iPhone

More evidence mounting of an 8GB iPhone 3GS?

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , , |

 
iPhone-Rogers 
Well, kids, we don’t know if this is a typo, a Freudian slip, or both (or neither), but according to this handy graphic on Rogers’ website the rumored 8GB iPhone 3GS exists — if not for sale, at least for comparison. Keen readers of charts will note that the price listed for the 3GS still starts with the 16GB model, and if you scroll through to the ordering page there is no 8GB 3GS option listed. So, what do you think? Do we have a promising development here, or a simple case of a misplaced check mark? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

Update: Yeah, that’s right: An email from Rogers has confirmed that it is just a typo after all, and that it’s “being corrected asap.”

iPhone comparision

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How I Learned To Quit The iPhone And Love Google Voice

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: Google, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Michael Arrington, Tech crunch

noiphoneAt the end of July I declared my intention to quit the iPhone and AT&T, port my mobile phone number to Google Voice and use any mobile device that I pleased (or lots of them at once) in the future. Like others, I will no longer blindly follow all things Apple. Today I’m pleased to report a status update on those efforts: complete. I am no longer a member of the Cult of iPhone.

Porting my phone number to Google Voice was a three day process, which I was pre-warned about. The mobile carriers in the U.S. have made the porting process between them fairly easy, and it occurs over a couple of hours. But they are in no hurry to help customers move their phone numbers to Google Voice, and so it took a few extra days. Also, I’m one of the first people to port their phone number to Google Voice, and there are always a few hiccups when you’re a guinea pig.

A week ago I was an unhappy AT&T iPhone customer. I couldn’t get cell phone reception here at my house and so I was always missing important calls.

Today I’m a happy Google Voice customer. My old mobile number, which all of my contacts already have, now rings simultaneously on my home Vonage phone and the TMobile myTouch 3G Android phone that I’ve started using (and, by the way, TMobile works just fine here at home, too). If I want to start using a new phone, I can make a switch in the settings at Google Voice and calls will ring through to that instead. no carrier will ever have a stranglehold on me again.

iphoneNot only are calls being sent to both of my phones simultaneously now, but all my voicemails are now aggregated at Google Voice and immediately transcribed and emailed and SMS’d to me (complete overview of Google Voice is here). And since I’m using the Google Voice application for the Android, all my outgoing calls appear to be from my existing phone number, not the one assigned to the phone.

Single best feature of Google Voice: Call blocking. Someone spams my SMS or calls me too much, I click a button and they can never call or SMS me again.

So what’s the downside?

I had to pay the AT&T termination fee of $175. But that’s it.

And this myTouch phone (which TMobile has supplied to me for free for a test period) is an excellent piece of hardware. I believe it is superior to the iPhone 3GS – it loads the camera app and video app faster, and web pages load in about 2/3 the time it takes on the iPhone/AT&T (likely more AT&T’s fault than the iPhone). The Android apps are far more interesting because they have the ability to integrate with any native function (so, for example, Google Voice, banned on the iPhone, has taken over the myTouch native dialer). And I can run persistent apps in the background like Google Talk, which lets me keep a chat window open to contacts all the time.

Google Voice really is nearly perfect. The only thing that would be better is if they became a MVNO and offered mobile services directly as well. And tethering would be a nice feature. But for now I’m extremely happy with my mobile situation. And I plan to never do business directly with a carrier again.

Want to port your mobile number to Google Voice and do what I’ve done? You can’t just yet, but porting will be released later this year publicly. Prepare yourselves, and don’t sign any new long term contracts with your carrier. Life will soon be good for you, too.

