Posts Tagged iPhone
Xbox SmartGlass first launched on Windows 8 devices back in October. That lengthy half-day exclusivity ended with an Android version on October 26, followed by the iOS app’s arrival in early November.
Eyesight is truly a blessing. For those who suffer from any kind of vision impairment, it often gets very difficult to carry out their daily activities without assistance, often making them dependent on others. Apple has introduced some exceptional applications using its VoiceOver technology for its iPhone, iPads and iPods that are specifically designed to assist visually impaired people in carrying out their day-to-day activities independently.
Here are the top 7 iPhone apps that are designed for people experiencing any kind of vision impairment:
1. Navigon MobileNavigator
Using the latest Navteq map, Navigon’s MobileNavigator turns your iPhone into a complete mobile navigation system. It provides text-to-speech guidance and has an easy Take-Me-Home function to guide you. It also integrates with the contact details in the address book of your iPhone. In case you receive a phone call during its use, the system will resume automatically once the call ends. The application also offers enhanced navigation for pedestrians, a turn-by-turn route list and location sharing via email feature.
2. Visible Braille
Visible Braille is a self-instruction tutorial for those wishing to learn Braille easily. It conveniently translates English letters into Braille alphabets and saves a side-by-side image of these alphabets. The application has a built-in Help section and self-quizzes to facilitate the users. The application is highly useful for learning Braille letters and phrases.
3. LookTel Money Reader
LookTel Money Reader is an extremely helpful application which instantly recognizes currency in denominations. You can simply point your iPhone camera towards the bill and the app will recognize and inform you about its denomination. This is highly useful for visually impaired people in identifying and counting their bills. The app supports many currencies including the U.S. Dollar, the Euro and the British Pound, and provides VoiceOver support for more than 15 languages.
4. Color Identifier
This application enables you to recognize different colors to an absolute specific shade. You can point your iPhone camera towards an object and the application will recognize and speak out loud its color. Another free application, Color ID is also offered by the same company which is designed for identifying just the basic colors. This application can help the visually impaired people in organizing their clothing or gauge their surroundings and for color-blind people to recognize different colors.
SayText is a free application which scans the text of any document or image and then reads it out loud. All you have to do is point the camera of your phone towards the document and hold it. The application will also tell you if the complete document is in view or not through a beep. Then it will automatically scan the text and you can hear it easily once the scanning is done. This can be very helpful for reading bills, menus, medical forms and documents.
6. Learning Ally
This app provides easy access to the Learning Ally’s library that contains more than 70,000 audio books for schools and college-level textbooks. To run this application, you first need a membership to Learning Ally. The application lets you download these books and play them at your convenience. The app also offers navigation through page number or chapters, electronic bookmarks and an adjustable playback speed.
7. TalkingTag LV
TalkingTag is an app that allows you to label and recognize different items. You can label these items by using stickers of different QR codes and feeding a 1-minute audio message about each label. Then you can just point your phone camera at the stickers at a later time and your phone will read out the audio message out loud, enabling you to identify the object. This can help vision impaired people in differentiating between identical CDs, boxes or even jam jars conveniently.
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Carrying out their day-to-day activities is now relatively easier for visually impaired people. These few assisting applications for iPhone and iPads can help them in managing their daily procedures easily. There are a number of other applications that are also very beneficial for impaired people that are supported by iPhone.
For those who have any partial vision impairment problem, it is very essential that they take good care of their eye health. It is very important to choose quality eye products, for example you can buy Air Optix Aqua here which are very high-quality lenses. Small preventive measures are very necessary to maintain eye health.
Whether you want to get fit or lose weight, there are some really great apps out there to help you achieve your goal.
For fitness I’d have to recommend ‘Nike Training’ which is a free app which has workouts in four categories, ‘Get Lean’, ‘Get Toned’, ‘Get Strong’ and ‘Get Focused’. Clicking on any of these categories brings up three skill level categories, ‘Beginner’, ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’. In each skill level category there is a wealth of different workouts. Within this app you can see your training progress and you also receive rewards when you hit a set training time goal.
For achieving a six-pack there is only one must have app to achieve this called in my opinion- ‘Athlean-X – Six Pack Promise’ starring Jeff Cavalier who is a famous fitness coach who has coached the NY Mets baseball team and a whole host of celebrities. This is a paid app, but believe me when I say that you get what you pay for. Within this app there are 100 ab exercises and the name of the game here is muscle confusion. Each training day you are given a new set of exercises and your abs will be shocked into developing. If you don’t want to follow the suggested training routine you can access the ab exercises data base and choose which exercise to do. I’d highly recommend following the daily exercise plans however. The exercises per day in total come to around four minutes each in length. This app pushes your abs to the limit. Your abs are different from other muscle groups as in they can be exercised five times per week without any problem as they recover very fast.
