AudioMob | iPhone

17 12 2009

Name: AudioMob
Category: Productivity
Price: Free
Available on: iPhone
Description: ReadSpeaker audioMob Personal is an iPhone/iPod Touch application that enables you to quickly view and listen to English text RSS feeds.

The following is included: a ReadSpeaker audioMob personal account with three user selected RSS feeds, one year’s use, and support through email (development@voice-corp.com)

My review: This seems like a promising app – if we have books on tape, why not blogs on tape? Given the limits of the iPhone’s screen, it’s quite a chore trying to read long blog posts. Good for people on the go. The UI is clean and simple: the landing page is a list of your feeds and you can find a list of articles when you click on your feed.

Each page has a simple text version of the blog’s content and an audio player with a ‘play’, ‘stop’, ‘forward’, and ‘backwards’ button. Unfortunately, there’s no pausing the audio.

So much for the good stuff. The main selling point of this app – the ability to listen to blog posts… is insufferable. I pushed the ‘play’ button, and a mechanical and stilted voice came blaring out of my headphones. He sounds like a less tinny Stephen Hawking who has a hard time pronouncing words (‘makeover’ turned into ‘mackover’). As much as the brilliant guy did for physics, I can’t listen to him read to me. I could only stand about 15 seconds of the audio before shutting it off. While I understand that it would take millions of years and trillions of dollars to have Morgan Freeman record every single blog post, something needs to be done about it.

While a good concept overall, the app falls short on execution.

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It’s THE Google phone! Don’t think you could’ve had it so easy forever, Apple…

14 12 2009

The news has been flying everywhere this weekend: Google has announced the release of its own phone, the Nexus One, early January 2010. It is also not being sold on any one carrier (like the Droid), but will be an unlocked GSM phone. More details on MobileCrunch.

The smartphone market is getting more and more exciting by the second. Every single phone company out there is being challenged with bringing something innovative to the market, and the competition will only get fiercer with the arrival of Google’s entry into the smartphone market. Companies who had gotten complacent in the past are now scrambling to catch up with the competition and boy, do we consumers have it good! The only problem is when we finally decide to get a Droid… and a newer and cooler phone comes out a couple weeks later. AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, BECAUSE YOU’RE ALREADY LOCKED INTO A 2 YEAR CONTRACT!

Yes, phones are only going to get better and better. Smartphones are here to stay. In a couple years, they will just become regular phones and someone will have to come out with “geniusphones” to make a splash in the market. I’m looking at all of Asia as an example. Have you ever seen, or even heard about the features of a Japanese phone? They’re lightyears ahead of our technology… so much so that the iPhone as been doing horribly with Japanese consumers.

The problem I see with this is… having to use these phones with the U.S.’s horrible mobile carrier companies. Smartphones can get as smart as they want, but having to use them on… AT&T? A friend of mine put it quite succintly: “Too bad AT&T’s service SUCKS. 4g will be like buying a ferrari and only being able to drive it 40mph.” (He was referring to the rumors of the iPhone 4G being in the works). Verizon’s service is the best of the bunch, but lords its “great service” status over users by forcing ridiculous penalties and fees, locking down phones, and generally acting like an arrogant ass.

Before phones start getting any smarter, we need a revolution to shake up wireless carriers! Something that can shake wireless carriers out of their complacency… but what? Easier said than done, of course. But something must be done if we’re ever going to be able to use our smartphones to their fullest potential.





Dactyl | Android

14 12 2009

This is a follow up post to my Dactyl | iPhone post.

Dactyl is also available on Android, though not for free. The app is $0.99 and can be downloaded here:

Androlib





Cows in Space | iPhone

10 12 2009

Name: Cows in Space
Category: Game / Strategy
Price: Free
Available on: iPhone
Description: In a failed galactic operation, the cows of earth have ended up FLOATING AROUND IN SPACE — encapsulated in air bubbles.

Brave space pilot, it’s time to charge your jelly beam and get ready for an intergalactic mission to TELEPORT THE COWS back to earth!

Review: Created by Donut Games, Cows in Space is an addicting little mini game for all ages. With 50 levels (you need to unlock each level by completing the level before it), you must save all the little cows floating in space by pushing them into star bubbles. IN ZERO GRAVITY! You are scored on how little you make the cows move, which means that you are scored by how many skillz you have.

This game is so addicting. I was butt-tired at 12:30am last night and stayed up until 1:15am because I couldn’t stop playing this game. And as always, it’s fun playing with your friends and trying to beat their score. There’s something to be said about the feeling of accomplish you get when you beat a level, or beat your previous score. Also, it helps that the cows look so cute sitting in their little bubbles in space.

Verdict: download it and play it until you get perfect scores on each level!

Download here





Boy, is the iPod Touch SWEET!

