Five-Star Apps
Book Review

Five-Star Apps
by Glenn Fleishman

Peachpit Press
204 pages
$19.99 US $23.99 CAN

You are now the proud owner of an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. First order of business is to fill it with apps: reading, music, games, video. How do you know which apps are a hit, and which apps are better left alone?

Combing through the iTunes App Store can be quite an intimidating experience. Luckily for us, author Glenn Fleishman did the leg work of sorting and testing thousands of apps, choosing what he feels are the almost 200 “must-have” apps published in his latest book, Five-Star Apps.

At the beginning of Five-Star Apps, Fleishman takes a few pages to explain how to use apps in iOS. This section alone is worth the price of the book, especially for users completely brand new to using iOS. He explains how to find apps and install them, where to find app settings, and shares other useful information that can help even an experienced iOS user.

The book can be read sequentially or by section. Each app has icons next to it designating compatibility with iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod touch. At the bottom of each page is an extra tip on how to use the app shown on a given page, or a link to a web site that gives more information.

Apps are broken down into 19 different categories, including photography, reading, games, and social networking. Within each category, Fleishman succinctly, yet thoroughly, describes each app, how it’s used, and why it’s a must-have. The liberal use of screen shots, along with the app description, is enough information for the reader to decide if he wants to make a purchase at the iTunes Store. Fleishman even makes the buying process simple by including the iTunes Store link to each app underneath the app’s name.

Everyone has their own opinion about what makes a “must-have” app, so read Five-Star Apps with an open mind. What’s important to one person may not be to another. I already had a number of the recommended apps on my iOS devices. After reading Five-Star Apps I added a few more to my “to be purchased” list.

If you’re new to downloading apps, I highly suggest you purchase Glenn Fleishman’s book, Five-Star Apps. It will make the process of figuring out what apps to buy much easier. For those of you who are old pros, Five-Star Apps is a nice refresher course listing indispensable or interesting apps you may have missed. rating: 9 out of 10.

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