The other day, author pal and PharmFamily friend Rebecca Skloot sent out a Twitter request for iPhone app suggestions for her new gadget, particularly those that might be of greatest use on her upcoming, self-supported book tour for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Let me first congratulate Ms. Skloot on ditching that CrapBerry and adopting a technology that is as superior as her book.
Rebecca got me looking at my iPhone and made me realize that, well, it sort of has that not-so-fresh feeling. I’ve got a few tried-and-true apps that I’ve shared with our Twitter followers but I even feel in need of a few new ideas.
So, I’ll tell you what? I’ll post a few of my favorite apps here. Then, why don’t you post a couple few of your own faves. I know that a lot of folks got iPhones or iPod Touches for the holidays and it’s painful to try and make sense out of the hundred thousand or so apps available at the iPhone App Store.
My two quick recs to Rebecca for out-of-town travel are Urbanspoon and AroundMe.
urbanspoon: Urbanspoon is an extremely popular search app for restaurants in major cities across North America. You can search by cuisine, neighborhood, or cost, and get reviews, menu screenshots, and direct links to the restaurant. The only complaint is that it doesn’t have cities where I often travel and only a few UK and Australian cities outside the US. How a restaurant app can miss Paris is beyond me. C’est la vie.
AroundMe: A better local source app is AroundMe. It uses your GPS location to identify a list of businesses from restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops to gas stations, hospitals, and supermarkets. The list posts distances and a quick tap will show you where it is relative to your current position. Another two taps will open your pre-installed Maps apps to get you directions.
A couple of other apps I use for travel and local stuff that I forgot to tell Rebecca were Newspapers and YPMobile.
Newspapers: Newspapers is a low-graphics, free app that gives you links to 2000 newspapers around the US that have an online presence. What’s great about this is that you can see the local news in towns off the beaten path or more detailed local info in towns outside of major metropolitan areas. There is another related app called World Newspapers that does, well, you can guess.
YPMobile: YPMobile is a Yellow Pages app that has an amazing depth of activities and events (music, sports, kids stuffin local areas that I find even has things not covered by many independent weekly newspapers. It’s powered by Zevents so I don’t know if that tells me why it’s so comprehensive.
I’ll add more throughout the day but go ahead and list your own must-haves in the comments. I’ve found that referrals by like-minded folks have been the best way to sift through the plethora of games and wasteful apps.