iPhone Killer App

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 10:56
Category: iPhone

The killer app for the iPod was iTunes. The killer app for the iPhone is Safari. The iPhone will be first and foremost a web browsing machine.
How can that be? It uses the lame Edge network to connect! OK. What does the iPhone do best? Its the screen baby. The whole face of the thing is a screen and it will orient itself. It will presumably leave the expensive and slow AT&T network in favor of a wifi hotspot as soon as it sniffs out a signal. Lots of fast free and pay hotspots out there including your own home and work. Nobody else had the clout to negotiate this kind of user friendly behavior with a telco. This is where the iPhone will shine. It is first and foremost a computer with an intuitive interface and great graphical display. Everything else is either a vegetable or the spice in the stew. The iPhone relies on Safari in many ways.
Secondly, its an iPod. Like a super graphical nano. It has limited capacity like the nano and its even smaller. Smaller? Presumably you need to carry a phone anyway so it takes up no room on your person.
Its a camera. Not a useless VGA but 2 megapixels. But, with that big screen it is finally the photo album you needed to have in your pocket. It really is the screen that makes the iPhone. iPhoto could become the second killer app for the iPhone. I think iLife needs to come to Windows for lots of reasons.
Apple needs to do something more with iCal, maybe team up with Google to get the calendar function more useful. You can’t hit iPhone buyers with the high price of .mac on top of the purchase price and the two year service contract.
Oh, and it is a phone. Smartphone keyboards are horrid little things. Touch screen text entry is no fun. Pick your poison.
Seems like the battery problem will be the same as with the iPod. People seem to deal with keeping their iPods charged up, but as the device gets older the capacity drops and battery replacement is an expensive hassle. Apple needs to anticipate this and have loaners or a swap available for battery replacement at the stores. This applies equally to potential touch-screen problems.
Memory is the same old, same old. All iPods have fixed amounts and you always want more!

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Gizmo Project Adds AIM and MSN Support

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 14:29
Category: Software

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On Monday, SIPphone announced that Gizmo Project, the company’s free Voice over Internet Protocol program, was now able to communicate with AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger contacts.
Like other Voice over Internet Protocol programs, Gizmo Project allows users to transmit and receive voice data, essentially making the data connection into a telephone. According to Macworld News, Gizmo Project users receive free voice mail and conference calling features with their accounts and can purchase “call in” and “call out” features that allow each user to have a phone number as well as call land line and mobile phone connections.
SIPphone has commented that the new feature is change that’s been completed on the server end and a download of the latest version of the client software isn’t necessary. The company has also stated that it plans to add similar features for communication with Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and iChat contacts.
Gizmo Project is an 18.5 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is a Universal Binary and functions at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new features and have either positive or negative feedback about them, let us know.

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Apple Releases AirPort Extreme 802.11n 7.1.1 Firmware Update

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Date: Monday, June 11th, 2007, 08:36
Category: Software

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I’m going to grant that firmware updates aren’t quite as intimidating as being 10 years old and going to the dentist, but they’re almost there.
You know this is supposed to be helpful, but part of you still can’t help but worry. That and no one ever gave you a lollipop at the end for enduring a new firmware version on your computer.
On Friday, Apple released version 7.1.1 of its firmware for the 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme Base Station. The new version, a 4.6 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Printers and Routers, VPN, PPPoE, WDS(ACL), WEP(TSN)
- Localized file naming, port mapping, IPv6, and NAS
- Improved stability with keychain passwords
- Improved support for third party applications saving files to a USB disk
- Improved support for AirPort USB disk stability and power saving, disk read/write performance, disk file sharing and passwords
- Addressed an issue where Base Station would not request a password when expected
For more information, click here.
The software is also available through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. Users will need to have AirPort Utility 5.1 for Mac or Windows installed for it to run.
If you’ve tried the new firmware and have either positive or negative comments about it, let us know.

