The 73 best iPhone apps

20 Apr 2010

Fill your iPhone with brilliant free and paid-for apps, with our pick of the App Store

With more than 150,000 apps to choose from, it's far from easy to decide which iPhone apps are worth downloading onto your handset, let alone which are worth paying for.

That's why the PC Pro team has been busy downloading to bring you our definitive countdown of the top 73 iPhone apps.

(Note: application prices and availability are subject to change)

1. AUDIOBOO (free)

Describing itself as “the iPhone audioblogging app”, AudioBoo is literally priceless for those wanting to add a quick interview or audio clip to their website. Hit the record button to capture the audio on your handset, save the clip, add a photo and description, and AudioBoo automatically tags your location. Short clips are uploaded in seconds, and can then be listened to via the Audioboo website or embedded into your blog or site with a small piece of pre-prepared HTML.

2. THE GUARDIAN (£2.39)

The ever-innovative Guardian sets the blueprint for newspaper mobile apps. Every story is comprehensively tagged, allowing readers to quickly access articles from their favourite columnists (Charlie Brooker, Jack Schofield) or subjects (Tottenham Hotspur, Motoring). Articles are beautifully presented, and the app also provides access to The Guardian’s eclectic range of podcasts and the option to download articles for offline reading. It’s so good, we’ve stopped buying the paper.

3. AROUNDME (Free)

AroundMe puts the GPS radio inside your phone to spectacularly good use, helping you to find everything from cash points to cardiac wards in the local vicinity. The app has 18 pre-selected categories, and don’t be put off by the Americanisms: searching for “gas stations” will still point you towards the nearest BP station. It also accepts free text searches: ask for “sports shops”, for instance, and it will hunt down the local Nike stores, Foot Locker and even non-specialist retailers such as Argos. Results are presented as a list (nearest result first) or as pins on a Google Map, allowing you to gauge exactly how far you’ll have to travel to find what you’re looking for.

4. ORBITAL (£1.19)

This game is so horrifically addictive, we’re surprised there hasn’t been a campaign in the Daily Express to have it banned. The intelligent brother of Bust-a-Move, the idea of Orbital is to make spheres disappear by repeatedly bashing them with other spheres fired from a gun at the foot of the screen. So much easier to play than explain, head over to the Orbital website for a free browser-based demo, and make sure you check out the Supernova mode when you download it on your iPhone.

5. ECHOFON FOR TWITTER (Free)

Despite strong competition from Twitterrific and TweetDeck, Echofon is our iPhone Twitter client of choice. It’s both lightweight and responsive, with support for advanced features such as the recently implemented Twitter lists, geotagging and the option to quickly tweet photos stored on your handset. The only big omission is the option to juggle multiple Twitter accounts (TweetDeck’s your man for this).

6. MOBYKO (Free)

Transferring contacts from one phone to another is a pig, especially if you’re moving from one OS to another. Mobyko makes it deliciously simple: upload the contacts from your old phone to the firm’s servers, and then download them to your new handset. The iPhone app adds a veneer of elegance to an already straightforward process, but most other phones are supported via the Mobyko website.

7. FLICKR (Free)

The Flickr iPhone app is a masterclass in design, with slideshows of your contacts’ photos panning across the screen the moment you fire up the app. There are options to catch up with recent activity on your account, view your contacts’ photostreams, and upload images snapped on the smartphone’s camera – although it lacks the serendipitous “Explore” feature of the full website. The BlackBerry software is limited, focusing solely on uploads.

Flickr

8. LOGITECH TOUCH MOUSE (Free)

This isn’t the only remote mouse available, but it has Logitech’s name and support to give it credence. Download and install the corresponding PC software, enter the computer’s IP address into the app, and in an instant you’ll be whizzing the cursor around your media centre’s screen using your iPhone as a touchpad, complete with three mouse buttons. It also doubles as a keyboard, saving money on extra hardware.

9. SPOTIFY MOBILE (Free - Spotify subscription required)

If avoiding the irritating ads isn’t enough to tempt you to pay £10 per month for a Spotify subscription on your PC, accessing its vast library of music on your mobile could well be. Spotify Mobile streams music over 3G or Wi-Fi, and there’s also the option to store playlists locally for when reception falters – although these have to be re-synched every once in a while. But that’s a small inconvenience for having access to practically any song you can think of wherever you are.

10. TUBEMAP (Free)

Given that London’s Tube trains remain as dependable as Tiger Woods, a little iPhone assistance can go a long way. Live line updates help you avoid arriving at a station only to find it’s shut, but if you do, the scrolling map and journey planner will let you find an alternative route. Coupled with Google Maps, it’s certainly a gift for harassed commuters.

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