Some Useful Paid Apps for the iPhone and iPod touch

By Graham K. Rogers


I am currently in San Francisco and Apple's World Wide Developers' Conference has just ended. There were expected to be several changes to the iPhone and its operating system.

It is the creativity of the many apps that are available that makes the real difference for me with this and my iPod touch, over and above what the devices can already do with data integration and the computer. I try to keep costs down by installing free apps. If these are all users want, they can register at the App Store online using a no credit card option. However, there are some paid apps that I have been unable to resist.

A couple of free apps from True had caused me slight concern: True Music and the True Wifi Locator. The Music App annoyed me when I first tried it and not just because it is not available for the Generation 1 iPod touch. Almost every time I tried, it would crash. A recent update has improved that and I now find I can accesses certain music videos easily.

True True

Although the iPhone and iPod touch indicate when Wifi is nearby, True's locator provides a map and looks a little further. It appears to use True's own database of locations. This only works on the iPhone and Generation 2 touch, which is a shame as those with the Generation 1 iPod touch might also like the information. [The Wifi locator is now marked as only for the iPhone.]

The iPhone and touch identify WiFi, but it is useful to have more information. While iStumbler on the Mac will give a good amount of data, an app called WiFiFoFum produces similar data (like MAC number) plus, when available, location co-ordinates, so the antenna can be pinpointed. This valuable app from Aspecto costs $2.99 (103 baht).

QuickVoice nFinity have two applications for recording voice: Quick Voice and Quick Voice Pro. Both record and send files as email, but Quick Voice Pro also sends a text file of a recording. Recordings can be up to 20 megabytes, but for sending text by email the length is limited to 30 seconds. It is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch 2nd Generation. The Generation 1 Touch does not have voice recording capabilities.

It is not known how this application will change with the 3.0 iPhone update, but the developer reports that other languages are to be available. One would expect this will be for European languages. Quick Voice is a free download. Quick Voice Pro costs 99 cents.

As a measure of its effectiveness, the two paragraphs above were prepared using Quick Voice Pro. However it did have to be split into smaller sections to cope with the 30-second limit. When the emails arrived, I was able to copy the text and made a few minor corrections. Currently a sound file is included with the text.

HazMat I was a motorway policeman for several years in Britain. Daily I would see trucks laden with chemicals. There are a lot of substances being carried that could have devastating effects. We see many trucks in Thailand displaying the HazChem symbols. More important is the four-digit United Nations number identifying the chemical. Emergency services need to know what they are facing and how to manage any problems.

As I also teach Chemical Engineering students, for academic interest I downloaded HazMat which has a complete database of the chemicals and actions to take in a spill situation. The main section, Lookup, contains a numerical list of chemicals from 1001, Acetylene to 9191, a type of Chlorine Dioxide, with a search window at the top for the UN number or the chemical's name.

When a substance is identified the bottom part of the panel reveals five icons: Information, Toxic, Fire, Spill and Health. The app has a limited target group, but those who need to know will find this a handy reference for $3.99 (137 baht). It works on both iPhone and iPod touch.

A lot of Mac users have downloaded the iStat widget for tracking computer information like temperatures and fan speeds and a lot more. Bjango have also produced an app that, on its own, monitors the iPhone or iPod touch. With iStat Server, the app can also monitor a Mac (once a pass-code is entered) using WiFi on the same router. This is a most useful app at $1.99 (68 baht).

iStat iStat

Most recent of the apps I bought was Brushes. Artists like David Hockney are creating Art on the iPhone, but recently Jorge Colombo created a cover for the New Yorker magazine and this was widely covered.

He used Brushes ($3.99 - 137 baht) and I gave it a try. It is possible to apply some fine touches to a picture and make an effective work of Art. This is an app that many users will enjoy. Messrs. Hockney and Colombo have nothing to fear from me in their chosen field.

Brushes Brushes Brushes

See Also:

  • Using an iPhone (1): Some Observations and
  • Uses of an iPhone (2): Home and Abroad

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