Safari, iTunes and iPhoto are the killer iApps for most Macworld Online readers, according to a recent reader poll.
Macworld UK asked: "What's your favourite free Apple program?". 1,013 votes have been cast so far. iTunes attracted 47 per cent of the vote, Safari took 21 per cent, and iPhoto ten per cent.
In order of preference, Apple's other apps ranked as follows: iMovie (eight per cent); QuickTime Player (four per cent); iDVD (three per cent); Mail and Calculator (two per cent each); iChat and iCal took one per cent each.
iTunes The vote doesn't mean any of the applications lack fans, simply that when pressed to decide, readers favoured iTunes: "Probably the best MP3 Player out there," one reader said.
Another wrote: "It's got to be iTunes. It just can't be beaten for ease of use and simplicity. Second to that would be iPhoto: my digital Camera just loves the auto-activation and quickness of the library composition. I haven't found a shareware application that can truly compete with Apple's wares for my needs. It would seem that the Digital Hub is truly in effect on my Mac."
Another observed: "I ticked iTunes but have to say that in the short period I've owned a Mac I've found all of the iApps invaluable - they were probably the driving force behind me getting a Mac in the first place."
Safari Commenting on Safari, a reader said: "Safari rules! Apple listened to us and put tabbed browsing and form autofill inside."
"I like Safari too, but get really annoyed with hopping between Safari and Internet Explorer to use sites that Safari isn't fully compatible with," one reader observed.
Another requested that Safari and Apple's Grab application offer users the option to define file-format type for images: "There should be an automatic way of saving files in preview to select which file format you want them in," he suggested, adding: "I also love Software Update as it beats finding your way round Apple's site to find the right downloads."
QuickTime QuickTime's real reach seems misunderstood. Its technologies sit at the heart of Apple's iTunes Music Store, is often found installed on Windows PCs, lurks within a slew of music CDs as part of the extra content there, and is rapidly emerging as part of MPEG-4 and 3G-based industries.
"QuickTime Player is such a significant piece of software that it's fast becoming a standard on PC also. If you phrased the question: 'Which one could you least live without?' I'm sure QuickTime would be top," one voter noted.
iPhoto A frustrated iPhoto fan rapped Apple on its digital knuckles: "iPhoto is good, though it bugs me we still can't order books and prints - shame on you, Apple. Sort that one out if you're going to sort out the iTunes Music Store for Europe," he exclaimed.
Calculator Proving it's the little things that count, it was Apple's Calculator that attracted the biggest debate.
"When I think how this piece of software compares with my Casio or the Graphing Calculator that shipped with OS 9 for many years, I feel sad for falling Apple Standards," wrote a scientist to launch the debate.
One Calculator fan rose to defend Apple's homework-helper: "I have to defend 10.2's Calculator," Jary said. "The Conversion functions (such as the updatable currency conversions) are excellent. I know it's probably rubbish for rocket scientists, but it's pretty useful to me."
This sparked a series of replies, as readers noted - and tried - the useful feature, the existence of which had eluded so many for so long.
"I never even noticed the currency converter in Calculator before - nice."
Another remarked: "Must admit I'd overlooked that one."
"At least with Jaguar, you now have access to extended functions and a paper tape. Finally, an update to the original Calculator from the Mac Plus."