Ireland has been quietly growing a reputation as one of the top countries for homegrown iDevice apps - goodness knows we've interviewed plenty of the developers - so we at JOE thought it was time to showcase our ten favourite Irish apps.
iCabbi Ireland (Free)
A handy service for anyone tired of thumbing a lift or toiling in the endless queues on Saturday nights, iCabbi is only available in Dublin as of this writing but could represent the future of taxi booking.
The iCabbi app is free and, once installed, users can set up their account and the app will then find your location automatically. From here, you push the 'Available' option and the app will allow a cab to find you. Bring up the map function on the iCabbi and you can actually track your driver's progress in real time, while you'll receive details of the transaction heading to your phone and/or receive an email address for full traceability.
Eirtext (Free, €3.99 for Eirtext Pro)
A godsend among Irish O2 customers, Eirtext allows you to send your free O2 webtxts straight from your mobile phone. A success for years, the app recently reached 100,000 global users and continues to grow from strength to strength. The Pro version allows full iPad supports, multiple accounts and message history amongst a multitude of extra features.
The Journal.ie (Free)
As a number of newspaper outlets begin to introduce subscription services, it's good to see The Journal providing the best Irish news app at absolutely no cost to the consumer.
You the man, N-Demps!
The Journal's app provides quick news updates, a designated section for Election 2011 and allows users to switch publications to either The Score, Busines Etc or The Daily Edge - it's like having four apps in one.
Visit Dublin (€2.99)
The official mobile guide for our capital is a hefty offering, with offline directional search, audio for historical sections of the city and most intriugingly, an augmented reality camera view.
Just open up your iPhone camera, point it at a historical site and you may end up viewing additional augmented info through your device. Whether you're a Dublin native looking to unearth unique sights or visiting for the weekend, this is an essential purchase.
New Speed Cameras (€1.59)
Avoid penalty points whilst simultaneously 'sticking it to the man' with the New Speed Camera, which is currently on sale offering the locations of over 700 new speed camera locations, in addition to over 1000 known locations. You'll keep your eyes on the road too as the app offers audible alerts along your route.
Ireland's leading provider of stockbroking and financial advisory service have an app that lives up to their reputation with critical commentary on the Irish economy (it's doing grand!) and price movement tracking. You can even begin to open up an account through the app.
TV3 App (€1.59)
Sadly, we're probably never going to have an on-the-go BBC iPlayer and RTE probably won't plump up the cash for an RTE Player app so in the meantime, the TV3 App will have to do.
Oh, who cares?
Unfortunately, those hoping for live coverage of Champions League games are bound to be disappointed but if you're looking for full episodes of Tonight with Vincent Browne, The Apprentice or ahem, Xpose (we won't tell), this is a handy app - so long as you're near a WiFi signal. There's plenty of improvement to be made but it doesn't cost the earth at just €1.59.
Get The Focal (€2.99)
Under threat like never before, the Irish language is frequently accused of being antiquated and old-fashioned by many commentators.
For that reason alone, we commend the developers of the Get The Focal app, which has a huge database of English/Irish translations, an online search facility and even audio pronunciations. The apps draws its huge wealth of content from focal.ie, abair.ie and Google translate, while the app itself has been approved by Foras na Gaeilge.
Carlow Weather (Free)
We've never seen a weather app with such a distinctive focus on one particular area, especially Carlow. The data from the app is derived from www.carlowweather.com and updates every 60 seconds.
It's a ridiculously comprehensive app that will surely change the RTE's elitist focus on Dublin weather (you know it's true) to the charming climes of its fellow Leinster county. As we're not from county we weren't able to test out the app for authenticity but reckon it's got plenty of ever-updating stats for weather buffs, rather than a clip of a Carlow man yelling "sure it's fierce wet out".
Leaving Cert Papers (€3.99)
If only this app existed when we were taking the Leaving Cert but no, we had to do our bloody History exam during the second half of Ireland vs Germany in the 2002 World Cup instead! Anyway, enough about that, the Leaving Cert Papers app stores exam papers and marking schemes for 32 subjects, with or without internet access.
Papers date back as far as 1998 and saves you the cost of buying the papers individually or using your internet connection and trawling for them yourself. Bah, kids these days don't know how good they have it these days, feckin' poking their Bebos on Facebook etc.