Culture of the Apps

It’s no secret that iPhone applications are a breakout hit for Apple, even beyond their own expectations. Because of this, a culture of app fanatics is popping up online, which include a slew of new podcasts and video shows that cater to people looking for the best and brightest apps out there. Frankly, with all the crap that makes it onto the App Store, I’m glad there are people out there testing these things out for us first.

Revision3 (where we produce Tekzilla) just announced a new show called AppJudgment, which also covers BlackBerry, Android and Palm Pre applications alongside the more familiar iPhone apps. Here’s the most recent episode:My friends Scott Johnson and Eric Skyhawk have also launched a new podcast called AppSlappy, which is quickly making it’s way up the iTunes charts. They cover what’s new in the App Store, hot deals of the week, and also give us their take on what apps they’ve been using lately.

Last but not least, Sean Bonner (along with a huge cast of well-known names in new media) is hosting a new show called iPhun. It’s honest, quick-paced, and sarcastically funny in the best way. They also have more in-depth written reviews on the blog, so check that out as well.

On a slightly different note, fellow Emerson alum Jared DiDomenico has a music project called Nuclear O’ Reilly with his friend Brad Naprixas, and they created their new album entirely on the iPhone application Beatmaker (iTunes link) by Intua Software. It’s called, very appropriately, Phoning It In. Worth a listen just to hear how much effort went into it, but it’s pretty damn catchy as well. Here’s their “making of” video:

As applications (and the iPhone itself) become more advanced, users will continue to find new ways to be creative with them. Time for me to go download some new ones!

Talking iPhone 3G S on CNN.com


Despite losing my voice yesterday, I rallied for an appearance on CNN.com this morning with MG Siegler, Ben Parr and Mark McClusky. We spoke about the new iPhone 3G S and if now is a good time to upgrade, our favorite apps, and if Blackberry has a chance to win hearts and minds with their new offerings.

And why am I the only lameass with a headset on? Seriously, Veronica. Get with the program.

Start off the New Year with an iPod shuffle [Contest]

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Last week the guys over at Golden Shellback, who make “splashproof” coatings for gadgets, sent me a 1GB silver iPod shuffle (splashproofed, of course). Since I already have an iPhone to listen to my tunes on I thought it would be fun to give it away here on the site! The “contest” is going to be very simple:

1. Leave a comment telling me what your New Year’s resolution is.
2. Post before Dec. 31st, 2008 at 11:59 PM EST.
3. I’ll randomly select one of the comments via number generator!

Please make sure to use a valid email address in the email field when you’re posting so I can contact you. I’ll give you a couple of days to respond… if you don’t, I’ll pick another random number. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Golden Shellback did not ask me to blog this, nor have I received any kind of compensation for this post. This is simply a contest to say “thank you” to my readers and to spread a little holiday cheer!

Apple in the handheld gaming world

Apple - iPod touch - Features - Games

I was listening to the gdgt roundtable this morning, and they started talking about the iPhone / iPod Touch as a gaming device. Josh Topolsky insisted that Apple was trying to drink Sony and Nintendo’s milkshakes, while Ryan said that Apple is just going for the “value add” of having games.

This got me thinking about my iPhone and the experiences I’ve had using it as a handheld gaming device, especially compared with the Nintendo DS and the PSP. Granted, gaming on my phone has not been my number one priority, but I’ve download a few decent ones: Spore Origins, Tris (which I believe is now unavailable) and Tap Tap Revenge. But at the end of the day, was it more fun for me to play games on my iPhone than if I’d brought along the DS or PSP? Well, no, not especially. Was it more convenient to not have to carry a second device? Of course. Yet the overall experience quality is still going to be better on a standalone gaming platform. I just wonder if people really care all that much about having the absolute best experience… maybe they just don’t need it.

This brings me to another point on the podcast: do mainstream users really care about the nit-pickings of technologists when it comes to their buying decisions? Yes, there can definitely be a trickle effect of opinion that can sway people (“Oh, I’ve heard this phone is very buggy, I’m going to wait for the next version”). But what about mainstream gamers? Are games on the iPod/iPhone ever going to effect the number of handheld devices being purchased, and the amount they’re used? Is it just a nice added benefit to the phone, or a major selling point?

Developers are cranking out some beautiful looking games for the App Store, and I’m sure they’re enjoying the direct-to-buyer system (that is, if their app makes it through the approval process), but I wonder what other frequent gamers are thinking.

Do you think people will eventually buy the iPod or iPhone with the primary function of being their gaming device?

Image courtesy of Apple.com