While we’re all subscribing to the fact that Apple executives convene in an ivory tower, devising ways to make their devices and softwares perfectly impenetrable, it’s important to know that there are a few iApps availble that ensure the power stays in your hands.
Welcome to the world of open source.
If you haven’t sacrificed copious amounts of our social life to truly understand what open source is, you may understand it as this – open source apps invite the end user (that’s you) to constantly modify their design and functionality, to best suit your day-to-day needs. Here are some of the best.
1. Wikipedia (iPad/iPhone)
From the makers of the collaborative web-editing phenomenon that often spews man-made created truths about how things work, comes this sleek mobile version. Just like the parent Wikipedia website, the mobile version provides more than 20 million articles in 280 languages. The app also keeps the Wikipedia promise that is to remain 100 per cent open source and built by a community of its users. Recent modifications include the Open Street Map feature – the free source counterpart of Google Maps – because this is indeed, the information age, and we are anything but homesick.
2. WordPress (iPhone, iPad)
Here’s another one that bridges the gap between programming genius and plain curious. WordPress remains the easiest way to run a blog in real-time, and now on the go. This includes writing and editing articles, sharing photos and links, and managing reader feedback, without having to know a single line of code or HTML. If you are willing to get your hands dirty however, the WordPress team invites you to take a shot at their code, which is released under the GNU (General Public License).
3. Comic Flow (iPad)
Possibly the most underdeveloped app on the list, Comic Flow still gets our warm approval for being the first open source Comic Book Reader. This is an app that understands comic nerds to have enough on their hands, trekking through multiple universes and all, to have to deal with tiresome display options at the end of it. The storage packs a whopping 1500 + titles, better than your dusty cupboard shelves ever did, and the space will continue to evolve so long as its beloved community wants it to. New iPad users can even keep their collection in mint condition thanks to the latest update that supports the Retina display.
4. Natsulion (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Let’s face it: the official twitter application for iDevices is no match for your glamorous twitter regime. That’s where Natsulion (Complete with a cute anime-like Lion Logo) understands you better. Asides giving you a systemized way to display your twitter activity a la Tweet Deck, Natsulion also has a God-sent separate section for unread tweets. Now if this weren’t an open source list, we would gladly recommend the App Store favourite ‘Tweetie’, but this is an open source list, Natsulion is an open source app, and the lion will soon devour all.
5. Last.fm (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Last.fm is probably the best things to happen to music fans in a while, not counting illegal downloads. What the website does is track music you and your friends have been raving on about, and builds you your own personalized radio station. What the app does is substitute for that awkward fifth friend you invite on road trips; the one who usually handles the playlists. It also remains the strongest tool to gather artist and event information in your region, while connecting all your findings to Facebook and Twitter. There’s no point finding new music if you can’t brag about it, is there?