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All posts tagged "software"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Painfully Addictive: Flight Control

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 09:00 AM

"Flight Control is a delightful action/strategy game for iPhone and iPod Touch that is as simple as it is wickedly addictive. Touch and drag your aircraft to their landing zones, and avoid mid-air collisions. It sounds easy, but as more and more planes arrive you will need smart strategy, keen eyes and a smooth steady-as-she-goes touch!"

It's not a new game in any sense of the word, but it is one that I just recently discovered on the App Store (on the recommendation of Anthony from the Opie and Anthony show). I swear I've never been as addicted to a game as I am to this one. I can't even tell you how many hours I whittled away this weekend playing this game, and it shows. I was having trouble landing ten or more planes. Now I'm into the mid thirties, so practice does indeed make perfect.

Anyone else ready to check into a program over this one? Come on, it's okay. We're all friends here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Popcap Confirms May 12th Release for Peggle for iPhone

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

"Although we've been sworn to secrecy about its finer points (shhh, PopCap nailed it), Joystiq can excitedly confirm that Peggle for iPhone / iPod Touch will be released onto the App Store on Tuesday, May 12. PopCap is still considering an appropriate price, but we can assume Peggle is not going to be tossed in the 99-cent free-for-all pile and will probably fit into a more "premium" price range between $5-6."

The last game I bought for my 30 Gig iPod was Peggle and I've missed it ever since. I've played it on my Mac, but it's not the same; I spent a ton of time playing it on the subway and at work as I waited for Windows Updates to download for our servers. I was a little disappointed when March came and went and we had no sign of Peggle, but now my hopes are lifted again and I anxiously await its return to my life.

Judging by the enthusiasm at Joystiq, they're pretty excited too. Anyone in the peanut gallery here a Peggle fan?

Tiger Woods PGA Tour Hits App Store

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

"Features of the game include: * Touch and drag to engage the Swing Meter * Swipe your screen to activate the Ball Spin * Golf through 7 of the most famous courses in the world * Play as or against Tiger Woods and challenge 4 other PGA Tour golfers * Enjoy 3D graphics, realistic sound, and moving environments * Personalize your User Profile and customize your very own golfer * Record and track your game statistics"

My most-played X-Box 360 game is now probably going to be my most played iPhone game. I was concerned, initially, about how they would translate the controls onto the iPhone (with most of the games I've played on the iPhone, the controls are usually what makes me stop playing relatively quickly) but EA did a magnificent job in giving a nice responsive swing translation to the touch screen UI. Overall, the game is just awesome, plays great, has commentary, multiple career modes, and even includes my favorite golf course of all time, TPC Sawgrass. If you're in a hurry, there's even a 3 hole "Quick Play" mode in case you don't have time for a front/back 9 or full 18.

If this is the calibre of what EA's sports titles are going to look like on the iPhone, other developers can consider the bar seriously raised. If you're a golf fan and enjoy golf games, go buy this one. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Microsoft Uncorks New "Laptop Hunters" Ad

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

"Sheila browses through a few more notebooks before settling on an HP HDX 16t. The specific details of the system were not disclosed, but HP offers configurations starting at $1200. The recommended system costs $1700, directly from the manufacturer, and features a 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB hard drive and 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT GPU."

At least she got a good machine that might actually be suitable for the task and her requirements (unlike Giampaolo whose choice still baffles me every time I see his commercial). The only puzzling part of the ad is her requirement that the new machine be able to "cut video." Okay, I can understand that. My question comes from her strange platform hunting. After all, how many hardcore video editors aren't already married to one particular piece of software?

For example, most of my editing is done on iMovie '09 and for bigger projects that require more oomph, I use Final Cut Express, neither of which would allow me to buy a Windows PC. Ever. Wouldn't someone as hardcore as Sheila have a similar preference? And if so, why even bother looking at other platforms?

