Latterly, it has been the cash-in, no-brow applications for the iPhone that have hit the headlines. Stand up, the Obama trampoline game, which was rejected for its political content, but ought to have been dismissed out of hand just for being utterly one-dimensional. Then there’s the even less sophisticated Pull My Finger. When activated this let out what your dad might describe as a trump. Not since Google coder, part-time rapper and all-round superbrain Monzy invented the world’s first video game urinal has technology been put to such knuckle-headed purposes.
But it’s not all joke shop-style novelties at Apple’s app store. And to help you sort the trash from the treasure and get the most of your Jesus phone, we’ve compiled an idiosyncratic list of our favourite applications in top tenular fashion that takes in everything from great games, an app that takes the hassle out of downloading podcasts to your handset right through to natty translator.
Gaming enthusiasts have embraced the iPhone as the first mobile platform that supports really playable games. In the form of this colourful, fun game, in which you are tasked with guiding blobs around a cartoony landscape, it’s not hard to see why. Any similarity with best-selling PSP title Loco Roco, we’d venture, is entirely non-coincidental.
9) Public Radio Tuner
Rather than limiting yourself to podcasts you’ve downloaded, this doozie of a device allows you to tune into all your favourite talk radio shows. There’s also a brilliant search function so that you can locate a specific programme.
Brandishing phrase books that identify you as a tourist in foreign locales can be a downer. But luckily this little app has arrived to spare our blushes. Simply typing a phrase in English delivers a spoken translation in a trice. The iSpeak is conversant is in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, and Swedish. That’s officially even more languages than Professor Arsene Wenger, aka the Emeritus of the Emirates, can speak.
7) The Associated Press Mobile News Network
Does exactly what it says on the tin, and allows you to access gold standard international news stories and market-moving financial information. There’s also plenty of showbiz scoops and, best of all, stories load fast and can be read offline.
The UK journalists who were conned into reporting that Cypriot football team Omonia Nicosia’s ex-players included Jean Claude Van Damme and cornball ivory tinkler Richard Clayderman might not agree, but Wiki is still the best place to go when you need to get up to speed in a hurry. This app for the site scores highly for its great rendering of the infinite encyclopaedia’s pages and for its search facility that runs as you type to save time.
This is a neat image editor that allows you to edit and apply graphics to your snaps. Fun functions, such as speech bubbles, rub shoulders with more pragmatic ones including sharpen, crop, colour and correct.
4) Blue Attack
Widely regarded as the best shoot-‘em-up on the iPhone, this absorbing title blends frantic action with fun power-ups.
Instapaper lets you store articles that you chance upon during a day’s idle web browsing on computer onto your iPhone simply by hitting a Read Later tag.
This effectively turns your handset into a pretty useful voice recorder-cum-dictaphone for storing ideas or recording conversations. Recordings are in high quality AIFF format.
1) Fake Call
Fake call lets you set up a fake contact who can then ‘phone’ you whenever you need an excuse to get away from somewhere. This gets in part to show we’re not entirely without a sense of humour, but also because it’s brimming with practical purposes. Think of the business meetings you’ll be able to slip out and then tell me you don’t need this in your life.