After a brief heads-up from Microsoft yesterday, the official Twitter app for Zune HD has arrived.
I've spent only a few minutes with the app, but I feel declaring it as a welcome addition to the slowly growing roster of free apps for the Zune HD.
Will it blow your mind? Probably not. But as an officially sanctioned Twitter-branded app, users are given a very familiar, clean, and intuitive way to read and create tweets.
Power users will probably be a little bummed there isn't a landscape keyboard option or much at all in the way of settings. … Read more
Snigger as you will over Microsoft's decision to call Bing, its overhauled search engine, a "decision engine," but those giggles should dissolve when you start up Microsoft's brand-new Bing for iPhone (and iPod Touch). As a search app goes, Bing, which debuted Tuesday in the iTunes App Store, is the real thing.
The Bing app has a slew of expected features, including voice search, maps, directions, search suggestions, and location-awareness. That's no surprise. Besides these being features common to Bing.com and to the Bing application on other mobile platforms, they're also necessary to … Read more
Microsoft's feisty little search service, Bing, has finally made an iPhone app, which is now up on the Apple iTunes app store.
Bing showed off the free app at a party thrown by its mobile team in San Francisco on Tuesday night. Information about the new app is also now on Microsoft's Bing blog here.
Its description on the iTunes store says: "Make decisions and get where you need to go with Bing. See the Bing daily image and related trivia on the home screen. Search maps or the Web with your voice--even say an address. Use … Read more
Star 6 is a fun beat-making iPhone and iPod Touch app from Agile Partners--makers of the incredibly useful Guitar Toolkit and Tab Toolkit for guitarists. First introduced last August, Star 6 offers five families of electronic drum beats in categories like Drum and Bass and Electro. You can also download many more free beats from the Star 6 Web site, or upload your own through your Web browser. (Your device has to be on the same wireless network as the computer you're uploading through.)
Once you've picked a family of beats, you can switch among six individual … Read more
In many ways, 2009 seems to be the year download-only games hit their stride. Between the iPhone and iPod Touch dominating the portable market with the ever-growing App Store; the release of the completely disc-free PSP Go; and the Nintendo DSi--which also can download games from an online store--portable gaming has started to move beyond the cartridge and disc. Even in home consoles, there's been a continuing focus on lower-cost downloadable games and DLC sold on Sony's PSN, Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, and the Nintendo Wii's WiiWare as alternatives to pricier disc-based titles.
While download-only … Read more
Just over a year ago, the open-source Mac image viewer OsiriX released its widely hailed medical imaging software for the iPhone. The software was created by a group of radiologists who also proved to be sophisticated programmers, and was hailed by a wider net of radiologists as an app with serious promise.
More recently, scientists from Johns Hopkins University rallied formally behind the app when they presented the results of a study conducted at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville of patients suspected of having acute appendicitis. Reviewing nothing more than computed tomography (CT) scans over an encrypted wireless network using an iPhone 3G with the OsiriX app, researchers were able to diagnose acute appendicitis correctly in 99 percent of the scans of 25 patients, with one false negative.
"This new technology can expedite diagnosis and, therefore, treatment," says Asim Choudhri, a neuroradiologist at JHU who led the study. "We knew that recent advances in handheld device technology allowed viewing of medical imaging, but it [was] unproven whether viewing on a small screen allows a reader to reliably and reproducibly obtain information."
The findings of this study, which Choudhri tells me was funded internally at the UVA Department of Radiology (and yes, his allegiance is clear--he owns an iPhone and in fact supplied it for the study) are encouraging not only for possible appendicitis cases, but a wide range of illnesses such as aneurism and stroke that require fast diagnosis.… Read more
Bonnie Cha, senior editor for cell phones, joins the show today to fill in for Justin Yu. It's one of the few days Wilson and Jeff aren't worried about losing their jobs for something they shouldn't have said. And no, she is NOT Nicole Lee. What better day to have Ms. Cha on the show than following the weekend that the actual Google phone leaks!
The Google phone has been rumored for the last three or four years, and since the release of Google's Android operating system, the hoopla has died down considerably for an actual Google-branded phone. In typical Google fare, the company has decided on screwing its partners like Verizon and Motorola over by releasing an unsubsidized GSM phone called the Nexus One. No word yet on how much the unit will cost, but we do know that HTC designed the device. And that Google employees got the units over the weekend. Word on the street is that the device runs Android OS 2.1.
The mobile space is where all the spice is these days, and today is no different. News comes out that the venerable institution that is Playboy is jumping into the iPhone app fray with its own app. Because of Steve Jobs' no-porn rule, however, the app won't come with any outright nude pics. It will come with some scantily clad ladies and their interests. Per usual, it's all about the articles, not the pics.
In videogaming news, the Pentagon is buying up 2,200 PlayStation 3s. No, they aren't using it to train soldiers with "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2", while it may be a lot of fun. The military wants to use the gaming consoles to run simulations because the $299 machines can calculate 150 GFLOPS. At The 404, we really have no idea what that means, but it sounds impressive.
Finally, Green Day comes to Rock Band. The Beatles have come already, and while we're generally excited to have one of the best modern bands, we're not really excited to have every dude singing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" at every single graduation party. This could be a very, very bad thing.EPISODE 486 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
I know this is a post about tech's big annual Consumer Electronics Showcase, but for a minute, let's talk about the annual Macworld Expo. Rather, let's talk about what Apple's backing out of the Macworld Expo means to CES and the category I cover (portable audio and video).
In years past, my January's involved a dizzying dash between San Francisco's Moscone Center and the Las Vegas Convention Center, as I strained to cover Apple's Macwold keynote and a week's worth of CES announcements in the same breath. But without Apple's presence, this year's Macworld (now in February) is far less significant, and I suspect that the iPod-centric vendors who were previously split by the two events will now come home to roost at CES. In short--iPod accessory announcements will likely play a larger role at CES this time around.
The flip side of this observation is that iPod competitors will probably have a harder time being heard. That's of course assuming there are any substantial iPod competitors left, beyond Microsoft.
Last year, Sony made a big stir with their OLED touch screen X-Series Walkman. Today, that same Walkman is being passed over in the discount bin and Sony's latest Walkman models aren't even slated to come to the U.S. We were also excited to see an affordable iPod Touch alternative in the Samsung P3, but by the time the promised 32GB model finally became available, many had already begun pinning their hopes on the Zune HD (and appropriately so). Creative can't even seem to be bothered to ship us their latest player, possibly because they're too busy cooking up smartphones. SanDisk came out with their SlotRadio player, and the world promptly yawned.
The takeaway from all of this is that I suspect we're going to see fewer manufacturers launching iPod contenders at CES just to watch them fail, and more companies exploring the iPod/iPhone accessory space.
Specifically, from the e-mails I'm already getting, I'm going to be up to my neck in… Read more