A personalized ringtone is worth a thousand preset tones. It's no wonder why so many users produce their own, and why so many developers join the talent show. While all ringtone-making software share some commonalities, they usually vary by some degree of pricing, audio editing sensitivity, and delivery mode. RingtoneExpress, for instance, is light on editing tools, but offers four methods for loading MP3 and WMA content onto the phone. The pricing is kept low, about $10 for limitless ringtone creation, and uniquely, it can also suck the audio out of YouTube videos for conversion to an MP3 ringtone.… Read more
After the sophistication of desktop chatting, mobile instant messaging services often tend to look like rough, rickety wire frames. Not so for AOL's first house-made application for mobile phones, a rich AIM client for Windows Mobile phones versions 5 and 6.
Released earlier this month, the IM application is in beta stages and there are plenty of known issues, including the one that number-locks the keypad on T-Mobile Dash phones and made for a dead-end first attempt. Past that obstacle, AIM for Windows … Read more
Laugh it up all you want, you Web 2.0-using note takers. This simple note maker for your PC is small, robust, and excellent at what it does.
Stickies combines the best and most important features that you could want in a notes program. The program's main feature, the sticky note, can be customized on nearly every level, from font to color to behavior. The program installs a yellow sticky pad in your QuickLaunch bar. Double-click on it to load a new sticky, or right-click on it to access saved stickies and configuration options.
Fonts, hot keys, formatting, opacity, … Read more
Jon Lech Johansen doesn't like DRM. His first public success at breaking it awarded him an indictment orchestrated by Norwegian and U.S. entertainment big-wigs. Though landing him in hot water with the authorities, it also landed him a job. "DVD Jon," who now works with doubleTwist Ventures, has turned his attention to iTunes (for Windows and Mac), and to a freeware application that wrests songs from iTunes control for delivery on a range of high-end mobile devices.
Before tossing out your first-generation iPhone for the iPhone 3G we're all anticipating on July 11, you'll need to wipe off personal data, including your passwords and user IDs. CNET's Tom Merritt shows off three paths to iPhone data-cleanliness using iTunes for Mac and Windows. The first method is simple, but will likely leave a swatch of information behind. The second method is for the ultraparanoid with a lot of time on their hands, and the third method averages techniques to get the data coffers mostly spotless. Check it out.
At the WWDC on Monday, Apple announced the next evolution of its .Mac service, MobileMe. A cloud storage solution that handles e-mail, calendar items, contacts, photos, and other documents, it will arguably compete with Microsoft's Live Mesh, as well as several other data synchronization start-ups like SugarSync (download).
MobileMe will replace Apple's consumer Web site service, .Mac, and adds to that service additional storage (.Mac's 10GB gos to MobileMe's 20GB), plus support for the new iPhone and for Windows PCs.
The big pitch for the new service is its synchronization capabilities. E-mail to your MobileMe account … Read more
What if your nightlife agenda was dictated not by text messages, phone calls, or your city edition of Time Out, but by a shifting pattern of dots on a Google Map?
As absurd as it may sound, a New York company called Sense Networks thinks that's the solution. On Monday, the company emerged from stealth mode and simultaneously released an "experimental" product called CitySense, an urban navigation product that puts a new spin on the hot market of location-based mobile networking.
Backed by hedge funds rather than the venture firms that typically fuel tech start-ups, Sense Networks … Read more
Google Maps updated with public transit information and routing back in mid-2007 (see story here), but missing was a way to access that same layer of information on your mobile phone. Today that's changed with the latest version of Google's mobile maps app.
The updated service now includes searchable transit maps and schedules from more than 40 cities in the U.S. and close to 20 others around the globe. It also takes advantage of the built-in location finder to help you find transportation hubs that are nearby, saving you time from having to ask directions while out … Read more
YouMail, a free visual voice mail solution to organize cell phone messages like e-mail for online playback and response, announced on Thursday that customers can start viewing those same voice mail messages from their mobile phones.
By pointing the mobile browser to YouMail's home page, fans of the service can access their account with the usual login and pin to view contact's images, play back messages in any order, and forward or reply to voice messages in a form factor tailored from YouMail's servers to many high-end smartphones.
YouMail certainly isn't the first visual voice mail … Read more
The widgets story has always locked icons and links in a race to recover your most-wanted data quickly and accurately. When it comes to cell phones, there's been no clear winner, only trade-offs. Mobile browsers such as Opera Mini and Skyfire promise rich desktop search augmented by straightforward links to favored sites, while well-designed widgets applications such as Yahoo Go supply clear paths to tightly-focused content, some of it user-customized.