Just struck me as odd, but like I said, at least she got a good machine.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

AT&T Unfixes 3G TV Redirection "Mistake"

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

"AT&T on Wednesday quietly updated its cellphone terms of service to again potentially ban devices like the Slingbox on its network. Having initially pulled earlier changes in what was described as "an error," the carrier has again modified the terms to specifically prevent "redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers.""

The obvious question that this change of TOS brings up is, "What exactly can we expect when the Slingbox app is released?" Honestly, who knows, but considering how long it's taking for the damn thing to be approved, you never know what AT&T thinks about Sling's app. It's also worth noting that AT&T does have a mobile TV product available on some of its phones, so they may just be pigeonholing you into their product.

I hope that isn't the case. Acquires Lexcycle

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

"People who like to read books on their iPhones (including myself) will be pleased to hear that Amazon has grown tired of playing catch-up with Stanza on the platform and instead bought out the much smaller company behind the app, Lexcycle. The Stanza makers are reportedly "very excited" by the development, which is understandable considering the gobs of cash Amazon no doubt threw their way. I'd be jazzed, too."

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em I guess. The iPhone has actually proven to be a pretty good e-book reader. I know I wasn't too thrilled with the prospect (since I have a kindle and use that quite often), but I must say after using the Amazon app to read the books I have saved on my kindle account, it isn't that bad. I still prefer the kindle but like I've seen from the comments, I don't always have it but I usually have my iPhone. The question that keeps coming up is how are they going to integrate it with their existing app? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Developing Your First iPhone App

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

"In the last iPhone Dev 101 post, I told you a little about creating your first project using Xcode; however, in this post, I want to show you how to create your first application that will run in the iPhone simulator. In honor of staying with the classic way of teaching programming, we'll create a "Hello World!" application as our first one."

10 Print "Hello"

20 Goto 10


That's the extent of my programming chops. Okay, that's an exaggeration but after this excellent tutorial, I think it's time to update my knowledge a hair. Cory does a great job of making it easy to understand and gives just the right amount of handholding to get your feet wet. When I was first learning MS SQL, I was utterly lost and now I'm damn good at it. All it took was some confidence building.

What are you waiting for? Go get started!

iRockabye For All Your Lullaby Needs

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

Product Category: Lifestyle
Manufacturer: iRockabye
Where to Buy: iTunes
Price: $2.99 USD
System Requirements: Compatible with iPhone/iPod Touch (2nd Generation), requires iPhone 2.2 Software Update


  • Simple interface;
  • Add custom sounds;
  • Works when iPhone is on vibrate mode.


  • Limited usability;
  • Price may be too high for what it delivers.

Summary: Have you ever had a cold or sore throat and just didn't think your golden pipes could get through a lullabye for your infant? Yea, me either but if it was to happen, this would be just the application for you!


iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 4 Released

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

"Man, they're just cranking these things out. Just two weeks after iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 3 (which was, in turn, two weeks after iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 2), we've got another Beta. Beta 4 of iPhone OS 3.0 is now available for developers, as long as they've downloaded the brand spankin' new iPhone 8.2 pre-release. It just went live, so we're not quite sure what's new here. If you spot anything, let us know - we'll do the same."

To say they are "cranking these things out" is an understatement. Obviously in preparation for the upcoming WWDC '09, Apple is sending these updates out as fast as they can. There is a caveat with this release: you need to install the prerelease of iTunes 8.2 in order for it to work. This one doesn't have much information with it, however. The only thing I've read so far is that it adds stability to the OS, allows some functionality to your store settings pane for your iTunes account and a reference to Blu-Ray in the iTunes 8.2 documentation. Maybe that is the reason these are coming out so frequently; they aren't adding much with each update. Regardless, I'm very excited to see it all put together in June.

MLB About To Make $1 Million on iPhone App

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 09:00 AM

"Major League Baseball's At Bat iPhone app is a hit -- and a money maker. The league tells us it's sold 130,000 copies of the $10 app so far this year. That translates to about $1.3 million in gross revenue. After Apple's 30% cut, MLB's take is about $910,000 so far -- with five months left in the season. (iPhone and iPod touch owners have also downloaded about 220,000 copies of the free At Bat Lite.)"

