Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rumor: iPhone OS 4 only for iPhone 3G, 3GS

BoyGeniusReport.com has some new details on what could end up being in the final version of iPhone OS 4.0, widely rumored to be either introduced or launched next week during Apple's media event along side the fanboy insanity that could be the launch of the iTablet.

According to BGR, the following could end up on a fruit themed smartphones near you very shortly:

  • There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide. (Would make sense for that as the rumored OS for the iTablet is close if not the same as the iPhone)

  • “A few new ways” to run applications in the background — multitasking.

  • Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient. We haven’t had this broken down, but we can only hope for improved notifications, a refreshed homescreen, etc.

  • The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”

  • The last piece of information is the most vague, but apparently there will be some brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.
If the iTablet does end up running iPhone OS, and I think that makes the most sense and allows Apple and their third-party developers to leverage the existing iTunes ecosystem, the changes coming in iPhone OS 4 make a lot of sense and are probably right on.

The bad news is that that, if true, the rumor suggests that folks using the original first generation 2G iPhone will be shutout from future OS updates. Also missing from the rumor is the fate of the current pool of iPod touch owners. If the iPhone 3G and 3GS are eligible for the upgrade, it follows that the most current iPod touch would be also.

Man, I'm suddenly not all that excited about losing access to new software updates on my first generation iPod touch and iPhone. We'll have to wait and see what happens next week.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

A History of Tablet Computing

Most smartphone fans started out life using devices referred to a "personal digital assistants", or PDAs. Over the last 10 years, the most iconic PDA was the "PalmPilot." Apple has reignited a second mobile computing renaissance first with the iPod, then iTunes, and most recently, the iPhone and the iPod touch. While we wait for Apple to unveil their next mobile computing platform, rumored to a new tablet computer, AppleInsider has published a very good historical accounting of mobile computing.
"A variety of vendors have tried to deliver tablet-like products over the past two decades, but none have been a standout success. This has the tech world watching with bated breath to see if Apple can apply its aura of desirability to the tablet segment in the same way that it has managed to do in desktops, notebooks, MP3 players and smartphones."

Read the full AppleInsider article...

[Via AppleInsider.com...]

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Documents to Go with Exchange Attachments Updated

DataViz has updated Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. This is a free upgrade to current owners of the Exchange attachments edition of Documents To Go.
"[W]e are happy to announce that a new version (3.0) of our “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” for iPhone/iPod touch is available in the App Store. Documents To Go is now the only mobile Office application for iPhone with support for viewing and editing of all three Office formats (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). And we have no plans to stop there! In the next several months we will be adding some really exciting new features to the product, so be sure to stay tuned."

What’s new in version 3.0

* Edit & create PowerPoint presentations:
o Edit/add bullets and text in Outline view and see changes immediately in Slide view
o Edit/add speaker notes
o Sort, add, duplicate and delete slides
o Promote/demote bullets
o And more!

* Added support for Gmail attachments
o Edit/view attachments using Docs To Go

* Product name change
o From “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” to “Documents To Go Premium”

Pricing and Availability

“Documents To Go Premium” is available now for $14.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at: www.dataviz.com/itunes. All customers who purchased a previous version of “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” will receive a free update to version 3.0. For more information: www.dataviz.com/GetiPhone

DataViz is also working on finishing a free update to the base edition of the “Documents To Go” product ($9.99) with an in-app purchasing option for customers to upgrade to the features of the “Premium” version. The time frame for the upgrade for the base edition was not specified.

For more information, please visit the DataViz website.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

I was looking up the features of Apple's QuickTime Pro for Windows (yes, this is work related) and I noticed a small ad in the QuickTime Player window for Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, a game for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Clearly a tie-in to the movie now playing in theaters, skimming through some of the screen shots in the iTunes App Store you get the impression that this is a cool game to play. Best of all, Sherlock Holmes Mysteries is only $0.99 meaning that if the game isn't what you expected, you're out less than the cost of a gourmet coffee!

I'm definitely going to check this game out over the weekend. For more information about Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, check out the iTunes Store.

[Updated article with pictures from the game.]

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Citrix Receiver Updated for iPhone, iPod touch

Citrix has released an update to Citrix Receiver for the iPhone and iPod touch. As you can see, there is literally a boat load of enhancements and fixes in the new release.

The things that I think users will like, include the seamless handling of Citrix accounts, the new user interface, and the ability to change session resolution.

You can read more about Citrix Receiver for iPhone OS on the Citrix website. You can download Citrix Receiver 2.0 for iPhone OS from the Apple iTunes App Store. [iTunes link]

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Time: Year End Numbers

I ran across some interesting numbers in the December 28/January 4 issue of Time magazine. In the Year in Briefing: Numbers section (page 35) there are two stats listed that I think you will find interesting. They are:

  • 200 million people joined Facebook in 2009.
  • 13,505 email messages received, on average, per person in 2009.

Wow! Those are both some amazing statistics. And to think, we couldn't have done it without our smartphones!

Don't have "time" to slow down and read the print publication? No problem, you can download the Time Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. [iTunes link]

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Troubleshooting a "Dead" iPod touch

I went to sync some new music and apps to my touch and was surprised to see that it didn't respond to being connected to the sync cable that was attached to my Mac. No problem, I'll just reboot the iPod and move on. Not so fast! The iPod was not responding to the reboot command either! I was sickened to think that my first generation 16GB iPod touch had just died on me. The holiday season is no time to have to make an unscheduled $400 purchase. And so began the long, drawn out, troubleshooting process.

The first thing you should do when you have an iPod that is misbehaving is to head over to the Apple iPod Troubleshooting Assistant web page. Here, you will be able to select your particular model of iPod and use Apple's easy to follow directions for setting things right.

In the past, rebooting my iPods has always resolved the issue. In this case, the touch was scrambled in such a way that I couldn't reboot it. But there is one other way to achieve a similar effect: drain the battery and recharge.

Draining the battery is an easy thing to do if you use your iPod all the time. But if you are a bit of the impatient type, like I am, you want something to help speed things up a bit. One of the apps loaded on my iPod touch is a flashlight application. It doesn't matter which of the dozens of flashlight apps you use because the end result is the same: start up the app, crank up the screen brightness, set the Auto-Lock feature to "Never", and wait for the battery to drain. Just to be sure that I drained the battery completely, I let my touch sit on my desk for an extra 2 hours after it would no longer turn on.

After that, I let my iPod charge up for 15-3o minutes on the wall charger and then connected it to my Mac. This time, iTunes quickly recognized it's missing friend and began to sync my new content.

At the end of the day, I was able to fix the problem, although I'm still not sure what went wrong in the first place. I also don't have to worry about getting a replacement iPod. That's good news because I expect that Apple will finally get around to releasing an iPod touch with a camera and 802.11n Wi-Fi in 2010. The only question I have is when? Will Apple refresh the iPod touch line in the first half of the year, or will they choose to focus on rumored Apple table in 1H and refresh the iPod line up in 2H, which typically happens in September in advance of the holiday shopping season. I'm not sure, but I'm looking to keep my G1 iPod touch running until then.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Astraware Releases Police Range for iPhone/iPod touch

Astraware, the gaming branch of Handmark, has released Police Range for the iPhone/iPod touch.
"Put your skill and accuracy to the test as you train on the shooting range to become a crack police marksman. Compete against your friends or others worldwide to post the best scores on the online high score table and show off your shooting skills!"

