Archive for the ‘maxing out the iPhone’ Category

Yesterday as I crossed the Atlantic, my Sennheisers performed their customary task of improving the quality of life at 35,000 feet with predictable verve.

With my iPod set to ‘random’, I was struck by how much new music I was hearing. Upon arrival at home, I promptly pommeled my occasional guests with an unsolicited—but cheerfully endured—Name-That-Tune contest. In due course I was able to stumble to an early bed-time bearing the satisfaction of having stumped Lucas on an extraordinary number of tunes in the admittedly broad ‘alternative’ category.

How does a middle-aged traveling man pull off such a stunning victory, this in the company of college-age Bastions of Coolness who seem most of the time to know everyone and everything whilst I creep around in the dank margins of Civilization?

It’s all in knowing the freebies.

Too many of my friends remain unaware that the iTunes store offers three free music downloads per week, to say nothing of the movie trailers and TV-show sneak previews that lie in wait.

Usually classed as Single of the Week, Discovery Download, and Canción de la Semana, these are typically high-quality tunes from recognized or up-and-coming artists. I would normally gush that it’s amazing how quickly these tunes add up in my iTunes library, but then one of you would make the irrefutable observation that it’s not actually amazing, it’s just math.

OK, then. But I still have more free music than you do. Until now. Which is my motive here: to get my friends up to speed on a great freebie.

This cornucopia of gratis sound occasionally tosses in a classical piece for the Remnant of us who still know that Baroque is not something bad that happens to your car. But that works less well, since you’re usually getting, say, just the second movement of a composition that really requires three or four. This is hardly a gripe, but while I’m drifting in the direction of ingratitude, let me also say for the record that the occasional download barks like a dog. Yet such canines are quite the exception in a veritable herd of well-hummed beasts. Or something.

Free music. It would be boorish to say more.


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Endless and ever-growing imagery for your iPhone home screen.

Art, in pursuit of fresh delight, imitates life.

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As bearers of bad news go, AT&T’s myWireless iPhone app is a particularly handy one.

WIth a few taps, you can work out just how much you owe and even pay it if you’re feeling well-disposed towards the official iPhone monopolist du jour. The app also allows the conscientious—or bill-fearing—user to track his or her usage in the relevant categories.

If you have to pay this much to keep the amazing iPhone up and running, it’s a least cold comfort to have the painful details so easily available.

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This handy little app is a marvel for finding out the nearest pharmacy, gas station, coffee shop, and a shortlist of other categories based on its discernment of your present location. Some categories display a bit of mysterious overlap. If you’re suffering from chest pains, however, your dash to the nearest ‘hospital’ might take you through a couple of veterinary clinics before you get to somebody who knows about human hearts. Nonetheless, a helpful little icon for your iPod screen!

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Non-Muslims who need to know the Quran could do worse than begin with M.M. Pickthall’s English translation, here formatted for the iPhone. Scholars and the pious debate the merits of Pickthall’s renderings, but this handy and inexpensive app opens the door to those less interested in the minutiae who benefit from having Islam’s most holy book a tap or two away.

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This very handy app has more than once alerted me to the need to change a seat before getting stuck with my feet wedged into the space left by an ‘electronics module’ under the seat in front of me. It’s not exhaustive. For example, the USAirways Embraer E90 that’ll take me from Philly to Indy is not to be found. But perfection is a high bar. This app is very good.

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Amazing and ever-changing selection of ‘front page’ wallpaper for your iPhone.

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What’s not to like in more news?

You can always choose not to look it up. But, if you want news *now*–say, on the airport shuttle to the parking lot, there it is. Uncomplicated. Fast. News.

I’ll take it.

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If a love for baseball and possession of an iPhone intersect in your life, you just need to get this app. It is certifiably the bodacious portal for quick and mobile access to all things MLB.

A crystal clear interface puts you in touch with stats, standings, results, video, and more. There may be something, somewhere, like it. But I doubt it.

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Of all my news apps, this is the one I like best. AP Mobile can be tuned so that it delivers you a tailor-made assortment of news according to your own interests. I especially appreciate the ‘breaking news’ feature, which alerts me to truly significant events rather than to every stray cat rescued by firemen. A good news filter.

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