As those of us in the United States prepare to celebrate our country’s birthday, I thought I’d decorate appropriately. Enjoy!
For Apple fans around the world, this week is about as close to an international holiday as a non-religious event can get. The fun starts this Wednesday, September 19, as the latest iteration of the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad operating system, iOS 6, is made available for public download. As with each previous release of the OS, iOS 6 promises many new features and one interesting omission. I have had the chance to load the Gold Master of iOS 6, which is pretty much the final version of the operating system released to developers, on my iPhone 4 and have been playing with it for the past few days, so I can give you an idea of what to expect when you pull the trigger and upgrade your iDevice in the near future.
Thanks to friend and Drum Corps Planet publisher John Donovan for sharing this gem for me.
Those of you who know me will get the reference.
Tiger Woods has won a tournament for the first time since 2009 and is looking good heading into the Masters in just two weeks. You, being the golf fanatic which you are, HAVE to be able to follow Tiger, Phil, Rory, and all of your favorite golfers no matter where you are. Fortunately, the PGA has your back with excellent apps for both the iPhone and iPad chock full of features you can use to stay on top of their games.
The iPhone app (link) is your pocket PGA friend. You can check the leaderboard of the current tournament, marking players as favorites so their scores show at the top regardless of placement. The Media section offers video highlights, photo albums, and player interviews, as well as live video of certain tournaments. Push notifications are available for end of round and tournament alerts, live video availability, and standings updates. There are also customizable push notifications for up to three players. Information about players, tournaments, and the FedEx Cup are also available.
The final straw came when I received a friend request from somebody who I had never heard of before. That somebody looked like a comedian, a “pop” star, or just somebody who wanted to get noticed so they could jump start their entertainment career. I haven’t heard from anybody I actually knew through MySpace for months and hadn’t logged into the site or opened the iPhone app for that long. We all know that MySpace has been dying, slowly and painfully, ever since Facebook became the King Kong of social media and sat on it, not even noticing the squishy sound of Rupert Murdoch’s crushed dreams of building a social media empire.
In the past, when I focused on iOS apps which added Outlook functionality to my iPhone, the one area I neglected to cover was that of note taking. The iPhone and iPod Touch both are able to sync with your notes in Outlook when you plug the device into your PC and perform an iTunes sync. My overarching goal, however, is to cut the cable, regardless of what device I’m using. While using the iPhone, I came across a free service called Evernote which fulfilled this goal while also adding functionality which Outlook notes just don’t do. Now that I’m working with both iOS and Android devices, it is definitely time to take a close look at the Evernote service and the corresponding mobile apps which sync with Evernote.
First, let’s look at the Evernote website, which can be found at http://www.evernote.com/. The site serves as a central repository for information. The premise is simple – Anytime you need to make note of something, whether it be text, audio, or visual, you create a note in your Evernote account and put the information there. With these notes stored in the cloud, you can access them from any computer with a web browser and an Internet connection, which is pretty much any computer on the planet you’ll touch. The free account has a set amount of monthly usage, based on the size of your notes, but I’ve yet to get anywhere near the maximum data cap for a month. You can also download and install a desktop app for your PC which gives you instant access to your notes as well as the ability to format them much like you would a Word doc.
There’s nothing wrong with Android’s own app marketplace, especially now that Google’s updated the marketplace, making it much more user friendly and accessible on the web. What’s missing, however, is a community which you can access to get great recommendations for apps based on the apps you use, as well as reviews from users which you can use to compare various apps which perform similar functions. The AppBrain Marketplace is here to fill that void.
AppBrain is a free install for your Android phone as well as a website. One of the beauties of AppBrain is that you can sync your installed apps list to your profile on the AppBrain website. By doing this, the AppBrain website can look at your app list, compare it to other users’ lists, and make recommendations for apps which you may find interesting and/or useful. As you install more apps and sync your list on AppBrain, the recommendations become better and better. You can also post your own app reviews, helping other users find apps for their Android phones. Since AppBrain links with your Google account, you don’t need to create an account to participate in the AppBrain community.