You’ve seen it on the shelves for months. You’ve saved up for weeks. Everyone but you had it. You have wanted it for so long and, finally, it’s yours.
Those are pretty much the stages a new iPhone owner goes through – mainly, sheer excitement, unwrapping your new prized possession like a child would unwrap their favourite toy on Christmas’ day. The truth of it is that, after the wave of joy that overwhelms the new Apple customer, the following feeling might not be so pleasant, at least for a moment.
After a bit of struggle, you’ve finally got it: you’ve managed, probably by looking at a tutorial on YouTube, to extract the SIM tray from the top of the phone, you’ve synchronized it with iTunes, you’re ready to go. After the first call to test the phone functionality (that’s the way it should be, but, in reality, it is usually a shameless call to an unfortunate friend who has to listen to you bragging about your new, shiny purchase), a whole new, scary world opens up: the world of apps. While you can’t wait to download all the apps in the store, the choice is so wide that you feel a bit lost, a bit dizzy, even. Before you launch yourself on a download-of-absolutely-useless-apps-frenzy, though, you can start by downloading something that’s actually useful.
So, what are some useful apps an iPhone neophyte should download? Here are a few tips:
Skype App for iPhone, by Skype Inc.
A fantastic, free app which allows you to IM and call your friends all over the world at discounted rates. Easy to use, the interface is both pleasant to the eye and intuitive. You can either use your existing account or create a new one in a matter of seconds, and the instant purchase of Skype credit is also available. Overall: very useful and, most importantly, free.
Twitterrific, by IconFactory
Probably the best Twitter app around. Easy to navigate through all the options, stylish, and makes a nice chirp (which of course, you can turn off in the “Settings” tabs) whenever you have new tweets. This great app lets you, among other things, attach pictures (both from the Library or the camera) to your tweets by automatically hosting the picture on yfrog (which saves a lot of time and effort). Comes in two versions, free and paid: the only difference between the two is that the free version features some ads, which are barely noticeable.
Converter Plus, by TranCreations
This great, free app is able to convert all of the convertible, from the more usual units such as Length, Temperature and Power, to the more unusual ones, which are not usually offered in conversion tools, like Cooking (ever needed to know on the spot what half a tablespoon equals to?); it even features Loan and Mortgage calculators! Of course, Converter Plus serves as a currency converter, too, and it features automatic online currency exchange rates updates and the conversion of multiple currencies simultaneously.
Shazam, by Shazam Entertainment Ltd.
If only I had Shazam when I was a teenager! You know when you hear a song on the radio that you love, but for one reason or another, you never seem to find out who is it by? Well, among other things, Shazam can solve this. Using the nifty “Tag” feature, you can have this incredible app listen to the song and analyze it for you: in a matter of seconds, you will get not only the name of the song itself (and it’s scarily accurate, too), but also a link to buy it immediately and the option of sharing it on your favourite social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Comes in a limited free version, or a premium, paid version.