Nick Lee’s “Handy Light” flashlight app debuted a week ago on the iTunes store for 99 cents without a lot of fanfare. In some ways, it would have been fun to know about it before the rest of the world did. Now this handy app with a secret is gone, pulled by Apple as soon as its secret got out.
“Handy Light Is a convenient flashlight for the iPhone. Choose from 5 designer colors!” read the description for the app while it lasted.
I’m sure many people wanted to know why you would pay for a flashlight app when there are so many for free ( Flashlight, for one, from John Haney).
But that app, which Nick Lee sneaked by Apple, would be saving you money in the long run if you were lucky enough to snag it. Hidden beneath the flashlight function was a code that allowed you turn your device into a tethering device that could bring WiFi Internet access to your computer, iPad or another device. Right now AT&T and other places are charging $20 or more a month for the tethering function that allows devices to channel WiFi through a 3G network or something like that. I don’t understand how all of it works, but I think it would be great to be able to provide Internet access wherever you are through your phone, especially if you could do it without yet another fee for service.
To unlock the tethering part of the app, you needed instructions, found at AppShopper here: http://bit.ly/d2okGt.
I think we’ll be hearing more about tethering in the future; I’ll share with you more as I learn about it, too.
Another interesting part of the story is the fact that it appears that the Nick Lee who outsmarted Apple is a 15-year-old boy who appears to be living in New Jersey. Read more about it at TechCrunch.com here: http://bit.ly/b9IHjn, or at gizmodo here: http://bit.ly/bEeSJh.
If you know of any other app that does this, please let me know. I’d love to hear about it first, before all the media attention.
The app for the iPad, apparently, turns Facebook and Twitter into a magazine-like format. It pulls in stories and photos from links posted by your friends as well as status updates. It’s going to be fun to play around with it, but right now, its small staff is trying to catch up with its huge success since it launched for the iPad on July 21.
“Flipboard is the worldʼs first social magazine. Inspired by the beauty and ease of print media, Flipboardʼs mission is to fundamentally improve how people discover, view and share content across their social networks,” reads promotional material on its website, www.flipboard.com.
Robert Scoble has detailed the rise and (temporary) fall of Flipboard on his blog at http://scobleizer.com. He also interviewed the app’s creator on video, which includes a demonstration of how it works.
SAN BRUNO, Calif. (AP) — YouTube has upgraded its mobile website to make it more convenient and appealing to watch videos on touch-screen devices such as Apple’s iPhone and Motorola’s Droid X.
The improvements unveiled recently are designed to make it easier for smart phone users to navigate YouTube’s vast video library. The fine-tuning also enables YouTube’s mobile website to stream videos in higher resolution than clips served up through YouTube applications installed on smart phones.
YouTube, owned by Google Inc., is changing its mobile website as part of its effort to create a “video operating system” that works on any gadget with a screen.
The video site says it already serves up more than 100 million videos per day on mobile devices.
SOURCE: The Associated Press
Most of my Tuesday column, Get App-y, deals with apps that I can find on my iPod Touch. Although I talk and text on my Blackberry Pearl Flip phone that I get through U.S. Cellular, I have found that Blackberry’s App World is slow and confusing, and apps run slow on the phone once I get them.
Today, thanks to a roundup in PC Magazine of its 100 top free apps for various devices, I found a list of handy Blackberry apps here – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2366227,00.asp.
One of them, a browser called Bolt 2.1 looks particularly promising. And fast. And more like a real Web page than what I’ve been seeing previously. Bolt the Browser (and not the horse in the movie by that name) even loaded the graphic- and photo-heavy website operated by Ree Drummond — thepioneerwoman.com — quickly onto my phone. To see the huge photos, I had to scroll around on the tiny screen, so they’re not as beautiful as they are on her site, nor is her site set up to view on a mobile device, but loading thepioneerwoman.com worked faster and better than the regular Blackberry browser.
I’ll eventually take a look at several of the others recommended by PC Magazine for the Blackberry but if you want to see the list of its pick of the top 100 free apps 2010, no matter what your mobile device you’re using — iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc., here’s the link: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2366292,00.asp.
~ Lillie-Beth (email@example.com)
Getting your mobile app idea to the iTunes store is all in your "App-titude" and finding people who can help
So, you and your friends have this great idea for an application for the iPhone that you think will change the world and make you a millionaire because so many people would want to download it.
Now what do you do? How do you develop it?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about three Oklahomans who have taken apps from concept to the iTunes store in different ways. Read the article at http://bit.ly/cNEFdl, or read below for information on how to contact them for your own app idea.
One of the Oklahomans, Heath Clinton, leads an Oklahoma City company, Phase 2 Interactive, that develops both mobile and web apps for individuals and businesses. In addition to developing websites, such as for the Oklahoma Heritage Association and SandRidge Energy, Phase 2 received attention this spring for its OKC Memorial Marathon mobile app. The company has others in the works, so stay tuned. Its developers’ first effort was a game called “Quadrangle”; a more recent one was for technology trends speaker Scott Klososky.
Another Oklahoman, Holly Healey, had an idea for an app and wanted to learn what it meant to outsource something to India, a trend that she had read about. She turned to Brickwork India first and was connected to Rajan Barma, who has since formed his own company, Diya IT Solutions, based in Fremont, Calif. The app, “Who Owns That Plane?”, developed for AIC Title Co. of Oklahoma City, owned by Healey’s husband, is now on the app store. She has stayed in touch with “Raj” for other app ideas.
The third Oklahoman, Josh Wright of Norman, is a Web developer from Norman who decided to play around with his ideas for the iTunes store on his own. He has several, including “Pocket Tap,” grouped under the name “Bendy Tree.”
Three Oklahomans found slightly different ways to take their ideas from concept to an actual app.
If you’re interested in getting in touch with the two who do this for a living, here’s how to reach them:
Phase 2 Interactive, which has been in business in Oklahoma City for more than a decade, developing custom websites and software for businesses and institutions and has now branched into the mobile app area.
4100 Perimeter Center, Suite 310 Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Phone: (405) 917-3777
Fax: (405) 917-3799
Rajan Barma with Diya IT Solutions, Fremont, Calif., which develops web and mobile applications on any platform, providing project management and working with local resources if required.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Phone: (510) 857-6880
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)