The Modern Version Of, “I Drank The Kool-Aid”

The Modern Version Of, In other words, “I took a bite out of the Apple.”

No, I didn’t buy a Mac, much as I’d love to fiddle with one.

As Cyborg-JFK once said on the digital shores of Binary Berlin, Ich bin iPhoneliner. Or something. I may have my history botched.

So, now that I have this whacko contraption, what do I do with it? My choices are so limitless, I’m almost paralyzed by them.

(I did already download and get my love on with Pandora.)

What free apps do I need? What paid apps do I need? What secrets don’t I know about this thing? What are the hidden downfalls and the unspoken bonuses? Is there an app that will remind me to wear pants? Help!

(Oh, and in closing: poor Kool-Aid. They are much-maligned with their supposed connection to Jonestown. Except, it wasn’t Kool-Aid at Jonestown. It was Flavor Aid. Just once, I wanna see the Kool-Aid Man come crashing through the wall and be like, “Oh Yeah! Flavor Aid causes murder-suicides in French Guyana! Oh Yeah!”


  • As requested, here is my list of essentials. I didn’t put games but here are three awesome ones: Asphalt 4, Hero of Sparta, Cube Runner (if you can beat 430 on Hard let me know, haven’t met anyone whose beaten me yet)

    Shazam, Dictionary!, TweetDeck, BeejiveIM, ScoreCenter, Cube Runner, Coin Flip, Urbanspoon, Yelp, BOFA, Pandora, Evernote, Wikipanion, Flixster, Stanza, Ocarina, iFlipr, Trapster, FML, Facebook, Decibel, SHOUTcast, iFitness, Cheap Gas

    GO GO GO.

  • August 13, 2009 at 9:14 AM // Reply

    Heh, remember when Cyborg Kennedy misspoke and said, “Ich bin ein iPhoneliner” and the eGerman press got ahold of it and they were all like “whoa Mr. President you are some kind of donut stuffed with phones” and he was like “dang”?

    The only things I was going to suggest are in that list up there. You need some kind of Twitter app for the amount of Twitter you’re on, you’d enjoy Urbanspoon (and probably make other users more aware of the restaurants in your area in the process), and if you’re on any flavor of IM, there’s something that will allow you to get on board.

    It’s tasty, isn’t it?


    • Oh, ye gods it’s tasty. I have it plugged into the computer right now, and it knows things before the computer does. It’s very exciting.

      It’s also shiny. I underestimated its shiny factor. I went to the store last night uncertain as to whether I was going to buy an iPhone. I committed to buying one even before I looked at other phones. It has powerful stupid voodoo.

  • Most of these are free. THose that aren’t are cheap

    MightyDocs – Google Docs integration
    Twitteriffic, Tweetie, Twitterfon – Some of many twitter clients
    The actual google app – Just super useful
    Remote – If you have itunes on your main computer, turns your device into a remote for it
    NetNewsWire – Fantastic RSS reader
    Times – NYT news reader. WSJ, USA Today and the AP also have good ones.
    Writeroom – Basically a commercial improvement on the Notes app
    Todo – there are about a million to do apps for the iphone. Todo by Appigo was good enough that I was willign to pay for it.
    Quicksend – You kind of need to see this to get what it does, but it’s basically a way to really quickly send simple email messages
    Stanza, Ereader & Kindle – All the ebook apps are good. Play with them and find what youlike.
    Oblique Strategies – It’s an Oblique Strategies deck on the iphone. If you knwo what this means, you should already be excited. If you don’t, then definitely check it out.
    Poker, by MotionX – It’s just a poker dice program, and much of its novelty comes from the fact that it was one of the first games to really use th emotion sensor well. Still, dumb fun, and pretty
    GalCon – All the fun of a real time strategy game in about a minute per play.
    NPR Addict – Find local NPR!
    Allrecipes Dinner Spinner – Kind of fun pick your needs and ingredients and get matching recipes widget.
    TED – It’s an app dedicated to the Ted Talks. The awesomeness of this cannot be overstated
    Fnorder – Fnord
    Dicenomicon – This has to be seen to be believed. It is what all other dice apps want to be
    Puzzle Quest – If you want to lose hours and hours and hours of your life, then this is the game for it.
    Postiono – Clever service. You buy stamps through them, then you take pictures from the phone, and they will print your picture as a postcard and send it, alogn with your text, to whoever you want.

