Saturday, October 30, 2010

Next-Gen iPad to get 2 cameras?




It seems like a pretty good bet that Apple will put a camera on the next generation of iPads to add more FaceTime-capable devices to the ecosystem.

However, a note from an investment firm has gone further to say that the iPad will have two cameras, a 5 MP camera and a VGA camera.

Detweiler Fenton, in a note obtained by Barron's, said OmniVision will be supplying the CMOS image sensors used in the new iPad.

Presumably, the VGA camera will be used in the front for FaceTime while the back of the new iPad would have the 5 MP camera. Given the size of the iPad, it's not clear why this is a good idea though.

(Via AppleInsider.)

Stan Chart's Breeze now on iPad

Standard Chartered's excellent Breeze iPhone app is now available as a native iPad app.

The iPad version uses the larger display on the iPad to deliver a better interface for doing online banking.

Breeze for iPad is free. You can download it here.



BuUuk About uses augmented reality to find points of interest around you

Apple has finally approved BuUuk About, an iPhone app that uses augmented reality to help you locate points of interest.

Start the app, turn your iPhone sideways and hold it so that the face is perpendicular to the ground. You will then be able to see information superimposed over the view.

Among other things, this app will help you to locate taxi stands, swimming pools, schools, restaurants, post offices, MRT stations, banks and ATMs.

You can adjust the radius that you want to use, the outer limit being 10km.

This app has a really nice, easy-to-use interface. Selecting a point of interest to find is easy, as is changing the radius you want to use. You can get a map view by angling the iPhone so that the face is parallel to the ground.

BuUuk About is free. You can download it here.




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Contest: Win a copy of Gothere.sg!

Gothere.sg (US$2.99) is an app that every iPhone owner in Singapore should own. The company is giving away five copies of the Gothere.sg app so if you haven't gotten the app yet, here's your chance to win it.

All you have to do is email editor at imerlion dot com and complete the following sentence:

"I deserve the Gothere.sg app because ....."

We'll look through all the answers and pick the best five.

This contest will run for a week and end at 2359 on 2 November. Good luck!

Note: Unlike our previous contests, this contest is open to anyone with an account in the App Store. You do not need an account with the US iTunes store to take part. If you only have an account with the Singapore store, you can still take part in this competition.

(If you haven't heard about Gothere.sg, read our previous coverage about this great app.)


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China App Store now available in Simplified Chinese

Good news if you're a bilingual developer; Apple has just announced that China's App Store is now in Simplified Chinese, thus making it more useful to consumers there. The store is also featuring localised apps as well.

(Update: It has been clarified that the App Store has been available in Simplified Chinese for a while now. It's not clear why the Apple press release suggested that this was only just made available.)

If you haven't already, it looks like a good time to start localising your apps for the undoubtedly growing China market.

Apart from the App Store, Apple has also created an online store in Simplified Chinese as well.

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CW NextBus helps you get to JB and back

CW NextBus is a simple app that stores the bus schedule for CW3, the Causeway Link Express bus service between Taman Bukit Indah in JB and Jurong East.

It will tell you when the next bus is and also show you the schedule for weekdays and weekends.

You can use the app to look up when the the next bus is leaving Bukit Indah, Gelang Patah or Jurong East.

CW NextBus is free. Download it here.

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YongErp warns you about ERP charges

YongErp is an app that tells users how much ERP charges are at the different gantries in the city. Given that the rate changes depending on the time of day, trying to remember the charges at any one time is no joke.

This app has:

- Quick access to bookmarked ERP gantries.
- Quick search of nearby gantries
- Map of gantries with colour-coded cost (Green is $0, Yellow is $1, Orange is $2 and Red is $3)

YongERP is free. Download it here.

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ZDNet Asia launches iPhone app

Tech news site ZDNet Asia has launched an iPhone app. The app provides access to news, its TechGuides as well as the various blogs on ZDNet Asia.

ZDNet Asia is free. Download it here.

