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New Apps Make iPhone a Multipurpose Tool

The numbers are astounding. Apple has sold 50 million iPhones. More than 2 billion applications have been downloaded from Apple's App Store. At last count, there were more than 85,000 apps available.

Apps are little programs that add fun and features to the iPhone. They're available for just about anything. The following are free apps no self-respecting iPhone owner should be without. To find them, open iTunes, or the App Store app on your iPhone, and search using the name of the app.

Google Mobile

Google Mobile links to Google's online services, allowing you to quickly access documents, news and more.

But the app's real draw is the voice search feature. Search your phone, the Web, maps, news and other sites. Just speak your search term. Google Mobile remembers recent searches, which makes it easier to find information you located previously.

Cheap Gas

Cheap Gas puts gas prices at your fingertips. Use your location to find the cheapest gas. Or, search by ZIP code. Cheap Gas shows prices for all grades of gas. Sort results by distance or lowest price. It will even map a route to a selected station.

Offender Locator Lite

Offender Locator Lite helps you keep your family safe. It shows sex offenders living nearby. Enter an address or use your current location.

Offender Locator Lite displays up to 10 offenders and their addresses. Click an entry to see a photo and description. You can also learn about the person's offense. The paid version ($2) removes the 10-offender limit.

Bank apps

Chances are, your bank offers an iPhone app. Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo all offer apps.

Check your balance on the go. Transfer funds and pay bills. Or, find a nearby branch or ATM location. The apps offer the same level of security as online banking.

Homes.com Real Estate Search

Homes.com Real Estate Search displays homes for sale or for rent. It uses your current location to show listings. Or, specify a location. Advanced search tools narrow down searches.

You'll see photos when available. You can also read descriptions and see properties on a map. Bookmark houses or send listings to a friend. The app also provides directions.

WebMD Mobile

WebMD Mobile puts health information in your palm. Identify pills by shape, color or imprint. Or, search for information by entering a drug name.

You can also look up symptoms. Choose from a list or point to them on an image of the body. If you need more information, the app takes you to WebMD's site.

Most importantly, WebMD Mobile features first-aid information, so you'll know what to do in an emergency.

Food and Fitness Tracker

Food and Fitness Tracker helps you achieve your food and fitness goals. It tracks how many calories you've eaten and burned.

Select foods and exercises from the built-in database. Or, add them manually. You can also track your weight and water consumption.

Nationwide Mobile

Nationwide Mobile helps you in the event of an automobile accident. It stores vital information about your car and insurance policy.

The Accident Toolkit walks you through the steps to take after an accident. It even helps you take and store photos of the accident scene.

The app isn't just for Nationwide customers. However, customers get added features.

Help with foreign languages

Learn Spanish, Italian, German and French with 24/7 Tutor's apps. They cover vocabulary words, phrases and questions.

Tap a phrase to hear the correct pronunciation. Quizzes, flash cards and puzzles help you with memorization. Paid versions ($8) offer more extensive vocabulary.

To translate Spanish, Italian, German and French, try iTranslate Ultimate (Lite). Translation is two-way. The app reads translations aloud. There is a 500-character limit on phrases.

PandoraBox

With more than 85,000 apps in the App Store, you need an app to find apps. That's what PandoraBox is.

Locate new and featured apps. Or find apps that are on sale. Advanced search features narrow down searches. PandoraBox takes you to the App Store for purchasing.

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