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.

301+ Short Stories — a lot of great classics for only 99 cents

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I've found it surprisingly convenient and fun to read books on my iPhone. So I was delighted to see the recent release of 301+ Short Stories for $.99. The app offers hundreds of stories by 89 of classic short story writers, including Charles Dickens, Kate Chopin, Ambrose Bierce, Defoe, Joseph Conrad, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Poe, O. Henry, and H.G. Wells. Lots of my favorite writers here. And now all in the palm of my hand. Plus, you can adjust the text size for easier reading.

 



Thundergod — listen to the relaxing sound of thunderstorms

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I've always loved the sound of thunderstorms, and now I have some great ones on my iPhone. A company called Naturespace has recorded 65 thunderstorms from around the U.S. and put them into the Thundergod app. They use stereo effectively to track the thunder across the sky so that you feel like you're actually in a thunderstorm. There's a sleep timer so that you can fall asleep to these relaxing sounds. The app isn't cheap, at $9.99, but the quality of recording is excellent.



TV stations to broadcast TV over the air to mobile phones

I can't wait for this, though it will probably never come to rural Iowa. According to a post on the New York Times blog, a new standard has been approved that will let broadcasters use a tiny portion of the broadcast spectrum to send TV signals to mobile gadgets. Can you imagine? Just turn on your iPhone or iPod touch and watch TV. You won't need to be connected to a service or to the Internet. The signal comes over the air. You can read more in the announcement that was released on Business Wire.



App Classics website points you to the best apps

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I've posted about quite a few resources that you can use to help you find the best apps to meet your needs, but haven't yet covered App Classics. It's right up there with the leaders if you're trying to find the all-time most popular high-quality apps. The developers of the site say that they rate apps using a formula that analyzes iTunes rating information to identify and grade truly classic apps. On the front page of the site you'll see the top app classics across all categories. Or you can use a drop-down menu to view apps by category.



Viper SmartStart — use your iPhone to unlock, start your car

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I love seeing these new sorts of gadgets. And it always makes me wonder, What will they think of next? In this case you can use your iPhone to unlock or lock your car doors, start your car, open your trunk, or press the panic button — all from your iPhone, and all from wherever you are using the Viper SmartStart app. Say you're in a movie theater and realize you forgot to lock your car. Press a button on your iPhone, and it's done. It has virtually unlimited range, and you can control multiple cars from your iPhone.



Photoshop.com Mobile — free app for editing photos on your iPhone

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Last Thursday Apple released the free Photoshop.com Mobile app, and it already has about 2,400 ratings and 675 reviews. The app lets you do basic editing such as crop, rotate, and flip photos. You can adjust exposure, saturation, and tint. Special effects include Vibrant, Pop, Border, Warm Vintage, Rainbow, and more. Most of the reviews are enthusiastic. The negative ones are disappointed that it doesn't have more of the features of the desktop version. Some people are never satisfied. You can also create a Photoshop.com account and store up to 2GB of photos for free.

 



2012 — free game may harbinger future of iPhone games

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Or so says a great article on CNet. The free game 2012 is a tie-in to the movie and is fairly simple. But, according to the article, it uses a feature that may never have been tried before. The object of the game is to get to Tibet (digitally, of course). You do so by answering some tough trivia questions. And here's the innovation: you can use "lifelines" like in the TV game show by using your iPhone to call friends for help — directly from within the game.



News: no tethering yet, iPhone 3.1.2 arrives, iPhone tops in customer satisfaction

MacWorld recently posted several news items of interest. One is the disappointing news that AT&T has indicated it's not ready to introduce tethering — the ability to use your phone as a modem for you laptop. So it's more waiting. Hopefully we'll see it in the next few months. Despite that, MacWorld is reporting that the iPhone tops the list in customer satisfaction surveys. I can believe it — I love mine.



Showtime — free app for watching streaming Showtime content

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The free Showtime app from Showtime Networks offers selected full episodes of their programming as well as video clips from their original series. The selected episodes of original series include the new season premiere episodes of "Dexter" and "Californication." Also available are episodes of "United States of Tara," "Weeds," "Nurse Jackie," "The Tudors," "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union," and "Penn & Teller." Video is added regularly. The app also offers select sneak peek clips of the next week's episodes, behind-the-scenes features, and interviews with cast members and guest stars.



AT&T now allows Skype and other VoIP programs over cellular network

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Big change yesterday. Until now, if you wanted to use Skype or another voice-over-Internet app that lets you make free or low-cost calls via the Internet, you had to do it via Wi-Fi. You couldn't use your iPhone's data connection. Yesterday AT&T announced that their policy had changed. People had long wanted this change because, for example, they can make international calls a lot cheaper using a VoIP service. This article from MacWorld gives more information.



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