Police Range offers two modes of play: Target Practice and Crime Alley. Use the Target Practice mode to improve your accuracy and reaction times on the shooting range. And when you are up to the task of taking out the trash, and change over to Crime Alley to take out targets of potential perps lurking in windows and doorways. Just be sure not to accidentally shoot any civilians.

Police Range is available now for $0.99 from the iTunes App Store (iTunes link). For more information, or to watch a YouTube video of Police Range in action, visit the Astraware website.

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Documents To Go for iPhone/iPod touch 2.1 Update Released


DataViz Documents To Go for iPhone and iPod touch has been updated to version 2.1 and is now available for download from the iTunes App Store.

The 2.1 update is the result of customer feedback and adds a number of refinements to the PDF To Go application, which includes the following enhancements:


  • "Go to" page
  • Maintaining last viewed location
  • Opening password-protected PDFs
  • Thumbnail, Fit To Screen, Fit To Width & Actual Size views
  • Full screen view with floating navigation controls
  • Tap zooming
  • File opening speed improvements

“Documents To Go” (iTunes link) and “Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” (iTunes link) are available for $9.99 and $14.99 respectively from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at: www.dataviz.com/itunes. All customers who purchased a previous version of Documents To Go for iPhone/iPod touch will receive a free update to version 2.1.

“Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments” has the same functionality as “Documents To Go” and includes a Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client for sending and receiving Exchange email WITH attachments.

For more information, visit the DataViz website.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Facebook for webOS Released, Updated for iPhone

This has turned out to be a Facebook-tastic weekend! Earlier today, Facebook 1.0.0 for Palm webOS was released for the Pre and Pixi smartphones.

The new Facebook client, written by Palm, became available from Palm's App Catalog today and requires that Pre and Pixi customers upgrade their phones to webOS 1.3.1 or later before it can be installed. The Palm webOS 1.3.1 update was made available to Pre customers on Sprint and Bell Canada yesterday; and should be available in the next few days for customers who purchase the new Palm Pixi smartphone starting tomorrow.

And Apple iPhone and iPod touch customers also got a little Facebook love this week with a minor bump to Facebook version 3.03 which includes bug fixes and adds Japanese and Chinese localizations. The update is available via iTunes App Store (iTunes link) from a Mac or PC. If you have the app installed on your iPhone or iPod touch, you can download and install the update over the air (OTA) using the App Store application on your device.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

SplashID 5.1 for iPhone OS Review

SplashData’s SplashID is an application that enabled you to securely record usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information in an encrypted database. SplashID works on the iPhone and iPod touch (OS 2.1 required, OS 3.0 is supported).

SplashID can be used as a standalone application on your iPhone or iPod touch (collectively referred to as an iPhone from here). You will, however, find SplashID becomes much more effective when you also purchase the desktop version of SplashID for Mac OS X or Windows machines.

SplashID on Your iPhone

When you launch SplashID on your iPhone for the first time, the Quick Start Guide is run. I really like this approach because it gives new users to a good overview of the application and what it can do without making the user read the 16 page user guide (unless they really want to). Sample records provided by SplashData help reinforce the concepts presented in the quick start guide. After spending a few minutes playing with the sample records for a few minutes, most people will probably delete them.

The List View screen, the default view for SplashID, has a pair of toolbars that you will want to familiarize yourself with it. Along the top of the screen, SplashData gives you a toolbar to manage your data: Search, filter by categories, and filter by record category. Along the bottom of the screen, are buttons for configuring SplashID, locking the application, and synchronizing the your iPhone with your computer over a Wi-Fi network.

I found that when I entered a small amount of records into SplashID, flicking my way down the list of records was OK. Later on, as I continued to use SplashID and add more records, I found that searching was a lot faster at finding my data.

When you tap on a record in List View, the data for that record will be displayed on the Record Info screen. By default, SplashID will display the data for your record with the contents of the Password field blocked out with star icons. SplashID also allows you to selectively turn on field content blocking, referred to as masking, for each of the other record detail fields. You would use this feature if you wanted to block out not only the contents of the Password field, but also the contents of the Username or any other field in the record. Tap a masked field to view it contents; tap the field again to mask it again.

Along side field masking in the Record Info screen, SplashID also allows you to apply your own custom field labels and password generation - a really nice feature if you work with a system the requires you to frequently generate secure passwords.

If you chose to purchase a copy of the SplashID desktop application, you will gain the ability to sync your iPhone with your PC. To synchronize your iPhone with SplashID on your computer, you must connect the machine to the same Wi-Fi network that your iPhone is connected to. Then you will be able to start up SlashID on the computer and the iPhone, pair them up, and then perform the sync. The pairing process only takes a few minutes to setup and the data synchronization is zippy. (There is no option to sync your iPhone to your computer with the iPhone data cable.)

Pricing and Availability

SplashID 5.1 for iPhone and iPod touch is available now for $9.99 from the Apple iTunes App Store. SplashID Desktop 5.1, $19.95, is available for direct purchase from the SplashData online store.

In addition to the iPhone edition of SplashID, SplashData also has versions available for BlackBerry, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Android smartphones. A version of SplashID is planned for Palm webOS with a free beta version available from the Palm App Catalog. There is also a corporate and government edition of SplashID available. For more information, visit the SplashData website.

[Photo courtesy of MobileAppleMe.net...]

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.1.2 for iPhone, iPod touch

On Thursday afternoon, Apple released iPhone OS 3.1.2 for all editions of the iPhone and iPod touch handsets. This free update addresses the following three issues:

  • Resolves sporadic issue that may cause iPhone to not wake from sleep
  • Resolves intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart
  • Fixes bug that could cause occasional crash during video streaming

The update is available now and must be downloaded and installed via iTunes.

[Via AppleInsider…]

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Astraware Solitaire Halloween Makeover for iPhone, iPod touch






Astraware, the Handmark Game Studio, has released version 1.25 of Astraware Solitaire, also known as 12 Solitaire Games, for the iPhone and iPod touch.

In this latest edition, Astraware helps get in the holiday "spirit" by including a range of spooky Halloween card backs and game backgrounds.

Astraware Solitaire costs $0.99 (iTunes link) for new customers and existing customers can upgrade to the latest release for free.

To learn more about Astraware Solitaire, please visit the Astraware/Handmark website.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

iPod touch: What Are You Going to Do?

I was looking forward to Apple's iPod event last week with the hopes that there would be some cool new features added to the iPod touch. I was looking for an excuse to upgrade from my G1 touch since my headphone jack is acting flaky and I was hoping to get more storage space for the same price, or less, than I had paid for my 16GB unit. Plus the Internet was abuzz with rumors that there would be a digital camera in the new unit. And let's not forget that newer versions of the touch also have the hardware buttons for volume control - something I miss from my 5th Gen iPod.

The Apple event came and went with little more than a memory upgrade for the mid-tier iPod touch. Should I stick with what I've got? Should I buy a refurbished 16 or 32GB 2G iPod touch? Should I pick up a 32GB 3G iPod touch? Or should I keep waiting for the camera I was hoping would have been in the new iPod later down the road?

The day before the Apple event, there was a rumor on the Internet that stated that a run of bad parts (the cameras) would delay the launch of the new 3G iPod touch. Turns out that Apple wasn't going to hold up the new features that they could deliver.

iFixit.com recently posted take apart directions for the 3G iPod touch that reveals that the motherboard does in fact have space for a 5th Gen iPod Nano style camera in it. iFitix also revealed that the Wi-Fi chip inside the new touch is capable of 802.11n, provided that Apple release the driver to take full advantage of the chip.

