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Tessa Thornton

Freelance web developer and writer based in Toronto, Canada

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Here at iPhone Appstorm, we’ve reviewed a lot of apps that would fall under the category of “Personal Finance,” but what about the finances that aren’t strictly personal? Out of convenience and necessity, we don’t all always pay our fair share of purchases and expenses at exactly the same time: sometimes a friend pays for drinks to spare you the ATM fee, sometimes an Internet bill can only be connected to one credit card. There are an increasing number of apps out there that combine the financial and the social, helping you to keep track of IOUs and split expenses between friends, families, or roommates and hopefully preventing arguments and forgotten favours.

Lets take a look at some of the best apps in this “social finance” category after the jump!

There are two things all professionals seem to have in common these days: smartphones and LinkedIn accounts. Accordingly, LinkedIn created a native iPhone app a few years back to help busy people connect on the go. Though it allowed you to use basic LinkedIn functions like viewing profiles and updates, it was far behind other social media apps in terms of usability, design and features.

This August, LinkedIn released Version 4.0 of their iPhone app, and it’s more than just an update: they’ve completely overhauled the app’s interface and functionality, bringing LinkedIn to the forefront of social media app development. Take a look inside after the jump!

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It’s Productivity Week here at iPhone.AppStorm, and all week we’re going to have app reviews and how-tos, all based on getting things done. Plus, we’ll even pull some classic reviews out of the archives. Stay tuned all week!

There’s no doubt that going paperless increases productivity: paperless communication is instant, hassle-free, cheap and less wasteful. Much of the world, however, still relies on paper documents to relay important information. How can you, the forward-thinking iPhone user, integrate all this paper into your digital records? Many developers have created apps to help digitize paper documents into PDF files by scanning them with your iPhone’s built-in camera, without requiring you to take a perfect picture from a straight angle.

In this round-up, we’re putting five popular iPhone scanning applications to the test, comparing their features and how they all handle processing the same image. Find out which apps come out on top after the jump!

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In my never ending search for the ideal GTD system, I’ve tried out dozens of apps for both the Mac and iPhone. Early in my search, I came across The Hit List, and found myself very impressed with its stylish but casual interface and its complete, customizable feature set. Like many other users, I patiently waited for the promised iPhone companion app, only to realize that development on the whole project had apparently come to a halt. Now, over two years later, developer Andy Kim has finally released version 1.0 of The Hit List for Mac, and the much anticipated iPhone app. Was it worth the wait? Read on to find out!
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When you first get an iPhone, typing on a touchscreen feels very novel and new, but after a dozen or so text messages, the novelty wears off. Typing on the iphone can quickly become a frustrating experience, and until (if ever) the iPhone integrates an alternative typing system (like Swype for Android), we’re stuck trying to make the best of a bad situation.

The default writing environments, such as Notes or Mail, don’t make matters easier with their cluttered interfaces and small writing spaces. WriteRoom by Hog Bay Software is an attempt to make writing on your iphone into a less painful experience, adding features such as full screen writing and cloud sync. Read on to find out if WriteRoom can make writing on your iphone less of a chore!
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When it comes to keeping track of my finances digitally, I feel like I’ve really tried it all. On my Mac, I’ve tried iBank, iFinance, Koku, Money and Moneywell; on my iPhone I’ve tried Expenditure, MoneyBook and Saver, not to mention Mint.com on the web and iPhone. I’ve been pretty displeased with all of them, nothing really seemed to fit with my lifestyle and habits.

Budget with Back in Black (referred to as Back in Black from here on out) is the latest in the crowded market of finance apps, and with its quick climb to the top of the App Store charts and the rave user reviews I read, I was cautiously hopeful that Back in Black would impress. Find out the results after the jump.

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The iPhone’s Clock app is a great tool for quickly timing things like cooking an egg, chess turns, or steeping tea. When you want to keep track of longer periods of time, or save commonly used timers, however, Clock can’t help you. Cosmos Timer was developed to fill this gap, allowing you to quickly create timers for any length of time and save them for later use. Find out if Cosmos Timer can make keeping time easier after the jump!
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We all know we could be doing more to maintain a healthy diet, and there’s no shortage of diet advice in all forms of media. Whether you make a conscious effort to educate yourself about nutrition or not, many of you have probably absorbed a lot of information, and more or less know the basics of eating healthy. So if we know how to eat well, what’s stopping us? People often blame lack of discipline or motivation for unhealthy eating habits, but the developers of Foodish suggest that simply being more aware of your eating habits will help you improve them. Foodish is the modern version of a food journal, letting you keep track of what you eat visually with the iPhone you already take with you everywhere. Read on to find out if this simple approach to eating well can really keep you on track!
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Some of us are responsible enough to look at our calendars and to-do lists without prompting, some of us need a bit of gentle prodding to get things done, and some of us need to literally be yelled at. If you live alone, however, or your housemates are unwilling to remind you of every appointment or due date, perhaps it would be best to have your iPhone yell at you. Phones also tend to be more reliable than roommates, spouses, parents or children.

There are a number of iPhone apps on the market to help you remember appointments, due dates, tasks and the like, Cleversome perceived a gap to be filled in ease of use and pure convenience, and recently released their own notification app, 3do. But does 3do really offer anything new? Is it worth the $4.99 price tag? Let’s take a look after the jump!

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I’ve never been a huge Gowalla user, none of my friends use it (they’re more into Facebook Check-in) and it hasn’t really caught on in my city. Nonetheless, I like the idea of apps like Gowalla and FourSquare, which allow you to assert your fondness for locations and businesses simply by pressing a button. Though I’m not compelled to use Gowalla socially, I sometimes check for nearby spots when I’m in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, only to find a list of churches, bus stops and chain restaurants. The developers of Goodfoot attempt to harness the power of Gowalla and make it more useful to all types of iPhone users, even those that aren’t social network superstars.

Goodfoot lists local Spots in order of their “awesomeness”, a metric they’ve developed which ranks based on how often spots are re-visited by locals, and claims to be able to filter through the uninteresting spots that fill the Gowalla nearby list and show you where the locals actually hang out. So, is it successful? Can an algorithm separate the local hotspots from the tourist traps? Find out after the jump!
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