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.


iTunes $.99 Movie of the Week – The Magnificent Seven

This post is about the iTunes sale movie of the week, but on a side note, have you seen the thousands of “iPhone Killer” phones on the market? A thousand phones you say? I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.

Remind you of anything? That’s right, “The Magnificent Seven” (Warning: iTunes link) is the $.99 movie of the week. If you have not seen this movie, then you must… MUST go rent it now. It is one of the greatest of all classic cowboy movies, and the experience to see it is worth a buck. I mean, with gas prices what they are, you are probably car pooling or riding the bus these days. You can use a little entertainment.

Here is the official description:

Spectacular gun battles epic-sized heroes and an all-star cast that includes Academy Award winners Yul Brynner and James Coburn together with Steve McQueen Eli Wallach and Charles Bronson make The Magnificent Seven a legend among westerns. Spawning three sequels and a successful television series and featuring Elmer Bernstein’s Oscar-nomiated score this stunning remake of The Seven Samurai is a “hard-pounding adventure” (Newsweek) and “an endruingly popular” (Leonard Maltin) cinematic classic.Merciless Calvera (Wallach) and his band of ruthless outlaws are terrorizing a poor Mexican village and even the bravest lawmen can’t stop them. Desperate the locals hire Chris Adams (Brynner) and six other gun fighters to defend them. With time running out before Calvera’s next raid the heroic seven must prepare the villagers for battle and help them find the courage to take back their town… or die trying!System Requirements:Starring: Yul Brynner Eli Wallach Steve McQueen Charles Bronson Robert Vaughn Brad Dexter James Coburn and Horst Buchholz. Directed By: John Sturges.

Get it quick before it goes away. “The Magnificent Seven” will only be on sale from Jun. 17, 2008 – Jun. 24, 2008 .


The 3G iPhone Only Costs 101 Sale iTunes Movie Rentals to Make?

I know, the title is a bit confusing, so let me elaborate. Recently, industry analysts have determined that it only costs about $100 dollars to manufacture the new 3G iPhones. That’s right, only $100.

We were all shocked and awed by the rumor that the iPhone 3G would only cost $199. Then we were all amazed that the rumor was true. “How could this be?” we said. “They will lose money!” we screamed. We were wrong.

The raw cost of materials to build the iPhone 3G could be nearly half that of the original model, according to Portelligent Inc. (Austin) that conducted a teardown analysis of the first handset. The first phone had a bill of materials estimated at $170 at launch, but the iPhone 3G could have a BOM as low as $100 when it debuts July 11.

Now, I know companies don’t do things to lose money, so I shouldn’t be surprised.  I just wonder what the hoopla behind the phone being “subsidized” by an expensive data plan is all about.  There is no real subsidy needed here.  Apple and AT&T are just getting richer and richer.


iPhone Application Costs on Target

A few weeks ago, I asked what you were willing to pay for an iPhone application.

Well, an industry insider, Gene Munster, had the same question.  He did some digging at WWDC and found the following:

  • The average price for an iPhone app is $2.29.
  • 71% of iPhone apps will be free.
  • 50% of developers plan to write iPhone/iPod Touch-only compatible programs, while another 50% will also provide a desktop OS X equivalent.
  • From those 50% of iPhone/iPod Touch-only developers, 15% want to write programs for location-based services (which actually seems impossible, due to new information that just surfaced), 10% are aiming for entertainment programs, 10% want to make games, while 15% are concentrating on Enterprise apps.

In reality, free is a great price, but $2.29 – 3.99 isn’t so bad either.  The games like SuperMonkey ball, rolling in at $9.99 seems a bit steep, but if the quality is there, I can support the cost.  After all, I paid $29.99 for the same game on a hand held system.  It would be more fun on the iPhone.

I am excited to see what free apps there will be out there.  Loopt seems exciting, as does some of the streaming media applications.  Once the iPhone is downloading 3G, streaming media will be a killer application in my humble opinion.


