With the holiday season news slowdown and calm before the CES storm, we may be posting slightly off center from our typical ZNF coverage these next few days. And, while we don’t generally offer a whole lot of mobile tech conversation, I’m clearly a phone junkie. So, here are my top three new iPhone apps of the week:
First up is the USA Today news app. Although a (relatively) late entrant to this category, compared to say the New York Times and Bloomberg, USA Today is easily the best of the bunch for general info. While the number of stories may be limited, the range of topics plus sports scores and customized weather make it a keeper. It’s also quite sprightly, compared to the frustratingly slow (still) New York Times app.
HP iPrint Photo
HP’s released a free application that locates any networked (HP) printers and makes your iPhoto pics available for 4×6 printing. This clearly doesn’t replace desktop software, however it’s a promising proof of concept. And printing from mobile devices isn’t new by any means… I remember beaming addresses from PDA to laser printer, via IR, years ago. But what this says to me is that Apple could easily add Bonjour printing to ALL apps on the iPhone, further cementing this as their take on the “netbook” trend. Printing pictures is cool, but printing Google Maps directions and email attachments would be practical. #
Both Dale and I are fans of the Animoto photo slideshow service. Which has now been ported to the iPhone. Select 8 to 16 pics from your iPhone photo album, pick a track from Animoto’s music library, and wait about five minutes. Once the service is done crunching the media, you’ll be presented with an onboard video slideshow – which can also be shared. This won’t replace the more full-featured web-based Animoto creation wizard, but it’s a nice (free) utility for use while on vacation to get your loved ones some timely pics from the road. Three things I’d like to see… Animoto should link the iPhone app to existing web accounts for comprehensive content management. Additionally, each music track should indicate roughly how many pics can be supported – my test video (Dublin, below) didn’t display all 15 pics I tagged for inclusion. And, like the updated web app, let me label my slideshow. #