I hate to spread rumors .... but this one's good. Maybe too good to be true. I like the idea of tethering — connecting your laptop to the Internet via your phone's data capability when there's no Wi-Fi or other connection available. It's been rumored for some time now that AT&T and Apple are planning to make this available for an additional monthly charge of $30. Ouch.
The good news is that iRinger is free and that it lets you create iPhone ringtones from almost any source. You can even extract audio ringtones from videos. The bad news: the app is only available for the Windows OS. (There's a certain amount of irony there.) Once you've created your ringtones, then the application exports them to iTunes. You can Adjust ringtone length, volume, fade in, fade out, and loop gap, as well as add audio effects.
Wi-Fi Finder, which was released last month, is an app that lets you easily find wireless hotspots — both free and paid. It taps into a registry of 200,000 verified hotspot locations in 135 countries. You simply click "Near Me," and Wi-Fi Finder uses the built-in GPS on the iPhone or the iPod Touch's triangulation capability to find hotspots near you.
Sling Media has a really cool product that's long been available for other devices. It allows you to watch all of the content on your TV on your device — live. You connect their Slingbox (which costs anywhere from $180-300) to your TV inputs (such as cable or satellite) and to your Internet connection. Then with Sling Media software on your device, you're able to access your TV channels on your iPhone wherever you are.
Video reviews are pretty handy, especially game reviews, because you get a chance to see the software in action. Apple iPhone School has posted over 50 video reviews in iTunes. Most recently they've covered the games SimCity, Burnball, Space Deadbeef, Field Runners, and Topple.
I think that mobile payment is going to become increasingly common. I recently heard from Obopay, a mobile-to-mobile money transfer service, which has recently launched an iPhone-optimized website. It allows iPhone users to easily send money to any cell phone that can receive an SMS.
This is a cool idea: print photos from your iPhone or iPod Touch directly to a printer without having to first transfer the photos to a computer. HP has developed this app and is making it available for free in the iTunes store. Search for HP iPrint Photo.
AccuWeather.com has just announced a new application (free!) that automatically determines your location and offers an array of weather forecast information, as well as weather alarms and health indices.
David Pogue's popular help book — iPhone: The Missing Manual — is now available as an iPhone application. The book costs $24.99, but the app is available at a special introductory price of just 4.99. (Regular price is 9.99.) This second edition has new material related to the iPhone 3G and MobileMe. Plus, there are new chapters on the app store and Microsoft Exchange.
The coolest invention of 2008? Pocket projectors, according to a review by David Pogue in the New York Times. I'm hoping Santa will bring me one of these. Here's how he describes the Optoma Pico Projector: "a video projector so small, you can carry it in your pocket.