App Industry Roundup: iPhone apps to get you ready for the iPhone 4

Jun 21, 2010
Tech

What are the best apps to prepare for the iPhone 4 and its upgraded operating system? We take a look at a few in today’s App Industry Roundup. Also, a new Nook has a nice price while FaceTime chats do not cost you minutes. (Yes, you probably knew that.) App ideas for iPhone 4 We are […]

What are the best apps to prepare for the iPhone 4 and its upgraded operating system? We take a look at a few in today’s App Industry Roundup. Also, a new Nook has a nice price while FaceTime chats do not cost you minutes. (Yes, you probably knew that.)

App ideas for iPhone 4

We are three days from the iPhone 4 being available in consumers’ hands, and the lists of apps you will want to use with the new device are starting to emerge. At Appolicious, we offer plenty of advice from our writers and our avid users, but we also like to point out smart lists from other sources. Here’s a great one from TechCrunch in anticipation of the coming iPhone 4.

The list looks at apps that will be multitasking wonders, the key feature of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone OS 4 software upgrade. So which apps will you want when you can multitask?

How about Evernote for productivity (download and upload notes), Zagat To Go for dining (calendar updates), LinkedIn for business connections, Pandora Radio for background music and How to Cook Everything, which TechCrunch says may be the most robust iOS 4 app so far.

You’re hungry for that new iPhone, aren’t you?

New Nook, new price

Congrats to Barnes & Noble for dropping the price of the Nook e-reader to $199 (from $259) and developing a new model, a Wi-Fi-only version of the Nook eReader for $149. It is a nice feature that you can download books on the fly using the $199 Nook’s 3G connection built in, much like you can do on the still $259 Amazon Kindle, but really, you can live without this if you have Wi-Fi. (Amazon responded by dropping Kindle’s price to $189).

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Barnes & Noble is clearly trying to gain traction over the Kindle — and a new Kindle may be coming in August — with such a steep price cut, but also indicating that more robust devices like the iPad and even the iPhone are cutting into eReader sales. Of course, eReaders are new category of product — like the iPad and smartphones — but because they are basically one-trick ponies  (just read, baby), many consumers will opt for the iPad’s multitasking force.

Nonetheless, I think eReaders are starting to find a reasonable price level and it should be very soon that Amazon will follow Barnes & Noble’s lead and cut the price of the Kindle. It would be nice if we get a less expensive Wi-Fi version as well. Fast Company thinks this pricing issue is a race to the bottom, but I disagree: I think eReaders will continue to be popular, as long as the prices are right. We are getting there.

Yes, it was obvious

For some reason, there was confusion over whether FaceTime calls would cost customers ‘minutes’ on their phone bill. FaceTime, which allows for video chats between iPhone 4 owners, will launch later this week when the iPhone 4 goes on sale. It’s one of the iPhone 4’s signature features.

But apparently, when Apple said the video calling feature would initially work only over Wi-Fi, some people figured wireless minutes would be involved because FaceTime calls can begin over the wireless network. It’s simple, people. FaceTime only works over Wi-Fi. If you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network when you want to make a FaceTime call, it won’t work. It’s an Internet service, not a wireless network service. No minutes accrued!

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Apple made this clear from the get go. Indeed, Steve Jobs even said during his June 7 presentation to introduce the iPhone 4, that he hoped “carriers” would one day allow the iPhone 4 to offer video conferencing over their network. He didn’t specify which carriers, either, meaning that a carrier other than AT&T will likely carry the iPhone at some point.

If there was any mystery to Apple’s intentions with FaceTime, that was it.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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