Saturday, December 01, 2012

More iPhone apps

Having a smartphone is an insidious thing.

Before you could be quite content to use your phone to check the time/date, maybe snap a photo, communicate via some texting, and -- of course -- make phone calls. Life was simple.

Then a smartphone comes along and you discover a world of applications that you must have to survive. Most are free but some are indispensible and mean dropping some $-$$ so you can be well kitted.


So in my last post, I shared a list of Apple iOS apps I had loaded up on my new smartphone to get started with.

A few weeks later (and an Apple iTunes 11 update to ice things off) I find I’ve now dropped a little mad-money on some paid apps as well as uncovered a few more free ones.

So here is a list of the most recent apps to supplement the ones previously installed.

  • TeamViewer HD for Remote Control - free - iTunes App Store. For inside-the-network remote-control support I am really liking Mocha VNC for iPhone. But when I am in the field and remote-support of a family member’s system is required from the smartphone, I’ve turned to TeamViewer. I just point them to this TeamViewer Portable app to download and “install” to their local system and then I can connect at will. If I am at home and on my Windows systems, I still prefer the Remote ShowMyPC app, though subscribers do have a HTML viewer option available.
  • MapQuest - free - iTunes App Store. My brother put me on to this one. It’s major selling point is that you can have voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation.
  • Until the Google Maps for iOS app is re-released to the public, you can also follow these simple steps from on How to Get Google Maps on iOS 6.
  • Survival Guide - free - iTunes App Store. Works great as long as your battery is running. Probably better to study ahead of time and then refer if needed.
  • Wave Alarm - Motion Control Alarm Clock - free/$ - iTunes App Store. I really like the design interface for this alarm clock app. The ads are pretty obtrusive to the beautiful design, particularly in the horizontal orientation. Nice compliment to the same vendor’s free Wave Timer app I had previously downloaded.
  • Vimeo - free - iTunes App Store. Just released a few days ago, this new upate is very slick and works great for watching the very best Vimeo has to offer. (review)
  • NOAA Hi-Def Radar - $ - iTunes App Store. This is marginal improvement over the free MyRadar Weather Radar app I had previously downloaded. The radar image quality is much better, but it doesn’t seem to provide the true “real-time” radar imagery data I was hoping for. It seems to run about 3-4 minutes on average behind the current time. Not a “waste” but not quite what hoped. I also considered the $$ RadarScope app (review) but decided against it for now.
  • WeatherMap+ - $ - the iTunes App Store. Sure I have The Weather Channel® Max app which does a great job on providing current and future weather conditions and projections, but the WeatherMap+ takes it to next level by displaying advanced data in precip, temps, wind speed and pressures.
  • Spyglass - $$ - iTunes App Store.  I had been playing with and using this same vendor’s Commander Compass Lite and liked it a lot. I had looked at upgrading to the Commander Compass app they offer but found out that it was superseded by Spyglass so I went with it instead. Besides advanced compass data, it also adds viewfinder/HUD, gyrocompass, map support, GPS tracking, rangefinder, sextant, inclinometer, and a few other neat things. Super geeky but super cool!
  • iHikeGPS - $$ - iTunes App Store. Having had a fun day-long walkabout in a state park recently with my brother and a friend, it stuck me that having some orienteering/topo maps handy could be a good thing. After a bit of research and study I went with this app. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet but just playing with it for the local area, it seems like it will fit the bill nicely. I also considered Topo Maps and Trails.

Still pending purchase…maybe just before the 2013 hurricane season?

  • Hurricane Tracker - $ - iTunes App Store. (review). Tons and tons of maps, charts, alerts, and tropical storm data for us hurricane data/tracking junkies.
  • Hurricane - $ - iTunes App Store. This one seems to be comparable to the Hurricane Tracker app above and seems to be beloved by many, many fans and reviewers.

I wish there were “trial” versions so we can try out some of these side-by-side before committing.

Other iOS tips, tricks, and news bits


--Claus V.

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