TapTapTap has made a name for themselves, though probably not the type they originally intended. Severa months ago, Apple caught them sneaking in an unapproved "VolumeSnap" feature that allowed you to keep both hands on the device, using the volume buttons to snap photos instead of the on screen button. The feature made sense, but Apple banned the app, later resciding the ban and approving a redacted version.
Today marks their surge back into the good graces of Apple, I'm sure, as their updated version of the same Camera+ app, which many say is so good that it replaces the Apple's default camera feature, surged to the 2nd position in the app charts, falling in just behind Angry Birds. They say that they've sold 500,000 units since the update, and have been using an iPad contest to help get the word out.
One of the reasons that TapTapTap flourishes is their fabulous design, both on the web and in app. Developers everywhere should take notes.
What makes this app standout are the grid, zoom, timer, and burst options, as well as the Instagram-like ability to add filters in the editing room. For just 99 cents (currently on sale), this app is a tremendous bargain.
I recently wrote about the fact that Radio Shack was offering special pricing on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 this holiday season, and it's true, I was able to grab one the same day the announcement came out. Having bought an Apple 3G 31 days before the 3GS came out (I had no idea it was coming), my upgrade was long overdue. iOS 4 troubles aside, the phone was ancient and falling apart at the seams, even though I'd treated it like one of my children for the 18 months I'd owned it.
But here's where the good news stops...
When I originally purchased my iPhone 3G, I also bought one for my wife and signed up for a family plan so that we could share minutes. It seemed like a logical idea at the time. However, when I went to upgrade to the iPhone 4, which keep in mind, was 2 models ahead of what I'd purchased just 18 months prior, I was told that only one of my lines was available for early upgrade.
This didn't make sense, we bought them at the same time, and here I was, offering ATT a chance to keep my contract for another 2 years, against the threat of the Verizon iPhone. So I called customer service and the Radio Shack manager called every agent at his disposal, all to no avail. It seems that since I was on a family plan, only the primary account was eligible for early upgrade, whereas had I signed up for 2 separate plans, they both would be.
Luckily, I only have to wait 30 days to upgrade the 2nd set, but this left a sour taste in my mouth, especially with the thought of having a tasty iPhone 4 from Verizon instead.
This might sound like sour grapes, and to an extent, it is, but I find that this is yet another gap in ATT's approach to keeping customers happy, and after talking with reps that just didn't get it, I'm much closer to leaving for Verizon than I ever was before.
Message to Apple and ATT: I just need a phone that works, is that too much to ask for?
I just got word that iPhone 3GS and 4 are on sale for $50 off at RadioShack. Originally, I noticed the story here, on Endgadget, but soon found it everywhere, as it appears a well-time press release has done the impossible...put Radio Shack at the top of the week's tech news.
I looked online and didn't see any indication of this sale, so I called my local RadioShack to ask. Sure enough, they have them on sale, as long as you're eligible for renewal or a new contract.
What's neat about this story as that to my knowledge, Apple has never had an official sale for the iPhone, at least the new models, therefore I'm guessing that Radio Shack is stepping up to the plate and offering to take the $50 hit as a way to get more business this holiday season.
While I admire their tenacity and desire to solidify their foray into the cell phone market, I wonder if this will benefit them long term. I know it's going to benefit me, because I'm heading to the store now to grab a pair of them for myself and my wife.
Thank you Radio Shack.
Just yesterday we shared the story of a Queens NY teen that found a way to profit on Apple's inability to get the white iPhone 4 to market, selling well over six-figures over the course of a few months. We also mentioned that the 17 year old had been contacting by someone, claiming to be a private investigator.
Well it appears that this man has now identified himself as an agent for Apple, claiming that the teen is selling black market goods. The story has become so heated, that Apple has not decided to tackle this issue directly, seemingly trying to intimidate the young man into quitting.