The first app I downloaded when I got my iPhone 3G was MLB @Bat. In fact, the whole reason I got the iPhone in the first place was the demo of the app they showed at MacWorld last year. MLB has put together a brilliant app that works well and whose functionality keeps improving, and it's one of my most-used apps. I'm honestly quite surprised the NBA, NHL, and NFL haven't followed suit.

It's $1 million, and it's the biggest money making league in professional sports, but that $1 million was earned because they put out a great product; case closed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rumor: QuickTime for Snow Leopard to Support Youtube

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

"Apple will further its endorsement of YouTube and open video standards by building support for the Google-owned video sharing service into one of its flagship applications due to ship later this summer as part of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. On the heels of screen recording discoveries in the upcoming version of QuickTime X Player, people familiar with betas of the media player software say a handful of video sharing options will also be rolled into the release. In particular, the application will let users take any supported video file and upload it directly to YouTube. Users will be prompted to enter their YouTube username and password, and QuickTime X Player will take care of the rest. This includes converting the movie into a file optimized for the video sharing service and then uploading it to the appropriate user account."

Slowly but surely I've realized that YouTube is the only place you really need to put your videos if you want them noticed (in spite of the absolutely maddeningly dumb comments) and Apple's continued partnership with Google and YouTube is definitely going to push it even further toward being the number one choice for hobbyist video producers.

I for one look forward to some sharing capabilities being put into QuickTime. It's one part of OSX that desperately needs an update, and a major one at that.

Need for Speed for iPhone Looking Great

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

"EA has continued its slow and steady release of screenshots and information about their long-awaited Need for Speed racing game. Here we've posted the latest collection of screenshots from the "coming soon" iPhone and iPod Touch racer."

Touch Arcade posted the screenshot above along with two others and I have to say, Need for Speed is looking consolicious. I'd definitely give it a go when it came out as long as EA promised not to use the same stupid tilt controls that every other driving game for the iPhone seems to be so fond of these days.

E*Trade Comes to the App Store

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

"E*TRADE has released E*TRADE Mobile Pro for Apple iPhone and iPod touch in Apple's iTunes App Store. The app allows users to "trade anytime, anywhere." E*TRADE says that the new app is "one of the most powerful mobile trading applications ever. You get the same core functionality as your desktop, all full synchronized with your online account in real time."

I've dabbled a bit with E*Trade in the past, nothing serious, but I've always like the ease of use with their site. Now they have brought their trading company to the iPhone. This app is free, and you can stream real-time quotes, get breaking market news, stock option trading and manage your E*Trade account. You can find out more either at iTunes or at the E*Trade site for the iPhone app.

NeatDesk for Mac Now Available

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 09:00 AM

"Once your paper is digitized, NeatWorks for Mac uses "Intelligent Text Recognition" technology to extract key data from your documents and populate key fields automatically in this robust digital filing system. By eliminating much of the data entry, you can turn a pile of receipts into an expense report in mere minutes. Or turn that stack of business cards into digital contacts and import them directly to Address Book. You can even scan any kind of document to produce a fully-searchable PDF file."

Okay... Simply put, this looks flat out awesome. I've always been interested in NeatReceipts, but I don't deal with enough receipts to make a receipts-only solution worth it for me. I do, however, have a ton of paper floating around all over my desk and this kind of digital filing system is something I might actually use. It's a tad pricey at $399, but if it works anywhere near as well as I've heard NeatReceipts does, it should be a huge hit with the Mac faithful.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Interested in Genealogy? Give This Public Beta a Try

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 PM

"German software developer Synium announced the release of its MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta on Tuesday. The application adds a History Database for the user to browse hundreds of predefined historical entries or add world and personal history events as well as a completely rewritten database engine to deliver faster response times, even with huge family trees."

