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Announcing: GiggleApps, Our New Site for Kids and Parents

Posted by Jeff Scott on November 30th, 2009

It's become pretty evident to us that the iPhone / iPod Touch is the next big educational learning tool. If you've ever seen a 2-4 year old pick up one of their parents devices, swipe it to unlock, and then easily navigate to their favorite apps, you understand. Kids just seem to take to the device so quickly and so easily. It's easy touch screen and accelerometer controls just makes perfect sense to them.

It's due to that obvious affinity kids have for the device, and the need to have a site dedicated to both general and education apps for kids and parents that we've partnered with an iPhone obsessed mom to create GiggleApps.

We're going to start out pretty slow with just a few app reviews per week. But along the way we're going to do our best to get our readers input on what they want to see and help point the site in that direction. You can keep track of the new posts via Facebook, Twitter, an RSS feed, or even Email.

Keep an eye out, it's going to be fun.

Cyber Monday Sale

Posted by Chris Hall on November 30th, 2009

I don't know if you are aware, but up in the site navigation bar is a "Gear Store" button. This "Gear Store" button links up to our very own "Gear Store", where we sell all sorts of goodies... from iPhone cases to Bluetooth stereo headsets. Since today is Cyber Monday, we are running a 10% off accessories sale in the store. Just type in the coupon code "MONDAY148" at check out and the sale price will be yours!

Just for the sake of entertainment, I'll tell you what I'll probably get. First off, I might get myself a good FM transmitter. I'd use AUX if I had it, but unfortunately all my money is spent on buying apps, so FM will just have to do. I've been holding off on buying one for awhile, but with 10% off, a good Belkin Tunecast Auto might be on the way today. While I'm at it, I may get myself a stereo bluetooth headset. I like the fact that I'd be able to listen to my music wirelessly, but even more amazing to me is that I can hear people in stereo. I'd get a midrange model, but the Motorola S7-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset looks too cool to pass up. I think I'll also pick up a Solio Hybrid 1000, a solar powered iPhone charger. It's already discounted $30, and with an extra 10% off, it come to around $45. Solar powered iPhone chargers just seem amazing... maybe I'll buy one for myself and one as a gift.

Regardless of what accessories suit your fancy, they are all in our gear store. Just remember to type in "MONDAY148" in the promo code area and you'll get your 10% discount. This sale is only going on today... so hurry up!

Staff Writer Wanted

Posted by Chris Hall on November 10th, 2009

Because the App Store is growing at such an alarming rate, and our poor little hands can only type so fast, 148apps is looking for a new staff writer. We're looking for someone who isn't afraid to give an honest opinion, absolutely loves the App Store, and is willing and capable to pump out articles on a semi-regular schedule.

Experience is not necessarily a a requirement (but it helps), as we are much more interested in writing clarity, accuracy, and enthusiasm. To apply, we just need three (3) things.

1. A short blurb about yourself so we can get to know you.

2. An answer to the question, "How much time you can commit to writing for 148apps?"

3. A 500-1000 word sample review. Choose any app you want... it's the quality of writing that we're looking for.

Send the above info to chris.hall at 148apps.com with the subject 'Writing Position'.

This may be the coolest job ever, as we are actually going to pay you (real money, I promise) to use iPhone apps, so please give us a bit of time to read through all of the applications

Tony's Tips ~ Refreshing your Network

Posted by Tony Kicks on October 14th, 2009

Love it, hate it, or simply not care, iPhone users, at least here in the states, are pretty much bound to AT&T. I won't speak for everyone, but for me, in the Valley of the Sun, this means dropped calls, loss of signal, and failed MMS messages, all while still showing full bars. Granted a lot of these have gotten better since the recent release of 3.1.2 , or the Chi-Town Update as I like to call it (If you're from the midwest you understand).

Better doesn't mean perfect though and I've personally gotten sick of doing hard resets (hold down the sleep/wake & the home button for 10 seconds) to get my calls to go through. Reseting Network Settings seemed to do the trick as well but isn't really any quicker and then you loose all the wifi network information and passwords stored in your phone. What's the answer? It's simpler then you might think, Airplane Mode. As it turns out toggling on Airplane mode for 15 seconds and toggling it back off forces the phone to reset it's cellular calibration and re-lock on to a near by tower. 15 seconds is still a minor annoyance, sure, but it really is minor when considering how much longer the alternatives can take.

