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15 Best and Must Have iPhone Apps of 2009 [iPhone]


I have been told a number of times that apps CAN writes about are hardly ever the most sold or popular apps so why give so much attention to something that “people” don’t like so much. It is also quite high probability if you get your app written about on CAN you will probably never get rich =]. So why do these apps get so much attention on CAN whilst others, way more popular ones don’t. This is because apps CAN writes about are not about monetary gain, success or high volumes. These apps may never make developers any money and hardly ever cover development costs. What they do is inspire, motivate. engage, question and lead the way in most exciting and immersive experiences you will find on any mobile platform. They talk about the tomorrow, ask questions about yesterday and let us wonder and procrastinate today (no GTD apps here!). Some may be retro looking, minimal others complex but they are all visual stimuli you will not find anywhere else but on the iPhone.

We have selected 15 out of our growing list of iPhone apps we mention on CAN. Included is the video with most for you to get a quick taste and of course a direct link to AppStore. We did leave out price because once you have purchased these you will never look back how much you spent. Each and every one is worth absolutely every cent, 3885 of them ($39.85 total). Here is to another year of creative applications on the iPhone! Enjoy.

1. Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Winner of the Gold Award and the No.2 game on Pocket Gamer’s Q3 2009 Quality Index, the legendary shooter is back taking you on a journey of evolution. Lads of unlockables, varied gameplay and music-generated levels will make this one of your favourite games for iPhone/iPod Touch.

Read about it here.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene

2. Eliss

Very polished UI, fantastic music, innovative use of multi-touch and gorgeous graphics, make Eliss, most probably, one of the most creative and innovative games in the AppStore. Maybe a little hard to get used to but after few goes you’ll be wondering if there is any other iPhone game as good as this. Absolutely fantastic! We are waiting for the sequel.

Read about it here.


3. Canabalt

What started as simple flash game soon took the web by storm and is now available for your iPhone and iPod Touch. A single button running action on metropolis rooftops, shattering windows, scattering flock of doves, will keep your heart pumping on this simple but yet highly addictive iPhone action game.

Read about it here.


4. Mr Bounce

Inspired by the breakout classics such as Arkanoid, Mr Bounce adds new ingredients to the classic formula by introducing trajectory projection and slow motion for additional sense of control. With 25 levels to go though accompanied by an 8-bit soundtrack, the old-school arcade is brought back to life.

Read about it here.

Mr. Bounce

5. lilt line

‘Hack’n’slash dubstep vehicle synthesis simulation action’ game by Gordon Midwood aka ‘differentcloth‘. Somewhat a graphic exploration, lilt line is about retro-future game with a modern kick to it. Skewed interface, retro colours and wonderful music should please most old skool gamers. Music in the game is provided by 16bit.

Read about it here.

lilt line

6. iFound

Browse one of the most influential, invite only and highly acclaimed image bookmarking websites ffffound.com. Whether you are a member or not rest assured to find endless amounts of visual inspiration for your daily consumption. You will find yourself spending hours browsing the ever-growing database of some truly wonderful imagery submitted by the ffffound community members.

Read about it here.


7. Tilt Shift Generator

With over 100,000 downloads, TiltShift Generator is one of the most inspiring and popular photo effector iPhone apps in the AppStore. Create wonderful retro miniature pictures and more with this indispensable iPhone photo app.

Read about it here.

TiltShift Generator - Fake DSLR


8. Unify

Unify is a new multi-touch block dropping puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch from the media artist Zach Gage. Created entirely in openFrameworks, a c++ framework aimed at creative coding, Unify is a colourful, fun and rich take on the Tetris classic. The sounds in the game is by Carlos Hernandez.

Read about it here.


9. Squareball

Squareball is a Arkanoid style arcade action game with simply beatiful minimal interface and cool retro graphics, music and soundFX. It includes 20 stages spread across 5 worlds in this first adventure with a new twist to Arkanoid gameplay. Instead of  shifting left and right you are panning across a level avoiding obstacles in your way and destroying colored boxes. Slight 3D distortion in environment ads a sense of depth and the 60f/s gameplay with just awesome graphics is all you can ask for.

Read about it here.


10. ShapeSeq

ShapeSeq is a wonderfully simple sound sequencer created by Paul Apfrod using openFrameworks. Primitive shapes represent four oscillators you can choose from. As each shape is moved around the screen, the pitch and volume moves with it. Every shape has it’s own loop, and every movement is recorded on the loop for instant playback. As the loop can be varied by size and number of steps while it is playing.

Read about it here.


11. Zio

Interactive generative art application from the award winning computer animator and software designer Glenn Marshall allows you to explore and interact with an endlessly generating world of organic form using drag and pinch to pan, move and rotate through space, pause / play, save snaphots to your photo library, and switch on audio reactive visuals.

Read about it here.


12. Launchball

Originally released as a Flash-based game back in 2007, The Science Museum of London has brought the iPhone version of it’s popular Launchball puzzle game. including 6 tutorial levels and 36 real levels, as well as a fully featured level editor with ability to create your own levels and download the others’ creations. Using over 20 active blocks (including fans, magnets and Tesla Coils) guide your ball through a series of fiendish challenges, and learn some science on the way.

Read about it here.


13. Satromizer

A collaboration between Ben Syverson and chicago based new media artist Jon Satorm, Satromizer is the first multitouch glitch art application. The term “glitch” refers to manipulations of digital files to arrive at unexpected results. Satromizer allows you to do just that, degrade and destroy images and now for the first time with touch gestures.

Read about it here.


14. Auditorium

Auditorium, a flash music game we wrote about in December last year is now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The task in the game is to use the flow of audio visual particles to create sound or to be more exact, a composition by guiding them  into the various audio containers. As you fill these containers, you will energize them, giving them enough energy so they begin to sing together in a symphony.

Read about it here.


15. Vellum

Vellum is a drawing application that allows you to ‘graphite’, ‘ink’ and ‘scratch’ on your digital canvas using close networks of cross hatched lines endlessly overlapping with one another replicating the effect of real life pencil or charcoal. See the flickr gallery here http://j.mp/vellumflickr

Read about it here.