Postcards — how quaint. Yet if you're on some distant shore and you'd like to send a quick photo taken with your iPhone to someone who doesn't have e-mail, HazelMail Postcards is the ticket. The new app, launched yesterday, instantly turns your photo into a personalized postcard, and the prints the card, puts a stamp on it, and mails it for you.
As discussed in a previous post, if you still have a lot of time on your contract, you'll pay more than $199/$299 for a new iPhone 3G S. (I did read, though, that an exception is being made for those who bought their iPhone 3G less than a month before the announcement.) If you are indeed eligible for the lowest subsidized price, or if you're going to bite the bullet and get a new 3G S even though you'll have to pay a couple hundred more, then the question arises what to do with your old iPhone. Gazelle will buy it from you. A company rep told me that in 2009 they've paid an average of $153 for used iPhones.
Because the cost of the iPhone is subsidized and the cost recouped by AT&T via the monthly plan, they're not selling the new iPhone 3GS to those who bought an iPhone in the past year or so at the subsidized price of $199/$299. If you want the latest and greatest, you may have to pay $399/$499 depending on which model you get. You can read more in an article in TidBITs. By the way, this article offers the best overview I've seen of the new iPhone.
Today's keynote at the major developers' conference was filled with news, including the announcement that the new iPhone 3.0 software will be out on June 17. You can read more on Yahoo Tech. Apple senior vice president of iPhone software Scott Forstall used his keynote presentation to demo some of the 100 new features of iPhone 3.0. That includes copy and paste, landscape mode in all key applications, peer-to-peer Bluetooth-based multiplayer gaming, push notification, and more. Also announced was a new iPhone — the iPhone 3G S, which will be available June 19. You can read a nice overview on iLounge and a longer description in the press release. The "S" in the name stands for "speed."
Everyone is looking to Monday's developers meeting when Apple is expected to tell us when the new iPhone 3.0 software will be available. One revolutionary new feature will be "in-app payments." You can read more on CNet. This is yet another brilliant move from Apple. The grail on the Internet has been monetization — how do you make money from what you offer? And the challenge has been to make things cheap enough. From what I understand, a credit card transaction costs around $3. So if you're selling something for a buck, someone is losing money. That's one reason why PayPal has been such a big success. "Micropayments" would be the answer to so many issues.
If you're an iPod Touch user, you need not be incommunicado. If you're in the vicinity of a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can use your device to make calls, including calls to landline and cell phones. In this review in the Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg tests three apps — all FREE — that let you make calls without needing $70/month phone service like your iPhone brethren.
I like the idea of a solar charger. Not only is it better for the environment, but there may be occasions when a power outlet isn't available. Jerome Kelty liked the idea too, so he made one. And he shows you how to do it on the Instructables website. He says it only takes about an hour. So how much would it really benefit the environment?
An interesting article in Business Week says that Apple is developing tools for developers that would let you share your app with friends. They'd have to pay for it, of course. But instead of going to the App Store, your friends may be able to use Bluetooth and the new peer-to-peer function of iPhone 3.0 to get it directly from you. And you'd get a commission. It's a great idea. Why not broaden the ways people can get apps, while still retaining control?
The Wall Street Journal does an excellent job of giving you an overview of the imminent iPhone 3.0 software. This isn't rumor. They clearly answer common questions related to upgrading, using the phone as a wireless modem (aka tethering), Bluetooth options, and more. The article says that first-generation iPhone users will be able to upgrade, but that not all of the functionality will work. The upgrade will again be $10 for iPod Touch users.
The Yahoo! app for the iPhone is in the News category in iTunes, which is a bit odd, since the app does so many things. Most recently the company added voice search to its app, so that you can speak your queries. (Voice search has been available in Google Mobile App for some time.) In addition to offering search, Yahoo's app offers news, e-mail (Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, or AOL), status updates from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, RSS feeds, Yahoo Calendar, Address Book, and Messenger — and much more.