Archive for January, 2010
Written by John Herrman
Classics: Classics is not new. And though it's good, it's not my personal first choice for iPhone ebook apps. (I've kinda got a thing for Stanza). But here's the thing: This week, Apple introduced a service called iBooks for the iPad. The interface looks very, very similar to Classics', which…
Original story at
View our complete collection of news and blogs, plus related videos, photos and more at
GearShrine: Apple iPhone.
Well, that didn’t take long — app developers have already begun rolling out versions of their apps that’ll expand the capabilities of the iPad, still a good two months away from store shelves. One of the first is ActivePrint, from developer Pocket Watch.
Currently, ActivePrint lets iPhone users pop out things like photos, web pages, plain [...]
According to Engadget, well placed sources say that iPhone OS 3.2 includes rudimentary support for video calling. The hooks reportedly allow for accepting, declining a video conference, flip a video feed and being able to run the call in full screen mode or in just a portion of the screen. This would indicate some form of multi-tasking.
iPhone OS 3.2 also offers support for file downloads and local storage in Safari. Other findings include beginnings of SMS support buried in the code.
What’s this all mean? Perhaps there is more to the iPad that Apple isn’t telling us. Maybe Steve Jobs “one more thing” might come closer to launch.
In this edition of Apps of the Week, we morph into greasy-haired hipsters with the flick of a finger, pillow-smack our friends in the figurative face via Twitter, and look back nostalgically at our favorite cartoon show intros.
Fangirls and fanboys of Ellen Degeneres will be especially grateful that the up-and-coming queen of daytime talk shows has finally released her own app, complete with footage of her latest monologues, photos from the show, and a feed of her personal blog and tweets.
This app is yet another in a series of silly trends happening on Twitter, except this one will cost you a whole buck (well, minus one cent, but you get the point). Use the app to start a pillow fight with your friends on Twitter by selecting a pillow, inserting your friend’s name onto it, then tweeting your friend directly from the app. It’s like hitting your friend with a real pillow, except not. Despite your desires to do so, we strongly discourage anyone from hitting their friends with their actual iPhones, for the safety of both your friend and your beloved iPhone.
Anyone who lives in a remotely large city knows the importance of being able to predict how much a cab ride might cost when you’re running late or in a hurry to get somewhere. And anyone simply visiting a large city knows the horrible feeling you get as you watch your cab’s meter rise and rise with quite a ways to go until your destination. So this Cab Meter app is a pretty great alternative to guesstimating how much being lazy, late, or a tourist is going to cost you. There are already several cab fare apps available, but this one is slotted at a decent price and is surprisingly accurate. It’s available in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, and Houston, so if you’re a semi-avid traveler, this is a pretty great tool to have at the ready in your back pocket.
Shaun White Snowboarding: Origins LITE
Price: FREE (lite)
Ready for the winter Olympics yet? Well, ready or not, they’re rapidly approaching, and so, inevitably, popular Olympians like Shaun White are showing up on our televisions more often than usual. White released a pretty decent $0.99 snowboarding game app back in December, where you can shred with the best flying tomato in all of the land. So, most likely thanks to the timing of the Olympics, White just released a lite version of the game for free. We dig the graphics here, and, honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a good round of simulated snowboarding?
An App to Tell
If you thought e-cards were romantic, wait until you try out this Valentine’s Day app to give to your sweetheart. Become a (somewhat) permanent part of your love’s iPhone by sending them a customized app with some text, a photo of you, and an audio message for them to download. You send them this app that you “create” via e-mail, then they can download the app to their iPhone and look at you and listen to your voice whenever the mood strikes them. Borderline creepy? Yes. Good intentions? We suppose.
We know you’ve been aching for something to fill your need to watch the intros of your favorite childhood cartoons for some time now. Well, fret no more, there’s an app for that. What is actually just an aggregated feed of YouTube videos, this app has a growing catalog of YouTube videos of the intros to classic cartoons like Back to the Future (yes, there was a short-lived cartoon show made from the movie) and Animaniacs (you still remember the 50 states song, right?). If anything, it’s a great way to pass the time or a unique way to break the ice with a new friend or bond over the time when Saturday morning cartoons used to be great.
