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5 Must Have iPhone Apps

By KCRW Music Host & DJ Mario Cotto

With literally dozens* of apps to choose from in the iTunes App Store, it can be real easy to just load up your iPhone or iPod with pages and pages of free apps. But, there is nothing quite like spending those 99 cents** and seeing your investment rewarded with an app that can spectacularly dazzle the senses of everyone around you, help develop your motor skills and our mental acuity, potentially make someone laugh, or make someone throw a beer in your face…THAT’S what you are investing in.

I love my iPhone. I do not however, have pages and pages of apps…I economically try things out and separate the wheat from the chaff, so that at all times my iPhone is as slim and contoured as its lovely casing. Consequently, there are just a handful of apps I never leave home without. (All KCRW apps, Shazam, & Twitter are essential, so consider these the OTHER handful of apps I never leave home without.)


1. BEBOT (Normalware)

Of all the synth apps I’ve played with this one is, hands down, the best. The synth sounds, theremin, and looper are sweet and you can tool around with the parameters pretty easily. But that’s not even the great thing about it. The synth IS “Bebot,” a super-cute animated robot in a bow tie who emotively sings the sounds you’re synthesizing as you run your finger across the screen. Like Fischerspooner said, “sounds good, looks good, feels good too.”


2. Kooleido (Kooleido)

I like kaleidoscopes. This lovely app turns the camera on your phone into one. You can use the basic images the app comes with, or import your own. Additionally, you can fall down the rabbit hole by letting it automatically generate patterns based on images in your library. You know that scene in Inception when Paris is folding in on itself? It’s like that, but on your phone.


3. PUFF! (BottleCubeInc.)

FULL DISCLOSURE: This app is superrr pervvy, but hilarious. I love Japan. I’ve never been but I’ve watched and read enough Anime and read enough blogs to know that panties are kindof a big deal there. There is even a word for this pop panty fascination, “panchira.” I read about this app on Gizmodo and thought it was a joke. It’s not. PUFF! is a gallery of girls whose dresses will magically drift upwards if you blow on the mouthpiece end of your phone. Naughty, not nasty. Seriously. I think I’m turning Japanese.


4. DISCS (Andre Hoffman)

By tethering itself to the Discogs database, DISCS is a fast and easy way to access insane amounts of information about artists, their releases, and a slew of production data. Also, if you’re a vinyl hound it’ll also give you marketplace estimates of what you’re looking for in dollars, pounds, and euros. Nice.


5. Vintage Video Maker (MacPhun)

This video app turns your iPhone into an 8mm handheld Kodak camera. You can choose to make haunting 20’s Black & White films or bleached color 60s. And you can control varying degrees of decay and speckled noise, to remarkably dramatic effect. I just shot myself walking down the hall, and the outcome was scarier than the Blair Witch Project.

Ok, then! Happy app hunting. If you’ve got some favorites, let me know, because with folders…I can stack up and still look slim.

*read: over 225,000
**NOTE: Not all of these are 99 cents, but they’re worth their price, fersherrrr.

Find Mario on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mariocotto

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