STUFF ESSENTIALS – iPhone applications

When Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone would accept third-party apps at the recent Apple WWDC, a million knuckles cracked and all coffee machines w

When Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone would accept third-party apps at the recent Apple WWDC, a million knuckles cracked and all coffee machines were set to super-strength. Just days after, the first wave of Safari-based apps have appeared online. So if you really can’t wait until the iPhone hits UK stores later this year, you can always make believe in front of your PC… iActuNews junkies are already spoiled for choice when it comes to iPhone apps, but iActu is the one with most wow factor. True, it only features the six leading US papers, but it does show the iPhone interface at its best, with its sleek newsstand interface and Times Square-style ticker.iPhoneDiggIf you prefer to look beyond the traditional print media for your news needs, harvest the most popular stories from the web wherever you are with this neat version of Digg that scrolls and flicks with a finger-pleasing ease.LivePhoneFor those whose love of all things Apple is matched only by a hopeless addiction to Gears of War comes the perfect programme. Currently the LivePhone allows you to search for Xbox gamercards, but updates are planned to allow you to keep tabs on all your online buddies.

Listingly.comWe like a good list here at Stuff Towers, which is why we’re excited about this solid little app. It’s full of clever touches such as ‘smart lists’ that can predict grocery items from the first few letters and groups them by department. You can even create shared lists, so everyone can contribute to that crucial ‘top ten England left-backs’ debate…CheapMFThe perfect widget for when you’re desperate to give in to your retail urges but want to check out your potential target on the web. CheapMF lets you search for items by category, check reader reviews and even buy direct from Amazon.co.uk.MyMetarOK, unless you’re John Travolta, chances are this tool for private pilots probably won’t be for you. But it just goes to show how specialised third-party iPhone apps are likely to become. If you do have your wings (hi, John) then MyMetar will let you access all those essential weather maps and images that help keep you up in the air.PicliIf poring over moody black and white photographs of ruined churches and saccharine snaps of strangers’ kittens is your bag (and you just can’t wait to get home to do it) then Picli will be the app for you. The neat design makes it easy to upload your own pics, comment on others’ efforts and vote for your faves.iPhoneChatYou probably won’t need yet another way to communicate via your iPhone, but this version of Apple’s AIM-compatible iChat could be perfect when you don’t want anyone to overhear those geeky discussions about just how much you love your strokeable new gadget.