How my new iPhone 3GS made our vacation at "The Happiest Place on Earth" even happier.
For the past couple of years, my family has taken a week-long vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort (WDW) in Orlando, Florida. We go in late January because the crowds are small, the prices are reasonable, and the weather is comfortable (70's, sunny, low humidity). This Christmas, Santa tucked a pair of black 16GB iPhone 3GSs under the tree for me and my wife. Talk about making the nice list! I'll freely (and my wife will begrudgingly) admit that we've been coveting the iPhone since they hit the market. Call it what you will— honeymoon period, new device infatuation, seriously crushing on my iPhone, etc., but it seemed this handy device and the many applications available for it had, in the few short weeks after Christmas, made our lives a bit better than life before our iPhones.
Locate campsites, create checklists, tie knots, survive in the wilderness
With the onset of summer in North America, many people across the continental United States will be gearing up for an active camping season. While sentimental notions of camping "off the grid" persist, most modern camping enthusiasts leverage the latest in portable electronic assistance. This can be in the form of mapping, taking photos, and even watching movies by the glow of the campfire. The iPhone can perform all these functions and more. In fact, thanks to the vibrant developer community many of whom are also outdoor enthusiasts, a wide variety of camping and other outdoor related activity applications are available for the iPhone. This article reviews some of the most notable selections available today.
Students jump with joy and parents slump with trepidation, but the iPhone can help parents endure the summer break.
Long hot days, graduations, BBQ’s, vacations, bug bites, bored kids, and amusement park crowds…all a part of our love-hate relationship with the summer season. For Moms (and Dads or any caregiver), summer means that the kids are "free" from the day-to-day structure of schooling, sports, after-school lessons, etc. While a great time to be a child, it is also a potentially stressful time for parents. It starts off with graduation, then vacations, camps, and inevitably ends with back-to-school shopping. Here are a few apps to make getting through the summer heat a breeze.
Mobiata Brings the iPhone’s Best-Selling Travel App to the iPad
Mobiata announced the launch of their best-selling iPhone applications, FlightTrack and FlightTrack Pro, for the iPad. FlightTrack is the #1 best-selling paid travel application on the App Store and the iPad version takes advantage of the expanded size and capabilities of the iPad to give people an amazing flight tracking experience. Users can track unlimited, multiple flights and watch each flight’s progress on the gorgeous map interface. It looks amazing.
I've been traveling the last few days doing seminars, visiting local attractions, and going to a writer's conference. My iPhone has come in handy MANY TIMES!
First, I used MileBug to keep track of my mileage and expenses for tax purposes.
If you've run up hundreds of dollars of parking tickets, you need this app. The app sets up an alarm to warn you when your time is almost up at your parking meter. That alone could save you some big bucks, but the app does so much more. You can find where you parked your car using GPS markers. If you're in a parking garage, you can input your level and section.
If you're looking for a way to make the most efficient use of your time at Disneyland, this is your app. The app contains comprehensive information about every ride there.
I recently had the chance to chat with Zvika Ashkenazi, the CEO of MobileAppLoader.com and I was able to learn some very interesting things about his company, the services it provides and I also learned how to track App Store sales.
Zvika sent me a graphic detailing January 2010 metrics for DIY iPhone apps. According to the graphic, MobileAppLoader was responsible for creating 436 apps for their customers which include realtors, auto dealers, restaurants, and hotels to name just a few categories.
As you know from my previous posts here, a number of companies have launched in the last year or so to help people and businesses create their own applications, not just for iPhones, but also for other platforms like Android and Windows Mobile. Previously, this sort of service was unheard of. If one wanted software developed, it could get pretty pricey. For large corporations, this was considered 'the cost of business', but for individuals and smaller companies, personalized or customized software was often out of reach.
Now, some people themselves are talented programmers themselves and can make their own apps. Some companies have developers on staff, while some companies can afford to hire an outside developer for a specific project - at a cost of $5,000 to $25,000 - to develop an application from scratch, that kind of budget is out of the reach for many people. Of course, one can get it for less, but even so, a ball-park bargain-basement sort of figure is still around $2,500. And most aren't looking to create super-sophisticated software, and don't really need to consider spending that sort of money anyway.
At the present time, MobileAppLoader claims that they are the #1 Do-It-Yourself iPhone App company. These stats do not include companies which build apps from RSS feeds or companies with less than 30 apps. Zvika explained that he generated this information by typing the name of the developer into iTunes. Now that I know how to do this, I anticipate hours of fun
Since MobileAppLoader doesn't build their apps via RSS feeds, I was curious as to their process. It's done by what Zvika described as a unique "App in a Snap" Wizard. A user signs up for an account on their site, and selects their business category. Then they chose a design from Iron, Bronze, Silver and Gold offerings and upload four images and type in certain details (contact info, URLs, feeds, text, etc...) and finally hits 'submit'. Behind the scenes, the content is then converted to a native iPhone app using objective-C using the Apple X-code development tool, and that process is then followed by a a quick quality assurance to make sure everything is working properly before the app is sent to Apple for review.
Apps built from RSS feeds can be very handy, but MobileAppLoader is very proud of the real-time interactivity of the apps they build using this method. For example, they've built a number of apps for towing companies and the apps include the ability to tell the towing company where you've broken down, show them a picture of your car and ask them to come and get you. So the app makes use of notifications, GPS and the camera. And that's just one example. Auto dealer apps include the ability of the dealer to notify a customer of their next service appointment. Prices start at $59.99 for setup and $4.99 a month.
iPhone Life Staff's Favorite Apps
Getting ready for a trip can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to remember to pack your passport, camera, socks, and other essentials, you also have to get to the airport on time and find a decent and affordable hotel. Most important of all, you have to plan some fun excursions at your destination! Owners of the iPhone rejoice because there are handy apps that make all of these tasks easy. Here are ten of my favorite travel apps, guaranteed to make your travel experience as stress-free as possible.
Traveling used to be so much of a hassle. These iPhone apps can help take much of that hassle away so that you can enjoy your trip from beginning to end.
For 2010, Mashable.com - which has just retooled its look for the new year - had compilied a list of all 700+ iPhone Apps they reviewed in 2009.
As we begin 2010, there are over 100,000 iPhone apps available for download — an overwhelming array of choices, but plenty of gems if you know where to look.