Life of an iPhone addict: apps librarians can’t live without

Two touch screen phonesIf you’ve seen the commercials then you already know – there’s an iPhone or iPod app for just about anything.

Short for applications, apps are fun or practical software (often both) and we have more than a few favorites at the Library. At the top of the list is Bump, a free app that lets you share files, photos, and contact info when you bump hands with a friend and their iPod Touch or iPhone. Here are a few others that we just can’t keep to ourselves:

Ever find yourself in a situation that called for a scientific calculator, like the one you left at home? There’s an app for that. Try the Graphing Calculator from programmer Gabor Nagy.

Do you daydream of galaxies far far away, darkmatter, black holes and dead stars? NASA Image of the Day by Toughturtle, sends awe-inspiring snapshots from outer space direct to your phone, with links to RSS feeds and podcasts. Far out!

Are you passionate about your class lectures? Take advantage of Voice Memo to record them all and enjoy them over and over again.

Want to impress the professor with your exceptional presentation skills? Turn your iPhone into a pointer and a remote for delivering presentations with Pointer Remote for PowerPoint and Keynote (Zentropy Software).

Finally, let’s not forget what the iTunes App Store also has in abundance: games!

Two of our favorite games for science enthusiasts are Touch Physics (Gamez) and Ragdoll Blaster: A Physics Puzzler (Backflip Studios).

The objective of Touch Physics is to force a wheel to roll into a star. The game play is simple, you draw an outline with your finger and a crayon shape is created and falls, but the levels get more challenging to complete. April, Physics librarian (and show off), has played all 50 levels but she still goes back to it now and again.

Ragdoll Blaster, as the name implies, involves shooting ragdolls from a cannon to hit a target. It is surprisingly fun to watch physics in action and it only takes one tap to set the speed and trajectory of your ragdoll, through 104 levels.

If you have any questions about these apps, or if you have an idea and are wondering if there is indeed an app for that, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian.

April Colosimo Deena Yanofsky

April Colosimo and Deena Yanofsky
Schulich Librarians

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