There's much more to life than the App Store, although it's easy to forget that, with its 10,000-plus apps. If you're new to the iPhone, or even an old hand with a poor memory, don't overlook the wealth of free stuff on Apple's Web Apps site.
At last count, there were 1,700 Web apps, all of them optimized for the iPhone. They cover a wide range of territory — from games to weather maps. Many enable you to do things that you can't do, or do quickly, on your iPhone, such as check Ferrari's plans for Formula 1 in 2009, learn how to tie knots or search a mobile tech forum's database.
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When you browse Apple's Web Apps site and you find a Web app you like, you can put a Web clip (i.e. bookmark) of it on your iPhone's home screen. Open the Web app on your iPhone or iPod touch, tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen and then tap Add to Home Screen. You also have the option of adding the app as a book mark or mailing the link to the page to yourself or a friend. Like iPhone apps, can put Web clips on up to nine screens and arrange them in any way that suits you.
Go ahead: Bookmark the Web Apps site so you can check in and see what's new any time you're looking for an alternative to the App Store.