well-presented app with interesting information so it’s staying!

PocketCAS (£5.99/free)
This app will compute the solutions to algebraic expressions, plot functions and acts as a scientific calculator. The lite version is a must-have for anyone studying a science degree or working in a scientific job, but I haven’t used the full version so I can’t advise as to whether it’s worth it or not.

Starmap (£11.49/£6.99)
The nicest-looking planetarium app on the iPhone and also the best in terms of features, I recommend getting this if you’re into astronomy.

Entertainment

David Mitchell’s SoapBox [iTunes Store]
This app provides accesss to episodes of David Mitchell’s SoapBox, but also promises exclusive bonus content. So far, the only bonus content is a nine second video, but I’m hopeful that more will be revealed soon.

Fortune Cookies
This app presents you with a fortune cookie and you tap it to receive your fortune. You can then tweet it or e-mail it to a friend. My (ex-)girlfriend made me download it, and it’s pretty good.

Gaelan Gong [iTunes Store]
An image of a gong that, when you tap it, will make a noise like a gong and vibrate.

Hallelujah Button (£0.59) [iTunes Store]
A button that, when pressed, sings ‘Hallelujah’. I would like to add that, when I downloaded this app, it was free. I certainly wouldn’t advise you pay money for it.

HoloToy (£0.59)
This app appears to be 3D, and it’s difficult to describe how it does that unless you go and pay the 59p to get it. However, it isn’t just a clever tech demo – it has a variety of minigames to play in the 3D world that it allows access to. Worth a look.

iDaft 2
This app gives the user the ability to create on-the-fly remixes of the Daft Punk hit, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

iMorse Code [iTunes Store]
This app converts text into Morse Code.

IMDb
This app allows you to surf the IMDb database with a UI which is so much better than attempting to use the website that it simply isn’t funny. If you are ever going to need to work out who that actress in that TV show is, then this is the tool for you (in my case, the answer was Amy Acker).

Kevin Smith (£0.59) [iTunes Store]
This is an app devoted to writer-director Kevin Smith, of View Askew fame. He wrote and directed, amongst others, a film called Clerks, starring Jay and Silent Bob. I’m quite a large fan, and so the 59p wasn’t a big deal for me – your mileage may vary.

The Men who Stare at Goats [iTunes Store]
A fun game based around the movie, in which you stare at your iPhone and try to get goats to die. Also includes the first chapter of the book on which the film was based, the author’s Twitter feed, a stills gallery and a couple of movie trailers.

The Mighty Decider (The Mighty Boosh) (£1.19)
This app is a decider app from the Mighty Boosh. It’s essentially a cross between tossing a coin and consulting a Magic 8-Ball, all in the Boosh’s inimitable style. If you’re a fan this is definitely worth a look.

Movies by Flixster
This is a very well-implemented app for looking up cinema timetables, movie trailers and searching for movies using a variety of keywords. One of the apps Apple featured in Rewind 2009.

Munchkin Level Counter (£2.99) [iTunes Store]
This is a level counter for Munchkin and Munchkin Quest by Steve Jackson Games. This app is above what it should cost at £2.99, but it’s worth it just to see the look on your friends’ faces when you reveal that your nifty new level counter also gives you the ability to pull a trick out of the bag at the last minute. If you’re a huge Munchkin player and you play regularly, you need this app – if you’re a more casual Munchkin player, then you might want to seriously think about the cost involved here.

OpenFeint Game Spotlight [iTuens Store]
This app comes from OpenFeint and is a companion to their Free Game of the Day initiative, giving away a free OpenFeint game every day. If you want somewhere to recommend you games, and you want them to be free, you could do a lot worse than check this app out!

POW
You hold your iPhone in your hand and punch with it, and this app makes sound effects come up to go with your action moves. Good fun, if a little silly!

Remote
Remote is not bundled with the iPhone, which is weird, since it’s probably something anyone who uses iTunes would find handy. It allows you to play music on your computer from your iPhone, assuming you’re both connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and I use it all the time to be lazy.

Rimshot and Crickets
This presents a big red button which will give you a rimshot, the sound of crickets chirping, a slow clap or a trombone sound.