10 12 2009

Here’s an interesting piece of news for you! Apparently, the iPod Touch is the driving force behind Apple’s 2 billion+ app downloads! According to Admob, for every 1 app downloaded on the iPhone, 1.8 apps are downloaded on the iPod Touch! And here’s the breakdown of iPod Touch users. I love it when marketers try to define age groups. According to comScore and Flurry Analytics iPod Touch users are defined by:

Lots of teen angst. 69% are between 13-24 years and are primarily characterized as teen centric.

Less cash. Only 66% have at least 25K annual income.

Zeal for fashion and gadgets. More likely to be in the market for mobile, clothes, TV’s and other consumer electronics.

Voraciously share their lives. Made up of heavy MySpace, Facebook and SMS users

Of course, one thing both devices have in common is machismo, depending on which industry report you read they are 65-70%+ male.

And what are the implications of this 13-24 age group? Well, it is widely known that teenagers love all shiny things, but get bored of them quite quickly. Thus, they are not loyal app users!

AppManifesto suggest that one option marketers have is to create a “explicitly design a throwaway app”. I find several problems with this. First, marketers aren’t the ones creating apps – developers are. Second of all, SO THIS IS WHY THERE ARE SO MANY MIND-NUMBINGLY STUPID APPS OUT THERE!! If app markets is to ever find clarity and value, the answer isn’t to pour more useless apps into it.

This has been a great week for the iPod Touch – there was an article written earlier by VentureBeat saying that the iPod Touch is building the next generation of iPhone users. Good job, iPod Touch! You are faithfully building Apple’s empire. Google, step it up!





WHERE | iPhone

8 12 2009

Name: WHERE
Category: Navigation
Price: Free
Available on: iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm

Description: WHERE® allows you to quickly launch a mobile experience that puts the people, places and things you look for at your fingertips while on the go. Local content available through WHERE includes everything from the weather, news, and restaurant reviews, to the closest coffee shop, cheapest gas, traffic updates, movie show times and more. WHERE also helps you reach your destination with easy to use maps and directions.

WHERE makes you feel like a local, no matter what city you are in.

My review: Wow, they weren’t kidding when they said this was the most comprehensive navigation app out there. Developed by uLocateCommunications, The app uses your current location and grabs all the local information it can for you. Find lowest gas prices, the weather, news, restaurant reviews, nearest Starbucks, events, traffic conditions, hotels, movies and showtimes, sports, and more. Another cool feature is WHERE Connect, which lets you chat with other users around the country. The app definitely does what it says.

Gas prices: Sorted by ‘within 1.0 mi’ to ‘within 2.0mi’. Gas stations are organized from cheapest to most expensive. Tells you when it was last updated, and the nicest part is it let’s you change grades (regular, midgrade, premium, diesel, bio diesel, and E-85). Click ‘map’ to see all stations in the area.

Weather: uses accuweather.com browser inside the app

News: Compiles news from a variety of sources. Categories include: local news, top US news, top sports, top entertainment, top technology, and top strange.

Restaurant reviews: Uses Citysearch to find local restaurants – get business information and reviews from other users.

Events: Finds events in your area – search by date and category! Find them on the map and get the description, directions, and share with friends with email.

Movies: Sorted by box office, fan rated, new releases, coming soon, and theatres. Click on your selected movie to find showtimes at your local theatres.

There are a number of nice features the developers put into the app, making it a useful little thing. However, there are a couple of things I don’t like about it. One of them is the ad at the bottom of the page. It pops open at random times, making you accidentally click on it. One example was when I tried clicking on ‘more results’ and the ad popped up on top of the link. How dasterdly! Another gripe I have is that the app is pretty laggy. Pages take a while to load, and scrolling isn’t smooth.

Download here (iPhone)
Download here (Blackberry)
Download here (Android)
Download here (Palm)





iPhone game that spins you round and round

3 12 2009

Here’s some iPhone game innovation for ya! Pandemica is a newly released arcade style shooter game. Here’s the twist – it’s a full 360 experience! Aliens are attacking you from every angle and in order to get to them all, you must turn yourself around and around in circles.

Pandemica, created by XMG Studio Inc.,  provides a truly unique and interactive, “augmented reality” gaming experience.  While playing you see a clear scanner style view of the world around you.  Aliens organisms fly in from all angles and visciously attack.  There is a map in the lower left hand corner of your screen to help you find the aliens.  To get them in your sites you must spin your body around in circles while maneuvering your iPhone at all angles.  Once in your sights simply tap the screen to fire your weapons.  If you take damage your iPhone vibrates and your screen turns red.  Arrows appear on the screen to bring attention to the aliens that are causing the most damage.  From time-to-time alien debrit splatters on your screen, obstructing your view.  To clean your screen you’ve got to shake your iPhone to knock it lose.  It’s complete and utter 3D virtual reality chaos the entire time your playing…do you have what it takes to win?

Slapapp recommends this game to be played on a swivel chair. Don’t stand up and play around fragile objects, as it would be hazardous to everyone’s health.


Download here

[Slapapp]