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5 iPhone apps that will make you a hero

You don't need to be super-strong, invulnerable or able to fly to be a hero. Sure, that worked for Superman, but don't forget that Batman got out of all kinds of tough situations just using his gadgets. Maybe you don't have a tricked-out car or a utility belt, but if you have an iPhone, you can be a hero, too. Here are some iPhone apps that might help out:


1) Urbanspoon

Superpower: Settling arguments about where to eat

When you're out with a date (or a group of friends) and nobody can decide where you're going to eat, Urbanspoon's iPhone app can come to the rescue. Just put in some search terms (or don't, whatever) and shake it. It'll give you a restaurant that will hopefully settle your argument without any hurt feelings over who got to choose. If you end with a place that nobody likes, just shake again. It's also handy when you're by yourself in a new neighborhood and want to sample the local eateries, so you can use it to be your own hero, too!

2) HopStop

Superpower:
Getting anywhere fast in some big cities.

Before you complain: yes, I know this only works in a handful of cities, particularly New York, Chicago, Boston and DC. The thing is, it works so well you might as well have superpowers. I can't count the number of times I've overheard someone on the phone in Manhattan saying, "Why don't you just HopStop it?" HopStop is well known for giving some of the best point-to-point directions via subway or cab, and telling you how much it'll cost to get there. Plus, it's expanding to new cities all the time.


3)
RepairPal

Superpower: Not getting overcharged for repairs

RepairPal gives you price estimates for the various things that could go wrong with your car so you can make sure you're not getting insanely overcharged. I'm a geek, but I'm by no means a car geek, so I doubt I'd even have a clue how much to pay for car repairs without looking it up. This way, you can do it from the road while you're waiting for the tow truck to come and collect your broken car. It's not like having the power to remember everything, just the power to remember things that will save you a bunch of money.

4) iFirst Aid Lite

Superpower:
Knowing how to deal with any basic injury

iFirst Aid is an app that offers easy offline access to first aid info taken from a published guide by a registered nurse. It shows you how to deal with burns, bleeding, CPR, poison and choking, and it also contains a list of worldwide emergency numbers. If you've ever thought about carrying a first aid book around but felt silly about it, why not get an app instead? It takes up way less room in your backpack. Mutant recuperative abilities not required.

5) Wikipanion

Superpower:
The world's collective knowledge in your pocket

If you're at all like me, you look things up on Wikipedia all the time. Or, more to the point, you're away from your computer and you WISH you could look things up on Wikipedia all the time. How many bets would have been settled if I had just kept Wikipedia in my pocket with the Wikipanion app? It's faster and more legible than browsing to Wikipedia with Safari, and it lets you save photos to your iPhone and play Wikipedia's .ogg recordings of word pronunciations. Who needs superhuman brain-power when you can take Wikipedia everywhere?

Tags: app-store, apps, hopstop, iphone, ipod, urbanspoon

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