CardMunch 2.0 Release- The Future of Business Card Storage

I had the pleasure of trying out the new 2.0 version of CardMunch for the iPhone in its beta phase earlier this week, and I must say… I’m pretty impressed.

I’m in the internet marketing business, so when I go to conferences, I get ALL KINDS of business cards- mainly because my main point of contact with people that I meet there is going to be either through email or through a social network. But what do I do when I get home? I store these cards away, because I’m slightly OCD about how the desk in my home office is, and I also refuse (hear that?! REFUSE) to use a Rolodex. They are sooo 2000.

I gave CardMunch 2.0 a whirl, and noticed it has a lot of great features. For one, all the data on your business cards is pulled in via a photo that you take, and it’s reviewed, transcribed and entered by real people- meaning you’ll get everything you need, and just exactly how you want it.

CardMunch will also automatically crop the logo from the business cards for easy reference, and you can even view the cards in a slideshow type view- where you can scroll through all the cards that you’ve entered.

If you want to enter a card it’s simple- you simply place the business card within the box, and let CardMunch take care of all the rest. You can also pull in multiple cards at once- and you’ll also have the ability to do full text searches through each one. If you utilize the tags system on here, you can even tag the cards so you can remember what event, conference, coffee shop, or whatever place you met that person at.

You’ll now have an online “rolodex” and you don’t have to look like a dork by having an incredibly large stack of physical business cards to reference.

CardMunch is a free download, and you get 20 credits as a new user. 1 credit = 1 business card. The app itself is free, so you may as well get your free credits and give it a try. Save the trees! Or something. :)

Linkedin Contact Exchange- In Person

I was using Linkedin on my iPhone to approve some requests that I had, when I noticed something that I had never seen before. This very well may have been a feature for a while that I’ve overlooked, but I honestly haven’t seen it before.

On the homescreen, there’s a little button called “In Person”

When you hit that button, it takes you to a screen that explains how to use it. The feature allows two people to have “In Person” turned on, and they can link up via bluetooth.

Pretty awesome if you ask me. Now I just have to find someone to try it with :)

This Week in Apple July 4 – July 11

This week was filled with new additions, anniversaries and, unfortunately, more class action lawsuits for Apple.  Let’s start with the bad news:

Another Class Action Lawsuit for Apple

Apple is included in another class action lawsuit, this time they are named along with their American bosom buddy AT&T as defendants in the suit.  Earlier this week, a lawsuit brought on Apple and AT&T regarding an alleged illegal monopoly over American iPhone consumers was bumped up to class action status by a Northern California district judge.  Essentially this means, anyone who has ever purchased an iPhone in America is now included as a plaintiff in the suit.  Looking at the extreme popularity of the phone since it’s release this lawsuit will include millions of “plaintiffs”.  Most likely we’ll see an out of court settlement occur and considering the sheer number of plaintiffs, iPhone customers shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for any substantial compensation.  However, this suit may shed some light on the elusive terms of the exclusivity contract between Apple and AT&T which would be a nice piece of information for those who are holding out for Apple to switch carriers.

Tiny Apple Touchscreen

We were treated to photos of a new Apple component this week.  It’s a small, 1.18″ square touchscreen.  People are speculating this may be anything from a new display for the next generation nano to an ‘iWatch’-type device.  It comes from Apple.pro a website that has provided us with pictures of pre released white iPhone 4 cases and MacBook Pro unibody enclosures.  Now don’t get too excited, many times we have seen patents, images of components and heard rumors about concepts Apple is working on that never see the light of day so for now file this in the “wouldn’t it be cool if Apple made a…” file.

Shanghai Store Opens Doors

The highly anticipated opening of the new Shanghai Apple store took place earlier this week.  Among those in attendance was Apple’s VP Ron Johnson.  The store itself is a thing of beauty.  The store is similar to the New York 5th Ave store with an above ground 40 ft glass structure (this time in the form of a cylinder boasting the world’s largest curved glass panels) with a magnificent silver Apple logo hanging from the center.  Walk through the glass doors, go down a winding stair case and you’re presented with one of the largest Apple stores carrying the demo gadgets in any store.  This marks the 2nd store in all of China.  Early store patrons received a special edition Apple shirt (I want). From the videos of the store opening the energy was similar to an Apple product launch time 100.  So if you’re ever in Shanghai stop by, from the looks of it, you won’t be disappointed.

App Store Anniversary

Yesterday, July 10th, the Apple App Store celebrated it’s two year anniversary.  It’s hard to believe that just two years ago we were introduced to the electronic store that would give developers an avenue to create and disseminate an app for anything.  If you remember, the app store sold more than 1 billion app downloads within it’s inaugural year.  Now, two years, 225,000 apps and 5 billion downloads later the App Store is still going strong.  This concept, developed by Steve Jobs, has truly revolutionized the way developers reach consumers and, even more so, the way consumers use their smart phones.  To mark this anniversary a group of developers created “Appsgiving“.  To learn more about this Apple fan holiday click here.

