A!arm for iPhone and iPod Touch

A!arm
A!arm

We have been testing  A!arm for iPhone over the weekend and are pretty impressed. An alarm clock you can you can stop with your voice! Impressive.

When A!arm starts beeping in the morning, the user can shout to stop the alarm or to let it snooze a little bit more. “I had the idea of an alarm clock you can yell at a long time ago, I’m very excited we’ve finally done it!” said Martijn Verpaalen, who created A!arm with Michael Diguet. “Shouting off an alarm clock is much more relieving than pressing a stop button. I really believe people will have a better start of their day with A!arm.” said Martijn. While this is an impressive and useful feature it does require the app to be running in the foreground, a limitation of iOS rather than the app of course. And the app itself will run in the background and wake you up on time.

A!arm does also what any other alarm clock should do. There is a list of active and inactive alarms, the user can set how long he wants to snooze and he can choose on what days he wants the alarm to repeat. The alarm clock also beeps as a push notification in case the user has forgotten to keep the app on the foreground.

Aside from being able to turn of the alarm with you voice, the alarm app also has a counting game function, for those who suffer from insomnia, this is bound to get you off to a sleep. If you are a social networking creature you may find the built in Facebook or Twitter functions useful to tell your friends and followers you are up!

“We know waking up will never be fun, but we try really hard to get there!” said Martijn. “We made a list of options we wanted to add and chose the ones we found the most exciting” said Michael. One of them is the wake-up test. It is a simple mathematical question which enables the user to check if he is fully awake. “We all know the excuse of ‘my alarm clock didn’t ring this morning’. What happens most of the time is that the alarm does ring, but the user just stops it and goes on sleeping. We made this impossible with the wake-up test” said Martijn.

Is it worth it?  A!arm has the same functions as the built in iOS app with some added features  which you might find useful including voice stop and a built in game, you may find keeping an foreground application running all night draining on the battery, but you don’t have to use this function and  at .79USD it’s an app worth having on you iPhone or iPod

[box type=”download” style=”rounded”]Visit: http://alarm-app.com/ for more information and to download[/box]

A!arm Image Gallery

iOS 4.3 now available to developers

iOS 4.3
iOS 4.3

Apple have made the next version of iOS, iOS 4.3 available to developers. iOS 4.3 is available to iPad, iPhone 4, 3Gs, iPod Touch, and there is even an Apple TV version! This is further proof that Apple is trying to keep iOS versions consistent throughout their iOS devices. It may also mean support for iPhone 3G will no longer be offered?

Developers are still sifting through the code to see what is new in iOS 4.3.  One of the  most interesting elements to iOS 4.3 that Apple have introduced is new multitouch features for iPad –

“You can use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen; swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar; and swipe left or right between apps. We are providing this preview before releasing them to the public to understand how these gestures work with your apps.”

This would negate the need for a home button! Will there be a home button on the iPad 2?

Other findings in iOS 4.3 so far also include:

  • Ability to stream video from apps other that native Apple apps!
  • A new facetime icon.
  • Personal hotspot options – this is expected to be carrier dependent, as we reported on recently.
  • Change the functionality of the hardware button on the iPad: Mute or Rotation lock – it’s now your choice!

[VIA Macrumors]

Video calling is here with Skype 3.0 for iPhone!

Skype 3.0 for iPhone is here, and with it comes video calling, it has arrived earlier than expected by the rumor websites, but this is a big one folks.  Hop into the app store and hit update if you already have Skype for iPhone installed.

The good news is video calling will work with iPhone 4, 3Gs and iPod Touch (4rd Generation), obviously the 3Gs does not have a front facing camera. It will also work with iPod Touch (3rd gen) and the iPad, but just one way video calls (receiving). You need to update to iOS 4 to avail of video calling, with this done you will also be able to call desktop Skype users over wifi and 3G!

If you have not been using the video calling feature on your iPhone or iPod, because the other person did not have facetime on their device, this is the perfect time to give it a try?

Let us know in the comments how you get on!

iTunes 10 released with Ping social music network

To coincide with the range of new iPods announced just an hour ago by Apple, iTunes 10 has been released. Apple thinks CDs are over and have removed the CD icon from the iTunes logo. The most exciting feature on iTunes 10, is a social network for music called Ping which is included with iTunes 10.

iTunes
iTunes

Ping allows you to follow friends and artists and purchase music and movies based on their activity. You can also view pictures and videos posted by artists. Great idea by Apple to integrate social networking to iTunes, time will tell if it is a hit!

The update is available now on the iTunes website, although the link leads to the old version, when we tired. To be fair it was just announced!

What was your first iTunes film download?

