Recent App Reviews
AOL Radio was one of the original Internet radio apps offered at the launch of the App Store. AOL Radio leverages the iPhone’s “Core Location” framework to detect a user’s location and automatically display broadcast radio stations nearest to the user.
It’s the only Internet radio app that does this, but I find this feature annoying because every time I launch the app, it shows me the same two country stations, both of which are not really near to where I live and commute. Still, the app is easy to use, offers every music type as well as live talk radio and news and always resumed on the station where I left it. AOL Radio’s interface is similar to the iPod menu structure, making it easy for new users to find radio stations, add them to your favorites menu, check the recent station list to see where you last left off, and more. You can use AOL Radio without creating an online account. Audio quality was good and buffering times were very fast. The program pauses when you receive a phone call and launches again when the call ends. When the call ends, you must navigate to the station to start the music again.
AOL Radio’s user interface (left) is similar to the iPod UI. The app uses the iPhone’s ability to
detect the user’s location to display a list of nearby broadcast radio stations (right).
My son and I have been fans of Spore since it came out for the Mac, and really since Spore Origins came out for the iPhone last summer. I don’t know how many hours we’ve put in navigating its primordial tidal pools and evolving our spores, but the time we’ve spent together playing this game has been substantial. I think that our time together, learning when to help others and when to defend ourselves is an added bonus.
The two big problems with the App Store are sifting through the over 30,000 apps to find the ones that suit you, and for the developers, getting your app noticed. AppReview helps.
Digital humanities and the iPhone
In my first blog for iPhone Life I’d like to briefly introduce myself and my interests, as well as encourage people to share what they may know about happenings with iPhones in the humanities and social sciences.
Congratulations to Connor Mulcahey for downloading the one-billionth app. Enjoy your booty. And congratulations to the company, Bump Technologies, which created the free app, called Bump. The app lets you share your contact info with other users of the app via any Internet connection. And how do you initiate the transfer? By bumping phones with the other iPhone or iPod Touch user, of course.
I have been gaming since the early 80s, and one thing that hasn't changed in all those years is the impact music has on a game. I couldn't begin to tell you the high score I got on Tetris for the Gameboy, but I'm certain I could hum a few bars of the music. And who could froget the instrumentals that played in the background of Super Mario Brothers? I've played some games that have been less than stellar, but I still remember the experience because of the music. So why would a developer NOT want to have music in their game?
"April 21, 2009 - Vito Technology releases the new 1.5 version of its bestseller educational application for stargazing Star Walk. With more than 4 months in the top 25 (appstore - education category) Star Walk is making possible for everybody to admire the sky, to understand it better and to have fun looking at the wonders of the universe."
I have always loved fancy watches like Rolex and Omega. I can remember days of walking through the mall just staring at the watch display in the jewelry store (back when I actually got to visit my own stores). The problem was, while it was always free to look, taking home one of those fancy watches always cost thousands of dollars. And I have never found myself at a point where that would make sense. Maybe someday. But in the meantime, my lust for watches can now be fed, through the magic of the iPhone and Emerald Chronometer.
In the Chicago Tribune giveaway daily, Redeye, Chicago-based iPhone App developers speak about their successes. Lars Bergstrom, for instance, is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, but came away with $100,000 or so for coming up with the WiFi Finder app.
Recently, eWeek posted a handy round-up of 10 iPhone IT administration utilities. As it happens, I have to do a fair amount of sys admin work and was looking for just such a list. Only 2 of these apps are gratis (an SSH terminal app and flashlight), but most of them are under 10 bucks.