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.

Why Apple chose the odd 4:3 aspect ratio for the iPad


When I first saw images of the iPad, something didn't look right. Eventually I realized that I was expecting it to be taller and narrower — more like the aspect ratio of the iPhone (15:10) and the 16:9 aspect ratio of HD and my iMac. Instead, it's 4:3, like the 15-inch monitors of old. The question is why. And the answer is, according to an article posted today on MacWorld, it's better for reading reading ebooks, magazines, and newspapers, better for surfing the web, and better for using productivity applications. And 4:3 feels more natural when you hold it in your hands.

Video tips from Etre Touchy

This is a clever idea. In order to promote their iPhone-friendly gloves, Etre Touchy is posting video-based tips showing you how to do various things on your iPhone.

Videos of the new iPad


If you have a desire to see this new gizmo in action, CNN has put together a great 5-minute video of excerpts from today's presentation of the iPad by Steve Jobs. And  there's an 8-minute Apple commercial for the device on YouTube. The latter video demos the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBook Store.


Google Voice now available for iPhone!

The iPhone buzz on the Internet today is the newly available Google Voice for the iPhone. Google Voice, if you're not familiar with it, is an astonishing range of free services.

iPhone 4.0 rumors


BoyGeniusReport claims to have the inside scoop on iPhone 4.0 courtesy of an informant. The word is that it may be announced at Apple's event this week. They say that the new version will include multitasking, which I would really like to see happen. I'm constantly opening and closing apps, and I dislike waiting each time. Apple hasn't wanted to implement that apparently because it will be a drain on the battery. Hope they get that figured out.

Tax Answers — free app from H&R Block


It's that time of year again — time to give the government its due. And Tax Answers, a free app from H&R Block just released this week, is here to help you. I'm astonished, actually, at what it offers. It's not simply an app with a ton of information and tips. Rather, it connects you to H&R Block tax experts who are available to answer your questions — also free. The app connects you to the Get It Right(SM) Community which is manned by 1,000 H&R Block tax professionals ready to share their expertise.

MailTones — different sound alerts for different e-mail senders


MailTones at $2.99 is a bit pricey, but it's a great idea and may suit a particular need you have. It lets you assign different sounds to different e-mail senders and uses the iPhone's push notification to alert you when you receive important e-mails. This is apparently the only app that offers this function. And in their just-released update they've added a feature popular with IT managers: messages to their pagers can be forwarded to their iPhones and use a unique sound to alert them that they have a support call that needs attention. And if they're sleeping when that alert comes through?

Nature Images — free collection of nature wallpapers now available


New today in the App Store is Nature Images, a free collection of 108 closeup nature photos for use as wallpapers for your iPhone or iPod touch. The press release says that these images have long been available on other platforms and are among the most popular wallpapers in the world. Once you select an image is selected, you tap a button to save it to your photo album. Then, as you likely know, you can use the Photos application to set it as a wallpaper (the app includes simple instructions).

Pocket Dictate — free software for recording dictation


Even though you have Voice Memo on your iPhone you might also be interested in the free Pocket Dictate, which lets you make recordings and then tap the send button to e-mail it to your typist from within the app. You can also send it via ftp. The app automatically compresses the WAV file. There are other useful controls, too, including the ability to overwrite and insert. A voice activation feature lets you set it so that it only records when you're speaking. And while it's designed to emulate — and replace — a dictaphone, obviously it could be used for other purposes, such as interviews.

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