Holiday Gift Guide 2008: Best Apple iPhone, iPod touch apps

Summary:Just about everyone seems to have either an iPhone or iPod touch these days and the companion App Store is chock full of over 5,000 great gift ideas. From powerful databases to file storage to music, this list has something for you.

2008 ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide
Just about everyone seems to have either an iPhone or iPod touch these days and the companion App Store is chock full of over 5,000 great gift ideas. From powerful databases to file storage to music, this list has something for you. Can't decide? Give your special someone an iTunes gift certificate, they're great for apps and music.

Don't forget to check out my lists of Mac-related Bargain Apples (gift ideas under $100) and Mid-Range Apples (gift items from US$100-$300).

Gas Cubby

Holiday Gift Guide 2008: Gas Cubby
Just because gas is down to around US$2 per gallon doesn't mean that you can go back to your old habits. I still like to track my fuel economy and keep on top of my vehicle maintenance.

Gas Cubby (iTunes, US$5) is the ultimate tool for tracking gas mileage and vehicle maintenance. It's well designed, full featured, and is incredibly stable. I particularly like the graphs which are visible when turning the screen.

Gas Cubby has been in the App Store for over a week now and has been getting tremendous user feedback with 28 reviews, it's holding strong at a 4.5-star average. Their last app, Trip Cubby (iTunes, US$10), was featured for its design by Apple in the iPhone Tech Talks.

Price: $5 (Gas Cubby) $10 (Trip Cubby)

[Vendor site]

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2008 ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide
Briefcase 1.1 coming soon
Briefcase

One thing that the iPhone doesn't do out of the box is file storage, it also can't be mounted in USB mass storage/disk mode. But fear not, HeyMac Software's Briefcase (iTunes, US$5) is the perfect tool to store files on your iPhone.Briefcase allows you to quickly download any type of file to your iPhone and it requires no cables, client software, network set up, and no typing IP addresses. The iPhone’s built-in file viewer allows it to view (but not edit) Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Word, Excel, MP3, M4V, and PDF files.

Price: US$5

[Read my review] [Vendor site]

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2008 ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide
Holiday Gift Guide 2008: HanDBase
HanDBase

Another curious omission on the iPhone is a database manager. The demise of Filemaker Mobile has left a vacuum of database solutions for the iPhone. HanDBase (pronounced Handy Base) (iTunes, US$10) deftly fills the void with a light and fast relational database manager for the iPhone. It offers data entry, searching, sorting, filtering, printing and synchronization across a wide variety of handheld computing devices, PDAs, smartphones and desktop computers.

Price: US$1o

[Vendor site] [iTunes link]

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2008 ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide
Holiday Gift Guide 2008: Notebook
Notebook

Another beef about the iPhone is its Notes application. It's a complete island and doesn't sync with your computer.

Dump Notes and replace it with Appigo's Notebook (iTunes, US$5) a powerful tool which gives you access to your notes anywhere. It loads fast, has a built-in search and allows you to share your notes via email.

Notebook works offline and doesn't require an Internet connection to create, modify, or access notes. Optionally it syncs to the Web using the free Toodledo.com Web site. Notebook also integrates with the company's task management app for the iPhone – Todo.

Price: US$5

[Vendor page] [iTunes link]

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2008 ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide
Holiday Gift Guide 2008: SplashID
SplashID

No matter how hard I try I can't remember my bank account numbers. I used to have to have to look them up every time I went to the bank and it was a huge waster of time

Whether it's account numbers, logins or credit card numbers they can all be stored in one secure and convenient iPhone application called SplashID. I've been using it on Mac OS X for ages and was elated when they ported it to the iPhone. Now it's easy to sync all my passwords, logins and account numbers to my iPhone.

Price: US$10

[Read my review] [Vendor page] [iTunes link]

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2008 ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide

BeatMaker

iPhone's shouldn't be all business, how much fun is that? While I'm not much of a gamer (save Hold'em) I am a prolific beat maker – hence my final pick.

Intua’s BeatMaker is a “mobile music creation studio” for the iPhone and iPod touch that that allows you to easily create and edit beats and loops in the palm of your hand.

BeatMaker’s combination hardware beatbox, loop sampler and software sequencer turns your iPhone into a full-on software instrument. It allows you to compose, record, arrange, and edit beats, samples and loops into a complete track, and even share your creations with others.

Price: US$20

[Read my review] [Vendor page] [iTunes link]

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Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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