Saw VI: Jigsaw Your Voice [iTunes Store]
A free utility which lets the user alter their voice to sound like Jigsaw, the serial killer from the Saw franchise. Also contains some other features like behind-the-scenes video and trailers.

Shotgun (£0.59/free)
This app essentially lets you pump, shoot and reload a shotgun. There are achievements for how many shots you can achieve in a session/minute/very short period. The free app contains one shotgun, whilst the paid app gives you more shotguns (different graphics and sound effects, I presume).

Star Wars: Lightsaber Duel (£0.59/free) [iTunes Store]
This app allows you to have lightsaber duels with friends by linking your iPhones and having at it! There is also a free app that is very similar called Lightsaber Unleashed, but which has fewer features and no connectivity.

Texts From Last Night (£0.59) [iTunes Store]
This fantastic app from the people over at Texts From Last Night allows you to read their website on your iPhone with ease.

TRANSFORMERS CyberToy (£1.19/free) [iTunes Store]
You get to transform the Autobots and Decepticons against the clock and if you play music, Bumblebee dances (a different dance for every genre!). I don’t know what the free version offers, but there is one now, so you might want to check it out. Definitely a cool app though, and still being updated (a seventh Transformer was recently added).

Tricorder TR-580 (£0.59)
This app simulates a Tricorder from Star Trek and I downloaded it because, for the 2010 Student Nationals, the Leicester Sabres went in Star Trek uniforms and I was a science officer.

VLC Media Player
This allows you to play videos of all codecs on any iOS device. Well worth a look, but grab it quick as its in imminent danger of disappearing!

Vuvuzela 2010 [iTunes Store]
This makes a noise like a vuvuzela (or lepatata), the instrument that was one of the hallmarks of the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Wooo! Button
A button that, when pressed, shouts ‘Wooo!’. It’s as simple as that.

Finance

NatWest
This app is seriously making me consider moving my main banking to NatWest. The ability to check your balance and view mini statements on the go is awesome, but the ability to set text alerts so that you’re sent regular balance updates and notified if your account deviates from a certain range of possible balances is the clincher. Definitely worth it but available only on the iPhone – sorry, iPod users!

Games

Angry Birds (£0.59/free)
If you have an iPhone and you haven’t heard of this game, you pay less attention than you ought to. There’s a demo. Go play it.

Blimp (£1.19)
A rather neat aerial platformer in which you take control of Captain Zed Pelin and his airship, piloting him around levels bombing enemies, delivering important packages to and ferry clients between various drop zones. You tap the right of the screen to increase the amount of hot air, you tap the left to drop a bomb and you tilt your iPhone to control your movement. The graphics look nifty and the gameplay is fun, but I cannot for the life of me get the highest ranking on the second level and that’s kind of put me off playing on (I’m a completist like that!).

Bombardiers’ Guild (£1.79)
This app is very similar to Death Star Battles. You play a Bombardier, and your job is to shoot your opponent in order to enhance your Guild Rating. However, it’s not quite that simple, since there are planets between the two of you with varying gravitational pulls. Add to that a projectile that does more damage, the more you slingshot it around the bodies in the system, and you have a very compelling game! This app is OpenFeint enabled.

Car Jack Streets (£1.79)
If you liked Grand Theft Auto before it was three-dimensional, you’ll love this game. There are a few bugs here and there, and, very rarely, the AI acts in a way that makes missions nigh-on impossible to complete, but it’s good enough fun that you probably won’t mind all that much. One problem: you’re virtually forced to play at least once a week, so if you’re not looking for committment, this may not be the right game for you.

Doodle Bomb (£1.19)
This app merges three of my great loves: puzzles, explosives and physics. You have to throw bombs at switches to flip them. The aim of the game is to get a bomb to the green switch to open the door to the next level, but to get there you have to travel on several machines that are controlled by any number of blue switches that might also have to flipped. It’s thoroughly addicting!

Eliminate Pro
This app is amazing because it’s a fully featured FPS with a focus on online multiplayer (although, if you can’t connect to the net or you want to try out a new weapon, an offline mode with bots is also available). The best part is, it’s completely free to download and play competitively online – your energy meter, when full, allows three multiplayer games, and it recharges throughout the day. Alternatively, if you are out of energy, you can play multiplayer, but not gain levels. Levelling works via a credit system – for each person you kill, credits are given to you, and you rise through the levels by obtaining more and more credits. It is also possible to spend these credits on enhanced weaponry and armour. You can spend money in-app on extra power cells which can either be used to buy more energy (and thus more playtime) or buy more credits. This app is Plus+ enabled.

