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Best of CH 2009: Top Five iPhone Apps


Best of CH 2009: Top Five iPhone Apps

by Karen Day
on 29 December 2009

An explosive year for iPhone apps, in the final days of 2009 we now have over 100,000 to choose from making it possible to do everything from dictating text to learning about the Greek Gods right from our fingertips. While many offer valuable solutions for chefs or designers, some are just plain fun, such as 55DSL's digital take on the classic arcade game WhackAMole (pictured above). Cool Hunting highlighted several during 2009, but below we culled our favorites of those featured.


FlightTrack Pro
FlightTrack Pro syncs up with Tripit itineraries, keeping users in the know about gate changes, delays, cancellations and current weather conditions with its elegantly designed interface that displays details and maps. In addition, an offline mode affords viewing up-to-date information at 30,000 feet, keeping passengers informed even when already en route.


For color lovers or designers, myPantone gives users easy access to the Pantone color libraries, serving as an on-the-go color reference guide. The application not only makes discovering new hues a snap, it also affords the user the ability to create and share color palettes, while also saving and storing them for later comparison.


While a few glitches continue to plague it, the Zipcar app allows members to locate, reserve and unlock cars in the fleet. The app sorts cars by hours of availability, type or model, and the device's virtual key fob unlocks the designated car or truck from a close distance or honks the horn if it's lost among a sea of parked cars.


Jamie Oliver's 20 Minute Meals
Boasting 50 new recipes, 21 technique teaching videos, step-by-step pictures illustrating the instructions and recipes, the app makes whipping up one of the Brit chef's tasty meals a snap. Accompanied by a rundown of ingredients used, each recipe links directly to an interactive, sharable shopping list that sorts by aisle and provides a way to satisfyingly cross off items—it's almost as good as having Jamie in your kitchen.


TED Talks
Aggregating the latest audio and video from the TED talks and conferences—the quarter-century old nonprofit based on Technology, Education and Design—the search function sorts through the hundreds of speakers and a bookmarking feature marks favorites.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

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The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

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We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

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Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

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The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

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I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

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It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

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Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

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We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

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My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

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Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

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We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

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I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

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Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

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I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

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We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

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[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

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Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

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What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

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I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

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I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

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People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

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I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

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In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

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I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

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Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me
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