Okay, look, if you are still a hater who is of the mindset that the iPhone is no big deal, today’s news out of Apple should seriously put all that to rest. This morning, the company announced that there have been 500 million apps downloaded from the App Store. With all the iPhone and iPod touch owners out there snapping these things up, it really comes as no surprise to us - especially considering that you can get some really great software for free, or for as little as $0.99.
Good on them, we say. Now can we get a few more pages allowed in the iPhone home screen area? We are three downloads away from completely filling our 9 pages, no doubt.
You get to play with your iPhone or iPod touch apps all the time, so next time you go on an extended trip, instead of hearing “Are we there yet?” pass your brats the phone with one of the iKids Play titles installed. One of the applications has 5 activities that include a coloring book, stories, finger painting, reading/recording aloud and a hidden image game. The company claims that it promotes tactile, listening and motor skills, visual/spatial coordination and color recognition as will as reading. More books will be available later, and for the introductory price of $2.99 at the App Store, it is definitely worth the mini-cost.
iKids Play titles:
Read More | iKids Play Caterpillar's Dream
While most retailers lost money this holiday season, Amazon is pleased to announce that they did just fine, thank you very much. Their best sellers included the Wii, the iPod touch and Samsung’s 52-inch LCD HDTV. They claim an increase of 17% (6.3 million items) on their busiest day, Dec.15. That is almost a million more than last year. Somehow we are not surprised as online shopping is so much easier now considering most of us can order what we want without the hassle of snow, nasty shoppers and crowded malls.
Read More | USA Today
HP has developed a free application for your iPhone or iPod touch. iPrint Photo lets you print a photo stored on your device wirelessly to most HP ink jet printers. You can make the image either 4 x 6-inch or 10 x 15 cm. The app is available for downloading at the App Store if your handheld firmware is version 2.0 or higher. HP promises a simple operation so check out their site for more details.
Read More | HP
There are a few tower defense games available in the App Store, but we think we’ve come across the best in TapDefense. Aside from being a free game, it’s really well done. The gameplay progresses in difficulty just as you’d expect it to, and developer LL Group even worked in the iPhone accelerometer into the gameplay - not something you find in your typical tower defense game. One of the towers available is an earthquake tower, and when enemies approach it, you shake your iPhone or iPod touch in order to destroy them. Very nice. In all, you’ve got 42 levels, six tower types, and seven different enemies to combat. And like we said, it’s free.
Read More | TapDefense
Truphone can now be applied to the iPod touch and will turn the music player into a cell phone with a free download. Utilizing WiFi, users can call other touch owners as well as Google Talk messaging service customers with minimal or no charges. They also plan to make calls with landlines part of the program. Truline’s interest is in devices that have app stores and are wireless. Next on their agenda, they plan to tackle the Android operating system.
Read More | Truphone
Just a quick not to let you guys know that we think the new Tap Tap Dance iPhone game is fantastic. Tapulous has put out a couple versions of Tap Tap Revenge already, so we didn’t think this one would be that big a deal - we figured same game with different music. Plus, we aren’t big fans of dance music anyway. However, this game just works. We love the background visuals (of which there are quite a few), the music actually adds a lot to the game (it features tracks by artists like Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers.) We also like the whole progression system, where you need to meet certain requirements to unlock some of the more advanced tracks and challenges. Overall, very fun. We recommend it. You can pick up Tap Tap Dance in the App Store.
Read More | Tap Tap Dance
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.
Read More | Tweetsville
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.
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.
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