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.

chicBoom Keychain Speaker

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chicBuds has some pretty cool accessories, recently adding chicBoom to their lineup. chicBoom is a speaker for your iPhone that doubles as a keychain. It's designed with the ladies in mind, and a version for men is coming soon. These tiny speakers come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts four about four hours of listening before it needs to be recharged. The chicBoom speakers are available online and will soon be available in Office Max stores.



ShopSavvy — Not as good as RedLaser for finding lowest price, but it's free

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We've covered the $1.99 RedLaser app a couple times already in this blog. It's a barcode reader that lets you scan the barcode of a product you want to buy and then searches for stores that have a lower price. ShopSavvy is another such app, and it's free. It currently only works with iPhone 3.1 or higher. It was first available for the Android platform, and got a lot of attention. The iPhone version was released last month. Many of the reviews say it doesn't work as well as RedLaser, but some say that it works well if you follow the tips.



Park'n Find — $0.99 app remembers where you parked

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There's not much need for this in Fairfield, Iowa, but if I were a city guy I'd depend heavily on this app. Am I the sort of person who'd forget where he parked his car? Not really, but I'm the sort of guy who worries that he will forget where he parked his car. An app like this lets you relax and forget. Park'n Find uses GPS to mark where your car is parked. It then guides you back to your parking location using a satellite image that automatically pans and zooms to show where your car is parked relative to where you are. You can optionally attach photos, voice memos, and notes.



AutoRingtone PRO, on sale for $0.99, uses speech synthesis; AutoRingtone MUSICAL currently free

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Our blogger Todd Bernhard has a number of ringtone-creation apps that are pretty neat and that let you do some creative things to make customized ringtones for individual callers. His new app, AutoRingtone PRO TEXT to SPEECH RINGTONES, lets you use speech synthesis to have your iPhone announce your caller by name — or some sort of clever nickname. For example, I created a ringtone for my tennis partner, Bruce. I selected a chime from the 100 introductory sound effects, and then selected a British male synthesized voice.



Scene It? Movies — movie trivia game for $0.99

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I'm not a real movie buff, but if I were I think I'd plunk down $0.99 for Scene It? Movies, a movie trivia game from Screenlife Games. The game contains clips as well as movie trivia questions covering movies from the last 30 years. You can play in single- or multiplayer mode. The app also includes puzzles and mini-games. You can upload your scores to Facebook and challenge your friends. 

 



SportyPal — free app uses GPS to track your workout

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I suppose apps like this have been around for a while, but I hadn't heard of them. And I think it's a really neat idea. The free SportyPal app uses your iPhone's GPS to track your workout — running, cycling, roller-blading, walking, or whatever. The app logs your position, shows it on a map, and logs your movement, distance, speed, and calories burned while working out. You can view your workout in a map view, which shows where you went. And you can view the stats as charts or in summary fashion. Plus, it offers real-time information while you're working out, such as speed/pace, distance covered, and maximum speed.



AT&T Mark the Spot -- free app lets you easily notify AT&T about poor service

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AT&T Mark the Spot is a free app that lets you help AT&T pinpoint problems with their network. If you have a dropped call, failed call, no coverage, data failure, or poor voice quality, the app uses your GPS location and makes it a snap for you to send AT&T an alert. (If you have a first-generation iPhone, it uses triangulation to pinpoint your location.) Of course, the question arises: if you have no service, how can the app send an alert? There's an option for marking your location and sending the info after the fact when you do have service.



New Audubon Guides include free sampler

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Green Mountain Digital began releasing the first in its series of Audubon field guides last month, including birds, wildflowers, trees, and mammals. You can see their offerings on this page in the App Store. The prices range from $6.99 to 19.99. If you think you might be interested in this offering, check out the free Audubon Sampler, which contains 40 examples from the 3,700 species found in these guides. 



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.



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