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Apple censors iPhone version of Ninjawords dictionary

Posted on August 6, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Jay Hathaway, Downloadsquad.com

The saga of Apple’s inexplicable App Store approval policies just got even weirder. This time, a dictionary iPhone app was rejected for containing profanity, and only accepted once a 17+ rating was attached, and the allegedly obscene words were removed from the app. Even more frustrating is that Ninjawords, the censored dictionary, distinguishes itself by using different sources for its definitions than any other app on the store right now. It could have been a great app.ninjawordsiphoneapp

It’s true that it’s Apple’s store, and Apple is allowed to make the rules, but it’s hard to see how such a crucial part of the iPhone business can continue to expand with rules so sporadically applied. Developers won’t want to develop, for fear of having their apps rejected, or being asked to remove content or functionality before they’re allowed into the store. These same arguments come up every time a legitimate-seeming app gets rejected, but Apple really doesn’t seem to have learned its lesson: rejecting legitimate apps is bad for everyone involved. Censoring a dictionary to protect readers certainly isn’t going to sell any phones.

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Ustream Finally Launches A Recording iPhone App. No Live Video, But A Lot Of Options.

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By MG Siegler, Tech Crunch

For several months now, Ustream has had an iPhone app that allows you to view video from the service. But “view” is the keyword there. You could only watch it, you could not record and send your own video back from the iPhone. But starting today, you finally can.

iphoneThe new Ustream Recorder is a free application available in Apple’s App Store that allows you to send video from your iPhone to the web. Unfortunately, despite long-standing talk that it might be able to send live video from your iPhone to the web, that is not the case. Instead, Ustream appears to be attempting to use some spin by calling it a “live-to-recorded video recorder” — um, okay, isn’t all video at some point technically recorded live? Yes, it is.

Mentioning “live” was not necessary here because this app does not stream video live. Not that it’s Ustream’s fault, it’s Apple that doesn’t currently allow apps that do that in the App Store. So instead, this app records video and then uploads it to the web. The problem is that there are already a number of other apps out there that do this, like Kyte and 12cast. But Ustream wants to challenge them on the iPhone by offering more options.

The app gives you the option to share you videos to Ustream, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or Ustream on Facebook. This makes the app much more flexible than its competitors when it comes to deciding where you want to send your video. Ustream also promises high-quality video from the app, which isn’t a surprise given the quality that Kyte’s app outputs.

Also interesting is that the app allows edit and manage videos that are already up on Ustream, even if they weren’t recorded with the iPhone. You simply pull download them to edit them.

But the reason why Ustream isn’t too bummed about its app not offering live-streaming is that they envisioned it used in another way, with another new service they’re launching.

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iPhone 3.0 wrap-up: Cut and paste, MMS, Push, and more

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , |

By Devin Coldewey, Mobilecrunch

iphoneheadline

We’ve just finished liveblogging the event, and the iPhone 3.0 press conference has definitely yielded some delicious morsels of functionality. Here is pretty much everything you need to know, though as things get more clear throughout the day, we’ll update this post. You guys will probably be seeing these features sometime this summer.

We’ll have pictures and a hands-on in just a few minutes so keep your eyes open.

iPhone 3.0 Features for you:

• Push
• PUSH!
• Bluetooth will be used to auto-discover nearby people for games without any pairing. They then can communicate via Wi-Fi. Hopefully it’s secure, it could be nice.
• There will NOT be background processing, no matter how much you want it. Reduces battery life. As if battery life could get much worse, noted a commenter.
• Cut, Copy and Paste: This feature was seen riding a dinosaur into the auditorium. Anyway, it’s finally here and it even applies to image(s). Simply double tap a word and it gets highlighted with “cut, copy or paste” above. For a block of text you just tap a word and drag the edges. It works across all applications. It seems like anywhere the magnifier works, copy and paste will work. If you accidentally paste the wrong word or phrase then just shake the iPhone for an “Undo” prompt. To redo just shake again.
• Meebo coming as a native app for iPhone. That sounds nice.
• New “home” screen to the left of your current far-left one. It has a Spotlight search, looks for stuff all over your phone.
• Calendar supports CalDAV now, you can subscribe to other calendars online. Useful for syncing with your spouse or whatnot, even if they’re on Google or Yahoo.
• Many apps will now support internal search, including Mail. It’s incomplete (doesn’t search message contents) but it’ll search IMAP servers, so if you’ve got GMail for instance you’ll be good. A collective sigh of relief emanates from iPhone owners.
• Landscape keyboard all up in every app you can think of.
• Multimedia Messages! This feature flew in on a Pterodactyl.
• Stereo Bluetooth. I know how much you love that, honey, so I just went and got it for you.
• Hotspot auto-login. Because you love Starbucks but don’t want to waste time inputting passwords.
• Send and receive files between your iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s awesome.

