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Ow, my iPhone!!
July 9, 2009 9:48 AM   Subscribe

The 10 smartest and stupidest iPhone apps, according to British technology website The Register. The smartest apps include things like personal databases, information tools and music streaming and identification apps. The stupid section is a morass of farts, poop, pickup lines and badly rendered, vaguely creepy pictures of girls. Idiocracy, it seems, has come early to the App Store.
posted by acb (54 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
The soon-to-be-released iPhone 3.0 software will offer a slew of new capabilities to iPhone developers. With that sea change in mind, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at the highs and lows of the current crop of apps for the iPhone and iPod touch.

The Register - who says obsolete is bad?
posted by djgh at 9:51 AM on July 9, 2009


They could have doubled the page count - one app per page. Someone stands in need of a caning at theregister head office.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


The only thing dumber than that "Wooo!" app, which is free btw, is the fact that they took the time to review it.
posted by DU at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2009


"now would be a good time " well, maybe "then" was a good time...

And, I'm thinking they could have gone with a half an app per page, if they really wanted to do it right...

This will teach me to click through to anything that has "top 10" in the title...
posted by HuronBob at 9:58 AM on July 9, 2009


The Register - who says obsolete is bad?

In fairness to the Register, they posted this waaaay back in May, so those sentences were valid at publication...
posted by mr_roboto at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2009


Oh, Idiocracy has come to much more than the App Store.
posted by asfuller at 10:01 AM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ms. Fart - queef sound effects (99¢)
"Why listen to an old man fart when you can listen to a lady?"


Why, indeed.
posted by Down10 at 10:08 AM on July 9, 2009


Has anyone used the Remote App to control iTunes? Do you need to use an Airport Express? Does it work well?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:20 AM on July 9, 2009


Wooo!
posted by malocchio at 10:24 AM on July 9, 2009


Has anyone used the Remote App to control iTunes? Do you need to use an Airport Express? Does it work well?

It can control iTunes on any computer on the same WiFi network as the iPhone. You don't need an Airport Express. When you first turn it on, it takes ~5-10 seconds to find the computer and get the library contents, but once you're connected, it works very smoothly.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:25 AM on July 9, 2009


jeff-o-matic - It does work well. I used mine on a D-Link wireless router on my iTunes that runs on Vista. Pretty handy app until iTunes turned on me and I ended up using Winamp.
posted by Phantomx at 10:28 AM on July 9, 2009


GO AWAY iBATIN!
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:32 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has anyone used the Remote App to control iTunes? Do you need to use an Airport Express? Does it work well?

I used it at a trade show where we had a few dancers doing a demonstration every hour or so on stage. The sound computer was located at a place where the stage could not been seen, so the remote app was a godsend. Oh, and that iTunes library was on a PC, and no airport express in sight.
posted by DreamerFi at 10:36 AM on July 9, 2009


Idiocracy? Really?

http://xkcd.com/603/
posted by edheil at 10:37 AM on July 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


We use the Remote App, too. It's pretty great. No Airport.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:41 AM on July 9, 2009


The Pocket Universe astronomy app on the 3G S is really cool. I giggled with glee the first time I held the phone up to the night sky and watched the constellations depicted onscreen wheel about until they aligned with the stars in the sky. Best $3 I've spent in a long time.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has anyone used the sexy pen app? Does it work well?
posted by brundlefly at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2009


"Wooo!" would seem much less inessential if it were bundled into the "Rimshot & Crickets" app.
posted by anthom at 10:45 AM on July 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


I wish there was such a thing as a half favourite, so I could favourite this take one half back for the Idiocracy link.
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on July 9, 2009


I still can't believe there's any market for an app that does nothing but displays a picture of a scantily-clad woman, given that you have internet access on the damn thing and can access actual porn.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:51 AM on July 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


edheil: Idiocracy? Really?

Yes, really.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:55 AM on July 9, 2009


This thread was deleted for the following reason: Upgrayyedd is gonna kill me if he sees this.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:02 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


God I hate the Register.
posted by swift at 11:05 AM on July 9, 2009


Yuck.

Old. Also, excessive pagination. And, the Register. Moving on...
posted by disclaimer at 11:09 AM on July 9, 2009


Tomorrowful: I still can't believe there's any market for an app that does nothing but displays a picture of a scantily-clad woman, given that you have internet access on the damn thing and can access actual porn.

