Apps You Can Use

When the first iPhone’s came out, I didn’t really subscribe to the hype. But when I began traveling a bit more, connectivity was a necessity. Now, with iPhone in hand, I can honestly say that this dopey little piece of technology is just as cool as any I’ve encountered. Which leads me to pass on some sweet Applications that I’ve been relying on lately.

1. Shazam
Shazam is an App that listens to your surroundings, sends and compares the audio info to a pretty extensive database of music. From there, the system sends back the artist, track, album, year, and all other information. It works great for those little NPR clips they use, or late-night radio when the pop suddenly disappears and you start hearing things you’ve never heard before. It’s downfall is classical music which doesn’t seemed to be supported to the extent that pop, rock, and jazz are.

2. Simplify Media
This App is one I was just recently turned on to. Simplify Media has created a music-streaming App that links up to your iTunes library. You can stream any music in your library except iTunes purchased DRM tracks–which for me, isn’t an issue. I’ve been checking out lately where you can get better quality files. But if there was ever an essential iPhone App, this is it. You can also stream music from up to 30 friends, view lyrics and artist bios.

3. WeatherBug
A comprehensive weather App, WeatherBug can link you up to live feeds of cameras around almost any city to see a bird’s eye view of the location in question. Temp, wind, humidity, etc, are all here as well. I know, I know, you say, just walk outside and check. But it’s so much nicer to know what I’m getting myself into with this crazy yet typical Chicago weather.

4. Chess
As I’m a chess junkie, this straight-forward App allows me to play on the road. Also included is Backgammon, Sudoku, Checkers, Mancala, and Tic Tac Toe.

5. Big Oven
This is a collection of over 400,000 recipes, all right at my fingertips.

6. Rain Stick
By far, the most useless application on my phone. I had a buddy back in my hippy days who wanted to play music, but never found the time to learn any instrument. He chose the rain stick after striking out with the didgeridoo. The Rain Stick app is a follow up to other iPhone instruments like Cow Bell, and perhaps most notably, the Ocarina which has had multiple YouTube performances. For example:

Where people will take this technology is anyone’s guess. I’m just happy to be part of the community of iPhoners. And whereas I could most certainly live without the iPhone, I can say that I would miss it. Feel free to pass on any Apps you are digging on in the Comments section. I’m always interested in updates.