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RunKeeper Pro FREE through January 2011

RunKeeper, a FANTASTIC application (and one of LifeHacker’s favorites)I have been using for about a year on the iPhone is available for about a month for FREE (normally $10).

If you are a runner or plan on running in 2011, this application tracks (using GPS or manual input) runs (or walks or cycling etc) and keeps tracks of this information for you on their website.  Looking for how long, how fast and maybe even how high your last run was, look no further!  This is an AWESOME app and worth the $10 BUT save the money and grab it right now…

A few notes.  I have found it works best with an arm band (I have been using the Belkin) so it has good GPS reception.  As RunKeeper has been doing their updates, they have become more accurate and very stable.

Again, if a 2011 resolution is running (or running more), grab this app for your iPhone or Android phone and enjoy.  Great work guys…

UPDATE Feb 2011:  Runkeeper announced in January that they would keep Runkeeper Pro free permanently!  Many people ask me what apps are must have for an iPhone – if you are a runner (or just generally active), Runkeeper Pro is a no-brainer.  Grab it for your iPhone (or Android phone) today!

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AppleTV Review part 1

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As a wonderful gift from my family I received an early gift of a shiny new black AppleTV.  It is small yet powerful.  Unfortunately the one question not asked by the Apple sales rep in the Short Hills store where my wife picked it up was – Do you have a TV with HDMI…

We do not have a TV with HDMI (the last TV we bought was a very heavy Phillips 32″ CRT about 6 years ago).  I do have a computer monitor with HDMI and that is where I connected it to begin the playing…  I would love to see the AppleTV in the TV cabinet (and it will be there someday soon) in all it’s small little glory.

Setup was all of 3 minutes.  Pick a language, pick a WiFi access point to connect to and off you go.  Once you get to the main menu, connect to your library via Home Sharing in iTunes to one of the home machines and off you go…  Music, movies, TV shows, anything in the iTunes library is available to the AppleTV.

A few first impressions:

  • 802.11g network seems to work fine, but 802.11n would be much snappier
  • A TV with HDMI is imperative (no longer options for a composite connection)
  • Items cannot be purchased on the AppleTV (they can be rented)
  • The iTunes library must be online and available to access the media

I’m going to do a little more work with this tonight and followup with a part two.

Please post comments or email with questions you may have or like answered…

 

 

SquareUp with your iPhone/iPad or iPod Touch

David Pogue from the NYTimes outlines the benefit of taking credit card purchases right from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. A company called Square has made a free solution for the iPhone and iPad that allows the device to swipe or type in a credit card and take payments right into your bank account.

This is a great solution for the small business. I have it for my consulting company. Square takes a percentage (though smaller than most credit card companies at 2.5-3.5% of the purchase) and a $0.15 processing flat fee.

Interesting enough, it does bring up questions about why don’t people consider Square for their garage sales, bake sales and payment for the landscaper. It makes payment easy, cool and protects the seller and “store”.

Have a iPhone and a small business, seriously consider Square.

Read David Pogue’s article from the NYTimes
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iPhone 4’s FaceTime is amazing!

Along with the new iPhone 4, Apple included a forward facing camera for video chats and a solution called FaceTime. Now personally I was not sold. Don’t get me wrong, I love video chats. We spent hours with friends and family on iChat for the last few years while the kids were growing up and we were a few hundred miles South. Now that we live close together it is not that big of a deal.

Apple set a test number (1-888-FaceTime) to try out a call with an Apple Rep. The connection is established with the rep via a voice call, they ask if you are trying out the solutions from your phone and if you are connected to a wifi network (this will not work over 3G yet). Once you confirm these things, the rep switch over to an iPhone 4 and invites you into a FaceTime chat.

Once you accept the chat, there you are (in a small preview windows). The rep is staring right back at you… Now the call has switched over to the wifi network, the voice call is disconnected from AT&T’s network so no more long-distance, roaming or minutes being used. If you know someone has a iPhone 4, you can start the chat without even having to place a phone call.

If you have an iPhone 4 and want to try out FaceTime, give Apple a call and try it out. It is the beginning of something new…

Apple has posted a few FaceTime ads on their website that have gone into rotation (you may soon see them during your favorite shows). They all show how much of a connection FaceTime can help people make. It will not happen overnight, but it very well may be the future of portable communications.

Google Docs becomes mobile ready

Google Docs now works smoothly and provides with mobile devices (specifically iPhones, iPad and Android devices). Google continues to move to HTML5 and optimizing their solutions to work better with numerous mobile devices…

In this Google blog post, another goal of Google is to have gmail load on mobile devices with HTML5 in under 1 second!

For as contentious a relationship Google and Apple have had lately, their technology goals seem to be lining up. Hopefully we will see them holding hands again soon and making up 🙂

Thoughts about Google docs on mobile devices – please share…

Wired App for the iPad is live!

Wired released an iPad app from Condé Nast Digital Wednesday. The app currently costs $4.99 (which is less then the newsstand price but more than the subscription cost). This is a wonderful and exciting multimedia version of the paper copy of the magazine I have on my night stand right now (got it in the mail on Friday).

The Wired app weighs in at about 550MB and required a lot of work since Wired’s first version relied heavily on Flash (and we all know how the iPad works with Flash – it doesn’t and it won’t!). Obviously it is portable and if a subscription model is created (buy a year of downloads for $10 for instance) – I’d be signing up and converting my physical to digital right now… There is still a way to go, but it appears to be the start of something great and another example of what publishers and the iPad can do.

More to come following the commute and a trial run…

UPDATE:  Well, the rich magazine experience is amazing – first generation (there are some bumps with how you interact with the “magazine” but amazing non the less).  Some of the navigation feels a lot like Wired (I recall early versions that were orange text on silver pages – pretty but sometimes hard to read), but not as intuitive as one would expect.  For instance when you get into a story, there are times you scroll up and down – not left and right.  Once you get it – it works, but weird when books and other magazines are VERY left to right linear.

Check out a video of the App in action

Foursquare – Some companies seem to be getting it…

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A few months ago I started playing with Foursquare. It is an iPhone (android, blackberry etc) app that allows people to check-in as they go from place to place and rack up points. For example, I go from the house to the train station to Penn Station, I can get 6 points, add the Gym, Starbucks and a lunch run and I’m up to 10-20 points.

Now, go some place new or “off the beaten path” and you can add a new location and rack up more points, unlock “badges”, become “mayor” of a location, and beat your friends in a weekly point battle – fun, but so what you say…. That is where I have been the last couple of weeks UNTIL

I checked into my office and a little tag popped up on the screen “special nearby”. I check into Crunch as a new user and non-member I can get a free week guest pass, check in as Mayor and get a bottle of water. Now, this is getting interesting. Starbucks is doing something similar with mayors getting $1 off a drink.

Imagine walking into a Subway, Starbucks or Duane Reade and getting a coupon I can use immediately on something they can scan off the phone – this is getting interesting. I still need to interact with it so I’m not feeling like someone is invading my “personal space”, but what a great idea.

Anyone have any thoughts, let us know. If you have an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry device, try it out and let us know what you think…