OT: iPhone gift card for father’s day — Any advice?

Very off topic — but I know there are some very tech savvy folks out there.

I’ll probably be going to the Mac store tomorrow (if they still have them in stock).

I’m currently Verizon for both wireless and broadband.

I haven’t been Mac for a long time, but will be getting a MacBook in July, too.

Suggestions and advice are welcome!  Best Apps?

11 Responses to OT: iPhone gift card for father’s day — Any advice?

  1. Mike D says:

    There are some classics, like Shazam (recognizes music playing) and Pandora (internet radio). I also like the Yelp app, it’s basically just their website in app form. Type in a restaurant or other business, and when it comes up, one touch will call the business, give you the address, or directions. I use a sports ticker called Sportacular for sports scores and stats. The Weather Channel app is much better than the native weather app that comes with the phone. SnapTell allows you take a picture of a book, DVD, or CD cover and will identify it along with links to buy it online or in local stores. Save Benjis is a similar price comparison app but you have to type in the product name. AroundMe finds banks, bars, gas stations, grocery stores, and many other businesses in the area where you are. i.TV provides both TV listings and movie listings in your area, and has recently been upgraded to allow you to watch trailers, read reviews, buy movie tickets, and manage your Netflix queue and TiVo… tremendously useful and FREE(!). Actually all of the above are free. There’s a unit conversion app called Units which is very useful too.

    Some cheap and fun games are reMovem, iDracula, Super Ball, and Pocket God. Sol Free is a free solitaire game, and Trace is also free and REALLY fun and challenging.

    On an related note, I would buy your iPhone thru Best Buy, they have an AMAZING warranty for just $16/month. Will pretty much replace the phone, no questions asked, as long as you can produce it. The warranties offered thru Apple and AT&T are useless.

  2. glen says:

    as far as the iphone; i believe the biggest decision is to either stay with verizon or go with at&t, $599 vs $199 respectively for the new 3GS-16gig. i maybe wrong — but i am under the impression that the apple store only sells the iphone to new and existing at&t wireless customers. i believe at&t sells the new 3GS without the 2-year wireless contract.

    as far as the macbook: i believe the best bang for the buck is the new macbook pro 13 with SSD.

  3. Ed says:

    Neither nor, simplest way to kickstart your computer is to buy an old PC, remove Windows and replace it with Linux. That will transform the old cluncker in a fast, intelligent and cheep alternative to a new Mac at any time. And since Linux was intended to work not to be “user friendly” you will learn a thing or two about computing allong the way. I kicked Windows out of my house last year and believe me I never go back to a commercial OS.

    And remember this, buing drives the economy, the economy drives the climate! So just stop buing and be satisfied with the shit you allready own and try to get the most out of that. An iPhone will not change your life! It won’t turn you into a more productive individual, nor into a better person. So if you need an iPhone, wait until the novelty wears of, then buy one second hand. And if Apple refuses to make that possible due to their commercial operation (remember Steve Jobs was the shrewd entrepenour and Steve Wosniak was the nerd who made things possible) I would suggest you keep your ordinary phone and by a second hand PDA.

    Greetings, Ed

  4. Arthur Smith says:

    Congratulations Joe, and happy father’s day (a day late) too!

    I also have used AroundMe, Weather Channel, and some of the others mentioned. One thing that’s not obvious to new users is the built-in calculator is a pretty powerful scientific calculator – but only if you turn it on it’s side.

    The apps I use most are NetNewsWire (rss reader) and Twitterfon – but they can be a little too distracting too…

  5. Bullwinkle says:

    Wikipanion – free (Wikipedia as an app).

    Rotary Dialer – 99c (for those who think cell phones are too complicated).

    More Cowbell – free (do I have to go there)?

    Peggle – $5 (great game for all ages).

    Evernote – free (type notes on your computer and they automagically sync to your phone)

    iGasUp – $4 (shows fuel prices for nearby gas stations)

    Prices are what I paid for them….

  6. hapa says:

    one thing to know is that the iphone doesn’t currently have native task list software, you have to install something. i use “omnifocus” but “things” is very very good. apple hasn’t explained why ical todo’s don’t just sync, but then it took them two years to sync notes, or have copy-paste.


    omnifocus or things. plus the desktop apps if you want.

    instapaper free. tag web articles for later offline reading.

    spreadsheet. create or work on excel and pages sheets. this particular app is awesome because of the number of functions and the UI.

    kindle, stanza, ereader,… some kind of ebook software. the kindle software is very good. i also have ereader installed because i had a few big dictionaries loaded on my palm and they still work on the iphone.

    outliner. i don’t use this often but it’s nice-to-have.

    wordpress. manage posts, pages, and comments in your pocket. they know it needs better UI and are working on it.

    bloom. very interesting experimental music game from brian eno.

    bento. combined with bento desktop, this is simply the best database software you can carry around. math functions are pretty light. it makes up for that by having the easiest data and forms interface on earth.

    lose it! calories and other stuff in your pocket.


    google earth.

    howcast. nice interface to handheld how-to videos pretty much anywhere your phone works.


    now playing. movie listings. there are lots of these.

    google reader. this is a web app, with a home screen icon created using the “plus” button in safari. i think this is the best news reader on the iphone, even though it doesn’t allow offline reading which may be important for frequent flyers.

