For those of you who can’t get enough “Star Trek,” here are some clips posted on You Tube from the series that predicted the coming of the iPad. Some in this post date back at least 20 years.
Most are from “The Next Generation” but you can find on the Web all kinds of reports that illustrate how “Star Trek” decades ago envisioned the technology that we use today — such as Skype for video conferencing, flip mobile phones, Blue Tooth headsets, portable translators, interactive video gaming, voice-activated computers and more.
Star Trek never mentioned apps as a way to access the Enterprise’s main computer system, however. But this blog post foreshadows Tuesday’s Get App-y column on NewsOK.com anyway. Stay tuned. …
Jean Luc Pickard and an iPad predecessor
And yet another …
What will the next real-life technology be that was first imagined by “Star Trek”? Cloaking to make an entire ship invisible? The Holodeck for video gaming? Comment below or email me.
~ Lillie-Beth (email@example.com)
Lela Sullivan of Oklahoma City won the Speech Trans app for the iPad!
Thanks to everyone who entered!
From the Get App-y archives:
Originally published in The Oklahoman June 14, 2011
Get App-y: Speak now with another language
Going abroad this summer? Want to communicate with someone in another language? Order in Italian at an Italian restaurant?
Naturally, your smart phones and tablets are here to help break down communication barriers with mobile applications that allow you speak into the device and have your words translated into another language.
SpeechTrans, with voice recognition powered by Nuance, has several apps for various iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, ranging from free to $27.99. Google Translate is available free for both Android and iOS.
Speech recognition and translation software while not perfect has gotten much better since the last time I played around with it years ago.
John Frei, SpeechTrans’ co-founder and chief executive, agreed, saying that his app can reach 95 percent accuracy thanks to its partnership with Nuance, a leader in speech recognition. Nuance is behind the popular verbal texting app called Dragon Dictation.
Frei, 36, said the idea for his app stemmed from moving between Switzerland and the United States several times as a child, since his dad was Swiss. He wished he had a way to help him pick up the languages faster.
Three years ago, in an “a-ha moment,” he started using Internet tools to piece together speech-to-speech translation.
“I knew I was onto something. It was very exciting,” he said.
Future updates include developing SpeechTrans for Android systems, and Frei foresees a time when the camera can recognize sign language and turn it into an audio recording.
To use SpeechTrans, choose the language you’re speaking and the one for the translation. Press “record” and start speaking. When you finish, the app will translate and play your words in the other language.
For the written word, check out WordLens from QuestVisual, which uses your camera to translate on screen. A demonstration is free, but each translation (English to Spanish or Spanish to English) costs $9.99 as an in- app purchase.
~ By Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
YOUR TURN TO WIN
To win your own copy of SpeechTrans for the iPad, enter by emailing me with your name and contact information at email@example.com or post a comment below, and I’ll have a drawing Friday to pick the winner. Like I said in the column, this amazing app can have many uses. Put “SpeechTrans” in the subject line of your email, and let me know how you’d use it or tell me your favorite apps, and you’ll be entered. Check out the regular Get App-y column on most Tuesdays!
Watch out before you let your children play with apps on your iPhone. One mom learned that lesson the hard way when she let her 4-year-old son play “The Smurfs’ Village,” a Farmville-like mobile application in which Smurfs maintain farms and build villages.
According to an Associated Press story, “Kids go on expensive buying sprees in iPhone games,” Kelly Rummelhart of Gridley, Calif., was stunned when she found $66.88 in charges on her credit card from the game. She didn’t know you could buy game items with real money; her son is too young to know.
Andrew Butterworth, of Brooklin, Ontario, also learned this lesson after his son charged $140 in “Smurfberries,” according to the AP. A package of 1,000 pretend Smurfberries will set you back $59 in real money.
Late last year, Apple started allowing “in-app” purchases in for free apps. So, you can download and play “Smurfs’ Village” for free, and then make optional purchases to speed up your game play.
These extras don’t require a password to buy if you’ve recently entered your iTunes password for any reason, not just in the game.
The makers of “The Smurfs’ Village,” Capcom Entertainment Inc., now warn buyers of this fact before they add it to their device (see screenshot).
So consider yourself warned that you might get more than annoying ads when you download “free” apps. Extra features, while they make the game more fun to play, can cost you.
