This is the default web browser that comes with the iPhone and so far there's no way to change it to anything other than Safari. If you open any web links from an email or other source it will by default open in Safari. But, that's not such a bad thing, since Safari has proven to be a very capable browser. It's fast, responsive and easy to use. That being said, it also has some shortcomings, such as the inability to perform a "word find" on a webpage like you can do by pressing CTRL+F on any desktop computer browser. There are, however, third party apps (called bookmarklets) that you can download to perform the various tasks that Apple may have omitted. For example, the Find in Page app works well when paired with Safari (we recommend downloading the lite version for free). Most deficiencies Safari has have all been remedied by various bookmarklets available from the Appstore, and so although the competition in this category is stiff, we don't really see any reason to use anything but "Safari".
This is a terrific mobile web browser for the iPhone. It has Flash support, utilizing cloud computing, and in most cases it performs without a hitch. It is definitely slower than Safari but the ability to play Flash really keeps it in the running. Puffin lacks some of the capabilities, however, that other browsers out there do offer. Continuing to use the example of the "find in page" ability, like Safari, Puffin lacks this functionality. Puffin is not yet optimised for Flash games either so keep that in mind if you're considering the purchase. But, the bottom line is that Puffin works well opening pages in either mobile or full version and when combined with it's ability to play Flash videos all at 1/3 the price of Skyfire it definitely gets a solid recommendation from us here at Gounce.
Opera Mini is a solid mobile browser application. It is one of the fastest browsers on the mobile market today because it requests webpages through Opera Software's servers which compress the data up to 90% before sending it to your mobile device. This not only helps web pages load faster it also utilizes much less of your 3G data if you're not connected to Wifi. Opera Mini also introduces a few nice touches to it's mobile browser, such as visible tabs (you can see all of your tabs and switch between pages with one touch), as well as speed dial, which works much like bookmarks. Overall, Opera Mini is a nice, very fast and efficient web browser for any mobile device.
I bought this app based on all the buzz around the web about it. I don't see the draw... It offers some nice features like customizable swipe settings, interchangeable skins, private browsing options (no saved history), page compression to save data, as well as several more. But, overall this app doesn't offer much that Safari or other competitors don't offer and at a cheaper price. We here at Gounce see no reason to choose iCab over the default Safari browser.
Winner: Google Voice/Talkatone
Google voice is the first app I recommend to any newcomer to the wonderful world of iPhone ownership. With the ridiculous cost of cell phone contracts these days, Google Voice will help you keep a little bit of that coin in your pocket and out of your service provider's. With Google Voice you can make long distance calls to anywhere in North America for free using a wifi signal or even 3G data. If you find yourself with a crushing bill each month, getting dinged with long distance charges, this app is definitely for you.
Unfortunately for our friends north of the border, Google Voice is not yet available in Canada. Luckily for them "Talkatone" is essentially the same thing as Google Voice; performing the exact same functionality. Talkatone is not officially a Google app, it was created by a third party company but uses your Gmail account to access Google Voice online. So, forego that expensive long distance add-on to your monthly bill and just download either Google Voice or Talkatone and make all the long distance calls you want for free.
Everyone by now is familiar with Skype and how it works. It is a great app, but it's not free. I will admit that it's stability and call clarity is unmatched by other internet phone applications out there, but at the end of the day it all comes at a cost. Why pay for something that you can get for free?
Winner: 360 Panorama
Literally take a 360 degree panoramic photo with this amazing camera app. Photos are taken automatically as your turn up to 360 degrees, it couldn't be easier. And with the latest update you can submit your photos online for additional rendering and sharpening by the company's servers for free. It really is a phenomenal app for the measley price of $0.99. So, don't worry about buying that expensive SLR camera and forking over extra cash for a fancy wide-angle lens, just download 360 Panorama for $1 from the AppStore.
Camera+ is one of the most complete camera apps available on the AppStore today. It loads fast, has a wide selection of options and comes complete with a full array of photo editting features. Crop it, flip it, brighten it, change it to black & white or even sepia all at the touch of a button. All in all, it's a wonderful camera app that is worth your consideration.
Want to take your photo and make it black & white while leaving the focal point in color? This app allows you to take any photo on your iPhone and make it black & white, then you can color in any part of it with the swipe of your finger. It's not only easy (easier than you may think, and accurate too) but it's also a lot of fun. Try it out for free from the AppStore.
