Top 3 – Apps Released This Week for the iPhone

Skype iPhone App

It’s time to break through the clutter and get down to business. This weekly post is going to list not the top 10, or the top 5, but the top 3 of anything gadget related. Why the top 3? Because anything more would be watered down.

So without further ado, here are the top 3 Apps released for the iPhone this week.

3. DIRECTV

With the free DIRECTV app you can connect to your home DVR and set it to record something now or in the future. With just a few taps you can search the program guide for movies and shows that are coming up then set any DVR in your home to record it. You can also set it to record Pay Per View content so you can watch it when you get home. Very cool stuff.

2. MLB.com At Bat 2009

MLB.com At Bat Lite is great. With it you can get pitch by pitch coverage of live games and keep up on box scores. You can get play-by-play and video highlights shortly after a play is complete. Upgrade to MLB.com At Bat 2009 and you will get all that plus live Gameday Audio broadcasts for every regular season and postseason game. You can even choose between listening to the home team’s broadcast or the away team’s broadcast. $9.99 is a small price to pay for a season’s worth of MLB audio at your fingertips.

1. Skype

Skype has finally landed on the iPhone. This app gives you the ability to call any of your Skype contacts for free. Anytime you’re connected via WiFi you have the ability to bring up Skype, search and call your contacts, and most importantly, save your precious minutes. If you’re not connected to WiFi, you can still bring up your contact list and instant message anyone else who is online. So make sure you download the free Skype app for your iPhone; because there is nothing better than calling your friends and family for free.

HD Resolution Explained

CNET’s Fully Equipped blog has a great article comparing 720p and 1080p HD displays. The article gives a detailed overview of the difference between the 2 resolutions and even covers 1080i as well. It also covers what type of content is available in what definition. The bottom line is summed up here:

HDTV Logo

In our tests, we put 720p (or 768p) sets next to 1080p sets, then feed them both the same source material, whether it’s 1080i or 1080p, from the highest-quality Blu-ray player. We typically watch both sets for a while, with eyes darting back and forth between the two, looking for differences in the most-detailed sections, such as hair, textures of fabric, and grassy plains. Bottom line: It’s almost always very difficult to see any difference–especially from farther than 8 feet away on a 50-inch TV.

It goes on to say that unless you’re going to use a projector or a very large display, the difference between 720p and 1080p is hardly, if at all, noticeable. Most of the public probably doesn’t need a TV larger than 50” because most living rooms aren’t large enough for anything bigger. Can a larger TV fit in a smaller living room? Sure. But unless you sit further away, the quality of your TV watching experience is going to be reduced by the sheer fact that you are sitting too close to the display.

I appreciate Fully Equipped for keeping us up-to-date on these things. Saving a few hundred dollars when purchasing a new television is no small thing in this economy. And it’s reassuring to know that you won’t lose out on picture quality by going with 720p. Hell, you may save enough to get a second 720p set for your bedroom too!

New Gaming Themes for Your iGoogle Homepage

iGoogle Gaming Theme Mario Bros

I love the new gaming themes for the iGoogle homepage. But first, for those of you who don’t know what iGoogle is, here’s a brief explanation.

iGoogle is a highly customizable and personalized homepage. It’s a RSS reader as well as a home for Google Gadgets. My iGoogle has several different tabs for things like gadgets, games, sports, and shopping. I’ve got RSS feeds from all sorts of gadget sites mixed in with games that can be played right from my homepage. I can also access my email and check out the latest news in one place. You can have everything you want on your very own personalized home page. Anything from The New York Times to Sudoku and from Amazon.com to a RSS feed from gadgetteaser.com.

One of the things I like best about iGoogle is the themes. You get everything listed above added into a colorful, distinctive, and unique layout. Google has all kinds of themes that will make your homepage look and feel the way you want it. They have themes that change with the weather; characters on your homepage pull out umbrellas when it starts raining in your zip code. They have themes created by artists and musicians like Radiohead, Bob Dillon, and even Jackie Chan. And, you can even create your own themes and submit them to Google.

So what was the point of all this? Oh yeah, they just added gaming themes and they are awesome. I love pulling up Firefox and seeing Mario throwing fireballs across my homepage. I switch tabs to see Mega Man in all his glory. iGoogle didn’t stop there though. They have gaming themes from The Sims 3, Guitar Hero, Spore, Call of Duty: World at War, Street Fighter IV, and of course, World of Warcraft. And there are many more. They even have a theme from Galaga. How cool.

So if you already have an iGoogle homepage, check out the new themes. They are great. If you don’t have an iGoogle homepage, what are you waiting for?

Tap Dat App – BargainBin

BargainBin App

Have you ever purchased an app then found out the next day it went on sale? Or worse yet, the next day it’s free? It happens all the time. Apps constantly go on sale for half off or free. As a user of the App Store, it is frustrating when you just decided to make the purchase only to find out you could have waited a few hours or days to get it heavily discounted.

Well in comes a new free app called BargainBin. According to the apptism, BargainBin’s main features are:

•Sale prices updated as they happen
•Price tags that indicate when apps are: Free or Bargains (50% off or greater)
•Filters that allow you to see Free Apps only, Bargain Apps only, or All apps on sale
•Browsing by a specific category or all Bargains
•Browse only popular apps that have gone on sale
•Viewing screenshots of the application quickly, without having to go to the app store
•Viewing application descriptions quickly, without having to go to the app store

Now that’s what I’m talking about. I have had this app installed for about a week and I love it. I check it everyday. Why not? With just the tap of my finger, I can quickly find everything that is on sale or reduced to free. What a concept!

So head on over to the App Store and make sure you install BargainBin. Cause only fools pay full price for apps.

Bouncing Around the Web

In case you missed it, here’s what’s Bouncing Around the Web:

Western Digital’s My Book family just jumped up to 2TB of storage. 2 freaking terabytes! You can carry around a USB 2.0 2TB external drive for around $330. 2 freaking terabytes! Is it me or can you recall when you didn’t know what the hell a terabyte was?
Via cnet

Wolf3D

I can guarantee I didn’t know what a terabyte was the last time I conquered this game. One of my absolute favorite games growing up is now available on my phone. id Software just released a ported version of Wolfenstein 3D for the iPhone. My productivity just went out the window.
Via urbergizmo

A company is now producing Boxed Water. Water in a box? Really? I can see where they are going with this. Boxed Water is safer for the environment than plastic bottles. I get it. But Boxed Water? Really? I’ll stick to the tap.
Via GIZMODO

TiVo and Blockbuster are joining forces. The market of people willing to pay several hundred dollars for a DVR and also pay $15 a month to rent movies will be thrilled. I guess I’m not one of them.
Via engadgetHD