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.

Wallace & Gromit — free digital comic

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The App Store has a series of 5 Wallace & Gromit digital comics, and they're quite popular, especially in the UK App Store. You can now download the first one in the series for free: Wallace & Gromit 1: The W Files. The subsequent comics in the series are $0.99 each. Here's the description: "When strange shapes and flashing lights are seen in the night sky, there are only two paranormal investigators that can solve the problem. Sadly they aren’t available, Wallace and Gromit might as well have a crack at it. After all, what could possibly go wrong?" Not familiar with Wallace & Gromit?



Sad Scale — app by iPhone Life contributor featured on TV

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As wonderful as Christmas is, it can be a depressing time of year for some people. iPhone Life contributor Harvey Castro, M.D., has created Sad Scale, an app that helps people assess their mood and determine if they're depressed. It has five different assessments, including scales for postpartum, geriatric, and child depression. You simply answer a questionnaire, and the app helps you get a sense for where you stand. It was recently featured on KDAF-TV in Texas.



7 Essential tips from TidBITs; Everything you wanted to know about backup from MacWorld

Check out these two really useful articles. Jeff Carlson has an ebook called Take Control of Your iPhone Apps, and in this article on TidBITs he gives what he feels are the top 7 tips from the ebook. The first tip, for example, tells you how to silence an incoming call and direct it to voicemail. Also, Ted Landau has an ebook titled Take Control of iPhone OS 3. And this excerpt on MacWorld tells you everything you need to know about the iPhone backup.



Translate Now! — free translation app

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Translate Now! is a new free app that uses Google Translate to let you do translations between 36 languages. You can easily paste text into the translation window and copy the translation text to the clipboard. Plus, you can e-mail translated text from within the application. The application automatically increases the text size for languages such as Hindi or Japanese. It works with iPhone 3.0 software and requires an Internet connection. Also available is Free Translator, which also uses Google Translate and which is ad-supported.



2,001 Gift Ideas — in case you don't know what to get

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You probably have people who are hard to buy for and could use a bit of inspiration for ideas. Try 2,100 Gift Ideas ($1.99). It offers gift ideas from hundreds of online stores. The gifts range from electronics and jewelry to things you might not even have known existed. You can choose gifts from various categories, such as Mom, Dad, Kids, Him, Her. Plus, you can sort by price so that you only see suggestions in a particular price range. You give your iPhone a shake, and it then starts serving up gift ideas.

[Edited this 12/9/09 to reflect the app's new name.]



Waze — free GPS "social navigation" app

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I badly want Waze to be a success because the idea is just so perfect: a free navigation app that integrates user-generated traffic information. So, you're stuck in traffic someplace, you whip our your iPhone, and let the world know that they ought to take a different route if they're traveling the same road that you are. It's a wonderful example of crowdsourcing. The trick is to get lots of people to use it. And increasingly people are. But if you live someplace where there's not much coverage, the app has less value than other places where it's really caught on.



App Store adds list of top-grossing apps — these are the best

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Apple has recently added a new listing in the App Store called Top Grossing apps. It appears in the right margin under the listings of Paid Apps and Free Apps. Simply put, the top grossing apps are the ones that are making the most money — an indication of how much they're valued. If somebody's willing to plunk down $9.99 for Call of Duty, the current top-grossing app, it must be pretty good. If you look at the ratings for the top apps in this category, they're typically very high.



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.



Hey Santa — free app for Christmas gift ideas

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If you're hitting the stores on Black Friday but are in need of gift ideas, you might try the free Hey Santa app, which has over 2,000 gift suggestions based on your budget and the recipient's taste and age. There are 15 different combined settings for gift suggestions. Also check out Christmas Gifts List ($0.99), which no only helps you manage your list but also has a built-in budgeting feature.



New worm infects jailbroken iPhones and steals information

Earlier this month there were news reports about a worm that was capable of infecting jailbroken iPhones, but the affect it had on an iPhone was relatively benign. However, a report yesterday on CNet said that a new worm is out and about in a number or countries and that it's capable of stealing data from your iPhone and putting your phone under the control of a bot. As you may know, a jailbroken iPhone is one that has been reconfigured so that it can work with services other than AT&T. So if you haven't messed with your iPhone in this regard, you don't have anything to worry about.



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