Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.
Continuing with my series on year-end lists of best apps, here are lists from the New York Times and Time magazine. The list of 14 favorite apps from New York Times writer Roy Furchgott includes a few apps for other iPhones, but mainly guides you to some really good iPhone apps. Time magazine's top 10 for 2009 are all excellent apps that deserve your attention.
Moodagent has only been out about three weeks and already has over 200,000 downloads and is currently averaging 25,000 downloads a day. Pretty impressive. It's a freebie that lets you move sliders to indicate the type of music you want to hear, and in seconds it generates playlists. It uses the song's actual content to make recommendations based on digital analysis of the music. This is in contrast to Apple's Genius, which makes recommendations based on purchase history.
I've just been looking at some of the "Best of"' lists that have been posted, and thought that I'd share a couple. It's a great way to get ideas from great apps that will be useful to you. TechCrunch has posted a list of the Best iPhone Apps of 2009 that was compiled by the lead reviewer at AppVee. Erik has identified the top 10 apps and the top 15 games, as well as the top 5 innovations. Each app listed includes a link to the AppVee review, and there are also embedded video reviews of quite a few of the apps.
The game site TouchGen recently named the top games of 2009 in nearly 20 different categories, from the best action game to the best online multiplayer game. The site also named a runner up in each category. Plus, they selected the best overall game of 2009. And the winner is . . . . iBlast Moki, a puzzle game. The judges liked it in part because it was the one that "truly feels unique to the platform."
iType2Go Pro has just received an annual Pogie Award, meaning that it's one of New York Times columnist David Pogue's top picks for the best technology of 2009. And it's definitely a clever idea: If you're the kind of person who sends text messages while you're walking, the iPhone uses the camera to display what's in front of you and the text that you're typing appears superimposed. You can direct that your message be sent as a text message, e-mail message, Facebook update, or Twitter update. It works in either vertical or landscape mode.
The best-of-year lists appearing in the waning days of 2009 are a great way to identify apps that you might like and find useful. Macworld recently posted an article presenting their 2009 App Gem Awards — the best apps in 20 different categories, including 5 different types of games. Some of these we've posted about, but others are new to me. Some of the picks include CNN Mobile for news, Boxcar for notifications, and iBird Explorer Plus as best reference app.
The appearance of Dragon Dictation, which lets you speak into your phone to enter text, caused quite a stir, especially given that it's being made available initially for free. You can read Ken Burkhalter's blog post that gives a helpful review. However, note that Dragon Search is also available, and also free. It lets you do voice searches rather than having to tap in your search terms.