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Great video on "crap apps"

The Wall Street Journal has posted a fun video about "crap apps," those apps the are entertaining — and useless. I've posted about some of them. The irony, which isn't of course lost on the Wall Street Journal, is that these apps often make a lot more money than the serious apps.

Quick Look: G.I. Joyride


Since the iPhone world seems to be filled with causal gamers, I'm really surprised G.I. Joyride got overlooked.  The game is made by Trapdoor Inc., and it's the kind of mindless, humorous entertainment that can keep you busy for minutes... or hours if you're not careful.

SafeWallet Released for iPhone and touch!


 "May 5, 2009 - SBSH Mobile Software announced today the availability of its best selling wallet application SafeWallet for iPhone and iPod Touch devices! SafeWallet is a secure storage application designed to help you manage all your private information in one secure solution!

Rumor: AT&T may lower monthly plan by $10

TheStreet.com is reporting that AT&T may lower the price of their monthly service plan to $59, down from $69. The announcement would coincide with the introduction of iPhone 3.0 on June 8 at their developers conference. The rationale is, of course, to broaden the base of iPhone users by making it cheaper.

Top Gun for iPhone and Touch Released!


 Top Gun, a new aerial combat shooter based on the hit Movie was recently released by Paramount Digital Entertainment (developer Freeverse). This is just my first impressions of the game, and you can get it now for a $1.99, and I think it's worth the 2 bucks. I'll circle round to do a full review later, but it's pretty cool.

Panorama with Panolab


I’ve been tinkering with photo apps lately and came across a really excellent app for stitching together your iPhones photos into a panoramic scene, PANOLAB’s free app has a lot of utility with a pretty straight forward interface.  You can load existing photos or just snap photos on the go then piece them together, rotating them with finger movements on the screen with excellent control.  When you get the images aligned just the way you want them, you can then crop and save them. 

Amazing iPhone tricks

MacWorld has posted a series of three articles that offer amazing iPhone tricks: "11 ways to sync your data with an iPhone," "15 great uses for GPS on the iPhone," and "7 Surprising uses for the iPhone’s camera."

Soonr connects you to the mobile cloud, adds project management


The mobile cloud is essential. In the past when we each had a single computer, it wasn't necessary. But now we all have a menagerie of gadgets and computers: home computer, work computer, laptop computer, iPhone, netbook. I was just out of town for a few days, and it would have made my life so much easier if I'd had all of my gizmos in sync. That's what Soonr does for you.

MyWisdom -- thousands of bits of wisdom for .99


MyWisdom is a real gem. It's a well organized collection of bits of wisdom — thousands of quotations from over 500 different individuals — currently on sale for .99. You can view a list of authors — from Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, and Abraham Lincoln, to Marie Osmond, Ben Harper, Nicholas Cage, and Paul McCartney. The range is remarkable. You can also view by category, from Altruism & Cynicism to Work & Recreation.

Print photos from your iPhone via Wi-Fi


Imagine that you're out and about and want to print a photo. With iPrintApp ($1.99), you can stop by any local copy or print store with a Wi-Fi network and print the photo on the spot.

Quick Look: Oceanic


Oceanic is the second game that I've reviewed from Pastel Games, and unlike the first it does not appear to be a flash conversion.  In a lot of ways it feels like it, though.  I think there's a potentially fun game trapped in here somewhere, but as it stands right now Oceanic feels more like a proof of concept than a full fledged game.

Free app offers 3-D sounds of nature


Amazing what's free in the App Store. Naturespace recreates the sound and space of natural surroundings using the latest HD recording technologies.

Google adds product search for your iPhone


You can now get price comparisons for any product you're interested in just by doing a Google search and then scrolling down in the search results until you see the "Shopping results for . . . " link. Click on that link and Google returns a list of companies that offer that product and pricing information — in a format that's optimized for your iPhone. Some products, such as books and electronics, also include info such as online ratings and reviews.

Quick Look: The Corsair for iPhone


Almost a year and a half ago I reviewed the Pocket PC version of The Corsair.  You can check that out here to get all my thoughts on that incarnation of the game.  So how does the iPhone version compare?  Well, it's really basically the same game.  Thankfully, that's not such a bad thing.

Baby Shaker iphone app pulled from app store… Do we need a rating system?

I cannot count the number of times I've heard of useful and cool apps rejected from the Apple store for 'typically' stupid reasons, and when I heard about 'baby shaker' getting through, all I could do was shake my head and think, how did a sick tasteless app like this get through? Well, it took 2 days, (last week, sorry been sick) but now its pulled. At first I was quite happy to see this trash removed, but then I stepped back and started to think about it.. This is tasteless and offensive to be sure. But where is the line?



