Final Fantasy I and II Now Available for iPhone

I like it when companies port their old games to the iPhone platform, even when the results are somewhat less than amazing. Aside from being the best way to convince your somewhat technophobe friends that the iPhone (s aapl) and iPod touch are totally worth buying, they also allow me to indulge in some pleasant gaming nostalgia during my commute or whenever I have a spare moment.

Even though I have played them both many times before, I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy playing through Final Fantasy I and II once again now that they’re available on the iPhone. Square Enix ported both titles to Apple’s App Store, now available for $8.99 a piece. Read More about Final Fantasy I and II Now Available for iPhone

Predicting 2010: iPod and iPhone

The dawn of a new year never fails to make me excited about all the potential for new devices we’ll inevitably see released. This year is no different, and for Apple’s (s aapl) iPod and iPhone, there are some storms that have been brewing for quite a while that should break in 2010. Hope you packed a raincoat.

I recently came across my still functional (including decent battery life) 30GB iPod Video while rooting through my drawers looking for a proprietary USB cable. After I charged it and booted it up, the palpable feeling of the HDD platter spinning up, and the faint sound that accompanies said action reminded me of just how far we’ve come, and of how far we’ve yet to go with Apple’s portable devices. Here’s where I think we’re headed next. Read More about Predicting 2010: iPod and iPhone

Anachronistic Twitter Client Released for Classic Macs

If you’re still running an old Mac PowerBook 550c or something similar, it must be really annoying to not be able to use Twitter via a native client. That’s probably your No. 1 concern, in fact, on your OS 8.1-running machine. You could always use the web interface, but that’s not really a fair solution, is it?

Now, thanks to Grackle68k, Mac users who are still running Macintosh System 6, 7, 8 and 9 can have a dedicated Twitter client of their very own. Personally, I think the release of this app was just timed to steal the spotlight away from Seesmic for Windows. Obviously this is much bigger news! Read More about Anachronistic Twitter Client Released for Classic Macs

Weekly App Store Picks: May 23, 2009

zunehd-vs-iphone

What’s that, you say? You’re looking for iPhone app recommendations alongside a smattering of the week’s Apple (s aapl) news? Read, on my friend, I have just the article for you…

Before I present you with my four recommendations, hand-picked from the freshest apps to launch for the iPhone, it’s time to take stock and review this week’s Apple news.

As if Monday couldn’t get any grimmer, the big news to start the week was all about Microsoft (s msft). Specs and other info about its new Zune, apparently code-named “xYz,” have been doing the rounds. Perhaps presenting a genuine challenge to the iPhone and iPod touch handheld gaming throne, the device may even play XBox Live Arcade content. Very exciting indeed, considering the breadth and quality of games on offer via Microsoft’s online service.

Speaking of which, the big surprise of the week was news that Braid, the top-rated, critically acclaimed Xbox Live Arcade title, has been released on Mac. The game is a side-scrolling platformer, incorporating a host of headache-inducing time-twisting puzzles. Good fun indeed, and a worthy workout for cerebral gamers on the hunt for a challenge.

Coming to the U.S. in the very near future is Spotify, the legal music service that’s essentially like having access to the entire iTunes Store for free. The service has already been on offer in Europe since late 2008. Spotify’s founder, Daniel Ek, believes it’ll be officially available stateside by the start of 2010 at the latest.

While the Spotify iPhone app is still under wraps, Digg.com founder Kevin Rose has been impressed by the desktop version, “… playing w/Spotify, hot damn it’s responsive – plays pretty much any song on earth in <1 second.” Being stationed in Helsinki, Finland, I’ve had the pleasure of using Spotify for several months now — it really is as fast as Rose describes.

My favorite news of the week concerns the latest update to the iPhone. More rumors abound, as a fresh list of specs has been released. Notable possible enhancements to the iPhone include 32GB of storage in the high-end model, built-in FM transmitter, OLED screen, rubber tread backing and discontinuation of the metal band surrounding the edge of the device.

Moving on to the picks, this week I’ve been looking at Mover, Burger King Now, Lexulous and Flashback.

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How Many OS 9 Die-Hards Are Out There?

How many Mac fans are still using OS 9? It’s a difficult statistic to track, or at least I’ve found it so. Hitslink’s November 2008 market share report shows pre-Intel Mac operating systems still represent a respectable (nearly three times the penetration of Linux) 2.35 percent of total OS usage (vs. 6.51 percent for MacIntel), but it’s not broken down between OS X and Mac OS Classic PPC systems.

Cult of Mac’s Giles Turnbull notes that way back in 2004 he posted a column entitled “OS9 – Blimey Some People Still Use It” for Mac DevCenter, but never imagined he’d be posting a similar piece four years later.

“But – blimey,” Turnbull wrote last week, “there are STILL some people out there using OS 9 and very happy with it too, thank you very much.”
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Is Classic Really, Seriously, Dead?

bootupIt doesn’t seem all that long ago that my boss prohibited me from bringing the Mac OS X beta to work due to its lack of DVD support, or the years that followed when Mac users everywhere decried Quark’s slow progress away from Mac OS 9. Six years after Mac OS X’s debut, the Classic Environment has gone the way of operating systems past, a digital graveyard of bits and bytes. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was forced into the Classic Environment, by way of some antiquated software.
In six years’ time, as our Windows brethren have moved from Windows 98 to ME to XP and now Vista, we’ve seen Mac OS X grow and develop through each of its cat-themed releases. Yet the foundation of Mac OS 9 (Classic) remains an option. Should I need to, I can boot the Classic Environment and open ancient apps. I can open the Control Panels and amuse myself with Platinum Sounds effects, launch Key Caps, or tinker with the Chooser.
But rather than being useful, it’s like walking through a museum. Take a look, for instance, at the bundled Search engines in Sherlock. You won’t find Google or Yahoo! here. Instead, you have second-tier sites like Alta Vista, Excite and Lycos, along with others you probably haven’t heard of in a while: GoTo.com, HotBot, and DirectHit.

sherlock_searches
Sherlock’s Search Engine Offerings

By now, in the second half of 2007, every technology laggard has either finally released an OS X capable application, abandoned the Mac, or given way to a new, faster-moving competitor. Is there any reason for Classic any more? What’s the likelihood of finding a need to boot into OS 9 for more than misguided nostalgia? Or was Steve Jobs right when he told developers in 2002 it was time to bury the OS, once and for all? (CNET | YouTube Video)