updated 11:55 pm EDT, Wed July 23, 2008
iPhone utility roundup
With hundreds of iPhone apps to choose from the competition is fierce. But developers have managed to come up with some clever utilities that may be hard for some users to pass up. Among them: a simple audio recorder for note-taking, a database of cocktail recipes, a "social mapping" app, GPS software for runners, and a utility for doctors to view patients' medical charts.
WebIS has released Note2Self 1.0, a bare-bones audio recorder designed for users who want to leave themselves audio notes. Note2Self users can quickly record a message, save it and automatically send it to a pre-designated e-mail address using a special passthrough server. (The new iPhone 2.0 software is capable of sending attachments, but that function has not yet been made available to developers.) WebIS says all this can be done virtually "hands free" without having to key in information or select a contact -- a handy thing for drivers or people on the go. Note2Self is available for $5 at the AppStore.
For those who always want to be ready when someone asks for an "Earthquake," a "Blinker" or just about any other drink, there's Cocktails 1.0. Skorpiostech says its utility includes 1500 recipes with full text search, bookmarks for favorites, and support for imperial or metric measuring units. Users can share recipes using e-mail or Twitter. Cocktails 1.0 costs $10 at the AppStore.
Platial says it is extending its "social mapping" service to the iPhone and iPod Touch. Platial Nearby allows users to share points of interest and bits of history and information on their favorite places. Platial Nearby provides access to 150 million user-generated location-based pictures, reviews, videos and stories. Platial -- which aquired Frappr in October -- is creating something called the "People's Atlas," a kind of Wikipedia of location-based information. The company says it's been collecting user-generated points of interest for more than two years for the project. Platial Nearby available free at the AppStore.
RunKeeper is another location-based app for the iPhone, but it's designed specifically for runners. Using the iPhone 3G's built-in GPS, the software keeps track of a runner's distance, duration, pace and speed. The software includes a "central dashboard" displaying run information, with the route plotted on a Google Map. The application is expected to be available within the "next couple of weeks." Pricing has not been annoucned. [video]
The final utility in this wrapup is targeted at doctors and other medical professionals who need immediate access to patient records. Caretools says its iChart EMR app turns an iPhone into a "personal medical assistant" that health care providers can use in their day-to-day work. IChart supports medical records, prescription information, billing, lab results and other information related to patient care. The 5.4MB app is available at the AppStore for $140.