All posts in Free

Sunday Sides: iPad Coming To Northern Europe and Free MobileMe?

mobilemeWho says that all the news has to happen during the week?  Today we have a couple of tidbits in that following up on the iPad’s continued global dominance, it looks like Northern Europe shall soon see a rollout of the device.  And then in other news, could we at long last see free MobileMe? 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark should soon see that magical device headed their way.  In conjunction with the launch, European carriers Tre, TeliaSonera AB and Tele2 AB announced on Friday that they will offer up data subscriptions for iPad users, but unfortunately details were not readily available as to when the plans would launch and what the prices would be for the data plans.

However, TeliaSonera confirmed that it wouldn’t be selling the actual iPad.  “As things look right now, we will only offer subscription packages for the iPad,” according to Bengt Olsson, TeliaSonera’s head of communications.  “The iPad launch is imminent and we plan to release our subscription offer in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark simultaneously,” he notes.

In other news, as we anxiously await the features of iOS 4.2, scuttlebutt is afoot that perhaps part of Apple’s mysterious data center could be devoted to free MobileMe services.

MacRumors had discovered in the most recent iOS 4.2 betas a “new private framework” that contained error messages that referenced free MobileMe accounts.  Some of those errors included: “The maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone” and “This iPad is not qualified for free MobileMe service.”

As AppleInsider points out, while Apple does offer up a 60-day free trial for its currently a year MobileMe service, it’s sort of sketchy as to how exactly an iOS unit would “qualify” for free service.

Regardless, as we’re nearing the end of November, which is when Apple had said that iOS 4.2 would be out, keep an eye on your iOS update during your holiday preparations this week!

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

 

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Free App Friday: Holiday Traveling

It’s holiday time and you know what that means–legions of families and singletons everywhere traveling back to their home bases for some tasty Turkey, and maybe even to receive a present or two. Of course, traveling around the country may also mean a whirlwind of headaches and missed sleep. But fear not, because this year could really change–all you have to do is enlist the help of your trust iOS device. Well, that is, as long as you’re in an area where there’s some radical reception and strong WiFi. We compiled a list of some of the helpful free travel apps and services out there that’ll help you get to your gate on time and keep your plans in order.

Mac/iPhone

TripIt

I’ve used this service for the last year or so, and I can guarantee that when we missed that flight to San Diego two months ago, it was not because TripIt was wrong about our flight time–instead, it reminded us that we most definitely didn’t pay attention to the take off time. Even better, when my plane was running late on my way back home from Comic Con, TripIt alerted me before the airline could call with one of their automated messages.

To use the service, all you have to do is forward the emailed itinerary to plans@tripit.com, and it’ll instantly upload all that information to the cloud so it’s available for you on the spot. The app allows you to bundle together flights and reservations so that you have ’em all in one place for your next trip out West, and it even pulls up maps and directions for you so all that information is available the instant you need it.

iPhone

Travel Channel GO

You do not want to be going to Nebraska right now. You’d rather be in Mexico laying on the sandy beaches and soaking up the sun.  Well, it’s not going to happen for you right now, so why not check out the Travel Channel’s GO app to explore the world from your palm? The app features clips from various Travel Channel shows and might even inspire you for your next vacation.

iPad

Kayak HD

If you’re in a tiff and need to quickly book a flight away from the torture of your mother, download Kayak HD for the best deals on domestic flights and hotels.

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A Third of Top-Grossing Apps Are Actually Free

We all love free stuff right?  Well, would you have ever guessed that free apps are also some of the largest grossing in the App Store?  That’s right.  Due to what’s being called the “freemium” business model, such apps have been flourishing thanks to in-app purchases.

According to Gigaom, about a third of the top-grossing iPhone apps are using that exact “freemium” model.  What that means is that today 34 of the top 100 apps are free, but they actually make their money through in-app purchases via virtual currencies and other features.  Remco van den Elzen of the analytics firm Distimo feels that in-app purchases are starting to make up a good chunk of App Store profits.  “We’re seeing more developers implement more in-app purchases especially with games,” he notes.  “Freemium Apps are also picking up significantly.  A lot of developers realize it’s a successful model.”

Just the same, freemium apps still make up a small percentage of the App Store world.  Distimo thought that the percentage of free apps with in-app purchases had jumped from 1.10 percent in the second quarter to 1.34 percent in the following quarter.