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White iPhone delayed

We hope you're not waiting for the white iPhone because it is apparently delayed again, and will only be available in spring next year.

Reuters reports that Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller apologised for the delay but offered no explanation.

(Via MacRumors.)

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TOTO Winner looks like a versatile app

TOTO Winner, which is one of too many Toto apps in the App Store, distinguishes itself by having a bunch of unique features including:

- Push notification of latest results
- a TOTO number generator that uses TOTO results stored in your phone for generating new numbers.
- helps you keep track of your TOTO bets and helps you match your bets with results.

This app is free. Download it here.

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YongBus is a free app that delivers bus arrival times

YongBUS, a free app, delivers bus arrival times for bus stops near your current location.

You can favourite bus stops and also use the search to look up buildings, road names or bus stops.

This app can be downloaded here.

(Thanks to Victor for the tip-off!)

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NTU Bus gives bus arrival times in NTU

A new app, NTU Bus, helps undergraduates at the sprawling NTU campus find out when the various shuttle buses will arrive.

The free app has the following features:

- List of all bus stops for each shuttle bus route
- Allow users to check the arrival time for a specific bus
- Allow users to check nearest 5 bus stops
- Allow users to add favorite bus stops
- Live maps showing current bus locations
- Shows the photo of each bus stop

NTU Bus is free. You can download it here. This is the second app to provide bus arrival times for NTU. The first was Traversity.


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Singtel's Windows Phone 7 launch at Vivocity is a big hit

You can see crowds of people thronging SingTel's Windows Phone 7 space at Vivocity on Sunday afternoon. There is obviously a lot of interest in this new phone. (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

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Friday, October 22, 2010

91.3FM now available on the iPhone

We all want to be billionaires, so frickin' bad. Sadly, that's not going to happen for most of us. As a small consolation though, you can now listen to the song instead via the 91.3FM app.

Yes dudes and dudettes, the SPH Mediaworks radio station now has an iPhone presence, thanks to RADIOactive, purveyors of fine iPhone apps since 2010. RADIOactive are also the guys behind MeRadio, previously known as Laylio.

91.3FM is free. Download it here.

(Thanks to iMerlion reader Junwei for the heads-up!)




Citibank app updated

The Citibank iPhone app has been updated recently. The app features improvements as well as new functions.

New features:

- Look up shopping deals
- Get rebates
- Get special e-coupons
- A settings page

Improvements:

- better searching in Gourmet Pleasures
- better searching in Citi World Privileges




Lim & Tan doesn't want to be left out

Apparently Philip Securities isn't the only brokerage to release an iPhone app recently. About a month ago, Lim & Tan quietly released an app, unsurprisingly called Lim & Tan.

This app is free. You can download it here.


(Thanks to Chu Yeow for the heads-up!)



Thursday, October 21, 2010

You may have given up on Teletext but Teletext is never gonna give you up


You don't need to be colourblind to use Teletext but it helps.

Ah, the 80s. The era of British New Wave when Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls and Tears for Fears ruled the airwaves.

If you're hankering for a trip down memory lane and you don't want to pay the cover charge to Zouk's Mambo Jambo night, you can now relive the era of floppy fringes and floppy disks with an app called Teletext Singapore.

Yup, apparently, Teletext (AKA SBC Text, then later INtv) is still around and you can now get it, in all its blocky-pixelled glory, on your iPhone.

DBS Shopper helps credit and debit cardholders to find deals

If you have a DBS or POSB credit or debit card, DBS Shopper looks like an app to get. This app will tell you all the deals you can get if you are a cardholder.

With this app, you can look up:

- new deals or featured deals;
- deals by categories like beauty and wellness, electronics, fashion and health; and
- deals near you.

An augmented reality element allows you to use the iPhone's camera so you can see the deals around you. In addition, this app also has special coupons that you can redeem.

DBS Shopper is free. You can download it here.

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Philip Securities puts POEMS on the iPhone

Philip Securities has finally released an app to allow trading on the iPhone.

