I’d like to introduce 12 apps that help unlock the huge potential of the sensor-packed iPhone. I’m not talking about the standard issue applications here, but the really useful apps that make your mobile even more essential.
iHandy Carpenter, iHandySoft
Carpenter is five tools in one. It includes a plumb bob level tool to figure out the verticality of lines or walls; surface level and bubble level tools; a handy ruler (just swipe to measure things wider than your screen) and a 180-degree protractor. A great tool for occasional DIY-ers everywhere. $1.99.
Dark Sky, Darkskyapp.com
I love Dark Sky. It has very quickly become my favourite weather app. It delivers up-to-the minute weather predictions for where you are (including rain or snow warnings), detailed information and a beautiful global map showing global and local weather patterns you can explore in the past and predicted future. It’s a real achievement. $3.99.
Guitar Toolkit, Agile Partners
One of the earliest apps ever to make it to the App Store, Guitar Toolkit is a hands-down essential tool for anyone playing guitar. You get an accurate chromatic tuner, metronome, chord library, chord finder and scales and arpeggios instructions for a range of different guitar types. It’s a travelling musician’s essential. And if you are a Ukulele player then there’s also Ukulele Tuner (free) for you. $0.99.
There are dozens of apps that try to hook you up with free Wi-Fi. This one’s pretty good as it adds venue information, historical data on connection strength and crowd sourced info on the spot – does it make good coffee, for example. This seems a promising app, though does require you to create an account or sign in with your social media account if you want to contribute information. Free.
Decibels, David Bannach
Decibels is the tool you need if you are attempting to gather data concerning noisy neighbors, find yourself working in an unhealthily loud environment and need proof, or just because you’re curious. It will measure noise levels and even take photos with the dB reading shown. An in-app purchase lets you record strip charts so you can measure noise levels over time. Free w. in-app purchases.
iSitter, Dorada App
If you have two iOS devices you have a baby alarm (or surveillance system) thanks to iSitter. One device becomes the listening post, the other becomes the monitoring unit. In truth there’s a few problems with the app – you need to install it on both phones which means for best results you must pay twice for in-app features. I urge the developer to create a free monitoring app so users only need pay once. Despite this it’s still cheaper than a new baby alarm, and could be what parents need in an emergency. Free, in-app purchases.
HippoRemote Pro, HippoRemote
This is the best app to turn your iPhoneinto a wireless input device for any PC (Mac, Linux, Windows). Not only will it act as a wireless mouse, but it will be a remote control, gamepad or handy extra keyboard if you wish it. It’s a feature-rich tool that just might come in handy from time-to-time. $4.99.
When people you don’t totally trust demand your phone number, when you need to leave a number to make an order, or just to set up an emergency number for an online service, take a look at Burner. It lets you create temporary disposable phone numbers you can share in order that you can keep your personal number private. Given the number of annoying marketing firms that grab your number so they can call you daily for your natural life, I think this is a useful app. Free, in-app purchases.
Scanner Pro, Readdle
Scanner Pro 6 turns your iPhone or iPad into a portable scanner. Scan invoices, receipts, images, anything. Turn them into PDFs, file and share them. $2.99. (While you’re at it why not download Printer Pro $6.99)
Magic Plan, Floorplanner
Planning new furniture, home improvement or even moving house? You need this app. Magic Plan cleverly measures your room and draws a floor plan just by taking pictures of the space. You can then use the app to estimate build costs. Kevin McCloud should use this. Free, in-app purchases.
This is the best and cheapest way to transfer money internationally I’ve come across. A well-designed app and transfer fees that are both transparent and cheaper than your bank is what makes this an essential. Free.
VHS Camcorder, Rarevision
This delightfully retro app gives your movies a flourish of 1985. Some may not see this as essential, but it cheers me up. $3.99
I hope you’ve enjoyed this small collection. Please leave a note if you can recommend more.
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