So, iPod fans, what are we going to do? Since the 32 and 64GB iPod touch models are exactly "cheap", I think I'll be sticking with my 1G iPod touch until my headphone jack stops working or Apple finally gives the iPod touch the features it's price tag demands.

Click the Comments link below and let us know what you are planning to do.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple iTunes 9.0 vs. Palm webOS Media Sync

Yesterday, the world got it first look at Apple's new jukebox software, iTunes 9.0. Yesterday Pre owners also learned that the Apple/Palm cat and mouse game with iTunes and Media Sync is still very much alive and well.

So, Pre owners, what are you going to do? Are you going to stick with iTunes 8.2.1 and Media Sync or are you going to make the jump to iTunes 9.0?

After watching Apple's keynote presentation last night, and yes, Steve Jobs did take the stage, I've decided to make the jump to iTunes 9.0 and iPhone OS 3.1 for iPod touch. In my opinion, there where just too many cool new features in Apple's new software that I wasn't going to hold back.

Take for example, the new sync features for iPod touch and iPhone. I welcome the expanded sync controls over what content lives on my Mac and on my iPod. It becomes super easy to make sure that I have some of my favorite movies (Iron Man) and TV shows (Looney Tunes, Mythbusters, Law & Order) always with me without having to keep marking them as new.

I also like the new control of your applications for the iPod touch. I have some 60-70 apps on my touch and the newly redesigned applications tab will greatly help my quickly add new apps and reorganize the ones I already have.

And let's not forget the new Home Sharing feature in iTunes 9.0. If you have more than one computer in your home, this is going to be a great feature to have. I'll be able to quickly keep my MacBook and Mac Pro iTunes libraries in sync so I always have all of my music with me when I'm at home or traveling for work and play.

With brings me back to my Palm Pre and the Media Sync feature. I was really surprised when Palm announced the Media Sync feature and I quickly started syncing content to my Pre from iTunes. With iTunes 9.0, Apple has chosen to close the door to the webOS Media Sync feature. I'm sure Palm or someone from the webOS homebrew app community will figure out a way to re-enable native syncing with iTunes. The bottom line for me is that my iPod touch, combined with iTunes, still represents the best over all user experience for purchasing content, loading it on my device, and interacting with it on the go.

So for now, the iPod wins, and iTunes 9.0 is on my MacBook. The good news is that I can still sync the Pre with my Mac Pro which I've left back at iTunes 8.2.1. Sure, I can't use the Home Sharing feature, but at least I can get my iTunes Plus tracks synced down to my Pre easily.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rumor: iPod touch Shipments Delayed

Bad news, iPod fans! If a recent article on AppleInsider is correct, new iPods could be delayed due to bad cameras - a feature long rumored to be in the next generation of Apple's music players.
"A person with a strong track record in predicting Apple's upcoming product launches recently told AppleInsider that the iPod maker has experienced technical problems (bad parts) with the cameras modules. The person said that it was uncertain whether the new hardware, which has been widely expected to debut at Wednesday's "Only rock and roll" media-centric event, would make the cut for early September retail distribution."

I doubt that this news will derail the Apple event scheduled to take place tomorrow. It can, however, put a damper on things. If Apple does unveil a new iPods with digital cameras, don't expect wide availability of the new devices for a few weeks.

We'll have more from the Apple front after tomorrow's keynote.

[Via AppleInsider.com...]

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Astraware Solitaire Updated for iPhone, iPod touch

Handmark's game division, Astraware, has released a new update to Astraware Solitaire for the iPhone and iPod touch.

The maintenance update includes some stylistic enhancements and bug fixes; including:
  • New shiny card backs and backgrounds
  • Swishing sound when card piles are moved around
  • Four bug fixes
  • Graphical tweaks
The Astraware Solitaire for iPhone and iPod touch update is free to previous owners of the game and can be downloaded from the desktop or directly on your device. You can learn more about Solitaire for the iPhone and iPod touch on the Astraware website.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Apple iPod Event - Will Jobs Make an Appearance?

After weeks of rumors and wild speculation by almost everyone, it is clear that on September 9 Apple will be talking about new iPods, iTunes 9, and possibly a hardware or software update to Apple TV.

Interestingly, what has taken on a life of its own is whether or not Apple's CEO Steve Jobs will take the helm and deliver the presentation and product demos or will Apple chose to bring out SVP of Product Marketing Phil Schiller or COO Tim Cook who took on the role of acting CEO while Mr. Jobs was on his medical leave earlier this year.

Personally, I think there is a 50/50 chance that Mr. Jobs will make an appearance at the event to kick off and wrap up the presentation. If Mr. Jobs doesn't run the presentation, I would expect to see Mr. Schiller take on the presentation chores as he has done in the past.

The bottom line is that I like watching Steve Jobs hock is 'wares, but what I'm more interested in is seeing what new features will added to the iPod touch and the Apple TV.

On the top of my list for the iPod touch is the addition of a 3.0MP digital camera and the inclusion of a GPS radio. On the Apple TV front, I'd like to see Apple add a TiVo-like TV show recording feature that will record the show to the local hard disk and then transfer down to iTunes on a Mac or PC. It would be really cool if the exiting Apple TV hardware could do that (since I have one), but I suspect that for a TiV0-like feature to become available on Apple TV, it will require a hardware change to add a line-in connection.

What would you like to see Apple add to the iPod and Apple TV? Let us know in the Comments section below.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Briefly Noted: DataViz DTG, Astraware Solitaire Updated

I noticed earlier today that DataViz Documents To Go for iPhone OS was updated to version 1.2 and Handmark Astraware Solitaire was updated to version 1.15, also for iPhone OS.

DataViz Documents To Go

The minor updates baked into the latest maintenance release of Documents To Go for iPhone OS 2.2 and later include:
  • Change font type and size
  • First line indenting
  • Shake undo/redo (requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later)
The update screen, found in the App Store application on my iPod touch, in the Update tab, also indicates that the next planned update will, drum roll please, include Excel spreadsheet editing!

The update has a date of 5/25/09, however, I've yet to see the update before, and is free to all owners of Documents To Go for iPhone and iPod touch.


Astraware Solitaire


The updates to Astraware Solitaire for the iPhone and iPod touch include the following minor changes:
  • Support for landscape rotation
  • New backgrounds
  • Various minor bug fixes
Solitaire has a date of 8/14/09 and is a free update for existing customers.

You can update both application either from iTunes on your Mac or PC, or directly from your iPhone or iPod touch using the App Store application.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Astraware Casino Comes to iPhone, iPod touch

Handmark(R) today announced the release of Astraware Casino - a fun, easy-to-use pack of 11 of the most popular casino games from around the world - on the App Store. Astraware Casino is the first new game release from Handmark to use the iTunes Library Integration feature of iPhone OS 3.0. Users with iPhone OS 3.0 compatible devices can select My iPod Music from the game’s Options menu and choose individual songs from their collection to create the perfect casino-themed playlist!

Handmark will be incorporating iTunes Library integration into a range of their existing and forthcoming iPhone and iPod touch games, allowing players to create their own soundtrack for each game. Updates to existing titles with this great new feature will be rolled out over the summer.

"We are excited to be able to use these new APIs to enhance our games offerings," said Cassidy Lackey, vice president of Handmark Studios. "It's great to be able to design your own playlist to accompany Astraware Casino - there's nothing like a bit of relaxing lounge music when you're enjoying a game of Poker!"

