Fortune lists top 10 dumbest iPhone apps


On July 11, 2009

Fortune magazine online has created a gallery of the 10 dumbest iPhone apps that are currently availabe in the App Store (although after reading the list, you’d have to wonder if Apple or the creators would pull the apps out of sheer embarrassment).  My favorite could very well be Drunk Sniper, which no doubt many an adult male has had to perform in real life on more than one occasion.

In order to become an iPhone developer, a person only has to own a Mac, download the prerequisitie free software and pay $99 to Apple to register as a developer in order to release the software to the general public (and perhaps you could use What’s On iPhone’s Developer Corner to help you on your way).  With such a low barrier to entry, it’s no surprise that all kinds of developers with all kinds of ideas, good and bad, are crawling out of the woodwork.

Most of the apps in the list are of two general categories: either they promise to do something the iPhone can’t (such as make you regrow hair) and thus qualify as "Entertainment" or they use silly or toilet humor (literally).

This article basically proves that iPhone development is still a young and growing market and that anybody with any sort of idea (plus a Mac, plus $99) can at this stage develop an original iPhone application.  It also proves that Apple’s supposed rules and standards to accept or reject apps for release on iTunes are arbitrary and likely need more work.  I’m not sure if that may ever change actually, since it seems, Apple keeps making headlines for lots of apps that it continues to accept and then remove from the store when enough people make enough noise about it.

Personally, I think that Apple should just employ the buyer beware concept, and let us decide whats appropriate or not, until then, I’m sure we will continue to see all sorts of apps denied and approved only to see Apple take the opposite position once the public makes some noise.

Happy Birthday, Dear App Store …


On July 10, 2009

On Saturday July 11th, the iTunes App Store celebrates its first birthday with over a billion downloads and 55,000 distinct applications available.  This is quite an accomplishment since as a comparison, the only comparable competitor, Handango, has over 140,000 apps available, and currently had only 100 million downloads, and it took them 10 years to achieve that.

Obviously, the competitors are taking heed.  Google is offering their own app store for the Android and Microsoft certainly has something up their sleeve in that regard.  However, the App Store made installation simple and direct, utilitizing the iTunes delivery method that was already there.

Let’s be honest here: odds are that a hefty chunk of those billion downloads are for the free applications offered.  I’d be more curious about the level of income Apple is making from the App Store (and I’m certain it’s nothing to sneeze at). 

The question is: what else can the App Store do to improve itself?  It will likely change its layout time to time but the fundamentals will still be the same.  The only improvement I could think of would be to clear out applications that haven’t offered upgrades or the sales have stopped for a while (say, six months).  That would help the quantity of CRApp Apps decrease I would imagine.  But the App Store is young and Apple is nothing if not creative so I’m sure far more interesting things are down the pike.

Happy First Birthday, App Store.  Thanks to you, the world is changing about what they expect from their (dare i say it?) cell phones!  Here’s to many more years of innovation.

3rd Gen iPod Touch Is Coming


On July 8, 2009

Pinch Media, the company which spotted the 3GS last  year before its release, now says that its seen its analytics show up in a new iPod Touch since as early as April of this year.

The data that was collected by Pinch Media seems to point to the same testing patern that Apple used on the 3GS when it tested the 3GS compatibilty for apps before it went live.

If true, Apple usually tests their new devices for close to 6 months before we see their announcements.  iPods have generally been announced in the past sometime in September during a music themed event.

Based on the rumors, the new iPod Touch will also have a camera built into it, and some have it centered rather than located in the top corner.

Prior to Pinch Media, references to this device were found in the 3.0 firmware.

Either way, it seems we will have to wait until at least September before we can know for sure.

Thanks to 9to5mac for the image.

The iPod Touch is getting closer to the iPhone


On July 7, 2009

Macrumors has posted some theories that the iPod Touch may sooner be just a little bit more like the iPhone.  Some case designs lead to the possibility that future generations may include a camera.  Cameras may also be included in future versions of the iPod as well.

To quote Borat, this would be "very nice".  There would be less reason to be stuck with a two year AT&T contract since the iPod Touch would have even more capabilities of the iPhone.

If this ended up being true and such a device were released, sales of low-end digital cameras would significantly plummet.  Why buy one of those when you can get an all-in-one device?  Since I doubt the camera in any form of iPod would be particularly high-end, SLRs would have nothing to fear.  For now.

To speculate further, what if they do with the iPod Touch as they did with the iPhone and offer different capabilities at different price points?  That would be so like Apple.  HD Video recording maybe for a price?

Frankly, if AT&T wanted to add another revenue source, they could offer data-only plans for the iPod Touch (and just keep off microphone capabilities to prevent iPhone competition).

Of course, all these are just rumors.  Only time will tell.

Where’s my iPhone bluetooth keyboard?


On July 6, 2009

Don’t get me wrong.  I love using my iPod Touch when it comes to being productive.  However, you have to admit that when it comes time to type out a document, it’s kind of awkward.  Typing on the little virtual keys on the screen is enough to give a less tolerant person a nervous breakdown.  The only examples I’ve seen of keyboards for the iPhone are for ones that have been jailbroken.

