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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.

Top 10 iPhone apps from Time magazine, Top 10 iPad apps from NY Times


End-of-the-year lists help to increase your app literacy. If you keep seeing some of the same apps on the lists, then these apps probably deserve a spot on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Time magazine offers their top 10 iPhone apps from 2010. Many of my favorites are here, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Dragon Dictation.

Macworld picks top apps of the year


Macworld has announced their 2010 App Gems Awards, selecting the top apps in four categories: 1) 10 best reading and productivity apps, 2) 7 best media & photo apps, 3) 7 best iOS games of the year, and 4) a dozen of our o

Amazing iPad band plays Christmas carols -- you gotta see this

This is a video of a live performance of the North Point iBand performing Christmas carols exclusively using various apps on the iPad, plus an iPhone. The sound is delightful — and amazing what they're able to do. This website lists the apps used.

SpeechMaker -- your personal teleprompter and speechwriting assistant


A friend of mine has developed an app that I hope I never have to use: SpeechMaker. Seriously, I used to sort of enjoy giving public talks, especially in the early days of the Internet, when I was an evangelist for this new medium. Had I an occasion to give a talk today, I'd consider using SpeechMaker ($11.99). It sounds like an ideal tool. It gives you what you need to create, practice, hear, and give speeches. It comes with some famous speeches built in, including some with audio. The app lets you record and archive your speeches.

iPad refurbs available -- as much as $100 cheaper


Apple now has a selection of refurbished iPads available, with the low-end model selling for $429, and the 64GB iPad WiFi going for $599 — which is $100 off the regular price. You can read more on Yahoo News. Act fast, as some of these are marked as being available for a limited time. 

iTunes Rewind -- Apple names top apps of 2010


Apple has posted their annual iTunes Rewind, which reports the most popular downloads across all of their product categories, including iPhone and iPad apps. For both the iPhone and iPad you can see the overall top apps of the year — free and paid and top grossing — as well as the top apps in all of the App Store categories. The Hot Trends page covers other categories, such as augmented reality, children, personal training, zombies, and more. This is an incredible resource.

Comparative review of iPad office suites


The iPad has been characterized as a device that's more for consuming media than for productivity. Yet there are a lot of people out there who are intent on using it as a computer. And there are an increasing number of productivity apps. Macworld has a great comparative review of office apps for the iPad.

iPad 2 coming in April, according to DigiTimes


A post on DigiTimes says that the iPad 2 will begin shipping from the manufacturer in February and will go on sale in April. Of course, no word from Apple. CNET says that analysts are speculating that it will have a front-facing camera and will be dual mode — that is, will work with both CDMA and GSM networks. That's something I'd like to see.

New Google ebook app and ebook store


Google today launched their new Google ebookstore and Google Books app (free). They say that the store has over 400,000 books available for purchase and over 2 million free ebooks. As is typical, the app lets you change the font and search inside the book. It also has night-reading mode and offline reading mode. Your books are stored in the cloud. Read more about the using the iOS app on their website.

Nexaira BC2 router -- share your iPhone's data connection via WiFi


The iPhone now has a bulit-in tethering option — that is, using your iPhone's data connection to give your laptop computer or other device access to the Internet. But that Internet connection can only be shared with one device via a USB connection. No WiFi option. Until now. The Nexaira Business Class II is a wireless router that gets its Internet connection from your iPhone and shares it via WiFi to other devices. It's not cheap, at $189.99, and it's not as portable as the MiFi.

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