"With roughly a week to go before taxes are due -- the federal deadline is on April 18 and many states have followed suit -- plenty of Americans are scrambling to file before the clock ticks away. We've gone and found five apps that will help you make Tax Day, and waiting for that refund, a bit easier."
All good apps, but not all for the same purpose. The free IRS app called IRS2GO is for checking on the status of your return (or refund depending on your situation) and iDonatedIt is for keeping track of your donations throughout the year for your tax return. The other three actually help you file, and if you are filing EZ then it seems like they would work pretty well. I'm thinking the IRS app is going to be helpful, and for keeping track throughout this year instead of going through my donation slips at year end, iDonatedIt [affiliate link] might be worth a look.
"ThinkFlood, maker of home automation products, has just released its latest and greatest product, the RedEye Pro home automation controller."
So you can pretty much control your entire house with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch once you have this device installed and setup in your home. And yes, they will even have this compatible with Android devices soon. It's only available through authorized installers, so they don't have prices listed on their website, which tells me this is something that isn't going to be low cost and affordable. At least for my income range.
"The latest version of Elgato's much-loved EyeTV app, 1.2.3, brings along sought-after AirPlay support for streaming to and from Macs that have an Elgato tuner stuck in a slot."
A welcome addition I'm sure, to those that use this nifty program. Now you can stream all the content from your Mac to Apple TV or to your iPhone or iPad with this universal app. The Elgato EyeTV app is $4.99 USD in the iTunes Store [affiliate link].
"ESPN is one of those big media producers that has done well on the App Store -- not only has the company released a number of successful apps for its various properties, but the content sells well on iTunes also. Now, the company is actually sending content directly to your iOS device."
The new app from ESPN is called "Watch ESPN" and if you connect it to your Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV account you can watch ESPN on the go. I wish Dish would get with the program on this but perhaps soon.
"Google Books for iOS was introduced late last year and opened the world of Google's 2 million digital books to iOS owners. The application competed with Apple's iBooks and Amazon's Kindle application, but it lacked the polish and finesse of these two applications."
With this version, Google Books hopes to add in some of that finesse and polish that has been missing. Now you can read in landscape mode as well as search for a specific word or phrase. You can also download e-books using your Google account once you have linked it to this app. It's a free universal app and available now in iTunes, but I'm still pretty happy with my Kindle and iBook apps, what are your thoughts? Anyone use this app much, if at all?
"If you've jailbroken your device for the first time this week (thanks to the iOS 4.3.1 untethered jailbreak being released), chances are that you may not know where to begin. There are thousands of neat things that you can do once jailbroken."
A rundown of six of the most useful (according to the writer) apps for jailbroken iPhones, including LockInfo pictured above. I don't have my iPhone jailbroken although at times I am tempted. How about you? What are your thoughts on these apps and do you have any "must have" apps to add to the list?
"Android is thought to be surging past the iPhone in marketshare, but entrepreneur and investor Chris Dixon posted an interesting take on his personal blog."
Statistics, produced by mostly unreported methodologies, state that Android is overtaking the iPhone in market share. Or maybe it isn't. Some sample and report via survey, some sample and report by ad tracking, some seem to simply pull a number out of the air. Until there is a truly accurate reporting (for example, the providers reporting exactly how many devices of each type are on their network), let's just assume that both camps are having quite a bit of success and move on.
"Google has released results of a survey (PDF) on user behavior with regard to tablet computers, the vast majority of which are iPads. Responses indicate that tablet ownership significantly changes our media consumption habits and computer use."
Wednesday we posted a story about how the iPad might be killing consumer PC sales and asked the question of you, was this true for you? What do you use your iPad for and did it replace your PC? There were varying answers to our question, and now this study comes out that shows just how people are using their tablets. In this study (available here in PDF form) it says that for 43% of the responders, the tablet has replaced their PC. Also interesting to me is that playing games tops the list. I would have thought "consuming entertainment" or one of the reading categories would have displaced that, or that they would have at least been higher on the list. But that is my perspective I suppose, since that is what I use my iPad for most of the time. How about you? Does this go along with how you use your tablet or do the results surprise you?
"Facebook for iPhone (iTunes, free) just got a nice little update with the following new features:added Map View for Places, added the ability to Check in to Events that you're attending, added the ability to unfriend from the phone, improved News Feed and improved notifications UI"
With all of these updates, I decided to download it and try it again, having given it up a little while ago for the mobile version due to the buggy-ness. However, this thing is still buggy for me so it's back to the mobile version for me! How about you, any problems with this app or is it working for you?
"On April 3, 2010, Apple officially launched its much anticipated tablet: the iPad. It was the most hyped tech product of the year, but for many of us the hype turned out to be justified."
It really is about consumption, and for the one year anniversary of the iPad today, this article lists ten apps that are preferred, or at least preferred by the author. I have a few of my favorites on this list, namely Zinio, Kindle, Instapaper and Evernote. But what are your favorite apps to consume media on the iPad? Any of them on this list?
