Recent App Reviews
Personal Formulator is a simple financial calculator that allows you to quickly figure out discounts, tips, car loan payments, and more. We were visiting a friend and went to a car dealership to look at a Smartcar he wanted to buy. He needed help figuring out the total cost for two loans that had different interest rates. I taught music, not math, but had his answer quickly using Personal Formulator.
ICE (In Case of Emergency) lets you store all your pertinent medical and contact info on your iPhone and easily access it. The app also allows you to take a screen shot of an information summary and places it in your photo library. You can then e-mail it to a healthcare professional if necessary, or use the photo as the wallpaper on your iPhone. If, heaven forbid, someone found you unconsciousness and turned on your iPhone, they’d have your medical summary in front of them.
My boyfriend likes to read the Wall Street Journal and has a subscription. While we are on the road, he can read the paper using the WSJ app. It lets you read full articles, get market reports, and even e-mail articles to friends.
I am an avid reader and love to open a good book when I’ve got a few minutes to spare. But with limited storage, it was hard to carry around much of a library. That changed when I discovered Kindle and Shortcovers; two iPhone apps that let me download eBooks directly to my iPhone and read them whenever I want. Some free books are available for both apps, but most will cost you $5-$10. I currently have eight eBooks on my iPhone and they are not taking up space in my saddlebag!
Paying bills can be a bother, especially when you are away from home for an extended period of time. We use Bank of America which has a mobile banking app for the iPhone that’s easy to use, and simplifies online banking. We no longer have to find a computer at a library somewhere along the way—just a few taps on my iPhone and the bills are paid. Your bank may also have a mobile app or Web site you can use for paying bills. It’s well worth investigating.
This application lets you use your iPhone’s display as a flashlight. It displays images of a variety of different bulb styles and lets you adjust the screen brightness. It is not as bright as a Maglight, but it sure comes in handy when you’re at a campground restroom, and you left your regular flashlight at the campsite.
YP Mobile makes it easier to find businesses and events in the area. You can search by categories (Banks, Bars & Clubs, Discount Stores), and get maps and directions to your destination. I used it to call a Harley Davidson dealer in Osceola, Iowa to ask them about the road condition in their town. If you want to know what’s really going on— talk to the locals; with an iPhone you don’t even have to be standing next to them.
The iPhone is a great travel aid all by itself, but some downloads from the App Store make it even better. The Facebook app for the iPhone is a quick and easy way to keep up with friends and family when you’re traveling. It lets me send updates about where we are, what we’re doing, and even share the cool pictures that I snapped along the way. I took a few the other day at the Nebraska Wildlife Safari. That evening, I used Facebook to share them. It’s like sending a postcard to multiple people—without the stamp.
AroundMe let you find nearby locations quickly. This simple to use app directs you to the nearest banks, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, theaters, and more. It also gives you a three-day weather forecast.
Tripwolf lets you access free travel guides for over 50,000 cities around the world. The guides combine information from professional travel guide publishers and feedback from actual travelers. You can have up to three city guides on your device at one time, and the guides for major cities have a considerable amount of information. However, less visited destinations like Kansas City, Missouri or Des Moines, Iowa, only have a basic information page and a listing of accommodations. You can access the guides online or download them for offline access later.