28 July 2008

Mr. Job's Wonder Emporium

After the iPocalypse when the new iPhone came out, I was wary of upgrading until I was sure everything was tip top. I realized that Apple wouldn't be fixing the bugs anytime soon and at a few friends' urgings, I had to just suck it up and upgrade.

The new app store is ridiculous. I mean, there's a ton of junk in there but there are so many cool things that are already out there that I'm sad I got on the wagon so late. I have decided to not purchase the new iPhone due to battery concerns but having 3G would certainly make some of the new apps incredibly useful.

The app I was most excited about was Pandora on iPhone. Having Pandora on the go has been a longtime dream of mine and it's sort of realized, even if using the EDGE network really compromises its usefulness. Ameer put me onto Apple Remote, which allows you to control your iTunes from far far away. It's incredibly amazing how you can scroll through your entire library (more than 120 gigs for me) worth of music from your phone. At first I was confused about how it worked since it seemed so seamless and automatic and I wondered if you could use it miles away or something. Instead it's simply WiFi accessible, which is still mad cool. I'm going to be jacking people's iTunes whenever I'm around their computer.

Actually all the fun apps for me centered around music. Shazam was a serious revelation. You hold your iPhone up to any music source and after a few seconds it identifies the song for you. The incredible thing is how deep it goes. I tried it on obvious songs, obscure songs, and in locations with lots of ambient noise. It pretty much worked like a charm everywhere. No more wondering "Hey, what song is that?" I can't wait to try this out when I go out. I'll never have to ask the DJ again what they're playing. Not that I do something like that anyway.

Midomi has a similar function to Shazam but its awesomeness is that it allows you to sing or hum a song into the mic and it'll recognize it. Well, depending on how you sing. I tried it out with my paltry singing skills and was psyched that it felt sort of like acapella karaoke. I've been pointing it at people and demanding, "Sing something."

And for the inner geek in everyone, an app that makes Super Mario jumping sounds when you move and a portable light saber.

With this new 2.0 release, the iPhone just became that much more important in my life. Subway maps, music recognition, mobile social networking, and games. I'm just incredibly sad that the camera is now super slow and there seem to be bugs and slow response times everywhere. Apple needs to step up and fix everything. In the meantime, I'll be singing to myself and figuring out what that great song blasting from the speakers is.