What’s On Tip- Check “Settings” When You Download New Apps


On September 5, 2008

This little tip may be obvious to many but I still think it’s worth mentioning, particularly since many of the applications available through the App Store with extensive documentation.

The tip– whenever you download a new program take a second to jump over to "settings" to see if the app added a new category for customization.

While this may be obvious for applications that require a login such as Pandora or reQall it may be less obvious for programs such as Save Benji’s. I know that it didn’t occur to me to look at the Settings area when I downloaded and tested the application (which happens to be amazing). The options available there, however, make the application far more powerful and user-friendly.

You can, for example, choose to set —

What’s (Coming Soon) On iPhone… Smart Dial



I’m really excited that this app is awaiting approval by Apple.

I’m also a bit peeved- not at the app but at the fact that this is something Apple should have included from the beginning.

They didn’t. Fortunately, Smart Dial fills in the gap Apple left and does so quite well.

SmartDial makes it possible to quickly dial someone who is in your contacts by spelling their name.

With it you can–

–find contacts by first and last name
–view contacts by default phone number or other alternative numbers
–recent call log

Edit: While you can do this from the contacts app, you cannot currently do so directly from the dial pad. Smart Dial means you only need the dial pad and, therefore, cuts down one step in making a call.

To make searches even faster, the settings page allows you to-

EA Games… Nine New Titles!



Nine New Titles!

Count ’em… 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 are on the way from EA Games including

Yahtzee Adventures, Mini Golf, Lemonade Tycoon, Mahjong, Monopoly: Here & Now The World Edition, SimCity, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09, Need for Speed Undercover, and The Sims 3. Nice!

EA also announced a plan to release Spore Origins on September 7th.

 Via Gizmodo

The full EA Games Press Release

Old Media / New Media- Pros and Cons To Both


On September 4, 2008

One of my long-standing favorite tech magazines is going out. A few weeks ago Thaddeus Publishing announced that the next issue of Smartphone Pocket PC magazine would be its last. During the years when I swore by Windows Mobile devices PPC Mag was a key guide to the best devices and applications. I’m sad to see it go but understand the reasons offered in a blog post by publisher Hal Goldstein.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that on September 9th their new magazine iPhone Life magazine will be available by subscription and on newsstands nationwide. As Goldstein writes,

“People are excited about the iPhone and iPod touch for good reason. The iPhone’s vibrant screen, its fun intuitive interface, powerful Safari browser, automatic updates, and app store brilliantly solve many of the problems inherent in handheld computing. The iPhone is changing the way people use their phones, and we’re here to help them get the most out of it.”

The new issue covers news, reviews, profiles, tips, how-to’s, and more. Having had the privilege of writing a couple of the pieces in the issue I have already seen the final version and it is terrific. It does, however, highlight some of the pros and cons of “Old Media” vs. “New Media”.

Instapaper Pro- Why I Spent $10 On A Free App



Since downloading Instapaper last month I have been finding it to be an increasingly powerful app that is an ever growing part of my online life. It isn’t an understatement to say that it has changed the way I read material I find on the web.

When I come to something I want to read in depth now I simply highlight the text I want and hit the “Read Later” bookmark I got from the Instapaper website when I signed up for an account.

Seconds later the text is available in my Instapaper website on my Mac OR (and the reason for doing it in the first place) on my iPhone in a crisp, clean, easy to read format. Because of Instapaper I do little actual reading on my iMac or MacBook now. Instead, I grab it and read when I have a chance. It is not only convenient but I actually find it EASIER to read on Instapaper since all the extraneous website clutter is automatically removed. 

Here are a couple of screen caps of the progression from web to Instapaper…

What’s (Coming Soon) On iPhone… Gesture from BigStonePhone


On September 3, 2008

Big Stone Phone, the creative iPhone app developers behind my favorite Twitter client Twittelator Pro, have yet another app on the way.

Gesture is an upcoming app for creating digital paintings on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

With Gesture you create artwork in your “Studio” and display them in your “Gallery“. You can create art work from scratch or instantly pointilize photos. You can even load images from the internet.

You can also…

–zoom in for detail work 

–undo changes you don’t like.

Paintings can be saved on your device and played back like a movie or sent to the Gallery, which allows you to view paintings in landscape mode, add and delete paintings and even share your paintings with others.

App Update: reQall Gets A HUGE Update



The rapid fire updates we saw in July and August have slowed substantially. Were I would have seen three or four updates of my existing apps each night I now see one at most. Fortunately that one update is often a biggee and this is no exception.

I’ve made no secret of how big a fan I have become of the organizational service reQall. It is a planner, a transcriber and a "memory jogger" and is one of the most important productivity apps on my iPhone. The current update was released without fanfare but it takes reQall to an entirely new level.

With this update-

–Syncing with reQall’s server has been made faster and more reliable. (I tested it a few times and it is MUCH faster!)

–Audio created on an IPhone 3G uploads more quickly. (MUCH more quickly!)

–The reQall service can now automatically decide how to organize items you add via text or voice. "If you use the word "buy" it will be added to your shopping list.  If you say "Note" it will be added to your notes."

Best of all…

iPhone + Lyrics and More…



Lest we forget that the iPhone and iPod Touch include the "best iPod ever"…

MusicWeek is reporting that Snow Patrol’s upcoming album will merge the iPhone/iPod Touch’s musical roots and cutting edge computing prowess and, in so doing, introduce a new era in downloadable music.

What’s (Coming Soon) On iPhone… Line Rider


On September 2, 2008

This has me pretty excited-

A few years back there was a cute little online game that came out that quietly caught the imagination of any of us.

The goal of Line Rider was simple- draw lines and then have the Line Rider take a trip along the "path" you have created. With practice you were able to have the ride last longer and long… or you could have the rider crash in all sorts of creative ways. Eventually "Rides" were created and shared that were mindblowingly complex.

What’s (Price Reduced) On iPhone



There are times when you just need to take and send a quick voice note to yourself or someone else. You don’t need it transcribed the way reQall and Jott can. You don’t need it stored for eternity the way Evernote can. You just need to create and send a note simply and without the time-constraints  of 30 seconds to 5 minutes like those other apps have.

That’s where Note2Self comes in. It makes quick business of recording notes.

While I use Evernote and reQall, I also use Note2Self on a regular basis and highly recommend it.

Best of all the App Store is showing a significant price reduction.

You can now purchases Note2Self for just $.99.

I have used Note2Self since it was first released and have had the opportunity to use a beta version of the update. It is incredibly useful!

Read on for a full run-down of new features in Version 1.11.