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App of the Week – Articles

Accessing Wikipedia Pages on the iPhone and reading them is so much fun but with native Apps to help you, Wikipedia is that much better. However, while the mobile site of Wikipedia is good, it has got certain deficiencies. You cannot store pages and images for later reading, cannot efficiently zoom in and out etc. With Articles, you can do these things and a lot more. It is a Wikipedia App for iPhone OS which helps you easily read and discover Wikipedia Articles.

The App feels as the iPhone Safari browser with similar looks. The Multiple Tabs button and Add a Bookmark button exactly replicate the browser. With the tap of a button, you could simply open up your Bookmarks pages and then navigate through various options available such as Artists and Famous Paintings, thus making the App a Wikipedia Page discovery App. History would help you read articles, which you previously stored while surfing through articles using the App. “Surprise Me!”, loads up a random Wikipedia Article which enhances its capability as a discovering tool.

You could even Add and Delete Folders in the Bookmarks Page. Opening Multiple Wikipedia Apps in the form of Tabs is even possible with the help of this genius App known as, Articles. Tapping on images inside Wikipedia Articles would fit the images to the whole screen. It has the same Progress bar as in safari which makes it almost identical to Safari on the iPhone.

The App responds very well to the Accelerometer on the iPad as well as the iPhone. The font size and text is attractive and the visual display of the App is fantastic. You cannot access your saved articles (history) with the single tap of a button and navigating too it is a pain. You cannot navigate the Table of Contents of the Article and can’t change the font of the article .

For $2.99, this App is a must-have. Head over to the App Store and get it now.

Performance – 9/10

Features – 8/10

Website – http://www.sophiestication.com/articles/

Jailbreaking – Is it worth it?

Jailbreaking seems to be a word which every iPhone, iPod touch and even iPad user is familiar with. Earlier, Jailbreaking used to be a notorious task and though people eagerly wanted it, they seemed to be scared of attempting it. These days even a 3rd Grader seems to be aware of the term and just wants to risk it to get the biscuit. But these days the jailbreakers have become even more proficient and have developed tools such as Blackra1n which makes Jailbreaking a ‘no big deal’. Of-course, Jailbreaking has its own pros and cons, but is it worth it?

1. Jailbreaking your iPhone OS allows you to run arbitrary code on your device .This allows you to download paid apps for free.

2. It installs a few custom based libraries to your iPhone OS which lets you increase the features of your iDevice.

3. Many of the features such as Multitasking, Folders which are now available on the iPhone OS 4.0 were available to jailbroken users quite some time back.

4. You could not upgrade your device as soon as a new firmware is released by Apple but within a week or so, the jailbreaking community usually comes up with a solution.

5. Jailbreaking does not at all slow down your device; though it adds a few additional libraries, it does not affect device performance.

6. Jailbreaking allows you to take customization on your iPhone/iPod touch to a completely new level. You could change fonts, home screen background, apply new themes and loads more.

7. While jailbreaking, there is only a 0.1% chance that you may brick your device. Though, this happens rarely.

8. Warranty does get void, but many people just restore their device back using iTunes and Apple does not even come to know about the jailbreak.

9. Recent Jailbreaking techniques don’t even add a custom firmware which leads to less chances of your device being bricked.

10. Once you jailbreak, your device is vulnerable to a lot of viruses like iKee and its variants. You need to quickly change the root password of your device.

11. After jailbreaking, many security guru’s advice you not to use online banking services from your iPhone/iPod touch.

12. And after all that, the most important thing – You finally retain freedom. You are free from Apple’s strict rules and policies.

Go ahead and evaluate your decision on whether to jailbreak or not.

Opera Mini App Review

Opera Mini, a web browser by Opera for iPhone and iPod touch has recently been approved by Apple. When Opera submitted its browser for approval to Apple, the situation seemed to be very risky as Apple usually does not allow other browsers to work on iPhone OS. Surprisingly, this time it did not seem to be the case.

Opera Mini is available for download from the App Store and is Free. It is a somewhat good alternative to Safari and looks pretty decent. When the app is launched, it gives you some details about how to use it. The home screen looks clustered and feels as if Opera has just somehow managed to fit everything in one place.

We opened TheAppleGoogle and a few other sites such as Gmail and Apple. What you would notice at first sight is that it is significantly faster. But the page display is simply horrible. The characters are absolutely unreadable. Speed Dial, a feature that offers visual display to nine of your favorite sites was good but it somehow did not manage to capture the sites which we browsed. Tabbed Browsing just appeared as Safari’s window previewer. Some sites simply failed to load on the browser and displayed only a few characters. Even after changing a few settings, the page display was abominable. The browser simply failed to render the pages properly. Though images and videos were displayed in an efficient manner and looked great.

The browser is very fast and unlike Safari, Opera Mini does not make use of the WebKit engine, instead, it loads websites via a proxy, which in turn means pages are not rendered directly on the device itself, bypassing any possible problems Apple may have with how code is seen. The browser uses Opera’s powerful servers to compress data up to 90% before sending it to your phone, so page-loads are lightning-fast. Nice work done by Opera, at least in bypassing Apple’s strict policies, but still looks like a long way to go.

Opera Mini would work on all devices running iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later.

Dictionary.com Brings Offline Dictionary to iPad

Dictionary.com is a great website where you could find an alphabetical list of words with information about them. It helps you find the meanings and definitions of words. It is a virtual dictionary with great features which separates it from normal dictionaries. Thesaurus and Encyclopedia are also a part of Dictionary.com.

Dictionary.com is an Ask.com service. There is an iPad app of Dictionary.com available for download from the App Store. The best part of this app is that it can be used without being connected to the internet. You could use the dictionary and thesaurus offline. It has other great features such as Word of the Day, hear audio of a word and more. The iPad App is FREE and 43.3 MB in size as the dictionary could be accessed without the Internet. Though Internet connection is not required to access most of its features, but some features such as hearing audio and Word of the Day do require you to connect your iPad to the Internet.

The huge iPad screen is well utilized by the App. It has four tabs on the bottom – Dictionary, Thesaurus, Recent and Word of the Day. Recent displays some of the recent words you searched for. It has nearly 1,000,000 words in its dictionary and more than 90,000 synonyms and antonyms in its thesaurus. For some words, it incorporates the word origin and history. It uses the iPad accelerometer perfectly; if you shake your iPad, it would show you the definition and meaning of a random word.

It is a simple app presented in a stunning user interface.

iPad Apps : Hands On – SoundHound

We just got our iPad and as expected we are downloading and testing quite a few applications on it.

SoundHound, an application which I loved on the iPhone is even available for the iPad . SoundHound works on your iPhone, iPod touch and even with your new iPad. From the name you would guess that this app is perhaps for the music freaks, but no – this is for everyone and is more like a game than an app.

The new iPad design looks great and the app uses the large screen perfectly. Hum a tune or sing a song to your iPad and SoundHound would quickly recognize the song and display the results . The results would include the lyrics, artist, artist biography, short playback of the song and you could even purchase the song from iTunes. It is the iTunes Store presented in a way better manner. Say there is a song being played and you seem to like it and want to find out more. Just hold your iPad next to the speaker and SoundHound would recognize the song being played and would display all the details about it. It is something really good on the iPad. It has the menu on the left and the results on the right. The icon, as complained by many, is horrible.

You could even share your favorite songs via Facebook,Twitter and email , Bookmark it, Play related videos from YouTube and check related artists. It takes voice recognition to the next level. Connect via Pandora and launch a Pandora station based on the song selected.The app has a brilliant UI and it is fun to interact with charts, graphs and beautiful animations which are displayed on the App. It is pretty accurate with the search results it renders and could recognize voices in many different accents.

The ‘What’s Hot’ Section would display the song name which is the most popular among the rest of the users. Songs that were just grabbed by users, a few underplayed ones and the hottest songs are also included in this section.

The ‘Now Playing’ Section would help you get more information about the songs already in your iTunes library. It has complete iPod integration which allows you to see the lyrics of the songs which are being played.

This app is totally innovative, terrific and unbelievable. It is based on the “Sound2Sound Search Science” technology which is created by Melodis. S2S helps in the detection of multiple sounds such as singing, music, text and speech. Key benefits of S2S include improved accuracy, faster response time and increased scalability.

Developed by Melodis Corporation and for $4.99 it would be a great companion for all your music needs.

iPad Specific Apps

Apple has put up a page on their website dedicated to Apps available on the iPad. They have 11 featured Apps and have even posted videos about how the apps function and appear.

According to Apple, Apps for the iPad would be something which you haven’t seen or touched before and with every passing day more and more apps are added to the App Store which make your relationship with the device even more stronger. If you have got your iPad, head over to the App Store and check them out.

The list of Apps include :-

I specifically like the Asphalt 5 App due to the graphics it offers and Epicurious would be good for Mom’s .There is even a new section under the iPad Page known as – ” Apps for iPad”. These apps look really very promising and would differentiate the iPad further more from the iPhone.

“The Elements” App is a creative and a unique idea. It features all the elements in the periodic table and puts them together in an interesting manner. The large screen display with IPS technology truly makes the iPad a revelation.

