Top six home-grown iPhone apps

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Top six home-grown iPhone apps

Counting down the best iPhone apps made in Australia.

With tethering controversies, device shortages and now its very own virus, one would have to say 2009 was the year of the iPhone explosion.

Apple's iPhone now accounts for 17.1 percent of smartphone sales worldwide, according to Gartner's Q3 2009 market figures.

Despite Australia's generally overpriced and underpowered mobile data networks, local firms have developed some of the world's best mobile applications. Aussies have embraced the iPhone and local developers have produced a wide range of useful, entertaining and popular apps.

Some target the local market with apps that let you find out about the weather, what's on TV, or how much you can download before you hit your ISP's quota. Others have set their sights on the world with games, productivity applications and useful guides.

Here, in alphabetical order, are six locally developed applications making waves in their respective fields.

Documents 2
Price: $4.99
Developer: SavySoda, Melbourne

One of the major frustrations for many iPhone users is the relative difficulty and fiddliness of transferring, storing and viewing office documents on a supposedly smart phone.

Documents 2 from Melbourne-based developer SavySoda allows you to store, view and edit common formats such as Excel spreadsheets and Word documents.

It also allows you to use the iPhone as a mobile hard drive and transfer documents by Wi-Fi or directly to your Google Docs storage. You can use it to view PowerPoint presentations, images, Adobe PDF documents and audio files.

Read on to page two.

Flight Control
Price: $1.19
Developer: Firemint, Melbourne

Melbourne-based Firemint is Australia's greatest commercial success when it comes to iPhone apps.

Developed on a shoestring by Firemint CEO Rob Murray, the game concept is simple enough: just use your finger to trace the flight path of incoming aircraft towards a number of runways.

But simple gameplay plus increasing complexity tends to equal insanely addictive, and that's what took Flight Control to more than 1.5 million paid downloads in around six months. It reached the number-one paid app in Australia and 19 other countries.

Firemint has since developed a new game, Real Racing, and has another called Mega Monsters in the wings.

Price: App is free; guide costs $13/month or $99/year
Developer: IceTV, Sydney

Now is probably not the time to wonder why Australia's TV networks so jealously guard their program guides that it falls to third-party companies to provide an electronic version.

The people at IceTV probably aren't complaining since they've made a good living selling subscriptions to their comprehensive online electronic program guide.

The iPhone version provides a customisable and keyword searchable program guide and allows you to remotely program your PVR to record your favourite shows.

Read on the page three.

Price: $12.99 for all 44 languages, $1.19 for an individual language.
Developers: Richard Johnson and Lance Wiggs

Developers Richard Johnson and Lance Wiggs decided to come up with the ultimate phrasebook for travelling, shopping, finding your way around and - of course - flirting, with print and audio phrases in 44 languages.

Should you ever find yourself unexpectedly in a foreign country (and how often does that happen!), rest assured you can find somewhere to eat or sleep, stay out of trouble and make friends with a flick of your finger.

While getting the app off the ground, Johnson and Wiggs worked with a who's who of Australia's mobile industry including web business gurus Pollenizer and mobile development powerhouse MoGeneration. 

Price: $1.19
Developer: Kevin Bruton, South Fremantle.

This app allows you to monitor your usage on multiple mobile phone and internet access accounts from a wide variety of providers.

Developer Kevin Bruton has worked out the ins and outs of extracting usage information from phone company and ISP systems - you just need to give it your username and password for each account.

You can keep track of everything from a handy summary page and drill down to the account details. Bruton has also developed iHome, a home loan and property analyser handy for anyone in the property market.

Read on for number six!

Remember the Milk
Price: $25 a year for a pro account
Developers: Emily Boyd and Omar Kilani, Sydney

OK everyone, hands up if you get excited at the idea of task management.

No, I didn't think so.

But when your career, business or personal life depends on keeping abreast of dozens of conflicting priorities, at least you can make it a bit easier.

Remember the Milk is an online tool for tracking, tagging, locating and managing tasks.

Started by Sydneysiders and coffee addicts Emily Boyd and Omar Kilani, Remember the Milk has evolved into a powerful framework that you can access with your iPhone, online or even with (ugh) other devices such as Android and BlackBerry smartphones.

Do you use any of these applications? Or have we missed the best Australian made iPhone application? Have your say in the comments below.

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