Need to access your home computer when you're on the road? This is the app for you. Simply download TeamViewer's software onto your computer for free from their website here, then download the TeamViewer app for free from the AppStore. The TeamViewer program on your computer will give you a connection code and password that you type into the iPhone app and bingo you're now connected to your computer through any Wifi or 3G signal. It's fast, easy and comes in handy more often than not. Forgot that important report on your computer at home? Connect to your computer remotely with this app and email if to yourself at work. It can be done from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection!
This program synchronizes all your important data to the cloud. Now you can access your photos, music, and documents anywhere you go! Access files from your computer or even transfer files from your iPhone to your computer wirelessly without the need for iTunes. Everyone should have this app. Download Dropbox on your computer now and "simplify your life."
A slick remote desktop app (RDP). Not much more to say here, it just works.
Remote Desktop Lite (RDP)
This app allows you to connect to your computer remotely and manages to do it with high definition quality. You can browse through anything on your computer and see it all with complete clarity. The downside with this app is that it can only make a remote connection from within the same wireless network as the computer your accessing. So, you want to connect to your home computer, well you've got to be using the same wireless signal as your computer. Mostly useful if you're out on the back patio and want to skip to the next track on your computer inside (or some other similar scenario).
Looking for a burrito joint open now? An Irish pub nearby? A gas station you can drive to before your tank hits empty? Yelp for your iPhone is here to help. Use it to search for places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play then read reviews from an active community of locals in the know.
This app would have and maybe should have been the winner of this category. So why didn't it win? Well, it's not available in the US. This app is for Canadians only, but boy does it excel! It's fast (uses auto fill typing) and, I have found, more accurate than Yelp at times. Like Yelp, YellowPages has default categories that you can search for with a quick finger tap, but you can also do custom searches for anything you want and find the nearest one to your current location.
In a foreign city? Need to find a cobbler or a locksmith? Use Poynt!
Where are we going to eat tonight darling? Let Urbanspoon decide. Sort by price, genre, and more. It can be fun too, it has a slot machine style function that will find a random restaurant near you when you shake your iPhone. You can lock any categories you want and leave the others open, shake your device and watch the wheels of fate spin to decide where you'll be eating dinner tonight. Try it for free.
Winner: Google Maps
This is the default navigation app on the iPhone. There are many other apps in this category, however, most are paid apps. The only downfall of this app is that it utilizes your 3G connection during use. Try "Waze" below for a true turn-by-turn navigation app.
Waze GPS Turn-By-Turn
An accurate, free, turn-by-turn GPS app for the iPhone. Need I say more? Or perhaps you'd like to buy TOMTOM for $70 or Garmin for $40?
Read, rate and review destinations from your mobile device. Plan and have the perfect trip with access to real traveller reviews, opinions, photos, maps, and forums that can answer even the most specific questions when you’re on the go.
Book a cheap hotel room from your pocket. Think of the possibilities ;)
Winner: TuneIn Radio
This app is almost magical. Simply start the app and a list of radio stations begins to populate. You can sort by city, locale, and so on.
Find yourself in Canada but love that catchy hip hop from down under? Fire up TuneIn Radio and presto you can be listening to any of hundreds of radio stations live from Australia or anywhere else in the world. And with constant updates to the app you can now browse through each radio station's playlist, check out their website with the in-app web browser, see the upcoming programing schedule and setup timed recordings of nearly any radio station you like world wide. Unfortunately, any recordings you make can only be listened to from within the TuneIn Radio app; you cannot transfer your recordings to iTunes. Even so, this app is a must have for any iPhone owner. It works great with a wifi connection and performs just as well with a 3G data connection without using up much of your data limit.
Everyone knows about this app, but it is a real lifesaver when you "gotta know the name of that song". Simply turn it on, tap the big Shazam button and within 10 seconds you've got the title, artist, album, release date and any other information you could want about the song playing around you.
Every guitarists dream: Every guitar chord in your pocket. ChordBank displays the chord on a real looking fret with finger placement positions shown, but not only that you can actually swipe your finger across the strings to strum the note and hear what it sounds like! No matter if you're a seasoned veteran on the guitar or a beginner you shouldn't be without this app.
With Achording you can search for the tabs to any song your heart desires. The app searches through tons of online tab search engines and brings them right to your mobile device. Achording also uses auto scrolling which will automatically scroll down through the tab at the perfect rate so that you can follow along hands free. It works like a charm!
