What are the potential uses of the iPhone? There is just so much that the iPhone can do for you, that we couldn’t fit all of it into one article. In this first part, we’re going to take a look how you can use your phone to stay fit, to avoid a speeding ticket or even how to turn your phone into your very own personal shopper.
Trapster [iTunes link] is an app that depends entirely on user contributions. When a user spots a speed trap, they report it by tapping the map as they pass by. Other users are alerted as they approach it, and can confirm the trap’s location by tapping the map as well. It could be anything from a red light camera to a live police trap. The app also alerts users to road hazards including construction zones, flooded roads and more.
To avoid inaccurate information, all traps are voted on by other users, and if they are not voted on, they will automatically be removed. You can also configure Trapster to receive push notifications, so you don’t always need to keep the app open to benefit from the alerts.
The app is incredibly feature rich, allowing you to check for speed traps nearby, choose from a wide variety of sound themes and languages, listen to your iPod music while the app is open, and can even be used as an alternative to the native Maps application to get directions.
A variety of added useful locations can be displayed on your Trapster map including parking lots, gas stations and ATM machines.
We wouldn’t recommend cancelling your gym subscription, but the iPhone can sometimes come in handy when you need to get a workout, and with 321Run Free [iTunes link] you can turn your iPhone into your own personal trainer.
You can use the app to log all of the details about your runs, including how far you’ve run, how long it took you, and using the iPhone’s GPS feature, the exact place where you were running. But 321Run Free does more than just log your progress. The app features a variety of suggested programs tailored to suit various goals such as burning a certain number of calories, reaching the ability to run for 30 minutes straight, or if you’re training for a marathon to run for up to 2 hours straight.
You can listen to the music on your iPhone while using the app, connect to your Twitter account if you want to share your progress, and have the option of your “˜Coach’ alerting you as you reach your milestones, or when you tap the screen, to let you know how far along you’ve come.
The free iPhone Amazon app [iTunes link] offers users a unique timesaving feature called Amazon Remembers. As if it couldn’t get any easier making purchases on the go using your iPhone, Amazon aims to make it even easier for you.
If you can’t find an item that you’re looking for, snap a picture of it using your iPhone camera, and the photo will automatically be sent to Amazon for them to search for a similar product. Within a few minutes Amazon will send you a suggested listing closest to your image, notifying you by email when they do.
You can also turn your phone into a comparison shopper, using SnapTell. Take a photo of a CD, book or video game, and SnapTell will display all the online prices available for that product.
You can turn your iPhone into a newsstand with Zinio [iTunes link]. While the app itself is free – of course not all the magazines available are free, but you can snag a couple of issues and samples here and there for free, including the Reader’s Digest Humor Issue.
Magazines can be browsed by category, by top sellers, and new arrivals. You can then choose to purchase a year’s subscription, or purchase just one issue.
The free Flashlight [iTunes link] app turns your iPhone into a torch by opening up to a bright white screen. You can customise the appearance of the flashlight, choosing between a variety of colours, and can switch between them by swiping your finger across the screen. You can even create your own custom colours.
Double-tapping anywhere on the screen takes you into the settings where you can choose which colour to automatically open the app on, and how long to wait before turning off the display – starting at 5 minutes.
iHandy Level [iTunes link] is a free Spirit Level app that can indicate whether a surface is level. The app can be used when you’re hanging up pictures and want to make sure they’re hung on the wall straight.
The app is very straightforward to use – simply lay it against the flat surface, in either landscape or portrait mode, and the app will let you know if it’s level or not.
You can turn your iPhone into a small portable FTP server using the free version of Wifi FTP [iTunes link]. After installing the app on your phone, open it up, making sure that you’re connected to a WiFi connection.
Turning the server on allows you to access the iPhone FTP server using any FTP client of your choice. Simply connect anonymously using the IP address provided in the app, using the FTP client of your choice, such as the popular Filezilla. If you’re a Mac user, check out this list of 8 choices for a few alternatives.
Not only can you use an FTP server to save your files, you can also edit .txt and .csv files on your iPhone, and upload them to Google Documents or email them as attachments.
It might not be particularly difficult to use your iPhone’s calculator to figure out how much you should leave for a tip when you’re done at a restaurant. But when you have an app like Tip and Split [iTunes link] to make life easier, why not use it?
Tip and Split allows you to calculate a tip anywhere up to 30% of the amount of your bill. Unlike other free tip calculators, it also allows you to split the total, tip included, between you and up to 19 other people. The app works only in landscape mode.
A few other potential uses of the iPhone that have already been covered on MakeUseOf include turning your iPhone into a remote, into the ultimate radio or GPS unit. In the next part of this article, we’ll show you how to turn your iPhone into a security monitor, an e-reader, and your own personal tutor.