Finger Foos
A nice free multiplayer app in which the aim is to shoot the ball into your opponents’ goals whilst protecting your own. It was featured in Apple’s adverts for the platform, and is rather good fun.

Flight Control (£0.59)
This app is in many a website or magazine’s list of top apps everybody should have, and that’s deserved. The game is well-implemented, simplistic but addictive. The one criticism I have is that, due to the difficulty curve throughout a level, gameplay is always restricted to five minutes or so and that can be irritating, but then again, you ought to be trying to beat your high scores anyway!

FAAD GOLD by FreeAppADay.com [iTunes Store]
This app, the follow-up to the previous, non-gold app, is great for anyone who is looking for a place to find new games to play. Every day, a selection of apps (mostly games but with a few utilities thrown in) is made free, so you can save money by downloading them whilst they’re free instead of paying for them whilst they aren’t! This app is a spinoff from FreeAppADay.com itself, and whilst both the website and app are pretty ugly designs, they do a good job of their advertised task, so both are still worth a look. I’m not sure why they brought out a second app to supersede the first one, but I think this one has more functionality.

Galcon Labs (£1.79, sister app Galcon is £1.79/free)
This game is a companion to the excellent Galcon Fusion, which I got in the indie bundle that was released as part of Steam’s release on Mac OS X. The desktop version is pretty similar to the standard game in this app, but this also includes four more game modes that are, as far as I can tell, unique to the app. This is not the only Galcon game for the iPhone, sitting (as it does) alongside the original Galcon. I presume that the game modes available in the original are different.

Geared (£0.59) [iTunes Store]
This app tasks you to use the gears (or, if you’re British, cogs) with which you are provided in order to make a gear rotate on the other side of the screen from a gear that is already rotating. It’s simple, but addictive, and there are 120 levels to play through!

Hangman (£0.59/free)
Hangman on the iPhone. Upgrading gets rid of the ads. You can play either against an AI player, or against a mate. Enough said!

iBlast Moki (£1.19)
You have to move a Moki (a cute little thing) from one point of the map to another using only high explosives whilst collecting items on the way. It starts out simple and starts really testing your mind later on. A demo is available, so give it a try! This app is Plus+ enabled.

Kapowie (£0.59)
This game is a shoot-the-targets-on-the-screen app, with nine different levels. Once you get to the end of the ninth level, you’re returned to a harder version of the first level, and things continue until you miss too many targets and you’re out. Simple and fun!

Launchball (£0.59)
This is the Science Museum’s Launchball, brought to iPhone by Bright AI for your convenience. The aim of the game is to get the ball from the beginning of the level to the end of the level using physics, and it’s rather good fun. It’s also educational, or something….

LilRacerz Pro Rally
A bit like MicroMachines, except that instead of racing around desks and bathrooms and whatnot you’re racing around actual racetracks made of tarmac and snow and sand. Obviously, not actual racetracks, as they’re difficult to carry around with you. A pretty good racing game, and a lot of fun.

MachDice (£0.59)
This app will create and roll dice for you. Create dice with any number of sides, roll them and see what you get! If you create dice that aren’t the usual – for example, a d34 – the app will just output a random number rather than rolling a weird dice, but that’s a pretty minor criticism. A must for anyone who doesn’t want to carry their dice bag around with them!

Marple (£1.19/free)
This app is a bit like a cross between Su Doku and a crossword, but instead of numbers, there are four different groups of symbols each with five members and you have to construct a 4×5 grid in which no two symbols are repeated, using only the clues given at the start of the game. It’s very engaging but takes a while to get the strategies down.

Mastermind
Simply entitled ‘Mastermind’, this is probably the nicest version of the classic puzzle game available for iOS. However, somewhat confusingly, it is no longer available in the App Store.

MiniSquadron (£1.79/free)
This is a really good little app that lets you fly around in a plane shooting other planes that are also flying around. Thoroughly addictive, so I recommend having a look at the demo. This app is OpenFeint enabled.