Here's a novel idea: Geoff Smith, a musician and creator of jingles who got his start doing theme songs for hundreds of top podcasts and eventually also online advertising and marketing firms, has created a ringtone service. You subscribe to his podcast, and each week you receive a new ringtone, plus get access to previous ringtones.

Kindle 2+Stanza = ????


All I can say is…WOW.  And maybe what does this all mean?  Caught this one compliments of Twitter (something else I never thought I would say) but it comes to us via Mike Cane.  Most of you, by now, are well familiar with the Kindle 2, Amazon’s personal eBook reader.  And an awful lot of you are familiar with the iPhone eBook reader, Stanza, which had been the brainchild of Lexcycle.  I have long felt that Stanza was the best and most versatile eBook reader available for the iPhone. 

A Day in The iPhone Life of - Patrick Scoble


This is the first in what I hope will become a regular series of posts – the ‘A Day in The iPhone Life of …’ series.  I’m a complete iPhone ‘apps junkie’ – so I am always fascinated to learn about how other people use their iPhone and all its great apps - which are their favorite apps, their biggest disappointments, which apps they use every day, and all that sort of thing.  My hope is to talk to some notable iPhone users I know, or know of, on the web – people who are tech-savvy and who are iPhone power users, or iPhone devs, or just plain interesting folks who have embraced the iPhone.

I am delighted to say that for this first post in the series, Patrick Scoble has very kindly agreed to be my partner in chat.  Patrick is the eldest son of Robert Scoble, probably the world’s best known tech blogger.  Both of them are iPhone users, but Patrick is the real iPhone expert, as you’ll soon see below.  My questions are in bold, Patrick’s answers in plain text.  We did this interview via IM, so I’ve trimmed out most, but not quite all our little asides that did not relate directly to a question.


Ok, I get the impression you are the resident iPhone expert in the Scoble family - is that roughly correct?

Yeah, I like to think it is. I pay attention to all the rumors and other things revolving around the iPhone. My dad usually does not.

Which iPhone do you own,  a 3G?  And how long have you had one (I believe since Day 1 of first gen launch)?

We were first in line at the Palo Alto Apple store for the original launch, we were also 3rd in line at the San Francisco Apple store for the 3G this last summer. We might be back for this year’s launch too. I currently have a white iPhone 3G.

What smartphone (or dumb phone) did you use before the iPhone?

Actually the iPhone was my first real phone that I really used everyday. This was because it really is a phone that is just everything you need in one product. I was able to replace my phone and iPod with one device which was part of my reasoning behind going with the iPhone in the first place. I couldn't tell you what phone I used since I don't remember, but I can say I didn't use it all that much.

What's the first thing you usually do with the iPhone on a typical day?

The first thing? Well on usual days I might listen to music on my way to school or before class starts.

Via the iPod app or a 3rd party app?

Usually from the iPod app, although I've been known to use the Pandora app from time to time.

Cool - and do you use any iPhone apps to help with school work?

Well apps that are useful for school work are the basic calculator app, Wikipanion for research, and translator apps (such as "Free Translator" although there are others) can also help a bit in language classes. Although, I have to say I don't personally use my iPhone to help me with my school work as much as I could.

Favorite (3rd party) iPhone app of all-time?  Most used?  (if they're not the same)  

Well, lets see here. It really is hard to say what is my personal favorite app as there are a lot of really great ones. Some ones that pop out are Vlingo, Tweetie, Facebook, and MySpace all are pretty well designed apps and ones that I use often. I'm not sure I really could pick out a specific app though, as all these apps really have become almost essential to how I use my iPhone.

Good answer - and great lead-in for next question.  Name 3 apps (or more if you like) that you use just about every day

Oh, and just btw, I'm a big Tweetie fan as well - and I'm liking the new Mac version of it a lot too

Yeah I've heard of the desktop client I have yet to try it though. I'll make sure and check it out now.

Well no matter what comes out app-wise the iPod will always be my top most used app. Music has always been very important to me and I use that app everyday. Another set of apps that are important would probably be MySpace and Facebook (about equally) to get on my social networks, these have quickly became great ways to communicate with your friends and on a device like an iPhone that is especially important. The other app I use everyday is the browser, Safari, to get on the web and check out the different forums I take part in. Those couple apps are probably the ones I really use everyday and are especially important but there are a ton of other apps I use very frequently such as the phone (of course!), sms, and calendar apps.