3.0 features for App store and Developers:

• Apps can talk directly to accessories — FM transmitters, stereos, anything you like. Expect a lot of bundled apps with your iPhone bundled apps. How about an NES-like iPhone controller for those emulators?
• You can get subscription apps now, in case you weren’t paying enough already.
• Apps can now use voice communication. I foresee controversy.
• Embeddable maps for developers. Now they won’t have to launch Maps outside their application. Handy for shopping apps.
• Buy stuff in-app: I’m calling this the “Sims” feature. You could also use it to buy books for a reader, or new maps for a game, that sort of thing.
• Turn by turn directions in navigation apps now. First one probably from Telenav.
• Apps can access the user’s library of music and videos, so you could have the background music in a game be the user’s.
• Lots of new APIs, too many to list here but if you’re a dev you’re gonna check it out.
• Tethering support is in there, but “will depend on each carrier on supporting it.”

The upgrade will be free for iPhone users, but iPod Touch folks will have to shell out $10, like last time.

Well, we didn’t get fixes for a lot of our issues with the iPhone, but a lot of this stuff will be really handy. Search and push in particular will make this a lot more useful for business types. We’ll let you all know as soon as we know anything more, say about the release date for this big mother of an update.

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iPhone OS 3.0 Gallery and New Podcast Features

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Greg Kumparak, Mobilecrunch

The more our guys play with the the new iPhone OS 3.0 firmware, the more little gems they’re finding. Tucked away within the Podcast playback screen are a few subtle changes that went unmentioned during today’s announcement. Apple did say there were some 100 new features in the new OS, so it’ll probably be awhile before we see them all.iphone

New Podcast Features:

•The Repeat and Shuffle buttons are gone (probably because they’re rarely used with podcasts, as they tend to be much longer than songs).
•The top left of the screen now features a mail icon, which currently just crashes the app. We’d assume this lets you send someone the iTunes link.
•In the center, directly below the scrubber, is a button that allows you to instantly rewind by 30 seconds.
•On the right is a Speed modifier, allowing you to playback podcasts at double or half their normal rate
•Variable speed scrubbing: We’re not sure if Apple has a name for this yet, but we like “Super Scrubbing”. Scrubbing is a fancy term for jumping to the right spot by grabbing the little marker in the timeline and dragging it around. Scrubbing to the perfect spot in a really long audio file is tough – but they’ve made it a whole lot easier. If you hold the marker dead-on, you scrub as normal. If you continue to hold but slide your finger up above the marker, the iPhone goes into “High Speed” scrubbing mode, lowering precision and moving the marker further relative to your finger. If you instead slide below the marker, it enters Half Speed scrubbing mode, which increases precision and allows you to jump around in smaller increments. Continue sliding downward and it enters Quarter speed – you can guess what that one does.

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2G iPod touch to have Bluetooth capability unlocked by iPhone OS 3.0

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

apple-2009-iphone

Looks like that Bluetooth chip in the iPod touch 2G we’ve always thought was for Nike+ suddenly got a lot more useful: Apple’s Greg Joswiak said that Bluetooth can be “unlocked” on the device during the iPhone OS 3.0 Q&A session. That’s two years of rumors put to rest, right there, and a solid move, seeing as three of the major 3.0 features are A2DP, wireless accessory control and peer-to-peer connections over Bluetooth. Any touch owners feeling more inclined to drop the $9.95 now?

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New social app Foursquare is Dodgeball Part Deux

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Jay Hathaway

foursquareiphone

Dodgeball was legend amongst Internet social junkies. This cool mobile app let you know where your friends and crushes were, and made meeting up easy. It was so beloved that there was a farewell party in San Francisco when the site shut down. Something with that much community support can’t stay dead for long, though, so now there’s Foursquare, a Dodgeball “sequel” from one of the guys behind Dodgeball.