You can track your workout progress in ‘Athlean-X – Six Pack Promise’ and really goes well with the online fitness pack ‘Athlean-X’ available from the Athean-X website. For a app review of this app you can view it here. This is one of my favourite fitness apps of all time.
iFitness is a great app that has different workouts involving weights and also stretching exercises. I use this app mainly for the stretching exercises included. iFitness has a great database of different exercise routines and is a paid app. With iFitness you can tailor your very own workout plan and name each workout which is a really powerful tool.
The final, excellent app I’d highly recommend would be ‘MyNetDiary’ which is a calorie counting app which is extremely powerful. First you set a daily plan and can even upload before and after pictures in the iPhone version. You set your required weight loss goal and how much you want to lose per week and the app will track your progress. You have to be online when inputting your food intake and exercise activities as there is a huge database that you can also contribute to, with calorie counts for specific exercises and a calorie count for different food types. Just input the name of the food you are eating and it will pop up. If it doesn’t you can contribute the food to the database.
You can also input your waist size and also hip measurements etc. Each day you are given your daily progress and recommendations. This is my preferred way to calculate fat loss, together with waist measurement, as if you are following an exercise plan you can gain muscle weight which is a plus. Muscle mass burns calories whilst you are doing nothing! There are 3500 calories in a pound and 7717 calories in a kilogram, so you can track exactly how much fat calories you are burning. You can work in US units or kilograms within the app. Some people hate counting calories, in which case this app won’t be for you. I personally love counting calories as a calorie is just a calorie when it comes to calculating fat loss and if you are eating proper wholesome food you don’t have to worry about which is a good or bad calorie for maintaining muscle.
Three of these apps are paid apps, but they are not expensive. If you bought all three and downloaded the free app you would only be shelling out around 15 dollars. That’s a great investment for your body. Many people moan if an app is not free, but then blow money on beer or pizza. Why not invest in your health and body? These apps are a knock down investment as far as I’m concerned and I was glad to make the purchases.
Guest post by Kevin Baker who is an enthusiastic blogger who runs AppReviews4U.com which has iOS app reviews and exciting tech articles, such as How To Become Batman Reloaded – Using Tech Gadgets
Trials and MotoHeroz developer RedLynx is now exacting its familiar physics-driven punishment on soft, defenseless plushies. Its new iOS game, which is genuinely called Nutty Fluffies, reveals what booth toys get up to when the fairground shuts down: they ride the roller coasters and get horribly mangled when you don’t keep the vehicle right-side up.
Alright, the cartoonish visuals don’t exactly convey that level of imagined horror, but it’s hard to brush off roller coaster accidents when they involve little stuffed creatures. Nutty Fluffies is an instinctual test of momentum and speed ? and instead of balancing a bike, as you did in Trials, you’re trying to keep a string of connected cars in tune with the track, even as it leaves momentarily to collect hearts. Succeeding is a matter of swiping forward across the screen to increase speed, even while in the air, and swiping backward to decrease it.
There’s more to the iOS game than that, of course, with specific animals bestowing bonuses after you purchase them for your empty cars. Also, the vehicle itself can be extended, with the implicit warning that a long coaster is about as graceful as a drugged centipede. Whee!
Ubisoft hasn’t yet shared a release date more specific than “2012.”
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is testing a “Scan & Go” system that would allow shoppers to scan items using their iPhones and then pay at a self-checkout counter, a move that could trim checkout times and slash costs for retailers.
If the test by the world’s largest retailer is successful, it has the potential to change the way people shop and pay, making the process more personal and potentially faster.
Earlier this week, Walmart invited employees with Apple Inc iPhones to participate in a test at a Walmart supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas, near the company’s headquarters, according to a form on the Survey Monkey website. (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/selfcheckout)
“All of the effort is to speed your way through the checkout so that we can reduce costs and improve the shopping experience,” said Paul Weitzel, managing partner at retail consulting firm Willard Bishop, who said he had not seen Wal-Mart’s test. “With smartphones and improved technology we’re only going to see more of this.”
The test comes months after Wal-Mart said that it would add more self-checkout lanes at its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores as it continues to look for ways to lower costs and prices for its shoppers.
Pushing more shoppers to scan their own items and make payments without the help of a cashier could save Wal-Mart millions of dollars, Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said on March 7. For every 1 second in average transaction time at the Walmart U.S. chain, the company has said that it spends about $12 million in cashier wages.
Shoppers often complain on Twitter and in other forums that it takes too long to pay at Walmart, where sometimes only a few of the several checkout lanes are open and staffed with cashiers. While some retailers employ baggers to speed up the checkout process, at Walmart one employee scans and bags items.
