Tag Archives: aim

5 iPhone Apps That Rocked My World

If you’re an iPhone owner and I’ve seen you recently, you’ve most likely already heard about my two new favorite applications. I figured it’s about time to spread the love to the rest of the world… So, without further ado, here are two iPhone applications that have rocked my world recently:

1.  Movies by Flixter – With this application, you can check to see all movies that are currently out in theaters, find nearby theaters with address and phone information, find upcoming showtimes (by movie or by theater), see upcoming movie releases or recent DVD releases, get to review sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB with just one click…

In the words of George Gershwin:  Who could ask for anything more? (Interestingly enough, this application was created by a Jeffrey Grossman, a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University, and it became the first acquired iPhone app when Flixter bought it in August 2008. Read the full story here.)

2. Fring – Fring brings instant messaging to the iPhone – which isn’t that impressive since other applications can do that as well – and do it better, I might add. The IM Plus application allows the user to sign onto MULTIPLE instances of different Instant Messaging platforms like Google Chat and AIM.

But what sets Fring apart is that it enables you to use Skype from your phone and have it count as a (free) computer-to-computer call. This means that Micki in Israel will be getting to hear my voice a lot more frequently now.  Is your best friend studying abroad this semester? Have family overseas? All I’m saying is, you can thank me later.

Back in October,  I made a list of my favorite iPhone applications. I’d like to call out my favorite three that aren’t newly discovered (and therefore don’t qualify for the preceding list) but are now tried-and-true staples that deserve mention just the same.

3. Sportacular. Pro: Allows you to get updated scores for a variety of sports. You can even set it up to see all your favorite teams in one view. Con: Means that I know right away when my Red Sox and Pats aren’t doing so well. Ignorance is bliss sometimes, my friends.

4. Shazam. Pro: Hear a song on the radio, at the gym, during a night out, etc, and don’t know what it is? Shazam will tell you the title/artist and save it for you to view/listen to later. Con: Sometimes it does get stumped. (For example, it didn’t recognize Christina Arguilera’s “Keeps Getting Better”)

5. Twitterfon. Pro: Allows me to update my twitter status from my phone and shows my friends’ statuses. UPDATE: Allows me to see top trending twitter terms, locates nearby users and makes it super easy to reply, retweet and load others’ timelines. Perfection. Con: I’m not convinced that it provides any additional functionality that twitter.com is lacking. Sometimes, my friends remind me that I MUST put my phone away when I’m with others.

So, there’s my five. Now, what have I missed? What’s the iPhone application you just couldn’t live without?

identity 2.0

One interesting trend that I’ve noticed over the years is the convergence of our offline and online identities.

When did we become comfortable enough to discard our pseudonyms for our real identities? I believe we were directly influenced by the two waves of Internet innovation and that the convergence demonstrates the maturing of the Internet population.

First, there was AIM and MySpace, where we were encouraged to create aliases incorporating our unique attributes and interests a la “nsyncchick” or “sk8er4eva”. They may sound silly now but reflect the creative skills of your typical teenager, arguably the most active Internet population at that time.

Then came Google Chat, Facebook and LinkedIn. All three are successful because of the use of real names.

But I wonder if all this is safe? Wasn’t that the reason for the use of nicknames in the first place? Has the active internet population shifted so much that predators aren’t an issue anymore? Or have we just gotten too comfortable?

And how has this changed the way we communicate and represent ourselves online? We can no longer hide who we are and can very easily be held accountable for what we put onto the Web. I absolutely take into account that my parents, peers, prospective clients and colleagues can view what I’ve included on this page and elsewhere. So are we all self-censoring who we are? Can we be all things to all people?

cat and mouse

me (12:24:35 PM): “wehn the cat’s out of town, the mice come out to play”
my friend (12:24:49 PM): when the cats away the mice will play

I hope everyone enjoys my version of the saying. Good thing I have friends like Andrea who also sit online all day to help me figure out what I’m trying to say. I was telling her that my boss and the other person in my department are both out on vacation today and all of next week, so I feel like I should somehow take advantage of this situation. The thing is that I’m really lucky and work independently even when they are here, so it’s not a major change. But still, it’s that same feeling as when your parents go out of town and you are dying to have a huge party because you can, but people aren’t around, or there’s something else going on. And it feels like a wasted opportunity. As a result, I’m updating this from work, which isn’t something I would usually do, so at least I’m doing something.

The other thing that’s been making me laugh recently is the AIM and internship relationship. I have friends who are scared to sign online, and others who literally just sit at work and have conversations all day. I’m somewhere in between. I believe in the philosophy of, “it’s better to ask forgiveness, then permission”. If they have a problem with it, they’ll let me know. At my old job, everyone was always online and it was a good way of communicating rather than sending a thousand short e-mails. Here, I just found out one of my co-workers’ screen name yesterday… It’s a little embarrasing when a IM pops up while someone is at my cubicle, but hey, it happens.