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Archive for February, 2010

Usable Apps Weekly

February 15, 2010 1 comment

Please welcome Jason Morales, 98 Pound Geekling’s first staff member. He’s working for zero pay, but he is excited to be our new “Apps Pimp” (yes, that’s his official title), whose primary mission is to tell me about apps that I can’t live without for at least a week or so. Jason’s iPhone 3GS is currently home to a legendary amount of apps, 90% of which he hasn’t used in a very long time. But he has fun loving them and leaving them.

This week’s usable app is Siri, a “personal assistant” app which has the ability to find information on restaurants, events, taxis, movies, weather, and just about anything you would want to spend your time or money on. The genius of this app is that the method for getting an answer is to simply ask a question. You speak into the mic, and Siri finds what you are looking for.

Questions like, “What’s playing at TPAC this week?” will prompt a list of shows coming up at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville (as long as it knows your location).

I’ve tried the YellowPages app, and tried using Maps to find things I’m looking for, but Siri looks to be a one-stop app for this purpose with great ease of use.

The application currently supports iPhone 3G and 3GS with OS 3.0 and is expected to support the iPod Touch in the future.

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The iPad Will Change the PC Landscape

February 8, 2010 2 comments

Remember 2001, when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod?  At the time, there was a mixed response, just as there has been with the iPad. Check out the negative (and some juvenile) comments you’ll find in this forum from the day the iPod came out in October 2001:

“iPoop… iCry. I was so hoping for something more.”

“Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?!”

“Hey – heres an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up?  or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?”

And my personal favorite:
“I’d call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time…and it’s not really functional.”

As we know now, the iPod was launching more than just an MP3 player. Along with iTunes, the iPod was the beginning of an evolution in the way we listen to, purchase and manage our music.

I believe that we are going to look back at the launch of the iPad and say the same thing.

The iPad’s e-reader capabilities will take the Kindle concept to a whole new level. Instead of pressing a hard-wired plastic button on the device to turn a page, we will reach with our finger and “flip” to the next page, as if we were flipping the paper pages of a book.

Portable gaming is about to look a lot bigger and more interactive. Anyone notice the racing game in the iPad promotional video? Doing that on an iPhone is novel, but add another six diagonal inches to the screen and it becomes intersting and fun.

And what about Web content? As the iPad and other tablet computers grow in popularity, web designers will begin creating content that takes advantage of the multi-touch capabilities. Swiping, pinching, and other finger gestures may be the standard way we surf the web and interact with the sites we visit in the near future.

Still not convinced that the iPad is a technology revolution coming of age? There are already reports of companies scrambling to come up with something similar. In the tech industry, if you are being copied, then you are the one in the lead.

Apple is taking that lead, and the others may as well follow (or get the hell out of the way).

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