Astraware Casino includes all the usual games you'd expect to find in casinos - Texas Hold 'Em No Limit and Limit Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Slots, as well as some more specialist games like Baccarat, 3 Card Poker, Video Derby, and Keno. Astraware Casino gives players $1,000 virtual dollars to begin playing with and also includes a fun trophy system - the Souvenir Suitcase - with awards given for a range of achievements in the game.

Astraware Casino is available at the introductory price of $0.99 for a limited time from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at the iTunes App Store.

You can read my review of Astraware Casino here. In addition to the iPhone/iPod touch edition of Astraware Casino, there is also versions available for the Palm Centro and Windows Mobile-powered Palm Treo smartphones. For more details on other editions of Astraware Casino, please visit the Astraware website.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Read "Comics" on Your iPhone, iPod touch

Iconology Inc., at the San Diego Comic Con, has launch of its Comics by comiXology app on the iTunes App Store. The Comics by comiXology App is a digital comic store, library and reader for iPhone and iPod touch that is launching with over 100 titles available from twenty popular comic publishers and many independent comic writers.

"The stunning display and innovative multi-touch user interface of iPhone and iPod touch have finally made comics appealing in a digital format," said David Steinberger, CEO of Iconology, Inc. "By combining great comics with iPhone OS 3.0's In-App Purchasing and location awareness features we are creating a revolution in the way comics are sold and read which could only happen with iPhone and iPod touch."

Comics by comiXology heralds an entirely new comic book publishing and connected commerce model. Comic book enthusiasts can now not only read their comics in a format designed to preserve the comic book experience on an iPhone or iPod touch, but also locate and connect with local retailers to purchase the printed version of the titles. Through relationships with comic book retailers, Comics by comiXology will increase both digital and print sales of comics and deliver a powerful mobile marketing tool for comic book publishers and retailers.

Comics by comiXology offers a "guided view" that keeps the entire page of a comic intact, unlike other solutions where the page is cut into individual pictures the user browses like a photo application. Comics by comiXology is a reader app that contains all a user's comics and offers its own digital comics store that supports multiple publishers.

Among the twenty publishers that have already signed up to deliver their titles through Comics by comiXology are many well-known industry icons including:

* AdHouse Books
* Arcana Comics
* Asylum Press
* Bluewater Comics
* Com.X
* Creative Impulse Entertainment
* Digital Webbing
* eigoMANGA
* First Salvo
* Image Comics
* Markosia
* Moonstone
* Red 5
* Th3rd World Studios
* Zenescope

Additionally, popular comics writer Robert Kirkman has agreed to deliver his titles exclusively through Comics by comiXology making it the only place to get "Walking Dead" and "Invincible" for iPhone and iPod touch.

The Comics by comiXology App is now available, including over 30 free comics, for $0.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Astraware Releases Phaze Lite

Astraware, the Handmark games unit, today released Phaze "Lite". Phaze, a unique game available only on the iPhone and iPod touch, is an exciting new futuristic racing game that offers players an exhilarating race experience as they select their ship and race around rollercoaster-like tracks with stomach-flipping twists and turns, and velocity-increasing boost pads, while collecting powerups and avoiding their competitors' weapons!

The Lite version, available now, includes one race craft, one location and two difficulty levels so players get a chance to try out Phaze for FREE! If they enjoy the game, the full version additionally includes Championship mode, a total of four difficulty levels, 15 more locations (with 64 tracks across all difficulties), and a total of 10 race craft (some are unlockable).

You can download Phaze from the Apple iTunes App Store.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

SplashData File Magic 2.0 Review

Have you ever felt constrained by the types of data you can sync to your iPhone or iPod touch? Apple’s iPhone 3.0 software can read Microsoft Office files and Adobe Acrobat documents that have been sent as email attachments, but there is no easy way to get commonly used documents on to your device. Wouldn’t it be cool if all it took to sync documents with your iPhone was to simply drag and drop the files into a window? If that seems like something you want, then you need SplashData’s File Magic!



File Magic is a two-piece solution. File Magic, the desktop application, is a drag-and-drop file transfer tool. The desktop application looks for the File Magic application on your iPhone and then establishes a Wi-Fi link between the two. With File Magic it easy to quickly load documents on your iPhone so you don’t have to waste anymore time emailing documents to yourself. In addition to Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat files that I have already mentioned, File Magic also supports: plain text files (.txt), web pages (.htm, .html), non-DRM music files (.mp3, .aac, .wav), images (.jpg, .gif, .png, .tif) and MPEG-4 videos (.m4v).



File Magic is easy to learn. After playing with the software for a few minutes I felt that I had a handle on all of the features. To help you get up and running quickly, SplashData has included a Quick Start Guide that is accessible right from the mobile application. If you want to see what File Magic is capable of before you purchase the software, or if you are the inquisitive type and want some additional information, SplashData also has a user’s guide available on their website. For most people, the on device guide will be all they will need to read.

There are two ways to get documents into your iPhone. The first is to synchronize File Magic running on your iPhone with your computer. The computer and the iPhone or iPod touch must both be on the same Wi-Fi network for this to work. You can also send or receive files directly into or out of your device when the person you want to share your document with is on the same Wi-Fi network and has a copy of File Magic installed. Since SplashData has their own application for managing the files you load on your device, you can send a document from the SplashData data store to anyone else by attaching the document to an email message and sending it to any valid email address.

File Magic makes the document transfer process so easy, that you have to wonder why Apple didn’t include this feature in their software from the get go.

There are two things that I did find annoying about the installation and use of File Magic. The ah-hoc networking between the iPhone and desktop application uses a networking service called Bonjour. If you are using a Mac, Bonjour is all ready installed on your computer. PC users, on the other hand, will have to install it. The thing that I didn’t like was that the File Magic installer couldn’t figure out if Bonjour was already installed on my Windows Vista PC. (SplashData does tell you how to manually check to see if Bonjour is already installed.) The other thing that I found annoying was in the photo browser; you can’t use the iPhone OS gestures to flick to the next or previous photos. To move forward and backward in the deck of photos that have been loaded into File Magic you must use the left and right arrow navigation buttons at the top right of the screen. Both of these issues can be addressed as software updates and shouldn’t cause any serious problems in the long run.

All-in-all, I thought that File Magic is the must have application for those people who like to take their important documents with them. The software is easy to use and the document transfer between the desktop computer and an iPhone or iPod touch worked without any issues during my testing.

File Magic will work with any iPhone or iPod touch that has iPhone OS 2.1 or later installed. The desktop application works with Mac OS X 10.4.11 and later, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. You can purchase File Magic for iPhone and iPod touch for $4.99 from the Apple iTunes App Store. For more information, or to download the free desktop application, please visit the SplashData website.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mobile Apps 360: FlightControl













Mobile Apps 360 takes a look at great mobile software for your iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile smartphones that will help keep your favorite mobile gear fresh with new software.

FlightControl is an original, super addictive game from FireMint, that puts you in the critical role of an air traffic controller. It is up to you to safely land airplanes, jets, jumbo jets, and helicopters. You can learn how to play this action/strategy game in minutes and will have you coming back for more.

You control the aircraft on the screen by tapping them, and then dragging it to the run way. Sure, it sounds easy, until you start playing. The game starts off slow, but before long, you will find yourself trying to manage a sky full of plans and helicopters. You will need to keep an eye on both planes that are coming in for a landing and new aircraft arriving into your air space, one mid-air collision will end your game!

FlightControl features three different locations for you to play: a land locked air field, an airport in Hawaii with island and water runways, and a military aircraft carrier.

