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.

iPhones create overload on AT&T network

Are you getting dropped calls on your iPhone? It's your fault. According to a report in today's New York Times, your iPhone is a data guzzler, and you, like most other iPhone owners, use it a lot. After all, it's the greatest handheld computer ever invented. But iPhone joy comes at a cost: the average iPhone owner uses as much as ten times the network capacity as a typical smartphone user. The result is a lot of angry customers. The article has some interesting anecdotes, including the occasion when thousands of iPhone owners attended a technology conference in Austin — and inadvertently brought the AT&T network to its knees. But don't despair.



The App Podcast, Appolicious help you find great apps

I just came across a couple useful websites for learning about apps that might interest you. The App Podcast offers nearly daily video demos of apps, and sometimes as many as four or five a day. You can watch the demos online or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and watch them on your iPhone or iPod touch. Developers pay to have their apps reviewed, so it's not a typical review site. But it's hard to beat a video demo for getting a quick idea regarding whether you'll like the app.



Apple denies exploding iPhones

Earlier I posted a link to a news report about some iPhones exploding in Europe. "Explode" was a bit of media exaggeration, since what happened was that the glass shattered. But no one got hurt, and there was only a small number of instances. Now the BBC is reporting that Apple investigated the issue and that in every case if found that some kind of force had been applied to the screen, though some people involved deny that.



Facebook 3.0 is here!

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The Facebook app is one of the most popular free apps, with an amazing 343,000 ratings. Version 3.0 was released late this week. So if you're into social networking, and like doing it from your iPhone, head on over to the App Store and get the latest version. It requires iPhone 3.0 and has a ton of new features, including landscape mode, the ability to post photos and videos, and much more. According to online discussion, everyone is pretty thrilled with this new version, saying it's very different from 2.5 and a huge improvement.



London Bus and Metro Paris Subway — first augmented reality apps for the iPhone

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This is yet another great development. London Bus and Metro Paris Subway are the first apps to bring augmented reality to the iPhone. As you point your camera at the scene around you, specific information related to your location appears on the screen — superimposed over the live image. Pretty amazing. There's a video demo on YouTube that gives you an idea how it works.



Article exposes fake app reviews by PR firm

Well, I guess I shouldn't judge — you never know about these things. But an article on Mobile Crunch makes a fairly good case that a successful PR firm is faking app reviews as a way of promoting their clients' apps. The company denies it. But it does seem undeniable that some of the reviews for new apps are planted. I realized when reading this article that when I look at app reviews, I always subconsciously dismiss certain ones that sound phony. There's just something about them that doesn't sound genuine. And usually a surfeit of exclamation marks. Plus, they appear so quickly after the app is released.



Business app finder from InfoWorld — the top 200

Yesterday InfoWorld launched the "no-junk business iPhone apps finder." Given the huge range in quality of apps in the Business section in the App Store, InfoWorld sought to identify those that are really solid and useful. At launch their new business apps finder listed 218 apps in 23 categories. You can read more in this short article. They exclude apps that aren't really business apps or that are of dubious value. This is a great resource. 



Jumsoft Money — free finance app

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One of the more popular small business and personal finance programs for Mac users is Jumsoft Money. Earlier this month Jumsoft released a free version for iPhone 3.0. You can use it to keep track of your financial transactions to the create and maintain a budget.



Free AAA Roadside app — for help when you need it

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The free AAA Roadside app uses the iPhone's GPS to identify your location and lets you easily send your location info, vehicle description, specific problem and other info to AAA for roadside assistance. You also have the option to place a voice call. Once your request is submitted, you receive confirmation that it was received. The app can also provide information on nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair shops, Hertz rental locations, AAA Approved accommodations, AAA offices, and retail locations with discounts on auto parts.



Apps from a trash collector, waiter, and magician

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Everybody's getting into app development these days. What if you're a trash collector and you have a great idea for an app that lets people get help for their problems? Rob Shoesmith was that trash collector (though called a "bin man" in the U.K., where he lives). He took his idea to the MEDL Mobile's App Incubator, and it was one of 8 out of 12,000 proposed apps that were selected for development. You can see an entertaining video of Rob on his website.



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