With more than 100,000 apps in the iTunes App Store and huge success around the world with the iPhone, it would appear Apple has done just about everything right with the launch of its first mobile handset. But as any iPhone app developers will tell you, the app approval process is less than ideal, with some developers waiting well beyond Apple's 14-day waiting period and sometimes longer to get their apps approved. Though Apple has stated it is working on the app approval process, there has been little in the way of progress if you ask iPhone app … Read more
The Twitter service with the cutesy raccoon mascot is making a new home on BlackBerry and Google Android phones. The free Seesmic, like its proliferate rivals, lets you read, manage, and compose Twitter messages much more flexibly than you can do from Twitter's Web site. We crash-tested both mobile versions as soon as we heard the news.
Seesmic on Android Seesmic 1.0 for Android is available from the Android Market app, which is located on the smartphone. It takes up just over 1MB. The interface spreads four tabs along the top in both landscape and portrait mode, one each for the timeline, replies, direct messages, and your profile. There's also a ribbon on the screen that you can tap to refresh the feed. Click to open a tweet and you can save it as a favorite, retweet, or reply as a public "@" message or as a private posting. From the menu button, you can refresh, compose, or tinker with the settings.
Although Seesmic's Android interface is much more stripped down than its desktop AIR app for Windows and Mac, the app manages to remain flexible by giving you a choice over the kinds of notifications you'd like to receive, and over the partner services you'd prefer to use to send a photo, video, or shorten a URL.
The biggest flaws we've noticed so far?… Read more
Amidio makes some heavy-duty musical apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch; I was particularly impressed with StarGuitar, which gives you a virtual guitar with a bunch of preset rhythms, letting songwriters create quick sketches of ideas when they're nowhere near a guitar.
On Tuesday, Apple approved a new Amidio app, called TouchDJ, for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and it's both very impressive from a technical standpoint and a heck of a lot of fun. The iPhone can only play one audio track at a time, but TouchDJ essentially fools it into placing two MP3s side by side for simultaneous, real-time manipulation and playback. It's like a two-track digital DJ setup right on your iPhone.
You get a crossfader to control the balance between the two tracks, plus individual controls for each track's volume, pitch/speed (which aren't independent from one another, unfortunately), equalization (three bands), and effects (the built-in real-time effect sounds like a kind of flanger, and there are several lame samples of a low-pitched robot voice, but you can upload your own). Each track is represented by simple waveform images that use a different color for the bass, which helps you match beats more effectively. A tempobend effect, which lets you quickly bend the speed up or down on either track, also helps you get in sync.
The looping functions were most impressive--you can create a cue and loop mark at any point in either track, then return to the cue with the rewind button, move to the loop mark with the fast forward button, or create an endless loop between the two points. All of this is in real time. If you've got an audio splitter, you can even create a separate cue track for your headphones--for example, to set up a loop in your second track while the first one is playing, without exposing your experimentation to your audience--although this requires some serious processing power, and is recommended only for an iPhone 3GS.
There are a couple caveats.… Read more
Having become fairly disenfranchised with all things Star Wars over the years, I didn't really expect to like Star Wars: Trench Run.
And really, the new game from THQ is little more than two kinds of arcade sequences sprinkled with a few familiar cutscenes.
So why can't I stop playing it?
Because Trench Run ($4.99) is a little slice of Star Wars heaven, that's why. It reminds me of the old vector-graphics arcade game from the early 80s--a game that consumed a considerable number of my quarters.
Of course, visually Trench Run blows that coin-op classic … Read more
Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. While utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our main focus in this column is to bring you those that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems.… Read more
Cisco is offering a free iPhone app that will allow people to get customized alerts on new security threats and other information for safe Web browsing.
The app, which will be available on Friday in the Apple iTunes store, provides information about new malware signatures, bulletins for how to mitigate against threats, ways to see if particular Web sites are compromised, as well as links to podcasts and videos.
The Cisco SIO To Go iPhone app gets its information from the company's Security Intelligence Operations (SIO) system which gathers information in real time from 700,000 sensors located at … Read more
As Google Android is for the smartphone market, Chrome will be for the Netbook industry. At least, that is Google's hope. The company views its two platforms as not necessarily replacements to existing operating systems, but rather as alternatives. And as part of its quest to get users on the Internet and connect to their services, Google created Android and Chrome.
Much of today's mobile applications run in the cloud, pulling data from a server as opposed to loading files from a device. If you have an Android handset, you know about the constant sync between your phone … Read more
There are plenty of ways for frequent travelers to check on their flight's status long before they leave the house or hotel, but fewer that alert you when delays occur, and only one we've seen that predicts airline tardiness.
That app is FlightCaster, which costs $7.99 on iPhone and BlackBerry, with Android support next. FlightCaster predicts flight delays 6 hours before airlines post delay data. FlightCaster works by looking at factors like the local weather at the departure and arrival airports, and if the inbound plane is already delayed.
While the concept applies to everyone, not everyone … Read more
Strap an Apple iPhone to Dr. Frankenstein's slab and you might wind up with something like this larger-than-life "iPhone" we spotted Thursday at a tech event in Silicon Valley.
Mellmo, the company behind the Roambi (review) spreadsheet visualizer app for iPhone, commissioned an undisclosed designer to give life to this giant faux-iPhone. Although we're not sure who the mastermind is, we do know a bit about the construction. The mammoth touch-screen device is made of a large touch-sensitive computer encased with plastic that's been cast in the shape of the iPhone's rounded-rectangular body. Mellmo … Read more
How many times have you looked at a snapshot in your Camera Roll and thought, "You know what would make this better? Cats!" (I know: too many to count.)
Enter CatPaint, a 99-cent app that lets you "paint" cats onto your photos, thereby adding that much-needed feline touch to your vacation shots of the Vatican, your kid on the soccer field, or whatever.
It's also an ideal tool for generating your own Lolcats images. (I can has iPhone appz?)
All you do is choose a photo from your Camera Roll or other library, select one … Read more