So, what does Foursquare do? Like Dodgeball, it lets you check in from your phone when you go somewhere. Foursquare has several ways to do this, via iPhone, a mobile web interface, or good old text messaging. Foursquare also has Twitter integration, so you can get/send checkins through Twitter’s direct message interface. It’s launched in 12 cities so far, so go check if yours is supported. Dodgeball is dead, long live Dodgeball.

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iPhone OS 3.0 hands-on!

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

iphone

We’re not saying how, but we got hooked up with the beta of iPhone OS 3.0. Overall, things feel about the same until you flick left that extra time and hit the Spotlight screen, which works just as advertised. It’s definitely a beta, though: it’s laggy all around and some things don’t work, like taking a photo directly in the MMS app. We took some quick snaps, check ’em out below and let us know what you want to see in the video!

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iPhone OS 3.0 preview event is Tuesday, and we’ll be there live!

Posted on March 16, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Joshua Topolsky, Engadget

iphone-3-new

If you’re on the edge of your seat about the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 event, have no fear — we’ll be there live and direct from Apple HQ bringing you the minute-by-minute news as it happens. Just tune in right here come Tuesday, March 17th, and experience the best liveblog on the internets. What do you guys expect to see? Copy and paste (so sad we even have to ask)? MMS (also sad)? Holographic Woz (not sad at all)?

As a reminder, here’s when the whole shindig is set to start:

07:00AM – Hawaii
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
05:00PM – London
06:00PM – Paris
02:00AM – Tokyo (March 18th)

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5 iPhone apps for old school computer geekery

Posted on March 16, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , , , , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad

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There are all kinds of fancy modern things that you can do with your iPhone, including all the techno-superhero things Jay covered in his post.

What if you like things that are a little bit more nostalgic? Here are five apps packed with old-timey computing goodness!

These are all available through iTunes – no jailbreaking required!

Fortune [iTunes link] – Ever wish you could tap into the wisdom of Fortune’s terminal quotes no matter where you are? This app is a faithful port for the iPhone, right down to the monochromatic fixed-width font.

Chip-8 Emulator [iTunes link] – It’s no surprise that a computer system considered cutting-edge in the 1970s can now be emulated on a handheld device like the iPhone. Geardome’s app allows you to play all the Chip-8’s vintage public domain games in their full-on low-fi glory.

Sid Player / Sid Player Lite [iTunes Link] – The iPod started out as audio-only, so this one’s sort of doubly-old school because it plays Commodore 64 SID files. The full version ($2.99) provides access to more than 35,000 songs from the High Voltage Sid Collection and includes soundtracks from classic games and musicians. The free Lite version provides more limited access.

HAL 9000 [iTunes link] – What are you doing, Dave? Why, he’s installing HAL-9000 on his iPhone, of course! Take history’s best-loved demented computer with you everywhere. Launch it and cackle any time you want to reassure people that you’re not all there yourself.

iMud [iTunes link]- Apple loves to flaunt all the shiny, new games you can play, but what about classic text-based gaming? iMud (from the developer of Metal Mudder for Mac) is $4.99, but it’s a great mobile interface for playing all your favorite classic MUDs like Wheel of Time and Mozart. Don’t forget to visit MUD Connector to search for a MUD that’s to your liking.

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iPod touch 2G Jailbroken by iPhone Dev Team

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , |

By Chris, Mobilewhack

Apple iPods

The iPhone Dev Team has jailbroken the iPod touch 2G and it’s all free for you to use. You can always get that $15 NitroKey Slipstream iPod touch 2 jailbreak solution but why not get the free version instead? From what we hear, NitroKey uses the Dev Team’s code and the team didn’t want anyone to charge for something that’s supposed to be free. Why didn’t they launch the free version earlier? Well the Dev Team wanted to keep that jailbreak-enabling security hole under wraps until Apple released a new iPhone.