What's worse is that there's a market for a tip calculator even though there's a calculator app included with the phone.
posted by trueluk at 11:10 AM on July 9, 2009


FTP On The Go is pretty badass, fwiw.
posted by everichon at 11:21 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Print-Friendly Version: The whole list is on one page.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 11:26 AM on July 9, 2009


Has anyone used the sexy pen app? Does it work well?
--Brundlefly

Well, it doesn't write very well (0 out of 10), and is only moderately sexy (2 out of 10), and the instructions for use specifically call for inserting the thing into your urethra, which is impossible under normal conditions. So overall, I'm going to have to give it an 8 out of 10.

/Game Informer Reviewer
posted by Mister_A at 11:42 AM on July 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


What's worse is that there's a market for a tip calculator even though there's a calculator app included with the phone.

I don't understand why people can't do it in their head. It goes like this:

10%= $1 for every ten dollars spent, used when the service is crappy, but you feel guilty about leaving nothing.

15%= $1.50 for every ten dollars spent and the service was ok

20%= $2 for every ten dollars spent. Above average service.

If it's great service, through an extra five, ten or 20 on top of the percentage.

Seriously, I'm horrible at math, but I refuse to let a computer figure out the goddamn tip for me. I'm still useful around here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:48 AM on July 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


couldn't they have linked a few more great iphone apps I didn't already know? it's news you can use, motherfuckers.
posted by krautland at 11:51 AM on July 9, 2009


Is there a list out there that breaks down the best sellers? (ideally both by total # of download and by total revenue)
posted by LordSludge at 11:56 AM on July 9, 2009


The best iPhone app is incontrovertibly iBird. It was on one of the iPhone TV commericals. 30 dollars for the top version, but worth every penny. If you see or hear a bird, you can easily look it up, learn all sorts of cool facts about it, and play a song that will call it over!

Birds are the coolest.
posted by painquale at 11:57 AM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


They could have doubled the page count - one app per page. Someone stands in need of a caning at theregister head office.
posted by fleetmouse at 11:53 AM on July 9 [1 favorite +] [!]

Yuck.

Old. Also, excessive pagination. And, the Register. Moving on...
posted by disclaimer at 1:09 PM on July 9 [+] [!]


If you are using Firefox Autopager, which I installed 5 days ago so far works great. (AskMe) It asks once the first time it visits each domain if it has detected a multipage post and turns on or off with 2 clicks via an icon on the toolbar. If you are not using Firefox :(.
posted by vapidave at 12:09 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


re: tipping, baseline in the U.S. is 20%. 15% is what jerks leave.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:14 PM on July 9, 2009


Autopager is teh hotness.
posted by Mister_A at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2009


Same story with the Google's Android Market. There are so many fart apps, soundboards, T&A apps, and tip calculators that you wonder why they bother. Yuck.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2009


Dude, how long have you been waiting to post a comment about tipping? Since November 11?
posted by Mister_A at 12:16 PM on July 9, 2009


The only thing dumber than that "Wooo!" app, which is free btw, is the fact that they took the time to review it.

Once you've had to entertain a 2-year-old for 30 minutes while waiting for a seat at the dim sum place, Wooo! Button (and Rimshot) go from "dumb" to "OMG HOW DID I LIVE WITHOUT THIS THING." Trust me.

(Brushes works for that too, but the UI's a little complex for a two-year-old.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:19 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dude, how long have you been waiting to post a comment about tipping?

Since before Illyria ruled from Vahla ha'nesh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:48 PM on July 9, 2009


I've seen someone use the Candle app at rock concerts, in lieu of a lighter.
posted by hellojed at 12:56 PM on July 9, 2009


re: tipping, baseline in the U.S. is 20%. 15% is what jerks leave.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:14 PM on July 9


We are not having this conversation here.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:32 PM on July 9, 2009


I don't tip
posted by Artw at 1:59 PM on July 9, 2009


re: tipping, baseline in the U.S. is 20%. 15% is what jerks leave.

Christ you Merkins are cheapskates. Over here in the UK we tip 50% for great service and steal the wheels of the waitresses car for bad service. But then the wait staff have to pay to go to work and the food is free.

