A few iPhone app reviews

I’ve been weirdly tired lately, so I’ve been sleeping a lot, and when I’m writing I’m usually working on a new AJN column and neglecting my blog. My love for Scrivener has deepened, as has my appreciation for the vicissitudes of patient privacy laws. There are a few iPhone apps I’d like to point out, though, while I’m waiting for my muse to strike me with Something Important to write about.

Yap. Yap is free voicemail transcription. I used to use Google Voice for this, but since Google Voice is sucking lately, I scouted around. Yap is easy to set up, and the transcriptions are at least as good as the Google ones. You get a badge on the app when a new voicemail awaits, and when you open the app your transcription awaits. Handily, you can tap buttons right along the bottom of the screen to e-mail or text the caller back (or, you know, actually return the call).

TextPics. For just $0.99, you can send ASCII art of creatures (the app is heavy on bunnies for some reason), fancy Japanese emoticons, and festive creations like birthday cakes. Also, a shocking variety of guns and swords. TextPics also allows you to send funny upside-down or weirdly styled text in SMS to other iPhones and also to Facebook. Useful? No. Fun? Yes.

Time Flies. Time Flies ($0.99) is one of those apps you immediately adore because it fills a need you weren’t quite aware of. I’m probably not alone in having a group of things that just get away from me (“holy cow...it’s been 2 weeks since I called my grandmother?”). I also fail to make timely haircut appointments, vacuum the floor regularly, or go to the gym as often as I would like. Time Flies keeps you honest. You enter the event (“Talked to gran”) and poke a button, and it keeps a list of all your events and how long it’s been since each one. (I note that it’s been only 2 days since I went to the gym. :: halo ::)

Two useful apps and one fun one: a good ratio.