One of the things that makes Apple’s iPhone so addictive are the wide range of third party created “apps” (which do span the admittedly silly to the overly complicated) but also include many which are downright useful and easy to use.
Kudos to the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions for creating the elegantly designed Amsterdam Mobile Guide app. Download this to your iPhone (it’s available absolutely free from the iTunes App Store!) and you’ll have a combination city map/guidebook right on your phone. While far from comprehensive, the maps are great, and there’s good information on sights, museums, cafes, and restaurants. While it’s at its best while connected to the internet (where you can use it to pinpoint your exact location) it’s also quite useful offline (saving expensive connection charges) as most of the information is stored right in the app itself, providing useful descriptions of historical sights, museum opening hours, cafes, restaurants, shops and more. And so far, the board of tourism seems to be committed to keeping it current with regular updates. One of the best travel apps I’ve come across, the Amsterdam app is simple to use, well designed, a great portable map—and much more.