Ziibii fuses a number of social networking sites in one stylish iPhone application. It’s RSS meets communication.
Ziibii combines Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, RSS, Twitter and more into one convenient and pretty application. We almost depend on social networking sites to stay in touch with many of our friends today, and this little app helps you stay close to them no matter where you go. You are teased with status updates, brief news feeds, newly uploaded pictures, and videos that float down a river on your iPhone (Ziibii is a term for “river” Native Americans according to Zumobi, the creators of the app).
Floating headline snippets stream across your iPhone, full of all the information you have subscribed to and customized. You control the pace at which these travel and can pause it whenever you like. Clicking on one of the floating selections will bring you to an extended view where you can choose to see the full version on the web.
The app is fun to use, but improvements can be made. The current release has problems with twitter, and it feels like you do not have enough control over choosing the Flickr photos and Youtube videos you want to access. I would also like to see more social networks supported by the app, including MySpace, Vimeo, Hulu, Vox, and Bebo.
Ziibii is a fun time waster and great for taking a peek at what your friends and family are up to while you’re on the go. The version from the initial release is a little clunky, but a few minor improvements could make this app a must have for any iPhone owner.
What are your thoughts?
Imagine the day when a GPS and a video game console are one. Actually, don’t bother, because this day is now here with a totally free iPhone application known as Parallel Kingdom.
If you have an iPhone, Google Android, or T-Mobile G1 then you will be able to play an online role playing game that super-imposes a virtual world atop the real one. No more going into virtual worlds on the computer when you can attack, chat, and interact with a new world that is based in the actual world.
Parallel Kingdom uses a mobile’s Wi-Fi for the Internet to find the Points of Interest. You should be able to download it from the Apple App Store for free, but it doesn’t look like there is much for it now. In short, don’t expect to be stepping into a somewhat real Mordor any time soon.
However, I believe that Parallel Kingdom will only be the beginning of games that will allow the user to get off of the couch. I’m not talking about Wii Sports, but games where you will have to get up and out of the house to fully experience.
So how about it gamers? Are you ready for a healthy dose of reality in your virtual world? If so, start playing Parallel Kingdom now.
The application, which will reportedly only work with Safari and email, is web-based, meaning it will circumvent Apple’s application store and won’t require installation. Nonetheless, Pastebud will not come free and will most likely come at a price tag of $5; a small price to pay for such a useful function.
Gizmodo had early access to the program, and recorded a short video of the application in action. The video is imbedded at the bottom of the post.
Even though the application will only function in Safari and email, copy and paste functionality will come as a very welcome feature for most iPhone users, as its omission has been a glaring problem for many iPhone owners. It is definitely curious that such basic functionality is not available in one of the most advanced and user-friendly cel phones ever made, and is a source of frustration for many.
It’s hard to say whether Pastebud will be able to stick around for long; other applications designed to bring copy and paste functionality have been broken by Apple in the paste. OpenClip was one such casualty, and was broken by an iPhone update released by Apple. It appears that Pastebud could be immune to such a problem, considering it is web-based instead of requiring an install on the iPhone. But if Apple doesn’t take a liking to the service it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pastebud shut down in some manner in the future, whether it be through updates to the iPhone or otherwise.
If nothing else it is hopeful that this program will at least make Apple see the demand for copy and paste on the iPhone, forcing their hand in releasing an update with full copy and paste functionality.
According to Pastebud’s Twitter, Pastebud is set to be released tomorrow.
For the four or five of you that are interested in getting that special someone a Zune this Christmas season, instead of an iPod, or iPhone, or waffle maker, you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft has added the option to get blue or red customized Zunes.
The new colours are available on the 120 Gb Zune at the Zune Originals site, which gives you the option to customize your Zune with different colours, graphic patterns, or personalized engravings. They’re running at $249.99, plus an extra fee for any neat graphics or engravings you might want to add on.
The Zune has had a hard time competing in the MP3 player business thanks to the ubiquitous iPod, possibly due to some strange design choices. It comes complete with a WiFi connection that ostensibly is designed to allow Zune users to share songs among one another. Unfortunately, the Zune also comes bundled with a powerful DRM feature that disables songs that users have downloaded from friends after a certain number of listens or a certain amount of time, whichever comes first.
Nonetheless, the Zune is about as good, if not better, than any other non-iPod MP3 player, and some argue even has some advantages over the iPod. Microsoft recommends that you order yours by Dec. 19th if you want to make sure to get it by Christmas day.
Appleinsider is reporting that Apple has filed a new patent for technology that would allow some of their products with touch sensitive controls to be manipulated merely by hovering one’s fingers, palm, arm, or whatever other appendages you please, over the touchscreen.
So far the technology is only slated to be used in products larger than the iPhone, and would allow users to perform certain procedures, such as powering down parts of the screen, dimming or brightening parts of the screen, and so on, without actually making contact with anything.
Apple’s file patent explains some other uses:
Additionally, merely by placing a finger, hand or other object near a touch panel, virtual buttons on the display screen can be highlighted without actually triggering the ‘pushing’ of those buttons to alert the user that a virtual button is about to be pushed should the user actually make contact with the touch panel. Furthermore, the combination of touch panel and proximity (hovering) sensor input devices can enable the computing system to perform additional functions not previously available with only a touch panel.
So how does this magical technology work? Apparently a series of IR receivers will be layered to do something that I don’t understand. Apple’s file patent explains again:
The transmitters and receivers can be positioned in a single layer, or on different layers. In some embodiments, the proximity panel is provided in combination with a display. The display can be, for example, a liquid crystal display (LCD) or an organic light emitting diode display (OLED display). Other types of displays can also be used. The IR transmitters and receivers can be positioned at the same layer as the electronic elements of the display (e.g., the LEDs of an OLED display or the pixel cells of an LCD display). Alternatively, the IR transmitters and receivers can be placed at different layers.
Neat! I think? While I look forward to a future where we can hover our hands over massive holographic screens and make files and pictures and stuff fly around on an aesthetically pleasing user interface like they do in Hollywood science fiction films, I’m having a hard time getting excited just yet. It sounds like so far the technology is only planned to be used for neat visual effects, like highlighting a button before you actually press it, but it’s obviously far too early to speculate on what the final product will actually do.
Further, only time will tell whether Apple actually follows through with this patent, considering many patents have been filed by the Steve Jobs’ company that have never seen the light of day in the form of an actual product. This could be merely another move on Apple’s part to secure the rights to a technology before someone else comes up with it first. It might be the case that Apple could find no use for this technology at all. But here’s hoping that in the future I never have to clean a touch screen again.