Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book Review: Best iPhone Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders

Best iPhone Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders

With well over 56,000 apps of this writing, the iTunes app store can be intimidating. There are just so many apps out there one doesn't really know where to begin. Staring with the top 10 or top 25 is a great place to look, but too often the gems are buried in the middle and nearly impossible to find in that stack of 56,000 apps. Even if you just stick to the top apps, you don't get manuals or easy instructions with them, making purchasing apps that much more of a frustrating experience.

"Best iPhone Apps" fixes both problems. Author Clark has a good mix of popular apps such as Yelp and Facebook, but also includes some off-the-wall ones such as What The Font which helps you identify a particular font using your camera. Each app receives one dedicated page of explanation and a screen shot - which is a heck of a lot more than iTunes or many developers provide. Additionally, there have been some more expensive popular apps I've been afraid to purchase because there are no demos in the App store (a fatal flaw in my opinion). An example of this is Jaadu VNC. This $24.99 app sounds great, but does it work? I bought it and couldn't quite figure it out until I read this book.

Unfortunately, while the book is iPhone 3.0 aware, it was published before iPhone 3.0 software and the iPhone 3GS came out, so some of the information is slightly dated. Nonetheless, the apps that are great now will continue to be great. This book is perfect for a non-technical new iPhone or iPod Touch user who isn't quite sure where to begin. A vast majority of the apps listed in the book are free or low-cost so there is little risk in trying and exploring these apps.

Overall this book is perfect for a new iPhone user or a more experienced user who wants to take the time to learn about some new apps

Pros: Covers a wide variety of apps in depth
Cons: Quickly will become outdated

Four out of Five Dogcows: dogcowdogcowdogcowdogcow

Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right