What a great Christmas gift for a gadget enthusiast. The $200 Chinon AVi dock has it all. You can use it to access the content on your iPhone — music, video, photos. Plus, you can use it as a TV. From the press release: "The AVi features a 7-inch LCD monitor, AUX input, ATSC digital TV tuner with AV out, built-in telescopic radio antenna, external telescopic TV antenna, digital FM radio and alarm clock, and a full-function remote. This all-inclusive system plays both local TV channels and the contents of an iPod, including music videos, pre-recorded movies, TV shows and videos, images, as well as just music.
Spyglass ($0.99) is yet another creative use of your iPhone's camera. You can view your environment via the iPhone camera and digitally zoom in in up to 5x. In addition, the app uses augmented reality to superimpose compass and GPS information as well as horizon tilt right over the live camera feed. You can also enable the maps feature and have the same information superimposed on a map.You'll need an iPhone 3Gs plus an Internet connection to use the maps feature.
Here's a freebie that's completely practical. Stain Brain identifies over 85 common stains and tells you what to do about them. The step-by-step removal procedures come to you courtesy of the experts at Tide. And they ought to know. The app lets you rate the effectiveness of the solutions and even lets you share your own tips for removing difficult stains. You can browse the top-20 stains, find stains by category, ask questions, communicate with other community members, and, naturally, navigate to product pages to find additional information and store locations.
If your battery is getting low and you're afraid to use your iPhone because you might run out of juice, this handy app could help. Battery Gauge ($0.99) not only tells you your current battery level, but also predicts how much time is left on your battery for each type of usage: Talk Time, Internet, Audio Playback, Video Playback, and Standby Time. Very useful.
I guess this is the future of commerce: whip out your iPhone to accept a credit card payment wherever you are. And simply wave your iPhone to make a payment when you're buying something. TransSF Card Terminal is a free app that lets you accept credit card payments on your iPhone. The app claims to be the only one that works with any gateway and any credit card processor.
Apps are all the rage, and I almost never use Safari when going online. But with the arrival of Seego.com, I will likely be using Safari more. Seego is a directory of 2,200 websites that have been optimized for the iPhone. Unlike regular sites, which take a long time to load, which don't always work in the iPhone's Safari, and which typically entail a lot of pinching, zooming, and scrolling, websites that have been optimized are typically fast and perfectly tailored to the smaller screen of the iPhone. Simply point Safari at seego.com.
I don't typically go in for accessories but this one I'm getting. And it's about time we had something like this. I like to use my iPhone to listen to podcasts but that means I'm always carrying two objects: my phone and my earbuds. And the earbuds always get tangled. Enter Budtrap. It slides onto your earphone jack and secures your earbuds. You simply do a quick wrap of the cord around your phone and then clip the loose end in Budtrap.
I suppose I ought to be careful about spreading rumors, but this is such a great idea that if indeed Apple isn't planning to do this, it should. The rumor is that next year not only will Verizon be offering an iPhone but that the phone will be able to work on both CDMA and GSM networks. Plus, it would have all the necessary 3G bands, such that you could take the phone virtually anyplace in the world and have both cellular and high-speed data capability. You can read more on CNet. The rumor also is saying that this new phone will have a 2.8-inch screen, compared to the current 3.6-inch screen.
I continue to be astonished by all the different ways the iPhone is being used, including as an extension of your senses. I've already written about the Eye Glasses app ($2.99), which lets you use your iPhone to magnify small print. And you can also use your iPhone as a hearing aid. SoundAMP ($9.99) is an app that uses your iPhone to amplify ambient sound. Your iPhone picks up the sound via the built-in microphone or via a microphone on an external headset. And in both cases you listen to the amplified sound via earbuds or the headset.
Orb sounds pretty neat, though I haven't yet tried it. They just released their software for the Mac yesterday, having been available for Windows for some time. According to their press release, the free Orb application and service enable the streaming of any media type from computers running Windows or the Mac OS, to any other internet-connected device including laptops, mobile phones, and even TVs connected to a game console. You're able to access all your music, photos, and video anywhere, anytime, without first having to download content to your iPhone or iPod touch.