Add barcode readers, augmented reality, fax, language translation, heart rate monitor, and more to your iPhone or 4th gen iPod touch
The range of creative and practical apps that use the camera in unusual ways is astonishing. Who would have thought that you could use it as a heart rate monitor or a business card reader? There's even an app for those who are colorblind, to show them the colors present in any object you photograph.
Apple made a brilliant decision when it let developers create apps that access the camera input and use it in non-traditional ways. In this month's column, I offer a roundup of some of these apps.
You need to calibrate this so that it's accurate, so I haven't taken the time to try it. But they claim that you can actually use your iPhone as a thermometer. You can see a video of the process of calibrating the Thermos app ($1.99), and then see it actually measure the temperature, on YouTube.
by Bryan Schmiedeler
When the iPhone was introduced in June 2007, AT&T’s 2-year contract required a data plan—there was no cell-only option. But the pricing of $30 a month for unlimited data was groundbreaking. The carrier killed the unlimited option exactly three years later. Existing agreements are honored as long as you don’t let them lapse, but all new users have to choose between a 200MB/month ($15/month) or 2GB/month data plan ($25/month). Going over your data limit is not cheap: $15 for an additional 200MB or $10 for 1GB, depending on your plan.
Now that we're closing in on the holiday season, you absolutely must have a bar code scanner. These apps are tremendously popular, and for good reason. You're in a store, you find something you like, you scan the bar code with your iPhone's camera, and then you find out where you can buy it for the lowest price. Typically these apps are location aware, in case you want to buy it at a nearby store. And typically, they also have maps and directions that show you how to get to the store with the lowest price. And — they're free! Why would anyone go without one of these?
Engadget has recently reported that there is an iPhone DST Bug causing alarm clocks to go off an hour later than they are supposed to; even though their clocks have switched over to Standard Time. The blog post also reports that this same problem occurred in Australia when their Daylight Savings Time ended. So if the problem isn't fixed then we are next.
Engadget- iPhone DST bug causing alarms to fail across Europe
NCH Software, a leading provider of audio and telephony tools, has just released Pocket WavePad for the iPhone. (There's not yet an iPad-specific version.) It lets you record audio and edit the recordings, apply audio effects, reduce background noise, and easily email or upload the audio files that you've recorded.
This is an update to my previous all-in-one PDF iPhone / iPad reader roundup published HERE.
I haven't elaborated on some subjects in the original article. Let's take a closer look at them.
1.) JPEG2000 images embedded in PDF files with aren't supported – they simply aren't shown.
To quickly fix this issue, before transferring the file to your iOS device, just open it in OS X's Preview and select File / Save As.
An example of this showing the page of Building iPhone OS Accessories Devices by Apress with the missing images (click the images for the full-sized version of much better quality):
Did you know you can ask your iPhone for the time of day? I often forget about using Voice Command on my iPhone. It's a great way to use the iPhone in a hands-free situation. It is especially useful while driving or when you need one of your hands free to do something else. Below is a list of commands you can use.
Commands for making a call:
“Call”/”dial” plus name or telephone number
Command for use with the iPod function
“Play playlist” plus playlist name.
“Play playlist gym songs”.
“Play album” plus name.
These apps set the quality bar high for future utility apps
$2.99 (iPad and iPhone/iPod touch version), app2.me/2604; Free versions, app2.me/2605
Utilities improve or extend the capabilities of your device—in sometimes simple and often unique ways. In this section you'll find apps that help you tune musical instruments, convert measurements, track shipping, plan your garden, track and manage the battery and memory of your iPhone, and a lot more. There are almost 9,000 of these useful apps available, and most of them are very inexpensive.