Want to make your iPhone even better than it already is? Then check out these six free apps from the iTunes app store. They include mobile news and sports aggregators to voice over IP (VoIP) calling app and even an internet radio service.
Google Earth for iPhone: The world in your hand
Unless you've been tucked away in some non-connected, internet-free bunker for the past couple of years, you've very likely given Google's Google Earth online mapping service a test drive... even if it was just to see what the roof on your house looks like from the heavens.
Now, thanks to the new, free Google Earth for iPhone application, the fun doesn't stop when you leave the computer.
According to iTunes, the mobile version of Google Earth provides the exact same satellite images available through the full desktop version of the service, with "high-resolution imagery for over half of the world's population and a third of the world's land masses".
(It does, however, lack some of the advanced functionality found in the desktop version, including the ability to view details like street names on maps.)
The free app also employs your iPhone's built-in accelerometer, so you can tilt your device to look at mountainous terrain head-on (as opposed to from a bird's eye view).
Also, the app's Location feature can single in on your physical location in a matter of seconds - using GPS, where available.
Google Earth for iPhone also integrates with Wikipedia and Panoramio, for access to piles of geo-located articles and millions of photographs from around the globe. And it has a local search function that lets you search for nearby establishments and landmarks from wherever you are.
(Note: Apple's iPhone 2.0 software update is required to employ the Google Earth app.)
Pandora Radio for iPhone: Customised streaming music
Your iPhone is very likely jam packed with all of your favourite tunes - or at least the songs you could fit. But while you may have all the classics, your current audio collection does little to help you locate and listen to new music.
That's where the free Pandora Radio for iPhone application sweeps in to help. This internet-based radio service chooses playlists based on specific artists you're listening to at any given time.
You simply sign up for a free Pandora account, log in and start entering artists' names. For each artist that you enter, a new station is created that plays music from the specified band or soloist, as well as similar music by additional artists.
So, for instance, if you enter the band 'The White Stripes' and create a White Stripes station, you'll hear a variety of music from Jack and Meg White interspersed with tunes from other similar bands like Franz Ferdinand, Nirvana, Weezer, Led Zeppelin and others.
While playing music, you can skip up to six songs per station per hour, and tag specific tunes with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, to let the application know whether to serve up more similar songs or skip to new artists.
You can also bookmark songs you like for later purchase via iTunes. These bookmarked song- and artist-listings can also be emailed to friends directly from the app. However, the app is currently only available for US residents.
- Get internet radio and make VoIP calls from your handset
- SportsTap and i.TV for iPhone
- Google Earth on your iPhone