Makes sense.  How about a worst app you've ever downloaded?  (free or paid)

Hmm that's another tough one just because, and I hate to say it, there are just so many apps that are just really not all that great. I've deleted most of the really poor ones and don't really remember them. I will say I was personally disgusted when that iFart app was at the #1 spot on the chart (I never downloaded it). It's sad to think that something like the App Store which can bring some really useful apps to the iPhone, can also bring things like that but, whatever, to each their own. The only app I have that I have regretted buying is the Star Wars game when it was first released I bought it for $10 only to find it wasn't that fun of a game and one with absolutely no replay value.

Yeah - what is popular in the App Store can be a little scary sometimes

Do you tend to run your phone stock or jailbroken?

I usually use it stock. I have jail broken my iPhones twice. Once, when I first bought the iPhone to check it out. At the time the developer ecosystem wasn't quite there yet and I restored it very fast. However, a couple months ago I jailbroke my 3G and found there to actually be some fairly useful things on there. However, I still only lasted about a week and a half before restoring. It just didn't add enough to the iPhone to justify it. I will say some of the themes I had were cool and using a tool like OpenSSH and creating your own theme and messing around with internal files on the iPhone was quite fun.

Do you keep your dad up to date on all the latest / greatest apps?  Does he like a lot of the ones you recommend? Or has he ever recommended any real gems to you?

I'll recommend apps to him when I find something that is genuinely useful. However, we have two very different uses for our iPhones so not all apps I like will be a good match for him. He also recommends apps to me when he finds really good ones. He actually got me on Tweetie the first time a few months ago. I'm also now using the desktop client on my Mac per your recommendation and I'm enjoying it so far.

Oh, glad to hear it ref the desktop app. 

Have you tried any of the 3.0 betas yet?

No I haven't. I'm not a developer so I feel that it isn't my responsibility to try it. I also don't feel like going through the trouble of pirating firmware that isn't complete yet. I am looking forward to getting my hands on it this summer though, and I'm also watching it's progress. It should be a good update.

What do you most want to see changed / added in a new model and / or the new OS version?

Well as far as hardware I think a scratch-resistant matte plastic backing might be nice, as well as a new camera with a better sensor and auto focus. Software wise they seem to be going down the right road with 3.0. I'd like so see a little more customization possible (backgrounds, icons, etc) I think that might be a neat feature, it definitely isn't a necessity though. Other than that I think I'll wait and see how things go with the new firmware and SDK before I say I want anything else.

Amen on the customization front!  My biggest wish list item - which is not in the 3.0 betas yet - is some ability to arrange and manage apps / home screens in a much more clever way

Yeah customization would be nice.

Any favorite iPhone related sites / forums? 

Well my favorite Mac related forum and website is Macrumors. Their Apple coverage is top notch and they have a very inviting and informational forum there. I've been visiting that site for several years now and always enjoy it. The only other site I can think of off the top of my head was one site that I also found useful when I was hacking my iPhone was hackthatphone.com. That site was a great help when jailbreaking and customizing my phone. For anyone looking to hack their phone or iPod I would send them there.


I’d like to say thanks to Robert Scoble, for helping me arrange this interview with Patrick.  He really does pick up his cellphone, even on a weekend, and is happy to talk to random folks like me who know him via Twitter and Friendfeed and everywhere else he shares his thoughts these days.  And a huge thanks to Patrick – for immediately agreeing to do this with me, for being big fun to talk to on these subjects, and for providing such great answers. I hope we might even do this again sometime with Patrick – maybe once Apple reveals its new model plans this summer. 

Oh, and that is Patrick pictured at the top of this post, with his younger brother, Milan.

Thanks again Patrick …

Spore and the meaning of life


My son and I have been fans of Spore since it came out for the Mac, and really since Spore Origins came out for the iPhone last summer.  I don’t know how many hours we’ve put in navigating its primordial tidal pools and evolving our spores, but the time we’ve spent together playing this game has been substantial.  I think that our time together, learning when to help others and when to defend ourselves is an added bonus.

Hola, iPhone Lifers


Hola and Hello iPhone Lifers!  I'm another new iPhone blogger here, and as you may have guessed, this is just my 'Hi There, I'm new here' post.

I've been a contributing writer for the printed iPhone Life magazine since its debut issue and I'm really looking forward to being an online contributor here as well.  I also run my own iPhone dedicated site, called Just Another iPhone Blog – so though I’m new here, I’m a veteran iPhone app fiend and blogger. :)

Some of the subjects I hope to write about here include: iPhone apps, the App Store, and some of the ways I'd like to see Apple improve things for those of us who are 'app junkies'.

Oh, and since apps and the power of the iPhone OS as a mobile platform, are what most interest me, I also want to talk to lots of interesting people about what apps they use and how they use their iPhone.  In fact, my next post here will be the first in a series called 'A Day In The iPhone Life of ...' - and will feature interviews with some interesting iPhone users.

Hope you'll tune in, or turn up, for that too ...

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