Most people try and give me a hard time about this pick, but the fact of the matter is the Kindle book store massively outranks that of iBooks. Selection is king!
Apple's ereader app. Works well, but bookstore is lacking at present.
With Stanza you can choose from 50,000 free classics and recent original works available from Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, and many other sources. Along with Stanza's selection of more 50,000 contemporary books for sale it's no slouch in the ereader category.
Winner (Paid): Super Stickman Golf
The most addictive and worthwhile game available on the iPhone. You can play through over 160 different holes from 30 differents courses. Choose "classic courses" for beginner level to difficult; or for the experts out there choose from a number of the "super courses." You'll also find a great list of "expansion courses" with more being added to it on a regular basis. The courses in this game range from fun and easy to extreme and all showcase a beautiful set of backdrops from city scapes to the fires of hell, it really is the best game on the AppStore today. In addition to all that, there are 7 different "power ups" you can unlock from "sticky ball" to "air brakes"; "super ball" to "nitro ball" and as the courses get harder and more intricate you'll definitely need all the help you can get. But being limited to only 7 power ups per round makes this game a challenge for even the most skilled of gamers.
Almost everybody remembers the original arcade game: The amazing dunks, and crossovers. Now on the iPhone!
BOOMSHAKALAKA!!! Jam with a friend in Local Multiplayer and rock your iPhone or iPod touch with all the over-the-top, high-flying, 2-on-2 arcade basketball action just like you remember it – and like you’ve never seen before! Go to the hole. Go strong. Go for the monster jam. KABOOM!
If you're here for a good time, not a long time, this is the game for you. Extremely addictive! Thankfully, this effect wears off within a couple weeks.
Being the huge fans of Tetris that we are here at Gounce it's difficult for us not to award this game as the winner, but what really holds it back from the glory of first place, is the touch screen controls. That's not to say that the game isn't still enjoyable. If EA Games had included an option for the classic controls than this game would easily have received top honors. Either way though, it's a fun game despite the tricky controls and if you liked the original than you'll enjoy this installment too. Check out our full review of Tetris for the iPhone here.
10 Pin Shuffle Lite
Highly addictive shuffleboard bowling game. What makes it a real winner is the poker intergration. Try it out, you'll see.
Winner: Graphing Calculator Pro
This is easily the best scientific calculator you can find for the iPhone. It not only handles graphs, calculus functions, geometric, polar, cartesian and parametric functions with ease but it is one of the only free calculators on the AppStore to offer "history tape." Scroll through your past calculations and copy numbers or even functions through to your current calculation. It supports multi-touch capabilities and much more. Check it out for free.
Simply perfect LED flashlight app. Starts up quickly. Has a very accessible strobe light option if the need should arise. I tried iHandySoft Inc.'s flashlight app for the iPhone and was extremely disappointed. When you need a flashlight you want to be able to push a button and have light, but with iHandy the app had a ridiculus splash screen and too many options it took forever just to get a beam of light. Don't waste your time, just download the iTorch4 and within a second you've got a flashlight at your fingertips.
A quick booting LED flashlight app. Also sports a sweet strobe light effect for all your after-hours dance parties : )
Apps You Shouldn't Go Without:
Accurate short and longterm forecasts with radar. What more could you ask for in a weather app?
Map your runs, track your progress and get the motivation you need to go even further. Hear mid-run cheers every time your friends like or comment on your run status, or outrun them in a game of Nike+ Tag.
Dashboard for Google Analytics
Are you a blogger? Do you run a website? Want to see Google Analytics for today's performance? This is your app!
Need to crop a photo? How about brighten? This app does all that and much more. Includes several image effects as well. A must have.
Autodesk Sketchbook MobileX
A fantastic drawing tool from the creators of Autocad. Try it out today!
Extremely accurate and reliable dictation software. A must for any law professional.
AppShopper keeps you up to date on the newest App Store apps, sales and freebies. Organize apps in your own customized Wish List and automatically get notified when there is a sale or update.
Track, budget and manage your money on-the-go. Sign up for a Mint.com account, add your online banking accounts and access your personal finances — all from your iPhone. Get started for FREE. You can sign up online here.
Okay you can buy a 2lb bag of rice for $3.50 or a 7.5lb bag for $8.50. What's the better deal? Never guess again with this amazing ratio app!
We hope you enjoyed the read. Stay tuned for our comprehensive iPad app list and iPhone beginners guide :)