While the buzz over the most recent class action lawsuit seems to be much lower than last week’s, the fact is, Apple is still facing two significant class action lawsuits.  Obviously these lawsuits have not distracted Apple from their daily bouts of genius, opening one of their largest retail stores and celebrating the wild success of their App Store has kept Apple on top of their game this week.

Josie is an avid tech junkie and Apple fangirl who loves writing about anything related to Web 2.0, social media, gadgets, and, of course – Apple.  You can read more of Josie’s work on her website, Geekulous and on Twitter – @geekfab.

Appsgiving – a Day of Apps and Giving

Happy Appsgiving day everyone!  What’s that?  You don’t know what Appsgiving is?  Well let me enlighten you.  This year a group of developers   came up with a pretty brilliant idea to celebrate the anniversary of the App Store while simultaneously boosting their sales.
So what is Appsgiving exactly?  Appsgiving is the brainchild of the developers of the not-yet-in-store iWishApp, an app dedicated to creating and sharing wish lists of iPhone and iPad apps. Essentially, it’s a day for people to ‘gift’ their favorite apps to friends and family.  Not that this can’t happen every day but today people are especially encouraged to give .  Here’s what they’re saying over at Appsgiving.com:

We all love apps.  Your friends and family love apps too.  Did you know that you can gift apps to them?  There is one special day when you should make someone’s day with an app.  Appsgiving day is celebrated the official day the App Store was born.  Celebration is in order!  Give and bring more joy to the world one app a time!

For a short tutorial on how to gift an app head on over to Appsgiving.com.  They have a Twitter account (@appsgiving) with a few followers and,-this being it’s inaugural year-that’s to be expected but, hopefully, we will see this really catch on.  What better way to celebrate the store where we can find an app for ANYTHING than to give our friends and families apps we love?  So circle July 10, 2011 on your calendar so we can keep this new tradition going.

Happy birthday App Store, thank you iWishApp developers and Happy Appsgiving everyone!

This Week in Apple June 22 – July 2

Well this week in Apple has been dedicated, surprise, iPhone 4 issues.  The week went from Apple looking for a few good antenna engineers, to apologizing for the reception issues to attempting to dodge class action lawsuits.  Needless to say it was another busy week for Apple but unlike weeks prior this one seemed to be all about damage control. Wanna know more?

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This Week in Apple June 13-20

Pre-Order Debacles Galore

Lots has happened this week in Apple.  First and most prevalent piece of news coming out of Apple this week – the pre-orders.  Apple reported receiving 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4.  Both AT&T and Apple were obviously not prepared for the sheer volume of orders they received on June 15th.  AT&T was the first soldier down posting their “sorry out of iPhones sign” at around 1:30 pacific time.  Apple followed suit a few hours later changing the expected delivery date for pre-ordered phones from June 24th to July 2nd, then (as of today) July 14th.  In addition to pre-order issues, Apple’s website was simply not prepared for the influx of visitors attempting to order the coveted device, their lack of preparedness lead to a plethora of network issues, people getting booted out of the pre-order process and causing people to try multiple times over a span of the entire day to get through.  Add to that the fact that the white iPhone 4 was not available for pre-order with no mention of a date of availability Apple seemed to have stumbled a bit in the pre-launch of the phone.  Will that impact them in any way?  Most likely not considering they took the most pre-orders (for a product most haven’t even seen in person mind you) in one day in the history of the company.

Apple is moving to Ver- T-Mobile?

In addition to the frenzy of iPhone 4 pre-orders, rumors have surfaced indicating Apple may be bringing their prized phone to T-Mobile instead of Verizon once their exclusivity contract with AT&T is up (later this year).  While the general consensus is that this is much less likely than a move to Verizon, there is evidence to support these rumors.  One being the recent announcement T-Mobile made about bringing 4G networks to their customers.  4G along with a network that is already set up to work with the iPhone increase the credibility of these rumors but for now, they are just that, rumors.

Minis Abound

Apple also quietly rolled out an updated MacMini on the same day as the iPhone 4 pre-orders began.  The new Mini boasts a new, sleek design, feature upgrades and a lower price tag.  Some of the more notable upgrades include an SD card reader and HDMI output (great for all those looking to use the Mini as a media server).

Last but certainly not least, Apple did finally release the iTunes 9.2 software update (in preparation iOS4) alongside a new security update for Snow Leopard.

It’s been a busy week in Apple and with the actual release of the iPhone 4 they’re sure to see another busy one next week.  Stay tuned for more weekly Apple updates.  And, if you were one of the many who missed the pre-order window you can live vicariously through me, I will be tweeting my experience in picking up, activating and playing with my new iPhone on release day (June 24th), follow me at @geekfab.

Find more of Josie S.’s articles at her tech blog: Geekulous or find her on Twitter.

