Tag Archives: Remote

Top Five Fav iPhone Apps

It was always suggested that the ‘killer’ aspect of the iPhone would be the Applications written to provide added functionality. We all remember that nauseating ‘monkey boy’ display by Steve “Developers Developers Developers” Ballmer of Microsoft.

[Don’t forget his laughable ‘laughing’ at the iPhone comments]

Anyway enough of that filthy rich nutter. He did however have one point that was correct. Unfortunately for too long at Apple, they opposed the concept, that of independent Developers. With the iPhone, Apple has turned this into the cornerstone of the iPhone . The iPhone would still be a good phone, with amazing technology, design and functionality without the independently developed Apps. With them, it has become one of the greatest ‘convergent’ tools/toys of the 21st Century.

Below is my list of current favourite applications for the iPhone. Funny enough the first is by Apple itself.

Remote: I have Airport Extreme, Airport Express and constantly play music wirelessly. Remote allows you to control iTunes on your computer from the iPhone. The perfect party tool, you know, hide the computer and no one can hijack the party by finding your copy of Mariah Carey hidden in your music library. Best of all has been the distance. Out on the lawn, being able to even simply turn the music up and down without running inside is brilliant.

Sol Free Solitaire: Totally addictive. Nice graphics and way hard.

TV Guide (New Zealand): Not all channels yet, but the basics are there. Nice design and good differentiation of the layouts from Vertical to Horizontal. Now if only it could send a message to my Sky box to change channel and turn on the DVD to record while I’m in town, that would be awesome.
{Note. Version 1.2 now available:
4 Australian States and the United Kingdom have now been added, with limited channels. The New Zealand version has added a huge range of channels (although not all), but unfortunately it’s now become more or less ‘bloatware’, as it’s slow to load and responds to commands very slowly.}

Sports Tap: Covers all of the sports I follow (no doubt some will miss their sports). But sitting in a cafe in New Zealand some 718 miles or 14031 kilometres from Chicago and more or less watch play by play my White Sox beat up on some poor baseball team is just fun. I see they have the Premier League and other major football competitions coming up this week. Will be interesting to see what level of information there is.

RIP PhoneSaber. I wondered how long this would be around for, and it seems the people connected with Star Wars finally caught up with these guys. The good news is, that although it’s now not available as a download, they are working with the official Star Wars folk to develop something – well official. This tool is indispensible for the very fact that it gets the kids off my back for 10 minutes a day (and yes they did drop it, we don’t have two iPhones in this household). So look forward to some real Star Wars action soon.

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Finally

Those who don’t know what the hype was all about, need to not only get their hands on one of these babies, they need to play with one for a night and get it set to how they want to use it.

It took seconds to set it up (unlike problems in the States with AT&T), and if I hadn’t set my AppleID up in the days before iTunes NZ, hence i put in a buddies address from NY years ago, I would have been fully set up hours earlier.

So once that was set up, the AppStore was the first stop.

And very first on the list of downloads was the Apple application Remote. You can control iTunes on your computer with this App. So with Airport Express connecting my laptop to the stereo, I can control the music in the house with my iPhone, anywhere within my Wi-Fi network – too cool, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Second on the list was the New York Times reader. Almost redundant with full Safari web browsing available on the iPhone, but still cool.

Then the fun starts. Shazam, claims to be able to identify the songs you are listening to on the radio or TV etc. All you have to do is hold the phone to the speaker and it will identify the song for you. I’ve managed to stump it on the first two attempts and am loathed to hold the phone to the speaker with Keith Urban playing, so the Jury’s out on this one. Cool if it works, and not sure how it will go with the classic Kiwi collection.

Then there’s the game, iPint, in which you slide a beer along a busy bar top to your friend. This makes the most of the accelerometer and is of course just a fun free game. Your reward is a virtual pint of beer from Carling brewery in the UK. I like it.

But of course the coolest and most useless app available for the iPhone is the phoneSaber. All it is is a pic of a light sabre. You can choose the colour, but then the fun begins. It makes all the noises of a light sabre, it hums and whizzes all while you are moving the phone about. Give it a whip and it makes the sound of a lightsabre cracking into another one. All you need is two iPhones and before you know it, you have the most expensive light sabres out – all the sound and fun and no one gets hurt.

Then of course there are all the fun things like knowing what the temp in Vancouver, Boston and London, and of course what the time is there.

Lots of fun, and already thinking I should have gone with the 16GB version to accommodate all of the music, never mind.

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