The Top 50 of 2012: iPhone Apps (Page 4)

6.7.2013 Benjamin Gubler


If you’re like me and you enjoy running outdoors during the warmer months, keeping trakck of your daily run can become a hassle if you are constantly in search of new routes. I discovered MapMyRUN, the website, a few years back and used it the manual way to plot distances with its GoogleMaps overlay. That is of course until I discovered the iPhone version.

This is a free app that tracks your exercise and combines your iPhone’s GPS with Google Maps to plot your running routes automatically, and live too.

It shows you your current/average speed, the total elevation of the route and a button to snap landmark photos along the way and the option to pause tracking and start it again with a single tap, so if you’re stuck a traffic light it’s really handy.

This ad-free logger even includes a nutrition tracker that lets you keep track of how many calories you’re consuming. Dinner Spinner

I’m no good at keeping recipes in my head, it’s like calculus to me, so when I’m in charge of meal planning and grocery lists, I’ve found’s Dinner Spinner app invaluable. I can assemble a bunch of recipes online (or in the app, but a web browser’s easier), collate the total ingredients list, then pipe that to my iPhone, which fits in my pocket in lieu of a paper printout. As I find what I need, I just “tap” it off the app’s ingredient list. And when I’m in the kitchen, it lays out cooking instructions (all it’s missing is an option to override Apple’s default screen lock time — touching your iPhone when your hands are covered in pizza dough’s a definite no-no). Why “spinner”? Shake your iPhone and it’ll spit up a random recipe (based on selection criteria like “dish,” “ingredient” and “ready-in” time).


We’ve all used our smartphone displays to help us navigate dark spaces, say our houses at night. But if you want something that works like an actual flashlight, this free app from Surpax (with a funky ‘?’ symbol in the name) uses your iPhone’s camera flash — the simple white LED beside the lens — to produce a surprisingly bright beam you can turn on or off by sliding a screen-centered power button up or down. What’s more, you can rotate a dial along the top that’ll change the beam’s brightness or set it to strobe (you know, if you suddenly get the urge to rave). The only thing is, is that Free means ad-supported, though the ads only take up about one-tenth of the screen, it still a tad annoying.

Atomic Web Browser

Atomic is a fantasy for those who are feature-obsessed. It has full screen browsing, private browsing, an ad blocker, gesture controls and the all-important ability to identify as a desktop browser, so you don’t see any awful mobile-optimized websites. It can share links to Twitter, Facebook and e-mail, and it can download files or send them to Dropbox. When Apple’s Safari browser falls short of your needs, Atomic is a great alternative!


The idea behind Shazam is simple but powerful. Whenever you hear a new song that you like on the radio or in a bar or anywhere you discover new music, you can fire up Shazam, and the app will use your phone’s mic input to “listen” to the song’s waveform before quickly coming up  with the correct artist and track information. You can then download that song or learn more about the artist. It’s your smartphone’s answer to the ages-old “I know that voice… who sings that?!” question.

See Page 5

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