“We’re continually testing new and innovative ways to serve customers and enhance the shopping experience in our stores,” said Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar.
Walmart’s current iPhone app already includes functions such as letting shoppers create lists and seeing which items are in stock.
The test comes as retailers and restaurants are trying to figure out ways to speed up the checkout process by letting customers pay with a tap of their smartphones.
In the Walmart iPhone scanning test, shoppers can scan products with their phone and put them in bags while they shop, and then pay at a self-checkout counter.
The test does not allow users to pay on their phone. The app transfers the scanned items to the self-checkout kiosk and then shoppers complete the transaction using the normal self-checkout process.
Wal-Mart earlier this month said it was joining with other retailers to develop a mobile payment network, a retailer-led initiative that would match similar services by Google Inc
and eBay Inc, among others. While self-checkout aisles are common at many stores, the ability to scan items with one’s mobile phone while shopping is not a typical process. Among other tests, Supervalu Inc’s
Jewel-Osco chain once let shoppers use handheld scanners and then enter that information at the checkout to pay, but that test ended years ago.
“This is probably the fourth technology that we’ve tried between shopping carts, RFID chips, the handheld scanners and now we’ve got smartphones,” Weitzel said of the retail industry. “We’re looking for ways to improve that experience as an industry.”
Wal-Mart’s test appears to be limited to one store, but it appears that the company sought out participants beyond its staff for its study. The company asked employees to reach out to friends and family in its search for participants, according to a copy of an email sent by the company’s @WalmartLabs team and obtained by Reuters. A company spokesman would not verify this on Friday afternoon.
Wal-Mart offered participants in one-hour sessions $100 for their time and a $25 gift card to use in the store for purchases, according to the form on the Survey Monkey website.
SAN FRANCISCO: US e-commerce giant Amazon on Wednesday launched its Kindle Store in India, claiming to have the largest selection of any e-bookstore in the country.
The India Kindle Store offers over one million e-books, priced in Indian rupees, including 70 of the top selling editions.
“We are proud to launch this new Kindle store for Indian customers, offering Kindle book purchases in rupees and the ability to buy and read the work of many great Indian authors,” said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle content for Amazon.
The Kindle reader will be sold exclusively in Croma stores across India at an introductory price of Rs 6,999 (around $125).
“Kindle is the bestselling e-reader in the world and has revolutionized the way people read,” said Ajit Joshi, chief executive and managing director of Croma.
Customers may also download and read books on the iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, and Android-based devices.
The India Kindle Store features new releases, best sellers and other works from a range of Indian authors, including Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravinder Singh and Amish Tripathi.
Some exclusive Kindle books will be available and over one million classics can be downloaded for free.
Amazon also launched Kindle Direct Publishing for independent authors and publishers in India, allowing them to make their books available to customers worldwide on Kindle devices and reading apps.
Authors and publishers in India will be able to set prices specific for India and receive royalty payments in rupees.
Amazon has a number of Kindle stores for customers around the world in addition to its US store.
The argument for the 3DS has been precarious at the outset, price not withstanding. With the rise of the iPhone and Android devices, people are playing more games on their phones and tablets than ever before, cutting into a handheld gaming market dominated by Nintendo for more than a decade.
“I don’t think there’s not a bright future for handheld devices but I understand that the competition, again with the rise of smart devices is different, and I do recognize that,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Kotaku during a frank discussion on the 3DS and current portable gaming ecosystem. Iwata offered insight, not only on his own company’s stance, but on the needs of consumers in general ? and how Nintendo isn’t trying to compete so much as offer value.
“Previously we had to think, ok, ‘How are we competing with Sony?, How are we competing with Microsoft?, How do we compete with all the other software titles and all the other publishers out there?’ That environment has changed. And the games available for smartphones, I’m not saying that none of these are interesting, rich or fun experiences, because I know that there are some. And one way we can ensure that there’s a market for handheld gaming devices is by continuing to bring out entertaining and engaging software that will provide users experiences that they cannot get on these other devices.”
Iwata expects the need for “rich and deep” experiences will remain consistent, even while consumers change the context in which they play games. “I believe that as environments change and as the world progresses we’re going to have different ways in which people want to spend their time,” he said. “That being said, I don’t think we’re going to see the desire to have, again, rich and deep sort of gaming experiences… we’re not going to see that vanish. That’s not going to go away.”
SAN FRANCISCO: A professional clown who used an iPad pilfered from the home of the late Steve Jobs to play pop songs as he made balloon animals said Friday he had no idea his friend had snatched the tablet.