Amazon previews Kindle app for iPad

Amazon has a special preview page where it displays information about the Kindle app for Tablets including the iPad. The looks are pretty much similar to iBooks which is on the iPad.

This obviously means that Amazon would lose Kindle sales and is driving more and more people towards the iPad. iPad already has the iBooks Store which includes books from the major five publishers in the world and along with the Amazon Store which nearly has all books, it would take a lot of innovation to beat the iPad.

It uses WhisperSync to automatically synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights with Kindle and Kindle-compatible devices PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry. It almost has all the features of the iBooks app including adjustable screen brightness and Page turn animation replicates the look of turning a page in a book. If you already own a Kindle, then you could plan to donate it.

Amazon has finally accepted its defeat and now wants to capitalize on the hype surrounding the iPad. By being available on the iPad, it could generate revenue by selling books.

Click here to navigate your browser to the Kindle for Tablets Page.

How to – Copy files from iPod to PC/Mac


Consider a situation where your Windows PC has crashed. You had not created a backup of your data which included your iTunes Library and are now worried about losing all your favorites. You later fix your PC and want all your songs back.Now all yours songs were on your iPod and you need to transfer it from your iPod back to the PC. iTunes does not allow such transfers.

Let us explore another problem which is similar to the one above. Say, your friend has a movie on his iPod which you too want but his iPod is synced with another computer. You just can’t copy and paste the movie due to the restrictions imposed by iTunes.

Well, now you have the solution.

In such cases Xilisoft iPod Rip comes in handy. There are tons of videos on YouTube and millions of How To on this niche and none of them seem to work but this one does. This allows you to transfer files, songs, videos from your PC to your iPod and the other way round without using iTunes. You could even backup your iPod files and restore them if an incident like the ones described above have been encountered. The software supports all kinds of iPods, from nanos to touches. It even works with your iPhone and is compatible with both PC and Mac. It is compatible with iTunes 9.0.3 (latest) and works like a charm. Xilisoft is a trustworthy company which makes loads of other software and freeware including iPod Rip which is magical. With this your iPhone or iPod could work as a hard drive and it even has an inbuilt player to play your songs on the go.

As soon as you plug in your iPod , Xilisoft detects it, it displays all the details about the iPod just like the way iTunes does.Next,you’ve got three options on the bottom to choose from- Copy files to iPod, Transfer files from iPod to PC/Mac or transfer files from iPod and iPhone to iTunes for backup. The UI isn’t that complicated and is comfortable even for beginners. The file is 5.80 MB and if you like it you could have it for $25.95 .

Go ahead, and give it a try!

Website – http://www.xilisoft.com/ipod-rip.html
Features – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Value for Money – 7/10.

More and more “how to’s” to follow only on http://theapplegoogle.com.

Should I get an iPad or not – Confusion Confounded no More

Apple accepts preorders for the iPad or you could even reserve one. But if you are confused or are in a dilemma whether to get one or not, then take a look at this list.

Yes, I want one because

1. It has a large 9.7 inch display with IPS technology, multitouch display,LED-backlit glossy widescreen and Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.

2. It is a content creation device. You could work on your iWork documents, paint with brushes etc.

3. It is a perfect replacement for the kindle. You could buy books from the iBooks store.

4. The best way to experience the web – sans flash.

5. A great display for watching HD Movies, photos , videos and reading books.

6. Has amazing accessories including a keyboard dock, camera connector and an elegant cover.

7. A revised iPhone OS.

8. Apple’s A4 chip which enhances the speed and improves performance.

9. 150000 apps and counting. Apps add so much fun to the device. Games further add to the capability of the device.

10. It is extremely light and thin.

11. I know how to operate on it as I already own an iPod Touch/iPhone.

12. It integrates well with my Mac. I could use iPhoto on it.

13. I could customize its looks.

14. It has Bluetooth.

15. It combines your iPod Touch/iPhone and your Kindle.. It is an all in one device.

16. It is perfect for bloggers and podcasters.

17. There is going to be a huge rush of developers and I see a new market emerging.

Nah, I don’t need one because

1. It is not a complete netbook.

2. I am much more comfortable with a hardware keyboard.

3. It does not have support for wired internet connections.

4. It does not have an inbuilt camera.

5. The screen size is small for me.

6. I already own an iPhone/iPod Touch and a Kindle, so i dont need one.

7. It is not extremely portable. I cannot jog with it, run with it, eat with it etc.

8. It does not support multitasking.

9. It has iPhone OS and not Mac OS.

10. I’ll wait for reviews and maybe go for the 2nd Gen.

11. Maybe I’ll go with Microsoft Courier.

12. The WiFi+3G version is too costly for a tablet.

13. Typing’s gonna be weird. I need to keep it on a stable surface and then I could use both my hands. I cannot type while I’m on the go.