    AAA discounts and various other consumer apps. “augmented” real world shopping.…

    spacetime. ridiculously awesome pocket graphing calc. sadly there is as yet no supergood stats calc for iphone.

    convertbot. lots of thorough data converters. this one is fun! so far though i haven’t found one that can “convert” energy to work and such.

    notes. the notes app now syncs with the notes in leopard mail. (there’s a toggle in itunes. for lots of things. RTFM.) notes sync means 100% SEARCHABLE NOTES ANYWHERE. searchable from spotlight on the desktop or the iphone home screen. this is so completely incredible in combo with how well notes works with copy-paste on the iphone (try copying four items from a web page to a note and you’ll see how much nicer it is than for instance trying to do the same with the wordpress app) that i have the notes app on my iphone dock.

    camera. save yourself some space on the “main” home screen and change the camera to be the app you get when you double-press the home button (settings->general). this is very kid-handy.

    related: make sure you familiarize yourself with what the clock (alarms that don’t hush if you flick the “silent” switch!), maps (email your location!), voice memos (email them!), itunes store (instant podcast downloads!), mail (multiple accounts, really good attachment viewing), and youtube apps can do. they’re pretty deep. it doesn’t know where you are automatically but it has very readable layout.

    other things i used but don’t have installed anymore: accufuel is handy. IM and twitter software is around. bubbles is fun (and so’s koi pond). facebook app pretty useful. mocha, et al: iphone can do VNC! remote lets you control your mac media. typing genius improves your accuracy.

    games, yeah there are lots of them.

    i’ve played with a few other apps. those are my finalists. i’d also use pandora, some kind of public radio tuner, and so on. the selection is very large and generally the 3.5-star rating or higher is trustworthy, i think.

  7. hapa says:

    oh yeah and there’s no highly-good word processing software yet. that should change with copy-paste now built-in.

    i don’t know anything about presentation editing.

    various bright green aspects include taxi-hailer (and one-click payer) software, the new zipcar app (which someone should copy and open up for all possible rentals), multimodal bus routing in maps — there’s bunches. i don’t know of a web page that keeps an updated list but i bet there is one.

    (don’t hold your personal breath waiting for voice recognition, it’s not that fast, but dictation should work well enough.) (i don’t know how long a voice memo can be.)

    as far as usability, “shake to undo” is terrific and deep. the iphone is WORSE than old palms at handling interruptions (such as phone calls) so be aware you may need to save data regularly, or when one app closes so you can use another, when you come back your typing has vanished if you didn’t save. this is basically desktop-think that’s inexplicably awful behavior on a handheld. it doesn’t bite you in all apps. be aware.

    the iphone needs a multi-clipboard. actually every computer should have the option built-in, but handhelds are particulsr helped because of how cumbersome it is to switch “windows.”

  8. hapa says:

    handy tips on using iphone/itouch copy-paste.

    * tap quickly to place cursor

    * tap and hold for a moment to place cursor and bring up “select/select all/paste” bubble (which doesn’t interfere with typing)

    * double-tap and hold on a word to select it directly with selection-area handles and the “copy/cut/paste” bubble; you can also type to replace the selected text (or work on it with buttons), per usual

    * in safari, the selection area jumps from character-selection to paragraph-selection when you cross a paragraph boundary

    * shake a couple times to undo or redo

    * clipboard also handles pictures

    * tap-hold on link in safari or mail to copy it or open it in other ways

  9. Brian says:

    iPhone apps I like:

    — Koi Pond (relaxes me when political idiots get me down)
    — iFart (obviously a must-have)
    — AccuWeather (marvelous! detailed and quite accurate, most of the time)
    — Quickpedia (easy way to access Wikipedia)
    — AroundMe (needs a strong connection though; often has me many miles away due to cellular service issues, I assume)
    — iBowl (fun and a way to show off iPhone motion detector)
    — GPS Motion X (amazingly full-featured GPS device for just a few bucks)
    — Tweetie (how I post most of my Tweets on Twitter, supports photos)
    — Weightbot (aided me to lose 8 pounds recently)
    — Urbanspoon (finds restaurants to your liking and price range, plus reviews)

  10. hapa says:

    also these

    a few travel apps

    craigslist browsing and listing

    find/give a car trip!

  11. hapa says:

    last two

    brushes (hifi finger painting)

    star walk (location-aware sky guide)

    also there are lots of silly toys for flipping coins when stuck. when things aren’t binary, i like adding coins: