If you're out an about and want more information on a product or if you want to compare the online price with the store price, you can quickly and easily get that info using the Cyclops app. It uses your camera to snap the barcode and then returns the information from Amazon. And it's free. It got a lot of bad ratings, but that seems to be partly because people tried to use it incorrectly or on an older phone. For now it only works with the camera of the new iPhone 3GS.
David Pogue, you may know, writes great how-to books for computer users, including iPhone: The Missing Manual. The publisher, O'Reilly, has posted an article with Pogue's 10 best tips for iPhone 3.0 taken from this book. The tips are related to using the camera, macro mode, the map, voice memos, voice dialing, free text messaging, and more.
Beginning last month, live video streaming of major league baseball games has been available via the popular $9.99 MLB.com At Bat 2009 app. Initially one or two games a day were available for free via streaming, with plans to roll out more and more games as the summer progressed. Baseball games are subject to local blackout, just as with broadcast TV. You can read more in a short article in the New York Times. It works on an iPhone or iPod touch, but you'll need to have iPhone 3.0 software, and likely also a 3G or WiFi connection.
This is sort of a good news, bad news situation. First the good news: Google Latitude is now available for the iPhone. The bad news: Apple wouldn't allow it to be made available as an app, so it's instead available as a web app. You can read the MacWorld report about it on Yahoo Tech. Google Latitude, as you may know, lets you view a map and see if your friends are nearby and makes it easy to send a message to them. To use the web app, point your iPhone's Safari at google.com/latitude.
Barnes & Noble released a free eBook reader for the iPhone and iPod touch late last week and announced that they intend to offer over 700,000 books in their new eBook store, including 500,000 free ones in collaboration with Google Books. Like Amazon, their price for new offerings is $9.95. You can read more about their new eBook store in a report in the New York Times.
Jamendo, a free application released earlier this summer gives you streaming access to more than 21,000 free music albums and over 200,000 tracks. Jamendo is the top site in the world for free and legal music downloads, with all music made available under the Creative Commons licenses. This video gives a good overview of the application. The service offers five categories of music: Electro, Instrumental, Jazz, Lounge, and Pop.
Okay, I agree — it's clearly a matter of opinion and taste what constitutes the best games out of the 6,000 in the App Store. Still, reviewer Mike B at Koku Games is pretty confident that the seven he's identified are among the best. His three-minute video review gives you a nice glimpse of the range of iPhone games — and a sense for which ones you might like to try.
Out of the over 50,000 apps in the App Store, MacWorld magazine picked Concert Vault as the best app of 2009. This free app lets you enter in your favorite band or artist, and then you can listen via streaming audio to an actual concert that was recorded sometime in the past — U2, early Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin. The collection spans the 1960s through today. Obviously not every band or artist will be represented, and the current ones less so. But hopefully you'll find something you'll like from among the thousands of concerts.
You know by now the huge challenge developers face getting their new app noticed. If you're not among the top 100, forget it. And even being in the top hundred can still mean earning just a few dollars a day. And as you might guess, there's now a market for services and how-to's that teach developers how to market their apps. One of the newest offerings is a 29-page eBook, "Secrets Of iPhone App Marketing: How To Get Your App Noticed & Increase Your Sales," which takes developers step-by-step through the process of successfully marketing their apps. It's not cheap, at $49.