14. It is definitely not the best way to surf the web. It does not support flash.

15. The name sucks.

In any case , an iPad would be a good buy.

ReviewsCollect Ad

Top 10 iPhone apps

Apps for iPhone have really changed the way we interact with the device. Without Apps, the iPhone is like a Lemonade without Lemon.

So here are 10 of our favorite apps which we highly recommend.

#10 – Flixster – Crazy about movies, want to get showtimes, watch trailers then this app is for you. Flixster is a great way to catch up with all your favorite movies. You could sign in via your Facebook account and rate movies and leave comments. You could post a review of a movie on your Facebook wall, check out the upcoming movies, browse movie by genre, get latest showtimes and movies playing near you. This app is totally unique.

Features – 9/10
Performance – 8/10 (lags a bit)
Price – Free

#9 – Mini piano – Though this app isn’t loaded with features but it does what its best at – you guessed it ,playing the piano. You get a mini piano for the iPhone and you could play it. As the iPhone supports Multi-Touch , you could even play chords and press multiple keys at a time. A lacking feature is that it doesn’t provide learning lessons.

Features – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Price – Free

#8 – BackGrounds – Personalize your iPhone with this app to your hearts content. Actually not that much because Apple ,as we all know does not allow themes and stuff. But still you could at-least change the wallpaper of your Slide to Unlock screen. So this app does exactly that. With loads and loads of wallpapers available you could personalize your iPhone. You got 36 categories to choose from.

Features – 9/10 ( ads do appear)
Performance – 9/10
Price – Free

#7 – Wolfram Alpha – A web-app with a neat interface. The technology is completely unique and is optimized for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It includes a special notation keyboard, customized iPhone output, editable history, and integration with maps and other iPhone services. The additional keyboard is full of mathematical inputs and symbols which makes it better for the iPhone/iPod Touch. The app is necessary for Wolfram Alpha users because if you go to the site from Safari on your iPod Touch/iPhone you get the normal desktop view which is not suitable for the iPhone. The price is terrific and the only thing which lets it down.

Features – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Price – $ 50 ( ha ha)

#6- Aardvark – Google recently brought Aardvark, a technology which they said they were impressed with. Aardvark is a place where you could ask questions and get answers within minutes from other users. A great way to interact and get your questions answered in less time. It even has an iPhone app with a slick interface and easy to use design. You could ask questions, answer them, log in via Facebook and much more. With Google with them it is bound to improve, so get to the App Store now and get it. It is better than Yahoo Answers. As soon as you receive answers for your questions, Aardvark sends you a push notification which makes it even fun to use.

Features – 10/10
Performance -9/10 ( lags a bit)
Price- FREE

#5 – iBeer – iBeer is a virtual beer drinking application by Hottrix. For kids you even have iMilk. You could tilt your iPhone screen and make it act as a beer glass. With 5 beers to choose from , this app is a bit of fun.

Performance – 10/10
Features – 10/10
Price – $2.99

#4 – Dictionary.com – The best offline Dictionary ever. You could view the contents of the dictionary without even logging to the internet. It has features such as Word of the Day, Thesaurus and a complete dictionary.

Features- 10/10
Performance – 8/10
Price – FREE

#3 – WordPress- I must say, this is a must have app for site owner , blog designers and every one who owns a blog. You could post your posts from your iPhone, edit them , reply to comments, post new comments , approve comments and even add new pages. There are so many features. Why not go ahead and try it for yourself. It even works for wordpress.com blogs.

Features – 8/10 ( you cannot exclude pages from navigation)
Performance – 9/10
Price – FREE

#2 Tweetie – This is a Twitter client for iPhone users. I tested a lot of Twitter clients including Twitterific, TweetDeck but this one caught me. The interface is so very plain, simple and unique. You could slide your finger to reply to a tweet, mark it as favorite or check out the users profile. It has a new offline mode by which you could save tweets or add them to Instapaper and read them later. Shorten URLs, Translate tweets, link twitter contacts to iPhone contacts are some of its unique features.

Performance – 10/10
Features – 10/10
Price – $2.99

#1 – Plants vs Zombies – Oh, Truly the most addictive game on the iPhone/iPod Touch. Earlier the game was for the Mac and now it has been ported to the iPhone/iPod Touch. It is challenging, engrossing and awesome.It feels better on a touch screen. I really can’t describe it, it is so very good. A very great game and for $2.99, definitely a steal. It has been developed by PopCap and it is truly a revolutionary game.

PopCap has once again brought in the iPhone fever.

Features – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Price – $2.99 ( Worth it)

If you feel that there was an app that should have been included in the list, please do leave behind a comment.