iPhone for Beginners – Which Apps?

To people who are new to the iPhone or Android, the offer of thousands and thousands of programmes (Apps) is daunting. The first time you look at the App Store in iTunes, or on the App Store on the iPhone, you just do not know where to begin. The top 10 then? Well, those are the most popular programmes downloaded today, that does not reflect use.

To help you along, I decided to list the Apps I like and use. These may not be the same as the ones you will end up using as, naturally, your interests will differ from mine, but it is a beginning. And that is where you are. But not for long: let mobile internet unleash itself!

NB These are all Apps for the iPhone, but often the companies behind these Apps will have released Android versions as well.


LeMonde – sometimes their writing is confused, but a good paper none the less

LeFigaro – clear presentation & full screen.

20minutes – Better than you might think App of the free newspaper, but you may want to avoid reading the readers’ comments…

There is also rue89, leParisien (which is not bad), nouvelObs, and plenty of others…

The Guardian – perhaps the best newspaper App

World News (BBC news feed) – simple but useful App for a great source of news


Engadget – gadget and tech news

The Onion – satirical videos and articles. Can be very funny at times

Wired – tech product reviews

Alien Blue – to read the Reddit forum

Fancy – a recommendations exchange of fashionable products

Slate – magazine with some great articles

TED Mobile – Video lectures on varying fields of study – some of them are fantastic. The iPhone is too small for some presentations, but good enough for others.


WhatsApp – Free texting with others on iPhone/ blackberry who have the same App. Naturally, this will be worth more if the people you text with most have it. You can also send pictures or your location!

NB There are Skype, Facebook and WordPress Apps too, but I don’t use them.


iBooks – not only can you buy books, but you can also keep PDF’s you want to read there.

Alternatively, there are others worth having for when you are in public transport and such: Classics, Bible, Stanza.

There are also LOADS of childrens’ books, although they come out a little better with an iPad, because several books allows the child to play with the accompanying images as you read.


Larousse (Fr-En) is excellent

Dictionary.com – pretty good English dictionary, but you have to be online.

Littré – a very simple layout (and unfortunately no guessing) but still a good French dictionary


RATP – the Parisian metro App is fantastic to find the shortest route between two points

SNCF Direct & Voyages-sncf – first one lets you see when TGV’s arrive or leave from all stations, the second lets you buy tickets.

My Airport – gives live departure & landing times on all Parisian airports , great if you are picking someone up

Voyageurs – ministry of foreign affairs travel recommendation. A little paranoid but worth reading if you are going to a country you do not know.

AccuWeather – it looks nicer on the iPad

XE – a currency converter which comes in handy every once in a while

GoVelib – where is the nearest available free bike in Paris, doesn’t work that well but they are bound to update it

Mappy or ViaMichelin Traffic if you are fed up with Google Maps (which I’m not).


Winetage – which are the best years, and how long can you keep the bottle in your cellar

Hachette Vins – year/ region rating, general wine info per region. (Similar to Winetage.)

Real Estate

Barnes – beautiful houses in fashionable areas

Explorimmo – very elabourate for agencies and private real estate sales

A lot of real estate agents (like Lofts) have their own Apps these days, but if you are looking just for fun the grouped one are more interesting. Besides Explorimmo, you could also try Logic-immo.


Shazam – tells you which song is playing around you!

Nespresso – to order coffee capsules to be delivered

Wikipedia – the App is more convenient and faster than using Safari

White Cross – First aid, never used it, but you never know…

PagesJaunes – the yellow pages, it is pretty good but I would prefer a Google Map integration

AlloCiné – whats playing at cinema close to you, see the trailers, etc.

IMDb – International Movie DataBase, a treasure trove of information about film

Dailymotion – useful in the same way as YouTube is, to see the speech/gaffe Sarko made…

GuitarChords – I have not yet found better…


Hipstermatic – Pre-defined filters for the camera. It is a lot of fun and you can get some great (square) pictures out of it, although, the image quality could be higher. There are a few important drawbacks – you can not save unfiltered pictures & you can not filter pictures you already have. You have to take the pictures live with the filters.

Photospread – send images to other devices (iPad or computer) via wifi

PS Express – perhaps the best pic editor at the moment

100Cameras in 1 –  a lot of different filters to play with. I love it, but it is better on the iPad.

Retro Camera – a series of different cameras-with-filters to give an edgy feel to your shots

OldphotoPRO – creates the effect of age (incl sepia) on a picture. Looks good.

Color Effects – to single out a colour in a picture. can be useful

OldBooth – Lets you put your face into a selection of old pictures for humours sake. It’s fun

Film Director – lets you convert a film into a silent film with matching music. Fun to do.


The game of the moment for me: Cut the Rope – a very original puzzle game!

Other games: Paper Toss, Galcon, PenguinLite, Gold Rush, Angry Birds (most popular game of the moment), BridgeBasher, Epic Citadel, Runway, Bix Lite, reMovem free, SkiesofGlory, Go Karting, Traffic Rush, VTT, Driver (racing game), High Noon (try at least once!), Knots (finger twister), Tesla Toy (and a whole bunch of them like it are fun to try)


Savage Apps – like iAmHipHop, iAmFunk are GREAT FUN. Try them!

FingerPiano Lite – just a fun piano simulator

Garageband – is a lot of fun to try with instruments which can partly play themselves, but it is on the iPad

Special mention

Find iPhone – find your phone or to wipe it if it is stolen (or rather, to wipe your girl/ boyfriends phone when it’s lost or stolen)

Pages (a very good word processor), iA Writer (a great typing utility) and Numbers (spreadsheet) are great, but I only use them on the iPad.

Other stuff

There are Augmented Reality Apps which tell you which direction the tube station is, or the Wikipedia page of the building in front of you and so on, which is fun to see, but I haven’t found it useful yet. I am keeping my eye on them though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s