9-Toolbox in Review – Convenience at its best

9toolbox1Rather than calling 9-Toolbox “an” app, I would consider this a collection of apps; grouped together into one icon on the Home Screen of my iDevice, and allowing me to access nine different applications, all with different functionalities.

I kind of like this idea a lot; I really hate to have to search through many pages on my Home Screen to look for that particular app (although this will change with iPhone OS 3.0, but in the meantime it’s a pain). I now know that I only need to look for this particular app, and I can have access to “eight” useful utilities.

For me, of the “eight” tools, there are a few that I will use regularly; one is the currency converter. I particularly like this implementation this utility, because it has inverse and reverse conversion rate, and it also automatically shows the current exchange rate, rather than me having to enter “1” in one of the fields.

9toolbox2Also, the good thing about this utility is that it automatically updates the exchange rates from the Internet, which is a nice touch.

Another very useful utility of the entire suite is the weight unit converter. The reason I find this very handy is because of where I live. In Hong Kong, some people use metric and some do not, hence there is always a need to convert units.

The beauty of this tool is the grouping of the various types of units, which greatly simplified the user interface, and that the entry of the numbers are achieved via a custom keypad, rather than the iPhone OS keyboard, which is a lot bigger and easier.

9toolbox3I won’t dwell that much on the other tools; however, I want to highlight a fact about the entire suite. Having these basic daily utilities grouped into one single application has the greatest advantage of a single unified interface; in this case a single unified “simple” interface, which is key here. The reason being these utilities are daily tools, which serves its purpose best by being quick and painless.

All in all, I think that the idea of this application is great; all the daily utilities being grouped into a single icon, and that the tools are all presented in the same simple interface. The only fault that I can think of is the use of colors in the interface, which just makes the interface unnecessarily confusing. As a free tool though, I think it’s a must-have on any iDevice.

P.S. This review was done when the program was available for free. When 9-Toolbox goes back to USD 4.99, my opinion of this application is entirely different. There are other conversion tools that are available for free at the App Store (MultiConvert, Convert Any Free); the only thing this eventual price tag brings is the unified interface and single icon. You’ll have to be your own judge to see whether it’s worth the dough. Personally, I would not part with that amount of money for those reasons, but it’s just me. If you’re going to be paying for a similar utility, be sure to check out Measures – Unit Converter and ConvertBot ; both are pretty solid tools for a fair price.


App Summary
Title: 9-Toolbox (v1.2.1) Developer: e2ndesign
Price: Free ($4.99 thereafter) App Size: 4.1 MB
  • Simple, unified interface
  • Good performance
  • Easy access to daily tools
  • Excessive use of colors
  • Limited unit categories


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