One of the great things about the iPhone (and the iPod Touch) is that there are so many ways you can use a smartphone now. With the thousands of applications available in the Apple iTunes store, there are so many ways to make your life easier right on your phone. But some of these applications take ease to a new level of laziness. Here's five of them.
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I have a rather small personal music collection and rely on streaming music applications on my devices to enjoy the latest tunes. I started out using Pandora most of the time, then moved onto Last.fm, but have now found a new client that I actually enjoy more. Slacker Personal Radio is a very cool service that has (or will soon have) functionality on iPhone/iPod touch, BlackBerry and Android devices not seen in other streaming clients and that is offline caching ability so you can load up music onto your storage card and enjoy music when you do not have a wireless connection (such as when on an airplane). I also find that Slacker offers me a very nice selection of music without repeating songs as often as I see on Pandora, primarily due to their catalog that is nearly four times what others have.
Vonage on Monday launched applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry and iPod touch.Vonage Mobile, an application designed to provide low international rates over Wi-Fi and cellular networks, is focused on international calls.
Starbucks has introduced two new applications for the iPhone and iPod touch that will allow users to order and pay for coffee beverages directly from the device.
A survey by AdMob shows that Android, iPhone and iPod touch users are all highly engaged with applications and frequently download them to their devices. However, Android has a much smaller base of devices and therefore has more upside ahead.
Unisys has released five new ClearPath models and introduced an engine that lets mobile workers use an iPhone or iPod Touch to access applications running on the mainframes
Citrix announced last week its Citrix Receiver application for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch that gives users access to full-featured Windows applications and documents from their mobile device.Citrix says the application will enable users to run existing enterprise applications on iPhone while maintaining control of corporate data and intellectual property.
Apple iPhone and iPod touch owners have now downloaded applications more than 1 billion times in the nine months that the App Store has been live. Anyway you slice it, that is a fantastic achievement. According to a well written TechCrunch article that works out to an average of about 27 apps per device. I personally have downloaded over a hundred different apps and some more than once so I probably account for at least a couple hundred downloads myself. There are still a few problems with the App Store and with something over 32,000 apps in the App Store it is a daunting task to find apps you need or want to try.
Pound for pound the best value for a machine running Mac OS X right now is the Dell Vostro A90 netbook -- which is on sale for $199. That's right, for less than the price of an iPod touch you can buy a machine that runs desktop-class Mac OS applications and a Web-browser with Flash.
My original iPhone is finding its way into my hands more and more lately with the incredible assortment of 3rd party applications that I just cannot resist. I checked out an Astraware iPhone game last summer with GTS Racing Challenge and in the last couple of months we have seen several more Astraware titles released for the iPhone/iPod touch. These devices are becoming compelling mobile gaming platforms that are always with you for a quick 5-minute game or longer 30-minute game session. Five recent games I had a chance to play with include Platypus, Board Games, Glyph, My Little Tank, and Hellfire.
There are a ton of applications available for the Apple iPhone and a couple months ago I posted my Top Ten favorite applications. The Apple iPhone App store has grown considerably since then and now there are thousands of applications available that make the store much more cumbersome to browse through. I was recently sent a link to a site that I find to be an invaluable tool for those who use 3rd party applications on their Apple iPhone or iPod Touch. Apptism indexes all the applications from the Apple iPhone App store and aggregates the latest news, reviews, and media related to the applications.
At launch, there are over 25 social networking applications available for iPhone and iPod touch on the official App Store.
Google is making its Google Talk instant-messaging application available for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, however these new applications come in light of new security scares.
I have a jailbroken Apple iPhone and have a few applications loaded on it, but am always on the lookout for recommendations on applications to try. It is likely that we will see the new 3G iPhone announced and/or launched next week along with the firmware 2.0 upgrade so we can officially get 3rd party applications on the iPhone. My current plan is to keep this first generation iPhone as my test iPhone and buy the new 3G iPhone as soon as I can get my hands on one. If you are going to keep your existing iPhone and want to try out some 3rd party applications, then I recommend you check out the excellent LifeHacker article on 13 applications worth jailbreaking your iPhone or iPod touch for.
iPhoneDevCamp 2 will be held 1-3 August 2008 at Adobe Systems headquarters in San Francisco (601 Townsend Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103). iPhoneDevCamp 2 is a not-for-profit gathering to develop applications for iPhone and iPod touch using both the native SDK and Web standards.
Google just released a new interface for the iPhone/iPod Touch that lets Google Apps users easily access everything they need in an integrated environment. This new interface lets you use applications like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and other services that aren't associated with Google Apps like Google Reader, Google Notebook, Google News and Blogger.
In a news conference Thursday (otherwise known as Feburary 35th), Apple unveiled the long-awaited iPhone native Software Development Kit (SDK). It can be used by any developers to create native applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
I've used StyleTap on my Windows Mobile devices and find it to be quite valuable in running Palm OS applications like Tide Tool (I still can't find a Windows Mobile version of an app like this). Robert just sent me a link to this video showing an experimental version of StyleTap running on an Apple iPhone/iPod Touch. It looks very slick and they even showed Tide Tool running at top speed.
You will want to check out the Freeware Extravaganza that we have for you in MobileTechRoundup show #117 this week as we talk about 6 free applications for your mobile devices. You can also hear about my decision on the T-Mobile Shadow. James picked up an iPod Touch and is quite impressed with the browsing experience. Kevin likes his Eee PC and talks about more usage of the device.
Apple isn't wasting any time trying to head off gPhone momentum. Today Steve Jobs confirmed that Apple would have a software development kit for both the iPhone and the iPod touch in developers' hands in February. Here is what Jobs actually said, followed by a somewhat tongue-in-cheek interpretation of what he really meant.