Gettin Appy With It Guide

Talking, texting, gaming, driving, holidaying, shopping, reading, listening. There’s an app for it all, then some.

Whether it’s staying updated with the weather, avoiding speed cameras and traffic jams, aiding a shopping habit, or cheating at trivia – here’s our guide to all things appy.

Out And About

Around Me (free) 
Locate the nearest petrol station, ATM, theatre, restaurant, bar, gallery, taxi stand and lots of other useful points of interest, and get their exact location and distance from where you are.

TripAdvisor (free)
Curate your best holiday yet with on-the-go access to the traveller’s ‘bible’. Never eat at a dodgy Vietnamese food stall again with access to over 60 million reviews and opinions by real travellers of hotels, restaurants, bars, tours etc.

Google Translate (free)
See the back of awkward cross-cultural communication breakdowns – “I didn’t order the frogs’ legs, did I?”. Translate words and phrases between 60+ languages and finesse your pronunciation while you’re at it. Type in the phrase and hear it spoken back to you.

Wi-Fi Finder (free)
Avoid getting stung with extortionate international roaming rates. This app lets you find the nearest free (and paid) Wi-Fi hot spots anywhere in the world.

iTorch4 Flashlight (free)
Find your keys in the dark or get a par-tay started with the strobe light setting. Simple but ingenious.

Road Rage

Trapster (free)
Say goodbye to speeding fines with this user-generated app. Receive real-time alerts about nearby speed traps, red lights, speed cameras, accidents and traffic jams.  

Snarl Traffic (free)
Avoid gridlock (and road rage) with this incident alert app. Weave your way through back streets and see real-time photos of problem streets. You’ll never run late again.

Trivia Cheat

Wikipedia Mobile (free)
Everything you possibly need to know, and then some, at the tap of your finger. Settle an argument on the spot (or become a professional cheat at trivia).


Shop Style (free)
An aggregated shopping portal, Shop Style combines all of your favourite home-grown and international retailers and brands in one site. You can tailor searches based on your size, save items into a ‘favourite’ list, compare prices from different shopping websites (think, the Webjet of retail) and receive alerts when products go on sale. 

Eyewear Try On (free)
Thick frames? Thin frames? Square? Round? This uber techy app uses fully automatic real-time 3D head tracking to place virtual glasses on your face. Try on different styles, colours and transparencies – sans the pestering sales assistant. 

Red Laser (free)
A very nifty barcode scanning app that allows you to scan and see the price of a product (and compare online) immediately.

Fancy Yourself A Connoisseur

Ask The Butcher ($1.99)
Impress your friends at your next BBQ with this handy little app by the lads at Victor Churchill. Never burn your meat again when you use the handy cooking timer – select the weight, ‘doneness’ and cooking style, and you’ll be reminded when to flip the meat. Learn about different cuts and where they come from, and download recipes.

Ask The Cheesemonger (free)
McIntosh and Bowman Cheesmongers have developed the ultimate cheese appreciation app. Search cheese by country, milk, style, style, rennet, pasteurisation and name. Match cheese to wine (or wine to cheese) and have a bit of fun with the cheese quiz. You can even “ask the Cheesemonger” a question and get a direct response back.

Be Entertained

ABC iview (free – iPad only)
Watch all your favourite ABC shows, docos and more on-the-go via your iPad. Entertainment at your fingertips.

TED (free)
Inspiring talks and presentations from the world’s most impressive minds. Get lost in the world of TED. 

Tim Bailey, Eat Your Heart Out 

Although most phones come with a basic pre-installed weather app, it’s worth downloading a more fancy (and reliable) one. Never get caught out without a brolly again.

Weatherzone Plus   $1.99
Uses reputable info from the in-the-know peeps at Bureau of Meteorology – get a nine-day forecast including three-hourly predictions for the coming day.

Pocket Weather AU ($1.99)
For all the weather geeks out there, go crazy looking at rain radars, synoptic charts, and national satellite pictures.

Movie Buffs 

ABC at the Movies (free)
Never leave home without Margaret and David. Watch re-runs, read their reviews plus get info on movie times, cinema locations, movie news and events.

Movies by Flixster (free)
For cinema aficionados, watch movie trailers, find showtimes, see what’s hot at the box office, read critics’ reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and share your movie ratings with friends.


Nike+ GPS ($1.99)
For all the fitness fanatics; map your runs, record your pace and track your progress – everything you need to smash your PB.

Instant Heart Rate (free)
Measure your heart rate instantly by placing your index finger on your iPhone or iPad’s camera. You won’t believe it until you try it! 

Calorie King (free) 
Don’t blow all your hard work by eating 3000 calories in one sitting. Calorie King allows you to see the calories, carbs and fat in over 22,000 Australian foods as well as most fast food chains and restaurants. Informed eating at a tap.

Talk For Free

Why pay to talk and text when you can get it for free?

Skype (free)
Same deal as on your computer. Free national and international calls, video-calls and instant messaging to anyone else with Skype.

Viber (free)
Similar to Skype (free national and international calls and texts from Viber to Viber) but better integration with your contacts book. Plus it shows you who, of your contacts, has already downloaded the app.

For The Nerds

Build Your Own (free)
Think you can do better? Why not build your own app. Apple has released a 12-step guide to developing software for iPhones and iPads. App app and away…

Previous article

Girl on film

Next article

The Hawaiian secret

About the author


- Enter Your Location -
- or -