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)


iTunes $.99 Movie of the Week – Mamet Edition

Dave Mamet is a great director and producer. In fact, I am dying for his television show “The Unit” to come back and entertain. Until then, I get another Mamet movie for $.99 from iTunes (last week was a Mamet movie as well). This week, “House of Games” (Warning: iTunes Link) is available for less than a dollar.

Here is the official description:

It’s the shrink vs. the shark in the ultimate mind game! Starring Oscar nominee Lindsay Crouse (The Insider) and Joe Montegna (The Godfather III) as an unlikely team of conartists, this “witty and devious” (Time) psychological thriller is Oscar nominee** David Mamet’s directorial debut. It’s an “extraordinary” (Newsweek) and “thrilling funhouse” (New York Post) of mental gamesmanship that will keep you guessing until its exciting end! When a suicidal patient reveals that his gambling debt has him at the end of his rope, dedicated psychiatrist Margaret Ford (Crouse) enters into the shadowy underground world of gaming to help him out. At a seedy casino, she boldly confronts Mike (Montegna), the con man who holds her patient’s markers. Duped into a high-stakes poker match, Margaret becomes intoxicated by Mike’s mastery, as he both cheats at the game and charms her. She quickly falls for him, turning a blind eye to the fact that he’s a swindler who can’t be trusted. And before long she finds herself sparring in a mental poker match of the heart with deadly consequences!

If you would like to check out another Mamet movie – his first, then head over to iTunes right away. It is available from Jun. 10, 2008 – Jun. 17, 2008.

Don’t forget, soon you’ll be watching this on your 3G iPhone!


AT&T Gives up the Scoop on iPhone Upgrades

Gizmodo.com  got their gadget crazy hands on an internal memo regarding the iPhone upgrade and details.

Some of this information was expected, but some was a bit of a surprise.  The short of it:

  • 3G iPhones will cost $30 for a data plan (up from $20) – that’s the same as a BlackBerry Plan.
  • The Enterprise Data plan will run $45 – $15 more than a BlackBerry Plan
  • 3G iPhones will only be activated in store – no more “revolutionary” iTunes activations.
  • 3 iPhones per customer.
  • iPhone will be $199 for 8gb and $299 for 16gb.  That is UPGRADE PRICE only.  It would seem that current iPhone owners who are in good standing instantly qualify for the upgrade price.  There is currently now non-upgrade price listed.

Yes, you are correct.  Even though the iPhone will be $200 dollars cheaper than it currently is, it will cost you $40 dollars more to own over the course of the 2 year contract.  That difference jumps to $600 dollars more to own over the 2 year contract if you are an Enterprise Plan user – ouch.

If you want to read the entire article in all of its internal secretness, head over to Gizmodo.comstraight away. 


3G iPhone is Official!

What do you get when you cross 300 hours of standby, a 2G talk-time of  10 hours  5 hours of 3G talk-time  5 to 6 hours of high-speed browsing, 7 hours of video, 24 hours of audio, 2.8X faster download speeds, black  matte, chrome buttons and $199?

That’s right, you have a 3G iPhone!  The new kid on the block will be hitting the streets on Jully 11th in 22 countries.

Not only does the new phone have 3G, but it will also feature a location aware GPS chip and a sleek and sexy new design.

Boy, this one sure was a surprise!  I would have never guessed… oh wait, I forgot, this was the worst kept secret in the world.


iPhone Themed Swag at WWDC

WWDC SwagUnless you live on a desert island, you know that the WWDC starts today, and all indicators point to the announcement and imminent release of the 3G iPhone.  If there was any doubt as to the importance of our favorite little phone at this conference, check out the theme of the goody bag.

That t-shirt features a few of the iPhone icons.  It screams to the world “Look at me! I saw Steve Jobs say ‘One More Thing’, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”

Ok, so the t-shirt isn’t lousy at all, and I wish I was there and that I had my own shirt.  Be sure to check back here later today for any news and update regarding our little corner of the Apple Universe.  Until then, enjoy your last few moments with that old, obsolete EDGE iPhone.  Don’t tell it that you are replacing it just yet, it might cry.


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