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iSynth Brings Microsoft’s Powerful 3D Photo Viewer Photosynth To The iPhone

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Microsoft | Tags: , , , |

By Jason Kincaid, Techcrunch

obamashot

iSynth (iTunes Link) is a new application that brings Microsoft’s impressive Photosynth 3D photo viewer to the iPhone. Photosynth stitches together user-submitted photos of the same subject, allowing users to ‘fly-through’ the area by clicking on each successive photo. The technology works best in places and events with many user-submitted photos (popular Synths include the Taj Mahal and President Obama’s inauguration). The site is very fun and often gorgeous, and is certainly worth checking out if you haven’t seen it before.

iSynth brings much of the functionality of the original Photosynth to the iPhone, and for the most part it works well. In fact, the touch-screen interface makes the experience even more intuitive than the original – tapping on the screen causes the app to zoom in on the highlighted photo, shifting the viewer’s position in the 3D scene. Unfortunately, because the iPhone’s screen is so much smaller than a computer monitor the feeling of ‘walking through’ each scene isn’t quite as good as it is on the original application, but it’s still fun nonetheless. And the application is perfectly suited for those moments when you just need to kill time for a few minutes – just fire up the app and take a virtual stroll around the Taj Mahal.

The free iPhone application was developed by Greg Pascale, a former Photosynth intern who received permission to build the app from Microsoft (though Microsoft didn’t build the application and does not support it). Also worth checking out is Microsoft’s Seadragon Mobile (iTunes link), which allows users to flick through large albums of high-resolution photography, including 2D versions of albums from its Photosynth product.

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Radar for iPhone finds Flickr support

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , |

By Greg Kumparak, Mobilecrunch

iphone-flickr

Heres an idea: If you’re looking to build up your social site’s user base, add support for a popular, similarly focused (but not directly competitive) social site to your network’s iPhone application. It may sound crazy (who wants to promote someone else’s brand?), but that’s exactly what Radar, a social network for sharing cameraphone images and videos, is doing. This morning, Radar has released an update to their iPhone application which adds Flickr support to the mix.

Though Radar and Flickr are quite similar in that they’re both intended as repositories for your photographs, their finer focus differs just enough for this idea to work. Flickr is generally used for collections of high resolution images, with the comments area serving as a grounds for conversations that stretch on indefinitely. Radar, on the other hand, is more for spur-of-the-moment, heres-what-I’m-doing-right-now type stuff.

It also helps that free Flickr support on the iPhone is currently mostly unclaimed; searching for “Flickr” on the iPhone returns a handful of Flickr-friendly uploaders, less than half of which are free. Of these free applications, very few have more than 50 reviews. While the number of reviews isn’t an absolute indication of the number of downloads, it’s generally relative. In other words, it doesn’t seem like any of these applications have really taken off. Radar only added Flickr support this morning, yet already shows up in the first page of results for the term (albeit at the very bottom.) Flickr has a rather substantial user base; if Radar manages to become the go-to application for Flickr, they might just pull enough eyes toward their own service to make the endeavor worth while. That said, if Flickr ever gets around to releasing their own official iPhone offering (beyond the m.flickr.com Web App), it would likely take the throne pretty quickly.

Therein lies the flaw of Radar; while the concept is grand, it seems.. replaceable. It’s an entire social service built up around a single idea, and it’s an idea that other social sites can get (and pretty much have already got) up and running quite easily. Facebook’s iPhone app, for example, allows the user to upload mobile photos straight their profiles for sharing and commenting. The same can be said about Twitter, of course – it’s an entire social service build up around a single idea (a similar idea, really – just text, rather than images). But Twitter succeeds in that the format promotes efficient (or at least brief) conversation and open dialog that tends to branch out into many more conversations. Would the conversation flourish as well if pictures were required at the beginning of each?

As a piggyback application for services like Flickr and Twitter, I see it working; as a standalone service, I’m not sure I see the point.

