There's an old saw that says you should never hold a garage sale on Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend. There's a new one that says watch out for your kidneys if you buy anything on Craigslist. That last one's really just an urban legend, but Craigslist has made our garage sale shopping and selling less dependent on calendars, except there's no mobile version of their site and we find the design makes our head hurt. If only there were an app that could make Craigslist a joy, we'd buy that for a dollar.
Yes, it's true -- there are still people out there doing the AIM chatting thing or getting their Yahoo Chat on. We know, we know, it's hard for us to believe it too. But for those of us who have our benighted friends trapped in the late 90s, there is still hope. We can chat with them on our iOS devices and still manage to grab our Facebook friends and our Gmail folks. These may not be the one app to bind them but they come pretty close when you rock the multi-client instant messaging apps.
Surprisingly, this is still a big honkin' deal for some people. iOS devices don't do Flash, they haven't ever, and the chances of them doing it in the future is next to nil. Natively, that is. Developers have been trying to crack this nut for some time and mostly, they've succeeded.
There are some pretty good reasons to stick with mobile Safari: it's the iPhone default, so links automatically route to there from other apps, it's pretty speedy, and, even though the app is simple to use, Apple's crammed a ton of functionality into that little guy -- whether in iPhone or iPad flavors. But sometimes... well, sometimes Safari leaves us a little cold, leaves us wanting something a little more full featured, something we don't have to install a bunch of bookmarklets to make work.
The video chatting sphere is really heating up online. In roughly the same week, Facebook announced their partnership with Skype and Google rolled out Hangout in their Google+. FaceTime for Mac hit the Mac App Store not too long ago and is set to get much bigger with Lion. Meanwhile, old hand Skype was bought by Microsoft just this year. Clearly, everyone's investing in video in a big way.
Long before cloud storage was a thing, there was flickr, an online place to store and share photos. You'd go on vacation, take a bunch of snaps, then move them to your hard drive, then on to flickr.com. But more and more we take photos with our iOS devices, so what about those pictures? Can we marry iOS's mobility with flickr's storage and sharing?
To-Do apps are a dime a dozen. But what good is knowing you need to swing by the library to pick up a book when you're clear on the other side of town? A task manager is only helpful if it tells me when I need to do something and when I'm near that place. Enter location-aware apps.
We haven't listened to the radio in years. Often there are more commercials than songs, and blocks of commercials can last forever. Then you get to hear the same twenty hit songs over and over. If you live in a city with great radio, you're lucky, as media consolidation homogenizes everywhere else.
People complained that the iPhone didn't have an AM/FM tuner in it, but what if your radio wasn't just limited to your immediate area? What if you could spin that dial and tune in to stations all over the globe? If you're a radio aficionado, that's an app worth having.
Technologies like Skype have been around for some time, letting us make calls from our computers. The iDevice revolution put VoIP calling in our pockets, but services like Skype are actually rather limited. Yes, you can Skype or fring on the 3G network now, but only to other members of the same service. Skype can call Skype and fring can call fring, or you can pay to make calls to numbers outside of their service. Not a bad deal if you're calling another country, but paying to use your iPhone data package you already paid for to call your buddy seems like a raw deal to us.
Not surprisingly, a couple apps have come up with an interesting alternate form of calling.
There are more e-readers out there than you know. Not only are there devices of all kinds and configurations and price points, but there are apps a-plenty for these devices a-plenty. But everyone knows what you mean when you say e-reader. You mean the Big Three, the Top Dogs, the Big Kahunas. You mean the trinity of the Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad.
Maybe we'll talk devices another day, but for now both of the iPad's competitors dish up rather full-featured iOS apps to challenge Apple's iBooks. The thinking goes, "Don't worry about profiting off the devices; aim to sell titles, wherever, however." So how do they stack up?