iPhone apps with Aussie maps

Coming to Australia from a different country, one of the strongest first impressions the natives make on you is that they’re all outdoors crazy – eating outdoors, exercising outdoors, going for hikes, bike rides, having parties in parks. Whether it’s true, a smartly cultivated reputation by a few seriously energetic types or just a function of living in bike-crazy Melbourne, I’m not sure.

Starting with the iPhone, ‘iMapMyRun’ and ‘iMapMyRide’ both use the built-in GPS ability of your phone to provide ‘location-based’ information for bike riders, runners and other aficionados of the more exhibitionist past-times. You can plot great running or cycling routes, keep a training log and view all the critically important stats like distance, time, pace and calories burned directly on your iPhone.

And for an alternative, check out ‘Runkeeper’. Next is the totally free ‘Ski Report’ – another location-based app that uses GPS to display information from the resorts closest to you, including ‘dumpage’, ski reports from other users and links to weather reports and webcams.

Finally, download ‘Trips’, a data management tool that’ll keep track of all the hotel reservations, flight numbers, meetings and so forth, for all you road warriors out there, including real-time updates on flight schedules, including delays.

Less sporty, but really, really useful is Sopods’ full-screen web browser, freeing up to 40 percent more of the iPhone’s screen for browsing, ‘MobileFiles 2.0’ from Quickoffice, allowing you to transfer files over Wi-Fi to a PC or Mac, and, best of all if you’re prone to forgetting where the hell you parked the car at the local mall, ‘Take me to my car’ from a humble Stanford grad student. Tap once to start the app, again to store the location of your car as you lock it up, and when you emerge again from the mall, re-open the app to be guided directly to your parking spot. Totally free and totally genius.