Well, you know about rumors: they're sometimes baseless. But this one seems to make sense. After all, both the iPhone and iPod touch already have an FM receiver built in. Why not an app to let you tune in radio stations? According to 9to5Mac, Apple is working on just such an app. So what's the holdup? They're trying to program it so that you can purchase music from within the app. Of course, you can already get streaming radio stations via apps such as Wunder Radio. But the FM app will be over-the-air, such that you can tune in local radio stations.
Sometimes app lists are useful, sometimes not. This one's excellent. 100 iPhone Apps to Seriously Boost Your Brain Power is a categorized list of apps that are oriented toward helping you learn things. The categories include:
• General Knowledge Triva, Quizzes, and Games
• Science and Mathematics
• Literature, Arts, and Culture
• Test Preparation and Study Tools
• History and Geography
• References and Guides
• Vocabulary and Grammar
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.