The iPhone has been hailed as one of the greatest inventions of this century, (I know there’s only been 11 years so far, but it just sounds better that way…), but is it really just for media types to play games on while they pretend to work in the office? Well, speaking as a media type who could write a book, (or a blog), on pretending to work, let me tell you that there’s more to the iPhone than completing Angry Birds. Here are the top 5 free iPhone apps that will help you in your day-to-day life.
Of all of the voice-recognition apps out there, this is by far the most superior. The level of accuracy is frighteningly good as you speak into the microphone and your words appear on the screen in front of you. Once you have finished your message, you can edit and amend any errors and then save or send your text using various social networking sites or just by plain old email. Dragon Dictation works with a wide variety of languages, so no matter what your native tongue is, you can use it anywhere in the world. Once you get the hang of it, (and there’s not really much to get), your ‘typing’ speed will increase by at least 5 times, leaving you wandering what all those wasted hours punching at a keyboard were for?!
Have you ever met someone who you really wanted to stay in touch with, but you simply didn’t have time to get their contact details down on paper? Well, with Bump, sharing phone numbers, email addresses, photos and much more is now as easy as simply ‘bumping’ phones! With the Bump app, all you need to do is hold your phone against another Bump user and you can immediately begin messaging each other, sharing texts, contact details and even music files with any of your Bump friends. Once you have the app, you can also share your location with other ‘Bumpers’, meaning that you can actually meet up in person and progress your relationship further than just a virtual one!
When you recover a lost item, there’s always someone who says ‘It’s always in the last place you look’; I always feel like saying, ‘Well, obviously!’, however if you lose your iPhone and you can’t find it, then this can be a real pain, no matter how many ‘last places’ there are that you look. Find My iPhone is an incredibly useful app for the absent minded, as it uses Google Maps and Mobile Me technology to recover lost iPhones. If you do happen to lose your iPhone then all you have to do is get another iOS device, such as another iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and enter your Apple ID and password and it will show you your iPhone’s location on a map. You then have the option to display a message or a sound on the iPhone, or wipe the data from it if you don’t think that you can recover it. This really is a very sensible app to install, especially as it’s a freebie.
For any globetrotters out there, this app is an absolute must. XE Currency shows you over 180 currencies from around the world and converts them into the currency rate of your choice. With up-to-the minute updates as well as the last rates being stored on your iPhone, you can also use XE Currency offline to avoid costly roaming charges when abroad, meaning that should you go somewhere with no signal or Wi-Fi, you’ll still be able to get accurate rates. You can view currency charts for every currency pair for the past year, to see how the market is changing; in addition to monetary rates, you can also see the exchange rates for precious metals for all you budding Rockefellas!
Saving the best until last, this app could save you hundreds of pounds in phone bills over the next few years. Essentially, Viber is Skype for phones, seeing as you can speak to anyone in the world, (provided they are a Viber subscriber and you both have an internet or Wi-Fi connection), for as long as you like for free. You simply search for them in your contacts and press the Viber call button that will connect you through the Viber network. For those of you worried about going over your data allowance, simply connect to Wi-Fi and the call is totally free, no strings attached! Unlike Skype, you can search for people with their phone numbers as opposed to their email addresses, which is another added bonus.
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