First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch turns 1!
- — 09 July, 2009 15:30
It's hard to believe a year has passed since Apple first opened the App Store, but it launched on 10 July 2008 through iTunes and had 500 applications available. As of July 2009 there are more than 50,000 applications available through download from the App Store. In April 2009, Apple announced that customers had downloaded more than 1 billion applications.
To mark the occasion we've rounded up 10 of our favourite apps (in no particular order).
It’s a massive call, but this is probably our favourite iPhone app, and there are plenty to choose from! If you have ever wondered about the name of a song on radio, or wanted to know the name of the band whose song is playing in a store, then Shazam is for you. This iPhone app records a snippet of a song then identifies it. If the song is recognised, you will get a results screen with a picture of the album cover and the name of the artist, the song and the album. Best of all, it's simple to use and completely free to download! An absolute gem.
If, like us, you have the unfortunate daily chore of using Sydney's CityRail train network then TripView is a must-have app. It displays train timetables on your iPhone and features an indicator view that is almost identical to the indicator screen at most CityRail platforms, including the scrolling destination list.
Twitter is now a worldwide phenomenon and although there are plenty of iPhone clients to choose from we like Tweetie the best. The minimalist UI is a mix of the iPhone's SMS and iPod interfaces and the app is commendably fast. The ability to control multiple accounts and its speed make it a great app.
There are plenty of weather apps available from the App Store, but none are quite as comprehensive as Oz Weather. In addition to a current weather and seven-day forecasts, this app also provides an animated BOM radar. Oz Weather has a "locate me" feature that uses the iPhone's GPS to centre the radar map on your current location.
Achtung! Wolfenstein 3D Classic is a great example of the potential for resurrecting older games. Released in 1992 for the PC, Wolfenstein is one of the original "first-person shooter" games. The 3D Classic iPhone version has graphics and sounds that are very similar to the original version, and it's a great addition to the App Store. Those who played the game a long time ago will enjoy playing it again. Those who are experiencing it for the first time may find it a little confusing at first but will get into it fast.
When Facebook underwent a design overhaul a few months ago, many people actually commented that they preferred the iPhone app's interface. We aren't inclined to go that far, but there is no doubt that this is a well-designed, well-implemented and simple to use app. It lacks a few features — for example you can't mark things you 'like', nor can you RSVP to event invitations — but these features and more are coming in the next update, which is designed around Apple's 3.0 software update. When it gets push notifications, the Facebook app will be superb.
The best way to describe Tap Tap Revenge would be as a slimmed down version of Guitar Hero. You use the iPhone's touch screen to tap out the beats of a song as cued by orbs of red, blue and green light sliding towards you. It's a fun and addictive game, and a superb iPhone app.
The Remote app allows you to control any AppleTV or iTunes program that your iPhone or iPod Touch can access over a wireless network. The application requires you to simply input a unique four digit code into the iTunes program or AppleTV of choice. Then, you can control music, movies, podcasts and other media. Remote is free, easy to use and has a great interface.
A common complaint with the news applications in the app store is that many are US-centric. If you need Australian news while on the go, the ABC iPhone app is a great option. The ability to read news, see schedules and stream podcasts is excellent, and it has an "iPhone-esque" interface, complete with a navigation toolbar at the bottom.
This is one of the most addictive games in the App Store. It's fun, simple yet exceptionally entertaining and makes great use of the iPhone's touch screen. The game involves landing planes in matching coloured runways without crashing them. Do yourself a favour: if you only buy one app then make sure it's Flight Control.
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