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.
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.
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.
There's a new free version of PhotoScatter, a useful app that does one thing very well: you can select or take a photo and then upload it to multiple photo-sharing sites with one click.You can select which sites to upload to: Facebook, Flickr, Shutterfly, PhotoBucket, Picasa, and Twitter, with more being added soon. You can optionally add a title and description before uploading.
The creative use of the iPhone is, I find, stunning. Every day I receive press releases for apps that I just wouldn't expect. Two new apps that illustrate this are Retina and Eye Glasses. Retina ($.99) is for those who are color blind. You simply point the camera at something, such as an item of clothing in a store, and the app will show the item in the camera's preview mode and tell what color it is. Eye Glasses ($2.99) lets you use your iPhone to see tiny text or other hard-to-see details.
I was just looking at MacWorld's AppGuide
and was quite impressed. It's a database of most of the apps in the App Store. The site has reviewed a large number of apps, and for each of Apple’s 20 categories MacWorld lists the apps that it has given the top rating. An interesting facet of the site is that for each of Apple’s app categories, the site breaks that down into 20 subcategories (though at first it gets confusing, since it's easy to think that you looking at the main menu rather than a list of subcategories). The site lets you sort the apps in any category according to rating, user rating, price (low to high), and more. You can also view the apps that are on sale.
The new issue of iPhone Life came out last week, and you can read an exact digital replica in your web browser — for free. Just go to this page, enter your e-mail address, and click on the link in the e-mail that you'll receive. And if you like what you see, consider subscribing to the print version. This issue features the new iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3.0. And of course it has a couple articles by me, including one that tells you about some neat iTunes add-ons that let you clean up your iTunes information and automatically add cover art and lyrics. Plus an article about free apps from major websites such as Yahoo, Amazon, and CNN.
I really like the AP News and New York Times apps and now am going to give the CNN Mobile app a whirl. But unlike most other news apps, ya gotta pay $1.99 for this one. The Associated Press has an interesting article about this novel step by CNN. And the odd thing is, even though this is a paid app, it still has some advertising. Some of the reviews on iTunes trash it for this reason, but others say they're not obtrusive.
Apple announced today that 2 billion apps have now been downloaded from the App Store. And they said that the App Store now has 85,000 apps. This is amazing, since it was just a little more than a year ago that the App Store opened. The announcement also said that there are over 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide and over 125,000 developers in their iPhone Developer Program. Some 30 million people have purchased iPhones and 20 million have purchased iPod touches. The App Store is available in 77 different countries. Apple has given us a device that people like and that meets their needs in a special way.
MacWorld has a great article on MMS — what you need to know about installing, enabling, and using MMS (multimedia messaging). It explains how to send images, location data, videos, and voice memos. And the article talks a bit about performance. An article on CNet says that some users have had problems sending messages and gives a fix. And while there had been concerns whether AT&T's network could handle the additional volume, AT&T is reported to have said that things have gone fairly smoothly.