Apps like Evernote, Shazam, and Mint get all the glory, but there are plenty of other productivity-boosting, life-improving apps out there. Here's a roundup of five I'm loving right now--and because I'm a cheapskate (as well as The Cheapskate), they're all freebies.6500+ Cool Facts Whether you're a trivia buff or just looking to learn more about the world, this nifty little app delivers. Read a fact, then tap the screen to move on to the next one. That's the entire interface--you can't save favorites or return to previous facts--but so what? Knowledge … Read more
Nokia on Tuesday officially launched the Ovi Store. This is the Finnish company's answer to services like the App Store for the iPhone and the Android Market for Android smartphones. The Ovi Store allows developers to list their programs in an online catalog so users can easily download or buy them.
More than 50 Nokia devices are compatible with the Ovi Store and it can be accessed by visiting store.ovi.com on the browser or downloading the standalone application to your phone. We tried it on our E71 and it worked on both the browser and through the … Read more
I'm not a big fan of anything subterranean, but every time I'm in NYC, for practical reasons, I take the subway.
This time around, it was also because I wanted to find out if the City Transit NYC Subway Guide app was worth $2.99. I ended up catching something else which, by itself, totally made the one-hour ride from Manhattan to the Bronx worthwhile.
As express train No. 5 started to leave 59th Street and Lexington Ave., two dudes who looked just like regular New Yorker-on-holiday riders turned on their boombox. One called out: "Hi everybody, what you're about to see is the most amazing thing. If you don't like it, boo as much as you want. But if you do, clap and please show your support." Seeing some people taking out their cameras, he added, "You can take video all you want, as long as you pay us."
Without further ado, the two took turns performing the most amazing breakdance I've seen. It was just coincidental that I had my iPhone video on and managed to capture the whole thing. What I didn't capture was the fact that their dance inspired some regular riders to stand up and show off their own moves. I totally heart NYC for this. … Read more
Apple has had a change of heart and decided to allow an iPhone app that offered access to the Kama Sutra.
Apple on Thursday notified the developer that it had rejected the e-book reader app because it deemed the content available on Eucalyptus as "objectionable." As it does with all books available through the app, Eucalyptus downloads a text-only version of the ancient Indian book on sexuality from Project Gutenberg.
The Kama Sutra does not come installed on the app; as with any book title, users must search for the book and download it. The baffling thing in … Read more
Apple's iPhone app rejection policy continues to mystify.
This time, Apple has rejected Eucalyptus, an e-book reader app that can--after purposely searching for it--access the Kama Sutra. Like it does with all books available through the app, Eucalyptus downloads a text-only version of the ancient Indian book on sexuality from Project Gutenberg.
In a letter to the developer on Thursday, Apple rejected the app because it deems the content available on Eucalyptus as "objectionable."
What's interesting about this case is that the Kama Sutra is available in the iPhone App Store through several other methods. For … Read more
Israeli start-up Waze is at the Where 2.0 conference this week showing off its service for collecting real-time traffic and driving condition data from its users. Currently running on 80,000 smartphones in Israel, Waze shows you traffic flows on highways, and unlike other traffic services, it also shows it on side streets, and it creates routing advice based on that data.
The service allows users to report accidents, speed traps, cops by the side of the road, and other traffic-related items. What's cool is that these items fade automatically over time, and there's also the possibility … Read more
NetApp said Wednesday that it will acquire Data Domain for $1.5 billion, or $25 a share.
Data Domain makes de-duplication storage systems designed to cut cost and make data management easier. NetApp said in a statement that its game plan is to take Data Domain's products and work it through NetApp's global sales channel. Data Domain's products will become a line in NetApp's operations.
Ultimately Data Domain and NetApp's VTL lineup is designed to move companies off tape backups. For 2008, Data Domain had … Read more
As anticipated from last week's Facebook company blog post, the company has rolled out a redesigned directory of applications that has been tweaked to better show off verified applications. The company has also trimmed the number of categories down to just seven from a list that had grown to 22.
Verified applications are those that have gone through Facebook's new annual verification program, which costs $375, or $175 for students. Facebook vets these apps to make sure they conform to the company's standards both in content and in API usage.
Apps that have been verified get a … Read more
Google Maps is dynamic. Making customized maps through the service isn't very difficult. But there are a variety of third-party tools on the Web that help you create fully customized Google Maps mashups. From Flickr geotag integration to wedding event mapping to just doodling, you can do it all.Mapping tools
GeotagIt With GeotagIt, you can quickly upload photos from your Flickr account or links from your Delicious page, then add geotags to them. (You can also do this within Flickr.) The link or photo is then displayed on the map in the area you chose. It shows the item's longitude and latitude on the page. It runs in Flash instead of Google Maps like the other services in this roundup. That makes moving around the map a little difficult. The mashup is in beta, so it can be buggy at times. But I found that adding pictures from Flickr worked beautifully. Plus, I liked GeotagIt more than than Flickr's geotagging feature. Adding multiple images at once was simpler. And with the help of its map search, finding friends' geotagged images took seconds.
Map Builder Map Builder is a powerful tool, but it's extremely simple to use. You can pick a location with city and state or ZIP code. Once the tool finds the location's latitude and longitude, it then gives you the option of adding a caption, a description, and picking the color and design of the marker. Unfortunately, the site lets you upload photos only if you use its real-estate service, which is subscription-based. The real-estate service is designed for real-estate professionals who want to map their listed properties for clients. It costs $19.95 per month. Other than that, I was quite happy with Map Builder. I think that it's an ideal service for companies that want to integrate a custom map into their Web site.
Mapicurious Mapicurious lets you mark your favorite locations, share hot spots with friends, or simply add points of interest. You can also upload pictures to your map. And adding all that content is made simple with the site's fine menu system. I was really impressed by Mapicurious.
MapTrot Adding points of interest to MapTrot takes just a few seconds. Once you decide to create a map, you can input the name or address of the place you want to add. You can include a description or direct people to Google Images. But there's not much else to MapTrot. I liked it, but it's not better than a site like Map Builder.… Read more
In an e-mail sent to iPhone developers Monday, Apple asked them to try out the AP's news app for the iPhone, the first third-party application to incorporate long-awaited "push" notification on the device.
The e-mail asked developers who would like to participate to install the AP News application on an iPhone running iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5. Apple has already said that the OS 3.0 release next month will include an expanded notifications service for third-party applications. Currently, the service only works with the device's core applications: incoming calls, texts, and calendar appointments.
The … Read more