By John Painter on Mon, 12/28/2009
By Timothy Prentiss on Sun, 12/27/2009
Looking back on the year, I can't help but tote up my winnings (and losses) while playing poker on the iPhone. The good news is that I'm richer than I was earlier this year. The bad news is that those are still virtual dollars.
In the summer 2009 issue of iPhone Life magagazine, my article bragged about being $300,000 ahead in Texas Hold'Em. I'd never played the game before I started playing on my iPhone, so I thought that wasn't bad.
Then an iTunes upgrade wiped out all my data, and I had to start at the Garage again, with no bankroll. I felt like a lot of people this year that way.
But I'm happy to report that my game has rebounded, and before the holidays I went over the $9,000,000 mark. Christmas morning I topped $10 million with a $1.25 million dollar payday in Dubai.
Given the number of games I've played, the improvement might be expected. But I've still averaged over $15,000 in winnings per game, even with the entry fees subtracted.
But before I get too self-congratulatory, I guess I should try playing against real people sometime, with real money...
By Cindy Downes on Sun, 12/27/2009
As a classical music fan, I am really enjoying this app. It's fun, educational and brings back fond memories.
With Classical Music, I can listen to one-minute excerpts of classical music from a variety of composers, learn more about each piece, as well as each of the composers. Afterwards, I can take a quiz to see if I recognize the songs and composers from listening to excerpts.
By Cindy Downes on Sun, 12/27/2009
By Jim Karpen on Sat, 12/26/2009
The website 148Apps has created a competition for the Best App Ever Awards. The goal of the competition is to identify the best apps and games in the iTunes Store — not just the best-selling. Nominations will be closed on December 31, so head on over and make sure your favorite apps have been nominated. The finalists will be announced on January 1, and then you will be able to vote on these finalists through January 31. Click here to nominate, and here to see what apps are currently the popular vote leaders in each of 56 categories. The winners will be announced at MacWorld.
By Cindy Downes on Thu, 12/24/2009
Here’s a fun way to reinforce learning - use the iPhone or iPod Touch and the TeachMe Kindergarten app. With TeachMe Kindergarten, your child can practice addition, subtraction and reading skills using a variety of learning styles – visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
By Cindy Downes on Thu, 12/24/2009
I took the reviveLITE with me to Stillwater when I stayed overnight for my graduation. The reviveLITE is a nightlight and iPhone or iPod charger in one. I like the idea of having a nightlight with me when I’m traveling, and the fact that it charges my iPhone at the same time makes it even better – less cords to bring. (You can turn the nightlight off if you want.)
The biggest problem you may have is finding a suitable outlet in the hotel room. Some rooms do not make them very convenient. But, if you do find the right outlet, this is the gadget to have. I definitely recommend it for travelers.
By Nate Adcock on Wed, 12/23/2009
Being a tech news Junkie, and fond of the superior Ziff Davis line of publications, especially eWeek, I recently noted their list of top 20 iPhone Apps, which were ok, in my opinion--but then some were aimed at System Admin geeks like me. Anyhoo, after monitoring our own blogs and noting the excellent products being reviewed here, I thought we might do our own little end of year round-up. So, I will start it off with some of my favs after the break below (which will include at least one hardware item), and then hopefully a few more bloggers can pile on with posts of their own.
By Tracy Sebastian on Wed, 12/23/2009
I have been taking full advantage of the Voice Control feature of my 3GS. It works great. Some names do need to be simplfied.... It confused my husband and my father-in-law's names. I changed my husband's name to "Husband". Now, I press and hold my earbud mic and say "Call Husband". Problem solved. My wish: a sexy male voice - preferably Scottish.
By Jim Karpen on Wed, 12/23/2009
Our blogger Tari has posted a couple times about the recent influx of programs for recording and broadcasting video via your iPhone, including the first generation and 3G iPhones. iVideoCamera ($0.99) is currently the most popular video recording app. Now ShowTime - Video Recorder ($0.99) has entered the fray, and has much greater capability. iVideoCamera records at 3 frames per second, whereas ShowTime does 6.
By Conrad Blickens... on Wed, 12/23/2009
There is one thing that really frosts me with some iPhone apps: When they sneak advertising into an app under the pretext that it's an upgrade or as part of an upgrade.
I understand that content providers somehow have to pay for their content. Newspapers are closing left and right, magazines are struggling, and no one quite knows how to make money by taking the content online. I really understand that. But please be honest about it! Simply sneaking an obnoxious ad feature into an app as part of an "upgrade" is just not right. Announce it, give people an option, but don't make them "upgrade" to an app that'll then be polluted with ads without first telling them!
By Timothy Prentiss on Wed, 12/23/2009
The MusicSkin (for my iPhone) with John Lennon in front of the Statue of Liberty has arrived, just in time for holiday photo-taking.
The plastic skin fits nicely on the back of the phone. Line up the camera hole (after first punching it out of the plastic) and the rest should fit. It was easy to peel off and reposition. I notice only a few wrinkles.
It changes my color scheme from pure black to a mix of black-and-white. (Other MusicSkins are quite colorful, but this one is more stark.) But it's noticeable. The first time I used it my cool nephew asked, "Where did you get the Lennon phone, Uncle Tim?!"
The image is so clear that you can even read the sign behind John and right at the base of Lady Liberty, which says "Keep Off Grass." I wonder if he thought that would be in the picture. Hmm...
One mistake I made was assuming there was also a clear sheet for the front of the iPhone, so I took mine off. When I put the old one in place I had way too many air pockets and bubbles, so I'll probably have to replace that and do a better job of it.
The packaging says you can also download matching wallpaper from the MusicSkins.com web site, but when I tried from the iPhone I got an error message, telling me it couldn't download the file through Safari. Huh!
This $14 accessory is certainly not essential -- unless you're a Beatles freak. Smile, and say "Peace..."
By Cindy Downes on Wed, 12/23/2009
Do you wonder where that book is you enjoyed so much last month? How about your favorite drill? Maybe you lent it out and can’t remember who you lent it to. You need iLend.
This simple little app easily keeps track of whom you lent what, whether it’s a book, tool, article of clothing, or any other object.
By Eric Pankoke on Tue, 12/22/2009
Games starring Santa seem to have taken a turn towards the violent this year, and Bloody Xmas is no exception to that rule. I'm never thrilled to see Santa spill some blood (though at least you wouldn't be able to see it against his suit), but I'm willing to try and look past it if there's a decent game to be played underneath. Unfortunately, Bloody Xmas just didn't do it for me. There are other games with a similar theme that I found much more enjoyable, and that didn't go quite so overboard in the gore.
By Timothy Prentiss on Tue, 12/22/2009
At a college bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, students can enter to win a free iPhone every day, simply by reselling their textbooks. Staff members said that they have been noticeably busier this sell-back season, though they can't credit the iPhone giveaway completely.
Students who sell their books get to spin the big iPhone-A-Day Giveaway wheel. There are prizes on nearly every slot - though some are freebies such as "An Encouraging Smile" and "A Word of Wisdom." The grand prize is awarded when the wheel lands on a small slice of black with the image of an iPhone.
If the student's spin ends up stopping at the spot next to the iPhone winning area, bad news. That's the only place on the board that doesn't result in a prize of any kind. Nada.
But just think of the excitement as a student spins the big wheel and it finally stops directly on the iPhone space. Pandemonium, right? Joy?
Not for one student. He told store employees that he already had an iPhone, and asked if he could get a Snuggie instead. Staffers convinced him that an iPhone was worth a lot more than a $20 blankie.
And this guy went to my university?? Standards sure have fallen...