Monday, December 29, 2008

15 Must Have iPhone Apps

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Since I got my iPhone 3G in July of this year I have collected the following list of Must have iPhone app downloads. All of these are free apps on the Apple App Store.

1.)Google app
This particular app makes Google search as easy as pushing a button and saying the words you want to search for on Google, or putting the phone to your ear and wait for the tone and state your search. Use it to search or just amaze your friends

2.)Mobile news
This is a great app from the Associated Press. It even uses the GPS to find news that is local to you. Great way to stay in touch with news around the corner or around the world.

3.)Shazam
Ever hear a song while walking through a store or hear something on TV or the radio and you don’t know the name but you love the song. Just click on Tag now and let Shazam tell you what the song is and who sings it. Later you can download it on iTunes to play again and again.

4.)AOL Radio
AOL Radio is a great way to stream any AOL Music Radio Station right t your iPhone or in the car to your car stereo with a Dock or FM Transmitter. Listen to music from around the world while you drive to work. A great replacement for XM Satellite Radio

5.)Pandora Radio
Another Streaming Radio App but this one you create your own custom channel and listen to the music you like. If Bob Seger is your favorite singer, or Plush if your favorite song just enter it into Pandora and it will pick that performer or song and others of a similar style you might also like. Give them thumbs up or down with each track to make the list better over time. Discover new music while enjoying your favorites.

6.)Remote
Control your iTunes Application on your computer over wifi from your iPhone. This is great if you have an Airport Express ($99.00) at apple.com and stream your music to other rooms from your computer. Use your iPhone as a remote to control track, playlist, even volume.

7.)YPMobile
A quick and easy Yellow Pages guide for your iPhone. Between this a Google Maps I have never had to use 411 to get any information from my iPhone.

8.)Light
Lots of these simple apps exist on the App Store but they are amazingly useful when walking into a dark room with just your iPhone. The white screen and brightness turned up all the way it makes a great way to light a dark room for a little while anyway.

9.)RDP Lite
Did you ever need to login to a Windows PC remotely. With this app you can access your computer desktop from virtually anywhere. Also versions are available for VNC clients as well. The Lite version is free the full featured Pro version does cost money.

10.)MeetBubble
Bubble is great for making sure pictures, tables and other items are level. Taking advantage of the sensors in the iPhone Bubble will ding and give you a “Whoop There it is” when he is centered.

11.)Take me to my car
Have you ever left your car in a Parking Lot and forgot where you parked? With Take me to my Car you just open the app before you get out of your car and bookmark your cars location with the iPhone GPS. When you leave later open the app and you will get walking directions from your current location to where you bookmarked your cars location.

12.)Stop Watch
This is a self explanatory app that let’s you time things. Start/Stop and Lap are all options on this iPhone Chronograph.

13.)beamMe
BeamMe is a great new way to send and receive vCards with other iPhone users. Just enter their phone number or email address and click send card and BeamMe sends them your contact information to add to their address book.

14:)
Bump is a great way to swap contacts with iPhone users. You open the Bump application and then bump your phone to another iPhone user who has bump open. It uses GPS and 3G wireless to connect to each other and ask you to verify you want to send your contact information to that person and what information you wish to send them. Then it writes into your address book.
Fring isn't as useful now that push notification on AIM works and Skype will be coming soon.
14.)fring
This is a multi-platform text and Voice chat software. Pretty much any IM client and Skype is supported. The Skype Voice Chat only works on WI-FI networks.

15.) Skype. Yes our friends at Skype have finally introduced Skype for the iPhone. It offers great voice chat over Wi-Fi only and sounds almost like you are on a phone call. They also have text chat built right in. Now that iPhone supports push notification I would look for that in the near future from our friends at Skype to give you a notice you have an incoming chat even while the app is not open.
Easy Wi-fi is no longer needed on the iPhone 3.0 software. Apple & AT&T added a feature allowing you to automatically authenticate to the WiFi Access Points at any AT&T WiFi location.
15.) Easy Wi-fi
This makes joining AT&T WI-FI hotspots a snap. Just open the App and enter your phone number for the first time and it will connect to a local AT&T hotspot and setup your free WI-FI access. This is by far the easiest way to join an AT&T WI-FI hotspot only taking a few seconds.



My iPhone has changed the way I live my life and I get excited each time a new update to the phone is released making it even more useful and almost impossible to live without. As people who are used to technology and have high expectations of tech we will always want them to do more and with the iPhone platform the will continually add new features and software that will amaze and astound us and make our lives even easier and put more knowledge at our fingertips.

Friday, July 18, 2008

iPhone 3G Review

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After standing in line for 8 hours to be one of the first to get the latest iPhone from Apple, I must say I was impressed with this device. It is far more than just a phone it also a great PDA and entertainment device. It has a great feel with the curved back and metal bezel framing a nice sized glass multi-touch display. This device gets attention just holding it. Everyone seems to want to touch it and comment about how light it feels while it is only hundredths of an ounce lighter than the previous iPhone for some reason everyone seems to think they feel lighter. It is comfortable to hold in your hand even for long periods of time like when watching movies. Overall I would say if you are switching from any other phone to an iPhone it is worth the wait.
If you already own an iPhone you can upgrade your firmware to the 2.0 version and get most of the features the new iPhone offers with the exception of the 3G high speed wireless and GPS options.
The iPhone is a platform more than just a phone. New software is being released every day through the AppStore to add functionality to the device. MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few of the Social Networking Tools that are available for free. Programs to help identify that song on the radio you like but don’t know the name of, the list of apps is already in the thousands and more developers and apps are being added every day to make the iPhone even more useful.
Now there are still some limitations of the iPhone. The lack of Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) the ability to send video and photos over the Short Messaging Service (SMS) feature is kind of limiting. You can email a photograph to someone but you have to know their cell phones email address and not just the phone number. The camera still doesn’t support recording video, and the ability to Copy and Paste between apps is still missing. While the 3G is much faster and the WiFi connection faster yet the battery does tend to run down rather quickly requiring me to keep a charger by the bed, at my desk, and in the car so I don’t get caught with a dead phone/iPod. Part of the battery issue is the fact I use it all the time. I get my email instantly and can read it while I am listening to music or pause the video to check messages. When a phone call comes in my music or movie automatically pauses and takes me to the phone app so I can answer it.
The GPS with Google Maps and traffic information is a fantastic feature to help avoid congestion on the highways and to help you find stores and services you are looking for at the touch of a button. I am already discovering new restaurants and stores near my home I never knew were there because my phone just shows them to me.
iPhone has set the bar very high for cell phone manufacturers to make an all in one device that is fast, easy and makes a fashion statement. There will be a lot of imitations but I think it will be some time before anyone comes up with a device this good. At least until Apple comes out with the next one.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vsee & Parallels Compatibility on Mac


Below is a link to the forum for Vsee the PC based video conferencing system and a solution I worked on to get the video working inside of Parallels running Windows XP.


The issue was the audio would work but the video would stick in initializing and only ever display a black screen. The solution was to reduce the colors in XP down to 24 bit color.


http://vsee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=168&p=632&hilit=mac#p632