Top 5 Latest and Greatest iPhone Apps from Seattle

10/1/09Follow @gthuang

It’s been just over a year since we first catalogued the iPhone apps originating from our fair city (and environs). Back then, mobile applications like Urbanspoon, Whrrl (from Pelago), and Jott were relatively new and just starting to take off, letting iPhone users do things like discover restaurants and events and dictate e-mails and text messages—can you believe it’s only been a year?

Now it’s almost impossible to keep up with the volume of iPhone apps coming out of the Seattle area, just on a weekly basis. Here are five that have caught my eye as of late, in no particular order—it’s not a comprehensive list, so if you know of any good ones I missed recently, please drop me a line at gthuang@xconomy.com or post a comment at the bottom of this story. Just from what I’ve gathered lately, it looks like a good mix of indie developers and corporations are creating new products:

iGlasses ($0.99)
A digital magnifying glass that helps you read fine print on things like restaurant menus and medication bottles. The app was developed by Brian Ward of Windward Partners (a real estate broker and attorney) and Jack Breese of the Washington Advisory Group (formerly a director of Microsoft Research).

Best Camera ($2.99)
A smash-hit photography app that lets you edit pictures (applying digital filters and effects) taken on an iPhone, and upload them to a communal online gallery or social site, as Wade reported last Friday. Developed by Seattle photographer Chase Jarvis, it’s going a long way towards making the iPhone the only camera most people will ever need.

DateCheck (free, though the services aren’t)
A background-check app that lets you gather information about your date, or any person—things like criminal records and data from social networks. Bellevue, WA-based Intelius rolled out this app at the DEMO conference in San Diego last week.

Learn That Name ($1, soon to be $2)
A quiz-style game to help you associate names and faces in your LinkedIn contacts. It was developed by a 14-person team assembled at last month’s Startup Weekend in Redmond, WA, and was introduced for sale early last week.

myStarbucks and Starbucks Card Mobile (both free, though lattes still cost an arm and a leg)
A store locator and mobile payment card, respectively. The Seattle Times and many other outlets reported on these, the first iPhone apps from the coffee giant, last week. The payment app is currently being tested at Starbucks stores around Seattle and Silicon Valley.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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