POEMS offers all the usual features that you would need, including:

• Access multiple markets using one account
• Easy access to the world indices
• Streaming live prices for stock exchanges such as SGX, NASDAQ, NYSE, AMEX, HKEx and more
• Auto- calculation of the bid size
• Live updates of trading limits
• Monitor your favourite stocks from various exchanges on each watchlist
• Shortcuts to important pages, such as Watchlists, Top 20, Trade, Order Status
• Ability to control the frequency of stock quote updates

POEMS is free. You can download it here.

Other local online trading apps include iOCBC TradeMobile (for iPhone and iPad) and KE Trade Mobile.

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Apple's announcements: What it means for iOS users in Singapore

Apple unveiled a series of announcements last night that were pretty significant for Mac users. They include new MacBook Airs, a peek at the Lion, the new version of the Mac OS, and updates to iLife.

For iOS users, what was significant yesterday was the fact that Apple will be making FaceTime available as an application for the Mac (currently). No news about its availability for Windows yet. FaceTime is a separate application, instead of being an update to Apple's iChat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RIM and Google respond to Jobs

On Blackberry's blog, co-CEO Jim Balsillie responded to Steve Jobs, essentially arguing that RIM's upcoming 7-inch Playbook is relevant to consumers and that RIM is not fading away. Makes sense that he would want to try to make the point that Blackberry is still relevant.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WhereTo.sg has detailed map, points of interest

Biopolis has a ridiculous naming system for its buildings. Fortunately, WhereTo.sg will help you find the building you need to get to with ease.

Nanyang Polytechnic has built a location-based iPhone app to help you locate things like bus stops, ATMs, supermarkets and post offices.

Called WhereTo.sg, this app uses information from the Singapore Land Authority.

Apple posts US$20.3b in revenue, ships 14.1m iPhones

Apple just reported another amazing quarter.

Revenue: $20.34 billion vs $12.21 billion a year ago
Net quarterly profit: $4.31 billion vs $2.53 billion
EPS: $4.64 per diluted share vs $2.77

Macs sold: 3.89 million, a 27 percent unit increase
iPhones sold: 14.1 million, a 91 percent unit growth
iPods sold: 9.05 million, an 11 percent unit
iPads sold: 4.19 million iPads

Macworld has a nice summary and graphs.

To celebrate Apple's first US$20 billion quarter, Steve Jobs was on the earnings call. MacDailyNews has a live blog of the call. During the call, Jobs "lashed out" (Macworld) at RIM, Android and tablets. According to Jobs, RIM has to be a software platform but can't be, Android is too fragmented and 7-inch tablets are the wrong size.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Scoreless Music Suite wins at regional awards ceremony

The Scoreless Music Suite (comprising CHORDiCA and other music related apps) were winners at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance 2010 awards in the New Media and Entertainment category.

"It's definitely a great honour to be recognised by judges in the region, beyond just the shores of Singapore,' said Joash. "If anything, I am more fired up than ever before to deliver my vision for Scoreless Music, which is to bring music to the lives of everyone in the world through innovative use of technology."

Joash also announced that he is putting the finishing touches on his new musical instrument, CHORDiCA Touch, and it is about to be submitted to the App Store. For a sneak peak at how CHORDiCA Touch works, check out this YouTube video to see a demo of the rhythm part of the app.

And if you haven't pick up your copy of the CHORDiCA app for free yet, you should hurry. It will revert to being a paid app soon.

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Limera1n and greenpois0n available for the Mac

Over the weekend, the Mac versions for both the limera1n and greenpois0n jailbreak tools were released. Redmond Pie has the step-by-step instructions on how to jailbreak using limera1n and greenpois0n.

As usual, the standard disclaimers apply: iMerlion does not recommend jailbreaking your device. If you do decide to do it and run into problems, we will not be able to help.

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Rumour: New MacBook Air in the offing

Rumours are swirling that Apple will release a new MacBook Air on Wednesday. The 11.6-inch machine will use something called an SSD card as opposed to a hard disk or an SSD. The SSD card is believed to resemble a stick of RAM.

