According to the Apple Insider website (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/28/apple_announces_app_store_downloads_top_2_billion.html
), Apple's App Store has surpassed the 2 billion mark. That's right, over 2,000,000,000 pieces of software have been downloaded since the App Store's initial release to the public in July of 2008.
There are applications that range anywhere from finding out what the local weather is, to turn-by-turn directions, to hundreds of games. Using the onboard GPS and gyros, you can find exactly where you are on the planet and navigate to where you want to go, or you can turn your iPhone/iTouch to turn the wheel of the car you are driving (the one in the game, not the car you are sitting in).
There are over 85,000 applications available from the App Store that can be downloaded, created by the 125,000 developers around the globe. With numbers like that, there has to be something that you will enjoy. A lot of the apps at the App Store can be downloaded for free, many others for only a couple of dollars. Even I can afford that (although, it would help to have an iPhone/iTouch to be able to do the downloads, though).
The website also states that up until April 23 of this year, 1 billion apps had been downloaded at an average rate of 4.1 million per day - 4,100,000 downloads PER DAY. That number has since increased to an average of 4.5 million per day, as almost 6.3 million apps have been downloaded since April 23, pushing the number of downloaded apps over the 2 billion mark. I don't care who you are, that is a lot of data right there!!
For those of you yet to change cell carriers, you can try out what in my opinion is the best mobile device there is. You can pick up the iPod touch. This device has most of the same capabilities as its big brother, the iPhone. They even share the same form factor. Now here comes the catch, well two for that matter, the touch isn't a phone for starters (however, you can turn it in to one).
The second, is that the touch doesn't have a camera, not even a still camera. The prototype that was leaked before the official release did have a camera. A recent tear down of the new iPod touch shows that the space is there for a camera. So Apple must have tried to include one, but decided not to before it went to production. This space leaves some hope that in the near future there could be a newer version that does include this missing piece. It's even more puzzling that the iPod Nano does include a still and video camera. Overall, the iPod touch, in its newest form, offers more storage. It's great for music, gaming and watching videos too, but for a camera, you will just have to look to its little sibling.
If you've been living under a rock, or are not a hipster apple cult member like myself, there is a music themed Apple Event today.
The consensus is that Apple will unveil new, cheaper iPod touches and nanos that included 3.2MP cameras. They may even redesign the shuffle, since apparently no one wants a small iPod with no buttons. Who would have guessed? Also, I'm not sure if you've realized, but "social networking" is kind of a big deal these days, so the new iTunes 9 will have some of that incorporated. I don't know about you, but when I'm streaming ‘Anyway Way You Want It' by Journey, I NEED my Twitter following to know it. (sidenote: I rocked the HECK out of that song in Rock Band 2 this weekend. cough99%vocalscough)
But enough about my musical taste, lets talk about what Apple SHOULD debut this afternoon.
How cool would it be to stream your entire iTunes Library right to your iPhone/iPod touch? I just ripped Robocop to my laptop and threw that on my iPhone, but it would really sweet if I didn't have to take up 700MB to do it. Can you imagine the space you would save? Of course, such an application would be limited to WiFi, but that's fine with me. I barely trust sending text messages over AT&Ts network, let alone stream BASEketball to my iPod touch while I'm mowing the lawn.
And what about that fabled tablet? I've played around with their new Snow Leopard OS, and while a bit buggy, they've made some curious changes to the OS that make it easier for use on a touch screen. Heck, they've even included buried in the software a large on screen keyboard. That's no accident. The main thing that excites me about a possible tablet is that it would instantly become an eReader competitor. Not only would you get a rumored 10" screen with complete OS, but that thing is full color AND can play full length movies. So long Kindle!
Other than that, the rumors of the Beatles coming into the iTunes store don't really interest me. I mean, what the heck have they done in the last 15-20 years? Give me some Taylor Swift exclusives, and then we'll talk. Am I right?
Listen, we all make mistakes.
So last time I started spouting crazy things about wanting a Microsoft Zune. And believe me, at the time it just felt right. Sure, I was betraying everything I've been accustomed (brainwashed) to love. But that was then. I've come back to the flock.
Word on the street is that Apple will be hosting an iPod themed event the first week of September. (The week before the Zune HD launch.) and it looks like they're going to be dropping new models a bit cheaper than the Zune.(16GB/32GB/64GB, $199/$299/$399) Oh, and they have a built in camera.
Let's be realistic here, too. The camera isn't the dealbreaker in the new tighter battle between the two. The specs and prices are nearly identical. The Zune just can't compete with the App Store. Young people like games and stuff! Sure you can listen to crummy independent music and watch new episodes of Real Housewives on the Zune, but what do you do in between? No Tetris for you. And I'm afraid you won't be battling meteors traveling at light speed towards your ship. The iPod touch isn't just a media player, heck, it's a video game system. If we really want to get technical, it's as PlayStation 1 in your pants. And isn't that everyone's dream? A PS1 in their jeans? And now that dream has a camera too.
Microsoft doesn't have an app for that.
Don't strike me down Oh Merciful Jobs!
It's true though. I am thinking about switching from an iPod touch to a Microsoft(!) Zune HD. It's the equivalent of Rush Limbaugh falling in love with Nancy Pelosi. Philadelphia Eagles fans cheering the Dallas Cowboys. Sarah Palin making an insightful, intelligent comment. It's a paradox people!
But let me tell you something, I saw a leaked video of the user interface of the new Zune HD coming out this fall and my mouth started to water. It's so fluid and sexy that I almost think Microsoft outsourced it. Plus, it's something different than what I've been using for 3 years. And change is good, or so I hear.
The 'HD' of the name implies HD Radio, which I'm almost positive no one on earth uses. But it also gives you the opportunity to output HD video from your Zune to your flatscreen. That's pretty cool. The XBOX 360 has rebranded their online video shop as the Zune Marketplace. When you download movies and TV shows, you can put them on your Zune too. Not too shabby. The player also has WiFi, and a mobile browser. If anyone has ever used a windows phone to browse the web, and not wanted to throw themselves into a wall, congratulations. But this IE browser has been completely re-done, and looks pretty solid.
The UI of this thing is its biggest selling point. If they throw it onto a Zune Phone....I MIGHT switch. That's how smooth it looks.
Oh, plus the thing plays music...or something.
IT Mobility | Thanks to the new Skype application, it is now possible to use your second generation iPod Touch to place phone calls. This is done by the use of VoIP technology, so naturally you will need to have access to a Wi-Fi network. The application allows you to place free calls to other Skype users as well as make paid calls, starting at 2.1 cents per minute, to cell phones and landlines. However, unlike the desktop version of Skype, you cannot make video or conference calls. The up side to this is that the application allows users to accept a conference call.
To get started, all a user needs is the install the application. There are no software upgrades necessary, but the purchase of a set of headphones with a built in microphone. Being that the original Touch does not have an audio in capability, this application is useless when installed on it.
If you have no experience with Skype, the calls are loud and clear with the average call between Skype users having better quality then the average cell phone connection. Some testers of the new application so that the Skype to Skype calls over the iPod Touch maintain this quality, but the calls placed to cell phones and landlines were not quite as sharp. However, they are still comparable to the quality of a typical cell phone call. So of the other complaints users are having is that the application is sometimes to respond to taps on the touch screen.
This does not allow users to ditch their cell phones, but it does create another option in certain situations. For example, if their home or office is in a dead zone and gets poor cell phone reception, this will allow them to call out though their network and not have to deal with having a poor quality phone call.