Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cool iphone and non-iphone apps, info, tips, etc.

In the spirit of iphone fun, I thought I'd share a few of the things I've discovered.  If you have any cool applications, let me know in the comments section.

Award for best app: Pandora

I just discovered Pandora radio and it is the most awesome thing ever!
Basically a group of people sat down and listened to a crapload of songs - analyzing them on instrumentation, temp, key, origin, etc. - and created a database where they can match up a particular song, group, or album that you fancy with songs with similar characterisitics. You can set it up and listen to music on your desktop and you can download the application for free and listen to all your radio stations from your ipod touch or iphone.

For example, I made a station based on Miles Davis's "Blue in Green" from the Kind of Blue album which featured classic cool jazz pieces with a slow leisurely pace, a melodic tenor sax and/or trumpet solo, and acoustic piano. I made other stations based on Erykah Badu, Radiohead, Samuel Barber, Digable Planets, and Sia's "Breathe Me". The Breathe Me station was so-so (but you can rate the songs that compose the station and suggest more appropriate songs) and I wasn't really feeling the Radiohead station either. All the other ones were perfect and I've already discovered several new artists.

Seriously, this app is the best thing ever!

Other cool apps that I like

* Where? (free): A location-based application that uses Yelp to point out and review restaurants, along with other features such as revealing the nearest Starbucks or the location of friends in your network.  It tells you gas prices in the vicinity with gasbuddy, where the nearest Zipcar is, the name of any mountains you might be looking at (okay, that one's a little random), the location of local events, and even gives you a star map.  

* YouNote (free): You can use this app to jott down a quick note in a variety of ways.  You can type it out on the touch screen keyboard, free write it by hand, take a picture, or record yourself.  You can tag an
d label the note for easy reference.  Pretty neat.

*Urbanspoon (free):  Based on location, type of cuisine, and price range, this application will randomly choose a restaurant for you.  You can go completely random, or keep one of the three variables constant (like location) and do a more targeted random selection.  Once it spits out your selection, you have a link to the percentage of people who liked it, user reviews, contact info, and a map.

*Save Benjis (free):  Use this app to comparison shop.  Type in a category, keyword, or product name, and you get several prices from other stores (e.g., Sony, Circuit City, J&R, Best Buy).

And here are some applications that are available on non-iphones that might be of interest:


Frucall helps you to compare prices of a product at various online stores like Amazon, etc and hence helps you to clear your doubts about the cost of a particular product and where you can
 find it at cheaper rates.

Google MobileThe most common and the most useful too. Google Mobile brings the ubiquitous Google products like Google search, Reader, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Photos and many more to your mobile phone. It supports almost all the multimedia phones available including the iPhone.

If you get a flash of brilliance, but you don't have a pen and paper to write it down, use your cell phone to store it before your brain gets rid of it.  Jott will record your message and email it to you... with often hilarious results.

This isn't an app, per se, but very useful if you're in the habit of losing your cell phone (ahem) - call your phone from the internets! Do it immediately or set a call for the future...

And if you want to sell your old phone, you can do it here -
If I hadn't lost my cell phone, I totally would have unloaded it there...  lol.   Apparently, I could have gotten $60 for it, and they would have paid for my shipping.


Kirsten said...

Isn't Pandora great? Another app I like is Shazam -- it allows you to hold the phone up to the music and it'll tell you who the artist is and the track name.

Insomniac said...

Yeah, I've heard about that one - I should try it.

Karen said...

Jott is actually available through the iPhone App Store for free, I love it! You can record yourself, and then it takes a few minutes to transcribe it and is quite accurate.

Thanks for the rest of the recommendations, I'll have to check some of them out!

-geminiye from MM

WeezerMonkey said...

Show-off! ;)

amber said...

i was going to mention shazam, but kirsten beat me to it ;)

Trisha said...

I <3 Pandora! Dave Matthews Radio is my fave self-created.

As for other apps, I don't really use useful ones :) I mean, I have the normal ones - Yelp, AIM, Pandora, Urbanspoon. I like the free Sudoku (SudokuFree) and the Jirbo games. Oh, and the Bubble Wrap game is fun if you're bored and just screwing around.