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.
Mobile technology has long been a boon to medical professionals — most obviously the ability to have a complete medical reference in the palm of their hand. And now that utility is increasingly being integrated other areas, such that doctors can now pull up medical records or radiology images on an iPad, for example, in order to show the patient information about his his situation. At Macworld I had the opportunity to interview MacPractice, a leading provider of software for managing a medical practice and found it quite interesting.
Time magazine recently announced its list of 50 Best iPhone Apps 2011 divided into the following categories: games, on the go, lifestyle, music & photography, entertainment, and social. I see that Instapaper is on the list. That was one I wished I had downloaded to my iPad before taking my recent flight to San Francisco for Macworld. It lets you capture web content for offline viewing. Overall, this is an excellent selection of must-have apps.
As expected, the Verizon iPhone is a big hit. The New York Times reported that its debut has surpassed any other Verizon phone, including the Droid, and that the company sold all of the phones being made available to current customers in less than a day.
The Verizon iPhone went on sale today to current customers, and will be available to everyone else on February 10. According to Apple Insider, Verizon is expecting heavy demand and asked its employees to hold off on getting one to make sure there would be enough for customers. Since the phone is basically the same as AT&T's iPhone 4, the early reviews mostly focus one thing: no dropped calls.
The whole publishing industry is watching today as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. launches their news app for the iPad called The Daily. It's an iPad-only newspaper that will be available via subscription. The press event is going on as I write this at the Guggenheim Museum, with Murdoch and Apple's vice president of Internet services sharing the stage. This has attracted attention because it's a concerted effort to translate the newspaper format to the iPad — and because in an Internet world where much content is free, this one will cost money.
TidBITS has a good overview of the Macworld Expo and the coolest products, a number of them related to iOS. They highlight Movie Stiller, which I missed at the show and which sounds like an essential app if you use your phone for shooting video. If you have a shaky hand (and it's almost impossible to hold a camera still without a tripod), Movie Stiller can take any movie in your iPhone library and apply image stabilization to it.
The first day I was at Macworld, ZooGue was freely giving out their leather case to every media representative. I sometimes read on my iPad while I eat and have always just lain it flat on the table, thinking that a stand was unnecessary. But since I had the case, I tried it — and really liked it. I couldn't believe what a difference it made. The ZooGue case can also be used to mount your iPad on the back of a headrest. You can see a video demo on their website.
The thing that strikes me the most is how much fun this Expo is. Everyone seems thrilled. The vendors are excited and passionate about their products or services, and seemingly love every minute they spend talking about them. And the attendees seem enraptured as they listen and ask questions, every bit the equal in passion. It's a quintessential marketplace, bringing together people who share common interests. Yesterday in the short time I was at our booth, I had two different developers come up to me, eager to show me their app.