Monthly Archives: October 2009

Best iPhone Apps – The Quick Post

Some have been asking for my quick list on the best iPhone apps per category. I will write more on each later – but here is the quick list…

Galcon for Games
WSJ for News
Accuweather for Weather
Remote for cool control over iTunes
Skype – so you don’t need to call using AT&T

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Best iPhone News App – WSJ (Wall Street Journal)

Every once in a while you look down at your iPhone and you think to yourself, does that application really deserve to be on the FIRST page of my apps? Should it really be right next to my text message application? That’s really primetime… And then there are times when you look down and you know you want that application right there in front. Well the WSJ is one such app. Bring it upfront and be proud! It has earned my Best News Application for the iPhone.

I’ve been a loyal reader of the Wall Street Journal for ten years. I don’t know if I somehow relate to the editors better or if the news is simply reported with superior… something. What I can say is that I like the news, and that has effected my take on the WSJ iPhone app, but I also just think the WSJ iPhone app is the best news application available on its own technical merits.

There are a lot of features I find useful about iPhone news apps – but superior amongst them is the ability to have a full blown newspaper always at my disposal whether I’m in a cab or flying 30,000 feet in the air. The WSJ iPhone app does these things perfectly. Not only does it deliver the finest quality news, but it also does so by caching that news locally on your iPhone. Which means – you get all that news in your pocket even when you are sitting 30,000 feet in the air. Oh, its also very easy to navigate, find articles you’ll enjoy and share them with friends.

Google Wave – Yeah, it’s Wave Better

Changing How We Interact

Changing How We Interact

Was lucky enough the other day to get an early invite to Google Wave. I haven’t figured out just yet what I can and cannot say about the Wave because I am no doubt very lucky to have access and don’t want to step on any toes with a full preview. Nevertheless, I will happily post the picture from the Google Wave homepage and make a simple comment. It is a better way to communicate – yep, yep, yep. Can’t wait until we are all on it because things will get a lot more efficient. Nice one Google (I’ll be sending my feedback). Watch this video to learn more.

iPhone Remote – Control Your World

iPhone Remote Interface

iPhone Remote Interface

So I haven’t spoken much yet about my digitally wired home… But I will. Until then the basics: 20 speakers spread between upstairs, downstairs and my garden. 2 TV’s (one plasma and one home theater 8ft projection) all run by 2 networked Apple computers. There is a lot more to tell the avid audiophile about all the cool gadgets also in that system, but until then I can explain the basics of what the iPhone Remote does for my world. You see, my Mac’s power everything from my phone systems to my speakers and TV’s. AND, the iPhone Remote is big boss of those two Mac’s and all their entertainment potential. It controls almost all my digital media and that makes it nothing short of the coolest ever.

Imagine, if you will, sitting in your peaceful and serene garden when all of a sudden a terrible whaling begins belching out from your rock-disguised outdoor speakers. It’s that damned death-rock track someone infected your iTunes library with – which has now somehow spread into your otherwise perfect music shuffle. In the old days I would have dashed back inside to do battle with iTunes until the next track could be selected… Today; however, with my trusty iPhone Remote, I now simply open my Remote browser and click next. Serenity now 🙂

You can do it all on the iPhone Remote. From picking songs or playlists, to changing the volume and even selecting which speakers play from what iTunes library. In my house, that means from the street I can load up music to my living room and queue a movie playing from my iTunes library downstairs in the theater. By the time I walk inside my favorite new track is playing and I can see Caddy Shack ready to go on the big screen.

Thank You iPhone Remote – For making me look really cool in front of guests (and also stomping out that death-rock track)

VideoSlurp – Free YouTube Downloader

VideoSlurp Home Page

VideoSlurp Home Page

So the world has opened up and created seemingly endless volumes of “video” for us to enjoy.  Whether you like user generated video, Hollywood box office creations, moving images put to music or animations previously distributed via the flip-book, today you can get almost all of it online and in seconds from YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/).

Now this is great for those of you with nearly constant Internet connections and a penchant for casual content consumption (video wrapped in an ugly YouTube page), but for those of us with a more fickle web connection (say in an underground visiting VJ booth in Manhattan) or more discerning consumption standards, you might find a burning desire to download and save your favorite videos from YouTube to your hard drive.  Or, perhaps you just need to physically possess that Jonas Brothers video no-one knows you love, or that three girls and pitcher (what?) video you tell people you’ve never seen.   Well, in this case there is now a solution for you and it gets my highest level approval for ingenuity.  Meet VideoSlurp (http://videoslurp.com).

VideoSlurp comes in two flavors.  First, it is the granddaddy of websites providing online video downloads -meaning no software required.  Simply visit: http://www.videoslurp.com/download_youtube_videos.php and paste in the URL of the video you would like to secure and watch as this handy little application saves a copy of your favorite laughing baby vid right to your hard drive.  Second, perhaps you want to download your favorite 20 videos at once, or are too lazy to visit the online download tool and would rather have the ability to download YouTube videos directly from your web browser, well VideoSlurp has that problem solved too… Just head directly to http://videoslurp.com and click “Download.”  Very shortly you will have a brand new application that makes the process of downloading and saving your favorite YouTube videos as easy as pie (which, incidentally, never actually seemed all that easy… VideoSlurp; however, is easy).

Thank you VideoSlurp – you’ve made my VJ dream a reality and my hard drive full of George Michael videos worth their weight in digital gold.

Coolest Web Applications

I come across cool applications all over the place – I even build some myself. I’ll update frequently on the coolest applications from my personal collection and tell you how I use them. Enjoy!