Just a couple days ago I pointed to news that Amazon might be developing an app for the iPhone that would offer the opportunity to purchase and read contemporary books in a manner similar to Amazon's Kindle e-book reader. Well, Amazon, it's too late. According to PCWorld, Shortcovers, a Canadian company, will be introducing an e-book reader later this month.
Google Sync is yet another great offering from Google. From what I understand Google has implemented Microsoft Exchange for users of its Contacts and Calendar apps, such that you can now sync the contacts and calendar on your mobile phone with your Gmail contacts and your Google Calendar events. The syncing is bi-directional, so you can make a change on one or the other, and it will automatically be made on your other devices.
Google Latitude is a new feature of Google Maps for mobile devices that lets you see where your friends are by locating them on a map. Of course, everyone has to opt in, so don’t think that you’ll be able to spy on anyone. And you can choose how much information you want to share. Google Talk is integrated so that you can call or instant-message your friends if you see that they're in the vicinity.
As my previous post noted, if you want free public domain books, you can get 1.5 million of them. But what about current books? Silicon Alley Insider is speculating about a forthcoming app from Amazon that would make Kindle books available on your iPhone. I would love to see that happen. And while it is indeed speculation, Amazon did tell the New York Times that they're working on making books available for mobile phones.
Yesterday Google's book search team announced on their blog that the 1.5 million public domain books already available on Google Book Search are now available for the iPhone. Simply point Safari at books.google.com/m. That's a lot of books, but being in public domain means that they were published decades ago.
Veoh, one of the more popular websites for video, has just launched a new iPhone-optimized version of their site. Just point your Safari at www.veoh.com, and it will automatically serve up the iPhone version. You can read more on the Veoh blog.
A post on the Wired blog reports that Apple's recently approved patent for the iPhone interface hints that videoconferencing may be coming to the iPhone. Apparently the patent specifies a lens that can be rotated backward or forward, with the touchscreen being used as the viewfinder. The blog post includes a schematic image from the patent application and relevant text related to the videoconferencing feature.
Google's Gmail (both POP and IMAP) is quite popular on the iPhone, and now their suite also includes Gmail Tasks. To access Gmail Tasks via your iPhone, point Safari at gmail.com/tasks. According to this Overview, the mobile version has been optimized for iPhone, so it's pretty snappy.
One of the big shortcomings of the iPhone has been the inability to play online video and animation that uses Flash technology. According to a report on Bloomberg, Flash may be on its way. The report is ambiguous, but Adobe's CEO clearly indicates that Apple and Adobe are collaborating to develop a version for the iPhone. So what's been the holdup?