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.
I'd never thought about this before, but this New Yorker article makes it real clear that the iPad, which Steve Jobs described as "far better," is yet another iteration in Apple's approach to marketing: build in and they will pay. This contrasts, the article says, to companies like Flip that offer products that are low priced and good enough. And the article says, that both of these approaches ignore the amorphous middle of the market — and that companies that are going for these high-end and low-end segments are capturing and increasing share of the market overall. The iPhone, the article says, makes almost as much money as all Nokia's phones combined.
This interesting article in TidBITs talks about Amazon's plans for its Kindle app for the iPad and links to this page on Amazon which gives some info. And best of all, the article points out that the Kindle Store has quite a few books available at no cost so that you can test the software. And it gives this link that shows all Kindle books costing $0.