As a result of relying on SSD, the new Macs will have faster boot times and have the same instant wake capability that the iPhone and iPad have.

See full details at AppleInsider.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Updated: ParkAlert and SG Buses V3

ParkAlert, a free app which relies on crowdsourcing to inform you when a parking warden is spotted near your (undoubtedly illegally parked) car, has been updated with new features. You can now use the app to locate your car if you are the sort of person who tends to misplace cars. In addition, it will now allow you to monitor more than one location simultaneously.

Local bus guide and bus arrival time app SG Buses V3 has been updated to handle background location. It will load bus arrival times when you get near a monitored bus stop. This feature is only available on newer iOS devices. Ads are now also part of the app. (See our earlier story on why the developer Muh Hon Cheng had to include ads into SG Buses).


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

News from the Guardian delivered in a clean, simple iPad app

While the Guardian newspaper has an iPhone app, that app is sadly not for sale in the Singapore market. Fortunately for Guardian fans, there is now Today's News, an iPad app that leverages on the Guardian's Open Platform to deliver news from the Guardian onto the iPad using a clean, simple interface. This free app was developed by local development house Deep Calm and has received a shout-out from TechCrunch Europe.

Apart from the uncluttered interface, this app also features integration with email, Twitter, Facebook and Instapaper. Deep Calm has promised to deliver an iPhone version too.

For the background story on the development of this app, check out their Naked Startup post here.

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Roundup: Mac OS update in the works, Apple closes above US$300 and breaks 10% marketshare in the US


* Apple is holding an event on Oct 20 at the company's campus in Cupertino. The invite simply says "Back to the Mac" and has a lion visible behind the logo. Since Apple tends to name major Mac OS updates after big cats, it seems safe to assume that the event will see an unveiling of Mac OS 10.7 (the current version, 10.6, being Snow Leopard). Macrumors also suggests that Apple's notebook line is due for a refresh.

* For the first time, Apple stock closed above US$$300. To be precise, it closed at US$300.14. This means that Apple is now worth US$274.3 billion, which is US$55.1 billion more than Microsoft. MacDailyNews has a comparision of valuations between Apple and other well-known brands.

* Apple's market share in the US is now above 10 per cent according to both Gartner and IDC. Gartner puts Apple's share as 10.4 percent while IDC puts it at 10.6 percent. According to Gartner, Apple is now the fourth biggest PC manufacturer in the US, behind Dell, HP and Acer. IDC puts Apple in third place, ahead of Acer. Appleinsider has the details.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apple releases new iOS 4.2 beta and new iTunes beta

The latest version of the iOS 4.2 beta is now out and Macrumors and AppleInsider have the details. iOS 4.2 beta 3 has new tones for SMS but has removed the AirPlay option from some apps on the iPad.

Apple has also released iTunes 10.1 beta 2.

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GreenPois0n jailbreak released for newer iOS devices


The Chronic Dev Team, a group of iPhone hackers, have just released GreenPois0n, a jailbreak for the iPhone 4, 3GS, iPod touch 4G and 3G and the iPad.

This jailbreak uses Limera1n's exploit for these devices. If Limera1n did not work for you, GreenPois0n might.

Redmond Pie has his usual clear how-to guide here.


(Again, while jailbreaking allows you additional functionality that Apple does not allow, iMerlion does not recommend jailbreaking your device. If you jailbreak and encounter problems, we suggest using Google to look up solutions.)


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Yahoo Messenger offers video chat for iPhone users

You can now use the Yahoo Messenger app for video chats, thus linking iPhone users with users of the messaging service on the desktop as well as Yahoo Messenger users on other platforms like Android.

With this enhancement, Yahoo has leapfrogged over Apple's FaceTime which only runs on the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod touches.

Yahoo Messenger is supposed to be able to run over 3G as well, though a WiFi connection is recommended.

