Posted tagged ‘iPhone’

iPhone apps that spice up reality

August 28, 2009

It’s beyond virtual reality. iPhone currently has 3 Augmented Reality apps available in their App store.

If you’re not familiar with augmented reality (nicknamed AR), it’s basically technology that blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s computer-generated. (Doesn’t that sound eerie? Very Matrix-like.)

With augmented reality, you’re overlaying computer graphics onto the real world whether it’s text, images, or whatever. In the iPhone sense, this means that these 3 AR apps incorporate layers of data on top of the camera view on the iPhone. AR uses the iPhone’s GPS navigation and compass to display businesses, restaurants and bars on top of the camera view. You can look through the camera on your iPhone and see blocks of text or images hovering around your real-life environment. It’s pretty neat.

Right now the 3 AR apps available are:

Metro Paris Subway iPhone app

What the Paris app looks like (courtesy of ReadWriteWeb)

1. Metro Paris Subway: While you’re looking through your iPhone camera, images of Paris businesses near you will pop up, along with the distance it takes to arrive there (in both meters and miles!).

2. London Buses: Using this bus-tracking app now pulls up “Point of Interest” databases which allows the user to see food & drink, leisure, attractions and accommodation POIs all over the UK.

And for those residing in the US…

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

3. Yelp: On the latest version of this app, users have to shake their iPhone 3 times to access this Easter egg feature called “the monocle.” (Well officially the site says shake 3 times but watching other people trying to open the monocle resulted in watching people viciously shake their phone for what seemed like 10 minutes. Since shaking the iPhone for so long can get frustrating, the good news is once you unlock the monocle it will be there forever so it’s a one-time thing.) (more…)


Best of the Best iPhone Apps (Not.)

August 12, 2009

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Ever since the rejection of the Google Voice app for the iPhone, it seems like Apple has risen to a new level of fascist control over what content does or does not gain entry into their smart phone application club.

The Apple app approval process has been strict from the get-go – but now it seems downright impossible for some developers to get a “yes”, even if their apps are worthwhile. This certainly is the case with Google Voice. And it’s no secret now that standing in the way is Apple’s BFF status with AT&T, particularly since one of the reasons Apple cited for rejecting the Google app was based on “duplicate features.” When an app offers users unlimited SMS texting and the associated phone service provider doesn’t, well, we see how that would be a problem. Additionally, Other iPhone apps that have been previously approved are now being rejected if they use Google Voice in any way. (Wow, really?)

Creative developers and users alike are upset that business politics are interfering with mobile tech innovation.  Who can blame them? With so many restrictions, it seems difficult for a truly unique and awesome app to reach the iPhone public if their ideas aren’t 100 percent in line.

Because of Apple’s rising app standards, we looked up what ingenious, cutting-edge, never-seen-before, KICK BUTT apps made it through the cut. Here’s a sample of what came up. We’d like to add our top 3 masterpiece apps we came across. Because really, they’ve just got to be the best of the best. (Or not.)

In addition to “Hold On!” and “iBeer,” there’s:

1. iJiggles-3D-Wobble (99 cents)

Move a target onto your image and watch that area jiggle. Very useful for jello. But apparently that’s not what most people are using it for.


On “Tech Etiquette”

August 11, 2009

Our personal handheld devices, our Blackberries, our iPhones – they’re all turning us into social monsters.

That was the topic of this morning’s “tech etiquette” conversation on the “Today” show with Kathie Lee & Hoda. It seems like tech etiquette is becoming a more important issue now that our mobile devices are becoming a bigger and bigger (addictive) part of our lives. This doesn’t seem like a big surprise since both people’s work AND play are starting to converge on this device. Not only do our bosses and clients have access to us 24/7 through our mobile devices, now our virtual social contacts can take priority over people that are actually there in front of you.

When is giving your phone call, text, email, etc. priority over your real world experience acceptable? In my personal opinion, I would think never. But then again, I’m not a CEO, or a brain surgeon, or President who calls the big shots and needs to be reachable all the time.

Yes, I know there are times when tech needs to take precedence over the present. And in those times it’s very important to use the proper etiquette. However, the mere fact we have such tech etiquette guidelines makes me uneasy – I think it’s a problem when people are more engaged with individuals over their phones than with people who are actually there. This should be obvious, but it’s not…?

Tech makes our lives infinitely easier, but perhaps it needs to focus on making us more human as well.

Check out the clip from MSNBC “Today” below:

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5 Best iPhone Apps for IT

August 10, 2009

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There’s a smorgasbord of iPhone applications in the world – which can only lead to a download-happy user community. Don’t get lured into downloading or (worse) spending money on an app that turns out to be a mind-numbing waste of iPhone space.

For IT professionals, there’s always going to be iPhone enterprise mobility to help business flow, but these extra applications help spice things up and definitely add ease to work. AND they’re just so darn cool.

After sifting and review, here are our 5 picks for the best iPhone apps for the IT professional:

#1. FTP on the Go ($10)

Next time you’re away from your desk and your boss calls with a web site bug that needs immediate attention – no sweat – pull out your iPhone and go to this app. “FTP on the Go” is a must for any IT professional or Webmaster. It allows you to access your website and fix them through a built-in text editor in a safe and secure manner. For the low price, this is a great investment to keep you connected with your business.