As Gigaom later noted, free apps don’t always exactly work in every category.  While consumers certainly enjoy a free experience, they don’t exactly want to feel left out in the cold if they don’t want to spend any money.

With that readers, do you find yourself utilizing in-app purchases more and more?  Do you think it’s a good business model versus making consumers pay for an app outright?  Feel free to leave your thoughts below

Rescued Miners in Chile Receive Free iPods from Steve Jobs

Chile miners rescued
(Image courtesy of Reuters)

The world watched in awe this week as 33 courageous miners in Chile were finally rescued after 68 days of being trapped underground. Now praised as heroes, they’re being lavished with gifts — including iPods.

Reuters is reporting that the 33 rescued miners who spent 68 days trapped underground in Chile are getting a taste of newfound celebrity. In addition to each man receiving ,000 from a local singer turned businessman, Apple boss Steve Jobs has sent them all free iPods, which appear to be personal gifts from the CEO himself.

“Jobs joins a list of benefactors impressed at the stoicism and courage of the 33 miners who survived 68 days of being literally buried alive,” notes 9to5Mac. That list also includes a Greek mining firm’s offer to send each Chilean miner to Greece for a free one-week vacation, as well as a trip to South Korea offered by Chile’s football league.

“No word on what make or model, but we’d anticipate a top-of-the-range iPod touch,” 9to5Mac surmises. No doubt the men will make good use of them, as the latest word is they plan to jointly publish a book on their ordeal — and to avoid a return to mining. We can’t say we blame them.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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Free App Friday: Clip It, Clip it Good

There are some applications that you might not need, but the fact remains that they’re free and they can make your life simpler. Well, what we really find that we’re lacking in these days is virtual sticky notes. It’s hard to get things clipped sometimes without having to install a browser extension or open up another application and paste what we’ve copied, but we’ve found some utilitarian clipping apps that are free and help us live our day to day lives by the post it note–just as we wanted it.

Mac

JumpCut

Copying and pasting notes on the Mac is a total drag. You either have to open up TextEdit, or download a client like Evernote and then install a bookmarklet or a Firefox extension to have your clippings saved. And while those applications work well for things like images and recipes, they don’t take into consideration how tedious it is to fire them up for something as menial as a simple bit.ly URL.

Enter Jumpcut, an application that provides “clipboard buffering” and gives you access to text that you’ve cut or copied, even if you end up copying something else. The open source app is then available in the menu bar of your desktop, or it can be set up as a pop up dialog window. Either way, enabling this little kink in your system’s software will definitely give Ctrl + C a whole new meaning. Never forget what you copy ever again!

iPad

Notepad for iPad

I am obsessed with sticky notes. I use one every day for my to-do list, and then I write myself little notes later on in the day with bits and pieces of information that I’ll adhere to the inside of my Moleskine calendar or work notebook before I take off for the day. Though it seems redundant, I like to have that functionality on my iPad, too. There’s no harm in having another note taking app on your iOS device if it means you get to have stickies! The mere act of typing my day’s duties on a “sticky” note totally helped me get into the groove, and the fact that I could email my sticky notes and add location updates to them was fabulous. Hey, you can’t do that with real sticky notes, now can you?

 

iPad and iPhone

Bookmarklets

Alright, so they’re not exactly apps that you can download, but they are free and they work well at clipping websites you’re browsing on your iPad or iPhone that you might want to share with your friends on your social networks, or add into Instapaper. Here’s a couple that do just that.

How to install them: It requires a little patience and the right maneuvering of your fingers on the touch screen. But basically, navigate to this page in your mobile Safari and copy the Javascript code. Then, you have to create a bookmark and edit it, and afterward add in the Javascript code into the bookmark you’re editing. Got it?

