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So I recently purchased an iPhone...

This page will become a general review of the iPhone, with intent for it to then be published to ThorxBlog.

First however, the apps I have installed and use, in approximate order of use and function.... (I am not including my layout of pre-installed apps, which I have scattered across all pages listed below)


Note: I mostly do not recall offhand which apps I paid for, and which were free (I allow myself to 'impulse buy' any app at the AUD$1.19 price point). I have also written reviews of some applications to the AppStore. offhand, I can't tell you which apps I have reviewed there

So, here are the installed apps as they appear on each page of my phone...

Before you buy anything...

Please ask for clarification on my current usage of any app I list here (especially non-$free), before taking it as explicit advice for/against that app. I have purchased apps that have since found I do not use


My basic navigational paradigm with the new folders possibilities is:

  • nothing in the dock
  • Page 1: most common apps
  • Page 2: for each location, a folder with supplemental apps of same/similar category as the equivelant page1 app.

Yes, this means I'm limiting myself to 16 categories. But that's not too hard to keep at really. Not using the dock also limits some UI possibilities, but I found that having apps that break the page1/page2 layout wasn't condusive to organising the layout of the other 16, and since I have only two pages now, I'm still never a couple of clicks/swipes away from the page1. ie, as I was before in 3Gs :)


Here is what I had at some point on the 3Gs version... I list 6 pages. By the time iOS4 came out, I was up to 9 pages...


  • Awesome Note - this is very excellent.

Page 1

The iPhone wallpaper I made
iPhone wallpaper for the home screen

Stuff I use regularly

  • Occasions ($) - awesome remindering of upcoming birthdays and events. Syncs data from facebook also.
  • ShoutEm - Twitter/StatusNet client.
  • Twitterrific - a decent Twitter client
  • facebook - facebook client is good.
  • Mob RSS - if google reader is your RSS reader of choice, this is a good front end to it :)
  • Google mobile - voice search! It's like the futurrrrrrre!
  • AppGmail - better for gmail than the builtin. shows gmail conversation view
  • feX - facebook exchange - sync facebook data to your local contacts! (update icons, addresses and birthdays)
  • AppBox Pro - a bunch of free tiny utilities
  • Pkt Weather ($) - a great australian weather app.

Page 2

More or less this is overflow from page1 , just less regularly

  • Gaia GPS ($) - saves and records your movements using the builtin GPS (for iPhones with built in GPS of course)
  • Moon Globe - excellent moon views. warning: 40+meg app!
  • Frotz - infocom text adventure gaming! :D
  • Stanza - eBook reader.
  • iSSH - ssh client
  • TimeLapse ($) - a timelapse app
  • SketchBookX - a cool sketching app
  • MyBrisbane - a range of info for Brisbane folk
  • Picture Map - display show your geotagged photos by location
  • Perpetuum (lite) - an astronomy app that should be on page 4?
  • Echofon - good alternate Twitter client

Page 3

Stuff that is basically good, but irregularly used

  • wikiHOW - frontend to wikihow. Caches survival guides locally
  • Solstice - sunrise and sunset positions. Oddly, NOT solstice dates and times!
  • Shazam - identify songs (I've yet to use this)
  • NASA - a bunch of NASA info
  • Epicurious - a decent recipe search app.
  • TouchCalc - excellent scientific calculator. I installed this before I discovered that the regular calc is scientific in landscape mode
  • musebook - a pretty nice metronome
  • HeartBeat - count heartbeats (or any beats - effectively a reverse metronome)
  • RjDj - ambient sound creation

Page 4

Stuff which isn't so useful (st.George), or very irregular.

  • wordpress - a bit buggy, though useable, I think. I don't use it at the moment though.
  • RotaryDialer - retro style dialer. just for fun
  • St.George - not as good as it should be
  • Speedtest - measure your internet speed
  • Alarm Clock - a "better" alarm clock than the builtin. certainly prettier

Page 5

Simple amusements and/or dissapointments.

  • GeoHash - because I am a geohasher: http://wiki.xkcd.com/geohashing/User:Nemo
  • Totalpong - classic pong
  • iFractal - Mandelbrot and Julia set browser
  • Cell-life - a fun little Conways game of life.
  • RFK - Robot Finds Kitten. Does NOT COMPLY to the RFK RFC. ( http://robotfindskitten.org/download/rfk-rfc/ )
  • Flickr - the official flickr app. geotagging is broken for uploading, but it's great to view your friends image stream
  • Flickd - geotagging works for uploads, but does not resize.
  • Total Automata - cellular automata
  • VNC lite - yet to properly test.
  • One Tap Movies - yet to properly test
  • LifeGame - another conways game of life

Page 6

Redundant. These are alternate versions of apps previously noted.

  • BigOven - recipes. Just a frontend to their site
  • iDent - a basic StatusNet client
  • iTick - a nice enough metronome
  • Metronome - another metronome with the traditional look
  • NoteTakerLife - a clever way of inputting handwritten notes from the author of Visicalc. But ultimately not actually useful enough to use in preference to other note applications.
  • Birthday - a basic birthday reminder (I think this was free, whilst the far superior 'Occassions' was $)
  • FotoTimerLE - another timelapse app
  • Gorillacam - another timelapse app

Still to get

  • A decent app to give me astronomical times (sun/moon rise/set times, solstices, equinoxes, phases of the moon, etc) All to the MINUTE please.

Review notes

(best not to edit this here just yet, the master copy exists within AwesomeNote on my iPhone, and I dont want to have to manually sync diffs when I propogate changes from there to here)

Things that have impressed me

  • SMS conversation view

Things that have annoyed/frustrated me

  • Birthday integration to calender?
  • no SMS character count?
  • but messages width is constant between landscape and portrait mode. ie, constant pixel width, but shoulnd't it be be set proportional to screen width?
  • can't start to add calender events by tapping the time
  • why can't I swipe sideways to move between days?
  • 6 buttons ideal IMHO. See: apple remote
  • how can I make an event repeat every nth week per month? Or alarm more than 2days early?
    • answer: in iCal (or other desktop app that you sync to, I don't know what windows cal syncs to)
  • date choosing by slot machine? Cute, but dumb
  • Updating applications seems to regularly fail
  • re: calendar... No week 'timetable' view :(
  • why is multitouch not more ubiquitous?
  • ditto rotation. I want landscape home screen!
  • 70meg of local photos optimise into 700meg???
  • iPod quick view gives a volume slider (redundant to the hardware one!) but not a track position scrubber
  • accessibility VoiceOver breaks slide ui
  • iPod ui changes capabilities purely based on rotation!
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