Two free apps announced today increase your options for making low-cost calls via your iPhone or iPod touch. goober VoIP is like Skype in that it can use the data capability of your iPhone via WiFi or 3G to make telephone calls. But the rate is 1 cent per minute compared to Skype's 2.1 cents per minute for calls in the U.S. and Canada. International calls are around 1.4 cents per minute. The first two minutes of any call are free, and you get 100 free minutes when you first sign up.
The Internet is buzzing with the news this morning that Apple may be coming out with a Verizon-compatible CDMA iPhone in September. As a result, Verizon's stock has surged, Apple's stock is up, and AT&T's stock dropped. All of the buzz is courtesy of a Wall Street Journal report yesterday that quoted unnamed sources. The most interesting aspect of the rumor was that both the GSM and CDMA bands would be in the same phone.
For a number of years Google and Apple were the best of buddies, with Google CEO Eric Schmidt even being on Apple's board of directors. That was so yesterday. Schmidt has resigned, and in early March Apple sued Google partner HTC because it says the devices it makes that run Google's Android software are a violation of its patents.
It's amazing how far things have come. Raise your hand if you remember when encyclopedia salesmen used to go door to door, selling you a shelf of books for hundreds of dollars. Now you can have the Encyclopedia Britannica in the palm or your hand for $25. The Britannica Concise Encyclopedia 2010 has over 25,000 entries covering art, history, geography, politics, technology, science, sports, pop culture, and other subjects. It also has over 800 images and maps. And if you shake your iPhone, it brings up a random article.
This past week Opera announced that it had submitted Opera Mini to the App Store for approval, which is good news. This is a very popular browser on other mobile platforms, and early tests show that it's way way faster than Safari in the iPhone. The video gives a short demo of this browser running on an iPhone. Of course, we don't yet know whether Apple will approve it, but hopefully they will.
It's not advised, and possibly also not legal, but some people "jailbreak" their iPhones so they can use them on a network other than AT&T and install apps without going through the App Store. Now, according to Wired, the first hacker to jailbreak the iPhone says that his latest hack will likely also work to jailbreak the iPad.
Digg is probably the most popular social media site — certainly my favorite.
Here's a common scenario: You wake up in the night, wonder if the alarm clock will go off soon, fumble for your glasses, and then look at your clock. Of course, all of this makes it less likely you'll go back to sleep. Which is what makes this alarm clock special. Wake Up Now? ($0.99) lets you simply like there with your eyes closed and ask your iPhone if it's time to get up. Your iPhone will tell you what time it is. You actually don't even need to ask anything in particular. You can just grunt, and it will announce the time. You can set how loud of sound it will take for it to say the time.
One of the main things I use my iPhone for is to access the news. I'm addicted to keeping up with the latest news in the same way I'm addicted to e-mail. The makers of iGovernment ($1.99), which is one of the leading apps for keeping up with news from the U.S. Federal Government. The free iGovernment Lite offers a selection of content from iGovernment. It includes news, blogs, photos, and video from the House, Senate, White House, Department of Defense, State Department, NASA, and more.
This video demo of the free PayPal app is great fun, using a couple of guys sort of in the same vein as the "I'm a Mac" commercials. A version just released lets you Bump to exchange money. You hold your iPhones, bump fists to exchange contact information, and then send money with a tap.