iPhone Life magazine

RedLaser

Amazing Camera Apps

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.


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iPhone App Marketing Secrets

Top selling app developers discuss marketing strategies that didn't work

In the last issue we examined samples of some of the winning strategies used by some of the most successful app developers out there. Positive marketing strategies and tips are even more crucial in the vast app ocean. This will become even more important with the influx of new apps developed for the iPad. For an app to be successful, you need to get the word out and have it stand out from the crowd. Since Apple doesn't help developers with marketing specifics, it is even more crucial to learn what works and what doesn't work in a hurry.

In this second part of the series, we are going to examine what marketing strategies didn't work for these developers and should be avoided.


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Top Award Sites and App Lists Help you find the Best Apps

Find the top apps fast on these sites

Early on, when the number of iPhone apps was in the thousands, the App Store was a good way for users to find apps and for developers to bring their apps to the attention of users. Now that there are over 200,000 apps, the App Store isn't that helpful.

When you do a search on a topic in the iTunes store, you might get hundreds of results. They are displayed in no particular order and there is no way to sort them according to most popular, best-selling, free vs. paid, etc. The 20 broad categories also aren't that useful, since there are so many apps that don't obviously fit any particular category. Fortunately, the Internet can help. In this article, I'll point you to some useful lists of the best apps.



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RedLaser — don't go Christmas shopping without this

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RedLaser ($1.99) is currently one of the top-selling apps, and for good reason: It's a great aid to shopping. The concept is very simple — the app uses your iPhone's camera to scan a barcode, and then the app does an online product search to find the lowest price among hundreds of thousands of retailers. Maybe you're in a mall and you scan an item and find that a different store in the same mall has it for a lower price. Features include the ability to limit your search to lower prices in nearby stores, e-mail a results list, e-mail a barcode, and a favorites feature for keeping a wish list of products.



Awesome barcode scanner!

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RedLaser is an Awesome barcode scanner! So far, I've used it for groceries, books and makeup. It is super fast and super easy to use. You simply aim your iPhone at the barcode on the item and RedLaser does all the rest. In seconds, it displays a list of prices and links to a variety of online stores where you can immediately purchase the product directly from your iPhone. 



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