17 free iPhone apps you need right now

We take a fast look at new iPhone applications that let you drink beer virtually, interact with music in cool ways, and even do some useful things.

Everybody who knows about the new iPhone applications knows about Super Monkey Ball and MLB At Bat. But after dropping all kinds of dough on a new iPhone and a 3G service plan, you can save some cash and get these great free programs ASAP.

Note: We tested all of these apps on a first-generation iPhone with the 2.0 software installed, so data uploaded and downloaded at EDGE speeds. You'll also notice that this list is short on location-based apps such as Loopt and Whrrl. That doesn't mean they're bad — it's just that the reviewer values privacy and finds them a little creepy.

If you're comfortable with having everyone know where you are at all times, go ahead and try those apps out, too. Here, though, are my first favorites.

Also be sure to see our complete collection of stories, videos, and blogs about the Apple iPhone 3G.

AirMe and Exposure

One of a few Flickr front-ends for the iPhone, AirMe outdoes Exposure (another free iPhone app for Flickr) by allowing you to upload pics directly from your iPhone to your Flickr account. Results are instantaneous: You snap a pic with your iPhone camera, AirMe geotags it (if you want it to), and it's on your Flickr page within a minute. On the other side of the fence, Exposure lets you browse your Flickr photosets, see photos that have been taken close to your current location (again, if you want it to), and basically presents a iPhone-friendly front end to Flickr. It did crash a few times during testing, however.

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)

Finally, a chat app built for the iPhone. The iPhone AIM client worked like a charm right off the bat, but has been crashing a lot ever since. When it works, it gives you access to your AOL Instant Messenger buddy lists, letting you "OMG," "LOL," and "BRB" your commute time away. Is an iPhone-friendly version of Yahoo Messenger — or, better yet, multiprotocol access to all your accounts via Trillian and Meebo — hot on the trail of this mobile IM app? Let's hope so.

AOL Radio

Stuck in Houston, but your favourite sports radio station is in Detroit? Want to hear what songs are hot in Hartford when your flight is delayed in Denver? AOL Radio scratches that itch, to the tune of more than 350 radio stations from across America. It's yet another audio-streaming app that works staggeringly well at EDGE speeds; during testing I didn't encounter any streaming interruptions at all. Don't think of it as the "death of radio," think of it as a new distribution platform for radio stations everywhere.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Moynihan

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?