According to recent calculations, Apple sewed up around 98% of all mobile app downloads in 2009. The App Store is evidently a soaring success, serving up apps for everything. Literally everything. All this demand seems to have resulted in a reverse price war—check out the high-dollar Apps we found:
BarMax | $1,000
This is the news that started us wondering about the most expensive iPhone apps: BarMax, an app designed to help students studying for their bar exams. According to the site's blurb it's a "complete solution and the most thorough yet flexible way to study for the bar exam. Listen to audio lectures on your iPhone wherever you are. Practice MBE questions or review flashcards on the go."
It's over 1GB in size, has thousands of digitized pages of information (an the company will send you more on request) and it would seem to be an ideal prep companion thanks to its portability, particularly if the other option is to haul around a huge pile of books. Expensive? Yes indeed, but for this price the makers BarMax LLc will sell you an iPod Touch with it pre-installed. And though it is expensive, we're pretty sure legal types will, somehow, be able to afford it.
iRa Pro | $900
One for the Big Brother in you: iRa Pro is a professional-grade app that lets you view security camera feeds. According to makers Lextech Labs, the app delivers "a video command center to the palm of your hand" and effectively lets you manage some aspects of your site security without requiring you to sit in an office. It shows six thumbnail views at a time from whatever array of IP-connected surveillance cameras you own, and lets you have full pan/tilt/zoom control of compatible cams and even offers a still image capture facility in case you see something of interest going on.
For the huge price you get an app that's capable of accessing a wide range of connected cameras and their data/control servers.
MATG SAP | $450
This app is more properly called "My Accounts to Go" and it's designed to be a fully integrated part of the SAP BusinessOne financial management system, connected wirelessly but still capable of displaying full financial data, transaction history and warehousing information.
It's specifically designed for finance, sales and marketing execs who find themselves out in the field often, and if your company already uses SAP's accounting system it'll likely prove invaluable, even at nearly $500.
Mobile Cam Viewer Enterprise Basic Version | $350
Like iRa, MCV is designed to be a security office camera control room on the go—it basically lets you securely monitor all of your net-connected security cameras or Webcams on your iPhone. It too supports a wide range of camera protocols, but it doesn't seem to allow you to interact with the cameras like iRa does. Perhaps that's why it's $550 cheaper.
Tunelab, Color Extractor | $300
Tunelab is an app based on the already successful Tunelab implementations for other smartphones, laptops and PDAs—it comes with a warning that it's only for professionals. And to that end it delivers a full tuning analysis capability, with the ability to store custom tuning profiles for all the pianos tuners may encounter on their rounds.
Color Extractor is a tool designed for post-production photography enthusiasts, and it does pretty much exactly what its name suggests: It gives you precise control over the color parameters of an image, such that you can remove a particular color from an image. In all honesty, this app might be a joke, or one bearing a mistaken price label—it seems to be incredibly simple, and the capability it offers is certainly replicated elsewhere in the App Store at a significantly lower price.
Lexidental Complete | $300
Lexidental is a full drug/image/medical database app for dental practitioners, with photographs, charts, and encyclopedic information that's designed to help dentists with their work. It's also going to be useful for dental students.
There's a host of other apps that come with a price tag of between $100 and $300 too—apps like Navigon's Mobile Navigator (Europe) edition. And taken as a whole, particularly with the massive price of BarMax, it would seem to indicate one thing: The App Store, though it contains much that is frivolous, is growing up and serving software that's extremely useful to professionals of all sorts of different genres.