The best iPhone apps for the beach

James Thornton


Best iPhone apps to take on vacation

I’m off on vacation in a couple of weeks and aim to completely disconnect and glue myself to the sun lounger for a week. That means no internet and no phone calls. That’s not to say I’ll leave my iPhone at home though.

As we all know, the thought of sitting on a beach or next to a pool for 7 days is blissful but the reality is that it gets very boring, very quickly. It’s for this reason that my iPhone is coming with me – purely as an entertainment center rather than a connected device.

I’ve already loaded up my iPhone with ten delightful time-wasting apps, none of which require 3G or a WiFi connection. I’ve tried to select stuff that will keep me chilled, rather than just a bunch of super-charged action games or brain-busting puzzle titles. Any other recommendations are most welcome. Oh, and I’m gonna get me one of these babies as well.


iBooksBooks are the quintessential seaside companion and with iBooks on your phone you can carry as many as you like, plus you won’t have to worry about soggy pages. The iBookstore, included within the app, is expanding its catalog rapidly so you should be able to find stuff from your favorite authors, as well as the latest bestsellers. Get it (free)

Monkey Island 2

Monkey Island 2My favorite iOS game of all time, and I’m still stuck on the first level. Monkey Island 2 is point-and-click adventure gaming at its very best, and I still marvel at the way you can instantly flick between the old school and souped-up versions just by pinching the screen. If I haven’t completed this by the end of the holiday then I’m not coming home. Get it ($7.99)


BrushesPainting is a relaxing way to while away a few hours. The scope of Brushes allows you to produce genuine masterpiece, such as those showcased here. The beauty of the app is in its simplicity – there are no fancy effects or drawing tools, so it’s almost as fluid and natural as using a brush and a palette. Get it ($4.99)

iHandy Flashlight

FlashlightIf you’re planning to linger on the beach until it’s dark enough to safely skinny dip, then make sure you’ve got this app installed. This brilliant app comes with a range of lighting effects and can serve as a source of illumination for a variety of purposes. Whether for reading, avoiding crabs, or evening sending out SOS signals, iHandy Flashlight is ideal. Get it ($0.99)

Marvel Comics

MarvelI’ve been taking comics on holiday since I was about six. With the Marvel Comic app installed I intended to stash dozens of big boy’s comic books on my iPhone, to be enjoyed while I’m floating around in my rubber dinghy. The app lets you download from a huge selection of titles featuring classics such as Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. Get it (Free)


PostmanFinding postcards to send home is a hassle I can do without this holiday. That’s why I’ve already installed Postman on my phone. I can just snap a shot of me slurping on an ice cream, tap out a greeting, choose a theme, then have them sent to all my buddies on Facebook, Twitter and email next time I hit a WiFi spot. Get it ($2.99)

Flick Fishing

Flick FishingA fishing trip is always a fun holiday activity but there’s no guarantee you’ll catch anything. Flick Fishing is a sublime iPhone game that’s perfect to play on the beach. The flick-based control system means you can pretend you’re actually casting out to sea. And who cares what all those other folk think when they stare at you waving your phone at the ocean? Get it ($0.99)


PianistI bet Chopin never composed a piano concerto while sat in his speedos eating pretzels. Get one over on him by installing this great piano emulator on your iPhone. Pianist features a a true multi-touch 88-key keyboard which sounds just like the real thing. You can even record and save your compositions, overdubbing them as many times as you like. Get it ($3.99)


imovie.jpgYes, I know it’s only available for iPhone 4 but if you happen to have one of these devices then iMovie turns your phone into a dream holiday gadget. You can use it to make HD movies of your vacation exploits without getting up off the sand. You can edit video, apply themes, and add music and photos before exporting it all to share when you get home. Get it ($4.99)

Rock Band

Rock BandIf the entertainment provided at the hotel isn’t up to much, I plan to rig my iPhone up to the PA system and treat the guests to a rendition of Ace of Spades on Rock Band. This game rocks much harder than Guitar Hero or Tap Tap giving you a better selection of songs and the ability to choose between four different instruments. Get it ($6.99)

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