Early reviews are mixed with some people reporting success in using the video chat and others saying it does not work.

Yahoo Messenger is free. You can download it here.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SG Buses and SG NextBus may become ad-supported to pay for bandwidth

SG NextBus and SG Buses, two crucial apps for people who rely on public transport in Singapore, may become ad-supported in the near future.

The developer, Muh Hon Cheng, is contemplating the change because he now has to pay for bandwidth costs thanks to the growing popularity of these apps.

SingTel to launch Windows Phone 7 handsets next Thursday

SingTel has announced that it will launch three Windows Phone 7 handsets next Thursday, Oct 21. The three sets are the Samsung Omnia 7, the HTC HD 7 and the LG Optimus 7.

The HTC HD 7 will be exclusive to SingTel.

Pioneer Magazine out on the iPad

While doing my National Service, Pioneer Magazine was one of the things that kept me going. Not.

But I shouldn't be so cynical. I'm sure there are people out there who enjoy reading Pioneer Magazine. For all nine of you, you will happy to learn that you can now read Pioneer on the iPad. Apparently, it also has exclusive videos and soundbites too.

With so much going for it, how can it not be a hit?

Pioneer Magazine is free (naturally. Who would pay for it?). Download it here.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Carry discount coupons on your iPhone with MobiQpons


Looks like the space for shopping apps on the iPhone is getting crowded. MobiQpons, an app that delivers discount coupons via the iPhone, has just launched in Singapore.

You can search for retailers alphabetically, by category (accessories, clothing, restaurants) or look for retailers near you. You can also bookmark your favourite retailers so that you can look them up quickly.

When you are at a participating retailer, just open the app and show the relevant coupon to claim the discount.

Some of the discounts are exclusive to the app. These discounts are from retailers like Amazing Glaze, CornerStone Wines and Caffee Pralet.

MobiQpons is free. You can download it here.


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Limera1n jailbreak now available

The talented iPhone hacker geohot has just released limera1n, a jailbreak exploit that you can use on the Phone 3GS, iPod Touch 3G, iPad, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G.

This jailbreak, still in beta and for Windows only at the moment, will jailbreak devices running OS 4.0 and 4.1. According to geohot, limera1n is unpatchable.

This exploit is still in beta and you should probably wait a few days for all the bugs to be ironed out.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

DBS app updated

DBS has updated its mBanking app. You can now add or remove billers and do one time bill payments. There is also an ATM/AXS locator as well.

Friday, October 8, 2010

SG Petrol Prices Lite helps you save money at the pump

SG Petrol Prices Lite will tell you how much it costs to buy the different grades of petrol and diesel from Shell, Caltex, Esso and SPC.

This app is the free version of SG Petrol Prices. The paid version costs US$0.99 and promises push notification when prices change. The paid version is also ad-free.

SG Petrol Prices Lite can be downloaded here.

Thanks to iMerlion reader Victor for the tip-off.


VSS Guide helps you find vegetarian eateries

If you're a vegetarian or a vegan in Singapore, the VSS Guide is a must-have.

This app is a directory of vegetarian restaurants in Singapore with descriptions by the Vegetarian Society (Singapore).

You can look for restaurants by name, district and price. In addition, you can also zero in on just vegan restaurants or just organic restaurants. Of course you can also look for restaurants near you.

VSS Guide is US$1.99. You can download it here.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

ParkAlert could be an answer to parking fines

This is an app that might save you from a parking ticket.

ParkAlert works by crowd sourcing. When you park your car, you launch the app and indicate your location. Subsequently, if someone sees a parking warden in the area and that person also uses ParkAlert, he or she can push a button that will send an alert to anyone parked in the vicinity.

If enough people download and use this app, it could prove to be quite useful.

ParkAlert is free for now. You can download it here.



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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CalTask helps you add appointments to Google Calendar

The latest app by iCash SG developer Mugunth Kumar makes it easy for people to add new appointments and events to their Google Calendar.

