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All posts tagged "software"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kindle App for iPhone Now Includes Optimized Store

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 11:00 AM

", Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today launched a Kindle Store optimized for the Safari Web browser on iPhone. Now when users of the Kindle for iPhone app click on "Get Books," the new Kindle Store tailored for the size and shape of the iPhone and iPod touch screens automatically opens in Safari. This optimized Kindle store offers iPhone and iPod touch app users quick and easy access to the Kindle Store's 280,000 books, including 106 of 112 New York Times Best Sellers and most New Releases that are available for $9.99 or less."

The only knock I had on the Kindle App was that it didn't have a good mechanism for getting content onto the app; you had to browse the store through Safari and an interface that was anything but intuitive. Now, however, things are much easier and Amazon, as usual, did a hell of a job on the UI (it's very similar to their iPhone version of the web site). Basically, if you can live with reading books on the small screen, the iPhone could replace the Kindle if you wanted to (I don't, but it's a decent companion; no one can have my Kindle. Ever!).

Learn German With Your iPhone

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

"iPhone developer Chuck Smith has just announced German Course 1.0, a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. German Course is designed to help people learn German using their iPhones."

The program is designed to give you "mini" lessons that can be completed in a few minutes. The program was designed by Judith Meyer, the host of GermanPod101. From reading the reviews on the podcast page, sounds like she knows what she is doing, at least from the podcast perspective. Not sure how well this program will work for you if you want to learn German, but it will cost you $4.99 USD to find out.

Microsoft Lobs Out Latest Red Herring: $30,000 to Fill an iPod

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 09:00 AM

"Microsoft has put Wes Moss, Certified Financial Planner, to work in telling everyone why the Zune Pass makes more sense than purchases from the iTunes store."

Yep... Keep pimping those recurring bills in the down economy, Microsoft. I'm sure lots of people are looking to shell out another $15 a month for something they can't own. I don't know why I'm even bothering addressing this, though. Lots of defunct or little-used services have tried the rental model over the past few years and none of them have really caught on with customers. While I do think they have their place (please, spare me the crap in the comments; I'm really not interested in yet another lecture on why renting your music is such a great engine for discovery of blah blah blah), a vast majority of people want to actually own their music as evidenced by the fact that none of the rental services has been more than a niche blip on the MP3 market.

Oh yeah; did I mention that you're pretty much locked in to a Zune or Windows-based PC when you rent your music for $15 a month?

How quaint.

Monday, May 11, 2009

BBEdit Updated to Version 9.2

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

"Bare Bones Software announced the immediate availability of BBEdit 9.2 on Friday. The update for the code and text editing application added support for LassoScript source code, and improved Java and Python support."

I don't have much experience in using BBEdit, well none at all actually, but I hear about it quite often as a pretty good tool for editing code and text. From the BBEdit website it is described as "the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Macintosh" with "an abundance of high-performance features for editing, searching, and manipulation of text." Among the updates in this version are MobileMe integration,ToDo Tracking and improved Tab-Key functionality. Any of HTML wizards out there use this? If so, what do you think of it?

Peggle for iPhone Has Arrived

Posted by Darius Wey in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:22 AM

"Want to be a Peggle Master? Take your best shot! Shoot and clear all the orange pegs in the peg-busting phenomenon from the makers of the award-winning Bejeweled! You'll reach Extreme Fever as 10 outlandish Masters help you rise to Peggle greatness. Conquer 55 levels and wield 10 Magic Powers in Adventure mode... and the fun is just getting started!"

Peggle fans, your iPhone fix has arrived. It's May 12 down under, and the game has just surfaced in the Australian App Store for AU$5.99 (US$4.99). North American and European readers, expect it in your regional App Store when the clock ticks past midnight.

The iPhone version is pretty much a carbon copy of what you've seen on the PC/Mac and Xbox 360 - from the eye-catching colours to the peg-busting effects. There are some touch optimizations, such as a dial on the side to control the cannon, and a "double-tap to zoom" feature. Long story short, the implementation is top-notch. Anyone planning on picking this up?

Friday, May 8, 2009

SlingPlayer 1.08 Released For Mac

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 PM

"Late Wednesday, Sling Media announced the release of SlingPlayer 1.0.8, the newest version of its software packages that allows Mac users to access their television content on their computer."

Almost everyone I know that owns a Slingbox owns a Mac, and yet Sling Media still hasn't released the Mac version of the 2.0 client yet. What's the problem, guys? You don't like us or something?

I'm starting to feel like Sling just doesn't care about its Mac customers. 1.0.8 is nice, but 2.0 has been out for Windows since at least August of last year.

Are One of These Mac Utilities Right For You?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

"When I blog about applications that I've found I generally wrap up my posts with an open invitation to readers: Got any you like? Many folks have been generous and shared links and applications that I've used to expand my virtual toolbox and make my Mac experience more fun and productive."

