Two Awesome Apps Every iPhone Has

On August 9, 2008

Considering the abundance of, and intense focus on, third-party iPhone applications, it’s easy to lose sight of the programs that actually ship with the device (and how fantastic they are). 

Two of particular value to me over the last few days have been:

the iTunes store application

and the iPhone mapping feature.










iTunes Store App

Unable to sleep the other night, I awoke at 5 a.m.  As soon as I got up and out of bed, my dog did the same. 

It was a beautiful morning, so I decided to take her for a walk- figuring that an early morning walk (to some fun, fast-paced music) would be a good thing for us both.  I grabbed my iPhone and my dog’s leash and closed the door behind us. As we approached the road, I remembered that I had reformatted and re-installed the firmware on my iPhone the night (because an app I downloaded had been causing some problems).  In addition, I had re-installed the all of the apps that I were on the device, however, I had neglected to reinstall any of my music. 

Although, I certainly could’ve walked without music, I was really looking forward to listening as I made my way around the lake.  What to do, I thought . . . I could’ve gone back in the house and synced enough music to make my way around the lake, but I didn’t want to risk waking my wife (and my golden was really excited to get going).  Pondering other options, I remembered that there was an album I had been planning to purchase- by British performer, Nate James.  So, I pulled out my iPhone as we continued to walk, until it picked up on an unsecured WiFi signal (please don’t tell anyone) only a few houses down from mine.  I fired up the iTunes music store application and, within a minute or two, Maisy, Nate James, and I were all grovin’ and strolling together.  When I got home, I synced my phone with my laptop and the new album was seamlessly transferred. 

This experience reminded me that it is often the little conveniences which can enhance our lives.


Maps App

Last night, I had my first real experience using the GPS chip and mapping program on the iPhone 3G. 

I was  impressed. 

I used it to navigate from my home to an evening appointment, about 30 minutes away.  I was amazed at how accurate the location finder was throughout the trip- truly remarkable.  Although it didn’t provide turn by turn navigation, I found it to be incredibly useful in helping me get from point A to point B.  

Just as I was about to leave my appointment, I received an emergency phone call that required visiting someone else, two towns over, in a neighborhood with which I was not familiar.  Using the mapping program I was able to search my contact list, pull up the name of the person I needed to see, and input their address as my next destination. I indicated on the device that I wanted to navigate to my next point from my current position, and it had a lock on me within a few seconds.  The app gave me “spot on” directions, taking advantage of an even shorter route than I might’ve chosen, had I not been using my iPhone.  An indispensable app indeed!

Yup, with new apps appearing on the App Store every day (and a couple actually being rather good) it’s easy to forget that the apps that ship with every single iPhone are pretty amazing themselves.