Archives for May 2009

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May 29, 2009

Weekly round up of iPhone apps featured in textually blogs

A round up of iPhone apps featured the last couple of weeks in textually blogs:


allthingsdigitalapp.jpg Walt Mossberg's All Things Digital app.

big_icon_42194.pngElvis impersonator sightings.

Chicago2016.jpg Chicago 2016 Olympic bid app.

big_icon_43120.png People Magazine's up-to-the-minute celebrity news.

big_icon_43598.png Meet a stranger with iBatko.

inapkin.png inapkin app for scribbling.

big_icon_42500.png Turn your contacts into B-BOTs.

big_icon_44877.png Celebrity app puts you on the cover.

big_icon_37197.png Proloquo2Go helps people who have difficulty speaking.


big_icon_43369.png big_icon_32487.png big_icon_30334.png big_icon_40402.pngbig_icon_9736.png

Warner Bros releases film iphone apps.


400humanringtones.jpg 400 Human Ringtones and Sound Affects

emily | 9:16 AM | permalink

Cell phone ringtones can pose major distraction, impair recall

8322.jpg A flurry of recent research has documented that talking on a cell phone poses a dangerous distraction for drivers and others whose attention should be focused elsewhere. Now, a new study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology finds that just the ring of a cell phone may be equally distracting, especially when it comes in a classroom setting or includes a familiar song as a ringtone. News & Information from Washington University reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn any setting where people are trying to acquire knowledge and trying to retain that information in some way, a distraction that may just seem like a common annoyance to people may have a really disruptive effect on their later retention of that information," said the study's lead author, Jill Shelton, a postdoctoral psychology fellow in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

... "Many of us consider a cell phone ringing in a public place to be an annoying disruption, but this study confirms that these nuisance noises also have real-life impacts," Shelton said. "These seemingly innocuous events are not only a distraction, but they have a real influence on learning."

Titled "The distracting effects of a ringing cell phone: An investigation of the laboratory and the classroom setting," the study was conducted at Louisiana State University, where Shelton received her doctoral degree. Her co-authors in the LSU psychology department include Emily Elliott, Sharon Eaves and Amanda Exner.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:21 AM | permalink

Mobile Spy for the iPhone; iLife gets Creepy

Mobile Spy 3.0 for iPhone from Retina-X Studios enables you to surreptitiously monitor everyone who contacts your friends, family, children, and employees . The clandestine program runs as a background app, and automatically tracks and records SMS messages, phone calls, and GPS locations.

[via I4U]

emily | 8:14 AM | permalink

May 28, 2009

Internation distribution of iPhone apps broken?

The international distribution of iPhone applications is not being handled properly at the App Store, one developer tells MacNN. Having launched a title called CameraUFO, Magno Urbano says he recently visited the US App Store to verify if his software was on sale. Although not at its main intended venue, the app could be found at a number foreign stores, though still not all of them.

[via ipodnn]

emily | 8:15 PM | permalink

Viral Epidemics Poised to Go Mobile


A National Science Foundation press release reports “scientists predict mobile phone viruses will pose a serious threat.”

The scientists are network experts who have studied how “a Bluetooth virus can infect all phones found within Bluetooth range of the infected phone, its spread being determined by the owner’s mobility patterns.”

[via SmartMobs]

emily | 5:05 PM | permalink

What's in store for iPhone app developers?


Whether you've got the skill to build a killer app, or just the idea for one, firms are fighting for the chance to get it into the App Store, writes The Guardian via Twitter/shoesmith81.

quotemarksright.jpg... The runaway success of the App Store has created the legend of the iPhone millionaire," says Dave Swartz, principal of MEDL Mobile, a company aiming to make it possible to get your idea into the App Store without technical knowledge or financial outlay.

Swartz and his MEDL partner, Andrew Maltin, launched App Incubator, a service offering to turn great ideas into apps in return for a share of the profits.

MEDL has so far received more than 12,000 idea submissions from 5,000 applicants. Swartz says that about a third of the ideas were interesting enough to be flagged for consideration.

With App Incubator, there are no upfront costs, although profits generated by the apps are split 75/25 in MEDL's favour. If you don't fancy giving up 75% of your killer app earnings, you may be tempted to try developing it yourself.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:40 PM | permalink

Will Mobile Shoppers Want to Ring Up Purchases?

