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I’m one of those people who never owned a digital camera, so once I got my iPhone I was ecstatic to actually have a way to take pictures. To my disappointment, however, I learned that iPhones take really crappy pictures. (The iPhone 4 is supposedly much stronger in this department, but I’ll wait it out until they come up with a better version that doesn’t have so many snags).

Of course, now that I’m getting a better and better sense of the plethora of apps out there, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that there are apps to enhance the function and display of your iPhone camera. I’m a little too cheap to pay the $1.99 each for the following apps, so you can try them out for yourself if you’re interested:

One is Hipstamatic, and it is truly hipsterrific, for all intents and purposes. Why? Because it produces analog-looking photos on your iPhone. It doesn’t get more ironic than that.  Check out this Hipstamatic pic:

The app allows you to take your pick of old-school lenses, flashes, and film – and the result is a very cool-looking old-school photo. And it allows you to post to Facebook and Flickr straight from the app. This demo gives a good snapshot (sorry, I had to):

Another photo app I’ve heard a lot about is the Camera Plus Pro (the NY Times raved about it). Priced at $1.99 like the Hipstamatic app, the Camera Plus Pro is an “all-in-one” camera and photo editing app.  It not only allows for zooming, better resolution, and better focus, but it also offers video recording and a whole bunch of other goodies. Check out the demo below to see for yourself. Unfortunately it doesn’t show the video recording feature, but this demo is pretty convincing nonetheless. I might actually have to buy this one:


Remember graphing calculators? (This one’s for the Gen Y-ers out there.) Remember when some math teachers would forbid us to use them during tests because of the built-in programs that could solve some math problems?

Well… the Units app blows those graphing calculators out of the water.

For just 99 cents you can have this amazing all-purpose conversion app that can give you instant conversions to almost anything. From basics like area and distance to more advanced measurements like torque and force, this app has it all.

Probably the most practical conversion tools on this app are the currency converter (comes with a date refresh button to ensure accuracy), the length/distance converter (I always forget how many feet there are in a mile), and the fuel consumption converter (you can even calculate your CO2 emissions!).

The results are instant, and the usability is top-notch. You have your pick of 20 different modes (e.g., weight, density, astronomy, luminance, etc.), some of which I would probably never use, but it’s good to know. In fact, this app kind of makes me wish I was a scientist so I could make more use of it.

On a scale of 1 to 10 this app gets a big 10!

I take pride in my tool box. I’m sure home improvement aficionados would probably balk at my shoebox of random tools, but the truth of the matter is that I’m pretty damn capable when it comes to basic home improvement. Over the years, I’ve managed to put together a decent ad hoc collection of tools, including a hand-held power drill and 16′ heavy duty measuring tape. But one thing I’ve been missing for years is a level.

That’s where the iHandy Level comes in! This is an awesome free app that really makes you realize why they call them smart phones. Smartly, iHandy has developed a function that enables you to set the level’s calibration to your phone’s setting, so it will always be accurate.

And since I tend to be a little anal about crooked wall hangings, this is the perfect app for me. On a scale of 1 to 10, this one gets a 10!