Ah, well – Radar is free and does as advertised. If you’re looking for a solid Flickr uploader, it’s worth checking out. Here’s the iTunes link.

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Manage fantasy sports teams from your iPhone with Y!Fan

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Jay Hathaway, downloadsquad

yfansports

I might be the only writer at Download Squad who’s excited about this, but baseball season is just around the corner. That means fantasy baseball leagues are drafting now. Like a lot of sports dorks, my fantasy site of choice is Yahoo. Although they’ve improved their web interface over the years — by adding drag-and-drop roster editing, for example — it’s still not fun trying to manage your team from an iPhone. That’s where a third-party app called Y!Fan comes in.

Y!Fan isn’t pretty, but it (mostly) gets the job done. Although it’s baseball season now, Y!Fan lets you manage your roster in other Yahoo sports, too. It doesn’t support trades or add-drops yet, which is a big limitation, but it can save you some points if you’re away from your computer and you need to put a pitcher in at the last minute. You can also use it to check player stats, and the all-important league standings. It’s not perfect, but so far it’s the only one out there.

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iPhone nano Arrives in June

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Chris, Mobilewhack

Yes we know Apple will not launch an iPhone nano but the rumors keep on going. So it’s our duty to deliver all those nasty rumors to you. The iPhone nano should be launched in June by Steve Jobs during a special event. The phone will have the size of the iPhone 3G’s current screen. The home key will be moved to the right edge of the device and the mini phone will have the same features of the iPhone 3G. As for color expect it to arrive in red, black and white. Now that you have all the hot details, remember it’s all an unconfirmed rumor and move on.

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The ur-iPhone in action

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: |

By John Biggs, Crunchgear.com

The guy who is trying to sell the original prototype iPhone on eBay just posted a video of this mutant in action. Thrill to half-hearted UI! Wonder in awe at the strange color scheme! Enjoy the brain-dead YouTube comments!

Check it out now before Apple tears this stuff down for trade secret violation.

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UStream iPhone Video Broadcasting Application

Posted on March 9, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Brian, Mobilewhack.com

ustreamtv

An application that is more or less similar to the Qik application, streaming video needs on the iPhone are pegged to get a big boost with this new UStream iPhone video broadcasting application that is vying for a place on the Appstore.

The good news is that their latency from streaming to watching is pretty good (about 2-3 seconds), which is live enough to be called live. Not good enough, though, for having a conversation with really.

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Carnival Hammer for the iPhone

Posted on March 8, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Greg Kumparak, Mobilecrunch.com

Step right up, ladies and gentleman! Test your strength and potentially break the hell out of your iPhone!

Carnival Hammer is a new game for the iPhone that simulates.. well, a carnival hammer. You know, that game where you smash a little pad with an awkwardly weighted hammer to try and impress your lady friend with your smash-a-little-pad-with-an-awkwardly-weighted-hammer skills?

It’s a cute idea, and the game looks like it was designed well – but look, iPhone developers. Remember all that nonsense when the Wii first came out where people who sucked at holding onto things were flinging the Wiimotes into their TV sets? Nintendo had to double up the strength of their wriststrap – but that wasn’t enough, so they wrapped the remotes in a pillow. The iPhone doesn’t have a hole for a wrist strap, and people probably aren’t going to wrap their iPhones up in big padded jackets. Making use of the accelerometer is great, but any game that promotes people thrusting the iPhone through the air as hard as they can is probably a bad idea.

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Jailbreakers Junction: Cydia Store and others to sell apps outside of the App Store

Posted on March 8, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Greg Kumparak

jailbreakerLong before the launch of Apple’s official App Store, Jay Freeman (otherwise known as Saurik) unleashed Cydia, an open repository of third-party applications for jailbroken iPhones and iPod Touches. If you knew the right server addresses (or “Sources”), you could get just about anything. Sure, some folks use it for getting around that whole “paying for stuff” thing – but for most users, its primary use is the distribution of applications that Apple won’t allow in their store. It’s the only way to get recording or streaming video apps (Cycorder and Qik, respectively) or tethering apps (PDANet) onto your iPhone, for example. The only snag: if developers want to sell their application, they have to handle payments themselves. But that’s about to change.

