Best Apps for iOS, October 2011


Real-world treasure hunting for the iPhone.

Geocaching has been around for years now but it originally required serious navigational skills and serious navigational equipment (i.e. a dedicated GPS). Now the super-versatility of the smartphone has made geocaching not just easier but more popular.

Geocaching is basically treasure hunting but with less swashbuckling. People go and bury ‘treasure’ in containers and then post the whereabouts online. It’s then up to other geocachers to go to the location and find the hidden container. There’s usually a log book within to sign and a little bit of treasure. The treasure if taken should be replaced with something of equal or greater value. Commonly the object within is tagged with info on where it originated and who has found it and should be placed in a different geocache – maybe even in another country.

The Geocaching app (also available on Android and WP7) gives you live access to the database – the most popular geocaching community database containing around 1.5 million active geocaches – and will help guide you to the location of the treasure.

You can search for nearby caches save listings for offline use log finds and post notes submit trackable logs and photos and more.

$10.49 > Groundspeak Inc. > Link

Groove Coaster

The Guitar Hero franchise may be dead and Tap Tap Revenge sooooo 2009 but Groove Coaster is still pretty cool. The graphics are what best set it apart as rhythm games are really all about tappin’ your screen. Of course you don’t just tap you tap-n-hold tap-n-slide or tap-n-wobble but it’s all still tappin’.

I like this game because the graphics are in that ‘future retro’ style that’s so popular with the kids these days and the music is pretty interesting.

$2.99 > TAITO > Link

Live Traffic NSW

Sydneysiders know (or at least feel) that we have some of the worst traffic in the world. The Roads and Traffic Authority’s Transport Management Centre has a state-wide network of cameras and sensors that monitor traffic live and now there’s an iPhone app that delivers that info to you.

You can plan your route ahead of time by looking at the traffic warnings or viewing the near-real-time traffic cameras. While this may not get you to the end of the M2 any faster it can at least tell you why you’re stuck there.

Free > RTA NSW > Link

The Sound of Buildings for iPad

While Sydney gets a traffic app this month Melbourne gets a guided tour of some of its architectural wonders (read into that how you will).

It’s designed as a walking tour of Melbourne and uses the iPad’s GPS to guide you to the buildings featured in the app. Each building – there are 10 of them – features photos and audio interviews with engineers architects and/or users for the buildings including a few from children.

This app isn’t for everyone but tourists and anyone interested in architecture will enjoy it.

Free > Australia Exhibitions & Conferences Australasia Pty Ltd > Link