Get Better Gear!

Premier Sponsors

TechRestore

Other World Computing

Top 5 Free Apps

Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: May 22, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: August 29, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: March 27, 2009
Release Date: August 07, 2009

iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 20, 2009
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: August 25, 2009

Top 5 Paid Apps

Release Date: April 22, 2009
StickWars $0.99
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Genre: Games
Bloons $0.99
Release Date: April 05, 2009
Genre: Games

Discover New Music

  • Another Day on Earth

    • 10 out of 10
    • Brian Eno
    • In his first proper solo release since 1996's relatively cold "The Drop," Brian Eno has constructed a whimsical and ecclectic masterpiece which is arguably one of the year's strongest records thus fa
  • Pretty Hate Machine

    • 8 out of 10
    • Nine Inch Nails
    • For years I wanted to make music that sounded like something between Love and Rockets and Ministry. In 1989, Trent Reznor beat me to it with this genre-defining album, and it smacked me upside the hea
  • Velocifero

    • 6 out of 10
    • Ladytron
    • "Back to the future" isn't the right turn of phrase for Ladytron's newest album,

  • Bowie at Beeb: Best of BBC Radio 68-72

    • 10 out of 10
    • David Bowie
    • The companion CD to a BBC television concert, BBC Radio Theatre has some of the best renditions of many of Bowie's best songs throughout his career. "I'm Afraid of Americans" is substantial

  • One Word Extinguisher

    • 8 out of 10
    • Prefuse 73
    • It's an album about a breakup, done with beats instead of mopey lyrics. But the beats are raw, and the emotions are there, even if there aren't many words on top of it. While possibly not Scott Herren

Reader Specials

Visit Deals On The Web for the best deals on all consumer electronics, iPods, and more!

Free on iTunes

Virtual Receptionist, iSteam, Moonlight Mahjong and More

I was in Best Buy the other day and as I walked by the cellphone display I saw an all too common sight; a salesperson was demonstrating an iPhone to a Baby Boomer, this one was a woman who seemed genuinely amazed at the features the iPhone offers.

As the clerk poked and swiped the screen her eyes widened and I could hear an "Oh my!" She was undoubtedly impressed with the out-of-the-box iPhone and I'm sure the salesperson got at least one sell that day.

Earlier this week, my friend in Atlanta, texted me to say that she is now the proud owner of an iPhone. Marlene and I have been friends for very long time, and we keep up with each other via the occasional phone call, text message, or email. Her old phone had been acting strangely so it was time for something new. She had looked at iPhone wannabes, but wisely decided on the real thing.

You go Marlene!

At work, a full 60% of the team of folks I work with now own iPhones. Even people I would have bet real money against ever owning anything from Apple now sport Apple's do-it-almost-all phone. Some of these folks even carry company provided Blackberries!

The iPhone is spreading like a pandemic, a real one, not the media heralded Swine Flu thing that made relatively few people sick and everyone else sick of hearing about. Almost everyone in every industrialize country owns an iPhone or knows of someone who owns an iPhone.

In the same way they redefined the music industry, Apple has reshaped mobile communication. Sure, the Japanese and South Koreans have phones that can summon Mothra, make sushi, and perform the Heimlich Maneuver, but none have thus far captured that iPhone ambience that seems to trump, at least for a time, more feature filled phones.

And then there are the apps. There are thousands of them with more being offered daily. Some of them aren't worth the time it takes to download them, but most have value, even the free ones.

For instance, I just found an app put out by AT&T called Virtual Receptionist. If you are the proprietor of what I'll call a micro-business - those little sideline businesses we sometimes set up to make some extra cash or pursue a special interest- and you can't afford a receptionist who would announce your business name whenever someone calls then this app has got your name written all over it.

Virtual Receptionist not only puts a professional voice in front of your works, but it will also forward calls to up to three numbers. and if you still can't be reached you can set up a special voicemail greeting that features your business. You also get a free toll-free number with 60 free minutes a month. How sweet is that?

Well, don't get too excited, there some salt to go with all of this sugar.

Calls made to and from your toll free number via your iPhone count against your airtime minutes, regardless of when and where the call was made.

Even so this is slick app and it was a breeze to set up. It so slick, that it's surprising that AT&T is giving the service away.

Actually, the service is provided by Ring Central, which offers the service to normal phone owners for a fee.

I suppose AT&T is making money by getting us to use more of or minutes; and you know what? I don't care. Virtual Receptionist works, it's free, and I'll use it. So should you if you need it.

Another nice free app and a complete time waster is iSteam.

Select your background, blow lightly into you iPhone's mic and the screen is covered with virtual condensation, just like a mirror in a steamy bathroom.

What's it good for? Doodling. Playing Tic Tac Toe. Whatever your fat fingers can create. What iSteam won't do is let you leave a lip print like any self respecting steamed up bathroom mirror would do. You can, however, show your drippy digit masterpieces to friends via email, which can lead to some interesting conversations.

Another bit of detail that makes iSteam a good addition to Marlene's and your iPhone app collection is that as you draw water droplets run down the screen and your finger occasionally squeaks just as it might on steam covered glass.

Get iSteamed.

Mahjong fans will like this last app: Moonlight Mahjong Lite.

I use to be a big mahjong fan until sudoku showed up, even so every so often I like play a game or two. Moonlight Mahjong Lite fits the bill because the price is right and it's a great looking app.

You can tilt the tiles anyway you want by using two fingers on the screen and twisting. Squeeze the fingers together and the tiles shrink, spread the fingers and tiles magnify, making examining each closely possible.

The lite version only gives to one board, but that's OK because that's really all I want.

Moolight Mahjong Lite. Grab it.

That's a wrap for this week.

Check out the other freebies below, with direct links.


Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

1 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

Lee Dronick said:

Thanks Vern. I downloaded iSteam and it is a fun little app.

   Quote

Page 1 of 1 pages

Post Your Comments

  Remember Me  Forgot your password?

Not a member? Register now. You can post comments without logging in, but they'll show up as a "guest" post.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.