Top 10 iPhone Apps from Israel


Want to find the best fettuccine in town? Make free calls? Translate your tweets? There's a blue-and-white app for all that, and more. We give you the best of Israel's iPhone apps.


By: BRIAN BLUM  
Published: March 26th 2011
in Economics » Israel

Fooducate iPhone App

Whether you're looking for something healthy to eat or trying to plot the best way home through rush-hour traffic, there's an application for that on your iPhone. And if you look under the hood, you might just discover it's made in Israel.

 

With its expertise in cellular technologies, a love affair with the cell phone, and a fast national adoption rate for the iPhone - despite the fact Israelis pay some of the highest prices in the world for the privilege - it's not surprising that Israelis have plunged into development of iPhone applications.

 

ISRAEL21c combed through some of the best Israeli apps to come up with our top 10 blue-and-white list for the iPhone.

 

1. Fooducate

 

With a recent positive write-up in The New York Times, Fooducate is the latest darling of the Israeli iPhone app scene. And it's healthy to boot. The concept is simple: before you buy a product at the grocery store, check out what's really in it. If its bite is worse than its crunch, Fooducate will suggest an alternative that's better for your body (if not for your pocketbook).

 

The app uses the iPhone's built-in camera to scan a product's bar code. Using its own proprietary algorithm, Fooducate counts up the nutrients and assigns a letter grade from A to D. The app is smart enough to spot cleverly disguised additives - did you know that "autolyzed plant protein" is just another way to say MSG?

 

Fooducate is primarily for products manufactured in the United States, and its database isn't yet complete (the company encourages users to snap pictures of items they'd like to see covered and send them in).

 

2. FiddMe

 

 

FiddMe is also a food app, but it takes a very different approach than Fooducate. Rather than aiming to educate, FiddMe wants to turn eating into a worldwide social game - a kind of FourSquare for foodies.

 

FiddMe allows users to take pictures of great meals they're eating (in real time) and post the snapshot and information about the restaurant to the cloud. Other FiddMe users can tap into the growing database of yummy recommendations. The service is integrated with other location-aware apps like FourSquare and Facebook. You can also post to Twitter or to the FiddMe website.

 

FiddMe is not competing directly with user-generated recommendation services like Yelp. Those focus on restaurants as a whole, while FiddMe drills down to the quality of the fettuccini. Not surprising from an app created by a bunch of self-described Israeli "foodies."

 

3. Waze

 

 

Waze has tackled a problem we've all experienced - getting stuck in traffic and not knowing the best alternative routes - and crowd-sourced it. Users automatically add information about traffic tie-ups in real time - without having to do a thing. Waze tracks where drivers are via GPS. If there are more drivers than expected in a certain stretch of road, the Waze map will turn red.

 

So if Highway 101 is backed up coming into San José, Waze will instantly tell you if Interstate 280 is the better bet. That's a whole lot faster than waiting for the radio to report the latest jams every 15 minutes. And it's one of the reasons the service has proved incredibly popular, with more than two million drivers signed up.

 

The automated aspect to Waze is particularly welcome, since texting while driving is a big no-no. But users stopped at a red light can more proactively input traffic information. And to really keep things safe, Waze turns off the keyboard when the car is in motion - neat!

 

Waze has other features - such as allowing drivers to build maps together, create private groups to share tips, and even play interactive social games.

 

Waze is free, in keeping with its 2006 roots as an open-source project called FreeMaps. The service began in Israel but is available all over the world.

 

4. Viber

 

 

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