Game play is super addictive. I lost an hour immediately following the installation of this game on my iPod touch. The graphics, background music, and sound effects are well done. If your iPhone 3G, 3GS or second generation iPod touch has iPhone OS 3.0 or later installed, you can go head-to-head with your friend and you can also post your high scores to the FilghtControl leader board which has a cool Google Maps and Twitter integration so you can see who else is playing near you. Original iPhone and iPod touch owners can still play, however, they won't be able to use the multi-player feature.

FlightControl is normally $2.99, but is on sale for a limited time for $0.99. For more details, checkout the FlightControl website, or head over to the iTunes App Store if you're ready to buy.

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Happy Independence Day!














The 4th of July marks the birth of the United States, and Smartphone Fanatics wishes all of our readers a Happy Independence day!

To help celebrate the day, our friends at Astraware, Handmark's games division, has once again posted their free Handmark Fireworks application!

Handmark Fireworks features a selection of patriotic backgrounds including the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore and the Stars and Stripes, and offers a choice of stirring tunes including the Star Spangled Banner and Stars and Stripes Forever!

Handmark Fireworks is available for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry smartphones and for iPhone and iPod touch. (Sorry BlackBerry owners - this time round you'll have to hum your own marches! This edition of Fireworks for BlackBerry does not include music.)

What better way to celebrate 4th of July than with some Fireworks? Download your copy today - it's available for a limited time only!

Download your free copy of Fireworks by using one of the links below:

Apple iPhone and iPod touch
BlackBerry Smartphones (non-touchscreen, touch screen)
Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen)
Windows Mobile Smartphone (non-touchscreen)

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0, webOS 1.0.3 and New Apps

I'm a fan of both Apple and Palm. That is why I'm using a MacBook to write this blog and record my 1SRC Pre|Switcher podcasts. My phone of choice is the Palm Pre smart(er)phone.

This weekend looks like it is going to be a busy one. Just in the last few days, I've gotten my hands on new software for both my Apple iPod touch and my Palm Pre.

On Wednesday, Apple released the iPhone OS 3.0 update for existing iPhone and iPod touch devices. I also received copies of DataViz Documents To Go and SplashData File Magic. I'll have reviews of iPhone OS 3.0 and both both applications soon.

Palm Pre customers will also want to download and install the webOS 1.0.3 update to their phones using the Updates application. If you also use MotionApps Classic on your Pre to run all of your old Palm OS applications, you should read the Classic FAQ before performing the upgrade.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

More Details on Documents To Go for iPhone

As expected, DataViz issued their official press release for Documents To Go for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Documents To Go brings iPhone and iPod touch users the culmination of over 10 years of DataViz experience providing mobile professionals a robust and easy-to-use mobile Office suite for “anytime, anywhere” access to their important documents. Users can view, edit and create Microsoft Word files, including Word 2007, and utilize a desktop application to provide 2-way file synchronization. A version with support for attachments is also available for Microsoft Exchange e-mail users who need to send, receive and edit attachments on their iPhones.

“There has been an overwhelming interest in Documents To Go and we’re very excited to expand our product line to include the revolutionary iPhone and iPod touch," said Dick Fontana, DataViz co-founder & CEO. “We started our company in 1984 around Apple and the Macintosh, so it’s personally gratifying to see everything come full circle with an App Store application as we celebrate our twenty-fifth year in business.”

The feature highlights for this initial release of Documents To Go includes:
  • View, Edit & Create Microsoft Word Files
  • Synchronize Files With Desktop Application over Wi-Fi for Mac and PC users
  • Receive, Edit & Send Microsoft Exchange Attachments
Pricing & Availability

Documents To Go and Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments are available for a special limited-time price of $4.99 and $9.99 respectively from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

All customers who purchase version 1.0 will receive a free update which will include support for editing and creating Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, when available. Supported devices include any iPhone or iPod touch model running iPhone Software Update 2.2 or above. The Documents To Go Desktop software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Mac OS X 10.4.10 and above. For more information: www.dataviz.com/GetiPhone.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Documents To Go for iPhone/iPod touch Released

I received word from my contact at DataViz that Documents To Go for the iPhone and iPod touch has gone live at the Apple App Store! Documents To Go has been my must have application for many years on my old Palm OS devices and now the award winning office suite is coming to the iPhone and iPod touch.

There are two editions of Documents To Go for iPhone and iPod touch: Documents To Go and Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments. Both editions provide the following features:
  • Create, edit, and view Microsoft Word documents (including Word 2007 and 2008)
  • View and synchronize Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, Apple iWork '08 files
  • View web pages and most common graphics files
  • Mac and PC desktop 2-way Wi-Fi synchronization application
Customers who chose to purchase Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments will have access to the following features:
  • Exchange attachments are downloaded and processed by Documents To Go
  • Exchange attachments can be viewed or modified
  • Reply or forward to an existing email with the supported attachment types
  • Create new email messages and attache files for immediate transmission
Also included in this edition of Documents To Go is the InTact Technology that ensures that your document's original formatting remains the same regardless of where it is worked on. Another cool feature is DataViz's built-in support for cut, copy and paste without the need for iPhone OS 3.0 installed.

I have also been told that Documents To Go is iPhone OS 3.0 compatible so if you buy Documents To Go before you upgrade to iPhone OS 3.0, you can do so worry free.

Documents To Go and Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments are both available now from the App Store and are being sold at a special two week introductory rate of $4.99 and $9.99.

Both versions of Documents To Go require an iPhone or iPod touch with OS 2.2 or later.

I'll have more details about both versions of Documents To Go after the official DataViz press release is issued and I've had a chance to take Documents To Go out for a test drive.

For more details, visit the DataViz website.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Toy Kite Releases iSamurai for iPhone/iPod touch

Toy Kite Software has announced the launch of iSamurai, a two-player Wi-Fi sword fighting game for iPhone and iPod Touch. Developed specifically to take advantage of the iPhone's accelerometers and networking capabilities, iSamurai is an interactive sword-fighting game, where the two players slash, thrust, and block each other with their iPhones.

Depending on the physical movements of the two players, slashes and thrusts are interpreted by both devices and immediately registered as successful or blocked. When a player swings and the opponent blocks by holding up another iPhone, the ring of steel on steel is heard from both devices. An unsuccessful block results in the defender's iPhone emitting one of a number of cries to indicate a hit. Toy Kite has posted videos on its web site (as well as on YouTube) demonstrating the game in action. A training "Dojo" is offered so players can practice the different iSamurai moves.
"With iSamurai, we have been able to implement a two-player sword fighting game that uses the iPhone's accelerometers to determine when a player attacks with his or her iPhone or uses it to block an opponent's attack," said Robert Hogg, CEO and founder of Toy Kite Software. "The iPhones communicate with each other over Wi-Fi in real time, and if a slash is not instantly countered with the correct block, a hit is scored. With iSamurai, we take the game out of the iPhone's screen and into the real world - players actually sword fight with their iPhones."
iSamurai includes a single-player mode with four levels of difficulty. Four unique characters: peasant, apprentice, warrior and samurai, yell out different attacks, and the player must quickly defend against them and launch offensive attacks by swinging the iPhone. To get players started, iSamurai offers a tutorial featuring animations of the different attacks. The game also includes quotes from The Art of War by Sun Tzu and from The Book of Five Rings by samurai Miyamoto Musashi.
"As robotics engineers, we were excited about the iPhone's ability to sense motion," said Arin Morfopoulos, Director of Development at Toy Kite Software. "Using that capability and inter-phone communication over Wi-Fi, we created a game where two iPhones are instantly aware of each other's motions and respond with the sounds of battle."
iSamurai requires an iPhone or iPod touch with system software 2.2.1 or later.

iSamurai: Two-Player Sword Fight for iPhone is only $2.99 (USD) and is available now exclusively through Apple's iTunes Store. For a limited time, iSamurai will be on sale for $.99 (USD). iSamurai 1.0 uses a Wi-Fi connection for two-player mode. iSamurai 2.0 will be a free upgrade for Apple's upcoming iPhone software 3.0, allowing two players to compete anywhere using blue-tooth communication between their iPhones.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Palm Pre First Impressions

What a day June 6, 2009 has been! Today is the day that the totally new Palm Pre smartphone began shipping. The Pre is truly an amazing phone and it’s heart and soul is Palm webOS.