CalTask allows you to add a new event simply by typing in a natural sentence. To add an appointment to meet Tony at 4pm at Centrepoint, you just have to type: "Meeting with Tony from 4pm to 6pm at Centrepoint." Or you could type: "Lunch with Richard from 1pm at Cedele".

The app uses the same parsing engine that Google's "Quick Add" feature uses.

CalTasks is free. You can download it here.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PocketDeals helps you save money while shopping



If you are looking to save money while shopping, PocketDeals may be the answer.

This app brings together special offers available from different merchants around Singapore.

Currently, you can find out about deals from Coach, Kate Spade, Spinelli, Rang Mahal and even Singapore Airlines.

buUuk has fun exploring real-time updating, push with SG Polls


I'm working quietly in a room when the silence is suddenly broken by a forlorn air horn. It is the alert from SG Polls telling me that there is now a new poll for me to vote on.

Within minutes, you can see people logging in to vote for the latest poll. In the 10 minutes since the air horn sounded, 40 people have voted on the topic: "Will you send or have you sent your children overseas to study?" As people vote, I can see the numbers update before my eyes. Very cool.

SG Polls (free) is the latest iPhone app by buUuk, the developers of the global restaurant finder of the same name that was recently named one of Asia's top apps. Apart from SG Polls, buUuk the company is also awaiting approval for a new app called buUuk About. This app brings together Points of Interest with Augmented Reality so that cartographically-challenged individuals like myself can look through the camera's view finder to find the nearest ATM, instead of trying to figure  out how to read a map.

iMerlion speaks to buUuk co-founder Jon Petersen about SG Polls, buUuk About and about their recent win at Accelerate 2010.

Can you tell us why buUuk decided to develop SG Polls?



Pastamania makes it easy to order your favourite pizza or pasta dish

Beat the crowds at Pastamania. With their app, you can now order your favourite dish from Pastamania and have it delivered to your home or office.

This app allows you to order the restaurant's pizza, pasta, sandwiches, desserts and drinks.

One nice thing about this app is that you can see which outlet will handle your order and how long it will take to deliver.

As far as I know, this is the first app that allows you to place orders within the app.

The Pastamania app is free and you can download it here. However, you will have to sign up for a Pastamania account to place your order.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

iConnect@AMK-YCK connects residents to the town council

If the Ang Mo Kio-Yio Chu Kang town council serves your area, this app is for you. The free app, iConnect-AMK-YCK, will allow you to make suggestions and provide feedback in your estate.

You can also find out more about the town council's services, meet-the-people sessions and get updates from the town council about what is happening in the area.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

iPhone photography exhibition on this weekend


Don't forget the iPhone photography exhibition taking place this weekend (Oct 2 and 3) at the Red Dot Museum.

four80bythree20 is a solo exhibition by iPhone photographer and graphic designer Chia Aik Beng, whose works have been exhibited in Berlin and Philadelphia.

iMerlion is one of the sponsors of the exhibition.

Scoreless Music and CHORDiCA take top honors at SiTF Awards

The Scoreless Music Suite, which includes the app CHORDiCA, was the winner in the Mobile Application category at the SiTF Awards 2010 on Thursday night.

The suite beat three other nominees to take the top slot.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Due updated. Now faster.

Local developer Lin Junjie has just updated his to-do reminder app Due.

Version 1.1 now allows users to reuse expired reminders in just two taps. The app is also faster at setting up new reminders.
Other changes include:

- Being able to change the interval from the default 15 minutes to 1, 5, 10 or 30 minutes.

- Being able to turn off badges

- Respects regional settings for the display of time.

- Localized for Italian

Due is available in the App Store for US$2.99. You can buy it here.

Read about how Due came about here.

Dialmate gives quick access to important numbers

Dialmate by Mugunth Kumar is a curated collection of important local phone numbers. The numbers are grouped together in categories like emergency, banks, telcos, government agencies and hospitals.

A simple but handy app.

Dialmate is free. You can download it here.