If you're shopping and wonder whether the item you're considering could be more cheaply purchased via Amazon, a new app helps you do just that. Price Check by Amazon (free) lets you search for the product you have in mind in four different ways: you can say the name of the product, use the iPhone's camera to read the bar code, take a photo of the item, or enter the name of the product. The app uses the same voice recognition technology that powers the popular Dragon NaturallySpeaking. (iPhone 4 and 3GS only)
Apple has finally released iOS 4.2. The iPad now has the latest features, including multitasking and folders. Hurray. Also available are the new AirPlay and AirPrint features. AirPlay lets you stream media from your iOS device to other devices in your home. AirPrint lets you print but you're limited to AirPrint-compatible printers. You can read a helpful article about this update on Mashable.
Heart Rate - Free is a newly released app that actually measures your heart rate using the iPhone 4 camera. (The app only works with iPhone 4.) You simply put your finger over the camera lens, and the app measures the minute changes in skin color caused by the ebb and flow of blood in your finger. They say that the app isn't intended for medical use (standard disclaimer) but that it provides an accurate measure of your pulse. This is one more app for my forthcoming article on the innovative uses of the camera.
For years iLounge has been coming out with an annual buyers' guide, and the 2011 iLounge iPod/iPhone/iPad Buyers' Guide is now available for downloading as a free pdf. This guide has tons of information, including the world's best accessories, 100 essential iOS apps, 100 top iPod, iPhone, and iPad games, tips for buying Apple devices, and much more. The guide comes in several different formats, including one adapted to the small screen of the iPhone and iPod touch.
Hulu Plus has now officially launched after having been available as a limited trial. And the good news is that they've lowered their price to $7.99 per month for their streaming movies and TV. Also, there's a one-week free trial for new subscribers starting today. This service has one of the larger collections of current TV shows, with much of their content streaming in HD. There are free Hulu Plus apps for both the iPhone and iPad.
I'm researching an article about the amazing range of ways apps use your iOS camera, from barcode readers and business card scanners to augmented reality and color detection for those who are color blind. This new app released today is yet another great freebie. Shoeboxed Business Card Reader lets you use your camera to take a photo of the card.
Apple sure stirred things up yesterday, promising an exciting announcement and a day you'll never forget. Speculation was rampant, and many truly exciting things were envisioned. But by the end of the day, the word was that it was the arrival of the Beatles music — after years of rumors. Read more on the NY Times and CNET. And see the Apple home page. Albums are $13 and double albums $20.
Wow, TheFind (free) seems to have it all. If you want to find the lowest price when you're shopping, you'll want to try TheFind. It uses Red Laser's barcode scanner technology, combines that with TheFind, which they say is the web's largest price-comparison search engine, and throws in a coupon finder, driving directions, and click to call.
It's hard to imagine what Apple is in mind, but the ad on Apple's iTunes page says that tomorrow's announcement will be a day you'll never forget. I wonder if it's a play on words. CNET is suggesting that it might be an announcement of a "cloud" service, which would make sense. Your computer or iOS device will never forget your iTunes content because it will reside in the cloud.
It's not quite what I was expecting, and a little pricier than the early buzz said, but it's an interesting option for iPod touch users. Tomorrow Sprint will begin offering the $80 ZTE Peel, a case for the iPod touch that lets it access Sprint's 3G data network. However, if you want to make voice calls, you'll need to use Skype. The case is actually a Wi-Fi hotspot that lets you connect your iPod touch and one other device. Service will run $29.99 per month for 1GB of data, no contract required.