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VMWare Releases Fusion Beta 4

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Date: Monday, June 11th, 2007, 08:35
Category: Software

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Late Friday, VMWare released the fourth beta of Fusion, its virtualization application for Intel-based Macs.
The new version, a a 168 megabyte download, includes the following additions and changes:
-Unity: This feature allows users to open and run Windows XP appications from the Mac OS X desktop.
-Fusion Launch Palette: This allows users to save Windows favorites in the Dock.
-Boot Camp support: Boot Camp disk partitions can now be used as a virtual machine. The beta adds “experimental” support for Windows Vista and offers Boot Camp partition detection.
-A new feature automatically updates Windows to use optimized drivers within a virtual machine.
-Improved speed: The new version of Fusion boasts shorter boot times as well as faster application launching and a more responsive interface.
-Fusion beta four also offers a customizable toolbar that can be adjusted on the fly.
-Hardware Editor: Settings for virtual hardware are now complete now with the ability to add a USB controller as well as virtual serial and parallels ports that map to files on the Mac. The virtual machine hardware editor is also now a sheet attached to the virtual machine to make it easier to determine which VM you are editing.
-Support for Apple’s 30″ Cinema Displays: Now virtual machines can take advantage of the full resolution of the 30 inch Cinema Display.
Fusion requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried out the new beta and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.

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Missing Sync for Palm OS 6 Released

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Date: Thursday, June 7th, 2007, 13:37
Category: Software

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Palm Desktop for the Mac users have always felt a mutual love and hate for their program. It works…for the most part. Still, when the time came for a specific feature or new trick, this was like trying to find a pop stand in the middle of the Sahara.
On Thursday, Mark/Space released version 6.0 of its Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0 communication and synchronization software for Palm handhelds. The new version, a 38.7 megabyte download.
Full version notes as to changes provided can be found here.
Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0 retails for US$39.95 for new users and US$24.95 for upgrade users. The program requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later, a Palm OS handheld or smartphone running Palm OS 4 or later and a USB, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection and is coded as a universal binary which functions at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new version and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.

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Netscape, Camino Web Browsers Updated

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Date: Thursday, June 7th, 2007, 08:50
Category: Software

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Although the web browser wars may never be fully settled (and this is a good thing), some interesting new updates emerged on Tuesday that are worth looking into:
Camino, by the Camino Project, just reached version 1.5. The new version, a 14.8 megabyte download for the English version and an 18.1 megabyte download for the multilingual version, adds the following fixes and changes:
Click the jump for the full story…

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Adobe Reader Updated to 8.1

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Date: Wednesday, June 6th, 2007, 08:38
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, Adobe released version 8.1 of its free Reader program. The program, which has long been a staple for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF) files, includes the following changes:
-Improved forms performance.
-New Acrobat 8 3D support.
-New Integrated FedEx Kinkos Print Online – Send any PDF directly to FedEx Kinko’s.
-Print Online for printing (US only).
-Bug fixes.
-Security improvements.
Adobe Reader 8.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later to run and its download file size varies depending on version chosen. For more information, click here to begin the selection and download process.
The program is coded as a Universal Binary and can run at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve had either a positive or negative experience with the new version, let us know.

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Cool Find: Safe Sleep 1.0

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Date: Thursday, May 31st, 2007, 08:32
Category: Software

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It may not be iPhone-related news, but developer Tomis Erwin may have come up with something useful.
SafeSleep 1.0 is a free AppleScript front-end that taps into various Terminal commands to improve upon Mac OS X’s sleep features. Here, the computer can save the contents of the memory to the hard drive before shutting down the computer. This features is also available on other operating systems and is known as “Hibernation” or “Suspend-to-disk”.
The program requires a laptop running Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is a 21 kilobyte download courtesy of MacUpdate.
Give it a shot and if it works out for you or goes south in any way, let us know.

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iTunes 7.2 Released

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Date: Wednesday, May 30th, 2007, 08:28
Category: Software

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In the midst of yesterday’s update-o-rama, Apple released iTunes 7.2, the newest version of its cross-platform media jukebox program.
The new version, a 29.2 megabyte download, allows users to preview and purchased Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free iTunes Plus music from participating music labels. These files have been encoded at higher bit rates and have been tagged as sounding better while selling for a slightly higher price on the iTunes Store (US$1.29 as opposed to US$0.99 for a standard file).
DRM-free music provides no usage restrictions and is part of a deal Apple penned in April with EMI and other participating labels to begin offering unrestricted music via its online marketplace.
iTunes 7.2 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program can be downloaded from the iTunes web site or snagged through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you’ve tried the new version and have positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.

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Cool Pick: WiFind

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Date: Tuesday, May 29th, 2007, 11:54
Category: Software

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In other news, reader David Blumenstein pointed out WiFind, a shareware utility from TastyApps that supplements the airport menu in Mac OS X.
Here, a user can click on the wireless network selector and observe additional information such as signal strength and whether or not a given network is open or locked.
WiFind is a 481 kilobyte download for the demo version and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program retails for an US$8.00 registration fee and is coded as a universal binary capable of running at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’re tried WiFind and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.

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