Browsing posts in: Web Apps

Copy and Paste (Sort of) Finally

What do you get when you cross the world’s best smartphone with the world’s biggest flaw?  That’s right… the iPhone copy and paste fiasco.  Now, I admit, even I, an Apple iPhone Fanboy, bemoans the oversight of not having a copy and paste function.  There has been a million times that I wanted to clip out of a map or a web page and remember it in a document or email.

A group of web app designers have tried to overcome this problem with a new service – Pastebud.  Unlike other attempts, this one won’t require a jailbreak or fancy programming, but simply a well designed web app.  Here is  Pastebud in action:

[kml_flashembed movie=" http://www.youtube.com/v/_ybh573ZASc" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

As you can see, it only allows a user to copy and paste from Safari to the mail.app, but at least it is a start.  Pastebud should hit the ground running tomorrow and we will see just how well it works.  The good news is that it looks safe and legal.  If you give it a try, let me know how it works in the comments.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Carree


Web App Wednesday – Out of this World Edition

 Creative Commons License photo credit: …Tim

I have always been a bit turned on by space.  I remember, as a kid, watching the space shuttle launches.  I have also seen all of the major tragedies of the space shuttles.  I have even cheered on the little Mars Rovers that could as they went on for months and years passed their expected lifespan.

That is what makes this week’s web app so cool.  The Phoenix Mars Mission web app is keeping up with the lastest space project on Mars.  So far, the Pheonix has made some awsome discoveries including what is to believed to be ice.  There has also been a collection of awsome images sent back by the craft.

The Phoenix Mars Mission web app keeps track of the mission in real time feeding up any and all RSS feeds from NASA.  It also features a Mars weather report which I think is just awsome.  If you are into space at all, check out the Phoenix Mars Mission web app.  You won’t be dissapointed.


Web Appplication Wednesday – Voyeur Edition

 Creative Commons License photo credit: macwagen
So, picture twitter in your mind – now replace every little micro-blog with a photo.  Does that sound interesting.  I didn’t think so either, but I tried iTookThisToday out anyways.  It is much more intriguing than I originally expected.

It is almost like a photo-twitter, and it meets some sort of sordid voyeuristic need that I have to see the world through other peoples eyes.  The iTookThisToday people put it best:

Here’s how it works:
1. You snap a picture, probably with your phone.
2. You email the picture to photos@itookthistoday.com
3. Your picture is posted at the top of the list.

You can browse the photos or add yours to the growing list of frozen moments in history.  As I was browsing them, I had the sense that the service was a bit like flicker.com, a little like twitter, but the combination of the two creates a sort of simplistic and impromptu beauty.

Give iTookThisToday a test drive and see if you are as captivated by it as I am.  There is a chance I am just weird and like it because of some odd voyeuristic fetish I have, but then again, maybe your weird too.


Web Appplication Wednesday – Restaurant Edition

This weeks web application review features a nifty little social-networking restaurant review site.  Restaurant Ratingz, by Interon Software, combines food, reviews, and a digg-like rating system into a handy and speedy guide to eating in your town.

Now, to be fair, there might not be a restaurant review for every town in the nation, but that is no ones fault but your own.  After all, that is how social-networking works.  It is the responsibility of the users to add more data and keep it alive.

Restaurant Ratingz loads very quickly, and is formated quite well for my little screen.  Also, even though I live in a relatively small town, I was able to find a few great reviews on local hot spots.  Entering new reviews is also very quick and simple in the web widget.

Head on over to Restaurant Ratingz if you are looking for a smart, fast, and well designed place to spend 2 cents, or, if you want, add your own.


The Future of Web Applications Post WWDC

If you caught the WWDC keynote by Steve Jobs, then you no doubt know that there are a few hundred thousand potential developers out there cranking out native applications for the iPhone.  In less then a month, these applications will be available for you to download and purchase.  What does this mean for the state of web application development?

I don’t think the scene will change much at all.

We do have some great things coming down the pike.  Super Monkey Ball looks fantastic, as does Cro-Mag Rally.  These 9.99 games are sure to be high quality and entertaining, but I don’t think that they will push out classics like Bejeweled or Frenzic.  The web application games are free, they are fun, and you do not have to take up any of your 8 or 16 Gigabytes just to play them.  As long as web application games can be fun and free, they will compete.  Developers can still make money from web application games through advertising and the purchasing of desktop versions.

Other web applications that I have loved are best online.  Elegant Words: The Ubiquitous Dictionary would take massive amounts of storage on your iPhone, and with 3G connection, it will load almost instantly.  The same can be said with many GTD applications that I reviewed.  A native iPhone application will not instantly synch between all your machine the way several web to do’s and GTD applications do.

Applications like TypePad and Loopt are a different story.  They add real value to the iPhone experience (for free I might add).  These High quality useful applications do not have a web application counterpart – nor would you want one.

As long as web application developers realize that their work is of equal (or maybe even more) valuable and relevant on a high-speed iPhone, and they don’t get greedy or threatned by the lure of the Application Store on iTunes, then we should see many great web applications coming our way in the future.