*Here's a bonus tip for this week also, this one goes out to all of the parents with youngsters running around out there. As the world changes and iPhone games start being developed for younger and younger children, kids are going to want to play with Mommy and Daddy's phone more and more. An obvious concern here are the accidental phone calls a child might make to China while trying to play with Curious George. An easy solution, turn on that Airplane mode again. Sure it won't stop the most malicious of kids out there trying to make calls but for the innocent ones it poses as an extra level of protection that will work the majority of the time.
**P.S. Wifi can still be turned back on without cellular service being active, important in case the games are online based or if you still need to hear incoming e-mail.

Tony's Tip - 3.1 Remote Passcode

Posted by Tony Kicks on September 16th, 2009

With all of the announcements and new iPods last week, 3.1 really seemed to slip through the cracks. Sure Steve made a special point to show off the new app store genius, which really is a cool feature, and of course the new organization in iTunes is pretty sweet but it also added a cool little security feature for MobilMe users.

Spawned from the days of the .Mac service that was really built for a niche market, MobileMe has quickly and quietly developed into a godsend in the iPhone world. With features like the automatic contact syncing, the Find My Phone, and Remote Wipe features, there was already plenty of reason to be looking in this direction. However, until now there was still a small security concern lurking. Find My Phone gave you the ability to locate your phone if you left it somewhere and the Remote wipe would clear it off if it was stolen, but what about if you're not sure which has happened. Maybe it was stolen but maybe you just left it at the bar. If you wipe it then you can't locate it any longer, but if you don't then someone could be looking through all those pictures you took last week in Vegas. BAM, Apple brings you Remote Lock. Via the MobileMe web page you can set a pass code lock that instantly kicks the phone out of any app it's running and locks it up nice and tight. Someone could still shut the phone off at this point but at the very least you know they aren't getting to your information. All and all, this is a great little feature that really completes the security circle Apple is trying to build for it's iPhone users. Here is the list of other features 3.1 add as well.


148Apps Named to PC Magazine's Top 100 Web Sites of 2009!

Posted by Jeff Scott on August 5th, 2009

All of us here on team 148Apps were very honored to find out last week that we were named to PC Magazine's Top 100 Web Sites of 2009. It's an amazingly huge honor and a great validation of what we've been trying to do here at 148Apps. You'll find us on the list under Undiscovered Tech sites.

We're proud to be the only iPhone dedicated site on the list. We won't let it go to our heads though. We are going to do our best to continue to lead with a goal of being on the list again next year. Just hopefully we'll be in the discovered section by then.

Thanks to all of our fantastic writers and our passionate readers. We couldn't have done it without each of you.

This is probably a good time to ask -- what do you want to see added / changed / removed from 148Apps. Let us know in the comments, or send me an email. We'd love to hear from you.

Cheers,
Jeff

148 is Not Enough, Apple Heard Us!

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 19th, 2009

In one of the lesser talked about new features of iPhone OS 3.0, you can now install more than 148 applications on your iPhone. With OS 3, the number of pages you can fill with applications has been raised from 9 to 11. This gives you a maximum number of applications you can display of 180.

So now the next question will obviously be, are you going to change the name of the site to 180Apps? No, we aren't going to change. We're happy with 148Apps and we're sticking with it.

One of our slogans around here at 148Apps has been "148 Is Not Enough!" -- there are even t-shirts available with that slogan. And now, are we supposed to change that?

Truth be told, with OS 3.0 there really is no limit to the number of apps you can install -- other than available storage space. Even though your phone will get slower and slower with the more applications you install, you can keep adding them. The only limit is the number of applications that you can see on your phone application launcher. That maximum to display is 11 pages or a total of 180 icons including the 4 in the tray at the bottom. Beyond the 180 icons displayed, you can use Spotlight search to find and launch the applications. The only problem with this is that it will be nearly impossible to remember what applications you have installed beyond the 180 you can display.

It's a very odd decision for Apple to make. Why add only 2 more pages? Why not just allow for an infinite number of pages? And even though there are only 11 pages, why allow users to install more than what you can display? These are answers that we will never know as Apple never discusses such minute details. We'll just have to guess as to their motive. Personally, I think the whole reason was that they heard our call to add more -- but didn't want to make us too happy.

Design The Next iPhone Contest - Enter Now!