NCIS (£2.99) [iTunes Store]
I’m a huge fan of the television series NCIS and so this app was something I was always going to get. It’s a pretty well implemented point-and-click detective game, with a range of things to do, music from the show and quotations from previous episodes on the loading screens. Worth a look if you’re a fan, but unfortunately there’s no demo.

N.Y. Zombies (£0.59)
This game reminds me a lot of House of the Dead: Overkill but with slightly less cheese. The premise is simple – tap the zombies to shoot them, shoot them enough to make sure they stay dead. However, it can be pretty difficult and it’s proving addictive! Worth a look.

Plants vs Zombies (£1.79)
This PopCap game is brilliantly done and a lot cheaper than its cousin on the PC/Mac. Well worth a look and very good fun. I particularly like the notes from the zombies, as well as Crazy Dave!

Salvo! (£0.59)
This is a rather nifty battleships app that allows for multiplayer either with one handset or via Wi-Fi. The graphics and sounds are well done and the game also features with two different game modes.

Solebon Solitaire (£1.19/free)
This is, in my opinion, the best solitaire app on the iPhone. The free version contains a more limited set of variations on the game, but the paid version has forty different rulesets. This app is also very well designed, with a great UI and great graphics. Worth the money!

Totemo (£1.19)
A puzzle game in which you must clear lines of tribal spirits. Some spirits count as one, some count as two, and you must clear them in groups (in my playing I’ve only reached groups of three, but it may get harder later on!). It’s a lot harder than it sounds and I find I get stuck for ages between spurts of doing really well. Something you can dip in and out of for a couple of minutes or get really, really addicted to!

TriDefense (£1.79/free)
This is possibly one of the most addictive tower defence games I’ve played yet. It’s really rather simple – you have three different turrets and each one can be upgraded. Each turret has two seperate upgrades (for instance, the machine gun can either have its rate of fire massively upgraded, or can be equipped with shells that cause more damage per shot) and you can put water in to create corridors along which the enemy must travel. But don’t take my word for it, download the demo and witness the carnage, all in the palm of your hand! This app is OpenFeint enabled.

Trigger Happy Christmas (£0.59) [iTunes Store]
The elves have tried to sabotage Christmas and presents are falling out of the sleigh! You have to shoot the elves to prevent any more sabotage and send presents back to the workshop. Oh, and you can get a flamethrower called the ‘Elf Toaster Deluxe’. I love this game.

UniWar (£0.59)
This was featured in at least one of the ‘best of 2009’ lists I’ve seen this year, and I was glad when it came up as part of the Appvent Calendar. It’s a cross-platform game so you will be able to multiplayer against people who have other phones as well. Oh, and it’s brilliant – think a hexagonal version of Advance Wars on your iPhone and you have the picture.

Worms (£2.99) [iTunes Store]
This is a version of Worms for the iPhone. If you like Worms, there is a high chance you will like this, too. However, be warned – there’s no way to create a custom weapons list, which is incredibly irritating, in my opinion.

Health & Fitness

Calorie Counter by FatSecret [iTunes Store]
This free app from FatSecret counts calories. I have no idea if it’s the best, but it seemed to me that it was the best of the free ones I downloaded. If you know of a better one, please let me know!

Get Running (Couch to 5K) (£1.19)
This app is excellent for anyone who is currently working on their fitness via the Couch to 5K programme. Put something on with your music player of choice, and then switch to this app, which will pause the music at regular intervals to tell you when to run, when to walk and when to stop your workout. It also provides encouraging dialogue halfway through and ten seconds before the end of each run (at least, at the start). I’d recommend giving this a look if you want to start running and have no experience with doing so.

RunKeeper (£5.99/free) [iTunes Store]
This app from RunKeeper works in the background recording your GPS position, and then using that to plot a map of your run, your speed over time, your height above sea level over time, the number of calories you burned (based on your weight) and a host of other things. Because it works in the background you can use other running apps as well, such as Get Running. Well worth a look!

Lifestyle

Allrecipes UK (£1.79/free) [iTunes Store]
A nifty app from Allrecipes that is also available for the US, Australia and many more countries (although I have no idea what the difference is). I have made a meal from this app and it was really nice, so if you’re into cooking you could do a lot worse than to try it out. The pro version is the US version instead of the UK one, but as far as I can tell there is very little regional variation between the apps.

