Cool iPhone Apps: 49 Top Apps for Work and Play

A selection of truly cool iPhone apps chosen from among the vast sea of sort-of-cool iPhone apps.


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A truly cool iPhone app boosts the iPhone’s already exceptional form factor. Right out the box, the fashionable handheld (ever the cool kid’s accoutrement) handles everything from texting to movie downloads to shooting video. But add a few choice apps – say, a top-flight personal organizer or a cool music app – and your iPhone stretches the envelope of design coolness still more. It’s one very impressive gewgaw.

But which ones, you’re wondering, are the really cool iPhone apps? Among the ten bazillion out there, which apps need to be on my very own handheld? Ah, fret no more, here for your downloading pleasure are some deliciously cool iPhone apps:

1) reQall
Recommended by NY Times tech guru David Pogue, this organizer helps with to-do lists, short memos and scheduling. Many users find the free version perfectly suitable, but it’s also available in the $25 per year Pro version.

2) Bento Organizer/Mobile Database
Track expenses, create to-do lists, manage your schedule. A complete personal organizer/information storage system, this mobile database app includes 25 templates to customize based on your work-life flow. $4.99

3) Air Sharing
Seriously cool idea: Air Sharing lets you use your iPhone as a little wireless hard drive. Send files between your computer and the iPhone with just a quick drag ‘n drop over WiFi. (Why didn’t Apple include this?). Costs $5 for the basic, $10 for the more advanced Air Sharing app.

4) My Battery Life
Measures your iPhone’s battery life based on any number of conditions. Gives a separate monitor level based on talk time, Net time, and audio/video time. Seriously useful for the road warrior. $.99.

Air Sharing: iPhone as Wireless Hard Drive

cool iphone apps

5) JotNot
Install JotNot and – presto – you can use your iPhone as a scanner. Take a photo of a document you want to scan (keep your hands steady!) and JotNot turns it into an attachable document you can email. $2.99.

6) Grocery IQ
For the minor cost of Grocery IQ, making your grocery list just got much easier. In its memory are most of the 1.5 zillion items in the typical supermarket. Just type the first few letters of your favorite highly processed semi-food item (Ding Dongs, anyone?) and Grocery IQ types the rest. You can set up the list by the layout of your local market, and a handy feature lets you click off each item as you put it in your cart. $.99

7) Net-a-Porter
Helps you buy high fashion clothes right from your iPhone – yes, the app is free, but hang on to that credit card! Make wish lists on the go, share with your friends, read the weekly fashion news. If Sex and the City was still on, this app would have warranted an episode.

8) Ocarina
Trippy, strange and weird: the Ocarina app actually allows you to play your iPhone like a little flute. (Or actually, like a little Ocarina.) Here’s a video to see how it works: $.99.

9) WeatherBug
Live, local weather, gathered from a network of professional weather stations across America. Far better than merely looking out the window. Free.

10) AOL Radio
Don’t be discouraged by the AOL brand name. This app offers 200 radio stations, featuring over 25 styles of music. It may or may not have country hip hop. Free.

Brain Challenge: Exercise Your Mind

cool iphone apps

11) Brain Challenge
Geared for those who want to exercise their mind power, Brain Challenge includes 43 mini games intended to boost skills in logic, math, and creativity, as well as relieve stress. $4.99

12) Storynory: Stories for Kids
Keep your kids entertained for hours and hours on end with this extensive archive of family-friendly stories. Free.

13) Loan Calculator
Never be fooled by a subprime loan again. Gives monthly payments, interest paid, total amount paid – all those scary things you may not want to really know. $2.99.

14) Armchair Home Design
Use your iPhone to spruce up your living space: this app helps you figure out all the design parameters of your home/apartment so you can more efficiently redesign it. $2.99.

15) Where Did I Park the Car?
No matter how big that parking lot (or how spacey you are) this app will help you find your vehicle. It provides turn-by-turn directions back to your vintage heap. $.99.

16) Yellow Pages Mobile: Local Events
Find concerts, games, shows, and other events in your area. Share with your friend with just a few taps. Get out of the house! Free.

17) Shazam: Name that Tune
Oh, I know how that song goes…I know some of the words – let’s see, what was the title? Never be stumped again. Free.

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