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.

Free MobileMe iDisk app

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The new MobileMe iDisk app is free, but of course it entails having a MobileMe account, which runs $99 per year. I like MobileMe, which automatically keeps my contacts in sync with my contacts on my computer. Add a new contact to my computer, and it's automatically there on my iPhone. I also recently began using MobileMe's iDisk, which lets you store files online, and combined with Apple's free Backup application, lets you automatically back up selected files and folders on your computer. Remote backup is crucial.



OS 3.0.1 update fixes serious iPhone vulnerability

Since updating the iPhone OS is pretty automatic, you don't likely need to be reminded. But in case you haven't yet installed the latest update, you should. This great article in TidBITS explains what the vulnerability is and why it's essential that it be fixed. Otherwise the bad guys could exploit it and do bad things such as disable your phone, steal your data, make calls, and send text messages.



Finding the best apps: 148Apps.com and Top Tens app

With some 65,000 apps, it's hard sometimes to find the ones that will meet your needs the best. And it's sometimes hard to sort through the App Store reviews to determine whether the app is worth your time and/or money. Two resources can help. One is the website 148Apps, which has just been selected by PC magazine as one of the top 100 websites, and will appear in the Undiscovered Tech category. This site has great reviews of apps, but also five very helpful Top 148 Apps lists: All time Top Apps, Free iPhone Apps, Free iPhone Games, Top Paid Apps, and Top Paid Games.



Free software: scan bar code, get info from Amazon

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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's top 10 tips for iPhone 3.0

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.



740 free how-to videos

Howcast, a website for how-to videos, got a nice writeup in the New York Times. So I checked it out. A search on "iPhone" brings up 740 how-to videos related to the iPhone.



Video streaming of major league baseball, NFL football

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.



Google Latitude for iPhone

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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 offers free reader, 700,000 eBooks (500,000 free)

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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.



Free app lets you access over 21,000 free music albums

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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.



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