htc3I just came across a video that is really interesting and seems to represent the future of text messaging on your new and refurbished cell phones. The software is called Swype and what it enables you to do is text on a touch screen without having to lift your finger, allowing a trained user to text a much quicker speeds than are possible with traditional texting (I think the guy in the video texts a something like 55 words per minute).

The way the system works is you slide your finger from letter to letter, and the software instantly figures out the word you are intending to type. It’s kind of hard to explain, so check out the video for a demonstration.

When the video first started, my initial reaction was, “That’s stupid,” but as the video went on, I began to see the possibilities that this system offers. It seems undeniable that Swype allows you to text faster (once you get used to it) but being a traditional touch typist, I am not sure that I want to train myself to text with one finger. I guess I’d have to try it to really know.

droid-1Googles newest ad campaign for the Motorola Droid is really big – as in tall. Google has rented ad space on the Reuters Sign and the NASDAQ sign in Times Square, NY between 12:30-2:00pm and 6:30-8:00pm. The screens display how their newly improved Search by Voice feature, which now comes with all Android devices such as the Motorola Droid, works.

Search by voice allows you to search for business information, like you would do via Google, without having to enter text. You just say the name of the business you are looking for, and the Google search results for that business show up. The Times Square campaign allows anyone to dial 888-376-4336, use the Search by Voice system, and then watch as their Google search results are displayed on one of the two digital signs.

The Search by Voice feature seems like a nice system, but I’m not really convinced that typing the name of the business that I need information about is really that difficult. I mean you have to look at the screen to read the search results anyway, so typing the information in eliminates the need to raise and lower that phone to your head, which you would need to do to use Search by Voice (nitpicking, I know). I’m just surprised that Google is proud enough of the feature to drop so much money on this type of campaign.

gq_magazine_iphone_appGQ Magazine’s new iPhone app seems to offering a glimpse into the future of what we think of as a magazine. Released by Conde Naste, GQ’s Man of the Year issue is now available, in its entirety, as an app that you can purchase (for half the normal magazine price) from the iTunes store to be viewed on your new or refurbished cell phone. For an industry that has seen subscriptions steadily declining as web technology advances, this app should symbolize the leather used to re-tie the wagon to the horses.

The natural question to ask about a magazine app is, “How does it differ from just going to GQ’s website?” If you’ve ever gone to a magazine’s website, you know that the sites don’t give away all of the content from that month’s mag because if they did, there’d be no reason to buy the printed issue. The goal has been to give you a taste of each article to entice you to actually go buy a copy of the real thing. This GQ app marks a total change to the paradigm.

This GQ app actually is the magazine, which you can flip through on your touch screen just like a real magazine. It’s actually more than a magazine because all of it’s content is “live,” meaning that the advertisements now move and talk if you click on them, they’ll take you to their source. The release of this app makes me wonder why anyone would want to actually produce printed magazines anymore. Think about it; they can charge half the price of a printed copy because they’ve saved money on printing, warehousing, and shipping, and readers now get more out of the product because they can actually interact with it. In reality, apps like this save trees and reduce household clutter. It seems like a win-win situation. That being said, I can’t shake this lingering feeling that I will miss the actual pages in my hand. I mean, do I really want my iPhone on the toilet with me?

Picture 1There are now hundreds of thousands of apps available for your new or refurbished cell phone, and we don’t normally like to write negative reviews, but this new app for the iPhone blows – both literally and figuratively. When switched on, the app makes a noise so loud that it blows air out of the bottom of the iPhone.Picture 2

The app is being advertised as wonderful because you can use it to blow out birthday candles, herbs, and refresh your skin… wow. What does it even mean to blow herbs? There’s a video of the app that does a wonderful job showing how incredibly annoying the noise that the thing makes is. Making this horrible app even worse is that it actually has a price tag.

urbanspoonlogoUrbanspoon’s much-loved app is now available via free download for your new or refurbished Blackberry. If you haven’t used it already on the iPhone, the Urbanspoon app is a restaurant finder with a little twist. Once set to your area (via GPS or you can just enter your zip), the app shows you three tumblers: the first shows a list of neighborhoods, the second shows types of foods, and the third shows a price scale. Once you click to spin the tumblers, the app will randomly select a restaurant.urbanspoonmainmenu

You can lock each tumbler, however, so if you are craving Chinese, just lock the type of food tumbler and the other two will spin and randomly show you different Chinese restaurants in different neighborhoods in your area. The app is really fun to use and is a great way to discover new spots to eat. When Urbanspoon lands on a restaurant, the app will show the restaurant’s info (capacity, owner, email address, inspection and permit history) as well as photos, menus, user ratings, and reviews.

You can download the Urbanspoon App at Blackberry’s Appworld for free, but be aware that it is highly addictive.

homersimpsonLast night on The Simpsons, Homer got a new position at work and was given a refurbished Blackberry (I figure it has to be refurbished as it appears to be a new looking 7230, and you know Mr. Burns isn’t going to miss the opportunity to save money by purchasing refurbished cell phones for his employees). We can now add Homer to the list of celebrity Blackberry holders. Later in the episode, a refurbished Treo made an appearance as well.

Apparently, Homer now Tweets as there is a Homer Simpson page on Twitter. Judging by the tweets, however, I’m not convinced that it’s actually run by any of the real writers of the show. Matt Groening needs to take some action and get the real Homer behind the Twitter helm of his new Blackberry.

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