iPhone Life magazine

Jim Karpen's picture

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.

Shop Savvy and other free bar code scanners help you save money

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Now that we're closing in on the holiday season, you absolutely must have a bar code scanner. These apps are tremendously popular, and for good reason. You're in a store, you find something you like, you scan the bar code with your iPhone's camera, and then you find out where you can buy it for the lowest price. Typically these apps are location aware, in case you want to buy it at a nearby store. And typically, they also have maps and directions that show you how to get to the store with the lowest price. And — they're free! Why would anyone go without one of these?



myChevrolet -- free app for diagnostics, location services, remote operation

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The integration between devices and cars is only going to grow, and the new app myChevrolet gives you a taste of amazing things to come. The app is free, but you have to spend a thousands of dollars on a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac. myChevrolet has location-based services, such as one for parking. It allows you to save your parking location to a GPS-enabled map and set a timer to track how much time you have on the parking meter. Or if you have a mechanical problem, the roadside assistance feature locates the nearest dealership.



Apple now ranks 4th in worldwide phone sales

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You've got to hand it to Steve Jobs: when he introduced the iPhone in January of 2007, he predicted that Apple would sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. Most commentators were scornful and said it was impossible. Even Macworld criticized Jobs, saying that the goal was unreachable. In October of 2008 Macworld reported that Apple had reached their goal.



Appbzr -- free app for finding and organizing apps

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appbzr (pronounced "app bazaar") is quite a popular and highly rated free app for helping you to organize, discover, and share apps. You can browse for price drops, hot apps, or the worldwide top 100. It also offers push notifications when there are price drops for apps that you're interested in.



Chinon docking station includes 7-inch LCD screen

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I love these gadgets. The latest is a docking station from Chinon that includes a 7-inch LCD. The Chinon AVi lists for $199 on their website, but Overstock and a couple other places have it for $179.



Free device lets you read credit cards on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

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This is pretty amazing. You download the free Square app, then use that to place your order for the free Square credit card reader. You plug the reader into your device, and now you can accept credit card transactions. There's no setup fee, no contract, and no monthly charge. The transaction costs 2.75% of the purchase price plus 15 cents to swipe a card. This humorous promotional video shows the device in action.



Movie Vault -- app offers over 1,000 streaming movies

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I just finished an article on apps for streaming movies and somehow missed this one. Movie Vault ($2.99 for iPhone, $4.99 for iPad) has over 1,000 classic movies available. You pay for the app but the movies are free. I'm just now watching Here Comes Mr. Jordan on my iPad, and the quality is quite good. The first movie I tried, though, crashed without playing. You can browse movies by genre or search in a variety of ways. If you like old movies, this is definitely a good option. 



News360 -- great free app for perusing the news

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One of the main things I do with my iPhone and iPad is read the latest news, so I'm always looking for good news apps. News360 (free), which was just released today, is now definitely a contender on my iPhone. (It appears that there's no iPad-specific version.) One of the nice things about it is that there's no setup or selecting of categories. It automatically gives you the news in a wide range of categories. And if you grant permission, it will automatically use your location to give you local news.



Angel's Choice -- free game app for finding apps uses "prediction market" approach

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This is such a cool idea — I hope it becomes a big success. Angel's Choice (free) is a game, an app for finding apps, and an information market all in one. I loved the book The Wisdom of Crowds, which is a good intro to how information markets or prediction markets work. Two of the most popular are the Hollywood Stock Exchange and Intrade. The idea is to create a mechanism that gives everyone an opportunity to predict which apps will be a big success.



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