At the Apple (Stock Quote: APPL) “Let’s Rock” event on September 9th, Steve Jobs announced that the iPod now controls 73.4% of the market it helped create, and iTunes is the largest music distributor in the country over Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and others. So, it’s not surprising that Apple is experiencing the same success with its App Store.
According to TechCrunch, the iTunes App Store will surpass the 1 billion download mark faster than the iTunes Music Store reached the same number. To date, more than 100 million applications have been downloaded for the iPod Touch and iPhone since the App Store’s launch on July 11, 2008.
ComScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), says the iPhone isn’t just for those with cash to burn. “iPhone adoption since June 2008 rose 48% among those earning between $25,000 and $50,000 per year.” No wonder Apple has sold more iPhones in the September quarter than in all other quarters combined. The iPhone’s appeal has helped make it a juggernaut. During Apple's Fourth Quarter earnings call, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone even outsold RIM’s (STOCK QUOTE: RIMM) BlackBerry devices during the third quarter of 2008.
One factor contributing to the iPhone's success is its wide range of applications. More than 3,000 applications are currently available, with 90% of them priced at less than $10 and more than 600 free apps. But you don't need to search through them all to find the best fit for your phone. MainStreet brings you the most usable apps.
Simplify: Price $3.99
Love your iPhone, miss your 120GB iPod? Simplify gives you the luxury of both. Simplify transforms the iPhone’s limited 8GB or 16GB storage capacity into something limitless. Stream music from your home computer and up to 30 of your friends. It works over the iPhone’s WiFi and Edge/3G connections but will also work for iPod Touches with an Internet connection.
Air Sharing: Price $6.99
Air Sharing allows users to turn the iPhone or iPod touch’s available hard drive space into something useful. A file storage application that lets you store and access document files, audio files, and movie files, it’s tremendously useful for those who need access to documents or those who want to go paperless.
Never forget an idea again! Capture any moment or idea as it happens. Record voice notes, write text notes, include pictures, and upload them to your Evernote account. Thanks to Evernote's cloud-based sync, you can access it all at any time.
Google Earth: Free
This application can make you feel like James Bond. Type in an address, and use Google’s (STOCK QUOTE: GOOG) global satellite and aerial images to see it from the heavens or at street level. Visit Venice or take a tour through your old neighborhood. Google Earth may be even better on the iPhone than it is on the web. The touch screen allows you to easily zoom in and zoom out, move the map north, east, south, and west. Even cooler, you can click on geo-located Wikipedia articles to learn more about what you’re looking at.
Can’t think of anywhere to eat? Want to discover a new restaurant? Open Urbanspoon and the software will pinpoint your location and make suggestions. If you don’t like the first result, shake your iPhone or iPod Touch like a Magic 8-Ball until you find a restaurant everyone can agree on.
Mocha VNC Lite: Free
Perhaps the coolest of the bunch, this VNC interface lets you control and see your home computer exactly as you would if you were sitting at your desk, just on a smaller screen. Tremendously helpful if you’re away from home and need a file, it gives you access to everything on your computer. Setting it up takes some patience, but it’s worth it.
Easy Email: Free (for now)
Like every hole in the iPhone or iPod Touch’s software, third party apps have swept in to rescue our frustrated fingers by providing an opportunity to type in landscape mode. Not only does it make the keyboard bigger for those of us with big thumbs, it also allows you to add color text, special characters, and the ability to zoom in and out on your email to make reading easier.
FakeCalls: Price $0.99
Ever been in a situation where you wished someone would just call so that you can run out of the room? This application simulates calls. A little goofy? Yes. But who knows, it may just be the most useful app in the store.
Developers are providing features with new applications almost everyday. Your best is to check in with the App Store, look under the Top Free Apps and just start experimenting.