Some time today, Saurik will be pushing an update to Cydia that adds a simple billing process, called Cydia Store, to the mix. If an app developer wants to make a bit of change from their jailbroken app, Cydia will handle the transaction process. According to the WSJ, Cydia’s cut will be no larger than Apple’s. Also mentioned in the article are RockYourPhone, currently invite-only, and an unnamed store planning on peddling goods of a more X-rated variety.

I’ve bought.. er, I mean, I know a dude who has bought a few apps found on Cydia, and the payment processing methods were cumbersome – not to mention a bit shady. Anything that makes things more straight forward is a welcome change. Well, at least we think it is; Apple probably won’t agree.

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No $.99 BlackBerry Apps for you (prices start at $2.99)

Posted on March 6, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , |

By Brad Linder, ddownloadsquad.com

blackberry-apps

Research in Motion is in the process of launching an app store that will let users purchase and download software directly from their Blackberry mobile devices. You know, kind of like the iPhone App Store. But for BlackBerry.

But there’s at least one thing setting the BlackBerry App World store apart from the competition: prices will start at $2.99. The companies has released a FAQ for developers explaining the pricing tiers. And it looks like you’ll be able to find free apps in the store. But the suggested pricing for paid apps starts at $2.99 and goes up to $999.99.

Now, it’s possible that these prices aren’t written in stone. RIM does refer to them as “suggested retail prices.” But it’s also possible that this is RIM’s way of ensuring that the company’s app store isn’t filled with frivolous apps like the fart app craze that has recently overtaken Apple’s app store.

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Apple to release iPhone in China?

Posted on March 6, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World |

By Justin Mann, TechSpot.com

mac-3g-iphoneApple might get the chance of move into one of the biggest markets in the world, after recent findings that the chairman of China Unicom has been negotiating to bring the iPhone to that country. The company has been trying to enter the Chinese market for a while, also negotiating with state-owned China Mobile, but has yet to introduce any iPhone hardware within their borders. After negotiations with the latter provider broke down, it seemed Apple’s plans for China would be significantly delayed. Now it seems likely Apple is getting ready for another launch.

That’s not to say success is guaranteed. As mentioned in the article, Apple may have an uphill battle in China. The company has had adoption issues in other eastern countries, such as Japan, who has not been very receptive to the iPhone. On top of that, China already has a considerable number of knock off iPhones, which clone it in form and function to varying degrees. Still, with the sheer number of potential customers in China, Apple at least has to try.

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Yahoo’s Inquisitor Makes Search Shine On The iPhone

Posted on March 5, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Yahoo | Tags: , , , |

By Erick Schonfeld, Techcrunch.com

inquisitor-iphone

Last May, Yahoo acquired a startup called Inquisitor which offers a search plug-in for all the major browsers. Today, Inquisitor is available as an iPhone app and it shows how certain features, such as Yahoo’s Search Assist, really shine on a mobile device where you want to keep your typing to a minimum.

When you start typing a search in Inquisitor, a list of suggested keywords automatically appears below (just as it does on Yahoo’s regular search engine on the Web). The more letters you type, the more refined the suggestions become, allowing you to select one before completing the word in the search box. Results are presented in large, easy-to-read gray boxes, with favicons and two lines worth of text. Abbreviated news results from two sources appear at the very top if they are available, and can be clicked through to see only news results.

Once you click through to a Webpage or article, it is framed by the app. A toolbar at the top allows you to return to your search, making for more fluid navigation. You can always escape the app to view the app in the iPhone’s regular Safari browser as well. There is also an option for emailing links.

Despite all the advances in mobile Web devices, they are still constrained. Features that simplify navigation or remove unnecessary steps can still be the difference between a usable app and one that you never return to. Inquisitor is one app on the iPhone I will be returning to when I want to do searches, which is often.