Web Application Wednesday Quixotic and Ubiquitous Edition

That’s some good vocabulary isn’t it?  You can tell that I am a professional writer.  Either that, your you can tell I have a good dictionary.  To be honest, the later is true.  But, after reading today’s Web Application review, you can use big words to.

Today’s web application I would recommend is Elegant Words: The Ubiquitous Dictionary .  Since I use the application, I know that ubiquitous means being everywhere – all the time.  Those two adjectives – elegant and ubiquitous – describe this web application quite nicely.  The application is designed very well, and it works very fast.  Like the dictionary application in OS X, Elegant Words: The Ubiquitous Dictionary will easily allow you to look up synonyms and antonyms with just a click poke.

The application is especially nice when I am reading or scribbling away in my journal, away from my computer, and I need to check out the spelling or meaning of a word.  I just whip out my utilitarian and adroit iPhone and check out a word.  The dictionary is almost ubiquitous – I guess that is where the name came from.

Head over to Elegant Words: The Ubiquitous Dictionary   and give the application a try.  It is useful, educational and free.  What more could you want in a lexicon guide (dictionary)


Web App Wednesday – Stripr On Your iPhone

Now don’t get to excited, I wrote Stripr, not Stripper – there is a difference; this isn’t that kind of web app and this isn’t that kind of website.

What Stripr can do is present various comics (and other RSS feeds and webistes) in a well formated, straight-forward, and iPhone friendly layout. Stripr is geared, as a default, with a selection of comics from both mainstream and not-so-mainstream sources.  If you are looking for a quick Dilbert feed on the run, formated especially for your iPhone, then Stripr is the site for you.

Stripr comes to you from the geniuses over at dBelement, they have a fine collection of iPhone web apps – some I have reviewed before.

Using  Stripr couldn’t be easier; you simply head over to the site and login.  As a default, you will see a collection of comic titles.  When you click a title, the comic will load – preformated for your iPhone viewing pleasure.  At the top of the page, you can switch categories, and at the bottom of the page, you can customize your list and even add new RSS feeds.

Some of you might use the Google Reader for iPhone.  If not, or if you are looking for an alternative to the Google universe, give Stripr a try.  I have been impressed by it.


How Much for an iPhone Application?

The Apple SDK has been out for a while, and I just know the happy programming elves are busy working on iPhone magic. Next week, along with the announcement (probably) of the 3G (probably) iPhone, we will get our hands on the promised iPhone application store.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have been pretty happy with a lot of my web apps. If you have been reading Web App Wednesday around here, you would know that there are a ton of applications and many of them are very useful.

The opening of the application store leaves one big question. How much are iPhone applications worth? Songs are $.99, is that the sweet spot for an application? Some Windows Mobile applications run $14.99 – 20.00. Is that the premium for an iPhone application? What do you think should be the going price for iPhone applications? Sound off in the poll below.

[poll=8]


Web App Wednesday – Day Late Edition

It’s Thursday, I understand.  Web App Wednesday is a day late, and you would be very upset with me except that you forgot what day it is too.  Life gets busy and you don’t have time to get mad about something like this.  There are things to do!

Which is why on this Web App Wednesday Thursday, I thought it would be good to cover noter, a great to do /  list maker application from the fine folks over at dBelement. As a side note, dBelement has a slew of great iPhone apps for you to check out.  I highly recommend a visit.

At any rate, there on a synapse, deep within my mind was a small note regarding Web App Wednesday.  I swore I would remember, but then Wednesday came and went without a whimper and without a Web App review. Had I been using noter, maybe that wouldn’t have happened.

The interface for noter is simple and elegant and well suited for the iPhone. After logging in, or creating an account, you are able to add items to a list, color code them, remove items, and keep things generally organized.  The app is designed simply, and it does its few tasks exceedingly well.  If you choose to become a subscriber, you can sync all of your notes to the dBelement servers for backup.  Subscriptions cost $7 per six months – all in all, a great deal.

If you are reading this on a Thursday, and find yourself surprised that it is in fact not Wednesday, run to noter right away; you need it desperately.  If you are simply looking for a simple list-maker, noter will work as well.


Web App Wednesday – Gravity Swarm

I am not a “gamer” per se.  I do enjoy a bit of mindless distraction now and then however.  It is for that reason that the iPhone is a great gaming device for me.  Technically, that makes me a casual gamer, and this weeks Web App, Gravity Swarm, is a great casual game.

Gravity Swarm is like the classic game Asteroids, with touchscreen controls, and on steroids.  I found myself playing it for about 10 minutes while commuting the other day, and it helped the time pass flawlessly.

In the game, you play the triangle (I said it was like Asteroids) that is really a space ship.  The polygons (which are a lot like Asteroids) are flying around trying to destroy you.  Your mission is to blast them into small polygons while avoiding them.  Eventually, you will have completely blown them up and new polygons will attack.  What I like is how you control the game with your finger.  Your ship is constantly firing, and you use the touchscreen to direct and control where you move and where you fire.

Give Gravity Swarm a try. If you are a hardcore gamer, this might entertain you in between hardcore gaming sessions or while on the bus.  If you are a casual gamer like myself, it will be classic fun.


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