It's amazing to think that there's an app devoted to a specific shopping day — November 27, the Friday after Thanksgiving. In fact, there are a number of them. TGI Black Friday is a free app that gives you access to over 8,000 Black Friday deals from all the major retailers — before they come out in newspapers. You can browse the deals, search for specific items, create a shopping list within the app of those that you want to focus on, compare prices to confirm you're getting the best deals, and more. You can view deals by store or category, and also view the most popular deals.
If you've been paying close attention, as most developers do, to the App Store, you may have noticed some changes.
- New Releases only show BRAND NEW apps, i.e. version 1.0
- Updates are not included in the New Releases
This is potentially a good thing for users but there are some downsides.
The good news is, you won't have to search through old apps to find new gems. It might also discourage developers from submitting minor updates just to be featured on the New Releases page. That will also cut down on approval time as fewer apps need to be reviewed.
There have been quite a few major updates, announcements, releases lately, since my publishing my previous news catch-up article
slightly more than a month ago. Let me show you some of the most important ones.
(NOTE: I’ve already published some of these pieces of news in my all-in-one roundups and “bibles”. That is, if you do follow them (you should if you really want to know what’s happening on the iPhone scene), you already know of them. If you don’t but, in the future, would like to get notified of new releases / versions of a given application / game genre, don’t forget to subscribe to the given articles. It’s very easy.)
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.
I really like the AP News and New York Times apps and now am going to give the CNN Mobile app a whirl. But unlike most other news apps, ya gotta pay $1.99 for this one. The Associated Press has an interesting article about this novel step by CNN. And the odd thing is, even though this is a paid app, it still has some advertising. Some of the reviews on iTunes trash it for this reason, but others say they're not obtrusive.
Instapaper helps you stay on top of the news when you’re away from a data connection. Use the app or the Instapaper Web site to add your favorite news sources to your account. Then, before you head out, sync the app with the Instapaper Web site. Any new content from your selected sites will be automatically downloaded to your device and be waiting for you to enjoy during your commute into work. You can even use the iPhone’s pinch motion to zoom in or out on an article.
Instapaper: offline access to favorite Web sites
The Associated Press is where your local newspaper gets most of its news. You can use this free app to read all the latest AP news stories as well as view videos and color photos.
It's great to see so many major publications creating apps for the iPhone. Nowadays it seems like every company feels as if it's necessary to have an iPhone app, just as it's necessary to have a website. Polar Mobile has been working hard creating apps for some top magazines, having recently released apps for Time, Sports Illustrated, and BusinessWeek — all free.
INCASE has just released its new Monochrome Slider Case series for Fall 2009. Adding to INCASE's white and black Slider Case family, now a customer can find these sleek and durable cases made of lightweight plastic in 5 new monochromatic colors. The Monochrome Slider Case exterior are not only two-tone in look, but also have a dual textured feel to them. The hardshell case has a soft touch finish that feels comfortable in your hand while protecting your iPhone from impacts and scratches.
Fluent News is a new free app that aggregates news from many sources, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Plus, it claims to be the first app to let you do keyword searches across many sources. Version 1.1, released yesterday, adds the ability to save articles to a Saved section in the app. It also has in-app e-mailing so that you can send interesting news stories to your friends and colleagues — without leaving the application. You can also share news articles via Twitter and Facebook without leaving the app.