Would you be comfortable using your phone to purchase big-ticket items, such as round-trip tickets to Tokyo? Or front row seats at a Beyoncé concert? Billing Revolution, a mobile payment start-up based in Seattle, thinks so. Bits Blog reports.

quotemarksright.jpgGenerally, purchases made on mobile phones are charged to cellphone bills, with mobile carriers taking a share of the revenue. Billing Revolution processes mobile credit card payments — not unlike the one-click buying system used by Amazon — for companies such as GameLoft and ESPN.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:46 AM | permalink

New Yorker iPhone Cover Boosts Sales for Brushes App

big_icon_2318.png Artist Jorge Colombo's much written about New Yorker cover painted with his iPhone thanks to the Brushes sent the app sales through the roof, according to Bits Blog.

quotemarksright.jpgThe novelty and popularity of the cover has provided a healthy boost in sales for the 32-year-old who works shifts in a coffee shop when he’s not developing applications for the iPhone and Mac.

On Monday, Mr. Sprang said the application had its highest selling day since it was first released into Apple’s App Store in August, with 2,700 copies at $4.99 apiece flying off the virtual shelves. To date, the application has sold around 40,000 copies, he said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Other iPhone artwork:

-- David Hockney paints mini masterpieces with his iPhone

-- Artist "fingerpaints" art on his iPhone

-- Stef Kardos' iPhone Sketches

emily | 8:35 AM | permalink

iPhone applications can help the autistic

big_icon_37197.png USA Today writes about specialized audio apps that help people with disabilities communicate. Among them, American Sign Language and Proloquo2Go, which the article describes as helping 7-year-old son JW speak. JW is autistic.

quotemarksright.jpgJW goes everywhere with the slick touch-screen mp3 player strapped to his arm. It lets him touch icons that voice basic comments or questions, such as, "I want Grandma's cookies" or "I'm angry — here's why." He uses his "talker" to communicate with everyone — including his service dog, Roscoe, who listens to voice commands through the tiny speakers.

The app also aids children and adults with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS — even stroke patients who have lost the ability to speak, says its co-developer, Penn State doctoral student Samuel Sennott.

Using the iPhone and Touch allows developers to democratize a system that has relied on devices that were too expensive or difficult to customize.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:23 AM | permalink

European Parlement launches Twitter updates

The European Parlement is offering Twitter updates at

emily | 7:20 AM | permalink

Random House novels as iPhone apps

big_icon_44129.png Rather than offering a specific app and separate content, each of Random House's bestsellers is sold as a unique app, so if you want the likes of 8th Confession by James Patterson, Nothing to Lose by Lee Child or Adventures on the High Teas by Stuart Maconie, just download that particular app for what Random House calls a 'natural book-like experience' on your handset.

[T3 via Go Get It]

emily | 7:12 AM | permalink

May 27, 2009

Insight. The man behind Obama's Digital Campaign

Fascinating insight from Revolution Magazine on Scott Goodstein, the man widely recognised as President Barack Obama's digital guru, responsible for the biggest mobile and social media campaign in history.

My favorite part:

quotemarksright.jpgOne of the highlights of the digital campaign behind Obama's election was the 3am text message sent to more than a million subscribers announcing Obama's running mate Joe Biden. It followed the famous TV ad run by an increasingly desperate Hilary Clinton, which went: 'It's 3am, and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House, and it's ringing - something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.'

Goodstein and his web team were widely credited for coming up with a genius marketing ploy, with many claiming that this 3am text message signalled that Obama and Biden were the people to answer the ringing phone in the White House.

It has since emerged that this was not a deliberate ploy, and that the Biden text message was sent at 3am to prevent CNN breaking the news first. However, what the 3am text demonstrates is the incredible buzz the digital campaign created and the extent to which supporters and commentators were bursting to heap praise on what they saw as the most innovative Presidential campaign to date.

... For Goodstein, life has moved on too. He's not part of the administration and has instead set up a new venture: Revolution Messaging. It promises to provide (mainly non-profit) organisations with all the things he did for Obama. "A lot of non-profit organisations are scared to jump into social networks and user-generated content," he says.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:47 PM | permalink

Record-breaking text messaging through AT&T by American Idol fans

amidol.jpg AT&T revealed that more than 178 million text messages went through its network as votes by followers of the country’s leading TV show American Idol.

The company claims this year’s figure to be more than double of last year’s in addition to being the highest scorer amongst all seasons until now. There were 78 million messages by fans last year.

[via mobiletor]

Related: - AT&T May Have Swayed ‘Idol’ Results

emily | 8:39 PM | permalink

Air China allows mobile check-in via barcode SMS

Air China has become the latest airline to allow customers to check-in via simple SMS and mobile barcodes. It is initially only available on Tibetan flights and direct flights from Beijing, and only for passengers who booked their tickets via the Air China website. [via GoMo News]

quotemarksright.jpgOnce a traveller has booked their ticket on-line, they can choose to be sent an SMS anytime from 24 hours to 90 mins before there flight. That SMS contains a link leading to a mobile barcode, which the passenger can use to check through all necessary security gates and onto the place itself.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:34 PM | permalink

SMS, internet campaigns prove controversial in Iran election

6b697f2c743a38d67dce5dca31b.jpg "If you plan not to vote, just think about June 13 when you hear Ahmadinejad has been re-elected."

