All Geek to Me

July 14, 2008

The Apple iPhone Appstore

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 7:00 am

The iPhone is a wonderful device; phone, PDA, iPod, and web client. It was the jack of all trades and near master of them too. The one thing that was lacking was the ability to add to the software that was developed by Apple. On Friday, the App Store opened and it became possible to install third party applications.

I have nine pieces of software from the App Store.

Box Office: which with the location software will give you details of the local cinemas, what they are playing, reviews of the movies and the ability to buy tickets. For those unwilling to book online it will use the phone part of the iPhone to dial the box office.

Exposure: A Flickr client which gives neat access to my online photographs. It also uses the location software to show pictures that were taken close to your current location; I am not sure there is any use for this beyond an odd curiosity. What it lacks is the ability to load pictures from the phone to your Flickr account.

Google: The default search engine for the iPhone has always been provided by the local firm at Mountain View. This application provides a unified search across the web and your contacts, which would have been more useful before the latest software update which added the much needed ability to search your address book.

Pandora: Streaming radio tailored to my own rather peculiar tastes. It picks up the preferences from your PC account. If I did have sufficient podcasts to keep me busy on my walks to and from work, then this would be a reason for a major celebration.

Aurora Feint: Wow, a simple and addictive game wrapped up as a compelling fantasy RPG. There are plenty of games for purchase, but this one is free and is so beautifully presented; the bar for asking for payment for iPhone games has been sent high out of the gates.

Remote: The iPhone works across your home network to control iTunes on your PC. This is definitely cool. Unfortunately, our wireless speakers are out of reach from my desktop. I shall look at setting up the laptop, so we can control the music as we relax in the garden.

SplashId: I had this software for many years on my Palm PDAs. It allows me to keep track of miscellaneous passwords for the myriad websites for which I have a user-id. I had initial problems, but an excellent support forum resolved the glitches and the one application that I knew I had to have was working.

There are still some things lacking from the iPhone. I cannot send or receive MMS messages. How can one of the most perfectly designed computers of all times not have cut and paste? Those shortcomings are made irrelevant by the one truly great killer app. Phonesaber uses the accelerometer; you can wave your iPhone in the air and the sound and screen image makes you an instant Jedi.

In the unlikely event that you are reading this blog and have got this far down the post without being a Geek, you may not find a light saber emulator represents a breakthrough use of accelerometer technology. In that case I offer you iPint, a game in which you slide a pint of Carling down the bar into your mate’s hands and then drink the beer. A free game sponsored by a certain brewery; the iPhone tastes no worse than their beer.

P.S: The new version of the iPhone software lets you do screen captures, just in case that was not obvious.

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