Share on Tumblr

javascript:var d=document,w=window,e=w.getSelection,k=d.getSelection,x=d.selection,s=(e?e():(k)?k():(x?x.createRange().text:0)),f=íhttp://www.tumblr.com/shareí,l=d.location,e=encodeURIComponent,p=í?v=3&u=í+e(l.href) +í&t=í+e(d.title) +í&s=í+e(s),u=f+p;try{if(!/^(.*.)?tumblr[^.]*$/.test(l.host))throw(0);tstbklt();}catch(z){a =function(){if(!w.open(u,ít’,ítoolbar=0,resizable=0,status=1,width=450,height=430′))l.href=u;};if(/Firefox/.test(navigator.userAgent))setTimeout(a,0);else a();}void(0)

Add to Instapaper

javascript:function iprl5(){var d=document,z=d.createElement(‘scr’+’ipt’),b=d.body;try{if(!b)throw(0);d.title='(Saving…) ‘+d.title;z.setAttribute(‘src’,’http://www.instapaper.com/j/VIbChxExXDOZ?u=’+encodeURIComponent(d.location.href)+’&t=’+(new Date().getTime()));b.appendChild(z);}catch(e){alert(‘Please wait until the page has loaded.’);}}iprl5();void(0)

Share on Facebook

javascript:var d=document,f=íhttp://www.facebook.com/shareí,l=d.location,e=encodeURIComponent,p=í.php?src=bm&v=4&i=1271771052&u=í+e(l.href)+í&t=í+e(d.title);1;try{if (!/^(.*.)?facebook.[^.]*$/.test(l.host))throw(0);share_internal_bookmarklet(p)}catch(z) {a=function() {if (!window.open(f+ír’+p,ísharerí,’toolbar=0,status=0,resizable=1,width=626,height=436′))l.href=f+p};if (/Firefox/.test(navigator.userAgent))setTimeout(a,0);else{a()}}void(0)

 

 

Follow this article’s author, and her various clippings, on Twitter.

 

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Free iPhone 4 Case Program Ends September 30

 

If you’re considering the purchase of an iPhone 4 in the next few weeks, we’ve got some news that might make you want to hustle to your nearest Apple or AT&T Store. The Apple iPhone 4 Case Program is winding down at the end of the month. That’s right: on September 30, the “antenna gate” free case extravaganza will be no more. For those of you who missed out on all of the action this past sunny summer, Apple launched the iPhone 4 Case Program in response to media and consumer furor over alleged reception problems arising from the iPhone 4’s integrated antenna design. When the handset was held in a particular manner known as the “Death Grip,” many users reported significant signal loss. Apple’s solution to this was to offer free cases to iPhone 4 users.

If you’re planning on picking up a free case before the deadline, all you need do is prove to Apple that you purchased your phone before the end of September. Easy, right? Sadly, those of you who bought your iPhone before July 23rd and wanted to pick up a case on Apple’s tab are out of luck: the cut off for early adopters was August 22. Good luck and happy case hunting!

 

 

 

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Free iPhone 4 Case Program Ends September 30th

 

If you’re considering the purchase of an iPhone 4 in the next few weeks, we’ve got some news that might make you want to hustle to your nearest Apple or AT&T Store. The Apple iPhone 4 Case Program is winding down at the end of the month. That’s right: on September 30, the “antenna gate” free case extravaganza will be no more. For those of you who missed out on all of the action this past sunny summer, Apple launched the iPhone 4 Case Program in response to media and consumer furor over alleged reception problems arising from the iPhone 4’s integrated antenna design. When the handset was held in a particular manner known as the “Death Grip,” many users reported significant signal loss. Apple’s solution to this was to offer free cases to iPhone 4 users.

If you’re planning on picking up a free case before the deadline, all you need do is prove to Apple that you purchased your phone before the end of September. Easy, right? Sadly, those of you who bought your iPhone before July 23rd and wanted to pick up a case on Apple’s tab are out of luck: the cut off for early adopters was August 22. Good luck and happy case hunting!

 

 

 

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Apple-Backed H.264 Receives Free License For Internet Video Use

h264

(Image courtesy of bluedroplet.com)

Chalk one up for Cupertino.  The MPEG Licensing Authority gave the green light to indefinitely extend royalty-free Internet broadcasting licensing of its H.264 video codec to end users.  The advantage that Google’s WebM once had, comes up short.  It all but means that Apple’s preferred H.264 is the video format for modern HTML5 video out on the web.

What exactly does the MPEG Licensing Authority do?  They manage the licensing of the patent pool for H.264 video compression for a whole range of companies that all contribute to the standard, companies such as Apple.

Granted, anyone is able to license H.264 under non-discriminatory terms.  However, proponents of free software don’t particularly care for the use of commercially licensed video codecs because it puts web content into a format which would require licensing fees for play back (or worse, non-licensed code must be used, thus an ensuing legal battle royal).

via AppleInsider

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

 

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