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I had some catching up to do ... Smartphone News forum
Smartphone Add-Ons Of The Week 07/28/09
...for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm, Symbian & WM.
I had some catching up to do this week to prepare for this week's smartphone add-ons feature after having a house full of guests and a wedding in the family this past weekend. There has been a lot going on and once again it has been difficult to narrow it down to just one add-on for some platform. I know one thing for sure, I have discovered that the bounty of free silly apps in the Apple App Store does have a good use as demonstrated this past weekend. I was able to entertain my cousin's 5yr old for quite some time with free apps like Bloons Lite, SpongeBob Tickler Lite, TrippingFest, and Hatch!. I was grateful for the easy search options and availability of free entertainment!
There is an application available in the Android Marketplace called KeyRing. It was created by the developers at froogloid and is now a free application. If you have purchased KeyRing in the past then you are entitled to get their other premium application, a2b, free. The application is similar to the CardStar application for iPhone that I talked about in last week's add-ons feature. This application for Android has one feature that makes it much better that the iPhone version...it allows you to add the bar code from your card by scanning it with your Android smartphone's camera. This is much, much easier than typing all the tiny numbers manually into the app, although you can still do that if you choose. I don't know if they have as much trouble scanning as I do with using the iPhone app, but it is still nice to have a backup of your club cards like that. Check out the Key Ring page for more details, screen shots, and a video demo.
OtterBox has been teasing users on twitter for many days now with links to teaser videos on youtube for a new product line called the Otterbox Commuter Case. I am a big Otterbox fan and swear by the protection it offers but I will admit that the bulk of the case definitely is a major downer. I know I'm not alone in this thinking. The Commuter case looks to be a mid range case, not only in price, but also in size. It offers the multi layers of protection but in a slimmed down size compared to the Defender series case. It is also cheaper than the defender series at $35 vs $50 for the defender. Right now it is not available but is coming very soon at least for the Storm. To be notified of availability and to get more information check it out here at the official site. I know that the bulk and the $50 dollar price tag kept many from giving the Otterbox a try, this new lower price and sleeker design should make the Commuter case more appealing to all.
Apple iPhoneThis week's highighted app for the iPhone platform is a very different one. It is a kind of game meets social networking thing that has potential to become wildly popular or of disappearing into oblivion depending on the faithfulness of new users. The competitive side of me wants to try it but the practical side tells me I do not have time for it. Basically it is a game, called Booyah Society and you score points by living your life and marking all your little achievements. via iPhone Central "the concept behind the game is to “inspire and ignite people’s passions” and to allow people to “impact the community around them.” By boasting about your accomplishments to your friends, the thinking goes, you’ll be more likely to keep active and make a positive impact on the world around you." "Each category—Work and School, Arts and Culture, and so on—has its own background, achievements, stats, and recommendations. You’ll also see which categories need attention. Have you been working a lot but haven’t done anything entertaining in a while? This app will tell you." You can also interact with friends on facebook and twitter and comment on their achievements, news, and avatars. I thought it was an interesting concept and will watch to see if it takes off or tanks.
Palm SmartphonesI am finally able to announce a new app available for Palm Pre users, NFL Mobile Live has made it's Pre debut. From the press release, "NFL Mobile Live, the only wireless source for complete, live access to NFL action, was sent to Palm Pre customers as part of an over-the-air software update from Palm. When customers accept the update to Palm webOS™ 1.1.0, NFL Mobile Live is automatically installed. Once installed, customers can use Palm Pre’s universal search to locate the application by simply typing NFL on their keyboard from the main screen or launcher, and then tapping the NFL icon to open the application. With most NFL teams opening training camp this week, fantasy football players will begin tracking player performances. NFL Mobile Live gives them the ability to watch NFL Network live 24/7 along with a bevy of preseason on-demand video highlights, injury reports, statistics, breaking news and analysis from a host of experts. Once the regular season begins, fantasy players can manage their NFL.com fantasy teams from their phone and monitor the performance of every player in real time. Player information will be easily accessible, including real-time game and season cumulative stats, video highlights, rankings, player profiles and photos" This is perfect timing for all you football fans out there with the preseason schedule beginning soon. image via precetral.net
Windows Mobile and Symbian SmartphonesThis week the highlight for both these platforms is the same app, the newly released version of Google Maps with layers. This seems like a great update to the Google Maps application and is currently only available for Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 but will be coming to more platforms soon. Here are some details on the new features from the Official Google Mobile Blog: "the latest version of Google Maps for mobile allows you to view many layers of information on your map at the same time. Layers make it easier and more useful to find and interact with geographic content, like public transit, traffic (with incidents!), local search results, Latitude friend locations, Wikipedia and more. You can also see your own My Maps content as a layer on Google Maps for mobile. And finally, multiple layers can be combined at the same time to give you a content-rich view of what's around you." "Next was discovering new places. When frequently (and literally) rolling into new villages and towns, it was really handy to be able to turn on the Wikipedia layer and quickly learn about interesting stuff in the area. We could click on any of the 'W' icons on the map to read more." This really seems like a fun and useful addition to the always improving Google apps line-up and I can't wait to try it out when it gets to the BlackBerry and iPhone platforms.
Another good Add-ons, Az. Looks like the application/accessory market is still going strong even though it seems like everyone may be floundering a little because of the economy and all the completition. Maybe Apple is the only one going strong at the moment but even they seem to be getting a little protective with the Google Voice issue.
My favorite this week is the Google Maps - looking forward to seeing it for BB. Since I'm still a BB diehard fan all the other stuff falls in the "keeping up" category for me but I really enjoy reading about all that's going on with other smartphones. Thanks again for all the work!
For every complex problem there is a solution, that is simple, neat, .....and wrong! (H. L. Mencken) jblackfish(at)pinstack(dot)com
Thnks for taking the time to do this Sam, great idea and as always outstanding job.
BlackBerry9000/184.108.40.206 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102
I think there was more negative iPhone news this week than positive...especially in the Google dept. The Google Latitude app was released but it turned out to be a Web based app, so no notifications. I read conflicting stories on that. Some said it was Googles choice to make it web based and use the "cloud" and others said it was because Apple didn't want a stand alone app because they already have their own map app. Then the thing with Google voice and any third party apps that work with it getting the boot, but for the jailbreakers out there, the google voice app has already been ported to cydia. There seems to be some general unrest in the developer world, lots of blaming and finger pointing....makes me wonder where things will stand, or fall in the coming months.
Maybe some developers will start focusing more on other new platforms like webOS and Android which seem to be painfully slow with getting new apps.
Thanks for the wrap-up Az. From an article I read today, Google was asked by Apple to make it web based so not to "confuse" users with their map program already installed that uses, guess what, Google Maps. That's added to, as you said, a list of bad and strange news from Apple this week with regards to the iPhone.
Originally Posted by azstar
I think apple is just genuinely afraid of google's potential. Hell, even I switched to the g1.
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