Before I get to the iPhone apps of the week, I want to share with you an interesting tidbit I read over at AppleInsider regarding the long-awaited Mac tablet. It's one of those cloak-and-dagger-type stories, where an unnamed, (possibly) credible source made a mysterious phone call to an editor about new hardware from Apple. It all sounds kind of fishy to me, but the source apparently described how he had been at a meeting with Apple and had handled what looked like an iPhone (touch screen, black back panel, home button, and all), except it had a 10-inch screen. … Read more
I recently did a road test of both the Navigon MobileNavigator and iGo My Way GPS navigation app for the iPhone and found the Navigion a slightly better product for its ability to pull addresses from the phone's contact. It now has just gotten even better.
Navigon just provided Friday a free update for its iPhone GPS application. The version 1.1.0 update adds the much-needed ability to dial up a point of interest (POI) phone number just by tapping on it. This is important because you can call to make sure that the POI is open or … Read more
Qik from Qik Inc. is a video application previously only available on jailbroken iPhones. On Thursday, however, Apple made the application available for free in the iTunes App Store for the iPhone 3GS only.
What's different between Qik and Apple's Camera app? Qik lets you capture moments in video to share with family, friends, or the whole world. Unlike the Apple Camera app, which shares via e-mail, MMS, MobileMe, and YouTube, Qik shares video using e-mail, SMS, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, as well as Web sites and your favorite blogging platforms, including Blogger, Tumblr, and Wordpress. Feel like … Read more
NFL game fans, we feel your pain. Ever since EA locked up video game-publishing rights to consoles and PCs, Madden has become the only game in town--a monopoly on NFL gaming that eliminates free choice and, some say, removes a competitive need for change. We played the new Madden 10, and we happen to like it. Still, we miss the days when competitors such as NFL 2K5 actually existed.
But, in fact, one still does, and it's made by Gameloft. NFL 2010 (App Store link) hit the iPhone last week with relative quiet. Not only is it an NFL-licensed game, but it's a full-3D game with playbooks and complete league-accurate rosters. In case you're wondering how this happened, EA Sports doesn't own exclusive rights to NFL mobile games. In the mobile arena, competition still exists. Gameloft currently has a license to make NFL games as well, although only on phones and not for DS/PSP hardware.
EA is reportedly preparing an iPhone version of Madden, but for now, Gameloft's title is the only real-deal gridiron action on Apple's App Store. Of course, we were extremely curious as to how it would play, especially with no physical control pad. Read on for our impressions, and check out the gallery below. … Read more
At the end of July, a small start-up called 3jam introduced a virtual phone service that takes on Google Voice. While each is a beta-phase call-forwarding service, it became clear after dozens of calls, text messages, and voice mails, that there are important differences between the two, both on paper and in real-world testing.
First, 3jam's public beta is broadly available to all takers. Google's, on the other hand, is in invitation-only closed beta. 3jam's costs an extra $5 a month to use (for a 12-month contract), and that's not including a premium SMS plan for those wishing to surpass the monthly 40-U.S.-domestic-text-message limit. However, it can port your cell phone number and has an emphasis on group communications, which we'll talk about later on. Google Voice, on the other hand, won't yet let you hang onto your cell phone number, which means friends will need to call some new digits, but it is currently free for domestic calls (international call and texting rates will still apply).
It's spelled out here in this inexhaustive features comparison chart.
FEATURES GOOGLE VOICE 3JAM Beta Closed, invite-only; U.S. Open; International Cost Free $5/month and up Keep cell number Not yet Yes Call forwarding Cell phones, land line, Gizmo VoIP Cell phones, land line, one VoIP client Call screening, blocking, recording, listening to a live voice mail Yes No Customized voice mail greetings Multiple One Initiate a cell call from the computer Yes No Initiate SMS from the computer Yes Yes Visual voice mail Machine-transcribed Machine-transcribed Voice mail playback Phone, Web, e-mail file Phone, Web, e-mail file Free SMS Unlimited domestic Domestic: First 40 per month Group SMS No Yes Multiple phone lines per account No Yes
Does 3jam's group advantage justify the cost? Should users hold out for Google Voice?
For its part, Google Voice, which grew out of the acquisition of Grand Central, offers casual users the stronger feature set of the two, with more sophisticated calling tricks--call screening, call blocking, and listening in on a voice mail as it's being recorded. Like the visual voice mail service YouMail, it will also let you record personalized voice mail messages, but it's geared toward groups rather than individuals. … Read more
Apple might have let one slip by. An app that looks awfully similar to the Nintendo DS is now available in its App Store.
Dubbed DS Double Sys, the iPhone app from ZM2 Dev "can turn your device into a 'Handheld Game Console.'" When users boot up the app, the DS's familiar design is featured on the screen, including its dual displays. App owners can change the color of the DS to match their real-life version, zoom in on individual screens, and even play games. ZM2 Dev said that gamers receiving higher scores on its Pixel Mania … Read more
For the duration of its existence until now, the offline experience on Gmail.com from your iPhone or Android phone has been a unidirectional activity: you could compose outgoing mail, but not view it before it sent.
No longer. Introduced on Thursday, Outbox is a new Gmail.com feature for Android and iPhone users. It provides mobile Web users a way to view the queue of outgoing messages that Google will ship out once the cell phone gets back into a coverage zone.
We tested Outbox by opening Gmail from the browser and then switching the phone to airplane mode. … Read more
New features in Google's Reader product make it easier for users to share, manage, and discover content. Reader users can now pick certain sites they want to share to. It's very much like the drop-down sharing tool we have here at CNET, although Google is giving users the option to pick which ones they want to see from the drop down, as well as add their own. This may seem like an extra step, but for people who are really going to use the feature, it cuts down on both how fast the menu appears, and how much … Read more
Nothing beats a good iPhone game when you've got five minutes to kill (or pummel, as it were).
Much as I love freebies, sometimes you have to pony up to get the games you want. Fortunately, even the top titles occasionally go on sale, as with these five gems:Fist of Fury Boxing: Normally $4.99, this Nintendo 64-style slugfest is on sale for just 99 cents. Galaga Remix: Includes both the original arcade classic and the amped-up "remix" version, which features power-ups, boss fights, and the like. It's on sale for $2.99, normally $5.… Read more