Got an Apple (AAPL) iPhone or iPod touch for Christmas? As you’ve probably heard, a lot of the fun is the App Store, Apple’s wildly successful software store. Here’s 20 of our favourite apps to load your phone up with — many are free.
- Remote, free: Use your iPhone as a remote control for your computer’s iTunes or your Apple TV.
- Facebook and/or MySpace, free: Catch up on your real-world friends and see their latest photos. Great for killing time in waiting rooms.
- Shazam, free: What’s that song playing in the car/bar/store? Find out in a few seconds.
- Google Earth, free: The built-in Google Maps app is great for getting around, but Google Earth is a traveller’s dream app. Gorgeous scenery, including 3D landscapes.
- Instapaper, free or $10 for Pro version: Save Web pages to read later. Great for saving news articles, blog posts for train rides, rainy days, whenever. Pro version has neat auto-scrolling feature powered by the iPhone’s motion sensor.
- Tap Tap Revenge, free, or Tap Tap Dance, $5: The iPhone’s equivalent of “Guitar Hero” or “Rock Band.” Play along with music, including new live multi-player mode on the free edition. If you’re not sick of Christmas music yet, check out Weezer’s $2 Tap Tap Revenge Christmas edition, too.
- Sol Free, free, or Solebon Solitaire, $2: The cleanest, best looking solitaire game we’ve seen on the iPhone yet. Popular on the NYC subway.
- Rolando, $10: The iPhone’s equivalent of “Mario” — and the best iPhone game we’ve seen so far. Makes great use of the phone’s motion sensor, touchscreen, and gravity. (Our review here.)
- Frenzic, $2 on sale: Addictive, speed puzzle game. Great for Tetris lovers. Fifteen minutes every morning will get your brain turned up to 11. (As of this afternoon, we’re the 422nd best Frenzic player in the world.)
- Aqua Hoops, $1, or free Aqua Baller and Aqua Punt: Mimics those plastic kids’ toys: Use the touchscreen and motion sensor to sink small basketballs/footballs into their goals. Beat others’ scores on the Internet.
- Labyrinth LE, free, or $7 for full version: Tilt your iPhone or iPod touch to move steel marbles across a wood surface. Another classic board game that feels even more fun on the iPhone.
- Real Soccer 2009, $6: The reason we didn’t buy a Sony (SNE) PlayStation Portable. A great soccer game — just as good as you’d find on any other portable gaming system — with wi-fi multiplayer mode.
- Amazon, free: Great way to make sure those after-Christmas sales are actually a good deal. Check the in-store price against the Amazon price.
- AOL Radio, free: Tune into local and Internet radio stations via your iPhone. Seeya, Walkman!
- Pandora, free: Another popular, free Internet music app. Hooks in to the Pandora Web site.
- Voice recorder, $1: Record a conversation, take verbal notes for later, or eavesdrop on the table next to you.
- Scribble, free: Make simple drawings, scribble on photographs, save and email them.
- Koi Pond, $1: Watch beautiful fish swim around your screen, and scare them away with a touch. Great for your kids or if you’ve had too much egg nog.
- Ocarina, $1: Neat, bizarre musical instrument. Also see/hear what others are playing around the world.
- Texas Hold’em, $5: Beautiful poker game built by Apple. Wi-fi multiplayer gaming for up to 9 people.
- Flashlight, free: Don’t laugh. It’s helped us find the lock on our door several times.
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