Apple has recently added a new listing in the App Store called Top Grossing apps. It appears in the right margin under the listings of Paid Apps and Free Apps. Simply put, the top grossing apps are the ones that are making the most money — an indication of how much they're valued. If somebody's willing to plunk down $9.99 for Call of Duty, the current top-grossing app, it must be pretty good. If you look at the ratings for the top apps in this category, they're typically very high.
RedLaser ($1.99) is currently one of the top-selling apps, and for good reason: It's a great aid to shopping. The concept is very simple — the app uses your iPhone's camera to scan a barcode, and then the app does an online product search to find the lowest price among hundreds of thousands of retailers. Maybe you're in a mall and you scan an item and find that a different store in the same mall has it for a lower price. Features include the ability to limit your search to lower prices in nearby stores, e-mail a results list, e-mail a barcode, and a favorites feature for keeping a wish list of products.
If you're hitting the stores on Black Friday but are in need of gift ideas, you might try the free Hey Santa app, which has over 2,000 gift suggestions based on your budget and the recipient's taste and age. There are 15 different combined settings for gift suggestions. Also check out Christmas Gifts List ($0.99), which no only helps you manage your list but also has a built-in budgeting feature.
Earlier this month there were news reports about a worm that was capable of infecting jailbroken iPhones, but the affect it had on an iPhone was relatively benign. However, a report yesterday on CNet said that a new worm is out and about in a number or countries and that it's capable of stealing data from your iPhone and putting your phone under the control of a bot. As you may know, a jailbroken iPhone is one that has been reconfigured so that it can work with services other than AT&T. So if you haven't messed with your iPhone in this regard, you don't have anything to worry about.
There's an app for everything, including Thanksgiving. MacWorld reviews eight of the apps, ranging from recipes to a TurkeyTimer. Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes ($1.99) gets the highest rating — four mice on a five-mouse scale. Each of the 60 recipes includes a picture of the dish, description, list of ingredients, and steps for preparing. You can mark favorites, and automatically generate a shopping list.
It's amazing to think that there's an app devoted to a specific shopping day — November 27, the Friday after Thanksgiving. In fact, there are a number of them. TGI Black Friday is a free app that gives you access to over 8,000 Black Friday deals from all the major retailers — before they come out in newspapers. You can browse the deals, search for specific items, create a shopping list within the app of those that you want to focus on, compare prices to confirm you're getting the best deals, and more. You can view deals by store or category, and also view the most popular deals.
Check out this 1-minute video. A guy uses his iPhone to blow out candles, via the Blower app.
It's kind of silly, but fun to see that it actually works. App is $0.99, but the reviews say that it doesn't work that well.
Not only is this a useful app, but there's also an interesting backstory. The person who got the idea, Shayne Faerber, is a waiter. An iPhone development company picked up the idea, and now Shayne is dreaming of riches. Mall Maps ($2.99) contains over 1,000 malls in the U.S. and uses your iPhone's GPS to find the malls nearest you. Or you can browse by city/state or Zip Code. Once you identify a mall that you want to go to, the app gives you store listings and actual floor plans. Plus, the app gives you Google Maps directions to the mall location. Seems like just the app for this shopping season.
What a great Christmas gift for a gadget enthusiast. The $200 Chinon AVi dock has it all. You can use it to access the content on your iPhone — music, video, photos. Plus, you can use it as a TV. From the press release: "The AVi features a 7-inch LCD monitor, AUX input, ATSC digital TV tuner with AV out, built-in telescopic radio antenna, external telescopic TV antenna, digital FM radio and alarm clock, and a full-function remote. This all-inclusive system plays both local TV channels and the contents of an iPod, including music videos, pre-recorded movies, TV shows and videos, images, as well as just music.
Spyglass ($0.99) is yet another creative use of your iPhone's camera. You can view your environment via the iPhone camera and digitally zoom in in up to 5x. In addition, the app uses augmented reality to superimpose compass and GPS information as well as horizon tilt right over the live camera feed. You can also enable the maps feature and have the same information superimposed on a map.You'll need an iPhone 3Gs plus an Internet connection to use the maps feature.