Essential iPhone Apps - Two for January

By: Marc-Alain Reviere

There are now more than 133,000 applications available for the iPhone.
For crying out loud, make sure you have the essentials.

Music Essential: Public Radio Player

Music is marvelous! It inspires, moves, and grooves. For me, public radio can't be beat. It's authentic. It's diverse. It's America. KRVS in Lafayette, Louisiana features New Orleans jazz and creole zydeco stomp. Seattle's KEXP beams the best indie on the planet from artists like Arcade Fire and Wilco. The Public Radio Player is a sound way to catch the waves.
In no time you'll forget about opening browser windows and Googling for something of interest. Launch this app and search for public radio every which way: by state, call letters, or even program name. Honkey Tonk Heroes anyone? Yeee-ha!
You'll probably want to create a favorites list to archive the amazing, obscure stations you'll discover. Within the app, internet browsing is available but you won't be able to run other apps simultaneously like you can with the iPod app.
If you're a lover of music, throw one hand in the air. Use the other to download Public Radio Player. 

Creative Essential: Instagram

If you enjoy picture taking but don't like toting a camera around, you'll appreciate what Instagram can do for you. Although digital cameras capture higher resolution images than any iPhone, Instagram levels the playing field with fun, creative filters.
Filters are effects that can be applied to existing photos or to those that you are about to take. Big deal right? There are a thousand photo editing programs that can do the same thing. Well, not really. Instagram turns ordinary looking pictures into captivating ones almost every time. What's more is that its free, and ease of use is unmatched.
The effects take names like Nashville and Apollo. An ordinary digital picture of my dog was transformed into a Polaroid from the 80's. The new image now similar to a hazy memory or a memento from an old picture album.
Those who like to share will fancy Instagram's integration with popular networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. There's also a community within the app where members can view and rate pictures. If your snaps are good enough, they just might make it onto the Popular page.
If I had to gripe about anything at all, it'd be that Instagram is available on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad only. That means, augmenting photos stored elsewhere will require a transfer process. Even so, Instagram is a fun, creative tool that takes iPhone photography to a whole new level.
~ Essential iPhone Apps. A new monthly scribble from thecompanyproductions. 

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