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Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm all thumbs now

The whole iPhone thing is just the bomb. Tonight I watched the CBS Evening News telecast in the palm of my hand. I remember Dick Tracy's gadgets in the Sunday funnies -- some of this is far beyond what even he imagined.

We've been playing with various "apps" on the phone -- some of which we have discovered on our own, and others that friends have shown us. Lots of time-wasters in there, to be sure, but some extremely helpful programs as well. Experienced souls are invited to lob some suggestions our way.

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Urbanspoon for restaurants
LoseIt! to track calories and exercise
FlightTrack for flight info
Postino for sending "postcards"
Skype for free wireless telephone calls
Stanza for book reading -- never mind that Kindle
Chordmaster for the guitar
and for mesmerizing entertainment:
Koi Pond
Bubble level

Not to mention the true beauty of the interface. Handling, working and navigating that thing gives one hope for the future.

Trail Guru is great, although their website isn't loading (http://www.trailguru.com/). It tracks your hikes and can put them on a google map and show all sorts of stats about your hike.

ReQall reminder system is even location-sensitive. I dumped Jott for this. Most amazing. Check David Poque's review at nytimes.com.

Harbormaster. Trust me. You'll become addicted.

If you are at all into astronomy, there's an app called "Planets" that will tell you the rise and set time for the celestial bodies in the solar system for your particular location, as well as azimuth and altitude in degrees.

Zell+ is a shopping-list creating app that allows you to hold a "button" and speak the items you need, and it will turn it into a list.

The built-in stock app is busch league in comparison to Bloomberg's free app.

ESPN ScoreCenter - a must have (for me) with the College Football season opening in a month.

Three apps I love:

SnapTell - Take a picture of a book cover, CD cover, etc., and it checks its database and tells you the title of the object, author, and how much it costs at Amazon, Ebay, and other online outlets.

Shazam - Hold it up to the radio, it listens to the song for a second, then tells you the title, artist, album, and offers you the ability to download it via itunes

Yelp - GPS driven restaurant reviews. Want a place to eat lunch within 2 block that others are raving about, this is the app?

Does it have a GPS app that tells you how many yards from the ball to the pin?

"Does it have a GPS app that tells you how many yards from the ball to the pin?"

You could use the Motion-X GPS app for that - set a waypoint for all the pins on the course, and it would give you direct distance the same as a handheld GPS unit could.

Remote and Remote Tap

If you've connected your computer and stereo (via airport express), you can use "Remote" to control iTunes remotely from your phone. This includes your own music library, and any streaming radio, or podcasts you choose.

For other computer operations, you can use "Remote Tap" to access your computer's desktop and control any operation or application you choose. I've found it much easier to use than some of the other VNC clients. You can also use it over the mobile network from anywhere, and not just on your local wireless network.

And finally, if you have Airfoil on your computer (from Rogue Amoeba), you can use "Airfoil Speakers Touch" to stream any audio playing on you computer directly to your iPhone.

Of course, for all of these you need a WiFi network.

trapster - tells you where the popo are hunting speeders, where red light cameras are, mobile radar vans...not that I speed or run red lights, but it's nice to know when the govt is going to be watching you before they can see you...it's strangely rewarding to report police activity.

Public Radio
GPSMotion X
Camera Zoom
Google Earth

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