2010 WWDC Wrap Up

Well the 2010 WWDC is now officially over.  We’ve seen new hardware and software introduced as well as some of our favorite software getting updates.   While the release of the iPhone 4 was the main event it somewhat overshadowed some nice software updates.  There was a lot going on at the WWDC so here’s a quick recap of the highlights (aside from the obvious):

Safari 5:

Safari 5 was released on June 7 at the WWDC.  The upgrade boasts increased speed, security, HTML5 support, and additional features.  This release of Safari has focused more on the ability to use 3rd party plugins, a feature that’s been lacking with past versions of Safari.  So far, the most discussed plugins have been the Gmail Checker (a plugin that provides a count of unread gmail messages in an icon next to the address bar), Xmarks (now you can sync your bookmarks across all browsers), and, my personal favorite Safari140 (this handy little plugin allows you to send a tweet directly from a webpage).

iTunes 9.2:

Alongside the release of the iPhone 4, iTunes 9.2 was seeded to developers during the WWDC.  iTunes 9.2 will be required for anyone using the iPhone 4 or a device using the new iOS4 software.  While there are no significantly interesting feature upgrades (aside from folder support for organizing iPhone 4 apps) the upgrade does include increased backup speeds, and overall performance upgrades.

2010 Apple Design Awards:

Much to Mac app developer’s dismay, this year the Apple Design Awards were open only to iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad apps.  Signs are pointing toward the Mac developers getting their day in the sun, but as of now, the well deserved awards were given to the best mobile app developers.  So who won?  Here’s the rundown:

iPad Winners:

Flight Control (FireMint)

Financial Times iPad Edition (The Financial Times Ltd.)

Pinball HD (OOO Gameprom)

Star Walk – Interactive Astronomy Guide (Vito Technology Inc.)

TabToolKit (Agile Partners)

iPhone Winners:

20-Minute Meals – Jamie Oliver (Zolmo)

Articles (Sophiestication)

Brushes (Steve Sprang)

Doodle Jump (Lima Sky LLC)

Real Racing (Firemint)

So there you have it, a quick rundown of Apple’s 2010 Worldwide Developer’s Conference.  Always fun, always exciting and always leaving us wanting more.  What do you think Apple will have in store for us next year?  Let us know in the comments.

Find more of Josie S.’s articles at her tech blog: Geekulous or find her on Twitter.

Apple sticks it to Adobe!

Apple and Adobe

I’m sure many of you have been following the Apple and Adobe little warfare that’s been going on the past couple of months. It’s really hard to pick sides because both have legitimate points as to why they are concerned with what the other is doing. Steve Jobs has decided to post his reasoning in not allowing Flash on the iPhone, iPad or iPod. I actually think he has very good reasons for not doing so. Then again, you can never trust what’s being said in public from any kind of corporate company.

To summarize what he said, he stated that:

  1. The idea of an “open” system- He stated that while Adobe considers Flash an open system, it’s pretty much closed and proprietary. Flash is ultimately controlled by Adobe and they have rights to do anything with the pricing, features, specs etc. Apple has many closed systems too, however, the HTML5, CSS and Javascript available on their products is open and what they have chosen to adopt over Flash. HTML 5 is a new web standard that both Google and Apple have adopted.
  2. The idea of “full web”- Adobe has made claims that apple products cannot sufficiently view the “full web”, supposedly sacrificing 75% of all video due to their choice to not use flash. This is completely untrue. While there is that big of a percentage in Flash, those videos are also offered in other formats which can be viewed on all Apple Products. Apple products cannot play Flash games, yes, but there are hundreds upon hundreds of games (alot of them free!) that are offered in the app store. Personally, if you’re complaining that you can’t play this ONE flash game because you have an apple product… then I think you need a life or a new hobby.
  3. Security concerns- in 2009, Symantec stated that flash had one of THE worse security records. Apple said that they know first hand that Flash is one of the main reasons why Apple computers crash. So why would they want to put something like that on their iPhones? I mean, I love my iPhone don’t get me wrong, but I’ve had quite a bit of problems with it so I couldn’t imagine what it would be like with Flash employed.
  4. Battery life- Flash is a battery killer! Apparently to get long battery life on devices, the mobile device has to decode videos in hardware and not in software. Apple states,

    Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software. The difference is striking: on an iPhone, for example, H.264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained.

  5. The touch screen- generally, Flash was made to be used with a mouse, not with your fingers on a small small screen. Especially if you have big man hands. (Don’t let that statement scare you- I am indeed a girl with dainty little hands…but I’m just saying) Flash websites will probably have to be re-written to be supported by touch devices. This just sounds like a big royal pain in the ass.

Well, I’m actually on my lunch break and I have to get back to the office and finish some work. Sorry to cut this short, but if you’re interested in knowing the full details you can find “thoughts on flash” on the apple website.

I’m a little confused because most Apple users are designers or people in the creative field, and the majority of them use some kind of Adobe product. I’m not taking sides, because I use both Adobe and have an Apple laptop, but I feel like this could cause a major change in how creative people work. We all know how people have their allegiances to products and things.

GetJar

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I don’t know how many times I’ve went into my app store, browsed through applications, had someone call me, then lost my place or got sidetracked. I found this website- GetJar – that allows you to look through the applications for your phone online.

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It allows you to pick your phone, and it stores it for you so you don’t have to tell it again. When you’re browsing through the applications you can also see what other phones it’s compatible with, and if available, a demo and reviews. It has a great and very user intuitive setup… take a look at this screen shot and go forth to check out the website! enjoy :)Photobucket