Corcoran: The powerhouse real estate group makes one of the most difficult things about living in a competitive real estate market — finding a new apartment or condo — much, much easier. A simple, user-friendly interface allows squatters to comb through regularly updated rental and sales listings, complete with each agent’s contact info, in New York, the Hamptons and South Florida. It also lets you get a sense of the neighborhood and discover the coolest bars, restaurants and shops around each property. So if the mood strikes, you can drop in on an open house, land a $5 million penthouse and then find the perfect lunch spot to celebrate securing your new digs.
IMDb: The Internet Movie Database has long been the go-to site for anyone completing that fifth degree of Kevin Bacon, or trying to answer a don’t tell me, I know this one, this is gonna kill me-type question about the silver screen. The IMDb app doesn’t have any new features, but it does allow users to navigate the site’s contents with a few button clicks, which is essential for movie geeks, amateurs and those desperate for conversation starters.
Kayak: Kayak is a shopping comparison engine for all things travel: hotels, car rentals, airfares, vacation packages and so on. It uses information from a considerable number of websites — not just carriers or rental services, but also other pricing aggregators like Orbitz and Expedia — and compares their deals. Looking for a place to crash after a long night out in South Beach? One button. Need to call your airline to cancel a trip home, keep the credit and snag a low fare to the beach? Another button. Plus, $2 gains access to the “First Class” version of this app, which, aptly, searches out first and business-class fares.
Lose It!: Instead of sinking in a swamp of iDetritus, this app — a calorie counter made simple — has somehow separated itself from the pack. Lose It! sheds the more convoluted math of calorie counting, keeping things light by focusing on what you ate, how much of it you ate and how much you can continue to eat to reach your specified weight goal. Hey, it’s either this or taping thinspirational photos of the Olsen twins to your fridge.
Hipstamatic: Yes, it’s yet another photography app, and yes, it has the word “hip” in it. But clichés aside, Hipstamatic allows shutterbugs to create some pretty incredible shots, which can be distorted using several “analog” camera effects. Buy additional treatments at the in-app store — separate lenses, flashes or films, different ways to “develop” your pictures — and capture Kodak moments without Kodak or the blurriness often associated with the iPhone.
USPS Mobile: Despite providing one of the best deals in America — you can send something across the country for less than a dollar — the United States Postal Service has had to contend with dwindling envelope-lickers since the advent of e-mail. To keep up with the times, USPS has released a great iPhone app that tracks parcels from your phone, locates nearby offices and mailboxes and looks up zip codes with its user-friendly interface — all so we don’t have to go, well, postal.
Star Wars: Trench Run: Long before the world’s population devolved into Avatards, people were nuts over some guy in an X-wing blazing through another galaxy, far, far away. The Star Wars: Trench Run app — which puts players in Luke Skywalker’s seat for the climactic space battle from the original Star Wars — is a throwback to simpler times of old-school arcade fun and Jedi fever. Use the iPhone’s accelerometer to steer your aircraft, take down Imperial Forces and save the universe before you miss your train stop.