Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me

'iPhone 4 - Twitter' photo (c) 2010, William Hook - license:

Yesterday, my wife gave everybody in the family an iPhone as early birthday presents. It was a gracious gesture, but the mood quickly turned ugly as the kids began to argue who was going to have to teach me how to use it. “But, Mom, it’ll take forever!” said one family member to her mother.

After quickly reducing the number of people named in my will, I began to search the Web for potential resources that could help me grasp how I could best use my new gadget.

I’m eager to hear additional suggestions.

Here are my picks for The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me (I tried to only include resources that seemed particularly recent and up-to-date):

iPhone For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Woopid iPhone videos

20 Ways I Really Use My iPhone To Teach Band Class (this is useful for any teacher)

The Daily Beast: 15 Best iPhone Apps

TIME: Top iPhone Applications

Lifehacker Pack for iPhone: Our List of the Best iPhone Apps

PC World: The 18 Best iPhone Apps

Extreme Tech: The 30 Best Free iPhone Apps 2010

The “App Hall Of Fame” features monthly listings of iPhone applications thought worthy of “hall of fame” status.

Instagram is a new iPhone app that the blog Read Write Web raved about today — see Instagram Has Made Me an iPhone Photo Addict. NOTE: Instagram just made many changes. You can read about them at Instagram Launches Its Biggest Overhaul Yet (But Still No Android App).

How to squeeze decent photos out of an iPhone has some good tips.

Top 10 Must-Have Apps for the iPhone, and Some Runners-Up is an article in the New York Times.

I was familiar with Storyrobe, but there are other digital storytelling apps for the iPhone that Wesley Fryer will tell you about in his post and screencast (he also includes Storyrobe). iStoryboards is another one.

David Pogue from The New York Times has published his “10 Favorite iPhone Apps.” He also includes several “runners-up.”

Mashable has posted a useful list titled “10 Unique iPhone Photography Accessories.”

The Top 10 Apps To Make Your Holiday Travel Much Safer is a nice list from EDUdemic.

Read Write Web has a post highlighting a number of sites where you can get reviews and recommendations for mobile phone apps, including ones for the iPhone. Two of the betters ones seem to be appolicious and appsfire.

10 Best Free iPhone Apps For Ebook Reading is a useful list to explore further.

I’ve learned about two interesting iPhone apps that I’m adding to this list:

SoundCloud has created one that makes it super-easy to record audio and upload it to your social networks. You can read more about it at TechCrunch.

CellSpin offers the ability to capture video, photo, audio or text and upload it simultaneously on all of your social networking sites.” That’s a quote from Mashable’s post titled 16 Handy iPhone Apps for Better Blogging.

Top 6 Transportation Apps of 2010 is an intriguing and useful list of apps for the iPhone.

How to Take Better Pictures with Your Smartphone’s Camera comes from Lifehacker.

My favorite iPhone photography apps comes from the writer of the Los Angeles Times photo blog.

12 Smartphone Apps to Help With Last-Minute Holiday Shopping comes from The Atlantic.

A Veteran Tech Reporter’s Favorite Apps is a useful article by NY Times journalist John Markoff about the apps he has on his iPhone.

The Best Media Streaming Apps for Your iPhone from Lifehacker

The Best Shopping Apps for iPhone, also from Lifehacker

The Best iPhone Apps for Your Car from Lifehacker

The Top 40 iPhone Apps of 2010 is a very useful post from TechCrunch

Mashable has published The Ultimate iPhone Guide: 60+ Essential Resources. Out of that massive list, here are the resources I’m adding this list:

Free Books is an app with 24,000 free classic.

Open Culture has an educational audio and video collection.

10 Useful iPhone Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks

7 Useful iPhone Camera Tips and Tricks

HOW TO: Give Your iPhone a Spring Clean

Just got an iPhone? The best apps, accessories, and tips comes from Engadget

85 Best Free iPhone 4 Apps Of Year 2010: Reviewed By Category comes from SaveDelete.

Skype’s New App Brings Video Chat To The iPhone, iPad And iPod Touch comes from TechCrunch.

How to Use Dropbox with an iPhone or iPod Touch

Camera+ looks like a very nice photo app. I especially like its zoom feature.

PicPlz is another photo app that has potential.

50 Best iPhone Apps 2011 comes from TIME Magazine.

Word Lens is an amazing new iPhone application that will translate written words in an image. Right now it just does English/Spanish, but the developer is planning expand its number of languages. You can read more about it at a TechCrunch post, and watch this video:

Google has announced that their Google Translate app for the iPhone now includes “speak-to-translate” and “listen to your translations” features. Read all about it at TechCrunch.

Essential apps to buy before traveling is from the Daily Aztec.

12 Totally Awesome (Yet Free) Photography Apps For Your iPhone is from Luke Tech Tips.

The iPhone for Advanced Beginners is a short and useful video from The New York Times. I’ve also embedded it below:

Tango looks like a good video calling app.

Top 12 iPhone Apps That’ll Increase Your Productivity comes from Dumb Little Man.

