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.
The Yahoo app is found in the App Store’s News category, most likely because the first two screens in the app display the latest news. However, the app offers much more for the iPhone and iPod touch user.
How my world changed when I got an iPhone
I’m a refugee from the land of the dinosaur phone, where you hit a button three times to get a “C” and four times to get an “S.” You can imagine how my world changed when I got the iPhone. My first discovery was that the onscreen keyboard makes it a lot easier to compose and send e-mail or texts. I love that I can access my three e-mail accounts wherever I am. I no longer have to wait until I get to the office to be on top of the action.
As a newer member of Toastmasters International and someone who gives occasional presentations in my work, I found the Presenter Pro app to be extremely helpful.
Once you have a list of the items you want to claim, the next step is to contact your insurance company. You’ll probably need to talk to a representative to make the claim, but first you have to navigate through an annoying, automated phone system. To quote Christine, “Who wants to navigate through a bunch of menus when you’re in that situation?” This is when Dial 0 can help.
Dial Zero lets you bypass automated
systems and talk to a person.
I just got a press release saying that the free WhitePages Mobile is used by over 2 million people on a variety of platforms. And I'm going to be one of them. I can't remember the last time I used a phone book, since I've long been in the habit of using Google for a phone number lookup. And now when I'm away from my computer I can conveniently use WhitePages Mobile for lookup. Plus, it has quite an array of useful features. You can use it for people and business search, as well as for reverse lookup (find out who's associated with a particular phone number).
This has been a busy week or so for the App Store, so I thought I'd chime in with my observations, as a user and developer.
First, Apple took a major step forward toward enhancing the structure of the App Store, by adding Keywords. Now, when developers submit apps, they must include 100 characters of keywords that will be part of the approval process. Before, Digital Chocolate, a game developer, had the word "ea." as in the abbreviation of 'each', repeated several times in their descriptions. The result was, searches for "EA" as in EA Sports, returned only Digital Chocolate apps! EA complained, and Apple listened.
With some 65,000 apps, it's hard sometimes to find the ones that will meet your needs the best. And it's sometimes hard to sort through the App Store reviews to determine whether the app is worth your time and/or money. Two resources can help. One is the website 148Apps, which has just been selected by PC magazine as one of the top 100 websites, and will appear in the Undiscovered Tech category. This site has great reviews of apps, but also five very helpful Top 148 Apps lists: All time Top Apps, Free iPhone Apps, Free iPhone Games, Top Paid Apps, and Top Paid Games.
This one is a dictionary app with spelling and definitions for more than 275,000 words and a thesaurus with 80,000 synonyms. No Internet connection is required for the dictionary and thesaurus content, all of which is installed on your iPhone or iPod touch. However, all that content occupies a big chunk of memory. After I installed it on my iPhone, my free memory was reduced by about 240 MB. The app includes audio pronunciations, similarly spelled words, and Word of the Day. Note that you do need to be connected to the Internet to use these last three features.
Years ago, when I got my first PDA, I imagined a day when I could speak to any person on the planet using a personal language translator. Future Apps, Inc. has nearly fulfilled that dream with its series of iSpeak language translation references, including iSpeak Spanish shown here. The user still has to peck away on the onscreen keyboard to enter the word or phrase, but iSpeak will display the translation and “speak” it accurately. Translations work in either direction (English to Spanish or Spanish to English). The output is very accurate. This is a self-contained app.