An application that did nothing beyond showing a person was willing to spend gobs of money for it didn't last long on Apple's App Store, but now we'll begin to see if Google lives up to its more laissez-faire approach to its rival Android Market.
Apple banned Armin Heinrich's "I Am Rich", which cost $1,000 and only showed a red ruby, from its App Store last August. Now the conceptually similar "I Am Richer" has arrived on the Android Market from Mike DG.
Perhaps owners of T-Mobile's G1 phone are … Read more
I've now crossed into my eighth page of apps on the iPhone. Frankly, the time is quickly approaching when I'm going to have to delete good apps from my iPhone just so I can download more. To make matters worse, the apps keep on coming at the iTunes Store, as more developers figure out ways to utilize this unique platform--and they keep getting better! I haven't deleted an app that I've paid for yet, but I believe that the time might be coming when money spent will not be enough of a reason to keep an … Read more
iPhone users have very short attention spans.
Just 30 percent of people who buy an iPhone application actually use it the day after it was purchased, according to Pinch Media, which analyzed over 30 million downloads from Apple's App Store. And the numbers plunge from there: after 20 days, less than 5 percent of those who downloaded an application are actively using it. The drop-off is worse for free applications.
We found one thing a bit ironic and that was that the app wasn't free like the iTunes and Apple TV remote application. Especially when you have already paid $79 for iWork 09. Sometimes we just don't know if we'll ever understand Apple's logic behind these decisions.
The app lets you control your Keynote slide presentation that you present from our Apple computer using your iPhone … Read more
Face recognition technology isn't perfect yet.
That's certainly clear when using the "Faces" feature that is built into the recently released iPhoto '09.
Sure, the product does reasonably well at finding your friends and family in your photo collection. Tag a few photos by name and iPhoto comes up with other suggestions, often recognizing photos that are taken years apart and with vastly different looks. Heck, iPhoto even spotted me when I was a different gender.
The science behind face recognition is complex and still evolving. In general, face recognition software looks for predictable patterns--characteristics and proportions that stay constant from one photograph to another, things like the distance between the eyes or from the eyes to the mouth.
Even with things where the science is today, having help--any help--with the tedious task of tagging photos is welcome. And iPhoto can certainly find plenty of matches in your library, even if it won't spot them all.
But the real genius part is how Apple has made the process fun, even when the results aren't perfect.
Early speech recognition was also hit or miss, but it was painful to have to scream at a computer while it constantly misunderstood what you were trying to say. With face recognition, at least as built into iPhoto, the goofs are what make it fun.
The software frequently suggested that my contemporary friends and family were actually my 80-something cousin, my 90-something great aunt, or both. iPhoto also confused Bill Gates with our friend's 3-year-old. And among the suggestions for former CNET colleague Joris Evers was a shot of Wayne Gretzky that I had taken at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. … Read more
Showing that its Web application priorities extend to the mobile world, Google on Wednesday demonstrated a version of Gmail for the iPhone that could be used even when the phone had no network connection.
Vic Gundotra, Google's vice president of engineering, showed off at the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona what he called a "technical concept" of Gmail even when the iPhone was offline. In January, Google released an offline version of Gmail for desktops and laptops, and like it, the mobile phone incarnation runs in a Web browser, not as a native application.
The software let Gundotra browse and read e-mail even after he switched the phone into airplane mode, which shuts off the wireless network. To watch a demonstration, check the demo video on iPhone Buzz.
Offline applications can't of course retrieve new data from the network, but they do synchronize when network access is restored. Meanwhile, e-mail is stored in a local database on the phone, even when online.
"You'll note that it's very, very fast because it's using that local database," Gundotra said. The application also showed a floating toolbar that was visible even as he scrolled through his in-box. … Read more
The iPhone farting app market is starting to get pretty noisy.
iFart Mobile, maker of an app that simulates farting noises, asked a court on Friday to rule that it can use the term "pull my finger" without risking trademark infringement claims by another iPhone fart app named, you guessed it, Pull My Finger.
InfoMedia, which developed iFart Mobile, filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in Colorado District Court and named rival Air-O-Matic as defendant.
By now most people have heard the rags to riches stories of the iPhone app developers who learned a valuable secret: Make a "lite" version. It seems reasonable that while there are a lot of people willing to pay for apps, many want to know what they're getting before spending their hard-earned cash. One of our iPhone apps this week has benefited immensely from creating a lite version and I have to admit, I probably wouldn't have tried it myself if they hadn't. The lite version has now made it to the top of iTunes' … Read more
Google is coming a bit closer to releasing a working version of its Chrome browser for Mac.
Programmers for the company had been building an engine that could render Web pages, but it only ran within a simple framework called the test shell. Now they've begun hooking up the renderer to a full-fledged browser, which among other things can handle multiple tasks at the same time. That's key for a real application, especially one such as Chrome that isolates each browser tab into its own computing process.