iPhone Apps of the Week

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:

USA Today
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. #

Animoto Mobile
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. #

4 thoughts on “iPhone Apps of the Week”

  1. HP seems to be doing a lot of things right lately. From blogger outreach to further pushes into the digital media space. Curious to see what they have at CES.

  2. I would add the grossly under reported significance of Google’s voice powered search for the iPhone;

    “…Apple wowed us with iPhone touch screen, but the inclusion of the accelerometer was almost as important, and now Google has shown us how it can be used as a key component of an application user interface. Put the phone to your ear, and the application starts listening, triggered by the natural gesture rather than by an artificial tap or click. Yes, the accelerometer has been used in games like tilt, parlor amusements like the iPint, but Google has pushed things further by integrating it into a kind of workflow with the phone’s main sensor, the microphone.

    This is the future of mobile: to invent interfaces that throw away the assumptions of the previous generation.

    …We can imagine the future of mobile: a sensor-rich device with applications that use those sensors both to feed and interact with cloud services. The location sensor knows you’re here so you don’t need to tell the map server where to start; the microphone knows the sound of your voice, so it unlocks your private data in the cloud; the camera images an object or a person, sends it to a remote application that recognizes it, and retrieves relevant data.”


    Apparently me and Tim O’Reilly are the only ones flabbergasted by the impact of his.

    It’s important to note that Google got busted by Apple for accessing a secret parts of the iPhone no one [ but Apple, of course ] is supposed to use! But Android has no such restrictions ( Yay! )

    …oh yeah, and another good one is iBeer!

  3. Todd, I’m just talking new apps this week. And Google’s voice search is horrible. I have a 100% failure rate in recognition. Not just me, in fact, I had my buddy Jason try a few times… and it didn’t get a single search right. FYI Yahoo’s iPhone app also has voice search, as do vlingo and a few others. Though Google’s ear trick is neat.

Comments are closed.