What can it do? A bit of everything, really. It tells you the strength of your nearby magnetic fields, measures the gravity (or acceleration), checks the ECM disturbance from solar activity, and displays the audio level of your surrounding. It also gives you a handy chart of local wi-fi and cellular signals, as well as some detailed info on visible GPS satellites. We often forget, that every smartphone carries a gyroscope, a magnetometer and various sensors, but this app does a very good job at employing them.
Of course, I can’t think of a good reason to use half of this stuff, but in the end it’s just like the Swiss army knife. You will probably never use most of it, but it’s cool that it’s there.
3) LookTel by Nantworks
Ok, back to the serious, world-changing stuff. LookTel is probably the most awesome assistant software for blind and visually impaired I’ve ever seen. It can read a newspaper or a book, it can tell you the names of the products you’re pointing the phone at, or read album names from your cd covers. When used on the street, it “sees” the names of nearby shops, venues, and reads the signs. Just check this video. Talk about inspired.
I was supposed to put foursquare here. All location-sensitive apps are a great way to use your smartphone, and I wanted to include at least one of them in the list. There’s a lot to choose from: virtual city tours, augmented reality museum guides, treasure hunts, territorial games. We also have foursquare, a rapidly growing geolocation-based social network. But in the end another, very simple app stole my heart – OneBusAway.
So far it only works in Seattle, so you probably won’t be able to check it out. It taps into the GPS data of city buses, and overlays them on city map, so that you always know if a bus is coming, or if you’re late, why you're better off walking. It also helps tourists, advising them when they should hop off the bus. It’s a very clean, simple idea, that improves on a small portion of everyday life I never thought can be improved. If Google wants to have a next big thing, it should forget "+1", invest into this concept and prepare a global (or at least a US-wide) version.