The Good

I’m not the first to say it and I won’t be the last. Throw everything you know about Palm the company, Palm OS, and the the old non-Windows Mobile Treo smartphones out the window. This is not your father’s Palm, Inc. There is an entirely new management team at Palm and it comes shining through with the Pre and Palm webOS.

The Pre is smaller than the Treo 750/755p, though the most recent Windows Mobile phone from Palm, the Treo Pro, is thinner and taller. The Pre feels great in your hand. I found it much easier to hold than my Apple iPod touch. When compared with my recently deactivated BlackBerry Curve 8330, the Pre is almost the same size when the keyboard is closed. (When the Pre keyboard is open, the Pre is about an inch to an inch and half taller than the Curve 8330.)

I was completely and totally blown away by the phenomenal screen on the Pre. When I picked up the demo unit this morning at the Sprint store I thought that it was one of those plastic display shells...until the Quick Launch bar moved! Even now, some 12 hours later, I’m still amazed by how bright and vivid the screen is! My Saturdays are often filled with lots of family activities and today I found myself outside for most of the afternoon. Direct sun light shouldn’t be a problem for most people. During a t-ball game, I was able to work with my recently imported Google contacts, read email, and review some Word document attachments. All in all, the screen is just fantastic and is every bit as good as the screen found on the iPhone and iPod touch.

The Pre, like some of it’s distant cousins the Tungsten T, T2, and T3, has a slider that reveals a full, hardware, Qwerty keyboard. The keys are very similar to those used on the Treo Pro and Centro smartphones. I found the keys on the Pre to be about equal size across the BlackBerry Curve 8330, Treo 750/755p, and the Treo Pro. I like the Pre’s keyboard because the keys are big enough for me to type on and they jelly-like keys keep your fingers or nails from sliding off the key caps. Some of the early reviews warned of a problem pressing the keys on the outside of the keyboard because of the ridge around the keyboard. I can see why some people have written that about the Pre. After typing out text messages, emails, and updating my address book, I can say that I’m not going to have a big problem with it. Results will vary, obviously. As for the sliders itself, I’m OK with it for now. The jury is going to be out on the slider easily for 6-12 months. The slider is firm and snaps open and closed. But the thirty or so times I opened and closed the slider is no indication on how it will work over the long haul of daily usage. For now, I’m satisfied with the slider and this is coming from someone who is not a fan of sliders.

The 3.0MP camera and speaker phone work well, however, I only played with them for a few minutes. Since I find myself spending at least a quarter of my work week in meetings, I’m glad to see that Palm has kept the ringer switch that has been so popular on the Treo and Centro on the Pre. Folks who like to use their phones as media players should also be happy to learn that the Pre uses a standard 3.5mm headphone jack which is located at the top of the device.

Palm webOS looks great! The graphical elements embody the user interface that Palm OS fans have been demanding for years. The fonts used in Palm webOS are stunning! The fonts are as crisp as you would expect on the printed page. Palm’s web browser is just as good as Safari on the iPhone/iPod touch.

People who have used the iPhone and iPod touch will be able to use the gestures built into Palm webOS with a minimal learning curve. The gestures that you are familiar with in Safari for the most part work the same way in webOS. Transitions from portrait to landscape mode is fluid and responds well.

Palm has paid tribute to Palm OS in webOS. One such way is the inclusion of the Quick Launch bar that I mentioned briefly already. People familiar with Palm’s older Palm OS handhelds and Treo smartphones will quickly realize that the the Quick Launch bar is the digital version of the old hardware keys. Since the Pre only has the center button on the face of the device, Palm felt it was important to customers to have a speedy way to access their most used applications. Like the old hardware buttons, the digital buttons are also customizable by dragging icons out of and into the Quick Launch bar. You are limited to four buttons; the fifth button, the Launcher button, can not be changed out.

There are lots of other cool features in webOS that I haven’t yet really played with including the Backup application, Bluetooth devices, Media Sync with iTunes support, and Palm Desktop data migration. (There is a one-time, one-way migration option for Palm Desktop and Outlook users to push data into their Pre phones. Stay tuned for more on that later on.)

The Not So Good

The Pre is Palm’s most eagerly awaited smartphone. But it is not without things that I find really annoying. First up is the case itself. This is probably the worst Palm phone of all time (at least of all the Palm devices that I’ve owned or used; and that is over 30) for collecting finger prints and other smudges. You will want to find a nice soft cloth to keep at home or in your office so you can clean down the phone’s display area. I’m going to seriously consider getting a screen protector for the Pre when they become available from third-party accessory makers.

The door on the microUSB port used to charge and connect the Pre to your computer as a USB mass storage device is really hard to get open the first few times. Once you do get it open, you will have a hard time getting the door to lay perfectly flush with the right edge of the phone. Pre comes with 8GB of on-board memory, After loading some data and a few apps from Palm’s App Catalog, I have 7.2GB of usable storage space left. There are no memory expansion slots on the Pre. I would have liked to seen the Pre ship either with more built-in memory, say 16GB, or have a microSDHC card slot. Now that we know that Pre will sync with iTunes in a similar manner as the iPhone or iPod, 8GB seems a bit cramped. I can easily fill up my iPod touch’s 16GB of storage space when I’m traveling for work with music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and applications. I think that for the demanding Palm user, 8GB of non-expandable memory is going to be a problem. To get around this, Pre owners should consider streaming their music or videos if possible. (This is an area of the Pre that I haven’t really delved into yet; syncing with iTunes and streaming media to the Pre.)

In Conclusion

To sum up the Pre, I think many Palm fans are going to be happy with it. Yes, Palm webOS is completely different from Palm OS 5 and the Palm Desktop and HotSync Manager software no longer work. I think that once you migrate your data to the Pre, those applications won’t be missed except to the die hard Palm Desktop users.

The Pre’s hardware is organic and modern. It looks and feels great in your hand. Personally, I would have liked it if Palm continued to use the soft touch paint that was used on the Treo 750/755p and the “enhanced” Sprint Centros. I liked the “gripability” of the soft touch paint and it would have helped cut down on the collection of fingerprints and smudges along the side and back of the device.

All-in-all, I think you will be happy with the Pre. If you have never used a smartphone before, you will definitely want to take advantage of Sprint’s in-store training on the device. Seriously, new Palm customers should take the 15 minute class. It is free and well worth your time if you want to get the most out of your new phone.

The Pre is available now from Sprint retail locations and select authorized resellers, including Best Buy. With a new or extended 2-year service agreement with Sprint, the new Palm Pre sells for $299 with a $100 mail-in rebate.

