Nevermind searching for restaurants or shooting birds at pigs. You want to know how much radiation you’re surrounded by? You want to unequivocally prove to your friends how many push-ups you’ve done? You want to know where that random aircraft flying overhead is going? We present to you a variety of iPhone apps that vastly expand your capabilities and make the unthought of possible.

Geiger Camera

Apparently the iPhone camera can “see” various types of rays, such as ultraviolet and infrared, by its semiconductor sensor. With this app, it can detect high amounts of radiation in 30 seconds, while taking 1+ hours for lower amounts. In those cases, they say you might want to plug in the recharger because you’ll need to leave the device still for a long time. So, this app might get different kinds of results depending on their sense of urgency and/or patience…

Instant Heart Rate

With this app, you use the camera on your iPhone to measure your heart rate. By placing your finger on the camera, it detects the changes in color as blood flow increases and decreases with your pulse, and takes about 10 seconds to give you a reading.

Metal Detector

You can use your iPhone as a metal detector with this app. It works based on the fact that magnetic metals interfere with the iPhone’s compass. This app works better the closer you are to the object, and you can also increase the sensitivity. However it only seems to work for magnetic metals.


Unlike other drum apps, with TableDrum you don’t need to tap awkwardly on the iPhone’s screen. It detects the different sounds of you tapping on different surfaces, say using a pen to tap on a coffee mug or a table, and translates it to whichever of the 4 drum sounds you set it to correspond to. It even matches the intensity of the sounds of your taps.

FlightRadar24 Pro

Have a thing for planes? (Not in some terroristic way of course.) With this app, you can see the position of any airplane in the world on a map in real time. (Actuall, it uses the ADS-B tracking system which accounts for around 60% of all aircraft, 90% in Europe.) You can also see information about each airplane and their routes (callsign, model, type, height, speed, route), with filter options. Even more, the Augmented Reality lets you point the camera to the sky and view information about air traffic above your head.


This augmented reality app lets you create a floorplan of your room just by taking pictures with your iPhone. It takes advantage of the iPhone’s gyroscope, allowing you to stand in the middle of your room and rotate around, taking one long shot, with follow-up pictures to correct for errors. You can get your floor plan as JPG, PDF, or a web published version.


This app allows you to measure distances with a relatively high degree of accuracy. PocketMeter emits a sound and measures the time it takes for that sound to return. However it does have to be quiet for it to work as accurately as possible, and you need to input the current temperature since sound travels at different speeds in different air temperatures.


No need to fret anymore about imperfect group photos. With this app, you can swap out the awkward faces/heads with the best head shots in the bunch to create a new image with everyone looking their best. The seamlessness of the results will vary depending on how alike the original photos are that you’re selecting from, such as camera angle, lighting, etc.


Identify a tune that’s playing on the radio, in the background in a store, or even hummed by a friend with this app. You can quickly find out the name of the artist and the title, and works even when you sing, speak, or type in a request.


This app lets you create moving GIFs from video files, and share them over social networking site. Other pluses: it’s free of charge, and you can have the images loop forward or backward.


You know how tough it can be trying to speak to someone when you both don’t know anything of each others’ language. With SayHi, things get a whole lot easier. Speak into the iPhone in your selected language, then hear the translation in the other language you select. Using voice recognition technology, it figures out what you say and gets the translation, in a matter of moments, and supports 23 different languages. Just take turns speaking into the phone with the other person.

Push-Up Counter

Well, actually you still have to do the dirty work, but this app can help you stay on track by recording your push-ups routine. Just start the app and set it on the floor, and your iPhone detects when your face moves toward or away, hopefully when you’re doing proper push-ups. It even counts out loud for you, to keep you focused. Maybe it can also tell when you’re starting to lag and will psych you up.

Word Lens
Another augmented reality app where you point your iPhone camera at some text e.g., a poster or sign, and it translates it to your choice of English, French, or Spanish. It uses an its own dictionary so no internet connection is required. You may, however, not want to get your hope up too high for use with stylized text, distracting text and graphics, poor lighting, and lots of words at once.


Similar to Word Lens, this useful app might be just the thing for any user needing a quick translation. Use the iPhone’s camera to translate words between 59 languages. You have the option to hear the translation, if you need the correct pronunciation. You can also further search the word via Google, YouTube or Wikipedia.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Improve the quality of your sleep by waking up when your brainwaves are just right with the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock. It uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to monitor your movement while you’re sleeping, which corresponds with the different stages of sleep, from shallow to deep. It tracks your movement throughout the night, but pays particular attention to the 30 minutes before the time you’ve set your alarm in order to waking you up when you’ll be more refreshed and not groggy.

Genius Scan – PDF Scanner

This app turns your iPhone into a simple scanner. Just take a picture of a document or some note paper, and your pic gets converted to a JPG or PDF, ready to send via email or the other supported apps.

Cab Caller (for Japan)

Thanks to the GPS in your iPhone, with a few simple taps, you can call a taxi without having to explain where you are. This app is connected to the approximately 10,000 taxis all over Japan.

Domino’s App

If you’re a big fan of Domino’s Pizza in Japan, this app is for you. Your iPhone’s GPS allows you to specify delivery to anywhere, as well as see a menu and prices while you order.


Use this app to turn anyone’s face into a talking, dancing, zany 3D character. You can apply make-up, give the person cat eyes, give them a few more pounds, and even s dash more body hair. You can also animate your creation to music, or record audio and sync it so it looks like the face is speaking.

iWake: Location Alarm

Never miss your train station or bus stop again with iWake. Simply select the area you want to be notified you’re nearing and specify how far in advance you want to be notified. And you don’t have to worry about locking your device or using other apps.

Momento (Diary/Journal)

Rather than write lengthy diary entries, with this app you can easily (and privately) jot down details of an event, a place, etc. You can add up to eight photos to a post and you can tag entries. This app also imports from your other social networking apps, such as Twitter and Facebook.