Even if you don’t have an iPhone, the ad campaign from Apple has no doubt reminded you that there are countless apps available. And last week I noted that there is no shortage of inane, silly and even useless apps. And now comes word that many apps might look alike, because these so-called “bulk apps” are based on the same templates and have a similar look and feel.
This week it was reported by Skyhook Wireless who released the findings of a new study found many of the apps out there do pretty much the same thing. Skyhook, which is the developer of location based technology, figured that about one third of the 2,800 location apps available from the Apple App Store used the same basic templates.
So for travelers, this is a mix of the good with the bad. That’s not to say that these apps, which are generally very affordable, aren’t useful, but many of the apps are more for local search or travel guide. That said, you might want to make sure that the apps you use will serve you on your trip. Some appear to be very local too, so an app that offers information for Paris might not even provide information on the surrounding sights just outside the city of lights.
What will be interesting to watch is how these bulk apps affect the overall app market? Will consumers find value, even with these micro-transaction based apps, or will they decide to go with more full-fledge products? If only there was an app that would help us track this usage.
Postcards From the
Getting digital greeting cards is nothing new, and that’s something that has been around long before the iPhone made it to the scene, but now PrintYourLife.com has introduced an app called goPostal. This free iPhone app lets users take a photo, compose a message and then send it to a recipient in the address book. And instead of a digital version of the photo and message being sent, the company will send a real printed post card anywhere within the United States for a fee of $1.29.
Comcast Mobile App
If you’re a Comcast Cable TV or Internet service subscriber there is an app for you. This week the company released its Comcast Mobile App for the iPhone, which is now available for free from the Apple App Store. This app allows users to access some of Comcast’s services from your handset over Wi-Fi, and includes the option to get Comcast e-mail; manage your account, including digital voice or even view TV listings; and watch movie trailers for those titles being shown On-Demand.
And while you can get reminders sent to your iPhone about programs, the one missing piece most users will probably want is the ability to set the DVR from the handset. Unfortunately, at the present time Comcast isn’t offering users the ability to set a DVR remotely or even from the local area network. So much for giving up on that lost remote and just sticking with the iPhone. However, the word is that this is a feature that Comcast hopes to implement into future updates of the app. Being able to set the DVR from your handset would certainly be a feature many (including this reporter) would certainly welcome.
After Hour Apps of the Week: Puzzle Time
Sudoku 100,000,000 – Fans of the puzzle game take note, this week Digital Leisure has introduced the latest version of Sudoku and this includes literally an endless option of puzzles, so you’ll never see the same one twice. Users can select from the classic nine-by-nine gameboard, as well as a Grand Sudoku that challengers players to complete with five intersecting boards at the same time. There are even three difficulty options to satisfy novices to hardcore number crunchers. Sudoku 100,000,000 is now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch from the Apple App Store for $1.99.