TidBITS is my favorite source when there are new developments related to the iPhone, iPod touch, iTunes, and the Macintosh. Why? Somehow they just always explain things more clearly than anyone else. Maybe it's because they've been doing their thing for around 25 years, and maybe it's because Adam Engst was an English major in college. So I look forward to their free weekly e-mail newsletter. The most recent issue has a great article giving you all the detail on the recent iPhone 3.1 update.
I love the new feature in iTunes 9 that lets you organize your apps via your desktop computer. I find it to be quicker and easier than doing it via my iPhone. Still, one of the weaknesses of the interface is that you have to page through a bunch of screens to find the app you want, and it's hard to tell at a glance which page you're on. AppButler is an amazingly simple, yet clever solution. For now, it's a free service that you access by pointing your iPhone's Safari at appbutler.com. They have an app awaiting approval that will cost $2.99. Here's how the free service works.
I've long been into healthy living. And it's done well by me. So I was pleased to see iVeda recently released, since it's a handy app for helping you integrate into your life my favorite system of alternative healthcare: Ayurveda. What I like about Ayurveda is that it does away with the notion of "one size fits all." Instead, this system that originated in ancient India says that there are different body types and that the way to get healthy and stay healthy varies according to one's body type. Me, I'm a "vata" body type — underweight, uncomfortable in cold weather, light sleeper.
Jimmy Gilberti doesn't like it, and neither do I. Maybe we're missing something. On his Quimondo website today he rails about iTunes 9, which he says gives inferior App Store search results compared to the old version. The reason: you can no longer sort by popularity. Do a search on a generic term such as "horoscope," and the search results appear in seeming random order. Lots of pretty icons but no information about the apps relative to the others.
CNet gives a nice short overview of yesterday's announcements by Apple of a new video iPod, lower prices on the iPod touch, iTunes 9, and iPhone 3.1. You can also watch a video of the event, which featured Mr. Jobs himself, on Apple's website. It lasts about an hour and 15 minutes and includes demos of the new features in iTunes. An interesting focus of the event was the iPod touch, which Apple is now promoting as a game machine.
Apple held a much-heralded press conference today, and the big news was the release of iPhone 3.1 and iTunes 9. Of course, a lot of people were expecting a tablet computer or some other goody to be announced, but zilch there. However, the "one more thing" today was a new iPod Nano with a built-in video camera to compete with the wildly popular Flip.
I like MacWorld's reviews and articles. And their new app, called App Gems, looks to be really useful. Each weekday this app highlights and App Gem of the day — an app that's highly recommended by their staff of experts. Plus, the app also includes Essential Collections of great apps, which are handpicked by the editors and writers at MacWorld. You can also see lists of top-rated apps by category. And finally, App Gems includes news stories, blog posts, and tips posted on Macworld.com. The app is $1.99.
One of the amazing things about the iPhone is the number of niche applications. If you or your children play soccer, you'll want to try SoccerCard SKS, a customizable stats application for iPhone and iPod touch that enables you to create an unlimited number of virtual soccer cards featuring current player photos and season records, stats, and totals in real time. And you can e-mail these virtual SoccerCards to others. The app looks like a real SoccerCard, with a photo on the front.
In an earlier post I noted that i.TV 2.0 had been announced. And now it's out. This free app is billed as "the only movie, DVD, and TV guide you'll ever need." The new version lets you use your iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control with a TiVo, and more devices are being added. The new version also includes a streamlined interface, push notifications, and more.
One of the complaints when the new iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3.0 came out was the continued lack of MMS — even though the new software was capable of it. Now AT&T has announced that this multimedia messaging functionality will be coming September 25. You can read a short report on CNet and also a brief statement from AT&T. You'll need to have an iPhone 3G or 3GS to take advantage of this.