Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Nerd Discusses: The iPhone

About six months ago I purchased a shiny new Apple iPhone 3GS. Since then, what had started out as neat little gadget has quickly become an essential utility item. To say that the phone has replaced my laptop in usefulness is a great understatement. I use the iPhone to check emails, visit web pages, catch up on the news and find sports scores. In all honesty if I could attach the phone to a keyboard, printer and run Microsoft Word I would pitch my laptop in the nearest trash bin. After spending six months with the phone I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite apps along with a few that I have found to be essentially useless. It is also worth noting that some of these apps may be available on other phones besides the iPhone, but I have not bothered to check.

1. ESPN Score Center- This app has proven to be one of my most used items on my phone. The Score Center app allows you to follow your favorite sports and teams, providing up to date information and analysis. Overall the apps presentation is very easy to use and navigate. In terms of features Score Center stands out as you can track live events and also have your phone alert you to important events during a game. Best of all, the price is right on this one as it will cost you a grand total of $0.00.

Lose it!- Those of you who had get in shape on your list of resolutions should take a look at this app. Essentially Lose it! Is a calorie counter, but it also tracks numerous other factors involved in losing weight. From the start the app asks you your weight and what your weight loss goal is, with that information it gives you an allowance of calories you can take in every day. The application will also track your exercise and it gives a fairly accurate estimate of how many calories you have burned. For all of this the program provides nice graph for you to see your progress. The ability to see how much you are eating presented on a clear and easy to read graph really helps keep you motivated. This app will cost you nothing so it is definitely worth looking into.

Peggle- Prepare to have all of your productivity thrown out the window. This game is by far one of the best I have played on the iPhone and easily the most addictive. The folks at Pop Cap games have taken their extremely popular pc game and brought it Apple’s hand held device. If you have never heard of Peggle the concept is simply: Each level has a grid of blue pegs, and sprinkled among those are 10 orange pegs. The player must shoot a ball at the top of the level and attempt to hit all of the orange pegs. The game is great mix of luck and skill and is difficult to put down once you start. At just $2.99 Peggle is a great value, and deserves a spot on your iPhone.

I have several more apps which are worth noting but I will hold off. Now I want to turn my attention to some of the applications which have proven to be less than useful.

1. RedLaser- This application is very ambitious and unfortunately comes up short of the mark. The concept of RedLaser is you use the iPhone’s camera to scan the barcode of items, and then using that information the app will tell you the price and availability of the item in stores. Just on that description the application sounds brilliant and would revolutionize the way I shop. Unfortunately the only part of this app that works well is the scan feature. Once your item is scanned the program brings up nothing but useless results. Here is an example: I scan a box of cereal and RedLaser tells me that the item is only available on the internet and for a price of $144.00. Clearly this app still has some bugs to get out, but when they do it will be great. At $1.99 for RedLaser you are best holding on to your money or flushing it down the toilet instead, at least you will get some value out of watching it spin into the watery abyss.

2. Wikipedia- Wikipedia is made for the iPhone. Anytime you have a question or simply want to know about an obscure topic it is great to have a wealth of information in your pocket. Sadly the Wikipedia app is totally redundant as the encyclopedia functions much better in the iPhone’s web browser than it does as a standalone app. There is nothing better than to sit there and wait with a burning question on your mind as the Wikipedia app to load. Although it is free it is not even worth your time downloading it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna try out Lose it!