Day by day, little by little, the list of applications for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch keeps on growing. From games by EA (come on, where is The Sims app?!) to aids with musical instruments to wireless transfer of documents, there are at least twenty apps that will be used for pleasure, purpose, or pointlessness.
There are now flight simulators, news links, and even a compass - although, as the latter needs the sun to work, of course, here in Britain we’ll be able to use it every day without fail.
The game of SuperBall 2 is the most infuriating, fiendish, and most difficult of the lot; but it is so addictive and so simple that many battery hours have been spent trying to destroy lots of multicoloured blocks with a little white ball.
Taking inspiration from the Nintendo Wii game of Wii Sports, there is now a tennis app, and the players may look like two-tone tablets, but they are still rather sweet, and there are stranger body shapes on the tennis circuit. A three-hole game of golf is also available, in which the iPod is swung like a club to hit the ball…just, keep tight hold of it: there is no wrist strap for the iPod - yet.
For the football fans there is Real Football 2009, a game with higher graphics quality than a Nintendo DS game. Almost 200 teams can play against each other in 12 stadiums, although scoring can prove something of a challenge at first. It’s Pro Evo Soccer for the smallest of handhelds, and at £5.99 is cheaper than most games for the portables.
Stanza lets the user download hundreds of classic and modern literature, all for nothing! I can guarantee that a lot of browsing the catalogue will turn up some surprises, as well as the complete works of Dickens and Austen to name but two.
More photography applications have emerged that can be used on the Touch, although some of those confined to the iPhone could easily be altered to work on the camera-less Touch. Collage even allowed me to create a desktop for my computer with a selection of photographs, and although the resolution is not crystal, it’s not bad at all for something created on a 3.5 inch screen for a 17 inch screen.
iEnvision is an online library containing lots of pictures and artwork, from NASA photo of the day to manga and comic strips. An update now allows such work by the Masters like Da Vinci and Michelangelo to be saved to the iPod.
At last, someone has created a map of the London Underground to go on the iPod. At £6, however, it is rather steeply priced, although it does have some rather useful functions such as a journey planner, and pinpointing the nearest station to a variety of locations. Plus it does not require a magnifying glass to read like the tiny but free little paper tube maps do.
With Remote, one is able to control their iTunes library wirelessly from their iPod, for when a mouse simply won’t do. Costing absolutely nothing, however, it is nonetheless a clever little piece of kit.
More importantly, apps that are completely useless unless you live on the western side of the Atlantic are now starting to include the UK. Movies and tvGuide are now not just confined to our American cousins. As always, however, check the reviews and compatibility before you hit that magnetic little “Buy” button.