Sometimes computing feels like a dog and pony show, a long parade of glitzy apps with glossy coats, that do it all. However, the time and place for that level of pedigree is balanced by moments that call for the sometimes scruffy, often free, one-trick ponies of the app world that perform a single function very well. We rounded up nine no-frills applications that consistently perform. If your favorite single-minded apps aren't on this list, feel free to shout them out in the comments.
A server bug kept some Google Apps users from accessing their Google-hosted Web mail on Tuesday. The problem has since been fixed, but for a small segment of users the outage lasted for close to 22 hours.
A Google spokesperson told CNET News that the outage began sometime around 2 a.m. PST on Tuesday, and that service was restored for "nearly all affected users" within 30 minutes. For remaining accounts, the issue appeared to have been sorted out shortly after 12 a.m. PST on Wednesday.
Google has not gotten into specifics about what went wrong, but … Read more
Microsoft on Wednesday is offering up more details on its would-be rival to the iPhone's app store.
The software maker said it will charge developers $99 a year, plus $99 for each application they submit to get an app into the Windows Marketplace store. Through the end of this year, though, developers who register will be able to submit five applications at no additional charge.
The software maker defended the charge: "Microsoft will run a rigorous certification process to ensure that the end user's experience is optimal, and that the device and network resources aren't used … Read more
Apple has apparently had a change of heart about a Twitter iPhone app that sometimes presents users with language some might find objectionable.
The popular Twitter app for iPhone and iPod touch--called Tweetie 1.3--was apparently rejected because it gives users access to the Twitter Trends section, which displays the most frequent topics or words on Twitter at any given moment. This section sometimes lists swear words--including a particular four-letter word that begins with the letter F--that apparently raised Apple's disdain.
In an e-mail earlier Tuesday, app developer Loren Brichter said Apple quoted this part of the company's … Read more
Google on Wednesday will close off access to the part of Google Talk that lets third-party developers send and receive text messages. Third-party applications, such as Infinite SMS for the iPhone and desktop chat software that made use of this XMPP pathway will no longer be able to freely send text messages to other mobile phones.
The company simply no longer wanted to foot the bill for that part of Google Talk's API, according to a Google statement posted by Infinite SMS creators Innerfence. "While Google is supportive of third party apps, we've decided we can't … Read more
NPR, e-books, and auto-repair, oh my! The fantastic iPhone (and iPod Touch) freebies just keep on coming. Here's a look at six apps that have earned a permanent home on my handset. (Note: All links go directly to the iTunes Store.)Kindle for iPhone Though not perfect in its 1.0 release, the Kindle app brings Amazon's 240,000-strong e-book library to your iPhone--and that alone is reason to celebrate. Don't knock it till you've tried it. Lose It! Trying to lose weight? Forget the diet du jour: It all boils down to math. If you … Read more
Google discovered a privacy glitch that inappropriately shared access to a small fraction of word-processing and presentation documents stored on the company's online Google Docs service.
"We've identified and fixed a bug which may have caused you to share some of your documents without your knowledge. This inadvertent sharing was limited to people with whom you, or a collaborator with sharing rights, had previously shared a document," the company said in a note, quoted at TechCrunch, that the search giant sent to affected people. "The issue only occurred if you, or a collaborator with sharing … Read more
Last month there was a fair amount of buzz about how iPhone apps don't have much of a shelf life. According to a recent article at TechCrunch, the average free iPhone app is used for less than 30 days before it sits inactive on the desktop or is deleted by the user.
I guess I fit in with the average iPhone user to a certain extent. I have deleted apps that I thought were pretty cool in the beginning, but no longer catch my interest. But it might be different for me because I review apps, so I need … Read more
Tom Dart, sheriff of Cook County, Ill., says Craigslist is the largest source of prostitution in the country and is suing the site to stop placement of advertisements for such services. But the other side of the story is that the site has also been a goldmine for law enforcement to make arrests for those perpetrating such crimes. CNET News reporters Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh talk about how the site helps sex workers weed out violent customers and aids police in catching those who prostitute children.
Also on today's podcast: Boxee sneaks Hulu back onto its service, an … Read more
Apple may have some competition when it comes to selling applications for the iPhone, as developers decide to launch their own stores to hawk unauthorized apps for the device.
The Wall Street Journal reported that a developer is planning to launch on Friday a new service called Cydia Store that could sell hundreds of iPhone applications. The apps aren't available through Apple's official store, and they require "jailbroken" iPhones. Such iPhones have software downloaded that modifies the device to run any application.
The article also mentioned another developer, Rock Your Phone, which also plans to sell … Read more