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Skype for iPhone: Its Official

Months after teasing us at CES with an announcement of Skype’s native VoIP client for the iPhone, the free Skype for iPhone will finally be available to download from the iTunes App Store sometime on Tuesday. We got a chance to sit down with the application’s principal engineer before the announcement was made at CTIA 2009, to see Skype for iPhone do its thing. While most of the features aren’t too surprising–Skype does want to maintain some consistency across its mobile applications, after all–there are a few capabilities that are notably missing, and a few iPhone-only perks that are refreshing to see.

In terms of navigation, Skype’s VoIP app for iPhone looks more like your traditional iPhone app than it does Skype 4.0 for Windows. For many who already prefer Apple’s sleek interface archetype, that’s a triumph, but those who enjoy Skype’s branding may feel disappointed.

Skype’s screens are well organized and use the iPhone’s ability to add filters, for instance, to sort your contacts alphabetically, or by who’s online. There’s chatting as well, though Skype’s flagship feature is its VoIP calling that’s free to other Skype users and an inexpensive per-minute fee to landlines. Calls on Skype for iPhone work only if you’re in range of a Wi-Fi network, so your call quality will in part be at the mercy and strength of wireless networks nearby–calls will not work over the cell phone network on the iPhone (but chatting will.) Assuming your connection is solid, you can dial a number or quickly call a contacts stored in your address book. iPod Touch users will need earphones with an embedded mic to talk. During a call, you can mute the line, go on hold, or put the call on speakerphone. In the My Info window, you can follow a link to buy more SkypeOut credit online.

Courtesy: CNET Reviews


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Major iPhone OS upgrade coming this summer

Apple (AAPL) unveiled a slew of new features — more than 100 in all — in the third major revision of the iPhone’s basic operating system. Among the enhancements demonstrated at a special media event at the company’s Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday were many of the functions users had been clamoring for — in some cases for nearly two years. Among the highlights:

  • Cut, copy and paste across applications
  • So-called “push notification” — for example, of breaking news or sports results
  • Multimedia messaging service (MMS) for sending pictures or voice memos in instant messages
  • Landscape viewing when the iPhone is turned sideways in the major applications, including Mail
  • The ability to search Mail, Calendar and other Apple applications for key words
  • Improved calendar functions
  • Stereo Bluetooth for wireless earphones

And much more. At the end of the 90 minute presentation, senior vice president Scott Forstall (who stood in for the ailing Steve Jobs) was rattling off features faster than reporters could type: Notes Sync, audio/video tags, live streaming, shake to shuffle, Wi-Fi auto login, Stereo Bluetooth, LDAP, iTunes account creation, YouTube ratings, anti-phishing, call log, parental controls, media ccrubber, OTA profiles, VPN on demand, languages, YouTube subscriptions, YouTube accounts, encrypted profiles, auto-fills…

“Many minor features add up to a major change,” was Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster’s take-away message.

Read more here.

Courtesy: CNN


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Apple Announces WWDC 2009 Dates

Apple has finally announced the dates for their Worldwide Developers Conference 2009 (WWDC 2009). Like every year, the WWDC for Apple’s Macplatform developers takes place in the first or second week of June. This year, the WWDC 2009 will take place from June 8 to June 12 at Moscone Center, West, San Francisco. All eyes will be on Apple; one half is expecting CEO Steve Jobs to show up and the other half is not expecting him to.

Last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had shared a noteabout his absence due to health issues. So, Apple would be expecting Steve Jobs’s return only at the end of June. Now, with the WWDC 2009 held in the first half of June, it’s unlikely that Steve Jobs will show up.

WWDC is the conference where technical sessions, hands-on lab sessions with Apple engineers, and other special events take place. Apple’s chief agenda this WWDC would be to focus on the upcoming Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iPhone OS 3.0 announced earlier this month.

Thus, finally, we’ll get to see a preview of what’s new in the Snow Leopard. Also, expect the final release of the iPhone OS 3.0 update for iPhone and iPod Touch, or may be earlier than that. Other rumors about a hardware-updated iPhone or iPod Touch, touchscreen Tablet, or netbook are bound to spin.

Stay tuned to know what’s doing the rounds on the rumor mills till the WWDC 2009 arrives.



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BudgetCare on your iPhone can help you manage your spending throughout the recession

Cut back on your spending! Forget luxury for the time being. Nowadays, these are the code words of famous economists and business experts at Wall Street and everywhere.

We know that we had to do this, but often forget the warnings whenever there is no proper management. Many of us still spend nearly double the amount of the earmarked budgets. Well, it’s time to get organized with this nifty budget management application on the iPhone is all about keeping a close watch on your spending.

How many of you keep a budget notepad, where you list down spending on a daily basis? Ah! there are only few raised hands. Now, how many of you add up the total spending at the end of the day or at the end of the week? There! half of the hands have gone down. I know, it’s a painful manual scribbling and adding job. Do it BudgetCare way from now!

With Budget care you can note down detail of your spending everyday, ranging from a big purchase to the least one, which you normally forget to note down. For every spending you simply need to input the amount transacted, the purpose of spending and select the date from the scrollable calendar and save the entry. Leave it to the app to add up the total spending for the day, week and the month. You can input your customize categories (Categories are commodities, materials, etc) and sub categories.

If your spending is based on a monthly budget system, enter the earmarked amount for the month in the Budget and Balance section of the application and save it. The application updates the total amount you’ve spent and the balance left. You can check this in the Budget & Balance section to take full control of your spending.

Still wondering how this can help you? You can check total transaction and expenditure for the particular day, on a weekly or monthly basis. If you use this application, you’ll never go crazy trying to figure out how you spend your money and on what.

The application interface is so simple that you’ll get acquainted with BudgetCare in maximum five minutes. Save your day, save your money with BudgetCare.



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JotNot turns iPhone into a scanner

The iPhone can already act as a camera, email reader, Internet browser and video game device. A new iPhone application called JotNot now enables the smartphone to act as a scanner.

The JotNot application, available in the iTunes store for £2.39, lets users capture an image with their phone’s camera. JotNot then puts the image through a filter, which makes the text in the image cleaner and easier to read. (One might use it to filter and store a copy of a receipt, for instance.)

The Web version of JotNot actually lets users convert images to cleaned-up PDFs and Word documents.

The application has a 4.5 star rating out of 5 on iTunes, though less then two dozen reviewers have rated it. It has been available for a week.

“I have already used this app multiple times around our office to digitize receipts, faxes, business cards,” one reviewer wrote. “I am amazed at how readable the processed images are.”

Another iPhone application called Evernote offers similar functionality, but also uses optical character recognition to make both typed and written text searchable. Down the road, JotNot hopes to offer this as well.

One of the main differences between Evernote and JotNot is where the images are processed. JotNot processes the image locally, on the iPhone itself. Evernote processes images on the Evernote Web site.

Several other companies, including Scanr and Qipit offer similar services through their respective websites, but have yet to release iPhone or other smartphone applications.



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