Recent App Reviews
If you have kept up with the digital media revolution, you probably have a bunch of your favorite music loaded up on a computer, or perhaps like me, spread over several in different parts of the house. If you use iTunes or Windows Media Player, you can easily share these different music libraries on your home network, but this limits on which computers or devices you can actually connect and play them.
I'm going to have to give this cable/app combo from Griffin and Frontier Design a go when I get a chance (called GuitarConnect and iShred respectively). I am spoiled somewhat in that my Line 6 amp already has a robust amount of modelling built into it. I like purer amp sounds, without much experimenting with effects, but then I'm a pretty old school rock player--couldn't hurt to broaden the horizons a bit. I have seen a couple of these guitar rigs out there for iPhone iOS (the Guitarbud, and iRig), and am starting to get curious.
Apps that let you view, edit, and create Office documents on your new mobile computer
In the Fall 2009 issue of iPhone Life magazine, I authored an article that looked at the two major mobile application suites that allowed iPhone users to work with Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets (iphonelife.com/issues/Fall2009/TurningIphoneMobileOffice). With the release of the iPad, developers including Apple, have stepped up to the plate to offer a selection of apps for viewing, editing, and creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go with the iPad. In addition, Apple included support for Bluetooth-enabled external keyboards in the iPad.
I haven't yet tried this app, but Video Zoom Plus ($0.99) would have come in handy a couple days ago when I came across a deer on campus. The deer was fairly close, maybe 20 yards, but it got a bit lost in the video that I took. I wish I had been able to zoom in. And that's what this new app promises -- 5x digital zoom. But if you have a 3GS you'll need to upgrade it to iOS4.
In an article in the upcoming issue of iPhone Life magazine, the author discusses the decision developers have to make as to whether their app should be native to the iPhone or Web-based. It seems there are definite advantages to having a Web app since it becomes global rather than specific to a platform. Well, it seems YouTube has made the decision to go global.
The Chinese word for Challenge also means Opportunity. I kept this in mind when my cable modem Internet connection stopped working today. Fortunately, I have a review unit of the Novatel MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot. It's basically a wireless 3G modem. I was planning to seek out a remote location to test it. But suddenly not having any Internet here in the suburbs proved to be an opportunity to test out this device in the comfort of my own home, and get some work done!
The Novatel MiFi 2200
Before there was an app store, one of the first apps created for jailbroken iPhones was a Flashlight app by the excellent Erica Sadun. It basically used the screen display as a light emitting device. We have finally come full circle with the iPhone 4 which has an actual LED for use as a flash. An enterprising developer, Michael D'Ulisse of More Blu Sky saw this as an opportunity to create a real flashlight app that projected light.
In the year 2000, German board-game enthusiast Klaus-Jurgen Wrede unleashed his own creation, Carcassonne, upon the world. Not long after, the game became a world-wide phenomenon, winning several awards and generating much praise from critics. The year is now 2010, and a version of Carcassonne has been developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch (with an iPad version forthcoming).
Here is a press release that I thought you may be interested in. A free travel guide download on July 4th. I am going to give it a try also.
"Montreal based mTrip Travel Guides is celebrating the Fourth of July with its customers by offering free US city guides for New York, Chicago and San Francisco to everyone for one day only. All customers can go directly to the App Store on July 4th and download a guide for free.
Years ago I tried to make color prints in an old fashioned darkroom. In order to make a print you needed to make test pictures. First, you'd try to get the right exposure making a test strip. Then, you tried to get the correct color. Usually it took (me at least) several sheets of paper and 30 minutes until I got a good (at least decent) print.
I was thinking about those "good old days" this afternoon when I made the photograph that is shown. The difference being that in order to combine those three images it took about two minutes. Diptic is easy to use. You identify which template you want to use and add the pictures one at a time. You can move them around until they look right. Adding the colored border took about an extra 15 seconds.