December 26, 2008
So you just got your shiny new iPhone and you've spent all of your money on a protective case for it, because god forbid you get a scratch or scuff mark anywhere on your phone. And now, though your phone is safe and secure, you don't have any money left to buy all of those fancy apps I previously recommended. What to do? First, relax, it's going to be okay. I was thinking of you while writing that other list because hey, there's thousands of apps out there, and many of them are free! With so many apps, it can get overwhelming. Some might get discouraged and curl up into a ball and cry. I don't want that to happen to you. I really don't. Also, some of you might not have the
patience time to scan through them all. You need to know what's good. You need to know what you shouldn't live without. That's why I've complied another list of the 20 MUST HAVE FREE APPS. Yes. You're welcome.
This is one of the most jaw dropping apps on the iPhone, and it's free! If you've ever been in an American Eagle store arguing with a loved one over who was singing "Santa Baby" on the store speakers, you can now settle that argument with this app. It listens to a song, (in commercials, on the radio, in a movie, etc) and it will tell what song it is, who's singing it, a link to by it in iTunes, and a link to watch it on Youtube. It's amazing. It knows everything... and yes, it was Everclear singing, not Harry Connick Jr. You were right, Robyn. You were right.
98.2% of the world is on Facebook. So, you're probably on Facebook. So... you're going to want to get this app, that way you can stay connected all of the time. You'll always know what your friends are up to, and they'll always know what you're up to. And you can upload mobile pictures! Oh, what would the world be like without social networking sites?
Remember a couple years back when EVERYONE was on MySpace and no one had heard of Facebook? Remember back a couple years before that when no one had heard of MySpace because only the cool, hip kids were a part of it? Well, it's still around, and you probably still have an account. So you might as well keep it updated with this app. Maybe in a year it will be cool again. Right?
Some day you might find yourself in a part of town you're not very familiar with. And on that day, you might want to go to a bank. Or to Starbucks. Or... to the post office... but- you don't know where they are! (Remember, you're in an unfamiliar part of town.) Rather than drive across town to the place you know, you can use this app to find out what's nearby. It'll even give you directions! How thoughtful!
Another game that involves destroying chains of similar, repeating patterns? Sign me up! I know I throw around the "fun and addicting" description a lot- but this one is really fun and addicting. You find yourself trying to get larger and larger chains, being a daredevil- trust me, for a free game, you can't go wrong with this. And it must be good, because it's the only game on this list. Whoa!
For the health minded folks out there, this is an excellent app that will give you the nutrition info for many popular restaurants. (Most are fast food, but let's be honest, that's where most people eat.) Maybe with this app you'll think twice about that Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger from Carl's Jr. 910 calories! My goodness. You can also keep track of your eating habits with the program- or you can use it to shame your gluttonous friends who can't resist temptation. Fun for all!
A day will come in the near future where you will need to know how many ounces are in a cup, or how many liters are in a gallon. And when this time comes, don't fret. Just open this app, fill in the info that you have, and magically you'll have the conversion for every unit within a particular field, volume, area, temperature, etc. Very handy. Get, get, get!
There are many drawing apps. This one is my favorite. My friends and I have made it a tradition to kill time before movies at the theater by using this app to draw old movie posters and then trying to guess what movie it's supposed to be. You should see my 'Major League' drawing. It's something else.
You can have access to reviews of everything from restaurants to hotels to day spas, all at the touch of a finger. Plus, if you get horrible service, you don't have to wait to post a review about it. You can rant and rave while your emotions are still running high. Why let calmer heads prevail?
Okay, first of all- I know how dumb this app is. It's dumb. Yes. It is. It's completely pointless. But it's also something that makes the inner Star Wars geek in us smile. And it's free. This was one of the first apps I ever got, and even though I'm running out of room on my phone, I still can't bring myself to delete it.
The Weather Channel
Even though some might consider talking about the weather to merely be an ice breaker in awkward social settings, I happen to actually care about what the 10 day outlook is. This app breaks down the current weather, the next 12 hours, the 36 hours, and the next 10 days. Plus it offers maps, videos and severe weather alerts. It's a good app, better than the weather app that comes pre-installed.
If you don't like movies, then we have nothing more to say to each other. If you're still reading, hi. I'm glad we can be friends. Anyway, this app is great to keep you informed of what's out, what's coming out, what the critics are saying, and where/when to catch it.
Let me tell you a story. It's Thanksgiving evening. I get a call from my uncle. He's been having a political argument with another relative. They wanted to know who was president between Teddy Roosevelt and Hoover. Fortunately, I was able to ask my trusty Wikipanion for a list of US Presidents, and I had an answer for them in moments.
Let's be honest. You never know when you're going to wake up in an unmarked grave in Mexico. I've seen it happen to at least a half dozen friends of mine. I know my turn is coming. And when it does, I'm not going to worry, because I have a translator. "Ayuda. Me desperté en una tumba anónima en el desierto. ¿Hay un In-N-Out cerca?"
Let's face it. Sometimes, you'd rather leave a voicemail. This app will connect you directly to the caller's voicemail- no ringing involved. (This is, of course, assuming that they have a voicemail account, and not an old fashioned land-line.) You can even pretend that you're upset they didn't pick up. It's a lot of fun. And it's free.
For sports fans, this is a must have. You can follow all of the big sports, get scores, stats, standings, etc. I'm not even a sports fan, and I have it. This way, I can get NBA scores all the time. And, I can check on my Sharks to see how they're doing. It's awesome. Get this app.
Sometimes... you need advice and you have no one to turn to. Fortunately, the magic 8 ball is there for you to dispense wisdom such as, "ask again later," and "outlook hazy," and "yes." Look, magic 8 balls are fun. This is something you can pull out at a party and not get arrested for.
Hi. My name is Brian and it's been two days since my iPhone last suggested a drink for me. "Hi Brian!" I'm not an alcoholic, but with this app, my friends will never be the wiser! You'll learn how to make over 5800 cocktails. If you were to try a new one every day, that's 15 years worth of drinking. (So you might want to try to cram in 2 or 3 drinks a day to get through them all faster. You're welcome.)
Okay, this is a free app made BY Apple FOR Apple products. That's all I should have to say. It's quality. You turn your phone into an iTunes remote for your computer. Your phone becomes a mini iTunes window. This was another one of the first apps I ever downloaded and I have zero regrets.
Were there more deserving apps that should have made the list over this one? Perhaps. There are probably some apps that were overlooked. There are probably some apps that I don't even know about yet. But this app- it's an app that's a part of our pop culture- something that the hip scenester could be quoting at a trendy, overpriced bar- something that the occasional VH1 watcher will also recognize... And when people hear it, they will smile and forget about whatever negative thoughts may have been weighing them down. And for that brief moment, realize that you've made the world a slightly better place. And besides, I've got a fever, and the only prescription... is more cowbell!
You know the great thing about this list? If you get one of these apps and you think to yourself, "Brian, you devil, you led me astray. This app is not something that I find super spectacular." You don't have to be mad about it! You can just delete because it cost NOTHING! Everyone wins! (Though I can't understand how you could not love every app on this list. I just can't.)
P.S. You're welcome.