Slacker Personal Radio Review: Create Your Own Radio Stations on Your iPhone

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One of the long-standing iPod rumors has been a model that included an FM tuner. Some people still can’t believe Apple never included that “simple” feature. Now, with the iPhone/iPod Touch being able to stream music from the Internet, I think it’s safe to say there will never be an iPod with a terrestrial radio. And using an app like Slacker Personal Radio, you wonder why anyone would still want one.

There are several streaming music players in the App Store, with Pandora being the most popular. Slacker is very similar to Pandora — choose an artist or song, and Slacker builds a radio station with similar music. There are also several pre-built genre stations to choose from. Slacker doesn’t seem to use the “musical fingerprinting” that Pandora does. Instead, it appears to be based on the genre of the artists. Still, it manages to put together a good playlist.

Balsamiq Mockups: Wireframing For the Rest of Us

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There are several different ways to design a website or a software application. Some people like to start with Photoshop or Illustrator and create the complete design. Others like to start with code, and build up the look at the same time they are creating functionality. Another technique is wireframing, where you mockup just enough of a page or screen’s layout to understand the functionality, then turn it over to a designer to create a finished look.

For a couple of weeks, I’d been using OmniGraffle to do just that. Then I had a chance to try Balsamiq Mockups. If OmniGraffle is a complete painter’s workshop, then Balsamiq Mockups would be a box of 64 crayons. And that’s a good thing.

Tweetie Review: Multi-Account Management for Twitter


It’s possible that Twitter is the killer app for the iPhone. Or maybe the iPhone is the killer platform for Twitter. Either way, the two go hand-in-hand — I don’t know any iPhone owners that aren’t Twitter addicts. It’s no surprise, then, that there are so many Twitter apps in the App Store. One that’s gained a lot of popularity recently is Tweetie, from atebits LLC.

Since buying my iPhone, I’ve used Twitterrific almost exclusively. While reviewing Tweetie, I couldn’t help but compare the two. Both are excellent apps, but written for different Twitter users.

Hidden Features in Google iPhone App

Screenshot of Bells and Whistles settings

The most recent release of the Google Mobile App for iPhone received a lot of attention for including a new voice search feature. Now, it turns out that version has something else noteworthy: a hidden settings page that lets you change colors, sound effects, and more.

These aren’t particularly jaw-dropping features, but the way they’re hidden is kind of interesting (which I’ll leave as an exercise for the reader). It’s also notable because there’s been, as far as I know, very few “Easter eggs” found in iPhone apps so far.

Google Mobile App is free and available from Google in the App Store.

iNeedStuff Shopping Assistant Review: Grocery List App That Learns As You Shop

ineedstuff-icon The shopping list section of the App Store is a crowded place. With as many as there are, it’s surprising that so few of those apps take full advantage of the iPhone’s features. One that does is iNeedStuff Shopping Assitant, by PDAscent, Inc. This handy application includes location-awareness and online syncing.