apple_iphone_3g

apple_iphone_3g.jpgSince Apple released its brand new iPhone 3G some months ago, one of the runaway successes of the platform has been the App Store. Luckily, Apple has been good enough to compile its top 10 most popular Apps of 2008. Here is our guide to the ones that don’t cost you any money (c’mon there is a credit crunch!)

Pandora Radio

One of the main complaints that iPhone and iPod users have is the lack of a radio. Maybe Apple sees FM as an old technology that it doesn’t want to dirty itself with. Needless to say one app that might just solve the problem is Pandora Radio.

This app gives users  their own free personalised radio available to stream music on their iPhone. Just type in a name of one of your favourite artists or songs and Pandora will create a “station” that plays music like it.

Facebook

You can’t live without it on your computer (it’s a wonder any of us get any work done what with updating our profiles) but this social networking phenomenon can now be accessed on the iPhone.

It may be a little slow in moving around the site (an iPhone-compatible version of the website came online in August 2007) but that’s the javascript running to avoid the page refreshes. The main tabs sit at the bottom and touching a friend’s profile is all you need to catch up with what they are doing.


Tap Tap Revenge

If you aren’t near Guitar Hero or Rock Band but still want to rock out then this iPhone app could help you release your inner rock star.

The game works pretty much in the same vain as it’s console brethren but uses the iPhone’s touchscreen to full effect. The game comes with more than 40 tracks to grind through and you can also play against another iPhone user. You can also download more tracks if you get bored with these ones.

Shazam

This have been available as a service to mobile users for years now and is the friend of many a pub quiz player.

This app can tell you what song is playing on a radio or stereo. It listens to the song for 30 seconds and then texts you back with the song title and artist.

It has a database of over five million songs, so you’d have to find a pretty obscure track to stump this app.


Labyrinth Lite edition

OK, this free version is basically a teaser in order to get people to stump up for the full (paid) version. That said, this little game makes full use of the iPhone’s accelerometer. Gamers have to get a little silver ball around a maze while avoiding holes which the ball can fall though. Users can tilt and move their iPhones to move the ball through the maze. And if you beat that level, there are another nine levels to crack in this free version.

Remote

This app turns your iPhone into a remote control for your iTunes or Apple TV.

Launching the app on either iPhone or iPod Touch, you can pair your phone with Apple TV or iTunes then your phone displays a mobile version of your iTunes folder from which you can navigate through to play music through your Mac or PC.

The display shows Playlist, Artists, Albums, Search, as well as another screen with Audiobooks, Composers, Genres, Movies, Music Videos, Podcasts, Songs, and TV Shows on it.

You can also search through your iTunes library just by starting to tap a few letters. It immediately starts to show up tracks, artists and albums that match your typed letters.


Google Earth

Despite its relative lateness in coming to the iPhone Apps party in October 2008, Google Earth has managed to make it onto the top 10.

Anyone that has played with this on a computer will know that you can visit the far flung corners of the earth with a couple of clicks of a mouse. This one uses the touchscreen to do the same thing.

Their is also high-resolution pictures covering over half of the world’s population and a third of the world’s land mass.

Tilting the phone can bring another view of mountainous terrain and viewing the Panaramio layer can bring up millions of geo-tagged pictures from around the world.

There are also geo-tagged Wikipedia articles to look at. Needless to say you can also use the location-based service to search for businesses in your area.

Lightsaber Unleashed

Many of us dream of being a Jedi Knight (some of us even put it down in our census forms. So it’s good to see that Lucasfilm has released an app to play out our Skywalker fantasies.

There are five characters to battle against; Darth Vader, Rahm Kota, Maris Brood, The Apprentice and Shaak Ti.

Players can choose their Name, Character Picture, Custom Lightsaber and Even write a biography about them.

There is room to customise your lightsaber. This entails chosing one of five handles and scrolling through an array of colours and that’s, err, it.


AIM

AOL’s AIM instant messaging service has been popular for many a year now and this official version lets you pretty much do what you would on a desktop.

Users can chat over the AIM network, switch between conversations, and upload user photos. It can also send and receive messages over WiFi, EDGE, or 3G networks.

You can also manage Buddy Lists, choose Favorites, or add a new buddy any time. The changes are automatically synced with iChat.

Urbanspoon

If you want to impress a date, what better way than using your phone to find a decent restaurant in the vicinity. This location-based app can find out where you are and bring up a list of eateries in the area for you to choose from.

If you can’t quite decide what to eat, then you can active the app’s slot machine feature. Simply shake the phone and the dial will spin and then suggest a restaurant. You can do this again if you didn’t like the first choice.

It also lists reviews of the restaurants it features.