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Loopt adds “Friends you may know” and advertisements to their iPhone app

Posted on March 5, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Tech News | Tags: , |

By Greg Kumparak – Mobilecrunch.com

iphone-app1Social networks suck if you can’t find friends that use them. This is especially true for those social networks oriented around sharing your location; for the most part, you end up knowing where you and three other people are before you get bored and give up. Following a trend made popular by Facebook, the mobile social mapping service Loopt has added a “Friends You May Know” feature to their iPhone application, allowing you to find and follow friends-of-friends without having to know their mobile number. Fun new features don’t just write them selves, though, so Loopt has also added a few advertisements throughout the application for the sake of getting some revenue out of their iPhone endeavors.

Before this release, not knowing someones mobile number also meant you couldn’t be their friend on Loopt. You could always hop into “Mix” mode, which allows you to chat with people in your general area, but making that friendship connection still required asking them to send over their digits. With this new addition, you just need to know the mobile numbers for a few of their friends. Of course, if someone doesn’t want you to know their phone number, they probably don’t want you to know where they are, either – so you’ll still need their explicit approval.

The concept has proven quite successful on other services (friend counts seemed to sky rocket when the feature was added to Facebook back in March of last year), and it should prove especially useful for Loopt. A good half dozen or more services are battling for users in the social mapping arena right now, and Google’s entry into the field doesn’t make things any easier. Add in the fact that the entire concept is fairly new and relatively foreign to most, and Loopt needs to make every possible connection as easy to discover as possible.

As mentioned above, this is the first iPhone Loopt release to carry advertisements. Nothing too obtrusive here – they went with AdMob ads, which most iPhone users should be perfectly used to seeing just about everywhere.

Oh, and the mandatory disclosure: Loopt built a special version of their application for TechCrunch users, and we consider them a sponsor. The TC’d version doesn’t carry the new friend finding feature yet unfortunately, but it should find its way in before too long.

You can find Loopt for iPhone on iTunes here. [iTunes Link]

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280 North’s Atlas bridges the gap between Web Apps and native iPhone applications

Posted on March 5, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Greg Kumparak – Mobilecrunch.com

Back when the iPhone first launched and the App Store was still a twinkle in Apple’s eye, the only way to get your goods onto the platform was to develop them as an iPhone-optimized web page – otherwise known as an iPhone Web App. Unable to make use of much of iPhone’s functionality (like the GPS, camera, etc.), Web Apps were quickly considered the inferior option when Apple unshackled the iPhone SDK, opening the doors for the standalone Objective-C apps which have since flooded through the App Store. It was great news for Objective-C developers and consumers looking for rich applications – but not so much for those who’d grown accustomed to developing for the web.

At the recent Future of Web Apps conference in Miami, Y-Combinator-backed 280 North announced Atlas, a drag-and-drop visual editor for building desktop web applications with Cappuccino, 280 North’s Javascript-based framework. Near the tail end of the presentation, 280 North co-founder Francisco Tolmasky gave the audience a sneak peek of one of Atlas’ best features: iPhone support. The real trick? Atlas can wrap up iPhone Web Apps like native applications, granting them access to a significant portion of the iPhone API and allowing them to be sold through the App Store.

This lowers the barrier of entry for iPhone development substantially, allowing those with Javascript knowledge to create fully functional applications on the platform without requiring them to learn a whole new language. The same limitations that apply to Javascript apply here, presumably – in other words, don’t expect to be throwing down ultra-rich OpenGL-based 3D games, but mid-range apps (such as Twitter clients, RSS readers, etc.) should be completely doable.

How the API-related stuff works is still a bit of a mystery. 280 North is keeping mum on their methods for the time being – not only for the sake of maximum impact when Atlas launches in the coming months, but also because they’re still determining which of a handful of approaches will work best. I’d assumed that Atlas compiled the user’s code within a wrapper which served as a middle man, passing API calls to the iPhone and returning the results, but a quick chat with Tolmasky indicated that this wasn’t necessarily the case.

If it works as demonstrated, it’s a wonderful idea. We’ll have to keep an eye on this one.

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