Young, urban mobile phone users in Iran are being bombarded with this and similar text messages in run-up to the poll on June 12 when hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will seek a second term. Reuters reports.

quotemarksright.jpgEmails and blogs are also playing a big part for the first time in a country more used hearing political messages blared through loudspeakers on small trucks, seeing gaudy posters and being herded to campaign rallies.

The government, whose support base centers on the rural poor, is sending its own texts and emails lauding Ahmadinejad's achievements, but is also showing signs of concern.

Hardline backers of Ahmadinejad have complained about the sometimes rude jokes aimed at their leader via text messages and the official IRNA news agency said the Tehran prosecutor's office would crack down on messages offending candidates.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:22 PM | permalink

Japan's DoCoMo eyes cash transfer by cellphone

Japan's top mobile telephone operator NTT DoCoMo said Wednesday it aimed to launch a new service enabling cash transfers simply by entering the recipient's cellphone number. Reuters reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAfter applying online, users would be able to send money to another DoCoMo subscriber's bank account even if they do not know their bank details. The amount will be charged to the sender's phone bill, said company spokesman Taishi Hoshino. "We hope to begin the service as early as this summer," he said.

Transfers are expected to be limited to about 30,000 yen (316 dollars) a month for each subscriber, he said. Further details such as DoCoMo's banking partner and the service charge will be decided soon.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:18 AM | permalink

Nokia Opens its Ovi Store - Announces AT&T Deal

nokia-ovi.jpg Nokia has formally launched its Ovi Store to the global market - which it says comprised an estimated 50 million Nokia phone owners worldwide. In addition, AT&T announced plans to make Ovi Store available to its customers in the USA later this year.

[via Cellular News]

Related articles:

-- Nokia's new app store takes on Apple

-- Glitches plague Nokia's Ovi Store launch

emily | 10:12 AM | permalink

May 26, 2009

Texting May Be Taking a Toll

Spurred by the unlimited texting plans offered by carriers like AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless, American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Nielsen Company — almost 80 messages a day, more than double the average of a year earlier. The New York Times reports.

And oh-hum, something we've heard before:

quotemarksright.jpgThe phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians and psychologists, who say it is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:24 PM | permalink

Celebrity app puts you on the cover

big_icon_44877.png Favorite mobile app developer visuamobile has come up with yet another wonderful app. Called Celebrity, it lets you be on the cover of a magazine.

Uploading your own picture to one of 20 magazine covers. You can even adjust the image by cropping or scaling to size.

Available in a lite or pay-for-version ($2.99).

emily | 7:51 PM | permalink

Ericsson launches anti-fraud system using mobiles

Ericsson is courting major banks with a security service the company thinks could cut down on credit card fraud as well as eliminate an inconvenience for travelers using cards overseas. TechWorld reports.

quotemarksright.jpgBanks are increasingly blocking credit card transactions in certain high-risk countries due to increasingly levels of fraud. A business traveler who lives in the UK but goes to Russia can likely have a transaction rejected if the person hasn't informed the credit card company of their travel plans. It's embarrassing and inconvenient.

Ericsson's IPX Country Lookup service uses a person's mobile phone to provide a confirmation that a person is actually in the country where the transaction is carried out, said Peter Garside, UK and Ireland regional manager for Ericsson's IPX products.

For the service to work, Ericsson's technology must be installed on a mobile operator's network. Once installed, Ericsson will pay the operator a "small fee" every time a bank wants to verify a certain transaction by one of their customer's mobile phones, Garside said. Ericsson will then put a margin on the lookup fee and charge that to banks, he said. The lookup fee hasn't been set yet.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:38 PM | permalink

Remote control helicopters deliver cell phones to inmates

_45822852_phoneplaneap.jpg Police in Brazil have foiled a plot to smuggle mobile phones into a high-security prison using a remotely-controlled model helicopter. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgPrisoners in Brazilian jails routinely use mobile phones to carry on with criminal activity, and the police say the ones they recovered were probably intended to go to gang leaders inside the jail.

It is not the first time that the authorities have foiled an innovative attempt to smuggle material into a jail in Brazil.

Earlier this year Sao Paulo state prison guards uncovered a plot using pigeons to carry mobile phone parts over the walls of a jail.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:44 AM | permalink

May 25, 2009

North Korea launches Internet mobile phone service


North Korea has begun a limited State Internet service for mobile phone users, a state website reported Friday, five months after the secretive communist state launched a third-generation network.