"MLB.com At Bat, the top-selling, award-winning suite of mobile applications developed by MLB Advanced Media, has issued its Opening Day application updates which include a host of new features, offers and functionalities."
The best part of this update is a month free of access to MLB.TV during April, courtesy of Volvo. Of course there are numerous updates for the iPad as well as the iPhone/iPod Touch versions including subscription access to watch out-of-market games live and in-progress video highlights. It's available now for $14.99 one time fee in iTunes for iPad [affiliate link] and iPhone/iPod Touch [affiliate link]. After all, it is baseball season now.
"Facebook is releasing a major upgrade to its mobile interface, unifying its mobile websites into one interface."
I'm hoping this will be an improvement. I've used the iPhone app and it functions differently than just going to the mobile site on Safari, so I usually end up using mobile Safari for all my Facebook stuff. As it is, they have the touch.facebook.com and the m.facebook.com, and will be unifying both into the m.facebook.com site. They also stated that over 250 million people use the mobile sites on a monthly basis, about one half of their user base. Pretty impressive.
"Dying to compete with iPad, rivals are drumming up speeds and feeds in the absence of quality software. Unfortunately for them, the game is software, not hardware. Blogger Justin Williams took time to sort through Android Market and count apps that are featured for Android slates."
Compare the 20 or so apps the author found that met his criteria (specifically written in Android 3.0 or written specifically for the tablet platform) to the over 65,000 that Apple has in their App Store and you can see the advantage does go to Apple. I've seen the Xoom and I do like it's form factor, but when it gets right down to it I have to agree: the apps are where it's at, especially when you consider games such as this one. So even though Dell and HP are throwing down the "Apple's not all that" comments, and Microsoft sounds like they are throwing in the towel when it comes to the tablet market, I still think Apple is in the driver's seat when it comes to the tablet market. What are your thoughts?
"Vimeo has released an iPhone app that allows you upload, edit, manage and watch your videos right from your iPhone."
It appears you can do quite a bit with this app, such as edit your videos, save them to your iPhone or upload direct to Vimeo, watch and manage the videos in your account, share on several different social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, search Vimeo and much more. If you use Vimeo, it sounds like just the app for you.
"It's a good thing that I decided to sign up for AT&T's implementation of the iOS 4.3 Personal Hotspot feature while I was standing in line for my iPad 2 a couple of weeks ago."
It cost him $45.00 USD extra per month but he is pretty happy with it, and from what he has written the process is pretty easy. How about you, have you signed up for the Personal Hotspot option, and if so, what are your thoughts on it? I'm still hesitant about letting go of my unlimited data plan, but as I monitor my usage I'm finding that I don't even approach the 2GB limit on the plan that is required for the Personal Hotspot option.
"WordPress.com blog owners, rejoice! All of the hosting site's 18 million blogs are available now in an iPad-friendly interface, complete with touch interactions and easy customization."
The company, Automattic, just turned on the new feature today so all of the Wordpress.com blogs are optimized for tablets. If you have your own hosted Wordpress.org blog you can also get the plugin here. They did it on their over 18 million sites to show the "benefit of the web over native apps." I guess they feel there is quite the future in the tablet arena eh?
"The New York Times has been criticized since it announced pricing for its online and mobile editions, but the newspaper is making moves to draw users in."
The moves they are making are offering long time customers, via email, a free one year subscription to the mobile apps (both iPhone and iPad) and the web version of the paper. Not sure yet who is defined as a "long time subscriber" but it's not a bad deal, and I wonder if this is in response to the complaints about the confusion of the pricing, and they hope to draw in their customers while they can? What are your thoughts?
"The New York Times announced earlier today plans to move to a paywall model for its online content while also mentioning that it's on-board with Apple's controversial in-app store purchasing guidelines which require that the NYT give Apple a 30% cut of all revenue generated from subscribers that sign up via the iOS app."
First they are testing it out in Canada and then on March 28th 2011, they are rolling it out in the US. If you already subscribe to any of the home delivery options you will get the digital version free, even if it is only the Sunday edition according to the FAQ page, so that isn't too bad of a deal. If you want digital only though, you have three options. $15.00 USD per month will get you access on your iPhone, $20.00 USD per month will get you access via your iPad and $35.00 USD per month will give you access via both devices. I imagine the iPad or the all inclusive versions will be the most popular, what are your thoughts? Are you going to subscribe?
"Apple has rolled out three new iPhone commercials that introduce an interesting twist to the formula. Rather than stick with the familiar "There's an app for that" catchphrase, the new commercials take the opposite angle."
Apple is changing up their ads a bit showing you what you are missing if you "don't have an iPhone." They go through how easy it is to download and use an app, what you are missing out on without iBook and how slick it is to have an iPod integrated with your iPhone and the ease of use of iTunes. You can view the other two after the break.