This article piqued my interest, as I'm always looking for new utilities to try out, especially when they are either freeware or shareware. Some hit the mark, others don't, but I still like to see what is out there. This list of 10 seems to have some pretty good utilities such as Easy Envelopes, Time Machine Editor, Caffeine and TubeTV. There are 6 other ones on the list but these four are the ones I'm going to have to try out first.

iPhone OS 3.0 or Bust! Literally!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

"Starting Thursday, iPhone app developers will have no choice but to test against iPhone OS 3.0 if they want to guarantee their places in the App Store, and have been warned their existing apps may be pulled if support breaks."

The email was sent to registered developers advising them their code "must be compatible" with the 3.0 version from now on if they want to continue to have their software accepted into the App Store. Apple notes they don't expect problems from current apps running on version 3.0, but that developers "shouldn't assume apps built for 2.x will carry over smoothly."

From what I gather in reading this article is that the existing apps should run fine, but if you want approval any new apps better be built with version 3.0 in mind. But if there is an existing application that turns out to be incompatible, it "may be removed from the App Store."

I guess that is enough advanced warning, hard to say though since even though WWDC is month away, there is no word on when 3.0 will be released. Last year, version 2.0 of the iPhone OS was released about a month after WWDC, so if they follow what they did in the past, developers have about a 2 month window to fix any problems. Is that enough of a warning? What do you think?

Apple Releases iPhone 3.0 Beta 5

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:00 AM

"Apple has seeded the fifth beta of iPhone OS 3.0 to developers, just one week after the last. Only the StoreKit API appears to have any significant changes, but the quick turnaround since the last beta release indicates that the OS is nearing completion."

This update has some changes for StoreKit for in-app purchasing, and they changed the iTunes version to 8.2b10. There was also a change to disable MMS and tethering with this update. It was only about a week ago that the beta 4 version was released, so these are coming out pretty quickly. Guess the pressure is on since WWDC is only a month away as of today.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twitterrific 2.0 for iPhone Released

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:19 PM

Twitterrific for the iPhone 2.0 was released into the App Store tonight, boasting an improved UI, conversation track, URL shortening, Twitter trends and searching, multiple account support and a whole bunch of other goodies. There's a good chance this was the first Twitter app you ever downloaded, so you may want to give it another look.

And just out of curiosity, if Twitterrific isn't your Twitter app of choice, what is? I'm curious to know what you folks are using out there.

Twitter is available now in free and premium versions in the App Store (only the free one is showing in the US app store right now; the premium version should be there shortly).

"Laptop Hunters" Agency is Mostly Macs... Duh...

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Here's something that should get Mac fan boys foaming at the mouth. Pictured above is the office of Alex Bogusky, the brains behind Microsoft's new Laptop Hunter commercials. Sure enough, those are two MacBook Pros sitting on his desk."

Sure this doesn't say a whole lot. I mean, I'm sure there are companies that produce ads for Honda that have employees driving around Dodges. It's just really funny that the company making one of the most hated strings of ads ever is using a product they make a point of bashing in each and every one of them.

I've always thought Microsoft was missing a huge opportunity with these stupid ads, and that's the opportunity to show that the ad itself was made on a Windows PC. If you go to any site created with Apple's iWeb, you see a "Made on a Mac" logo on the bottom of it. Microsoft should've employed a company using Windows for their ads, and made a huge deal about how the ads were made on Windows PCs. If nothing else, it would provide some fodder for the Windows folks who insist that everything done on a Mac can be done on a PC. They could've even hired Sheila! I hear she wanted a laptop that could cut video and that's what she got at Fry's...

SiriusXM App Still In The Works

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 11:00 AM

"Garrett Huffman of San Francisco loves the Sirius satellite radio that came with his Volkswagen Jetta so much that he would like to get another one for his waterskiiing boat. But the 31-year-old says he's going to hold off until he can get the new Sirius iPhone application, which Sirius XM Radio Inc. has promised to launch in the next few weeks. Compared to buying and installing a Sirius satellite radio on the motorboat, "that would save me money," says Mr. Huffman, a shipping manager for Chevron Corp. In releasing the new application, which will allow customers to stream satellite radio over their iPhones, Sirius XM appears to be tacitly conceding that the satellite-delivery system that once was cutting edge now has competition far beyond what its founders imagined."

I love satellite radio. I've been an XM subscriber for a really long time and when I was buying my new truck, I made sure it had satellite radio built in (which is something that's really easy to do these days; most new cars do). An official SiriusXM app would be absolutely awesome because, much like the guy in this story, I'm hesitant to activate a second radio. Looking forward to seeing what they release.

(Disclosure: I am a shareholder in SiriusXM, but hold no majority positions of any kind and have no voting power on the board. I bought the stock because I like the product, not the other way around).

Quickbooks Online Available for Mac Users

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 10:00 AM

"We had a sneak peek of the new QuickBooks Online back in January at Macworld Expo, and now the Mac community can start using the service. Intuit announced today that the new release of QuickBooks Online is finally compatible with the Safari browser and, thus, is available to Mac users."

