iPhone apps from Israel

Give your iPhone an Israeli makeover with several handy apps that bring the Holy Land to your fingertips.

iphone (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Want to find the best fettuccine in town? Make free calls? Translate your tweets? There's a blue-and-white app for all that, and more. We give you the best of Israel's iPhone apps.
1. Fooducate
With a recent positive write-up in The New York Times, Fooducate is the latest darling of the Israeli iPhone app scene and it’s healthy to boot! The concept is simple; before you buy a product at the grocery store, check out what’s really in it. If its bite is worse than its crunch, Fooducate will suggest an alternative that’s better for your body, if not for your wallet.
The app uses the iPhone’s built-in camera to scan a product’s bar code. Using its own proprietary algorithm, Fooducate counts up the nutrients and assigns a letter grade from A to D. The app is smart enough to spot cleverly disguised additives - did you know that “autolyzed plant protein” is just another way to say MSG? Fooducate is primarily for products manufactured in the United States and its database isn't yet complete (the company encourages users to snap pictures of items they'd like to see covered and send them in.)
2. FiddMe
FiddMe is also a food app, but it takes a very different approach than Fooducate. Rather than aiming to educate, FiddMe wants to turn eating into a worldwide social game - a kind of FourSquare for foodies.
FiddMe allows users to take pictures of great meals they're eating (in real time) and post the snapshot and information about the restaurant to the cloud. Other FiddMe users can tap into the growing database of yummy recommendations. The service is integrated with other location-aware apps like FourSquare and Facebook. You can also post to Twitter or to the FiddMe website.
FiddMe is not competing directly with user-generated recommendation services like Yelp. Those focus on restaurants as a whole, while FiddMe drills down to the quality of the fettuccini. Not surprising from an app created by a bunch of self-described Israeli “foodies.”
3. Waze
Waze has tackled a problem we've all experienced - getting stuck in traffic and not knowing the best alternative routes - and crowd-sourced it. Users automatically add information about traffic tie-ups in real time without having to do a thing. Waze tracks where drivers are via GPS. If there are more drivers than expected in a certain stretch of road, the Waze map will turn red.
It has proven incredibly popular, with more than two million drivers signed up to it.
The automated aspect to Waze is particularly welcome, since texting while driving is a big no-no.
However, users stopped at a red light can more proactively input traffic information. And to really keep things safe, Waze turns off the keyboard when the car is in motion – neat, hey? Waze has other features - such as allowing drivers to build maps together, create private groups to share tips and even play interactive social games.
Waze is free, in keeping with its 2006 roots as an opensource project called FreeMaps. The service began in Israel but now is available all over the world.