Bad 42. Behave...
posted by twine42 at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2009


Seriously though I'm always out with people and they're like 'can you figure out the tip for us please you are not horrible at math like we are' and then i'm like oh look i move the decimal one place and the double it I AM A MATHEMATICAL GENIUS
posted by shakespeherian at 2:15 PM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have to say, the idea of a calculator for tips does seem like laziness - I have no idea what the 'accepted' tip is in the UK, but it's easy enough to knock a decimal point by a place and then leave it for 10% or double it for 20%.

We don't have the benefit of £1 any more, so things tend (for me at least) to round to the nearest fiver.

It's not rocket science.

BUt then, I suppose, you do get groups where one person has lobster and the other has an egg sandwich and no-one agrees on the tip split... *shrug*
posted by twine42 at 2:21 PM on July 9, 2009


I like the candle! It's much friendlier than the bright white screen of the Flashlight app!

And isn't iPwn already taken?
posted by Pronoiac at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2009


It's not stupid, but it's not smart either, just gorgeous: Hero of Sparta is my new favorite iPhone app.

My son introduced me to this game, and I can't believe the graphics. Ever time I turn it on and see the opening cut scene, I sit there shaking my head, marveling, "I'm watching this on my PHONE!"

Plus, you know, it's fun to kill stuff.
posted by misha at 5:02 PM on July 9, 2009


Seriously, I'm horrible at math, but I refuse to let a computer figure out the goddamn tip for me. I'm still useful around here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher


Well, in fairness, there's more to tip applications than that. Mine works in different currencies, which helps when traveling, it rounds, gives the total, and has this great red and white table cloth background.

But the best feature is when I'm at a dinner with 8 other people and its time to split the check and a couple of them have had one too many I just let the tip app split the check evenly and then pass it around.

Not bad for 99 cents. I guess I have to prove my usefulness in other ways.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 5:58 PM on July 9, 2009


FTP On The Go is pretty badass, fwiw.

Does it support SFTP?
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 PM on July 9, 2009


Yeah, mine has a tip calculator as a bonus utility (its main line is currency and unit conversion), and it does splitting/rounding, lets you drag any of the relevant bill numbers into a basic expense tracker, and it contains a mini-guide to the tipping customs of every country. The thinking behind it wasn't "I bet most people can't calculate 20% in their heads" but "this is one more thing that people reckon with when they're traveling a lot, and if you're used to calculating 20% and everyone's share while the server is gone in the more-leisurely US scenario, you might use this for calculating 5%* and everyone's share when he is standing right there (as they do in most low-tipping countries -- nothing you need to give the customer space to contemplate) and then whisk it right into your expense tracking."

The tip calculators (and other utility apps) seem to also be one of the big playgrounds for UI designers, which clearly appeals to a lot of iPhone owners. I know that hard-bitten Mefites wouldn't just buy an app because it's pretty, but many people are unaware that This Is 99¢ Mobile Application Sparta.

* A great tip in a number of countries
posted by Halle at 2:30 AM on July 10, 2009


Funny thing about iPhone UI - the more developers put into it, and the further it strays from Apples UI conventions, the greater the chance I'll just find it annoying.

Also: link to Safari, you fuckers, I don't want to see your in-app browser.
posted by Artw at 6:25 AM on July 10, 2009


For sheer WTFness it's hard to beat PastorTalk. I found this on sale (for free) and couldn't resist checking it out. Ostensibly designed so that a preacher can yank out the iPhone during a sermon when at a loss for words, shaking the phone shows a new line that can be inserted into the service and inspire. I can't decide if it's actually an attack on organized religion in sheep's clothing:

"Did you get your coffee fix this morning? 'Cuz it sure doesn't look like it!"
"Are ya with me? Oh good at least two people are here this morning."
"Who let the dogs out?"
"[guitar tuning]"
"Ya know, last week at the retreat, God really ..."
"Take your canned goods by the Dorcas class."
"Babba dabba linga booshi Shibbida bubba."

posted by waraw at 6:37 AM on July 10, 2009


Funny thing about iPhone UI - the more developers put into it, and the further it strays from Apples UI conventions, the greater the chance I'll just find it annoying.

Fair enough, but interfaces which don't use Apple's UI widgets are part of Apple's UI conventions as they've documented them.
posted by Halle at 7:13 AM on July 10, 2009


So I don't have an iPhone, but my brother startled and amused me one boring wait in a store by whipping his out (... erm) and waving it around triumphantly with all the requisite lightsaber noises.

Feel free to read into that what you wish - he's not here to complain, heh.
posted by bettafish at 10:22 AM on July 10, 2009


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