Apple likes to tout that there are 50,000 apps in the App Store, but that means that plenty of good apps fall through the cracks. Here are six that didn't make it into Cupertino's TV ad campaign, but should have.
AirCam | Free/$7.99
AirCam streams live audio and video from your webcam to your iPhone over Apple's Bonjour networking, letting you do all kinds of nifty stuff with almost no set-up. You can set your webcam to be motion activated, making it good for security; you can also set it to record video in five-minute increments. Don't have a Mac? You can still install Bonjour and make it all work.
Instapaper | Free/$4.99
With Instapaper's bookmarklet installed on your computer, you can browse interesting articles and promptly put off reading them. Hit the "read later" bookmark and they're transported into your Instapaper Web account, and also onto your iPhone with this app, where you can read them at your leisure. Setup isn't exaclty turnkey, but it's worth it.
Omni Invoice | Free/$4.99
Omni Invoice and its free iteration are complete, one-stop invoicing, price-quoting and billing apps that will eliminate your need for destkop invoicing software. Instead of checking out a job site or project and waiting 'til you get back to the office to gin up an estimate, do it on-site; if someone has forgotten to pay you, send them an invoice from the road. It's easy to use, and formats your email invoices in beautiful rich HTML.
myBatteryLife | $0.99
Apple's built-in battery indicator doesn't do much in the way of exactitude, so a bunch of iPhone battery apps have cropped up to fill the niche. This is one of the best: it gives you to-the-minute battery life estimates for talk time, video playback, music, and Web surfing--all in a big, readable display.
Craigsphone | Free
It's always in the most inconvenient moments that you decide you need a new couch, or computer, or bike, or cat. Now whether you're riding the train or in the middle of a work meeting, you can surf Craigslist for the stuff you need. With GPS enabled, you can even search what's available nearby.
Polarize | Free
If you have the iPhone 2G or 3G, you know: most of the photos it takes look like crap. With Polarize, you can add vignetting and a vintage-feeling Polaroid feel. There are several apps that do this, but Polarize has the forumula right: otherwise-garbage iPhone photos actually turn out looking kinda cool.