A.I. Disk Brings MobileMe iDisk to the iPhone

The cloud is gaining ground. Despite early hiccups, I signed up for a MobileMe account shortly after purchasing my iPhone and I haven’t looked back since. Yes, the webmail is buggy, and yes, the Push is sometimes more of a playful shove, but it still keeps my information consistent across two Macs and a phone without any significant drawbacks. And it just got better still, thanks to A.I. Disk from Readdle.
The purpose of A.I. Disk is to provide access to your online MobileMe storage via your iPhone, across any data connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, and EDGE are all supported). The app works much like the popular Air Sharing, allowing you to view multiple document types, including Office (both 2007 and earlier formats), PDF, iWork, and TXT files. Files are copied from your iDisk to your phone for offline viewing, and can be attached to an email and sent from within the application.
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Handshake: “Beam” Contacts to Other iPhones

It’s mildly entertaining to me how we all seem to get excited about apps that bring functionality to our iPhones that has existed elsewhere for ages.

As an example, Shazam came to the iPhone to decipher music we didn’t know, by playing it into the microphone — Blackberry has had this capability for a while. When I run into one of these scenarios while showing off to iPhone-less friends, my argument is, “But it’s an iPhone! And now it does that too!!”
Handshake brings us the capability to easily send our own contact “card”, or that of others we already have entered into our iPhone, to other iPhones around us. (Does anyone remember beaming contacts between Palm Pilots?) If I can step onto my soapbox for just a moment, I feel as though this capability is something Apple somehow missed out on including in the firmware. Given the interaction of links to Google Maps (in email) which opens the Maps application, or phone numbers (in SMS or email) which will automatically dial the phone, the built-in ability to send contact information to others feels like a no brainer to me.
So thanks to Skorpiostech, and Handshake, I’ve regained the functionality my Palm Pilot gave me almost 10 years ago… While I feign annoyance at the situation, I really do like this application. It’s simple and elegant in functionality, and as such, fits right in with the iPhone (too bad it’s not native). Handshake comes in the flavors of free and premium. The former has ads at the top and bottom of the interface, while the latter ditches the ads, comes “karma-enhanced”, and costs $2.99 in the App Store.
Thanks Gruber!

Recall Everything With reQall

I like to think I do a pretty good job of keeping the major stuff in order, on track, and on time. Where I begin to lose focus is in the personal details of my life. Ask me what I’m doing this weekend for instance, and I’ll almost always defer to my lovely activities coordinator (e.g. my fantastic wife). So you could say I’ve been very much in need of some ubiquitous way of managing these ‘little’ tasks that tend to slip through the cracks of my memory.
I’ve done my best to mash the likes of Evernote and other reminder/note taking/productivity apps available on the iPhone, into my natural workflow throughout the day. But no matter the level of effort I’ve applied to each, it’s been a larger task to utilize these solutions than it has been a help to me. You may have guessed it by now — this is where reQall comes screaming in as my saving grace.
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iLaugh iPhone App Provides You With a Sense of Humor

If you’ve been looking for a program that replicates the experience of sitting next to that favorite, wacky uncle at Thanksgiving dinner and having him conspiratorially whisper hokey but funny jokes in your ear, look no further than iLaugh for the iPhone and iPod touch.

The app, released by Azure Talon Software, is a jokes database that pulls content from online sources. The end result is a new joke every time you open the app, or hit the easy-to-spot refresh button in the upper right-hand corner of the iPhone’s screen. Only one server is currently available to draw content from, but the developer promises at least two new sources in future updates.
Part of iLaugh’s appeal is its simplicity and ease of use. The app has a grand total of two screens, the first being the main display and the other being a source selection screen. The main screen consists of a top bar with the App’s name and the refresh button, while the bulk of the display is taken up by the content window, which shows the jokes. There is no bottom menu bar, just a small “i” button which flips the screen, taking you to the server selection page. Graphics and palette choices show a keen eye for design, making the app a pleasure to use and the content easy to read.
In my brief test drive of the application, I didn’t run across any duplicated jokes, and I did refresh a number of times to get a good sample of the content. The jokes are not all “jokes” in the traditional set-up/punchline sense. Those are there, to be sure, but there’s also fake news articles and press releases, extended stories, lists and parodies. Maybe this is where funny uncles get their material.
iLaugh is available in the App Store now for $0.99.

Official Geocaching App for iPhone Available

Treasure-hunters of the world can sleep soundly now that the official Geocaching application from Groundspeak has finally been released.