This requires a Mac with Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and ATI Radeon 7500, Intel GMA 950 or NVidia GeForce 4 MX graphics chipset or better in order to run. This has multiple display options, and the added iPhone capability sounds like a plus. I have yet to give it a go, but this is something that we have been thinking about doing recently so now may be just the right time to start. This retails for $49.00USD and upgrades can be purchased for $25.00USD.

Tweetie for Mac, Another Option for Your Twittering Needs

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

Figure 1: Tweetie for Mac in action, reviewing some tweets from your favorite website!

Since the social networking site Twitter was introduced in 2006, there have been many desktop applications created to make the Twitter experience more functional. Some of the more popular programs, besides using the Twitter web interface, are TweetDeck, Snitter, Twitterrific and Twhirl. Well, now the popular iPhone application "Tweetie" has jumped into the desktop realm. Having used several of these at one time or another and settled on TweetDeck as my Twitter client of choice, I wanted to see if this one was worthy of all the hype it generated. The grass is always greener right?


FiRe Audio Recorder Now Available

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

"Audiofile Engineering, a leading audio software developer for the Mac, announces the world's first professional field recorder built exclusively for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Created for audio professionals by audio professionals, FiRe brings several firsts to the iPhone platform. Audio pros can now use this mobile platform for serious field recording with an accurate real-time waveform display, audio markers, support for professional Broadcast WAVE metadata, and the instant downloading of audio files in multiple formats."

I've always had a need for a field recorder, but never had (and still don't have) the money to buy one. Enter my iPhone, which already does pretty much everything in my life anyway, and now I may not need to shell out for one. It even supports external microphones!

At $5.99, maybe it's worth looking at regardless. Anyone else in the market for a field recorder and liking what they're seeing here?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Matt Parkman: Hero to Stores

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

"Greg Grunberg is more than twittering Heroes celebrity, but through Twitter, he was able to make an idea come to life. His idea was Yowza!. It's an iPhone and iPod Touch app that uses your location to find deals near you. If you're out shopping, you can find out what stores are offering deals near you, in either a 5, 10 or 15 mile radius. The app also lets you search by city to enable you to plan ahead and still save money."

Neat idea, although I'll admit that the only reason I even posted it was because it was Greg Grunberg's app. I happen to be a big fan of Heroes no matter how much it disappoints me week after week. You can find out more about Yowza at

AT&T Distributes Silly Competitive Intelligence

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 11:00 AM

"Want more evidence that the Pre release is imminent? How about AT&T sending a document around their internal network for employees to bone-up on some anti-Pre, pro-iPhone talking points ...and then holding some in-store seminars for employees to make sure they get the message?"

I've been in the wireless business for 12 years now, and I've seen these types of competitive intelligence documents from every single carrier every time the competition is about to release a big new product, so this certainly isn't an AT&T exclusive tactic. That being said, I hate these things with a passion because most of them are so overwrought with stretches, reaches, and silliness, that they're borderline lies.

Anyway, take this for what it's worth, but remember that it isn't from Apple and doesn't mean anything as far as Apple goes (unlike Engadget's ridiculous contention that because AT&T is writing this kind of stuff, it speaks for Apple, also). This is an AT&T thing, and they've done it before. No proxies involved.

Baby Shaker Approved, Then Removed Just As Fast

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 09:00 AM

Baby Shaker's description in the iTunes App Store challenged you to see how long you could go without shaking the baby. Doing so would put little red x's over the baby's eyes, meaning you had accomplished your task of silencing the baby.

I'm very big on free speech and the right to offend and so on. I think people are generally too sensitive and let too much crap get under their skin. I also think that political correctness and the like are bad for free speech and expression because the standards are so subjective. With that said, however, Apple has denied quite a few apps that were significantly more mild and didn't involve baby murder.

At least they took the app down, but for whatever reason it took a huge uproar to get that to happen. Regardless of what you think about the app, it's pretty hard to argue that Apple's approval process for apps isn't, at the very least, broken.

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