Looking at this case, it's unclear as to what legal recourse Apple has, though it's probable that the teen is violating trademark rights by selling cases with the Apple logo embedded on the back. Apple is probably less concerned about the few hundred thousand in sales than they are with the possibility that someone is selling their hardware illegally. If this is indeed a case of Foxconn selling prototypes out the back door, then I'm going to get out the popcorn and enjoy the view.
Should Apple go after the teen, they'll likely be limited by the fact that he's not yet 18, and the public is on his side. Of course, when has Apple ever cared about public opinion?
If anything, this case has proven one thing: people must really want white iPhone's. If you're old enough to remember, there was a similar craze during upon the release of the first Matrix movie, and pop-out Nokia mods were all the rage.
In case you missed the announcement, Apple has included the Find My iPhone service free in the most recent iOS update (4.2) for iPhone 4 owners. Mysteriously, iPhone 3G and 3GS owners still have to pay for the Mobile Me service in order to get this feature.
However, in a recent thread via Mac Rumors, I found that as long as you have a current device (iPhone 4, iPad) and use that device to setup the Mobile Me account using your Apple ID, then you are given the option to unlock the same option on any 3G/3GS device.
To access the service once you've setup the account, just login to Mobile Me using your Apple ID and you're good to go.
It's easy to hate on Apple for many things, but this is a fantastic value add that instantly makes my life easier. It's not that I'm afraid of losing my phone, but I like having the option to remotely wipe should it ever get into the wrong hands. We store an incredible amount of data on our phones, and even though much of it may be nothing more than baby photos and/or address information, the thought of someone accessing my email or social networks without my consent is distressing, to say the least.
My only concern is that most people aren't aware of the 3G/3GS support, so share this story with those that need it...for some reason Apple has chosen not to heavily publicize this fact.
Lastly, you'll need the Find My iPhone app, which you can grab here.
The New York Observer has reported that Fei Lam, a 17 year old teen from New York, was so sick of waiting for a white iPhone 4 that he made a few phone calls to Foxconn, Apple's overseas supplier, and arranged to purchase the raw goods required to convert a regular iPhone 4 into a white version of the same.
At $279, you get:
1. White back panel
2. White front panel
3. White home button
4. Opening tools, protective case, and screen protector.
Apparently, these conversion kits have become so popular that Lam has sold more than $130,000 in just a few months. While hackers everywhere are smacking themselves for failing to beat him to the punch, it's been reported that Apple has hired a private investigator to harass the poor kid, citing that he's selling stolen goods.
We'll keep you updated, but for now, you can almost guarantee that Apple will get CTU on the phone and beat this kid's door down in the same way they harassed Gizmodo for having an early version of the iPhone 4.
Why is the iPhone so popular? One of the reasons is that it's put on a pedestal by Apple marketing execs, who know how to produce a commercial that gets to the point quickly, which is exactly what they've done in this new TV spot, titled "Longer."
While this commercial will probably bore tech geeks to tears, the truth is that it's spots like this that convert the average smartphone user. Most people don't care about specs or geek details, they simply want a sexy phone that works as advertised. Here's the video:
As an iPhone user, I'm always looking for interesting ways to skin or cover my phone. In the past, I had a cheap cover that not only looked bad, but made it difficult to stick the phone in my pocket. More importantly, it covered the sleek and original design that made the iPhone famous.
Searching for a replacement, I came across GelaSkins, which happens to carry an amazing variety of iPhone skins for both the 3G/3GS and iPhone 4, among other devices.
What I like about these skins is:
1. They're inexpensive: Most of the skins are priced around $15
2. They're original: The art displayed in these skins is original art and looks simply amazing.
3. They're skins, not covers: Since the skins mold to the shape of your phone, they don't degrade the look or feel of the phone in your hands.
I'm not affiliated with this site in any way, nor do I know the owners, but I wanted to pass these on because I appreciate their dedication to great design.
You can read more at GelaSkins.com.