I continue to be astonished by all the different ways the iPhone is being used, including as an extension of your senses. I've already written about the Eye Glasses app ($2.99), which lets you use your iPhone to magnify small print. And you can also use your iPhone as a hearing aid. SoundAMP ($9.99) is an app that uses your iPhone to amplify ambient sound. Your iPhone picks up the sound via the built-in microphone or via a microphone on an external headset. And in both cases you listen to the amplified sound via earbuds or the headset.
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.)
"For the past several weeks we've been working around the clock to bring great new features to SafeWallet! Since our last newsletter announcement we've already had two new SafeWallet updates. The first was version 1.2 about two weeks ago, and today's release, version 1.2.1. For your convenience we've included here a list of the main new features introduced with these last two updates." Read on for the details...
The iPhone operating system has never allowed for listing more than 9 (SpringBoard) pages of 16 applications each, which has severely restricted the number of applications you can install on a phone. (Actually, the number of third-party apps you can display is even less as the built-in applications take up one tab – around 14-16 icons.)
The problem was slightly cured by the introduction of OS 3 this June. It allowed for both slightly more (11) SpringBoard pages so that you could see a bit more applications. However, additional programs you synchronized did not show up – even when they are there on your phone.
Fortunately, there are several solutions for the problem.
We all want voice recognition. What could make things simpler? You just ask your iPhone to call one of your hundreds of contacts, and it does so. No searching, no flipping through the list. That's the promise. The reality is, of course, a bit short of that. Still, there are a number of applications that are trying to make this a reality. Vocalia is among them, and it claims to be the only 100% hands-free speech recognition app for the iPhone that enables speech access to your address book, iTunes library, and Safari bookmarks. Some users, seemingly the more savvy ones, find that it works really well.
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.
This application lets you use your iPhone’s display as a flashlight. It displays images of a variety of different bulb styles and lets you adjust the screen brightness. It is not as bright as a Maglight, but it sure comes in handy when you’re at a campground restroom, and you left your regular flashlight at the campsite.
AroundMe let you find nearby locations quickly. This simple to use app directs you to the nearest banks, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, theaters, and more. It also gives you a three-day weather forecast.
Apps for soccer players, coaches, and fans!
Hey, soccer lovers! I searched the App Store and came up with my list of must-have soccer apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. Some of these apps, like Real Soccer and SoccerCard, are directly related to soccer. Others, like TVULite and Wunder Radio, are more general, allowing you to access a variety of content in addition to soccer. I enjoy watching soccer, have a good grasp on the basics, and am gaining a better understanding of the game’s intricacies. It’s true—I can’t bend it like Beckham, but I have no trouble spotting a great soccer app when I see it.