i.TV: Mobility in the Home
What's cool about this app: This app, an entertainment guide for upcoming cable TV shows, doubles as a TiVo remote. For folks annoyed with the slow Comcast TV guide interface, this app provides a faster way to find programs. You can also watch movie trailers, buy movie tickets, and even share what you're watching with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Now your iPhone has a place in your home next to your TV remote.
Why it flies under the radar: This well-designed app gets overshadowed by apps tied to big brands, like Flixster, Fandango, TiVo, and Netflix. These apps have big marketing budgets and tap large numbers of existing customers. "It's difficult to compete with brands of that size," Subramanian says.
HotelPal: Competing for Room
What's cool about this app: This app plugs into Travelocity and lets you search hotels and find rates and availability. Moreover, you can see pictures and maps and read information about the various hotels and then reserve rooms from the app. A very simple and clean interface makes this app supereasy to use.
Why it flies under the radar: This app made it onto Apple's iPhone TV ads and even got some coverage on the New York Times. But it hasn't had a huge amount of success on the App Store, in terms of downloads. That's because there's a huge amount of competition in this travel space from apps like Kayak and Hotels.com, which have been successful in pushing their brands.
What to Expect: A Baby App
What's cool about this app: This app helps women track their pregnancies, with everything from a due-date calendar to weekly baby illustrations and belly pictures. The app plays into a growing trend of health care apps that target specific people, like diabetics who want to track their insulin intakes and overweight people who want to track weight loss. "Apps are becoming more embedded in our daily lives," Subramanian says.
Why it flies under the radar: Pregnant women are a niche market.
SBSettings: Great App, with One Problem
What's cool about this app: This app is a kind of toolbar that appears on the top of the home screen or inside an app. You can quickly turn on or off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G; adjust brightness; launch apps; and perform other functions without having to launch settings.
Why it flies under the radar: The iPhone doesn't support apps running in the background. To run this app, you have to jailbreak your iPhone. This app doesn't just fly under the radar, it flies off the radar.
This story, "The Best iPhone Apps You've Never Heard Of" was originally published by InfoWorld.