After more than 17 months of battling between Google and Apple, the Google Voice app has finally been approved and pushed live to iTunes, allowing Google Voice users the ability to make calls, send/receive texts, and forward calls for free from their iPhone. Originally, Apple rejected the app back in 2009 citing that it replaced core features of the iOS, but later were forced to submit when the FCC stepped in.
Since its inception, iTunes has featured apps that allow users to send and receive texts outside of their ATT calling plan, and even Skype has allowed users to bypass the carrier lines by allowing users to place calls via 3G and WiFi, so it's strange that Apple would cause such a fuss over an app that much of the world still didn't know existed. However, considering the fierce competition between the Android and iPhone, one can only guess that this was a case of Apple simply trying to give the boot to a rival.
It's also important to note that while the Google Voice app does allow you to place calls routed through Google's servers, they are still subject to data and call plan rates, as they are not VOIP calls, but regular voice calls. However, using Google's service allows you to bypass your normal long distance and international rate plan.
I've been using Google Voice for months, and though I rarely use it's calling features, I do enjoy being able to receive text voicemails and the ability to send/receive SMS messages via the web interface.
What's your take, should Apple have the right to keep this app out? Do you even use it?
In the latest trend of video nonsense, EZGrill has attempted to draw more attention to their portable grilling unit by grilling up some phones. Like the "Will it Blend" video that swept the nation, the "What Grills Faster?" spoof serves up an iPhone 4, a Windows 7 phone, and an Android to see which can bear the heat of the grill longest.
Though the Windows 7 phone wins in the end, that's not really the point, because honestly, what can you learn about a phone by melting it?
The point is that there is no point, which highlights the fact that even in a recession there seems to be no standard against wasteful and ignorant behavior, at least here in the US. We're talking about wasting thousands of dollars of hardware here, for a poorly performed publicity stunt. Is this what we've come to?
What's next, cave paintings?
Here's the video:
Peter Yared, who recently penned a guest post for the mobile section of Venture Beat, is out of his mind. I once respected Venture Beat as an authoritative resource, but after this piece, I'm not sure.
In the post, titled: "The iPhone App is the Flash Homepage of 2010," Peter says that not only have native apps "run their course," but they are officially out as the official choice for business platforms.
As proof, he cites that HTML5 is consuming the market and that the inability to get to the front page of the app store deems the iTunes marketplace obsolete. Of course what he's forgetting is that it's not just the Fortune 500 companies that are developing apps for the iPhone, but indie developers and small to large sized software companies. Someone should tell Rovio that the iPhone app is dead before they start cashing those million dollar checks.
Though he's correct in stating that it's often much more efficient and cost effective to build a web app instead of a native app, what he's missing is that trying to teach an average web user how to access and then download a web app is much more difficult than giving them a link to your app in iTunes.
Call me an Apple fanboy, but there's a difference between a trend and a generalization, and this piece points to several of the latter with very little evidence of the former. I suppose the Mac App store is dead on arrival then too?
The Associated Press has reported that Hasbro has partnered with Apple to develop 3D software and viewing devices for the iPhone. While I'm not surprised by the move to 3D, I am surprised by Hasbro's initial investment being such a risky play. Sure, 3D on the iPhone sounds awesome, that is until you have to plaster a giant viewfinder to your face.
At $30, the price of the device isn't an issue, and in all probability, the same will be true of the software. My only question is - would you strap this thing to your face in order to have a 3D experience on your phone? Do you even care about 3D on your mobile?
To me, this play seems reminiscent of Nintendo's "Power Glove" failure, years before the technology was ready. Though I applaud Hasbro's dedication to innovation, I'm just not sure this is the right place to start.
As much as I'd love to see people walking down the street with 3D goggles on, running into signs and walls as they do, I have a hard time seeing how 3D could be very effective on such a small screen, even with the resolution of the iPhone 4.
Perhaps if they made it less like a toy, my take would change, but I just can't see it. That being said, I've got a knack for being wrong when it comes to predictions like this, so I'll be keeping an eye on public reaction when it hits stores next Spring.
