Hava support seemed to think it’d be a few weeks before Apple unleashed their placeshifting app, but here we are. And, as expected, you’ll only be able stream video from your Hava box over WiFi. (You can blame AT&T for that.) Somewhat unexpected is the $10 Hava Mobile fee, which flies in the face of their free mobile clients and is a clear shift in strategy based on my conversation with them at CES… where they indicated the app would be free. Regardless, $10 is quite reasonable compared to the $30 iPhone Slingbox client. I plan to give it a spin in the next few weeks.
While it’s true Apple’s App Store is a huge hit, with thousands upon thousands of iPhone and iPod Touch offerings, most are worthless and/or marketing fluff. Like the new myStarbucks. It looks pretty but doesn’t do much of anything. Probably the top feature is the store locator, but I’m not sure you can trust it… It indicates that my preferred weekday SBUX, which closed permanently last week, is open for business. The UI is more attractive than the default Google Maps, but the results appear quite similar. So why even blog this app? Because of what it might one day offer… A second app was also released which allows one to manage their Starbucks debit card and can be used to make purchases. Payment scanning is only available in select Seattle and Silicon Valley coffee shops at the moment, but this is an interesting model worth tracking.
It may not be free like the fine NPR app, but a one-time $3 fee for the new ESPN Radio seems like a small price to pay to aggregate and access a great deal of sports talk. It features live streaming from several ESPN Radio affiliates, including the morning shows and college football broadcasts. You can also stream SportsCenter highlights on demand and bypass iTunes to directly access a few dozen ESPN podcasts.