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Bryan M. Wolfe
| May 23, 2011
Top AppAdvice News & Apps Of The Past Week
As we spent much of the week wondering what Apple had in store for the 10th anniversary of its Retail Store concept, we got some disturbing news from AT&T. Meanwhile, while we waited for Aperture to come to the iPad, Playboy did just that. However, to get the venerable publication in iPad form, we needed to use a web app. These stories and more were just a few of the topics covered in the week that was. Story Of The Week AT&T Overcharging Each Of Us Up To 300 Percent AT&T is overcharging its data customers as much as 300 percent, according to a new report aired by MSNBC. As such, 20 million Americans are paying more for their monthly service than they need to be. The report, which we’ve included here, is tied to a new lawsuit filed against the giant carrier. In the report, lawyer Barry Davis contents: “It's like a rigged gas pump. Where when you go to the gas station and ask for a gallon of gas but only get 9/10's.” Other News Apple Store 2.0 Goes Live, Online (But Not "Online") According to 9 to 5 Mac, the retail "Apple Store 2.0" remodel has finally gone live. At least, it has in Australia (which is nearly a day ahead of the US), and results are in line with what's been generally rumored. The biggest, most immediate changes indicate that Apple retail locations everywhere are going ever greener. Gone are the paper signs and placards adorning each product's position throughout the store, generously replaced by iPad 2s running custom, fully interactive apps designed to showcase each associated model in Apple's lineup. In theory, the move should serve to drive sales of devices both described and describing. Apple Retail Stores Now Carrying Acclaimed TikTok And LunaTik Nano Watchbands When the newest, touch-enabled iPod Nano came out, one of the first ideas to spring up in the minds of folks everywhere was to make this thing into a wristwatch with some banded accessory. Many companies have released such add-ons, running the gamut from cheap, plastic junk to diamond-encrusted idiocy. The good stuff, though, is in between. Scott Wilson, founder of design firm MINIMAL, has produced arguably the best of the category, starting by setting records on Kickstarter and ending up with an official presence in Apple retail stores (online store availability is TBA). His TikTok and LunaTik models, priced at $39.95 and $79.95 respectively, are finely crafted from durable, attractive materials and have burned through the review circuit with nigh unanimous acclaim. GigaOM's Darrell Etherington points out that Apple initially wasn’t convinced buyers would be willing to pay for the more expensive $79.95 LunaTik. In fact, Wilson has sold twice as many of the more expensive model according to Co.Design. That’s 20,000 through his site, adding to the initial 21,120 orders made through Kickstarter. Those numbers have convinced Apple that buyers most definitely are interested. That, friends, is wonderful news. Hopefully, these accessories continue to sell well, and Apple will understand that the little device's unexpected timepiece appeal is very real. App News DUI Checkpoint App Gets Sales Boost From Publicity And Scrutiny Fuzz Alert CEO, and developer, Steve Croke has recently stated that his DUI-checkpoint iPhone app has seen a huge sales increase in response to scrutiny and political pressure to shut it down. According to USA Today, four senators have tried to restrict his Fuzz Alert app, but their aim may have backfired into giving the app additional popularity. Croke claims that his intentions weren't to allow drunks to pinpoint and bypass regulations with their drunken driving habits. Croke is reported to be considering removing the DUI-checkpoint locator, to prove that isn't the aim of the app. According to Croke, the aim is more warning-based; that it informs drivers of a potential hazard (whether it is drinking, speeding, or other habits they may have). Plizy: The Fusion Of Music & News On The iPad What happens when you combine Flipboard with Pandora Radio? You’ll get Plizy, an invitation-only video companion app for iPad. Created by Milestone Project Inc., Plizy is described on its iTunes page as a new way to discover and enjoy videos shared by your friends. At its launch, videos from Revision 3, YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo are onboard. In addition, users can share videos posted via Twitter and Facebook. Users can also add "channels," which includes sites such as Wired, O'Reilly Media and NASA. Aperture Coming To iPad? A patent filing suggests Aperture, Apple’s photo editing and management software program, might be coming to the iPad, according to Patently Apple. Originally filed in the fourth quarter of 2009, U.S. patent application 20110119609 discusses graphical user interfaces (GUI) that provide users “with a collection of visible tools with which a user could interact (e.g., via a keyboard, mouse, touch screen, light pen) to perform computer tasks.” Playboy For iPad Arrives It’s official: Playboy has arrived on the iPad. The venerable magazine, first published in 1953, is now available on the tablet for the first time. First announced by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in January, Playboy for iPad has bypassed Apple’s app approval process and therefore isn’t available as a native app. Rather, it is a web app located at http://i.playboy.com via Mobile Safari. For $8 per month, Playboy for iPad subscribers receive full access to every edition of the magazine going back to its first issue in December 1953, which featured Marylyn Monroe on the cover. Top AppAdvice News & Apps Of The Past Week is published each Sunday, and is a wrap-up of some of the stories we felt were interesting during the last week.