As a wannabe weekend warrior, I'm happy to see topographical maps for mobile phones gaining ground on decidedly consumer devices. Interactive trail maps like Accuterra for iPhone make a lot of sense, especially with cellular reception and baked-in GPS chips strong enough in so many local hills and national parks that you can actively record your steps, share photos, and track your stats.
Earlier today at CTIA Wireless 2009 (see all stories), Slacker Radio demoed its new apps for Windows Mobile, Android, and Blackberry phones. In typical slacker Radio fashion, the applications looked sleek, suave, and dark--we're not sure about dangerous. All three apps are gravitating toward a similar, standard look that tweaks the interface to add the same small improvements across the board: a new screen that tiles lyrics (visible in full with the Radio Plus subscription), biographies, and a review, and an area that reminds you which song is playing while you browse other categories.
The trio of Slacker Radio … Read more
Hey, Apple: If a Zune can sync over Wi-Fi, why can't an iPhone? I mean, it's the 21st century. Why do I still have to fish out my sync cable every time I want to copy photos to my PC?
That's a question for another day. In the meantime, there's WiFiPhoto, which, true to its name, wirelessly transfers snapshots from your iPhone to your computer. Any computer: Windows, Mac, Linux, etc., so long as it's connected to a Wi-Fi network.
You've already got individual ringtones set up for your boss, your spouse, and other important people. MailTones brings that same concept to e-mail, playing custom sounds when you receive messages from those certain special senders.
Using the $2.99 app [iTunes link] requires two things: That your iPhone is configured for push e-mail (fetched automatically, not manually) and that your e-mail server has the option of forwarding copies of new messages to another address.
Gmail, for example, makes this a snap, as does MobileMe. As for other services and servers, well, you'll have to find out if forwarding … Read more
Since the release of Snow Leopard, many people who use virtualization solutions have been frustrated by the lack of 64-bit support for their virtual machines. The three popular programs Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, and Sun VirtualBox have so far been 32-bit only and while Parallels Desktop will run on the 64-bit Snow Leopard kernel and Virtualbox technically should as well, Fusion is still only a 32-bit application. VMware has a press release on their website that announces the release and availability of version 3.0 of Fusion, which brings 64-bit support along with other enhancements to the software.… Read more
Google and Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced what would have once seemed a very unlikely partnership, pledging to "advance the discussion" in the mobile computing market with a family of jointly designed devices to appear over the next few years.
Eric Schmidt and Lowell McAdam, CEOs of Google and Verizon Wireless respectively, worked on this partnership for 18 months before they were ready to officially bring it to light, they said Tuesday morning in a Webcast press conference. Two mobile phones running Google's Android mobile operating system will launch on Verizon's network by the end of … Read more
The iPhone has many applications that let you view Web cams from around the world, but what about turning your phone into a remote camera of its own? A new app called IP Camera (warning: iTunes link) does just that. This $1.99 tool takes a photo from your iPhone's camera every 12 to 15 seconds, then posts it to a local Web page that can be accessed from other computers on the same network.
All that's needed for setup is to make sure your phone is on Wi-Fi, then to jot down the special local HTTP address … Read more
In a surprise announcement, Adobe Systems said Monday that Flash programmers now can bring their applications to Apple's iPhone, a domain of high interest that's been off limits for the programming technology.
Because of Apple restrictions, though, Flash isn't coming in the form in which most people experience it, a Web browser plug-in. Instead, programmers will be able to change Flash applications into native iPhone applications using Adobe's Flash Professional CS5 developer tool, currently in beta testing, then offer their programs as an Apple App Store download.
"This is a great first step in the … Read more
The cat and mouse game continues between Apple and the Dev Team, a group of guys who are passionate about freeing Apple handheld devices from the company's short leash. The Dev Team has been jailbreaking new Apple firmware for years, and it just did so again--though this time around it seems Apple is still taking the decisive lead.
The team announced Friday the availability of PwnageTool 3.13, which allows for jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone 3GS running the latest firmware, version 3.1. Currently only a Mac version of the tool is available, but the Windows version will be out soon. (Keep in mind, however, that you download and use the PwnageTool at your own risk.)
The tool creates a custom firmware from the version 3.1 firmware released by Apple. To install it, you put the phone into recovery mode (turn it off, then plug it in while holding down the Home button) and use iTunes to restore the phone with the custom firmware (hold down the Option key while clicking on the Restore button).
The custom firmware, apart from jailbreaking, will not upgrade the baseband--the chip that connects the phone to a service provider--and therefore still allows the phone to be unlocked.
But there's a catch here. The tool only works with the iPhone 3GS that has been jailbroken with the firmware version 3.0 or 3.0.1. This means if you buy a new iPhone 3GS that already has version 3.1 on it or you have updated to version 3.1 using iTunes, there's still no way to have your phone jailbroken. There's even a rumor that there might never be one, unless a new exploit is found.
If this is true, it seems Apple has finally been able to gain significant ground in stopping the practice it claims could pose a threat to national security. And for thousands, if not millions of iPhone 3GS users who rely on jailbreaking and unlocking to use their phones with the service of their choice, this is sad news. … Read more
Voice over Internet Protocol service provider Vonage on Monday announced that it has launched its first mobile apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and BlackBerry devices.
Dubbed Vonage Mobile, the company's free VoIP app enables users to place international calls from their mobile devices. iPod Touch owners can do so by placing calls through Wi-Fi. BlackBerry owners will transmit calls over the cellular network only. iPhone owners will be able to place calls from Wi-Fi or through AT&T's network.
According to Vonage, its app will help users save up to 50 percent on international calling charges … Read more