Skyfire, a new browser application for iPhone that allows users browse all formats, including Flash, has claimed that in just 5 hours, before they "sold out," their app became the top grossing app and the 3rd highest paid app overall. Since they omitted the words "all time," I'm guessing that they're referring to the in-store ranking features as opposed to overall sales. That being said, for a brand new app to climb that high into the charts in such a short time is fairly impressive.
I've yet to try Skyfire on my own phone yet (possibly a review to come), but I'm intrigued by its ability to decode and re-encode Flash video into HTML5 on the fly. I'm also somewhat surprised that Apple approved it, as I'd expect for them to find some way to keep Flash out of their store at all costs.
Since they've recently pulled the app due to server issues, only to sporadically let users download on a first come first serve basis, it's sounding like this translation process is an intensive one. However, if it works as advertised, it might certainly be worth the $2.99 they're charging. Here's a video demo:
For those of you that, like me, woke up and wondered why some of your clocks were an hour off, today marked the "Fall Back" portion of Daylight Savings Time in the US, where clocks everywhere were officially screwed up.
Though my iPhone did get the memo, it appears that some of my clocks, and more importantly, my iPhone alarm, did not, going off an hour later than it should have. So what's up? Is this an epidemic or is it a plot to keep you from catching the day's NFL games on time?
It turns out that it's an iOS bug, one that fails to adjust the time on your phone's alarm to account for the rolled back time. Apparently, iPhone alarms, unless fixed, will go off an hour later than the official time, which is sure to cause chaos this coming Monday.
How do you fix it? Simple: delete your recurring alarms, and then set them up again. That's it.
Or, you can be like this guy and show up late, missing key meetings, and then try to explain it to your boss. Yeah, you don't want to be that guy.
Though I've yet to learn if this bug is iOS 3 or 4 specific, Apple has confirmed that the bug exists and a patch will be added to 4.2, which is soon to be released.
On November 3rd, Apple sent a message to developers alerting them that the new Mac App store was ready for submissions via iTunes connect. Though this isn't necessarily iPhone news, it is in the fact that iPhone developers can use their already existing iTunes Connect accounts to start submitting to an entirely new marketplace, essentially doubling their reach.
The only issue that might bother you, if you are an iPhone developer, is that you'll have to pay an additional $99 fee in order to access this portion of the developer portal. The good news is that early apps are expected to sell for 10-12x more than iPhone and even iPad apps, so you'll quickly get a chance to make your money back.
It remains to be seen if this new Mac App store will be as effective as the exploding iPhone/iPad app store, but history is on the side of Apple.
From a user's perspective, I worry that the Mac App store will become nothing but a glorified game marketplace, which is useless to me. That being said, Angry Birds on the Mac doesn't really sound that bad.
Are you a developer considering the switch? Let us know in the comments.
According to this story on Wired, a California resident, Bianca Wofford, has become so fed up with the way her phone runs on the new iOS 4 upgrade, that she's taken Apple to court. The suit was filed in San Diego sometime last week, and as usual, Apple still has nothing to say in response.
Listen, I can understand Apple's desire to continually upgrade and improve their software. As a developer, I love the fact that they are always giving me new toys to play with. However, as a 3G owner, I'm also increasingly frustrated by the way my phone responds to simple tasks, often freezing up, and on occasion, freezing up completely.
I also receive countless updates from app customers, complaining that my software doesn't work the same on the 3G as it does on the iPhone 4, a problem that they are right to complain about.
It will be interesting to see where this lawsuit goes, and though I don't expect a happy resolution, I'm confident that this will at least serve as an official notice to Apple that they should consider the implications of backwards compatibility, as well as forward compatibility, when creating new phones and operating systems.
Of course, the real issue here is that most people refuse to upgrade to an iPhone 4 simply because they're waiting to switch to Verizon, meaning they're stuck with a crappy phone and buggy software. What do you think? Does your 3G or 3GS run well on iOS 4+ or is it buggier than ever? Let us know in the comments.