You may have already heard of ChaCha. It’s like Ask for cell phones. We bring it up because it is a perfect tool for the holidays. You simply inquire about the best deal on a product and dial 242242 (ChaCha, of course) or 1-800-2ChaCha and they will send you back a text message in a few minutes. Although the service is free, your provider may not be. By the way, if you have a computer with 1GB RAM and win every night when you watch Jeopardy, you can apply to be a guide and actually get paid for it.
Read More | ChaCha
Big Canvas Inc. has debuted their latest Apple iPhone application that they have dubbed OilCanvas. Users can make their own artwork and save it on their library. You choose a base picture, select a brush and paint with your finger to create your own masterpiece. You can also share with friends in your PhotoShare network. OilCanvas is free to the first 50,000 downloaders ($1.99 after that) at the App Store. Big Canvas previously released PhotoShare, SmallCanvas and PhotoArtist.
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Okay, we’re mobile warriors here at Gear Live, and the battery life is the only negative for me when it comes to my iPhone 3G. The Mophie Juice Pack 3G aims to fix that problem, and so we took it to task. Now, mind you, not everyone uses up their battery as quick as I do - I have two email accounts that are on push data, and I also push calendars and contacts as well. That’s a lot of constant connectivity going on. If I’m not careful, my iPhone 3G battery will be dead within 9 hours on a typical day.
Gallery: Mophie Juice Pack review
Yeah, we know that the iPhone is probably a little rich to purchase for someone during the holidays, plus there’s the whole activtion conundrum. Instead, focus on the people who already own the iPhone 3G, and get them an accessory that we absolutely love. The Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 3G gives the iPhone more than double the battery life that it has on its own. That means you get up to 250 hours standby time, 6 hours talk time (or 12 hours if on EDGE), 28 hours audio playback, and 8 hours video playback. The cost on this one is $99.95, and is totally worth it for iPhone road warriors.
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Being the big fans of Twitter that we are here are Gear Live, we are always looking for the best way to interact with the service. We’ve used apps like Twitteriffic, Twinkle, and Twittelator, but we think we’ve found one that we will be sticking with for a while. It’s called Tweetsville, and it’s an app that Tapulous purchased from an independent developer, and then incorporated into their umbrella. Here’s the description:
The ultimate dedicated Twitter client for iPhone! Send tweets and direct messages with ease. Check out the latest trends on Twitter and do powerful searches. Favorites, History, Replies… it’s all here! Tap on a tweet to reply to the user, send them a message, check out their profile. From their profile, you can also see their history, their favorites, and their friends and followers. See the number of unread direct messages in your inbox right in the tab bar. Supports inline links, bold and italic automatically in tweets by treating words like *this* as bold and like _this_ or /this/ as italic. All of this in a clean, iPhone look and feel with two looks for your tweet lists: balloons and simple.
Since release a couple of weeks ago, the team has already released an update, bringing it to version 1.1. This includes support for international formats and encodings, along with significantly enhanced stability. As I said, we’ve certainly enjoyed the app, and currently feels it’s the best thing available as far as Twitter clients are concerned. The only improvements we are looking for are faster syncing and downloading. Once they get that fixed up, this thing will truly rock. You can pick up Tweetsville on the App Store for $3.99.
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So, we knew that iPhone 2.2 would bring OTA podcast downloads in the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, so we had to try and see if it would allow us to download anything else over the air as well. Unfortunately, music is still a no-go. You can’t access the Featured or Top Tens sections in iTunes on the iPhone, unless you have a Wi-Fi connection. Meanwhile, the Podcasts section supports both audio and video podcasts, which puts a smile on our faces.
Well, I guess that November 21 rumor was true, because the iPhone 2.2 firmware update is now available. This one is pretty hefty in the feature department too, so color us excited. You’ve got the a few nice enhancements to Maps, including Google Street View, public transit directions, walking directions, and the ability to share your GPS location with others via email. Speaking of email, the Mail client enjoys some stability improvements in this release as well, along with better handling of wide HTML email. Safari picks up performance improvements, we get the promise of fewer set-up failures and call drops, and better sound quality for Visual Voicemail.
If you’re a podcast lover (and seriously, we know that you love our shows,) you’ll be ecstatic to hear that, finally, podcasts are available for download in the iTunes application. Seriously, this thing is packed. Connect your iPhone up to your computer and grab the 246MB update now.
Here at Gear Live, we’ve been big fans of Orb for quite a while. Back in the original iPhone days, they made an app that was only available on jailbroken phones that we really liked - we just knew it needed to run at 3G speeds to be useful when on the go. The time has finally come, though, as OrbLive has hit the App Store. To back up for a moment, Orb allows you to access files and media on your home computer while on the go. This means that any music on your home computer can now be played on your iPhone from wherever you are. Videos too. Oh, and if you have a TV tuner in your computer, Orb will even allow you to tap into that and watch live television on the go as well. Isn’t that off the hook?
The one caveat for the time being is that the Orb PC software is only available for Windows - but the Orb folks are promising that versions for Mac and Linux are coming soon. We definitely recommend this one - grab the full version of OrbLive for $9.99, or if you are on the fence, there is also a demo version, OrbLive Free.
I’ve always been one who enjoys a good game of Pass the Pigs, and I just gained the knowledge that the game is available in the App Store. It’s basically a dice game that uses pigs rather than, you know, actual dice. Depending on how the pigs land, you gain points, lose points, etc. The is put out by THQ, which likely explains why there is also a one-player Story Mode as well. In any event, Pass the Pigs can be found in the App Store for $2.99.
Read More | App Store: Pass the Pigs
Microsoft is planning a web-based version of their Office suite, which will include full versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. As long as you have a Firefox, IE or Safari browser, you can access it from anywhere. The company has not given an official public release date, but you can probably expect it in late 2009. This should give iPhone and other handheld addicts another source of happiness since they have even more reason now to use them more than their computers.
Read More | Unwired View
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