FlixLab looks like a good tool to make videos.

Joe Dale has created a new blog just devoted to apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad that might be useful to language learner students and teachers. It’s called MFL edapps, and it looks great.

The Top 30 Best Photography Apps for iPhone is a useful post from The Next Web.

Photsynth is a new free Microsoft app for the iPhone for taking panoramic photos. Here’s how ReadWriteWeb describes it:

Photosynth stands out as you can capture images not just along a horizontal line, but in all directions – up, down, left and right. And rather than just relying on you to hold the camera steady while you pan, the app gives you guidelines of where the next image should be places and next photo snapped.

It also lets you share the photo to Facebook and to Bing Maps.

HOW TO: Master Smartphone Photography [PICS] comes from Mashable.

16 Tips to Take Your iPhone to the Next Level is from The New York Times.

Onavo Is A Money-Saving, Must-Have App For EVERY iPhone Data User is a pretty interesting post from TechCrunch about a new iPhone app.

Videolicious For The iPhone Helps You Edit Quality Videos, Fast is a post from TechCrunch about a new free iPhone app that appears to make it super-simple to edit video.

New Apps to Post Videos With Ease is a New York Times article.

I’m adding two more resources: They are 25 Essential Apps for Travelers from TIME Magazine and TripLingo Teaches You Foreign Language Phrases You’ll Actually Need When Traveling.

10 Excellent Photography Apps for iPhone Users comes from Smashing Hub.

David Einstein writes an advice column on technology for the San Francisco Chronicle, and recently wrote one on apps for translating languages on smart phones. It’s short and worth reading. Here are the three he recommends:

Google Translate

Jibbigo Voice Translation

Talk To Me – Text to Speech

Here are a couple of great smart phone resources to use with students in class:

This Seems Like A Pretty Easy Way To Practice Speaking….

Sock Puppets is a simple iPhone app that lets you easily record a student and upload it to YouTube. It can be used to briefly record a student speaking or reading in class, or even to have two or three students record a simple play (the free app allows thirty seconds of recording while for 99 cents you can upgrade to 90 seconds). One major advantage of using this for speaking practice is that it’s the sock puppet that’s actually speaking on the display, not the student. It looks like it could have potential. Thanks to techchef4u for the tip.

50 Best iPhone Apps 2011 comes from TIME Magazine.

Lifehacker Pack for iPhone: Our List of the Best iPhone Apps

Add Pictures to Your Audio Recordings with Snoozerr
is a Lifehacker post about an app that lets you make an audio recording connected to the photo you’re taking.

100 Cameras in 1
looks like a useful app.

iPhone App From SimpleGeo Discovers the History, Politics & Wildlife Around You

11 tips to ensure great smartphone photos is from MacWorld.

Here’s a post from TechCrunch about Photovine, Google’s photo-sharing app.

What Is That? Let Your Smartphone Have a Look is a useful New York Times article

Klip is an impressive app to share videos from your iPhone.

Kleiner-Backed Vlix Is An Instagram For Video; Adds Filters, Effects And More To Mobile Video is a TechCrunch post about a new iPhone application.

Dear Apple, Please Make My iPhone 4S Battery Life Suck Less is from TechCrunch. The tips in the comments section are particularly helpful.

iPhone 4S Battery Life Bugs Got You Down? Try This is also from TechCrunch.

25 Essential Apps for Your New iPhone 4S is from Mashable.

Show and Tell: iPhone 4S is a video from David Pogue at The New York Times.

I just learned about APPitic, which describes itself as:

…an directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning.

It has over 1,300 categorized apps, including a ton organized by Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Hidden iPhone Tricks: Secret Keyboard and Panoramic Photos is from TIME.

Forget Text, Vimessa Brings Visual Voicemail to the Masses is from Mashable.

iPhone photo apps to download now is from The BBC.

Apps 4 Edu comes from the Utah Education Network.

The Top 20 iPhone And iPad Apps of 2011 comes from TechCrunch.

Best iPhone Apps of 2011 is from The New York Times.

New iPhone? Try these apps for travelers is from MSNBC.

Want To Make Your iPhone’s PIN More Secure? Repeat A Digit is from TechCrunch.

Instahub collects links to all apps and sites related to the popular smartphone app Instagram.

Finding apps for the shadow economy: The digital divide is fast becoming ancient history, thanks to the all-powerful smartphone is a very interesting article from Salon.

10 awesome apps for iPhoneography is from Matador.

When you’re traveling (by any way other than air), all you have to do is open the StreetFlow app, and it will automatically show you pictures of where you are, provide audio narration from Wikipedia, and show images from Instagram and Flickr.

The Wall Street Journal gave Camera Awesome an incredibly positive review, and this free iPhone app became available yesterday for download. It looks very impressive.

Vocre is a free iPhone app that TechCrunch describes like this:

It’s almost magical how Vocre works; Speak into the app while your iPhone is vertical, flip the phone horizontal and the phone’s accelerometer cues the app to translate and speak what you’ve said into the language of the people you’re speaking with, they then can respond, rinse, repeat.