Amazon UK
This app is a must for people who browse Amazon regularly, with built-in and easy-to-access support for Wish Lists one of the best features in my opinion. Worth having.

Apple Store [US iTunes Store]
This app is only available to US iTunes accounts, but allows the user to check their local store, view the appointments they have made with that store, make new reservations and the like. Pretty useful if you have an Apple Store near you!

AroundMe
Although it does not allow you to search using your own criteria, the built-in list is varied enough to allow the user to find most of what they’re looking for quickly and easily, with a nice user interface. However, if you’re looking for something that AroundMe can’t find, you will have to resort to alternative means.

Burger King [iTunes Store]
This app from Burger King gives you nutrition information and store locations, as well as promotional offers. If you like Burger King (or want to be terrified by the calorie content of their burgers) you should give it a try.

eBay Mobile
If you browse eBay, get this app. There’s not much more to say.

mappiness
This app is part of a project to map people’s happiness. The app will periodically get in touch with you, to ask you how happy, relaxed and awake you are, and then asks you who you’re with, where you are and what you’ve just been doing. Simply set the hours in which you want the app to contact you and the number of times a day you’d like to be contacted. I like to be part of something, so I’m quite enjoying using this app! They’re mostly looking for UK users, however.

myStarbucks UK
This app gives you product descriptions, nutritional information and the location of branches of Starbucks around the country.

Nectar
This is an app from Nectar, the UK loyalty scheme. It updates you as to your points balance and gives you free offers (stuff like an extra 100 points when you buy ketchup, or triple points on your next shop). It’s free, so it’s worth a look if you have the card.

SUBCARD
This app is essentially a Subway loyalty card, so if you visit Subway a lot, you should definitely get it. I believe it only works in the UK, however.

Tesco Groceries
If you shop at Tesco and use Tesco Direct, this app is a good one to have. It includes a barcode scanner so that you can add items you see during your travels to your online basket with ease.

Virtual Zippo Lighter
This app simulates the flame of a Zippo lighter on your iPhone. Useful at gigs when you need a lighter and you don’t have one on you. Otherwise totally useless.

vouchercloud [iTunes Store]
This app from vouchercloud pinpoints your location and then brings up a list of vouchers for the businesses around you. For instance, last time we went out for Mexican food, we got 20% off our meal due to this app! It’s handy having the vouchers on your iPhone rather than needing to print them off the website beforehand.

Music

Beatwave
This app is essentially a miniaturised Tenori-On, which is a bit like a metronome but with different notes and sounds available.

Gorillaz Plastic Beach [iTunes Store]
This app is a passport for the Republic of the Plastic Beach, designed to tie in with the album from Gorillaz. It gives the user links to tour dates, music purchases, links, Twitter feeds and the like. Only for the real Gorillaz fans, I think.

Last.fm
Last.fm is a useful app that allows the user to listen to streaming music for free. If you use Last.fm, it’s definitely worth a look!

Linkin Park [iTunes Store]
Linkin Park’s official iPhone app, if you’re into the band you’ll probably like this app, too.

O2 Priority [iTunes Store]
This app is useful for O2 customers who fancy taking advantage of some of the priority concert tickets the network offers. It lets you browse artists, cities and venues to find gigs you might want to get tickets for. As far as I can tell, however, it can’t link to any of your existing O2 accounts, and so you’ll need to create yet another one to use the app (I think I’m up to five O2-related accounts now!).

RadioBOX (£0.59)
This allows you to listen to any radio stream that you can find online, and also comes with a directory of radio stations that you can browse and listen to. If you listen to a lot of internet radio in scenarios where you might not have your laptop with you, it’s definitely worth a look!

R.E.M. [iTunes Store]
If you’re a fan of R.E.M., download this app and check it out. If you aren’t, well, I guess it’s your call!

Shazam (£2.99/free)
Lets you identify music playing when you’re out and about. It’ll also let you tweet the track you’ve identified and a whole host of other things. I believe that people downloading the free version now have a cap on how many songs per day that they can tag, but since this restriction hasn’t been imposed on people who already had the free app, I can’t comment. One of the apps Apple featured in Rewind 2009.