Kenneth Kahn, who wears a curly rainbow wig when he performs at street fairs and children’s birthday parties as Kenny the Clown, said he unwittingly received the iPad from the friend who owed him money for a vacation the pair planned to take to Hawaii.
“He owed me $300 for the plane tickets, so he said he had an Apple computer that he wasn’t using anymore. I said fine, not having any clue what the hell was going on,” Kahn told The Associated Press.
The professional entertainer, who has also made unsuccessful bids to become mayor of Alameda and San Francisco, said he never examined the contents of the device. Instead, he downloaded Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five,” Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” and other songs for his clown routine, which includes magic shows and juggling torches on a unicycle.
Kahn, 47, said he played music on the iPad for a few days at a local art and wine fair before police came for it. The device has been returned to the family of Jobs, who died last Oct. 5.
“The thing that is embarrassing to me is I’m a huge fan of Steve Jobs,” Kahn said. “It’s just bizarre.”
Kariem McFarlin, 35, of Alameda was arrested on suspicion of breaking into the Palo Alto residence of the Apple co-founder. Kahn said he had no idea where the iPad came from until McFarlin was taken into custody on Aug. 2.
Apple investigators identified McFarlin after he used the stolen device to connect to his iTunes account on the Internet, police said. He acknowledged to police that he broke into Jobs’ residence, as well as other homes, and wrote an apology letter to Jobs’ widow, according to a police report.
McFarlin targeted the unoccupied Palo Alto home on July 17 because it was under renovation, authorities said. When construction crews left, he hopped a fence and found a spare key, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The newspaper said the suspect apparently didn’t realize he was in Jobs’ house until he saw a letter addressed to the Silicon Valley icon.
During the 15-hour overnight heist, Jobs’ wallet and driver’s license were taken as well as iPhones, iPads, iPods, Mac computers, champagne and $60,000 worth of Tiffany & Co. jewelry, police said.
Kahn said he met McFarlin when he coached him on a high school basketball team in Alameda more than a decade ago.
“Kariem and I used to talk about ethics all the time, so I thought we were on the same page,” Kahn said. “I guess he just got desperate, and made a terrible decision.”
McFarlin remained jailed on $500,000 bail and was expected to appear in court Monday. If convicted, he could face almost eight years in prison. Kahn said he has not been questioned in the case. Law enforcement officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
The Santa Clara County public defender’s office, which is officially representing McFarlin, declined to comment, according to the Mercury News. McFarlin has recently hired a private attorney who wants to remain anonymous until Monday’s hearing.
Justin Beck launched PerBlue while finishing college in 2008. He got to work on the company’s first title, Parallel Kingdom, with his co-founder and a staff of seven in Madison, Wisconsin, surviving on $20,000 of savings from a stint at Microsoft. Today, PerBlue generates $3 million a year, supports 35 employees and has successfully launched three free-to-play MMOs in the Parallel universe on Android and iOS.
PerBlue’s Parallel Mafia and Parallel Zombies both hit mobile devices in 2012, but during his talk at GDC Europe, Beck discussed the specific finances of Parallel Kingdom, which has been live since 2008.
Parallel Kingdom doesn’t have a massive number of players, hype or notoriety in the wider gaming world, but it proves that when managed efficiently, a mobile game can provide huge profit for a small developer. Parallel Kingdom has 1.5 million registered accounts, but only 15,000 daily active users, which Beck admits is “not that big.” These users, however, represent $0.40 – $0.50 per user, per day for PerBlue. Extrapolated to 50,000 monthly active users, that’s more than $200,000 each month in microtransactions from one title alone.
Beck has transitioned from programmer to CEO, tracking PerBlue’s finances with detailed precision, but without self-destructive obsession. From this vantage, he sees Android outpacing iOS in almost every way ? 85 percent of PerBlue’s players use Android, with the remainder on iOS. The Android arket is growing, with multiple carriers offering dozens of devices to potential players, compared to Apple’s slimmer choices.
“Android is continuing to outpace iOS…. Android is a freight train.”
– Justin Beck, CEO of PerBlue
Furthering the hardware imbalance, mobile carriers earn a higher margin on Android devices and have begun advertising those over iOS, Beck has noticed. Previously in Germany, for example, Vodafone advertised iPhones in its windows, but today it’s the Samsung Galaxy S3.
PerBlue sees slightly lower monetization rates on Android, but higher player retention, making monetization across Android and iOS equal. Though of course since more players use Android, its revenue stream is higher.
“iPhone makes a little bit more money at a quicker pace, but Android actually has more users over a longer period of time,” Beck tells Joystiq. During his talk, Beck called Android a freight train and predicts that while Apple is “an amazing business,” it won’t be able to keep pace.
PerBlue itself will continue chugging along, creating games with the tools and approach that it has proven work well, 3 million times over.