One of the things I've noticed in the emerging wave of iPhone applications is that many of the highest rated applications could be found on the App Store's illegitimate precursor--Nullriver's application installer. Several of these applications have been under almost constant development for the greater part of a year, long before Apple made the SDK available. In the case of newcomer Twinkle, that extra time really shows.
Only a year ago, there was a huge buzz around Facebook's new application platform. Big money was made by some, while others simply threw together whatever they could and released it to the masses in the hopes of being the next iLike.
Today, the Facebook platform is alive and well, but the hot new platform is the iPhone. People are lining up for hours to get their hands on one, and developers see dollars in those lines: Unlike with Facebook apps, you can charge for iPhone software, and developers keep 70 percent of the money collected through Apple's app store.
One of the 550-plus new iPhone applications was Facebook's own, a slightly amped-up version of the Web-based Facebook for iPhone Web site introduced late last year. It's more useful than than the mobile Web site, but it's still watered down from its desktop cousin, with just a contact list and a chat app. Notably missing are the other Facebook applications that have helped make the social network such an appealing service for both users and developers.
It would make sense if the next step for the Facebook platform was a mobile version--something where whatever you developed would work on both desktop and mobile devices, starting with the iPhone and later Android. In that regard, Facebook's mobile iPhone application is only the beginning, and just a preview of what's to come.
I think we'll see at next week's F8 event a product or service that will help developers shrink down their applications to fit into Facebook's mobile application framework. It's a move that goes squarely against Apple's engrained apps marketplace by having developers spend resources on coding for Facebook instead of themselves; however, the result will be the augmentation of the mobile Facebook experience that's closer to what people have gotten accustomed to on their computers.
Facebook's UI has already begun to change to match the finger-friendly style. The latest profile refresh has moved the applications from a sidebar to different tabs--the same look can be found in Facebook's iPhone-optimized Web app. Such a style could easily be shrunk down to fit a smaller screen, whereas the old one could not.… Read more
While my personal preferences anoint Yelp for iPhone (review) the better service for its broader and more objective listings, Where for iPhone's (coverage) plotting of only partnered services will also have its cluster of followers. The bottom line is this: though serviceable, they both need work. Yelp's developers should hone the accuracy and breadth of this application's listings and stabilize performance against crashes. Where would benefit from letting users customize their choices by selecting … Read more
Reporter Caroline McCarthy gives us a rundown of two YouTube partnerships announced Thursday--one with TiVo and one with film studio Lionsgate, which Caroline expects won't be as big a deal as many people hope.
Also in this podcast: Google Apps gets hundreds of new templates for making specific types of content; Gmail and Google Calendar could be available offline as soon as six weeks from now; Amazon tries its hand at movie and TV downloads; and the man going after the tech vote in November. Listen now: Download today's podcast
Life is so much easier when you have your most pertinent personal information on hand. SplashID for iPhone and iPod Touch is a premium application ($9.99) that encrypts and password-protects the credit card, frequent flyer, and bank account numbers you've entered into the neatly arranged application. See how it works in this First Look video.
Users of Google Docs, the online applications for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, now have a wide range of templates from which to choose.
Google on Thursday announced the templates, which were created by Google and a number of companies with experience in the business. They can be browsed and opened through a template gallery that currently has 294 to choose from.
Among the options: wedding planners, business cards, cover letters, screenplays with proper formatting, invoices, loan amortization schedulers, fantasy basketball standings predictor, wedding photo albums, and party invitations.
Google doesn't deny that it's working on bringing offline access to two major Web applications, Gmail and Calendar, but a sign emerged Thursday that the feature--which would be a major expansion of the applications' utility and competitive threat--is due soon.
"Gears on Gmail and Calendar in approximately 6 weeks. Just had a preview at Google offices. Not sure if it is Google Enterprise only," said Andrew Fogg, chief marketing and strategy officer for Web 2.0 consultancy Kusiri, in a Twitter post Thursday.
With zero fanfare Google quietly slipped new features into their Docs suite. It's like CSI Silicon Valley when you use their tools.Since switching to Google Apps Premier I am basically 100% browser-based for my email. But, for docs, spreadsheets etc. I can't seem to make the Google stuff work for me. Something just doesn't feel right about the GUIs, let alone the reduced functionality versus applications like Excel.
The new templates are not the most beautiful, but just having them available will make Google Apps a lot more appealing for non-techie business users. Beyond templates, users … Read more
Can't get a song out of your head and don't know what it's called? There are two good applications for iPhone that will fetch song titles and artists when curiosity begins to gnaw.
Shazam for iPhone (see video) grabs song, title, and album information after 30 seconds of listening to a recording. If YouTube videos are available, you'll be able to download them in a click from the results page. When or if you're ready to buy, the application also integrates with the iTunes music store, which will gladly bill your account for the song.… Read more
I picked up the iPhone 3G yesterday. Maybe "picked up" is a little too light and airy for what happened--it's more like I slogged through a 3-hour line along with several other iPhone fans with waning patience and sore feet, dying to get their hands on Apple's latest device. However, it's important to note that, despite the long wait time, once I got into the store it was an excellent experience. Each customer was escorted through the setup and sign-up process by their very own friendly Apple representative. Mine was named Alan. Alan was a … Read more