What I'm Crushing On This Week: iPhone Apps

Saturday, September 17, 2011
The primary reason I converted from BlackBerry to iPhone was for the apps. The apps for the iPhone are to die for. Especially the photography apps. I was extremely disappointed in the BlackBerry photo quality and the basic photography apps available. I use my phone as a camera more than I use it as a phone. For reals. So, I really wanted the iPhone just for picture taking purposes.

But once I started poking around the App Store, I found more than just photography apps. Here are a few of my faves...

1) Shazam
Have you ever been somewhere when you hear a song that you like but don't know the name of it, and you soooo want to know the artist and title? Yeah, well, that would be me all day, everyday, everywhere. Enter Shazam. Launch Shazam to discover the artist and title at the touch of the screen. I am hooked on this app. I use it at least 15 times per day. It's especially useful if you have Sirius radio or if you shop a lot, because stores are always playing really cool music.

There's a free download or Shazam Encore is available for $5.99 (includes unlimited Shazaming, lyrics, and ability to play in Spotify).

2) SocialGrapes
Discover new wines and share your favorites with friends. Here's how it works. Download SocialGrapes and create a login/profile. Buy a bottle of wine and scan the bar code into SocialGrapes from your iPhone. Once you scan the code, you check-in the wine to your profile. Connect your account with other uses (i.e., Facebook and Twitter friends) and begin sharing and discovering wines.

I love this app as I am always looking to try new wines. If you join, add me as a friend. My username is PiecesofaMom.

3) Instagram
Instagram is a photography app. The concept is quite simple. You take pictures. You use various filters to add dimension and interest to your photo. You share your photo with your followers. Be warned: you can literally spend hours perusing photos in Instagram. There are so many wonderful and incredibly interesting shots. And all are taken with the iPhone.

4) Crazy Photo Booth
You will laugh until you cry. Take a picture. Using various an array of filters (from artsy to totally wacky), you transform yourself. You'll be rolling on the floor laughing. This app is even more fun on the iPad. Cost: Free.

5) Camera+
If the basic camera on the iPhone is the standard point-and-shoot, Camera+ is like a digital SLR lens. The app includes a timer for self-photos, a burst mode, and an image stabilizer. However, all the fun happens after the picture is taken. You can crop it, frame it, and apply color tints and retro effects. Cost: $1.99 (and it's money well spent).

For the kiddos:
These apps have saved me more times than I can count. Waiting in long lines, in the exam room at the pediatrician's office or at the orthodontist. Whenever the little ones get cranky, hand over your iPhone, and I guarantee that you'll get silence. Or in my case, each of my girls has an iPod Touch, usually attached to their hands.

5) Doodle Jump
This game can be insanely addicting for adults too. You guide a four-legged, long snouted creature known as "Doodler" up an unending series of platforms without falling in an attempt to gain a high score. The character is controlled by tilting the phone in the desired direction. The greater the angle, the greater speed. Trust me, your kids will love it. Cost: $.99.

6) Restaurant Story
Design a unique restaurant and menu. The object is to make sure your customers are well-fed and happy. Customer satisfaction is based on quality of food, ambiance of the restaurant, and service. My girls love this, and they often play it side by side on their iPod Touches. Keeps them entertained for a good hour. Cost: Free.

What are you crushing on this week? Please share.

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