SoundHound (£2.99/free)
This app already replaced TuneWiki on my iPhone and is very close to replacing Shazam, as well. It will identify music from a source, like Shazam. Unlike Shazam, it will allow you to hum, or record a band covering the song, as opposed to requiring a copy of the original recording. It will also display the lyrics to a song and allows the user to search for lyrics from the app if the lyrics aren’t in the database. You get a limited number of tags with the free version of the app, an infinite number can be bought from the app (or straight from the iTunes Store) for £2.99.

News

NetNewsWire (£1.19/free)
I use NetNewsWire on my Mac, which lets my synchronise my news feeds with Google Reader and this iPhone app. It currently lacks some basic functionality (the ability to add feeds or mark as unread) but is still a rather nicely presented way to keep up with what’s happening.

The Onion
This is the official app for the Onion, America’s finest news source. It’s essentially just a front-end to their latest news and their archive news, but since I’m a huge Onion fan I think it’s pretty good!

Photography

Gorillacam
I got a Gorillapod for my 21st birthday and so I downloaded this app, by the same company, because I’m easily influenced by branding. It’s pretty neat, with the ability to put a timer on the camera and also to take multiple snaps in quick succession, but it takes a while to save photos after they’ve been taken in some cases. There may be better camera apps out there, too – I haven’t done any research.

KaleidoVid (£0.59)
This app turns your iPhone into a kaleidoscope. I’ve gotten some pretty funky images with this so I think it’s worth the money.

TiltShiftGenerator (£0.59)
This app lets you tilt-shift photographs you take. If that sounds like something you might want to do, then get the app!

Productivity

Dropbox
This app allows you to access your Dropbox files on the move and even favourite some of them so that they’re stored on your iPhone, rather than on the website. Worth a look if you’re a Dropbox user, and probably even if you aren’t!

Firefox Home
If you use Firefox, naturally, you’ll already be aware of Firefox Sync, which allows the user to keep bookmarks, browser history and open tabs synchronised between different computers (although, somewhat sadly, one cannot yet sync entire profiles). Firefox Home is an app that allows you to access your history, tabs and bookmarks in a read-only fashion and open them in Safari on the iPhone. Definitely worth a look if, like me, you use Firefox on your Mac!

Howl (£1.79)
Install a Growl plug-in on your computer and then install this on your iPhone, create an account and you can have Growl notifications sent from your computer to your phone! I have notifications of my BitTorrent and other downloading apps sent through Howl so that I know what’s downloaded and what hasn’t, but you can set up notifications for any application that has Growl support.

iTeleport Connect (£14.99)
I’m not really sure what I can say about this app. It lets you access computers (Mac or Windows) from afar, and if I were you I’d download the universal version (there’s an iPad-specific version and an iPhone-specific version that only works on Windows, so I got neither of those). It’s a pretty hefty price tag and it doesn’t work well on sub-3G connections, but other than that it does what it says on the tin pretty admirably.

Noogle Noggles [iTunes Store]
Oddly, this free Google Goggles client from Delicious Monster doesn’t have its own website. It is however a rather nicely designed frontend for the service which was also incorporated into Google’s app at around the same time this was released. I must confess I prefer this one, since I think it’s better designed, less buggy and more responsive. Also, downloading this might encourage the company to make more iPhone apps, something in which I would be very interested.

PandoraBox
An app that allows you to add apps to a wish list and will then give you a push notification if they change price (for instance, when they go on one-day sales), thus allowing you to grab bargains and save money. Recommended!

PlainText
This free app (there is an in-app purchase to remove the iAds but I don’t see much reason to do so…) has replaced the built-in Notes.app as my text editor of choice on my iPhone. The Dropbox sync is awesome and the app is simple but well-done. I heartily recommend this app for anyone, but Dropbox users especially will love it.

Reference

Articles (£1.79)
I’m not sure if I’d recommend you buy this app, since the Wikipedia Mobile app reviewed below is pretty capable and also free. However, since I paid for it when the Wikipedia Mobile app was not that great, I still maintain a copy on my phone. Sometimes it beats the official app and sometimes it doesn’t, and so I keep this around for those articles for which the former is true!

