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Iphone Essentials: Accessories & Apps

By TechnologyNo Comments

I’ve had my baby (my Iphone4 32GB Black) now for just over a month so I thought I’d share some Iphone Essentials. First the accessories.

Accessories
I’m always on the move so my essential accessories are the DURAGADGET Suction Car Windscreen Mount,1.2m Iphone Ipod to Audio system Aux socket cable and a cover.

The DURAGADGET Suction Car Windscreen Mount allows you to put your Iphone in a holder and mount it on your windscreen or dashboard. It comes with a in car charger so no need to buy one of those, but it is difficult to assemble when it arrives. No instructions were provided and it took several of us to suss out how it works. My advice pull the back really hard after taking the screw out. It needs to be noted as well, that the Iphone wont fit if it has a case on.

The 1.2m Iphone Ipod to Audio system Aux socket cable is an essential to plug in to your in car CD player, if your car doesn’t have an iphone connector.

I couldn’t find a cover online that was reasonably priced and that seemed durable. Instead I headed down to my local market and picked one up. Covers are an essential as Iphone’s get scratched easily.

Apps
There are thousands upon thousands of Apps out there, but some good and some not. So here’s my fav apps by type:

Blogging

  • WordPress
    Good Points: Excellent for uploading media and writing shorter blog posts.
    Bad Points: Unable to delete local drafts.

Music

  • Moodagent
    Good Points: Organises and plays your music based on the mood setting you choose.
    Bad Points: Doesn’t catergories all music, particularly if your itunes library has some “Unknown Albums”
  • Shazam (Free)
    Good Points: Listens to music through the speaker and tells you what it is, even provides a link to itunes.
    Bad Points: Can only listen to 5 songs per month in the free version, full version very expensive.
  • Gaydio Radio
    Good Points: Allows you to listen to gaydio radio on your phone.
    Bad Points: Only works if connected to the internet via wi-fi.
  • Galaxy Radio
    Good Points: Allows you to listen to a whole host of radios on your phone.
    Bad Points: Only works if connected to the internet via wi-fi.

News

  • The Guardian
    Good Points: Get the latest news including photos. Lots of customisation – the app can bring up the latest stories in their catergories.
    Bad Points: When it updates you have to edit your settings again.
  • BBC News
    Good Points: Displays news including photo and video. A button can be clicked to see BBC News live video streaming.
    Bad Points: BBC News is too internationally based news for me.
  • Pink News
    Good Points: Gay related headlines and news from Pink News.
    Bad Points: Too much advertising.
  • Metro UK
    Good Points: View the Metro Uk paper free via the app.
    Bad Points: None in my experience.
  • Manchester Evening News
    Good Points: Local news for my area.
    Bad Points: None in my experience

Weather

  • Met Office
    Good Points: Finds your nearest weather station and gives weather for the week, with weather at specific times on the day. Lots of graphical data such as uk maps. Also states if there is an official met office weather warning.
    Bad Points: None in my experience.

Reference

  • Google
    Good Points: Can use it to search Google internet. Links to other apps (such as Youtube, Docs, GMail, etc.).
    Bad Points: More likely to use the search bar for Google searches in Safari.
  • Dictionary
    Good Points: Searches for spellings and meanings on Dictionary.com.
    Bad Points: None in my experience.
  • Free Translator
    Good Points: Translates text from one language to another.
    Bad Points: Need to be connected to the internet, doesn’t speak the translation so you know how to say it.
  • Google Earth
    Good Points: can see maps and birds eye view, highlights key listings for businesses.
    Bad Points: more likely to use the maps app that comes with the iphone.

Games

  • Civilization Revolutions
    Good Points: Turn based strategy game, lots of features.
    Bad Points: Very expensive for what it is, only allows you to save/play one game.
  • The Secret of Grisly Manor
    Good Points: A great puzzle solving game.
    Bad Points: Short, once completed can’t really be played again – however worth the money. Rubbish story line.
  • Empire Story
    Good Points: A roman-style city. Brilliant graphics.
    Bad Points: You produce products in order to make money, if you don’t check back shortly after they’re done they “spoil” even things like armor.
  • Pocket Ants
    Good Points: Enjoy squashing ants with stones, freezing them with a freeze ray and much more. Game cheap.
    Bad Points: The game doesn’t really have a point.
  • Plasma Globe
    Good Points: Relaxing plasma ball, if you click start becomes a game.
    Bad Points: Gets boring after a while.
  • Geared
    Good Points: Highly addictive. All you have to do is make the gears turn the blue gears, not as easy at it sounds! Brilliant tutorial on the first few levels. A total of 80 levels. Social – you can play it with friends all telling the person with the phone where they think the cogs should go! FREE.
    Bad Points: None found.

Entertainment

  • Youtube
    Good Points: Watch videos on the phone. Comes installed.
    Bad Points: Mostly requires wi-fi connection.
  • TVGuide.co.uk
    Good Points: See what’s on TV now and next as well as an grid of the entire day with the ability to see listings for an entire week.
    Bad Points: Advertising.
  • Movies by Flixster
    Good Points: Cinema listings with it finding your nearest cinemas. Watch videos and read about films including reviews.
    Bad Points: None in my experience.
  • Cineworld
    Good Points: See film listings and order.
    Bad Points: Only useful if your going to a cineworld cinemas.

Pagan

  • Star Walk
    Good Points: See the stars live, all named including constellations. Zooming in and out and moving around the globe. Good to see your star sign and what influences are in it for astrology. Cheap as well!
    Bad Points: None in my experience.
  • Liber Umbrarum et Lux
    Good Points: Lots of information, intended to be a journal as well, allowing you to add your own entries. Free.
    Bad Points: Lack of images, difficult to find your own entries and impossible to delete theirs.
  • Pagan Gods
    Good Points: Some nice images, cheap.
    Bad Points: Although cheap, not worth the price. Some images of poor quality and the app store page only shows the handful of beautiful images there are. Only a small amount of information about the gods and goddesses and some clear inaccuracies.

Shopping

  • ASDA
    Good Points: Can send in details of receipts to see if you could of got the shopping cheaper at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose. You can also find local stores.
    Bad Points: Doesn’t compare some items and you can only submit receipts 24 hours after shopping.
  • RedLaser
    Good Points: Scan a barcode using your camera on your iphone to find cheaper prices online. Seems to work well on DVD’s, CD’s, Laptops, etc. so you can see the best price online. Free.
    Bad Points: Doesn’t work on the majority of groceries and doesn’t search supermarkets.
  • Amazon UK
    Good Points: See your wish list, recommendations for you, search for products, order products and track your order. Free.
    Bad Points: None.
  • Ebay UK
    Good Points: Watch items, see the status of items your buying and selling. Place bids. Free.
    Bad Points: Only useful if you use ebay.
  • Argos
    Good Points: Can shop and reserve to collect in store. Can find stores. Free.
    Bad Points: Takes a while to load, only useful if you shop at Argos.

Travel

  • NavFree
    Good Points: Free sat nav. Seems to work as well as other popular brands but free.
    Bad Points: Only useful if you have a dashboard or windscreen mount.
  • thetrainline.com
    Good Points: Can find the next train home, plan journeys. Even buy tickets – although I haven’t tried this feature.
    Bad Points: None.

Other

  • Dragon Dictation
    Good Points: Free. Tap a button and say what you want to type. Then it types it for you. You can then send the text as SMS, email, facebook, etc.
    Bad Points: It occasionally misses words or gets words wrong.

As with most technology there are constantly new apps in development and apps being updated. As and when I find new apps I like I’ll occasionally write a blog post keeping you up to date.

Write soon,

Antony

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