That description actually came from a post that’s a few months old — TechCrunch just posted an update about improvements Vocre has made since then…

Here Are 13 Awesome Things To Do With All of Those Photos You Take With Your iPhone is a very useful slideshow.

I’m starting to take photos (and have students take photos) using iPhone apps that let you provide an accompanying audio commentary.

The best app for this kind of excellent speaking practice exercise is Fotobabble. The web version is already on The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English list, and I’m adding the phone app there, too. You take a photo, provide an up-to-one minute commentary, and then can share it several ways. You can email it to yourself, too, where you are provided a link to it on the Fotobabble site. You’re given the opportunity to re-record if you don’t like how it sounds on the first try, and you can make other changes to it, too. It also provides the option to embed, as I have done with this quick experiment (a photo of one of our dogs, Lola):

Another option, which was launched this week at the SXSW conference in Austin this week, is an app called Picle. It only gives you ten seconds of commentary, but you can choose to have it record at the same time you’re taking the photo or afterwards. It doesn’t offer an embed option, but you can link to it on the Picle website. It also doesn’t appear to give you an opportunity to re-record if you’re not satisfied with your first try. Here’s a sample – again of Lola.

I’d definitely vote for Fotobabble. However, since Picle is new, I assume they’ll be making lots of improvements in the future.

50 Best iPhone Apps 2012
from TIME.

Is the iPhone the Only Camera You Need? is from The Wall Street Journal.

Snapguide looks like an interesting iPhone app that lets anyone make a guide to just about anything. You can read about it in this New York Times article.

Here are some “new to me” smartphone apps I’ve found for translation. Though the last one is not iPhone-related, I’ll still add them all to this list:

SayHi Translate is an iPhone app that translates what you speak into a language of your choice. It’s very similar to Google Translate, though has fewer choices. It may have some advantages, though — it seemed to work more accurately than Google Translate when I tried it out this morning. It costs 99 cents. I’m going to have my students try-out both next week and give me feedback on which one they like better.

7 Language Translation iPhone Apps for the Digital Traveler is a useful post from Mashable.

The Microsoft Translator app for Windows Phone has recently added an augmented reality feature to translate signs, menus, etc. You just point the phone at it.

Tourwrist looks like a useful iPhone app to take 360 panoramic images. You can read more about it at Read Write Web.

Still Shot is a cool iPhone app that lets you get photos from your videos.

Vocre is the latest in an increasing number of SmartPhone translating apps that can help you communicate in another language. It can come in handy if you just have to communicate something to an ELL student in their native language, or if you need to communicate to family members.

I’ve described some nice apps that let you add an audio recording to your photos and then share them. enpixa is a new one that’s very similar to the others. It’s free, and you can add a thirty second recording.

Ptch is a new iPhone app that lets you easily mix your photos and videos into a neat slideshow with music. It seems to me like Animoto with a more attractive interface, more options and better music.

How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable is from David Pogue.

Ten Tips and Tricks Every iPhone and iPad User Should Know is a very helpful article.

Top 10 Tips For Better iPhone Photos has useful advice.

Microphones For iPhones

Vidify is a similar automatic video-combining app to Magisto, which is described earlier in this list.

How Smart Is That Phone? Apps Unveil the Tricks is from The New York Times.

Beamr looks like a great app that lets you send full-resolution photos from your iPhone. You can read more about it at TechCrunch.

Google has just created an iPhone app for YouTube. It looks like it might be useful and have advantages over using the regular iPhone uploading function in the iPhone. You can read more about it at TechCrunch and at Read Write Web.

Glide is an iPhone app that lets you easily share video messages and is rapidly gaining popularity.

You can read more about it in The New York Times.

PhotoBlab is yet another Smartphone app for adding audio to your photos.

TIME recently published the new edition of their annual list: 50 Best iPhone Apps, 2013 Edition.

Tellagami is neat iPhone/iPad app that lets users quickly create virtual characters that can speak audio that’s been recorded or use text-to-speech.

Here’s an example:

Here’s What I’m Using As An External Microphone For My iPhone5

A Collection Of Recommendation Lists From Around The Web For iPhone & iPad Apps

Vobok is an iPhone app that lets you easily record thirty second audio messages. You can read about it in the San Francisco Chronicle here. It might be a useful tool for English Language Learners, but I haven’t tried it out yet.

Yakit and Yakit Kids are iPhone and iPad apps that let’s “any photo talk.”

Feedback is welcome.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Welcome to mobile learning, Larry. Too bad your wife didn’t go for an Android phone…-)

  2. Wow! Great list, thank you! I waited 4 years and just got the iPhone for Verizon, definitely worth the wait!!!

    The 2 links that I like best are:

    20 Ways I Really Use My iPhone To Teach Band Class (this is useful for any teacher)= Really is helpful for how to use some of the features that come on the phone and a few to purchase.

    iPhone for Dummies Cheat Sheet= A good and simple list of functions and how-to’s (a life saver for us novices!!)

    Thanks again for a great list and good luck with your new gadget!! :)

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