Google Mobile
I feel churlish, complaining about this app, because it adds the ability to search Google by voice. But if that’s not of interest, it’s essentially a glorified list of bookmarks. If that sounds good, give it a try…

IOPscience express
Shows the last twenty-five articles to be printed in journals owned by the Institute of Physics. Nifty if you’re into the latest physics research!

Lottery Results (£0.59)
This app (I refuse to put the star after the name) is rather good for checking lottery results, and works much better (in my opinion) than the official National Lottery website, so I quite like it.

Wikipedia Mobile [iTunes Store]
A long time ago I posted a scathing review of the (then pre-1.0) Wikipedia app. I am so pleased to be able to tell you guys that now, it’s actually really rather good. It’s nothing special, and it doesn’t offer any thrilling new functionality, but it’s a lot better than accessing Wikipedia through MobileSafari and has a nifty location-based feature, to boot. Well worth downloading, in my opinion.

Wolfram Alpha (£1.19)
The iPhone version of the computational search engine. It was once a double-digit figure for the pleasure of downloading this app, but since then, the developers have seen sense and reduced it to a much more reasonable price. If you like Wolfram Alpha, you will probably like this app!

Social Networking

Facebook
A fairly well-designed app to let you interface with Facebook that also happens to be free. What are you waiting for?

Foursquare
This is a location-aware social network that essentially transforms going out into your city into a game that you can play to accrue points and a reputation. You check into venues and places in your city, and the people who check into venues most frequently are anointed mayors. Mayors get free stuff, if the company is participating (for instance, Domino’s in the UK give away free pizza to mayors on Wednesdays!). Worth having a look, especially if you enjoy discovering new places to go.

LiveJournal [iTunes Store]
Just updated, it took six months for the latest upgrade to be released. Somewhat oddly, it has transferred from the flag of Cosy Software to LiveJournal, Inc. It has also changed name, from LiveJournal.app to simply LiveJournal. Both the new, rereleased app (0.6.0) and the old app (0.5.6) are available for download from the App Store. I am not sure whether the transfer from an independent developer to the company itself will mean more frequent updates, but let’s hope so! This app allows the user to read his/her journal, friends list and messages, as well as posting updates (now with the option to create a poll within the app!). Worth a look if you’re a LiveJournal user, but don’t get it if you haven’t got LJ! (This is something that the reviewers in the App Store don’t appear to have grasped yet….)

Meebo
Meebo is the first IM app for the iPhone that didn’t offend me with bad design, or terrible adverts, or a layout that meant that the chat was almost invisible due to everything else going on. Miles better than any of the other apps I’ve used, and has the advantage that you can use your Meebo account to sign into all your IM accounts from your iPhone or from a web browser.

ProBoards (£1.79/free)
This app lets me post to and read the Gamesoc forum. If you don’t frequent a ProBoards forum there isn’t much point.

Skype
Free VOIP calls from your iPhone, when you’re connected to Wi-Fi or 3G (3G calls are free until the end of 2010). Sure, this may seem a little stupid if you’re near your laptop, but if you’re using the free Internet at a McDonald’s or just have good signal, it might just prove to be a cheap way to call home. I rarely use it, but then again, I don’t know many people on Skype.

S.N.A.P.
This app, a (rather contrived) acronym for Social Network Analyzer for Privacy, uses Facebook Connect to tell you how secure your profile is. I just installed it and it gave me the rather chastening news that my profile scored a C- (it now scores a B, which essentially means that you’ve set everything to “Friends Only” or better). I wasn’t planning to leave this on my iPhone but updates are planned so I’m keeping it around.

Twitter [iTunes Store]
Twitter was formerly known as Tweetie, and was purchased by the social networking company in April 2010 since it was, and still is, the best Twitter app for the iPhone. This app has it all, and with style. The implementation is thoughtful and the design terrific, recognised by the app winning several awards and accolades, most impressively Time Magazine’s iPhone app of the year. If you only get one app for your iPhone, and you use Twitter, make it this one.

WordPress
If you use WordPress, and you have an iPhone, you might want this app. However it’s buggy and slow so beware!

Yummy (£1.19)
This client for Delicious allows you to bookmark pages and read bookmarks that you’ve saved previously. Useful when you come across an interesting link on your iPhone that you don’t want to have to e-mail to yourself!

