Our trusty TiVos can’t be everywhere at once. Sometimes, something great will happen that we didn’t record, and we won’t catch the snappy references at the next day’s staff meeting. For instance, did you see Neil Young sing the “Double Rainbow” song? For missed moments like these, Hulu Plus serves up a massive roster of TV shows and a smattering of movies to quell our pop-culture needs. You’ll be able to quote lines from old favorites--“It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping”--and recent hits. But before you mumble, “I want to go to there,” be warned that Hulu Plus still might leave you out of the loop at that meeting. In spite of the great iPad and iPhone apps, it omits certain episodes and other crucial features.
This week we'll take a look at how handy folders can be in the iOS Dock, learn how to create a special Apple logo folder, and practice a few tricks that make iTunes 10 a bit more palatable, Plus, we'll teach you about the new iPhone Field Service test in iOS 4.1.
The world of smartphone app development is a frustrating, constantly changing place. To get a feel for what developers have to put up with, you needn't look any further than the iTunes App Store. For the longest time, developers were allowed to churn out their creations using third-party software... until they weren't. Out of the blue a little while back, they were once again. Should they be victorious in the long uphill battle to complete an application, that app has to go through a stringent approval process, where it could very well be disallowed, forcing the developer to either scrap her project or tweak it to Apple satisfaction. Throughout this process, developers make no money from the sweat of their brows. Worst of all, should the developer want to deploy his wares to a number of App Stores, she'll be forced to jump through a number of similar hoops once again. With such a development environment, nobody wins. Innovation is stifled by strict and oft-times frustrating App Store rules, consumers yearning for an application available on one platform to come to another often goes unsated, as developers spend so much time fighting through red tape that they're too busy to transfer their work to a different OS ecosystem. Fortunately, things may be looking for individuals interested in cross-platform mobile application development, as a number of players in the mobile telecommunications game have banded together to sort out a universal web-based approach to application development. Their solution is one that will seem very familiar to long-time iPod touch or iPhone users: Web Apps.
Augmented reality. It's that future tech we've all been waiting for--point your phone at something in the real world, and gain all the cyber knowledge the interwebs can provide. Wondering what species of tree you're looking at? Just direct your iPhone camera to it, and Wikipedia fills you in with a textual overlay.
Of course with the neat comes the not so neat too, so we at Mac|Life have done you the service of sifting out the junk. We've gone through just about every augmented reality app we could find, and here are our four favorites. They may not be the first apps you think of when you think about augmented reality, but they're actually useful. In fact, we'd say they're the best. And, iPhone 4 users, they're all updated for viewing on that gorgeous Retina Display.
Of the various cloud storage services out there, we're most partial to Dropbox. The interface is simple, the uploads fairly quick, and the app works beautifully. Plus, with their open API, Dropbox can sync with tons of our other apps and software making it our number one floating hard drive. Today, it seems, is update day.
If you’re a FileMaker Go user, your hump day just got a little bit brighter: Apple subsidiary FileMaker, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of a 1.1 update to both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions of FileMaker Go which bring some welcome new features.
It's called the Swiss Army Knife of video players, and not for nothing. VLC is your standard go-to software when you end up with some bizarre codec-locked movie file that just won't play in your standard players. With the news that Apple was relaxing its App Store regulations and letting in all kinds of video players, we prayed to see VLC show up. It did, and we grabbed it the moment we could.
The Mac|Life editors are in the midst of midweek madness, as Flo is a bit too jazzed up on caffeine and Robbie manages a few tongue twists. The gang still manages to share their thoughts on VLC's new iPad app, and discuss whether or not AT&T will be hurt by a Verizon iPhone.
Plus, we answer your hard-hitting Facebook and Twitter questions. And stay tuned for outtakes!
We've talked about augmented reality iPhone apps here before, but Plane Finder AR has to be one of the coolest we've seen yet. This application lets you find planes in the air by pointing the camera one your iPhone (or now, iPod touch) in the air near a plane. When you do, a heads up display will show you information about the plane, including flight number, aircraft registration, speed, altitude and how far away it is.