Gmail Video Chat

web cam

Google has now added Video Chat to Gmail.

Now there are lots of options.

Skpe

Seesmic

SightSpeed

Eyeball Chat

PalTalk

Ustream

And many more.

There is no reason why people should not be taking advantage of the increased communication power that face-to-face video chat provides.

iPhone Free Applications Review Part 2

This is part 2 in a series. If you haven’t already read it, Please read Applications Review Part 1.

I have gotten rid of several of the applications I originally downloaded just because they were so bad that they caused the iPod to shut down and restart or just return to the home screen when I would try to open them. It made me realize that people don’t necessarily want to hear about applications they don’t want anyway. Therefore, in part 2 I’m going to focus on the applicaitons that I think are really exiting, useful or just plain fun. I’ll save the reaming of poorly designed, conceived applications for a separate bog entry.

Cube Runner
cube runner screen shot

This is a highly addictive game where the accelerometer is used to fly around cubes that fly at you. It is simple, it works smoothly and there are multiple levels to try.

One of the best things about it is you have the option to switch to landscape view (press the ‘i’ in the corner for options).

Can’t wait to share high scores on the web.

Pandora
Pandora iPhone application

I have used Pandora for well over a year and highly recommend it as a fabulous souce of new music that beats 1 direction internet streaming radio hands down. To make this available on a mobile platform means that we can create custom radio stations and be able to listen to them anywhere and anytime with a Wi-Fi, 3G or cell service. If you do not already have a Pandora profile, I recommend setting it up on the web first and create some stations. Then link your iPhone to your login and start fine tuning your stations. You can go to Pandora. Continue reading

iPhone 2.0 Free Applications Review Part 1

iPhone Application Store

It seems that each night well after I should be in bed, I end up downloading and playing around with all the new applications available for the iPhone.

I realize that it may not be the most mature thing I am doing with my time… My only defense is that I have yet to pay for any (I cruise the free apps section) and try out those rather than paying the fees for apps that probably don’t work well yet, anyway. We are, after all, still in a kind of Beta grey area.

If you haven’t already looked, the new iTunes 7.7 is available and then you can see the application store. You will need an iPhone or iPod Touch with the 2.0 firmware upgrade to try these out.

The iTunes download page.

People don’t really know yet quite how all this will shake out. Remember that July 11th when everybody went to get their new iPhone that the servers were overloaded all day. There are still some bugs to be sure.

Regardless, I have already tried out:

Career Builder– I should have known from the fact that their site does not really provide quality jobs or networking that this app would not be any better, but like many others, I was exited to try. Don’t waste your time.

Holy Bible– While I would not call myself a religious person necessarily… I was intrigued by the description that it was the whole King James Bible with annotated notes as well as a dynamically updated comments on each entry. I was surprised and delighted by the interface and the content. I recommend it for those who wish to study and discuss the Bible

I’ve tried out the Jirbo Arcade, Break and Avatar – while the Break game has a cool interface and I like the idea of uploading my scores to compare with others, the interfaces seem simple and unimaginative. The icons are cutesy so maybe its not geared for my demographic, but I don’t see highly stimulated teens getting into memory games and a measly 15 levels of game play (I finished them all the first time I played). Forget it.

iMaze – This is one of the games that takes advantage of the accelerometer feature of the iPhone. Arguably the aspect that differentiates the games on the device from those available on other phones. Here, you attempt to move a ball through a maze by tilting the iPod touch or iPhone to get the ball to roll. As the levels increased in difficulty, I found myself getting fairly frustrated (a good sign) and one that shows that the game will provide distraction on those long flights or BART rides. Get it.

Moonlight Mahjong – This game is worth downloading if only for the interface. Gameplay is the same as Mahjong in that ‘free’ tiles must be matched in twos to remove them from the board, but the player can rotate and zoom in and out of the board in three dimensions. The graphics really take advantage of the iPhones abilities and when I get frustrated, I sometimes just zoom around the board to see the pretty blocks…Get it.

Twitterriffic – This application has too many letters in its name and there are too many applications accessing Twitter, considering that the interface for Twitter worked great on the previous iPhone firmware versions. I will admit that it is nice that now the tweets are ‘pushed’ to your device and the interface is a little cleaner and links are nicely dealt with. The application is free, so there is nothing wrong with downloading it if you already have a Twitter account (and the Fail Whale is submerged). Just don’t expect a paradigm shift to occur with the application. Take it or leave it.

PageOnce – I love it! One great compact interface that the user can customize to connect to bills, email, social sites, wireless accounts. Each link gives updates and hints as too when there is new information. A must have for those on the go who want to stay connected in business. Must Get it.

Remote – I have used this application nearly everyday. It allows me to control my music, podcasts, movies and iTunes on my network from my iPod. Now the iPod is a remote that I can use anywhere where I can access my home network. An absolute must have.

I will review more applications later and invite those of you who have already tried these or others to chime in with your opinions.

Read Part 2 of the Review

New Wireframing Tool

Pencil Project screenshot
It looks as though we have another tool available through GPL (free) that will allow for everyone to make GUIs and other prototyping without the CS3 expense.

I have yet to test it out, but will comment with reviews after I try it.

Please let me know your thoughts as well.

The software as well as tutorials and support are available here:
http://www.evolus.vn/Pencil/Home.html