    Second the suggestion of Wikipanion and Evernote

    -Rob D.

  • One other oddball – There’s a paid app for twitter called “Birdhouse”, and it’s an editor for Twitter, which probably sounds like overkill, because it kind of is. But the idea is that if you are inclined to write tweets but want to sit on them for a while before sending them, this is the tool for it. I’m really not sure there’s much demand for it, but it’s wacky enough I figured it was worth a mention.

    -Rob D.

  • Rob, you are my hero.

    I saw that Birdhouse thing a while back — crazy, not yet necessary for me, but curious enough to ponder.

    I am going to start picking through the meat and bones of your suggestions!

    — c.

  • For hardware, this is totally worth its seemingly silly price:

    It’s incredibly tough: Mine took a gouge from the keys in my pocket* but the screen is still just fine, and because it uses static cling rather than adhesive, you can actually position it.

    Cases are a bit more idiosyncratic. The Speck Pixelskin style cases probably give the best protection and short of a hardcase, but they do not cover the face of the phone. Thing is, an open face is either a help or a hindrance, depending on how you use it. If you’re looking for a particular style, I would definitely suggest you look at Amazon – the third party producers all sell there, and the competition keeps prices much lower than the apple store. It’s good they’re cheap, though, since they can be a crap shoot.

    One thing to look out for with the leather/faux leather cases, To wrap around the iphone, the need to come around the sides of the screen. For a tight fit (which the silicon cases have) this is no problem, but if it’s not tight, then it makes the touch screen hard to use on the very edges of the screen. It’s not a huge thing, just something to look for.

    -Rob D.

    * If you keep it in pocket, start training yourself now to be aware of your keys, or it will someday end badly. If you go with a belt clip it’s less of an issue, of course.

    • This is all good stuff. We do have the static cling things — not that brand, but that price point and effect, bought with the phones.

      The cases are tricky, because I hate to spend $$ on a case that isn’t really ideal, as they’re often more expensive than you’d like.

  • Honestly, given the number of iphones out there, just start looking at what other people use for cases, and when you see the one that grabs you, knock them down and taXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX get that.

  • I really like my speck case. I don’t even put on screen protectors, and haven’t managed to damage my screen yet, but the speck makes me feel like the risk of *impact* damage on my touch is much less. Also: makes the phone grippy, which means it doesn’t slide and fall easy.

  • Here’s my list. There are some redundancies but here it is nonetheless… I’ve saved the repeats for the bottom of the list. Some are pricey, but I’m willing to pay for what they do.

    *Shredder – Chess app

    *PocketMoney – Finance/Checkbook app

    *iDisk – Requires MobileMe account but lets me access my online disk from anywhere

    *Personal Assistant – Basically an RSS reader for online accounts. Quick updates on bank accounts, Netflix, twitter, e-mail. Its all read only but centralized into one place.

    *Ambiance – White noise app that lets you download and mix tracks. Helps me focus when working.

    *Car Care – Tracks mileage and service reminders for your car.

    *Molecules – Not for everyone, but given what I do its cool to be able to render proteins and nucleic acids in 3D

    *ChemTouch – Complete Periodic Table. Again, I’m a science geek.

    *MotionX GPS – Best GPS app I’ve found. Turns the iPhone into a true Garmin. Good for running, boating, hiking, and other activities that might take you off roads.

    *SnapTell – Take a picture of a book, CD, or other similar object and it uses character recognition to locate and compare prices online.

    *Air Sharing – Turns the iPhone into a protable hard drive for computers that share a WiFi network

    *ShoppingList – In addition to being a shopping list, it remembers the order in which you check items off at the store and starts to reorder your list according to how you move through the store. Saves time on wandering back through the store to get that thing you missed because it was on the bottom of your list.

    *OmniFocus – Particularly helpful To Do app since it can be configured to use the GPS and only show you those To Do items which are possible where you are. Functionality is greatly increased if you run the desktop app at the same time, but it’s Mac only.

    *TwitterFon – Mentioned before

    *EverNote – Mentioned before

    *Remote – Mentioned before

    *Shazam – Mentioned before

    *TED – Mentioned before

    *Kindle/Stanza – Mentioned before

    *Urban Spoon – Mentioned before

    *Yelp – Mentioned before

    *Coin Flip – Mentioned before

    *Oblique Strategies – Mentioned before

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