Three iPhone App Reviews

I am an early adopter. That is, I actively seek and try out new products and experience before my friends. Later, I happily share my experiences with others in an attempt to persuade them to do or not do something. Being an early adopter, I usually end up paying more for products and having to deal with the technical issues that usually plague products when they are first released. This was the case with the first generation iPhone that I currently own.

This post is not about my iPhone though—it’s about the applications (apps) on it. There are currently over 1,000 iPhone apps. Some are very bad, some are descent, some are cool, some are great. Unfortunately, a lot of them are suffering from crashes, and in some cases, they have caused iPhone’s to freeze, thus causing people to have to restore there phone.

Although Apple in an unprecedented way has made it extremely easy to install apps, I have not gone download crazy like many other people have. Even though there are several great apps, only a select few have made it to my phone, and I will briefly review three of them.

Zenbe

This is the only app that has made it to the first page of my phone. At its heart, Zenbe is a simple list creator, and I use it as such. Zenbe makes it easy to create new list and add items, also allowing for due dates to be included. What makes it cool is that it allows users to share list with others. So, I can share a list of things to buy for a trip with a friend and we can simultaneously add things to it and check things off that we have brought. List can be shared on multiple iPhone’s as well as on an internet browser.

The reason I like this app is because it takes something I already do on my phone, and make it easier to manage. Notes was my former list-maker, but now the Zenbe icon sits right beside it on my phone.

Recorder

I got an iPhone because I wanted to stop carrying my Creative Zen M and my phone, and instead carry one master device. Sadly, in switching to an iPhone and getting rid of my Zen, I lost the ability to do voice recording. But thanks to Recorder, I am happy again.

Recorder has one large button that says “Record.” Once you press it, the app starts recording and the text switches to “Stop.” Once a recording has been completed, the app shows the length of it and the time it was recorded.

In a recent update, they added the ability to email recordings. What the app does is generate a link for the file and automatically puts it in an email. However, the link only last for 10 days.

I like Recorder for the same reason I like Zenbe—it is simple and easy to use.

Shazam

Shazam is the only app in this post that was something I didn’t know I wanted or needed until I saw it. What it does is tag music. So, let’s say I’m at a party and I hear a song come on that I like a lot. I open up Shazam and press tag now and it listen’s to the music for ten seconds (although you can make it listen for a longer or shorter period if you’d like) and tells me what the song is called, who sings it, what label they are on, and what album the song is from. Also, it provides a link to iTunes to download the song right onto my iPhone as well as links to YouTube videos of the song if one is available. All of this is saved in the app so you can go back to it later, and the app tells you the day and time the song was tagged.

I tested the app out on some of the music in my iTunes library, and I did manage to stump it with someone underground hip hop. I also tested it at an outdoor concert where music was playing before the concert began through speakers. Despite all the chattering that was going on in the venue, it still managed to pick up the song.

There is a whole social aspect to the app that I will not get into, but it is a cool app none-the-less. I have yet to be in a situation where the app really came in handy, but I know it will come.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2008 at 1:07 am and is filed under Recommendations, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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