Hey everyone! We hope you are enjoying the bank holiday weekend (Ireland only). Let us know if any of you have downloaded any films from the new Irish iTunes film store. For us we downloaded The Hangover and watched it on the iPad! Quality was great, but hand got sore from holding the iPad.

Let us know just the film title in the comments, we are interested to see what folks are watching!

Enjoy the weekend!

Apple launches Film store in iTunes Ireland

iTunes Movie store
iTunes Movie store

Surprise! Ireland now has a film store in iTunes with films from the likes of 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment.  And it is pretty packed with goodies, we have not had a chance to download anything yet, but it does look very promising, although we are not sure about the pricing, it’s not exactly cheap. But I really don’t think we should complain, it has been such a long time coming.

The iTunes Store is offering top-rated films including “Avatar”, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, “Up”, “The Hangover”, “Iron Man” and “Harry Brown”.

It will be the perfect companion to when the iPad launches in Ireland, and hopefully it might spell the way for TV shows, although we imagine the Irish TV networks will get first dabs on anything good in that genre. As well as buying films you can also rent films, the price seems to vary between 2.99 and 3.99 to rent, to buy an iTunes film you are looking at about 9.99 and up with Star Trek costing 9.99 and Avatar at 13.99 Euro.

Todays Moive Charts on Irish iTunes Store

1. 2012
2. Up
3. Mean Girls
4. Harry Brown
5. Universal Soldier: Regeneration

Press Release

Apple Premieres Films on the iTunes Store in Ireland

Dublin, Ireland — April 30th, 2010 — Apple today announced that films from major studios including 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment, as well as European studios including E1 Entertainment, Lionsgate UK and Optimum Releasing, are now available on the iTunes Store in Ireland (www.itunes.ie) for rent or purchase. The iTunes Store is offering top-rated films including “Avatar”, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, “Up”, “The Hangover”, “Iron Man” and “Harry Brown”.

iTunes’ legendary ease of use makes discovering and enjoying films as simple and easy as buying music on iTunes has always been. Films are available for purchase on iTunes the same day as their DVD release, and can be viewed on an iPod with video, iPhone, Mac or PC or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV.

With iTunes Film Rentals, once a film is rented, it starts downloading from the iTunes Store directly to iTunes or Apple TV, and users with a fast Internet connection can start viewing the film in seconds. Customers have up to 30 days to start watching it, and once a film has been started customers have 48 hours to finish it — or watch it multiple times.

Featuring Apple’s legendary ease of use, including pioneering features such as iTunes Film Rentals, integrated podcasting support, the ability to turn previously purchased tracks into complete albums at a reduced price, and seamless integration with iPod and iPhone, the iTunes Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.

Pricing & Availability
iTunes 9.1 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from www.itunes.ie. iTunes film purchases and rentals require a valid credit card with a billing address in Ireland. iTunes films start at €7.99 for catalogue title purchases, €9.99 for recent releases and €13.99 for new releases. iTunes Film Rentals are €2.99 for library title rentals and €3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are priced at just one euro more.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution with the Apple II, then reinvented the personal computer with the Macintosh. Apple continues to lead the industry with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system, and iLife, iWork and professional applications. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Apple may charge for future iPad OS updates

Apple has released the shipping version of it’s OS for the iPad. The licencing information notes that, updates to the current and next version of the OS will be free, but they may charge for newer OS versions. iPhone users are currently not charged for OS major upgrades, but iPod Touch users are. It seems that iPad owners may have the same faith as iPod Touch users.
In the piece quoted below it would seem to indicate that for example if iPad shipped with version 3.x that apple will provide free updates up to and including version 4.x, however version 5.x may have a charge and also charge for versions beyond version 5.

Apple will provide you any iPad OS software updates that it may release from time to time, up to and including the next major iPad OS software release following the version of iPad OS software that originally shipped from Apple on your iPad, for free. For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models.

[Via Macrumors]

Facebook updates iPhone application (version 3.1.1)

facebook Facebook has updated  it’s application for the iPhone to version 3.1.1. Finally we have push notifications, which is a great little feature. Allowing for little pop-up messages when you have a friend. Interestingly facebook have added the option to sync your phone contacts with your facebook friends, which allows you to add facebook profile pictures and links to contacts.

One worrying element however is, as ever, security. What happens with the contacts you send to facebook, the ones that are not on facebook, are these disregarded – as you would expect or does facebook take a copy?

You do get a warning message when you enable this (as pictured) but the message does not state what will happen with the contacts you send to facebook. Are you comfortable giving facebook access to your contacts, are your contacts happy with giving you this control over their information, do they have a choice?

Clearer information is necessary from facebook before an informed decision can be made. On the other hand this is a useful feature, but not one you should enable unless you are sure.