10 GREAT IPHONE APPS FOR “BOOMERS WITH ZIP”
Unless you’re living under a youth-obsessed rock, it’s old news that Zoomers are the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Twitter. Same thing with other tech like cell phones. While the breakdown for the hot smartphone market isn’t freely available (unless you want to pay a pretty four-digit penny), it’s reasonably safe to say there’s a strong Boomer presence in that space as well.
As a true Canadian patriot, it’s hard to ignore the success of Waterloo, Ont-based Research In Motion — home of the ubiquitous Blackberry — when reviewing smartphone applications for the 45-plus crowd. But as serious nerds know, the crackberry is more or less a business tool primarily meant for sending and receiving emails — almost a glorified typewriter if you will. The iPhone, however, is far more of a lifestyle device with over 85,000 applications available at the App Store covering just about any aspect of your daily living. While the choices are legion, below are 10 lifestyle apps I’ve selected for active Zoomers, ranging from carpentry and self-massage to photography and chatting with the grandkids (for free).
There are dozens of applications for the iPhone that will turn even the least experienced photographer into a digital artiste. As fab photog Chase Jarvis says, the “best camera is the one that’s with you.” He has a great iPhone camera app too but CameraBag is listed here because it contains 11 incredible filters that will turn your photos into works of art.
This free app uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS receiver to literally show you what services are around you. Simply fire it up, browse its categories or type in the specific name of a business you’re looking for. AroundMe will not only display the nearest listings, it’ll show you how to get there using the built-in Google Maps app.
iHand Massage ($0.99)
By using the vibrate feature of the iPhone, iHand purports to give you “therapeutic results which have made handheld vibrating mini massagers so popular worldwide.” There’s also iMassager but it’s more about soothing music and vibrating pulses of energy.
Pacemeter is a handy pedometer for your iPhone. Basically, you load the app and start walking or jogging and it’ll automatically calculates your distance and calories burned.
iHandy Carpenter ($1.99)
You’ve likely seen this app in Apple’s TV spots. This program is a must-have for the tech-savvy handyman as it contains 5 great tools: a plumb bob, a surface leveler, a bubble level bar, a steel protractor and a steel ruler. It’s one of those apps you almost have to see to believe.
Heart Monitor ($2.99)
Heart Monitor measures your heart rate through the built-in microphone of the iPhone (there is also a simple pulse feature that calculates your heart rate by old-fashion counting). Great little program for those who wish to track their resting heart rate and other fitness metrics.
Sleep Cycle ($0.99)
Like photography, there a scores of iPhone alarm clocks for some reason. Some are quite beautiful, turning your iPhone into the perfect travel clock. Sleep Cycle is unique, however, as it analyzes your body movements during sleep and wakes you when you’re in your lightest sleep phase.
Stay in touch with your grandkids and other relatives by making fre long-distance calls using the popular online phone service, Skype. Not only is the price right, the sound quality is better than regular calls and you can send free text message to other Skype users too. The catch: it only works over Wi Fi networks (unless you have jailbroken your iPhone).
The Weather Channel Max ($3.99)
While the iPhone comes with its own weather app, it pales in comparison to the great TWC Max app. This invaluable weather tool not only gives accurate results, it also shows hourly projections and allows you to watch clouds, precipitation and webcam video in near real-time.
This app allows you to search for information, using your voice. Google Search is an iPhone app that has similar functionality but vLingo seems to be more accurate, dials phone numbers and lets you post updates to Twitter or Facebook through its speech-to-text feature. Definitely a must-have for motorists who insist on using their smartphones will driving.
Enjoy. — MG