Most people have been told they resemble somebody famous at least once in their life. Trouble with this is, sometimes it’s not always who they’d hoped it would be, and we often don’t agree with these observations. So get scientific and see for yourself which celebrity you most likely resemble. The FaceR app will examine a photo you upload to the app and show you results based on a grid system. Give this one a try with a group of friends, and make sure you taunt that one friend you have who resembles David Schwimmer. There’s always one of those, of course.
Note to Haiti
On a more serious note, the Note to Haiti app follows suit of another one of its developer’s apps (Note to God), which sends well wishes or prayers out to the world via an app community. It’s been a few weeks since the earthquake hit, but you can still show your support with a few nice words and maybe even a donation, which you can submit through a link in this Note to Haiti app. If you had enough time to read these reviews, you could probably spare a few for a nice thought, right? Right.
On the heels of the uber popular Stachetastic photo app (which helps you macho up your mug by adding a sweet stache) comes this Hipsters app that will turn you into an American Apparel-loving hipster in less than a minute. Add a fedora, glasses, “greasy hair,” and “facial hair that women run away from.” The awesomeness of this app’s potential seems pretty clear, but we’ll let the app’s info speak for itself: “‘I never knew I was a fedora away from being a dirty hipster’ – Jose, Seattle, WA.”
After the iPad unveiling, tech journalist grand high poobah Walt Mossberg (the real one, not the puppet) got some face time with Steve Jobs. In doing so, he extracted some precious new information about the new gadget, and some interesting facts. All Things Digital videod the encounter, shown below.
The relevant parts? Book prices will be the same as the Kindle, so assumedly $9.99, and ”publishers are withholding books from Amazon”. The battery life will be a bit better than 10 hours when reading books, and around 140 hours of music playback with the screen off. Also of interest to anyone trying to do work on the thing, Pages can save a file as .doc, which can then be emailed out.
This last point especially offers some interesting hints that we’ll see something closer to a full-fledged OS, if only incrementally.
[via 9 to 5 Mac]
AppleInsider is reporting that Cupertino might be making moves to cast the iPad as a device for business as well as pleasure.
Apple has already announced iWork for the iPad, as well as VGA output and bluetooth keyboard compatibility, all of which are solid features for a work machine. AppleInsider’s sources tell them that more might be on the way. Apparently, the iPad might soon be able to print over a network, which is crucial both for business-folks and students. The other interesting possibility, is that the iPad might be able to access shared files on a server, which means we may see something akin to saving and loading files on the device too.
T-Online Germany briefly had up a product matrix for the iPad, which was taken down in short order, but not before some handy screencaps were made. Setteb.it spotted the prices, and they run exactly parallel to the USD amount €499-€829.
While it wouldn’t be unheard of for Apple to do a 1:1 exchange on the price, given that no-one seems to know much about European launch, I’m going to hazard that these numbers were for internal use only with T-Online
[via 9 to 5 Mac]
In the wake of the Free Software Foundation calling the iPad “iBad“, the restrictive nature of the app store is starting to raise questions again with many users. After all, if this is to become a serious lifestyle device, and a potential laptop replacement, people are going to want a certain degree of freedom.
The FSF called to task Apple over using DRM for a large amount of their content, and other commenters have taken Cupertino for task over only letting us install Apple-vetted apps (full disclosure: I’m a contributer to io9, and work with Annalee Newitz).
The app store situation raises a very good point. Where, on your iPhone, people tend not to mind so much that Apple says what they can and can’t use, because it’s not a device you run your life out of. If the iPad is to become a device which people use frequently, for work as well as play, then Apple strict controls over what you can and can’t use will be an issue. I’m sure it’ll be jailbroken before the year is over, but that doesn’t fix the issue.
Imagine if Apple would only sell books in the iBook store that it okayed content for, removing any sexual scenes. Or if iTunes wouldn’t let you purchase music that contained obscenities. That all sounds patently ridiculous, but is precisely what Apple does with the app store.
What do you think? If Apple opened up the app store, would it make you more likely to buy one? Or less? Or would that damage the device’s ability to sell to the potentially mammoth technophobe market?
Following up yesterday’s revelation that the iPad SDK contains photo capturing ability, despite the lack of onboard camera, comes this juicy little screenshot, showing the iPad displaying an iPhone-esque “Touch to return a call” bar across the top of the screen.
Since there’s no chance the iPad is going to operate as an enormous mobile phone [...]