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The Top 10 iPhone Applications from March 2009

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Hello, and welcome to the third installment of iWant, iNeed, iRecommend. This is a monthly series that will, simply put, talk briefly and present the top ten iPhone and iPod Touch applications from that month. At the end of the year, the 120 mentioned applications will then go head to head to see which apps become the top ten for the year. If you would like to read my previous top ten lists, as well as all my other iPhone and iPod Touch application reviews, you can see them here. While this list is subjective (as are all top ten lists), I did my best to base this on actual use, not my own opinion. Enjoy.

10. Duck and Cover
What application gives you no help in an emergency? What can’t float in the event of a tidal wave? What is guaranteed (or your $0.99 back) to not repel Godzilla? If you said your iPhone, then you are wrong; however, if you said the Duck and Cover application for your iPhone, then you are 100% correct. Really, this application does absolutely nothing, but that is what is so sweet about it. Personally, I have a bit of a soft spot for satirical things, and Duck and Cover is most certainly one of those. You can get Duck and Cover for $0.99.

9. Historic Sites
Historic Sites is an nice little application for your iPhone that will help you find interesting and unique historical places. Using your phone's geopositioning system, this application will search the National Registry of Historic places and pull up information for you. You can find information, both from the Registry and from the Internet, while still remaining in the app. Should you decide that you want to go there, Historic Sites will give you directions and/or a map. I believe that Historic Sites is great for any family road trip, and at $0.99, it is a steal.

8. Darwin Collection
Even before the Kindle application for the iPhone came out, many companies were making their own e-books for the iPhone. IndiaINC was one of these companies, and they made ton of e-books that looked unique. All of their applications have adjustable font settings, day and night modes, white noise generators, and bookmarks. With their Darwin Collection, IndiaINC combined all of the books that were published by the famed English Naturalist. I strongly recommend this application for any botanist, naturalist, scientist, or biologist out there. You can get Darwin Collection for $1.99.

7. Don’t Panic
I know what you are thinking, no, Don’t Panic has nothing to do with The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I was disappointed when I found that out, too. However, it is a pretty cool little app. Basically, Don’t Panic is a collection of quotes, sayings, and other random things that are supposed to calm you down and reign you in from your hectic lifestyle. It also can play some soothing music, which should help take you out of the hustle and bustle that surrounds you. At $1.99, Don’t Panic is a good way to relax whenever you have a second at your disposal.

6. 1st in History
By now, most of you know that I love trivia and random facts. In fact, I usually have a trivia application in each of my top ten lists. 1st in History is that trivia application from Match. 1st in History is a pretty basic application, but it does what it says. It asks you a question, then you need to guess the person or thing that did it first. You touch the screen and it gives you the answer. Though this sounds basic, this is good training for your local bar’s version of trivia, and it might help you win some bets. Plus, at a price of NOTHING, 1st in History can’t really go wrong.

5. Kindle for the iPhone
Kindle for the iPhone was launched at the beginning of March with much fanfare. Finally, people could read the e-books that they bought from Amazon on the iPhone. While most public domain books were already covered (see my 2nd place and my 8th place for examples), now they could read new novels. You can adjust text size, sync with your actual Kindle, and also leave bookmarks. Simply put, this application is everything you would expect from the real deal except with a smaller screen. Though you can get Kindle for the iPhone for free, most books will cost you $9.99.

4. Air Browser
Also widely discussed in early March was a change by Apple to allow other browsers in the app store. The best of these new browsers, many of which showed up on the same day, was Air Browser. Built from Safari, Air Browser allows you to do everything that you expect from a normal desktop browser. There is tabbed browsing, bookmarking, Google suggestions, and history. Plus, it tosses in things like private browsing, shake navigation, and favicons (favorite icons), which you can only find on the iPhone. If you want a better and fuller browsing experience, then drop $1.99 for Air Browser.

3. Tap Tap Revenge 2
Back on my top ten of 2008 list, Tap Tap Revenge made it in at number 9. In March, the second take of this game has made it all the way up into spot number 3. Though it is still not my cup of tea, over 19,000 reviews on iTunes means that the iPhone owning public loves Tap Tap Revenge 2. The game is extremely simple; you tap a glowing orb when it passes through a circle at the bottom of your screen. And, just like in Guitar Hero, the taps coincide with the music that is playing. Containing over 150 songs from various artists, Tap Tap Revenge 2 is a great free application.

2. Books by Ubiklabs
Keeping with the theme of e-books, which does seem to be the main focus this month, the number 2 spot goes to a collection of them from Ubiklabs. The company has put out over 30 e-books, all of which are in the public domain, including Don Quixote, Tom Sawyer, and, you guessed it, Origin of Species. The books, which are available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish all come with bookmarks, page turning animations, and a gentle font that is easy on the eyes. You can grab individual books from Ubiklabs for $1.99 or $2.99, depending on the title.

And the #1 iPhone application from March 2009 is…

1. Steve Parker’s EZ and Easy apps
The number 1 spot, just like the number 2 spot, is a collection of applications. Ranging from a search function, to news, to weather, these applications from Steve Parker are extremely localized and extremely easy to use. EZ News is an application that links to the 6 most popular news agencies (CBS, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Yahoo, USA Today) and shows them in a format that works perfectly for the iPhone. Though this wasn't his first application, Steve has released several iterations of EZ Radar, which is a localized radar for various regions of the country. These are easier to use than the built-in weather application, and they show animated radar. You can get the EZ applications for either $0.99 or $1.99, depending on the app.

Well folks, there you have it, the top 10 iPhone and iPod Touch applications from March 2009. If you have any suggestions for next month's list, or want to tell me what I missed, please let me know in the comment field.

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About Robert M. Barga