For more information, visit the Palm website.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Astraware Introduces Phaze for iPhone/iPod touch

Earlier today Handmark announced the release of Phaze, an exciting new futuristic racing game, on the Apple App Store. Phaze is unique to iPhone and iPod touch and offers players an exhilarating race experience as they select their ship and race around 16 rollercoaster-like tracks with stomach-flipping twists and turns, and velocity-increasing boost pads, while collecting powerups and avoiding their competitors' weapons!

"Following the success of GTS World Racing and Hellfire for iPhone and iPod touch we are excited to bring fans of arcade-style racing games another high-quality, addictive game," said Cassidy Lackey, vice president of Handmark Studios. "Our partnership with world-class developers like Pazzazz, brings exclusive games to the App Store that will surely keep users on the edge of their seat!"

Phaze features 2 play modes - Single Race and Championship across 16 futuristic locations and with 4 levels of difficulty. Players begin with a choice of 3 ships, and a further 7 can be unlocked through Championship mode.

Phaze is available for $4.99 from Apple's App Store and works with the iPhone and iPod touch.

For more information and to view a demo video, visit the Astraware website.

This game looks really cool, but I know that I can't play racing games to save my life! You should know that I can drive a real car much better than I can pilot a vehicle in these racing games.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

SplashNotes for iPhone/iPod touch Review

SplashData SplashNotes is an outlining tool that helps you capture your ideas and transform them into bite size actionable tasks that, when put all together, produces a completed project or product. The SplashNotes manual describes this process as having four discrete phases: brainstorming, organizing, analyzing, and finishing. If you don't know what that means, don't worry. The SplashNotes user guide gives you good examples for all of the phases of idea and task organization.

When you launch the application, you start by using one of the predefined outlines or by creating one of your own. Think of an outline as the thing that will hold all of your tasks in a neat little container. I find it much easier if I create some general outlines and then start grouping ideas and tasks into the outline that best describes what it is I'm trying to capture. Since I use my iPod touch at home as well as work, I have outlines called Home and Work. For larger work projects, I create a new, separate outline just for that project.

Once you have a few outlines going, it is easy to move them around simply by tapping the Edit button that lives in the top left of the screen. When you tap the Edit button you get the familiar controls for deleting and moving list items. If you tap on an outline while in Edit mode, the Outline Info page appears. Here you can change the settings specific to that particular outline. For example, you can chose to have your items show up as a simple bullet list or a bullet lists with check boxes. There are two views when you have the check box view turned on. You can choose to have checked off items remain in your list (a good positive motivator) or choose to have finished items cleared from the list, allowing you to focus on the remaining items that you need to focus on. The Outline Info page is also where you can select from a number of preinstalled icons that will appear to in the main outline list view. The icon selection is large and the icons themselves are well drawn, meaning that there should be an icon that fits your needs and makes that application easy to look at while you work.

I found the controls for managing the tasks in my outlines to be easy to use and intuitive. When you are ready to add a new list item, simply tap the plus icon at the top of the screen and start typing. To create a new list item after you have started typing, just press the return key on the on-screen keyboard and keep typing. There are also on-screen controls for moving the current line item up and down the list as well as in and out denting. When you indent a task, the item above it becomes the parent and a list expand/collapse triangle appears to the left of the parent. There are also control buttons for deleting the current task and closing the on screen keyboard when you are done typing.

SplashData has built-in a nice quick start guide into their application. For new users, I strongly suggest reading the full user guide on your desktop computer. The full documentation delves into how to get the most from the software. If you are already familiar with outline tools, then the on-device quick start guide gives you all the important details for using SplashNotes right away. I have also found the quick start guide to be an efficient way to review the features of the software when I'm using SplashNotes on my iPod touch.

If you want even more control over your outlines, SplashData has two other tools for you. Mac OS X and Windows users can purchase the optional SplashNotes iPhone Desktop software. With iPhone Desktop, you can sync your iPhone or iPod touch with your Mac or Windows PC over Wi-Fi if both devices are on the same local area network (LAN). Once you have installed the software on your computer, syncing data is easy. Just open iPhone Desktop as the foreground application and then tap the Sync button on your iPhone/iPod touch. The data from your device will instantaneously synchronize between the two devices. I like the Wi-Fi sync feature because my iPod and MacBook where quick to sync the data and I wasn't required to carry an iPod sync cable with me everywhere I went.

Affectionatos of David Allen's Getting Things Done will be happy to learn that SplashNotes comes bundled with a pre-configured GTD outline. I have used Allen's processing workflow diagram for a few years and SplashNotes was very easy tool to integrate into my process for capturing and managing my "stuff."

The one thing that I didn't line about SplashNotes really had nothing to do with the program at all. I really prefer a physical keyboard over the iPhone's virtual keyboard. I dislike the on screen keyboard so much that I go out of my way to avoid using it. I would have been more open to doing more data entry on my iPod if I could use SplashNotes in landscape mode rather than portrait mode. Hopefully, Apple is suppose to be building in better support for portrait and landscape modes for more applications in their iPhone OS 3.0 software update, which is due out later this year.

I would have also liked it if there was a way to purchase a SplashNotes application bundle which includes the iPhone/iPod touch application along with my choice of SplashNotes iPhone Desktop for Mac OS X or Windows. Again, this seems to be a limitation of Apple's App Store software resulting in the need for two purchases: once for the iPhone/iPod software and then another for the desktop application from the SplashData website.

All in all, I found SplashNotes to be an intuitive tool that I was able to quickly adopt into my daily workflow. During my second week of evaluating the software, SplashNotes really allowed me to keep track of tasks during a very busy week of project deadlines, follow up action items from my various meetings, and making sure I made all of the week's softball practice pickups and drop offs. SplashNotes is an essential tool for anyone who wants to be in complete control of all their ideas and action items.

SplashNotes for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now for $4.99 from the Apple iTunes App Store. The optional SplashNotes iPhone Desktop, which also works with the first and second generation iPod touch, can be purchased from SplashData's online web store for $9.95.

For more information about SplashNotes Outliner, visit the SplashData website.

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HanDBase Mac OS X Conduit Available

DDH Software has done it's Mac users a solid by releasing a desktop sync conduit for their HanDBase software for iPhone/iPod touch users yesterday. The iPhone has been grabbing headlines since before it was officially announced. I'm glad to see more devleopers supporting the platform that has made all of this possible: Mac OS X.

DDH Software has announced availability of its Mac OS X conduit for syncing HanDBase databases stored on iPhone and iPod touch devices. HanDBase, a popular relational database for many types of mobile devices, was released last fall in the Apple iTunes App Store, and many users asked for a way to automatically synchronize their databases with their Macs. The new HanDBase Plus add-on package now affords them with this capability.
"We have had the Windows version of the conduit package available since the launch of HanDBase for iPhone in October," says Dave Haupert, President of DDH Software. "It's been a very popular add-on, but it was always our intention to also release a Mac version of the conduit as soon as we could. As a Mac user myself, I'm thrilled to be able to offer this product as we also announce our intentions to further enhance our Mac Desktop version of HanDBase throughout the coming year."

Along with the HanDBase Plus add-on for Macs, DDH Software is also announcing availability of a new version of its Mac Desktop application, the first of several major updates due this year, designed to incrementally add more editing features and functionality to the desktop companion product. In addition, the HanDBase for iPhone product has been updated with a new View and Edit Record screen layout, and improvements to its user interface.

HanDBase for iPhone is available in the Apple iTunes App Store for US $9.99. The new HanDBase Plus for iPhone add-on package is now available at DDHSoftware.com with an introductory price of US $14.99.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SplashPhoto, SplashNotes Released for iPhone, iPod touch

SplashData, Inc, a leading provider of productivity software for smartphones, today announced its SplashPhoto and SplashNotes applications are available on the Apple App Store. SplashPhoto is a mobile photo album manager and SplashNotes is a note-taking and outlining application. Both work on iPod touch and iPhone and both offer wireless synchronization with Windows and Mac OS X desktop applications that are available separately.

