If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Apple's App Store must be blushing with embarrassment as the likes of Google and Palm line up to imitate the concept. However, one of the best things about the App Store is that alongside the paid for applications, there are loads of useful apps that you can download for free. That said, the App Store is now awash with free applications, with many of them not worth the download. As a result we've put together a list of ten great freebie apps to point you in the right direction. This list is by no means definitive, but more a round up of our personal favourites. All the applications below should also work on the iPod touch, but we've only tested them on the iPhone so we can't give any guarantees.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Instapaper is just such an example. It lets you save stuff that you've come across on the web for reading later on your iPhone. Once you've downloaded the applications you mark webpages for reading later simply by hitting a special Instapaper bookmark either in Safari on your phone or in your desktop browser on your PC. Instapaper is really great for saving longer articles and editorials that you haven't got time to read during the day, but want to catch up on later, say when you're on the train home. Created by Marco Arment, one of the developers behind the Tumblr blogging service, it really is a top-notch application that's seriously worth a download.
Heard a tune that you like but can't work out what it's called or who sings it? It's a common problem, but one that Midomi aims to solve. Essentially this app is the front end for a music search service that lets you record a piece of the music and then upload it to the company's central servers to find a match in it's extensive database. Once a match is found it gives you a link to it on iTunes or lets you search for videos of it on YouTube. It can even sometimes work out the name of a track just from a recording of someone humming or singing it!
With its built-in accelerometer the iPhone was always going to be the perfect lightsaber emulator. Unfortunately legal issues meant that the original application kept appearing and disappearing from the App Store. However, it's now back and, as it's being used as a promotional tool for the Star Wars Force Unleashed game, all the legal issues have been resolved. Plus it's better than ever with the addition of background music, selectable characters and different coloured lightsabers as well as the ability to create a customised lightsaber complete with your own mug shot added to the character window.