Sports

ECB Cricket
If you are a cricket fan you could do a lot worse to check this simple and lightweight app out. It comes with scorecards for the day’s games, news stories, photos and videos, and also links to the Twelfth Man podcast. This app is extremely well-designed and was one of the apps Apple featured in Rewind 2009.

Guinness Premiership Rugby
Pretty similar to the cricket news app described above, but with rugby news instead. Worth a look for the rugby fan!

Leicester Tigers [iTunes Store]
This is similar to the Guinness Premiership app but is focused on the Leicester Tigers, the team I support.

Travel

London Tube Deluxe (£0.59)
This app is a must for anyone who plans to travel around London, ever. Definitely recommended for people using the Tube. The developer has also done an app that deals with London’s buses.

Train Search
If you take trains in the UK, this app is a good way to search for timetables whilst on the move, and has a really nice UI that I find easy to use.

Urbanspoon [iTunes Store]
This is an iPhone app from Urbanspoon designed to help the user work out where to eat. You can either choose the type of cuisine and the price range, or shake your phone and get a surprise!

Yelp [iTunes Store]
If you use Yelp, you’ll know why I’m recommending this. Yelp is a service that allows you to find restaurants and similar things in your area, along with reviews and ratings and an augmented-reality function. Useful for finding places to eat, but has a much more limited range of uses than AroundMe and Yell.com.

Utilities

1Password (£3.99/£2.39)
When I used Windows, I used to use PasswordSafe for all my password security needs, but since coming to the Mac, I’ve been on the lookout for a better solution. 1Password is that solution. With the ability to synchronise passwords between your iPhone and your Mac, if you’re running both, this is invaluable. The ‘Look up in 1Password’ bookmarklet is useful enough to persuade me to get 1Password Pro, but both products are decent ones to have. One of the apps Apple featured in Rewind 2009. Somewhat oddly, the free version of this app is categorised under Productivity, and not Utilities.

Consume (£0.59)
Consume is an app by my favourite iPhone developer, Bjango. It’s a usage tracker, which allows the user to input their user details and receive updates as to their usage of minutes, text messages and downloads as a proportion of their monthly allowances. It also allows the addition of other services – for instance, I have added my GAME Rewards balance and my Nectar balance to allow me to keep track of them on the fly, which I find useful!

Convertbot (£0.59)
This is by far the best conversion app for the iPhone, marrying a wide range of units with a UI that borrows liberally from the iPod and is just as easy to use. I also tried using Convert, by tap tap tap, but it’s harder to use, has fewer units from which one can choose, has more bugs and costs more money. Why pay more for lower quality?

iBrate Vibrate [iTunes Store]
This app makes your phone vibrate a lot. That’s really all that needs saying, here!

iStat (£0.59)
The second entry on this list by Bjango (the first being Consume), this is a nifty little app that lets you ping and traceroute from your iPhone, as well as giving you details on battery charge, RAM usage and the IP address with which you’re connected to the net. In addition, if you install a free bit of software on your computer, you can monitor its condition remotely via Bonjour. Worth a look.

Mover (£1.19/free)
An intuitive and useful app that Apple included in their selection of the best apps of 2009. It allows sharing of files via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but people using the free version can only use Bluetooth to receive files – if you want to send something to someone and you have no Wi-Fi handy, you need the paid version. This app was one of the apps Apple judged to be the best of 2009 in their Rewind 2009 feature.

QR Reader for iPhone
This is a QR reader. It reads QR codes. That’s all I need it for, and that’s all it does. I got it to replace Barcode, which is unfortunately no longer supported and rather buggy. The reason I chose this app was that it was free, unlike similar apps that cost money!

RedLaser (£1.19)
This app lets you scan barcodes on products and then goes off and searches for them online before telling you how much they are on a variety of websites and online stores. Cyclops is a similar app that is 59p cheaper, but nowhere near as well implemented – and, last time I used it, Cyclops was limited to Amazon whereas RedLaser can search using Google. There’s a reason RedLaser was at the top of the paid apps chart for a while!

TouchPad (£2.39)
This app lets you use your iPhone as a touchpad on either your PC or Mac. It’s useful for controlling your computer without having to get up, and also allows you to pinch-to-zoom (obviously, I haven’t used the Windows side of things, but I presume the features are broadly the same).