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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.

Best apps of 2009


I've just been looking at some of the "Best of"' lists that have been posted, and thought that I'd share a couple. It's a great way to get ideas from great apps that will be useful to you. TechCrunch has posted a list of the Best iPhone Apps of 2009 that was compiled by the lead reviewer at AppVee. Erik has identified the top 10 apps and the top 15 games, as well as the top 5 innovations. Each app listed includes a link to the AppVee review, and there are also embedded video reviews of quite a few of the apps.

Best Games of 2009 in 20 categories


The game site TouchGen recently named the top games of 2009 in nearly 20 different categories, from the best action game to the best online multiplayer game. The site also named a runner up in each category. Plus, they selected the best overall game of 2009. And the winner is . . . . iBlast Moki, a puzzle game. The judges liked it in part because it was the one that "truly feels unique to the platform."

iType2Go Pro — $1.99 app lets you use augmented reality to text as you walk


iType2Go Pro has just received an annual Pogie Award, meaning that it's one of New York Times columnist David Pogue's top picks for the best technology of 2009. And it's definitely a clever idea: If you're the kind of person who sends text messages while you're walking, the iPhone uses the camera to display what's in front of you and the text that you're typing appears superimposed. You can direct that your message be sent as a text message, e-mail message, Facebook update, or Twitter update. It works in either vertical or landscape mode.

Macworld's top 20 apps for 2009


The best-of-year lists appearing in the waning days of 2009 are a great way to identify apps that you might like and find useful. Macworld recently posted an article presenting their 2009 App Gem Awards — the best apps in 20 different categories, including 5 different types of games. Some of these we've posted about, but others are new to me. Some of the picks include CNN Mobile for news, Boxcar for notifications, and iBird Explorer Plus as best reference app. 

Demo compares quality of video software for the original and 3G iPhones

In an earlier post I mentioned two $0.99 apps that let you record video if you have an original iPhone or iPhone 3G.  

Dragon Search — free voice recognition search app


The appearance of Dragon Dictation, which lets you speak into your phone to enter text, caused quite a stir, especially given that it's being made available initially for free. You can read Ken Burkhalter's blog post that gives a helpful review. However, note that Dragon Search is also available, and also free. It lets you do voice searches rather than having to tap in your search terms.

Best App Awards — nominate your favorite app, track the leaders


The website 148Apps has created a competition for the Best App Ever Awards. The goal of the competition is to identify the best apps and games in the iTunes Store — not just the best-selling. Nominations will be closed on December 31, so head on over and make sure your favorite apps have been nominated. The finalists will be announced on January 1, and then you will be able to vote on these finalists through January 31. Click here to nominate, and here to see what apps are currently the popular vote leaders in each of 56 categories. The winners will be announced at MacWorld.

ShowTime — $0.99 app lets first generation and 3G owners record video


Our blogger Tari has posted a couple times about the recent influx of programs for recording and broadcasting video via your iPhone, including the first generation and 3G iPhones. iVideoCamera ($0.99) is currently the most popular video recording app. Now ShowTime - Video Recorder ($0.99) has entered the fray, and has much greater capability. iVideoCamera records at 3 frames per second, whereas ShowTime does 6.

Waze — free navigation app offers holiday treasure hunt


Waze is a neat app that not only offers GPS navigation but also uses "crowdsourcing" to help make available real-time traffic updates. Users can send alerts as they drive so that others can avoid problems. The recently released holiday version of Waze offers a holiday theme with a treasure hunt that gives you the opportunity to win real prizes. According to their press release, they added what they call "road goodies" – small icons worth bonus points – to the map in areas where the waze system has identified map problems.

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