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.
App Genius, a new feature in iPhone 3.1, is a good way to find useful apps. Go to the App Store app on your iPhone or iPod touch (the latter will need to be connected to the Internet via WiFi), and click on the Genius tab at the top right. Once you’ve enabled this feature by following the onscreen prompts, it will then show your apps and for each one will recommend a similar app. Like iTunes, the Genius function works by pooling the preferences of all those using the Genius function. I have the AP News app on my device, and Genius detected that other users who have this app installed also have the Reuters app installed, so it suggested that.
Here's a novel idea. You can sign up at a new website, FuelMyApp.com, and get paid apps for free. In exchange, you agree to review the app on iTunes. Of course, you aren't obligated to give a positive review. The way it works is that you sign up on FuelMyApp.com and give your PayPal e-mail address and iTunes nickname. Then you select an app from the website and pay for it as normal. Once you've tried it, then you review it on iTunes. As soon as your review is published, FuelMyApp automatically credits your PayPal account for the amount you paid for the app.
AT&T's network has been in the news lately, with a lot of iPhone users venting about the quality of service. Of course, it depends on where you live. On Tuesday, CNet writer Elinor Mills posted an article about her problems with AT&T service on her iPhone in San Francisco. That set off a firestorm of comments from iPhone users around the country. Today she posted a followup article, summarizing the comments and listing the dozens of locations that people complained about.
It's great to see so many major publications creating apps for the iPhone. Nowadays it seems like every company feels as if it's necessary to have an iPhone app, just as it's necessary to have a website. Polar Mobile has been working hard creating apps for some top magazines, having recently released apps for Time, Sports Illustrated, and BusinessWeek — all free.
I still have a first generation iPhone, and the data connection is slow. But even if I had a more recent device, I'd still have a slow connection here in rural Iowa because there ain't no 3G network in this area. So I was delighted to find out from a friend that I can use my Mac as a wireless router to connect my iPhone to the Internet via Wi-Fi. I can turn it on and then use the wireless access anywhere in the house. It's cheaper and simpler than buying a wireless router. Here's how to do it. First be sure that AirPort is turned on on your Mac by going to System Preferences and clicking Network, then selecting AirPort in the left menu, then clicking Turn AirPort On at right. Then go back to System Preferences and select Sharing. Next select Internet Sharing in the menu at left.
If you're bored this weekend and enjoy comics, the Comics (Free) app might be just the thing. It offers over 50 free comic books, with more being added every week. If you get hooked, then you can buy the paid version (99 cents), which has in-app purchasing so that you can load up on more comics. The publishers include AdHouse Books, Creative Impulse, Evil Twin Comics, Moonstone, and Zenescope. The app requires iPhone 3.0 or later.
The new iPhone 3.0 software brought with it two features that have been much in demand: MMS, which is multimedia text messaging, and tethering, which lets you connect your laptop to the Internet via your phone's data connection. The trouble was that although these features were now part of the software, they hadn't yet been enabled by AT&T. That's changing, with MMS imminent (and some people already using it) and tethering coming in the not-to-distant future. iLounge posted a helpful article today titled Sixteen things you should know about MMS and Tethering. If you're interested in either of these features, you'll want to read this article.
I just got a press release saying that the free WhitePages Mobile is used by over 2 million people on a variety of platforms. And I'm going to be one of them. I can't remember the last time I used a phone book, since I've long been in the habit of using Google for a phone number lookup. And now when I'm away from my computer I can conveniently use WhitePages Mobile for lookup. Plus, it has quite an array of useful features. You can use it for people and business search, as well as for reverse lookup (find out who's associated with a particular phone number).