Posted by Jeff Scott on May 20th, 2009

I think we're all expecting (and hoping) a new iPhone will be announced at the keynote presentation at WWDC in a few weeks. But the rumors as to what features that iPhone will have are all over the place.

Starting today and through the morning of the keynote, we invite you to guess what the features of the next iPhone will be. The three people with the top scores overall will win some great prizes from Griffin Technology with a total retail value of over $250!

Here's how the contest will work. We've gathered a bunch of the rumors we've heard and read about the new iPhone and put them in a pick list and assigned points to each based on how unlikely we think each feature is. To enter the contest, you guess which ones are correct. You will get points for each correct feature you guess and lose the points listed for each incorrect feature you choose.

Read on for the full list of prizes and more on how to enter.

Announcing Our New Sister Site - 148Apps.biz

Posted by Jeff Scott on May 19th, 2009

At 148Apps, we pride ourselves at providing the best coverage of the App Store through our reviews, news, and editorial pieces. We're here to give you the information you need about an app before you make a purchase and to keep you up to date on the latest happenings in the iPhone community. But there are two sides to the iPhone community that we could be assisting instead of just treating it as one single entity.

There are over 11,700 iPhone app publishers in the market right now, all vying for the chance to make their app the next big success. Each publisher could represent one individual making their own app, or a full team working on a string of applications. Beyond development, there's also the marketing, financing, and customer support aspects that all need to be addressed by the developers. And that's the beauty of the App Store, anyone can wear those hats as long as they've got the drive to do so.

But where do they get their information? Who do they learn from? What resources are made available to those willing to enter into the App Store? For $99 Apple will give you the tools and access to make an app, we want to give you the tools to make a business out of it. After all, everyone benefits from a stronger community.

Enter 148Apps.biz

Where 148Apps.com is more tailored toward consumers looking for apps for their own device, 148Apps.biz is a resource for everyone connected with the creation of iPhone apps. And to truly make 148Apps.biz a community resource, we've invited all reaches of the iPhone community to contribute to our site, to make it the strongest and most robust iPhone business resource available. 148Apps.biz is for the community, by the community.

On top of providing that outlet for those well versed in their area of the iPhone app process to speak their mind and provide valuable insight, we'll also be providing the most accurate App Store Metrics available anywhere on the web. In depth info on what is in the app store, invaluable intelligence for iPhone app development.

If you're involved in iPhone app development and interested in sharing your knowledge and resources with the rest of the community, we invite you to check out our Submit An Article page over at 148Apps.biz. We're looking to you to help make the community a stronger, better place, where those new to the scene and those already experienced have access to the tools and knowledge that will help them make the best apps possible.

So take a look at 148Apps.biz and let us know what you think. After all, it is your site!

Welcome Bryan Barletta As Our New Editor in Chief

Posted by Jeff Scott on March 23rd, 2009

It's my great pleasure to announce that Bryan Barletta has joined us at 148Apps as our Editor in Chief. Bryan will be in charge of all things editorial and will be spearheading our goal to increase both quality and quantity of publication on 148Apps. Out goal continues to be to make the site the best it can be.

Bryan is as familiar with the iPhone and it's apps as anyone and will be a great asset to 148Apps. He was most recently the Co-Editor at MediaBistro blogs MobileAppsToday and MobileDevicesToday. Prior to that he was the Director of Marketing and Lead Reviewer for AppVee.com.

It's a great thrill to have him as part of 148Apps.

I've been wanting to take 148Apps to the next level but have not been able to keep up with the editorial responsibilities and develop the new features I wanted at the same time. Well, now I can. Keep an eye out for more details soon.

Welcome aboard Bryan!

You can reach Bryan at Bryan dot Barletta @ 148Apps dot com and on Twitter @BryanNO.

Announcing Partner Reviews

Posted by Jeff Scott on March 18th, 2009

There are a lot of apps out there. More than 27,000. From the start we have said that there is no way that we can review every app or even try to do so. But, there must be something we can do to give our readers what they want.

So today, we are proud to announce an initiative, partner reviews, to help us cover a few more apps on 148Apps. The idea being that we will swap a couple reviews per week with select partner sites. This is something we've been working with Slide To Play for a few weeks now and we think we finally have it right. So today we're publishing the first review from Slide To Play. In the coming weeks you'll see a couple of our reviews show up on Slide To Play. We may expand this to other sites in the future, but for now we want to keep it pretty small and see how it goes.

