17 July 2008

iPod touch gets even better

Several of the enhancements made this week to the iPod touch software are cute but of minor interest, such as the calculator that is a basic calculator when the iPod is held upright (portrait mode) but when it is rotated to landscape mode it becomes a fully fledged scientific calculator. How cool is that!

Similarly, there are minor enhancements to email, contacts and calendar. All good but nothing to get really excited about.

What is worth getting excited about is the new App Store application which gives you access to a wide catalogue of new applications, several of which are free.

I quickly added new applications for some of the websites that I use regularly, i.e. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. These are all good and give you much better access to the websites than Safari does (hardly surprising as that is what they have been designed to do).

I've also added my first game, Morocco (a.k.a. Othello), and enjoy demonstrating my mastery over the computer, though it beats me often enough for this to be a real challenge.

My favourite application so far is last.fm. This sounds like, and to a certain extent is, a radio station that plays your favourite music. But it is much more than that. last.fm makes it easy for you to find new music based on the artists that you like, to find gigs that you might be interested in, to find out what your friends are listening to and to find people with similar musical tastes.

The beauty of last.fm is that it relies on the input from the many users to create the links between artists and events etc. which is where the value of the service comes from. User content and networking is what web2.0 is all about and last.fm is an excellent example of this.

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