The graphics on Book Reader are stunning when you first turn it on. The sample book included on the app beautifully displays on a wooden shelf and appears to have a gilt-edge, leather cover. Tap to select the book and it opens to an antique white page with easy-to-read text. It’s very pleasant on the eyes. The pages turn in a way that simulates page turning in a print book. There are even some black and white illustrations included in the sample, which adds to the reading pleasure.
I've found it surprisingly convenient and fun to read books on my iPhone. So I was delighted to see the recent release of 301+ Short Stories for $.99. The app offers hundreds of stories by 89 of classic short story writers, including Charles Dickens, Kate Chopin, Ambrose Bierce, Defoe, Joseph Conrad, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Poe, O. Henry, and H.G. Wells. Lots of my favorite writers here. And now all in the palm of my hand. Plus, you can adjust the text size for easier reading.
I've always loved the sound of thunderstorms, and now I have some great ones on my iPhone. A company called Naturespace has recorded 65 thunderstorms from around the U.S. and put them into the Thundergod app. They use stereo effectively to track the thunder across the sky so that you feel like you're actually in a thunderstorm. There's a sleep timer so that you can fall asleep to these relaxing sounds. The app isn't cheap, at $9.99, but the quality of recording is excellent.
In case we needed another reminder of why it doesn't matter that the iPhone can't multitask, a study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology indicates that most of us can't, either.
Specifically, 75% of people walking down the street while talking on their cell phones did not notice a unicycling clown passing them. (Oddly, neither did 50% of the people who were not talking on cell phones, so really the phone conversation only cuts our attentiveness by an additional half.)
Read about the study in
Telenav, the developers behind the AT&T Navigator application have released an update that now incorporates landscape view and also integrates iPod controls into the application. They have generously offered up 3 one-year subscriptions, so get a related comment up here about your favorite GPS services/apps to have a chance to win a copy (deadline: Saturday, 24 Oct 2009, 11PM EST). YouTube video and contest rules after the break...
Apple recently announced a major shift in how they treat free apps and I have been mulling over what it means to developers, in addition to end users.
In the past, "In-App Purchases", or the ability to add features to an app, were only available for paid apps. Free apps could not be upgraded, short of purchasing the paid version separately. Now, users of these free apps can purchase upgrades.
On one hand, more choices are a good thing. But I have some concerns.
Fanboys and girls are understandable excited that EA has released Rockband for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The base game costs $9.95 and is 158 megs. Each song is reported to be between 10 and 20 megs each. People with smaller capacity devices may have to delete some content.
I can't wait for this, though it will probably never come to rural Iowa. According to a post on the New York Times blog, a new standard has been approved that will let broadcasters use a tiny portion of the broadcast spectrum to send TV signals to mobile gadgets. Can you imagine? Just turn on your iPhone or iPod touch and watch TV. You won't need to be connected to a service or to the Internet. The signal comes over the air. You can read more in the announcement that was released on Business Wire.
I think Siena Entertainment has hit one out of the park with StoryChime's The Queen Bee (.99) a 21st Century take on the Brothers Grimm 1884 Fairy Tail.
Let me walk you through why. According to the company press release, Story Chimes was created by two young fathers who were looking for a way to educationally entertain their kids while promoting a contemporary way to make reading fun.” Well if my son is any indication, they certainly have found a way to make reading fun.
You may have already thought of upgrading to the latest iPhone OS version, 3.1.2.
I myself have completely skipped version 3.1 released in September because both of the bug reports (see for example THIS) and the problems I faced during trying to upgrade on both my iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S.