October 27, 2008 The all-conquering iPhone is a pretty impressive gadget out of the box - but it's the fantastic App Store that really keeps the honeymoon going, giving users access to literally thousands of downloadable third-party applications. From the sublime to the ridiculous, they're only a few taps away - and a large number of them are free. Useful? Sometimes. Perfect? Rarely. Addictive? Hell yes, show me an iPhone user that hasn't thumbed through the app store late at night and I'll show you somebody who should have bought a Nokia. Here's a few of our favorite freebies - and a couple of things we want to know why we can't have!
1. AroundMe Where's the nearest bank? This is a fantastic app that takes your GPS location and shows you what's nearby, from banks, bars and coffee shops, to petrol stations, hotels, parking garages and hospitals - ranked by proximity. Once you decide on a business, you're presented with full contact details, a map and route details if you want them. We're not sure where AroundMe takes its data from, but it does an excellent job, only limited by the database. A must-have app.
2. Thumbtacts One of the many criticisms of the iPhone is that its computer-like interface can make it a bit clunky to use as a phone. Finding and calling a contact, for example, can be a frustrating exercise if you've only got one hand free. But hey, who buys a phone to make calls these days anyway right? Thumbtacts offers a creative solution by breaking the contact list down into a series of simple thumb-clickable options that quickly and accurately find the number you're after. Hard to explain but easy to use, Thumbtacts is almost always a quicker way to find and call contacts than the standard contacts list. Nice one!
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