So take a look at our front page and you'll see a review for Heavy Mech. -- it's our first partner review from Slide To Play. Let us know what you think of this new initiative, we'd love your feedback.

Announcing the 148Apps March Madness Contest

Posted by Jeff Scott on March 17th, 2009

Bracket busters, diaper dandies, Cinderella teams, sweet sixteen, great eight, final four - all terms you only hear in March. To celebrate the fantastic March Madness we're kicking off our first March Madness Contest. To join in on the fun, sign up for the CBS Brackets on Facebook and join the 148Apps Readers Group.

We'll have prizes for first and second place. As follows:

1st place overall - $30 in iTunes Gift Cards (US only)
2nd place overall - 148Apps T-shirt from AppTees

Please note, to enter the contest you must have a Facebook account and join the 148Apps Readers Group in the CBS Brackets app.

And if you want to keep up on the tourney on the go, CBS has just released the CBS March Madness On Demand app. It lets you watch every single game of the tourney when connected to a WiFi network and listen to audio over 3G/Edge. We'll see how it works, CBS has always had trouble meeting the demand for their web streaming during tournament time. The iPhone app uses the MobiTV network, so hopefully it won't have the same issues.

And even though I know that Perrin will likely kick all of our butts, 148Apps staff are not eligible to win but can join in on the fun.

Organization for App Testing Standards Launched

Posted by Jeff Scott on March 2nd, 2009

Note: the correct URL has been updated, it's http://gotoats.org

A few weeks ago, I posted a short message about integrity. It was a post that came out of the frustration of working to develop a quality site with ethical editorial practices while there are other iPhone app review sites out there with some rather shady practices that, at times, seem to be doing better than 148Apps.

When discussing this frustration with other site publishers, an idea was hatched. How about a professional organization whose members publicly abide by a set of ethical editorial rules? How about we take an oath to abide by those ethics? And how about publishing that on a website for all to see? And what about coming up with a silly name?

That's when the Organization for App Testing Standards (O.A.T.S.!) was born. With great help from Steve from SlideToPlay.com, Nigel from iPhone Games Network, and Superbad from The APPera, we have launched the O.A.T.S. organization and the got OATS? site.

The primary goal of O.A.T.S. is to define a set of ethical standards for app review sites. The truth is that many of the iPhone app review sites have little if any professional publishing exposure. While ethics are something we are all taught, many may need a little refresher course and some guidance when it specifically comes to publication.

O.A.T.S. is also a great way for app developers and publishers to see what sites agree to abide by this oath. Initially we've populated the site with the 4 sites that were in on the development of the oath. But we're not being exclusive -- we'd like all sites that are willing to take and abide by the oath to join in. Site publishers, see the site for more information on how to join.

While this micro-industry of iPhone app review sites is small right now, everyone knows that it will grow as the iPhone app store grows. And while we were one of the first iPhone App Review sites to launch, we know we will never be the biggest. We just want to be the best. And being ethical is one of the key points to that goal, I think.

Load Up Your Closet With Apps

Posted by Jeff Scott on February 19th, 2009

It is currently unknown if the closet has a 148 shirt limit. The good news is, 148Apps T-Shirts are now available through AppTees.com!

Our friends over at AppTees (founded by the people behind Veiled Games, shhh!) have created a site that hopes to give a developers a way to show off some of their creations. AppTees allows app developers to create t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, etc. with their app graphics on them and sell them through a simple, automated system powered by SpreadShirt.

When AppTees invited us to get involved, we knew we had to get in on it. We created a couple simple designs to start. And will be looking to add some more in the future. Maybe we'll even run a contest around it. Who knows?

One big question remains. Just when technology finally be able to fulfill the demand for 148Apps thongs? Soon, we hope.

Looking For a Few Great Writers and an Assistant Editor for 148Apps

Posted by Jeff Scott on February 13th, 2009

As we continue to grow at 148Apps, we've added a great list of writers, all producing the really fantastic reviews you expect. But it's time to take 148Apps up another notch. It's time to expand. Part of that involves finding an assistant editor, someone to help keep the editorial focus fine tuned and on course while I start building the next great version of 148Apps. In addition, we need to expand our writing tribe to allow us to expand our publication.

If you think you might be interested in joining us, or you know of someone who might be interested, read on for the details.