This is yet another great development. London Bus and Metro Paris Subway are the first apps to bring augmented reality to the iPhone. As you point your camera at the scene around you, specific information related to your location appears on the screen — superimposed over the live image. Pretty amazing. There's a video demo on YouTube that gives you an idea how it works.
Well, I guess I shouldn't judge — you never know about these things. But an article on Mobile Crunch makes a fairly good case that a successful PR firm is faking app reviews as a way of promoting their clients' apps. The company denies it. But it does seem undeniable that some of the reviews for new apps are planted. I realized when reading this article that when I look at app reviews, I always subconsciously dismiss certain ones that sound phony. There's just something about them that doesn't sound genuine. And usually a surfeit of exclamation marks. Plus, they appear so quickly after the app is released.
Yesterday InfoWorld launched the "no-junk business iPhone apps finder." Given the huge range in quality of apps in the Business section in the App Store, InfoWorld sought to identify those that are really solid and useful. At launch their new business apps finder listed 218 apps in 23 categories. You can read more in this short article. They exclude apps that aren't really business apps or that are of dubious value. This is a great resource.
One of the more popular small business and personal finance programs for Mac users is Jumsoft Money. Earlier this month Jumsoft released a free version for iPhone 3.0. You can use it to keep track of your financial transactions to the create and maintain a budget.
The free AAA Roadside app uses the iPhone's GPS to identify your location and lets you easily send your location info, vehicle description, specific problem and other info to AAA for roadside assistance. You also have the option to place a voice call. Once your request is submitted, you receive confirmation that it was received. The app can also provide information on nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair shops, Hertz rental locations, AAA Approved accommodations, AAA offices, and retail locations with discounts on auto parts.
Everybody's getting into app development these days. What if you're a trash collector and you have a great idea for an app that lets people get help for their problems? Rob Shoesmith was that trash collector (though called a "bin man" in the U.K., where he lives). He took his idea to the MEDL Mobile's App Incubator, and it was one of 8 out of 12,000 proposed apps that were selected for development. You can see an entertaining video of Rob on his website.
I'm sure my lovely little iPhone wouldn't do this to me, but apparently some of them have, well, exploded. CNet reported a few days ago that the European Commission is looking into reports of exploding iPhones. The account in the New York Times says that one person so far has been slightly injured when his iPhone overheated and shattered, sending debris into his eye. So far it seems like the incidence is rare, so you likely don't have anything to worry about. But do be cautious if you're iPhone or iPod touch feels real hot.
Kim Komando, the popular syndicated radio host, has a great article on backing up your iPhone. You likely know that it's backed up automatically to your computer. But what would you do if you wanted to restore your files? Or if you bought a new phone and wanted to move your old data and settings to it? Or if you wanted to also have a backup on an external drive or remote server? Kim tells you all of this, and more. She begins by explaining the basics — the difference between synchronizing and backing up — and then gives a lot of useful information.
Fluent News is a new free app that aggregates news from many sources, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Plus, it claims to be the first app to let you do keyword searches across many sources. Version 1.1, released yesterday, adds the ability to save articles to a Saved section in the app. It also has in-app e-mailing so that you can send interesting news stories to your friends and colleagues — without leaving the application. You can also share news articles via Twitter and Facebook without leaving the app.
i.TV today announced the imminent availability of version 2.0. Already this app was promoted as "the only movie, DVD, and TV guide you'll ever need." Version 2.0 includes the "i.TV Remote Control Framework," which allows third parties to integrate functionality into i.TV. And the first to do so, is TiVo. You'll be able to use your iPhone to change the channel, fast forward, record, and play your favorite shows and movies with just a tap on your iPhone or iPod touch.