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.
When I first heard of Ocarina, I thought it was novel — using the iPhone as a wind instrument — but I didn't imagine it would catch on. It is, after all, a time-consuming affair to learn to play a new musical instrument. But it's become a top-selling application.
MagicPad is a commercial app that is being given away for free for the holidays. It offers rich-text editing — and copy/paste. But note that the copy//paste function only works within a note or from one note to another. You can't copy/paste between applications. The rich-text editing lets you adjust font style, size, color, and effects. You can e-mail notes to others.
In the news today is Microsoft's release of its first application for the iPhone: Seadragon Mobile, an image-browsing app. And it has raised eyebrows because the same app hasn't been released for Microsoft's own Windows Mobile platform.
One of the common complaints about the iPhone has been the lack of copy & paste. A hot news item on blogs the past couple days is the imminent arrival of Pastebud. According to Gizmodo, it's pretty limited: you can copy and paste from Safari to Mail, and from one web page to another. It's a jury-rigged solution that uses functionality already available on the iPhone -- no need to install an app.
Mac Life has posted an article titled 101 Most Essential iPhone Apps of 2008. The authors identify these apps as being high quality -- and indispensable. The selected apps include not a few games and some really handy utilities, like Remote, which lets you control your music from any room in the house.
I recently posted about Google's new mobile search app that recognizes voice queries. However, I had mixed success, and am going to try Vlingo — voice-powered software that Cnet says is better than Google's. CNet's review includes an impressive demo video of Vlingo in action. A version for iPhone was released (free!) last month.
Fortune is reporting that there are now over 10,000 applications in the iTunes App Store. 148Apps.com (which gets its name from the total number of apps that can be installed) has created a mosaic of all 10,000 app icons — with each icon clickable.
An article in the excellent weekly newsletter TidBITS tells about the free VPN application AnchorFree. VPN, as you probably know, stands for Virtual Private Network, and it's a very important consideration if you're using public Wi-Fi hotspots. It's very easy for someone to steal your personal information such as passwords, so protection is in order. The article explains the need for VPN and how to use AnchorFree.
Posting this a bit late. Pangea Software, which offers some great games, typically priced around $8, is making them available for 99 cents as a Black Friday offering. The sale ends December 2. Just search for "Pangea Software" in iTunes to see the titles available.