Groundspeak are the people behind the largest cache database on the web, Geocaching.com. If the term is new to you, geocaching is a treasure-hunting game in which participants use GPS to hide and seek treasure troves in different outdoor locations around the world.  Generally the caches themselves contain nothing of any significant value, the game being more about the act searching than the “treasure” itself.
Other third-party apps with similar functionality have been available, but Geocaching is the first to link directly to geocaching.com for real-time updates of cache information. Other features include proximity-based cache location searching, easy navigation using a simulated compass arrow, on-the-go item detail and goals lookup, and difficulty ratings for easy outing planning.
While the app also provides access to “Logs”, or notes left by previous finders, it does not currently allow users to log from the application itself. Future updates promise logging, however, and the ability to filter your own previous cache hides and finds from your search results.
If you’ve ever used your iPhone 3G to find say, the location of a house party, you know what to expect out of the phone’s GPS functionality. Yes, it is helpful when you’re not sure where you’re going, but no, it’s not a replacement for a top-of-the line handheld GPS device designed for hiking. Location updates are slow, and it’s not always easy to get an accurate fix depending on tree cover and other environmental factors. Better to use it to locate and store cache coordinates and to check logged tips, photos, and descriptions to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Geocaching 1.0 is available now in the App Store for $9.99.

Create Your Own Ringtones With YouTones iPhone Ringtone Creator

We’ve shown you ways to create ringtones for your iPhone using your Mac, but with the newly released YouTones ($4.99) application from FunMobility, you can now make them on your iPhone. YouTunes is already an established name in the ringtone industry, having previously been available for other handsets on most networks, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Making ringtones with YouTones is, as the name implies, mostly about you. You singing, you swearing like a drunken sailor, you doing pretty much anything you can record with the iPhone’s mic. Yes, we realize how dangerous this could be. But it could also be a lot of fun, plus it’s cheaper than buying ringtones from iTunes at a buck a pop, and you don’t need to be near your Mac if you’re struck with the impossible-to-resist urge for a change in your call notification habits.
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Yahoo Counters Google’s Mobile Onslaught With Voice

yhoo.jpg Yahoo, with the second generation of its oneSearch product, has thrown down the gauntlet in the mobile search wars. Whereas Google employed a clean and easy-to-use interface to win over the desktop space, Yahoo is trying to make gains in the mobile space by taking a different approach: voice.

The more time I spend with my mobile, the more I realize what a godawful pain it is — even with a QWERTY keyboard — to type. Anything that would make the process less time-consuming (and free up my hands) is welcome, and is precisely the reason I use voice services such as Jott and Goog-411.
So using voice (powered by Vlingo) for oneSearch is a compelling proposition.

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GigaOM Daily: MySpace Mobile Launches, Meebo Money & More

[qi:083] MySpace Mobile is now live at http://m.myspace.com. You can do most of things you do on MySpace via the mobile page like Reading, composing and replying to MySpace Messages, viewing photo albums and posting comments or blog entries. During the beta phase, MySpace Mobile Web was getting about a million unique visitors per day, the company claims.

[qi:115] Meebo raising another $25-to-$30 million at a valuation of $250 million? Matt Marshall thinks that in the current economic environment it is going to be hard for the company to get the money. He forgets Meebo’s backers include generous folks at DFJ.

[qi:011] Jack Meyers says “Media Industry is in an Unprecedented State of Economic Disarray.” I would say that is an understatement. “The focus instead, it seems, is on advertising as a commodity rather than advertising as a tool for building brand awareness and sales.”

[qi:020] Sick & Tired of seeing the Universal Service Fund (USF) phone tax revenues go waste and spent on illogical projects? Then speak up at Cap The Fund. By the way, USF phone tax is set to jump in the second quarter of 2008 from 10.2 percent to 11.3 percent of carrier revenues collected from phone consumers.

[qi:006] This overwhelming need to couch everything we are doing these days in terms of these so-called new social media might be fine as a way to create a new business niche as companies try desperately to use any available trick to gain market share; but really do companies – or people for that matter – need this new media they way they are being led to believe. [WinExtra by Steve Hodson]

iPhoney

Mac software maker Market Circle has released iPhoney, an open-source iPhone simulator for web developers. See how your websites look on the iPhone in both portrait and landscape.
It lacks a few iPhone features, such as pinch and zoom, but will let you test while developing apps for iPhone (without using your iPhone). I think this is a great piece of software. Even though I have an iPhone, it’s inconvenient to try and view sites on it over and over while testing. It’s much easier to just keep iPhoney open and click refresh.
I tested the site with Digg (digg.com/iphone) and Leaflets (getleaflets.com), and they both worked well. I look forward to testing one of our iPhone optimized sites on iPhoney.
iPhoney