There’s no shortage of zombie-related apps available on the iTunes store — at least 180 or so, and many of them want to eat your brains. My favorites are Zombie Farm and Plants vs. Zombies, as I talked about in my Get App-y column today.
To fully enjoy zombies live, you had to have been in New York City today to witness a march of them on the Brooklyn Bridge and in Madison Gardens. These zombies paraded in order to promote Sunday night’s premier of AMC’s new television series, “The Walking Dead.”
But if you weren’t there, and you can’t wait to see the show on Sunday, then check out some of these mobile apps on your iPhone or iPod Touch:
I understand the appeal of this top-rated game with strong graphics, good writing and interesting strategy. Each zombie and each plant have a great story, like this one: “Despite Grave Buster’s fearsome appearance, he wants everyone to know that he loves kittens and spends his off hours volunteering at a local zombie rehabilitation center.” Zombies approach, and you pick the plants that you’re going to need to plant in your garden to defend your home. You have to pick the right combination of plants that shoot zombies, provide sunlight and more to win each level. The more you play, the more types of zombies attack and the more plants you can use to blow them up, shoot them, freeze them or squash them.
• Zombie Farm (free, The PlayForge). Like We Rule and Farmville, you plant crops, earn money and build your farm. The twist is you can also plant different types of zombies and go invading. If you don’t harvest in time, your crops, including the zombies, wither. Although it’s free, you’re going to be tempted to spend real money to buy more brains to be able to do more things, but it’s fun at the free level, too.
• ZombieSmash ($1.99, Gamedoctors): I haven’t tried this one, but creators describe it as “an undead-themed castle defense game for the iPhone and iPod Touch that casts players as Joey, a lone survivor pit against a herd of writhing, unrelenting zombies. To defeat the undead masses, players must use their fingers to flick and smash them until they’re un-undead.” It’s graphics include cartoon blood and gore and “ragdoll physics” and it looks like it has enough to keep you entertained for awhile.
• Vuvuzela vs. Zombies (free, Undergames, also known as Undercoders): You use the South African vuvuzela instrument, complete with the noise that became famous during last summer’s World Cup, to fight the zombies that attack as they march across a soccer field. The vuvzela noise blows off their head with a little cartoon-y blood. Vuvuzelas. Zombies. There’s not much more to say about this cute game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
• Zombie Duck Hunt (free, W3 Innovations): The ducks (and geese, bats and quail) are the zombies, and you use rifles to shoot them. The idea behind it is more fun than the execution, although there’s enough help built into the app to figure it out if you want to take the time. Plus, you can download it now with a “Halloween edition.”
• Zombie Shock (full app for $1.99, lite version for free, Blue Wind): It looks like this one has the gore that the others are missing. The app tells its story in graphic novel format, and it’s an action-adventure format with zombie chases, weapons and more. I downloaded it but didn’t try it out — it’s a little too serious for me, and I’ve been stuck on Plants vs. Zombies and Zombie Farm.
• Cat-Nabbin’ Zombies (free, IronBright software): The zombies are after your cats in this game, but my finger kept hitting the ads instead of the gun, which got annoying very quickly. But it’s free.
• Zombie Uprising (free, Zimusoft) . This game feels like a developer’s first effort. It’s simple, but the pace is good. See how many days you can survive against the zombie attack before you’re infected. Not bad, but wait to see what this developer comes up with next.
• Angry Zombies ($1.99 with a free lite version, Si-Yeon Kim) In this game, the zombies are killing the humans, which makes me like zombies even less.
There are so many zombie apps in the iTunes store that there’s one bound to appeal to you. But if you really live in a world where these creatures are real, there’s an audio book that you can download for $17.95: “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead,” by Max Brooks, apparently the son of funnyman Mel Brooks.
And with that, I will bury the zombies for good and hope they don’t come back to haunt me this Halloween.
If you have any favorite zombie or Halloween apps, leave a comment below. Check this blog throughout the week for more of the scary and fun.
~ Lillie-Beth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dog gets help singing with LaDiDa mobile app, nominated for Billboard’s Best Music Creation app. Winners posted below video.
