Favorite iPhone Apps So Far

There's already so much good material in the App Store that's it hard to pick favorites. There are a few I've spent some time with already, though, and one in particular was a incredible surprise. This isn't a full list in any way, just a few things I've enjoyed so far.

The two I grabbed right away are Remote and AIM. Bill Bumgarner does a good job of explaining the value of Remote. AIM basically does what it sets out to do, and it's been demoed in public quite a bit. The one note on this is that there's an entry in Settings that allows you to log out when exiting the app. Obviously, a manual log out would be a welcome addition.

AOL Radio works as advertised as well, and is pretty enjoyable. The drawback is that it only seems to offer stations distributed by CBS Radio or AOL Radio. That leaves out a huge chunk of local stations, at least here in SF Bay Area. The app itself works well, but I'd really love an alternative app that doesn't discriminate by distributor.

Shazam is amazing, as many already know. The idea is that you launch the app, tap "Tag Now" and then hold the microphone up to a song on the radio, TV, etc. Shazam samples the song, uploads the result, and returns the title and artist with album artwork. It works really well and the UI workflow is fantastic. A great model of an iPhone app done right — both in terms of concept and execution.

Aqua Forest is the oddball of the group, but also appears to have a growing following. It's essentially a physics-based puzzle game, where you draw or manipulate materials on the screen to achieve certain effects. At a high level, it sounds similar to Enigmo (which I haven't played yet), but it seems to be much more open-ended and artsy.

In addition to the puzzles, Aqua Forest has a "Free" mode in which you draw whatever you like. It uses the accelerometer in full 3D orientation too. For example, you sometimes need to position the phone horizontally to get an object to inch across the screen instead of going straight up or down.

The biggest surprise so far has been Aurora Feint (app store page). Made by Danielle Cassley and Jason Citron, this game seems to have come out of nowhere. The production values are incredible, and I've found it fun and really too addictive. The artwork, musical score, and sound design are amazing. It looks like this is a pre-release of sorts, with plans to make it into an MMO exclusive to iPhone. Found via Elliot Harris.
Design Element
Favorite iPhone Apps So Far
Posted Jul 15, 2008 — 10 comments below


Lee Falin — Jul 15, 08 6160

Aqua Forest sounds a lot like this free app: (although with a much more polished UI): http://phun.cs.umu.se/wiki

Rick Roe — Jul 16, 08 6161

I've found Midomi a bit more reliable than Shazam in my own use. The whole "sing/hum" thing is kinda a neat plus, too.

Martin Pilkington — Jul 16, 08 6162

My favourite so far is probably one called Pool, which surprisingly enough is a pool game. Doesn't have all the official rules implemented yet (the developer has said they are coming) but even still, it's a great game to play, and quite cheap too (3.49 on the UK store).

Eric — Jul 16, 08 6163

I'd agree with Rick about Midomi -- there are more ways to identify the song than Shazam, and Midomi is free. Shazam will start charging a monthly fee soon, and when it does, it will be deleted from my phone.

Fabio Mancinelli — Jul 17, 08 6164

I wish I could play Crayon Physics Deluxe
on the iPhone as well!

That's another game Aqua Forest was probably inspired by.

Jimmy — Jul 17, 08 6166

Aurora Feint is awesome fun. It may actually help stop my addiction to the battleatsea game. My friends and I have not gotten any work done since friday playing.

DJ — Jul 18, 08 6167

Take a look at Pandora for streaming radio. You can define your own stations, based on artist name, for example, and it gives you songs that match or are similar, apparently based on data from the Music Genome Project. You can also listen to your stations on your desktop thru the Pandora web site (www.pandora.com).

Scott — Aug 08, 08 6243

The Last.fm app is one of my favourites along with Remote which is an awesome demo of the power of iPod/Mac/iTunes and is great way of amazing friends and relatives. I showed Remote to our neighbour last night and he was flabbergasted....

Zharko — Dec 25, 08 6573

The latest app that i have installed is the Storyz app, it can be used for sharing pictures and videos among a group of people that you can choose, it was quite fun for me

JOel M — Dec 29, 08 6578

If you are daring enough to jail break your phone there is a great app I love. It is called iblacklist and it allows you to block callers. There is also another app that allows you to use your iphone as a modem, which, IMO, is ridiculous that apple doesn't include that as standard. My Tilt did it with no problems and allowed me to go anywhere with a laptop and be on line.


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