Google Voice, XFINITY TV lead Fresh iPhone Apps of the Week

Nov 19, 2010
Tech

Some big-name fresh iPhone and iPad apps appeared this week including Google Voice finally getting its long-anticipated approval from Apple, plus other major name brands like Comcast’s XFINITY app and Orbitz’s travel service. Google Voice (iPhone) Free After a long wait, an Apple lockout and an FCC investigation, Google has finally gotten its first-party Google […]

Some big-name fresh iPhone and iPad apps appeared this week including Google Voice finally getting its long-anticipated approval from Apple, plus other major name brands like Comcast’s XFINITY app and Orbitz’s travel service.

Google Voice (iPhone) Free

After a long wait, an Apple lockout and an FCC investigation, Google has finally gotten its first-party Google Voice app through Apple’s hurdles and into the App Store. Go forth, and download.

As we guessed back in September, the app is free and includes push notifications for voicemail and text messages. It also includes all the cool functions native to Google Voice — free U.S. texting, voicemail transcripts and cheap phone calls. And any calls you make out of the app will carry your Google Voice number on caller ID: perfect for making calls incognito. Until someone Googles your number, that is.

XFINITY TV (iPhone, iPad) Free

The best part about digital cable is the DVR services that allow you to record TV to watch later. But when you’re not near your TV to set shows to be recorded, if you’re a Comcast XFINITY customer, you can fire up this app to scan through content and set your DVR remotely.

In addition to taking control of your TV when you’re away from home, Comcast’s XFINITY app lets you control your TV when you’re in the room, acting as a remote that can change channels and tune to DVR content or On Demand programming instantly.

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Path (iPhone) Free

We talked about the larger implications of Path this week, but if you haven’t already given it a go, you might want to go see what it’s all about. Path is a social networking app that takes a small-scale approach: rather than letting you connect to everyone you’ve ever met and their second cousins, Path allows you to choose a more intimate circle of up to 50 people with whom to share your photos.

App users who are hoping for an alternative to the privacy shenanigans that have been going on with Facebook lately might like to take a look at this new network. Chances are, Path is going to expand beyond photos in the fairly near future, but for now, simplicity and intimacy make this one worth checking out.

LetShop (iPhone) $1.99

Here’s another handy barcode scanner to help you as you prepare for holiday shopping. Scan a product with LetShop and the app will bring up information about the item, as well as a price history chart to help you figure out if you’re getting a deal, or ripped off.

After scanning a product at a store, you can subscribe to alerts to let you know when prices drop, and compare prices from various different major retailers, including Best Buy, Amazon.com, Walmart and Target. And you can always search keywords if scanning a barcode is out of the question.

Orbitz (iPhone) Free

Avid travelers will find a great thing about Orbtiz’s iPhone app is that it does all the cool things Orbitz does on the web.

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You can book flights, hotels and rental cars through the service, and Orbitz contains around 85,000 hotels and 12 rental car companies that will dish out rates when you search. The app will also use your phone’s GPS to track down nearby accommodations and services when you need them. Orbitz also provides you with all the trip details even if you don’t have an Internet connection, so those of us doing the picking up, rather than the taking off, are covered as well.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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