50 Best Free iPhone Apps for 2012
If Kindle and Nook don't tickle your fancy, Apple has its own little online bookstore where you can download and save novels, magazines, newspapers, and other reading material—and, yes, many of the books and periodicals are free! This personal digital library works on iPad and iPad 2 as well, so you can browse for books on the go from your phone and save them to read on the tablet later.
IMDb Movies & TV
"What was the name of that movie… the one with Ally Sheedy and Fisher Stevens?" The next time you can't remember the name of an actor, television show, or film (Short Circuit, by the way) IMDb saves the day. One of the handiest reference websites on the planet, IMDb never fails when it comes to looking up anything that has to do with TV, film, or Hollywood. The IMDb Movies & TV app also lets you find which movies are playing at your local cinema, and even purchase tickets. With an IMDb account (free or paid for Pro), the app provides even more features, like the ability to create a watchlist of movies you want to see.
Read books, magazines, and newspapers right on your iPhone without ever buying an e-reader. From within the Kindle app, you can buy or download for free hundreds of thousands of books, and more than 100 different newspapers and magazines.
LevelUp is an iPhone and Android app that lets you make purchases using your credit card via QR codes that the app displays. Participating merchants simply scan the QR code on your screen, which initiates a credit card transaction, and you're on your way.
The free app and website MenuPages keeps a database of restaurant menus, with prices included. If you've ever gritted your teeth at a restaurant's online menu that omits the prices, try MenuPages for unbiased information. Admittedly, MenuPages is not a great app for every location, but in major U.S. cities, it's awesome, especially when Yelp's recommendations seem skewed by college students who give five-star ratings to fast-food burgers and less-than-fresh sushi. With MenuPages, you can make your own decisions about a restaurant's dishes and prices. The app and website won't give you much insight into quality, but it will help you quickly weed out places that are too pricey or don't serve the kind of food you have in mind. It's also useful for ordering take-out.
The website and service Mint.com helps you keep detailed account of your finances by connecting to your bank and credit card accounts and tracking all the money you earn and spend. The Mint.com iPhone app extends the experience so users can keep an eye on their spending better while on the go. Just enter a few data points in the iPhone as you spend, and you’ll be able to see your spending patterns as an easy-to-read chart.
Online backup service Mozy lets you access all your backed-up files securely right from your iPhone, letting you essentially take your computer with you in your pocket. Mozy, which is a freemium service, lets you read documents, browse photographs, play your music, and share files anywhere you have an Internet or 3G connection. A MozyHome or MozyPro backup account is required.
The free fitness app MyFitnessPal is one of the best all-in-one calorie counter and exercise trackers for the iPhone. A simple design and interface make using the app a quick chore rather than a fatiguing project, which is essential when trying to reach a long-term fitness or weight goal. The biggest selling point of this app is its exhaustive food and nutrition database, which trounces every competitor's that we've seen.
Nook for iPhone
Anti-Amazon book lovers might prefer an app by Barnes & Noble for reading on their iPhones, NOOK. NOOK and Kindle largely do the same thing (give you access to an impressive library of books, newspapers, magazines, and other things to read), although their interfaces and experiences are different. Whether you like Amazon or B&N is largely a matter of personal preference. The NOOK app feels a little more graceful in its design, whereas the Kindle app looks more utilitarian.
The free app Onavo compresses data automatically to help you reduce data usage on your phone. In other words, it will save you money if you typically exceed your mobile service plan's data allotment. Additionally, anyone traveling abroad with an iPhone should absolutely have Onavo installed. Learn the settings well, but be forewarned that there's no compression for streaming video. Onavo is also not supported on Verizon accounts with iPhone 4. —Next: Apps 31-40 >
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