Information available is news from the official Korean Central News Agency and other content.

[via Yahoo Tech. Image from Radio Free Asia]

emily | 2:14 PM | permalink

Even Stanford Grads Are Hurting in the Downturn

With the high-end job market all but dead, what's a Stanford grad todo? Answer: Create an iPhone App. TIME reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... The Stanford Computer Science department offers a popular course called "iPhone Application Programming." Many students have already taken their class projects and rolled them out as commercially available applications. The fall class of 50 students produced eight successful iPhone apps; the spring class is 20% larger, though it's too early to say how they'll fare commercially.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 2:08 PM | permalink

B-Bot: Tristan Eaton iPhone App

big_icon_42500.png The B-BOT app for iPhone. B-BOT allows you to customize your contacts by making B-BOT cartoons of yourself and your friends.

B-BOT features a huge variety of bodies to choose from along with hundreds of hair styles, accessories, eyes, mouths, sneakers, and more. There are over 400 items to choose from. You can make over a billion B-BOTs of yourself and your friends.

B-BOT was conceived by Tristan Eaton and Peter Cortez while working together on the 2008 Barack Obama Campaign. It was developed by Greg Elliott, the creator of SynchStep.

[Josh Spear Trendspotting]


emily | 2:00 PM | permalink

iNapkin app

inapkin.png Because some of the greatest ideas originated on the simplest of paper media: the napkin, the iNapkin app brings a similar feature to the iPhone.

You can scribble notes, pan and zoom.

iNapkin comes with three sizes of napkins to suit your creative needs. You can save your work to your Photo Library at any time.

Comes in a lite (free) and pay-for version ($1.99) above.

[mobicell/twitter via Just Another iPhone Blog]


emily | 8:59 AM | permalink

Need help? Text 111

Police are pushing ahead with plans to purchase a system that would let the New Zealand public text them in an emergency instead of calling 111.

The proposals from possible suppliers of the system could also send mass texts in an emergency and help locate people by tracking their cellphone signal.

[via stuff]

emily | 8:53 AM | permalink

New Yorker June Cover, Painted With an iPhone


Artist Jorge Colombo created this week’s cover for The New Yorker with his iPhone thanks to the Brushes app.

[via The New York Times]

Other iPhone artwork:

-- David Hockney paints mini masterpieces with his iPhone

-- Artist "fingerpaints" art on his iPhone

-- Stef Kardos' iPhone Sketches

emily | 8:01 AM | permalink

May 24, 2009

Twitter-ature: Shakespeare's Hamlet condensed for Twitter

51kI4Nc9aVL._BO2%2C204%2C203%2C200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click%2CTopRight%2C35%2C-76_AA240_SH20_OU02_.jpg Some of the world's best known books have been condensed down to Twitter size, reports Ananova.

Tim Collins, author of The Little Book Of Twitter, has transformed them into 140 characters, reports The Sun.

They include Shakespeare's Hamlet which becomes: 'Danish guy's mum marries his murdered father's brother. He sees his dad's ghost. Everyone dies. Fail.'

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, is rewritten as: 'Orphan given £££ by secret follower. He thinks it's @misshavisham but it turns out to be @magwitch.'

Wuthering Heights by Jane Austin becomes the pithy: 'Catherine Earnshaw marries Edgar Linton but really loves Heathcliff *sigh*.'

Salinger's Catcher in the Rye is reduced to: 'Rich kid thinks everyone is fake except for his little sister. Has breakdown.'

emily | 5:12 PM | permalink

Apple changes its mind, accepts Eucalyptus app

Recently, Apple rejected the iPhone app Eucalyptus entry into the company's App Store. The reason: the e-book reader, which can search the 20,000-plus item classic library of Project Gutenberg, "contains inappropriate sexual content" by allowing access to works such as The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana.

Apple has reversed its decision and has now accepted the application, which is available for purchase from the App Store.

[via MacWorld]

emily | 4:55 PM | permalink

Cartier lawsuit against Apple app

A legal battle over iPhone application software appears to have ended almost as soon as it began. The Wall Street Journal reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA lawyer representing Cartier International N.V. late Friday said it is withdrawing a suit the company filed earlier in the day against Apple Inc. The suit alleged that two applications for the iPhone infringed on the trademark for the luxury brand's Tank watches.

The applications have been removed from Apple's App Store. "Our concerns have been addressed," said Jonathan Lagarenne, the attorney for Fox Rothschild LLD representing Cartier.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 4:48 PM | permalink

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