Let’s call the iPhone what it is: a miniature computer, and this means that word processing is one of the fundamental applications that the device could be used for.  Im not talking about writing a whole book, but i could definately see using it to write more than a paragraph or two.  Of course, in order to do that more easily, it could use a full-sized keyboard.  Why can’t Apple develop a Bluetooth keyboard for use with the device?  Are they saving that feature for later?

Granted, such an item would make the iPhone or iPod Touch a little less portable, but if the peripheral keyboard were either small enough or foldable, it likely wouldn’t even be that big of an issue.

Apparently, MacAlly is developing a Bluetooth keyboard for the iPhone, but it’s not available yet.  I suspect they have to clear some issues with Cupertino first.

The sooner a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (let’s not forget the mouse) is developed for the iPhone, the sooner we can all leave our laptops at home.

Instaviz 1.4 – Promo Code Giveaway!



The developers of Instaviz have just released their latest version.  Version 1.4, and it now supports iPhoneOS 3.0.

According to the developer the newest version includes a brand new Edit vs. Browse mode, and email attachemnts for Windows users.  To see the details you can visit their site at this link.

Our Orignal Review will give you our inital take on the app, and we will have a full review of the latest version for you shortly.  In the meantime, we have a few promo codes to give away… Interested?!  If so, please leave us a comment here about how you would use Instaviz, and we’ll randomly pick 4 winners from the comments by the weeks end.

Happy 4th of July To All Our Readers!


On July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

We just want to wish everyone a very happy 4th of July! 

Hope your looking forward to the fireworks as much as we are!


iPhone 3GS Jailbreak


On July 3, 2009


That took a little longer than I expected, but it seems that the 3GS has been jailbroken.  George Hotz (the original hacker who unlocked the iPhone) has created a Windows-only (Mac is coming soon,he claims) jailbreaking application for the iPhone 3GS.

It requires that you have the latest iTunes version installed and the 3.0 firmware, but it doesn’t free you from your current carrier.

As Hotz explains on his blog, you connect your iPhone to iTunes normally, then run his software "purplera1n", and follow the steps of clicking "make it ra1n", wait until reboot, then upon reboot, run Freeze (the purplera1n app).

He does warn  you though that backing up the data is a good idea and also that this tool is in beta, so move forward at your own risk.

I don’t know, Jailbreaking sounds fun and all, and there are lots of free things out there for Jailbroken phones, but the constant upgrading, re-jailbreaking, of an iPhone to just stay current would probably get to me after a while… what do you think?

Why aren’t more people using Skype for the iPhone?


On July 2, 2009

Skype has been available as a free App Store download for a little while now for both the iPhone and iPod Touch.  I don’t understand why more people aren’t using it as their exclusive method of calling, or at least using it in the same numbers as those using the desktop version of Skype. Usage of Skype on the iPhone as a percentage of iPhone users is much lower than that for the desktop version.  I have a theory that I’ll get to shortly.

For three bucks a month for the SkypeOut service, you can make Skype calls to any phone.  On the iPhone, it would essentially be a method of calling that doesn’t use minutes.  Granted, the reliability of the service is in question since it relies on a steady data connection, but for non-important personal calls where all you want to do is chat, why not just exclusively use the Skype application?

I own a Verizon Windows Mobile phone as well as an iPod Touch.  I have tried using Skype on my Windows Mobile phone and it is disabled for calling (SMS works fine, though).  The iPhone on the other hand allows you to place calls from any Wi-Fi Hotspot, so why isn’t that getting more use, after all, its the same situation as you have when your physically at your computer (most computers aren’t connecting to the web through 3G, but through a physical connection)?

How come cellular services don’t switch exclusively to data-based voice communication?  Does it have to do with a lack of reliability?  Is it the need to drain every penny they possibly can from the customer?  Is it a combination of both?

For the record, I would use Skype exclusively if it were available for calls on any cell phone network.  As Comcast and others begin to roll out their WiMax networks (as they have this week in one market, and plan to do so in other major cities by years end), maybe we will have the ability to buy an iPhone thats not so connected to just one cell provider, and instead use it to dial through a standard net connection!  Then, cell phone companies would have no choice but implement a set monthly fee with none of these "per minute" charges.

Do you use Skype for the iPhone?  What is your experience with it?

IPhone OS updated again!


On July 1, 2009

Wow!  That didn’t take long.  It seems Apple has updated the SDK and OS for developers again.  Version 3.1 now includes these goodies… can’t wait until it gets into the hands of all of us!  Especially the Bluetooth Voice Control, where are those portable bluetooth mics when you need them?

Features include;

  • iPhone 3GS – When you’re trimming your videos you now have the option of saving the original video by tapping the “Save as copy” button.
  • Voice Control is finally working over bluetooth now!
  • When you move your icons around the iPhone vibrates
  • MMS is enabled by default but does not work for AT&T users
  • The AT&T profile is updated to 4.2
  • Improvements to OpenGL and Quartz
  • There’s now a VideoEditorController API – Allows third party apps to call up video editing UI
  • Video picker API