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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.

7 best websites for app reviews

MakeUseOf.com has posted a list of the 7 best sites for reviews of iPhone apps. Of course you can always read the user comments in the iTunes Store, but sometimes you might like a more detailed review. I've already covered some of these, but others are new. FreshApps is like Digg for iPhone Apps. (And if you're not already into Digg, that won't make much sense to you.)

Word processing coming to iPhone

PC Magazine is reporting that a word processing app is coming to the iPhone in the second quarter. The author of the article is pretty enthusiastic, saying that "This looks like the best word processor the iPhone has ever seen. You can create new documents, or edit existing ones." The functions will include Save, Cut/Paste, font formatting, and paragraph formatting.

Free Xumii aggregates IM services, social networks


Xumii seems ideal for those who send a lot of instant messages and frequent social networks. It allows you to see and contact all your friends across all your networks with one easy service.  That includes Facebook, MySpace, imeem, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, MSN and Flickr.

iPhone still winning mindshare


An interesting short article on Silicon Alley Insider uses Google Trends to show how the iPhone continues to win the mindshare war among smartphone users. None of the other models are even close. Android is barely a blip.

Canadian company to bring current books to the iPhone

Just a couple days ago I pointed to news that Amazon might be developing an app for the iPhone that would offer the opportunity to purchase and read contemporary books in a manner similar to Amazon's Kindle e-book reader. Well, Amazon, it's too late. According to PCWorld, Shortcovers, a Canadian company, will be introducing an e-book reader later this month.

Google Sync comes to iPhone

Google Sync is yet another great offering from Google. From what I understand Google has implemented Microsoft Exchange for users of its Contacts and Calendar apps, such that you can now sync the contacts and calendar on your mobile phone with your Gmail contacts and your Google Calendar events. The syncing is bi-directional, so you can make a change on one or the other, and it will automatically be made on your other devices.

Google Latitude coming to iPhone


Google Latitude is a new feature of Google Maps for mobile devices that lets you see where your friends are by locating them on a map. Of course, everyone has to opt in, so don’t think that you’ll be able to spy on anyone. And you can choose how much information you want to share. Google Talk is integrated so that you can call or instant-message your friends if you see that they're in the vicinity.

Amazon Kindle app for the iPhone?

As my previous post noted, if you want free public domain books, you can get 1.5 million of them. But what about current books? Silicon Alley Insider is speculating about a forthcoming app from Amazon that would make Kindle books available on your iPhone. I would love to see that happen. And while it is indeed speculation, Amazon did tell the New York Times that they're working on making books available for mobile phones.

1.5 million books on your iPhone -- free


Yesterday Google's book search team announced on their blog that the 1.5 million public domain books already available on Google Book Search are now available for the iPhone. Simply point Safari at books.google.com/m. That's a lot of books, but being in public domain means that they were published decades ago.

Nine-year-old creates popular app


Yahoo Tech is reporting that a nine-year-old boy, the son of a chief technology officer at a Singapore firm, has created  free application, Doodle Kids, that lets

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