Having used Quickbooks for various jobs over the years, it has evolved into a very complete and well thought out program. The advantages of this web-based version are the ability to have multiple users in different locations, or having portability with remote access via the web. The only thing it doesn't have is inventory control, so if you don't need that feature, it might be something you can use. However it only works on Safari 3.1. They have several pricing options depending on the features you need, from free to $39.95 USD per month, and have a nice comparison page set up in case you aren't sure if you need online or standalone editions.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Proposed Law Could Require File Sharing Warning

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 02:00 PM

"A US House of Representatives hearing scheduled for later today will be devoted to deciding if a law should be made that requires peer-to-peer (P2P) programs to issue a specific notice to users that warns them that their files may be shared, CNET has reported. The Informed P2P User Act bill introduced in March by California Republican Mary Bono Back will be the focus of the hearing. The wording in the Act, which would require P2P software to allow file sharing only if two rules are met, could also apply to web browsers, FTP applications, IM programs and any other applications that send and receive files."

This is what your tax dollars pay for, my fellow Americans. The thing that struck me about this bill was how it would make the RIAA lawsuits so much easier to get done. How is that, you ask? For years people have gone into court and played dumb. "You mean that file-sharing app I got shares my files? I had no idea!" Some judges have even bought into it and so have juries. This would effectively cut that defense right out from under potential defendants.

It's not like this is going to pass anyway, but it's always interesting to see what goes through the empty cavern between the ears and behind the eyes of the people we call our "leaders." I guess they got tired of talking about who to bail out, who to stimulate, and where to hide from the raging swine flu pandemic.

AT&T Drops myWireless for iPhone 3G

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 01:00 PM

"Manage your myWireless account, right from your iPhone. Pay your bill, view usage, add or remove features, and more."

This is a welcome app for me because I tend to end up paying the bill on the full web site in Safari on my iPhone. Much better alternative, in my opinion, than trying to scroll, pinch, and zoom my way around. It works really well and has a nice overall look and feel. Yet another reason I'm pretty happy sticking with AT&T.

Bento For Your iPhone/iPod Touch

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

"Apple's wholey-owned Filemaker group has announced an iPhone version of its personal database tool, Bento (iTunes Link). While we don't quite have the motivation or the OCD to make databases of our daily lives, we know lots of people who can find a lot of utility in this great little $4.99 app."

I like the Bento program, although I don't use it as much as I probably should. Now that they have an app that syncs with the desktop version, I may have to get motivated. The app is in the mid-range for pricing at $4.99 USD, but if you use Bento it may be worthwhile. The app has 25 or so preprogrammed templates such as vehicle maintenance, books and to do lists, however some fields require Bento 2.0 version 4 for desktop. Curious about the differences between the app and the desktop version? Filemaker has a page setup for just that question.

Rumor: 10.5.7 Coming Friday

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 11:00 AM

"If you've been champing at the bit for the magic of 10.5.7, according to a super-secret Apple source, your champing can cease on Friday. The newest version of Leopard is slated to fix a slew of networking, syncing and bluetooth issues."

I'm not really having a lot of issues with the current build of Leopard aside from a weird freeze up issue on occasion when I plug and unplug the mini DisplayPort adapter, but other than that, I'm not dying for 10.5.7. Anyone out there hoping it drops before the weekend?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Rejection at the App Store

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

"Apple's ambiguous standards for objectionable content have caused an update to Nine Inch Nails' iPhone app to be rejected after review. The seemingly arbitrary rejections continue to annoy developers and users alike."

Adding more fuel to the inconsistency fire re: acceptance ambiguity, this rejection was to an update for the NIN application previously approved. The rejection, according to the ars technica article, was based on an update that included a reference to the song "The Downward Spiral," which not so oddly enough isn't even included in the update. The speculation is the rejection was due to a link to a podcast that has the song in it, however the lyrics aren't rated "explicit" in iTunes, so it is still clear as mud. It seems to me Apple isn't doing themselves any favors, and they certainly aren't creating any goodwill with the developers. I guess it is about time they though about a rating system of some kind, or used the explicit tag like they do in the iTunes store for music. What do you think?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Myst Fans, Your App is Here!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

"For you nostalgia fans out there, Myst just hit the App Store for $5.99. It is a whopping (for an iPhone) 727MB download but promises to bring all of the realism of the 1994 classic Macintosh game. If you don't remember, go grab a refresher."

I still have my copy of this for my Mac, and throughly enjoyed the game when I played it years ago. It is amazing to me they are bringing it to the iPhone/iPod Touch, and with higher quality images than the original. It is a very large download and because of the way apps are installed you will need at least 1.5 gig of free space for the initial install (you'll get the extra space back after it is complete).

ProCamera for the iPhone: Keeping Your Shots Straight

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 11:00 AM

The Claim: ProCamera will give you the functionality Apple never built into the Camera app on your iPhone including a horizon guide, a self timer, and an image stabilizer that won't take a shot until your creaky hands sit still.

The App: When you pick up the app and start using it, you don't need to "figure it out." Everything is pretty self-explanatory. In the middle of the app, you see a cross hair that rotates based on how straight your hand is. Across the bottom, three icons: Settings, stabilized shot, and timed shot. If you click the Stabilized Shot icon, your phone will not take the shot until your wobbly creaky bones stop shaking. The timed shot will snap the shot after the amount of time specified in the settings dialog. In the end, it couldn't be simpler. Read more...

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