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Matt Reich

I'm a freelance writer and web developer and Mac nerd (obviously). I enjoy technology, bicycles, writing, good beer, music, and baseball. Killer combo, right?

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You’re browsing Twitter and you spot A tweet that says “current status” followed by a link. The link turns out to be an animated photo of a cat trying to sit inside a tiny box. You chuckle a bit and wonder, what was that thing? That little animation is most likely an animated GIF. These animated snippets are nothing new necessarily, but they’ve seen some increased traction lately.

Gifture is a new iPhone application that enables you to easily create and share some really cool animated GIFs. Think of an Instagram, but only for GIFs. If you haven’t seen any of these little things you’re in luck; they’re pretty entertaining to view, and now with Gifture, they’re even more fun to create. (more…)

For all the baseball fans out there, this is a wonderful time of year. The Major League Baseball regular season just began and the smell of the ballpark is in the air. And, if you’re like me, you’ll now be dedicating more time and energy each day than you should following your favorite team.

Statistics are a huge part of this historic game, and have been kept for better than a century. Numbers to numbers, players and teams can be compared from one generation to the next. It’s one of the only professional sports that is capable of such comparisons. Because of that, baseball carries with it a lot of stat junkie fans. These are the folks that analyze the OBP of a batter in relation to facing right or left handed pitching combined with the game time temperature. Topps Pennant is an app that packages all of those stats in a beautifully designed, fun to use iPhone app. Let’s take a closer look at it. (more…)

There are a ridiculous number of iPhone games available in the App Store and that number is growing faster than ever. What’s even more interesting is seeing what different and interesting things developers are doing with their games. The creativity of the developers keeps me coming back to explore new titles in the games category all the time.

Beat Sneak Bandit takes touch interaction up a level and combines audio and touch to create really interesting gameplay and something I hadn’t experienced before — It was just too different to avoid. Let’s explore Beat Sneak Bandit. (more…)

I love science fiction, whether it’s movies or books, and I’ve always found it fun to transplant myself into the mythical environment of the film you’re watching or the book you’re reading. That far off place with all the cool gizmos and wild surroundings and interesting creatures. Star Wars has that appeal for me and a lot of other people, and LucasArts has done some great things with the franchise to keep its fans interested all these years.

One such thing has been video game development. There are a lot of really great Star Wars games out there for various platforms, and one of the most recent releases is Star Wars Pit Droids for the iPhone. The game was released as a bit of a promotion for the re-release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D. Let’s check it out. (more…)

I don’t play a lot of games on my iPhone, or anywhere, for that matter. I do enjoy them, but just find myself going other directions for entertainment most of the time. I know the iPhone is a great device for gaming so I thought I should probably check out this world a little more.

I decided to explore one of those retro-style game that I’ve been hearing so much about. I love the style and felt like a little mindless iPhone fun so why not. There are many in this space, but I decided to take Bit-1 for a spin. The screenshots looked impressive and the community seemed to enjoy it, so I picked up a copy to check it out for myself. My thoughts after the jump. (more…)

I know I don’t have to tell you that searching for and purchasing airline tickets is an incredible pain. Attempting a simple search often results in elevating your blood pressure followed by either anger or remorse because you know you didn’t get the right tickets. It’s a horrible experience nearly across the board.

I say “nearly,” because one start-up has been doing some great work at making that experience less awful. Let’s be honest, the bar has been set pretty low, so any improvement would be noticed, but Hipmunk has made some serious strides. Their web service is by far the best for searching for airline and hotel travel and they also have an accompanying iPhone App which is what we’ll be taking a look at today. Does the experience spill over to mobile devices or does it fall short? Read on to find out.
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Taking photos is easier than it has ever been with nearly every mobile phone touting a camera of some kind. Taking high quality photos with an iPhone is particularly easy especially if you own an iPhone 4. The ease of use combined with the convenience of having the device always with you make it perfect for taking photos for a lot of people.

The built-in iOS Camera app has seen some improvement in recent updates, but ultimately it is very basic. Sometimes we need a little more. Camera+ claims to be that little more and does so quite well. Let’s run through the application and see how it works in this role.

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They say that the best tool for the job is the one you have with you, and when it comes to giving a presentation, that’s what Keynote for the iPhone is all about. Instead of lugging your laptop all over the place just to handle a presentation, instead all you need is your iPhone and a projector adapter cable and you’re good to go. Plus, your amazing technical skills could really impress the boss.

In this, the final installment in our iWork on the iPhone series, we’ll get into just how functional Keynote for the iPhone is, and whether or not its made the transition to the mobile arena well, or if there are still a few more kinks to be worked out. Find out after the jump.

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We are still exploring uses for our mobile devices and cellular and WiFi networks, but one feature or function that has always been hanging around is this notion of content consumption. As devices get better and networks get faster, the possibilities and opportunities continually change.

Reading from the web is certainly a big portion of this content, and companies, publishers and individuals are constantly exploring how to best get their content to their consumers and how to monetize it. The world of book and magazine publishing has been especially shaken up as our mobile devices have become increasingly more powerful. The idea of simply trying to re-create the physical experience on a mobile device is a path that many established publishers, arguably incorrectly, are heading down.

Push Pop Press is looking at this from a different angle: they are looking at book publishing essentially from the ground up. Their thought is to look at the devices we currently have access to and the conditions in which they reside and then build a platform using those capabilities to create the best possible experience for the user. It is a book, but at the same time, it is something completely different. Our Choice by Al Gore is their first book utilizing this new platform. Let’s take a look and see how it works.

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Streaming media services is a fairly new industry and it is a growing one. Movie and television studios are continually seeing the benefit to this transmission method and are still figuring out how to best utilize it. Different services have been popping over the last couple years. Hulu and Netflix are two popular examples in this category.

The natural next step for these web streaming services is to mobile devices. Our devices and networks are now capable of handling these services. The iPhone is no slouch when it comes to media so this is a perfect fit. Crackle is a free, ad-supported video streaming services that has a mix of movies, television shows and original shows in its library. The Web service is great, but can the iPhone application measure up? Read on to find out

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