App review

A review of some of the Apps CHOICE has seen, used and recently reviewed.
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02.Health and fitness

First AidSt John icon

Price: $4.49
Platform: iPhone

Whether or not you have hands-on first-aid training by St John Ambulance (highly recommended), this app can be a handy reference in an emergency. It presents step-by-step treatment instructions and an easy-to-follow format that has pictures for each step. It joins St John Ambulance’s other worthwhile first aid apps in the App Store, MediProfiles (free) and Resuscitate ($2.99). CC issue Nov/Dec 2012.


Brainyapp iconPrice: Free
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

You don’t have to be a brainiac to use BrainyApp, but you might just become a bit smarter. This app from Alzheimer’s Australia and health fund Bupa is designed to help you improve your brain health and may just help stave off Alzheimer’s. It provides information for better brain and body health, helps you rate and track your progress through a brain health survey and includes brain games to stimulate your grey matter. The app is free, so it’s a no-brainer. CC issue Jan/Feb 2012.


MelApp icon

Price: $1.99
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Despite, or perhaps because of, the vast amount of health-related information now available to anybody with a web browser, doctors tend to frown on self-diagnosis. But tools that help alert users to possible health problems are increasingly popular. Take MelApp, for example, this clever app uses the iPhone camera and sophisticated pattern recognition software to provide a potential early warning system against skin cancer. Just take a pic of a skin mole or suspect spot and upload it for analysis to receive a risk assessment only seconds later. Of course, this handy freckle checker makes no medical claims but it may prompt you to see a specialist and that might just be a lifesaver. CC issue Sept/Oct 2011.

Instant Heart RateIHR iconsmall2

Price: Free or $1.19 full version
Platform: iPhone 4 and 3GS, Android

Worried about stress or athletic performance? Try keeping track of your heart rate with Instant Heart Rate, which uses your phone’s camera to detect tiny changes in skin colour as fresh blood is pumped to your fingertip, the same principle used in a medical pulse oximeter. The full version also lets you keep your history, charts and heart rate recovery measurements. March/April 2011.


Price: FreeSunsmart icon
Platform: iPhone, iPod, iPad

It's not the heat of summer that damages your skin, it's the increased exposure to damaging UV rays while we're outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. The Cancer Council's Sun Smart app is designed to help you reduce your exposure. With information from the Bureau of Meteorology, the app gives you the weather, temperature, UV level and sun protection times for your local area and even UV alerts. The Cancer Council says it takes only 11minutes to burn, so this app really could save your skin. CC issue Jan/Feb 2011.



App link

Price: $2.49
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. 

If you live in NSW and use public transport Link is indispensable. This interactive guide to buses, trains and ferries can help you plan a multi-stage trip to almost anywhere efficiently, including walking time. And if you tend to nod off on public transport, it can even wake you before your stop. The free Link Express version lacks search history and favourites. For Sydney commuters only, there’s also the invaluable TripView ($2.49) which is a commuters’ dream. It shows train, bus and ferry timetables and lets you plan point-to-point trips. The free TripView Lite version doesn’t save your trips for future reference but is otherwise fully featured. CC issue July/Aug 2011.


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