In a recent Get App-y column (posted below on this blog), I talked about Billboard’s first-ever mobile app awards. Here are the winners, along with the nominees. Whether they won or not, if you’re into music, check them out, and let me know which ones you like. Winners are in red.
Best Music Engagement App:
Tap Tap Revenge 3
SoundHound Infinity √
Mix Me In2 Taylor Swift
(From Lillie-Beth: All three of these are worth playing around with. SoundHound might be less well known than Shazam, but it does the same thing very well. It’s the one I use. My daughter has also had fun with the Taylor Swift app, too, while my son likes the Tap Tap series, which is like Guitar Hero for the mobile device.)
Best Music Creation App:
(I’m not familiar with the winner MorphWiz or AmpliTude iRig, but LaDiDa comes from a former Oklahoman, who, with her husband, designed an app to make singers of all types sound better.
As for the rest of these apps, I haven’t done much with them — R5 and Bonnaroo are for specific events and/or the music scene in specific cities, and the music streaming apps often require subscription. I have a subscription to Pandora and iTunes and that’s it for now.)
Best Music Streaming App:
Best Touring App:
Live Phish √
Best Artist-based App:
Linkin Park 8-Bit Revolution
I Am T-Pain √
TouchChords: Jimmy Vaughan
Best Branded App:
50s Sound Lab
Let me know if you have any more music apps that you like.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (email@example.com)
Did you hear that NewsOK has its own news app now? We launched it earlier this summer on Apple’s iTunes store, although the rollout was quiet. But now, as NewsOK’s Digital Managing Editor Alan Herzberger wrote recently on his blog, The Digital Desk, you can tell everyone about it. Find his take on the app here: http://bit.ly/boZ2Go. You can then buy the app and get all its cool features on the iTunes store. I just bought it Monday night, and like always, I’ll be exploring the app at the same time you are.
For 99 cents, you get access to The Oklahoman’s and NewsOK’s news, blogs and more, all in one place. Whether you’re into Oklahoma news, arts and entertainment, sports business or the opinion page, you’ll find it on this extensive app. So download it today, or …
… win it from the Get App-y blog! The most exciting part about this Get App-y post is that I have at least two codes to give away that will get you the NewsOK app for free. If you win, you’ll get to read all of our content on this app free. Zip. Nada. But even 99 cents is a small price to pay to stay informed about Oklahoma.
Here’s what to do to win:
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org about what apps you are loving right now, for any smart phone — Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone, the Blackberry — and tell me why. Your e-mail is your entry, but please leave a comment so others can join the discussion.
I’ll pick a random winner, and I’ll contact you by e-mail with a code to download the app. I’ll also post the names and ideas of the winners on the Get App-y blog. I might even consider your ideas for one of my future Get App-y columns, which run on Tuesday. Check out the app featured in today’s column, Knocking Live Video, at NewsOK.com/life.
Comments will close at noon on Wednesday for this giveaway, and I’ll pick a winner soon after that.
However, keep checking back here. There’s more to come as we get an apps discussion started.
~ Lillie-Beth (email@example.com)
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.
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)
In case you’ve missed it, Apple CEO Steve Jobs officially announced what Apple considers its latest and greatest iPhone, out June 24.
Calling the iPhone 4 the “biggest leap we’ve taken since the original iPhone,” an enthusiastic and smooth Jobs introduced the new design and new features including:
A new operating system, dubbed the iOs4; new high-resolution display, new folder system for apps and ability to multitask between them, and others. It will also be the first phone that offers video chatting, where both parties who have an iPhone can see each other while talking. Jobs called it “Face Time video calling.”
“I grew up in the U.S. with the ‘Jetsons’ and ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Communicators’ just dreaming about this, just dreaming about video calling and it’s real now,” Jobs said.
But here are some figures that I found interesting in watching the video:
- 15,000 apps are submitted to Apple weekly
- 5 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple’s app stores
- 100 million of Apple’s devices (iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads) are in circulation right now, using those apps
- The app store has 150 million accounts signed up to download apps
What do you think? Are you going to get one? Are you as impressed as the enthusiastic audience was? In using up 570 wifi connections in the auditorium to get the word out live today, audience members excited to tell the world about the product bogged down Jobs’ demonstration when the iPhone 4′s wifi didn’t work.
E-mail me your thoughts at email@example.com.