"The innovative features of iPhone and iPod touch, like the Multi-Touch user interface and amazing display, have allowed us to create really practical apps that will be helpful to a wide range of users," said Morgan Slain, SplashData’s CEO. “We think SplashPhoto and SplashNotes are going to enable great communication and collaboration and we look forward to continuing to create mobile apps that make a difference."

SplashPhoto offers iPhone and iPod touch users a fast, easy-to-use photo organizer with two-way sync to a free PC or Mac OS X desktop version. This unique desktop application enables users to organize image collections into personalized categories and, upon synchronization, the images are arranged accordingly on the iPhone or iPod touch. There is no limit to the number of categories that users can create. SplashPhoto will also upload to, and download from, Flickr and Picasa collections, and photos taken with the iPhone are automatically geo-tagged so they can be mapped on Flickr and Picasa.

SplashNotes is a powerful notetaking and outlining application that syncs directly with companion Mac or Windows software which enables users to enter their outlines on a desktop computer and then synchronize the notes with the iPhone or iPod touch to take with them wherever they go. SplashNotes gives users the ability to create outlines of any size and complexity, attach notes and photos for quick recall, and display lists with checkboxes to turn outlines into task lists.

SplashPhoto and SplashNotes are available for $4.99 each from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

The desktop version of SplashNotes is available at SplashData.com for $9.95. The free SplashPhoto Desktop software is also available at splashdata.com.


I have been using SplashNotes on my iPod touch and syncing it with my MacBook for about two weeks now and I've really come to enjoy using the software on my iPod, Mac OS X, and Windows notebooks. People who are looking for a good task management tool are going to get a lot of value out of SplashNotes.

Look for my review of SplashNotes over the next few days.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Briefly Noted: iPhone Apps, Smartphone OCD

This is just a quick note to talk about what is on my mind right now.

iPhone and iPod touch Software
I just downloaded three interesting applications form the Apple iTunes App Store: SplashNotes Outliner (link), WootWatch (link), and Cellfire Mobile Coupons (link). I'll let you know which ones stay on my iPod touch and which ones get the bit bucket after I've had some time to play with them.

More Smartphones
Many of my readers know I suffer from smartphone OCD. It has been about five months since I purchased my BlackBerry Curve. I'm starting to get that itch to smartphone again. This time I'm looking at the Palm Treo Pro (Sprint edition) or the T-Mobile G1. I like the looks of the Treo Pro body design, 320x320 display, and built in Wi-Fi. But...I haven't had a chance to play with the G1 yet. And let's not forget that DataViz Documents To Go is now available for Android phones, whcih includes the G1.

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Mobile Apps 360: iFighterLite

Mobile Apps 360 takes a look at mobile software for your Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and iPhone/iPod touch smartphones that will help keep your favorite mobile gear fresh with new software.

iFighterLite is a free horizontal scrolling aerial combat game developed by EpicForce. You assume the role of a World War II ace fighter pilot on a mission to destroy a secret weapon being developed by the Nazis.

You can control your fighter in one of two ways: by tilting your iPhone or iPod touch or by dragging your finger across the screen. I've tried both input controls, and I liked the tilt method better. Game play is straigh forward. If a tank, artilary cannon, or other airplane is shooting at you, shoot back! As you destroy your enemies, they will drop power ups including silver and gold stars, gold medals, weapons power ups, and extra health points. When things get a little to hot to handle, you can tap the Bomb button to call in some extra support to help clear away the all of the ground forces that are on the screen.

I was attracted to the game because it reminded me of another horizontal fighter game from the early 1980's, Capcom's 1942. You will find that while it is easy to learn to play, the game is challenging enough to keep you coming back for more. I have been playing iFighterLite for the last few days yet, and I still have not been able to clear the first level yet, but I am getting better at piloting my fighter around other aircraft and dodging bullets.

Despite not being able to clear the first level, I keep coming back to the game because it is fun to play and game's graphics are very good. The sound effects for the menus and in game are also good and add the fun of the game.

iFighterLite is fun for both fans of scrolling arcade games and the casual gamer looking for some fun while on the go. iFighterLite 1.0 is a free download from the Apple iTunes App Store. EpicFoce is expecting version 1.1 to be released soon (it has already been submitted for approval).

If you like iFighterLite, you may want to also try EpicForce's other games ChocChocPop and ChocChopPop Lite, in which you help Emily match up tastey treats. ChocChocPop sells for $1.99 in the App Store, while ChocChocPop Lite version is a free download.

For more information, check out the EpicForce website.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Astraware Goes "Crazy" for Spring!

Astraware, Handmark's game division, has released Crazy Daisy for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.

The object of Crazy Daisy is to match up the colored flower petals to score points. Line up more color combination to rack up big bonuses like "Daisy Chain" and "Flower Power".

Crazy Daisy has thee modes of play: the hectic race against the clock arcade mode; the more brain challenging, take your time to score big points puzzle mode; and the casual gamer's delight, endless play mode.

The iPhone and iPod touch edition of Crazy Daisy features gorgeous garden-themed animations with slinky snails, buzzing bees, cute caterpillars and lots more! The game will save automatically when you exit and you can play your own music in the background with the sound effects on or off.

Crazy Daisy for iPhone/iPod touch is available now from the Apple iTunes App Store for $0.99. Crazy Daisy is also available for Palm OS and Windows Mobile devices. For more information, visit the Astraware website.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Math Flash Cards 2.0 for iPhone Released















One Moxie Ventures LLC announces the next release of Math Flash Cards, its successful educational title for iPhone and iPod touch devices. This new release adds useful features that enable parents and educators to tailor the math quizzes for their specific learner.

Math Flash Cards features:
  • Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division
  • Tracks time and results for every quiz
  • Two answer methods: multiple choice or keyboard input
  • Configurable combination of top and bottom card values allows comprehensive study or tune-up of problem areas
  • Learning mode re-queues missed cards and allow several chances
  • Easy-to-use format looks and works just like paper flash cards
Math Flash Cards is available today from the Apple App Store for only $1.99. Information on the application or the company can be found at www.onemoxie.com.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Apple Demos iPhone OS 3.0










At a special media event today, Apple took the wraps off of the next major release of iPhone OS 3.0 for iPhone and iPod touch.

When the production iPhone OS 3.0 release arrives later this summer, customers can expect some new, and often requested, features including:
  • Search your iPhone
  • Cut, copy, and paste
  • Send photos, contacts, audio files, and location via MMS
  • Read and compose email and text messages in landscape
All together, Apple is claiming that there will be 100 new features baked into iPhone OS 3.0. I should note that MMS will only be available on iPhone 3G devices. Sorry iPhone G1 owners. The arrival of copy, cut, and paste should soften the blow. I have long said that cut, copy, and paste is a required feature if Apple really wants to promote the iPhone as a business device. It should also make DataViz's upcoming Documents To Go for iPhone OS much more useful.

If you are a paying iPhone OS developer (Standard Program $99, Enterprise Program $299), you can download the latest beta SDK today. If you are like me, and are amazed by what developers can do, we'll have to wait until later this year when Apple releases the final version of the iPhone OS software.

In the mean time, you can check out a recording of today's iPhone OS 3.0 media event as a QuickTime stream on the Apple website.

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