July 31, 2009

17 Again Review

17 Again
Starring Matthew Perry, Zac Efron, Leslie Mann
New Line Cinema

Zac Efron returns to high school to shoot some hoops, hook up with some ladies (or just one), and maybe even dance. Yep, it's High School Musical once again, ladies and gentlemen.

Wait. This isn't it.

What I meant to say was that in Zac Efron's efforts to break out of his High School Musical persona, he picked a starring vehicle that lets him distance himself so people can take him seriously. Apparently, his recent movie 17 Again fits that criteria, and in this movie, he plays a basketball playing high-school heartthrob that can... dance...


Am I reading the wrong synopses?

Well, I guess not since this is exactly what his character Mike O' Donnell is capable of. During high school, he was a jock who knocked up a girl named Scarlett. He had to choose between a scholarship, and the baby. He chose the latter. 20 years later, Matthew Perry takes over the role for a while and the couple decides to have a divorce. A janitor from his old school, however, transforms him back into Zac Efron. Now, I leave you to fill in the gaps.

You've seen this movie before. The inverse of this is quite practically 13 Going On 30 and hey, it draws some inspiration (from what I see) from Freaky Friday as well. Now that you have an impression of what to expect, it's hard to make a review that doesn't state the obvious. Fortunately, the movie at least tries a bit to shake things up-- not that there isn't anything particularly unique regardless-- and the "twists" somewhat end up annoying. The Ned character is probably drawn from Superbad's McLovin' character-- basically, the nerd who gets lucky-- and while he does have some funny parts, his sub-plot doesn't do much to make the movie any more different. And how about that air of self-consciousness? It's actually not as funny as you'd expect, because it becomes annoying in the sense that you just know that they'd fall for the cliches anyway.

The biggest problem of all is that they try to attempt the way Judd Apatow does awkward scenes-- and for that matter, silences. When used correctly, they can become rather funny, but here, it's just plain awkward. Hell, there are probably other awkward scenes that weren't meant to be awkward at all! Just take my word when I say that seriously, there's a lot of incest here.

Despite my bitching, I can still say that 17 Again is still a pretty entertaining film, if not a bit cliche-ridden and fluffy as hell. The actors do a pretty good job, and the ladies are probably gonna watch this whether the guys like it or not because of Zac Efron's money-making machine (READ: repeated scenes of the his washboard abs). It's an ok film.

Rating: 6.5/10

July 25, 2009

Movies Opening This Week: Funny? and Funny!

I love Everybody Loves Raymond, but for its stars, there's life after it, apparently. Life in 20th Century Fox's consistently hellish movie line-up, that is. After Ray Romano's return in what seems to be the worst Ice Age of the bunch, comes a totally new (but not exactly original) movie with Doris Roberts called:

Aliens in the Attic
Ever been with a grandparent who tries too hard to relate to you by alluding to popular, current stuff but ultimately fails because he/she simply creates an aura of awkwardness? Well, this is the closest you can get to replicating that scenario. It takes notes from various movies and crams in all the hip things you can mention in the side to form what looks like one of the most incoherent family movies ever made. I mean, if you sell a movie based more upon the "grandma kicks ass" scene than the aliens themselves, you'd know there was something wrong with the titular characters.
Hell, even the guy's crotch hitting scene wasn't convincing. Has he ever been hit there? And is there zero-gravity in Halo? Maybe Half-Life would've made the reference more convincing. (Correct me if I'm wrong though.) Damn it, this movie looks so bad that I won't even bother churning out a synopsis.

One thing I'd have to concede is that the "grandma kicks ass" thing works.Why? Well, it's probably because of Doris Roberts herself. What about her? I don't know, she just seems to emit a certain screen presence that will make you laugh. She just makes what would've been a really corny reference to Street Fighter that much less lame.

But do you know what would really be funny? A movie about funny people.

Funny People
A more subdued Judd Apatow movie that still surprisingly brings in some laughs, Funny People seems like it has the potential to become the best Adam Sandler movie. Why? It's genuinely funny but it has heart (and from what I see, I think there won't be as much swearing).

And yes, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Leslie Mann are in the bandwagon, as usual.

It's about a stand-up comedian who experiences a near-death experience. He tries to find the girl he loves and finds out that he already threw her away long ago. Now she's with Eric Bana sans the time travelling, and the comedian wants to get her back with the help of Seth Rogen's character.

It seems to have a really good screenplay, a really nice cast, and most importantly, funny delivery. OK, maybe the Australian accent part was a bit "eh", but the bottom line here is that it's really gearing to become a very, very good comedy. I simply can't wait to see it, and I'm wondering why it even fell off my radar.

July 22, 2009

iPhone App of the Week: RunPee

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and it must've been the natural necessity for people to answer the call of nature that sparked the idea for this app, and in extension, for its website. Yes, moviegoers, you finally have a handy guide on when to pee while watching a movie in the theater! Let me introduce you to RunPee.

It sports a very simple interface composed of blacks, greys and yellows. It's extremely straightforward to navigate through so newbies won't have much of a problem using this app.

Basically, it calls to the RunPee website to draw the information that is needed for you to determine what parts of a movie are unnecessary enough to warrant a stop to the restroom. (It also states the number of minutes you have to pee)

These times can be accessed through just pressing the movie you're about to watch. And don't worry, the app also gives you the gist of the scene you missed. How? Just press the description of the scene you missed!

Additionally, a timer is present for more accurate readings.

Probably the worst thing about this is that it can only work when connected to the Internet. Fine if you're using an iPhone, but bad when you're using an iPod touch. It won't save the information, so you still can't really use the app when you're in the theater! Epic fail in that part, especially since it's not even free.

Otherwise, it's a goofy, fun, but actually useful app that is pretty apt for movie-goers who have impossible bladders.

Rating: 7/10 [It's $0.99?! Rip-off! iTunes Store Link]

July 21, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Review

4C60AA4A-5354-4478-B9C1-6C11D90BCD35.jpgHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Directed by David Yates

This is what happens when you expect too much from something that won't deliver.

I remember reading the book. I remember being rather disappointed yet fascinated about it, and that must be because this book is more of an establishment of Tom Riddle's backstory more than anything. True, there were still times when the actual "now" in the timeline progressed, but mostly, it was a book dedicated to the villain, and ironically, not the "Half-blood prince" himself. After reading the book, I succinctly said, "This book will make the worst movie of the bunch."

Fast forward to now and I get frickin' excited for it. Why? I watched the epic trailer. Who wouldn't get excited by the fast editing and the awesome Dumbledore fire magic thingy? Add to that the initially sky-high rating of the movie in Rotten Tomatoes and you get impossibly high expectations.

While the movie didn't get to meet my expectations, that's not to say that this installment was necessarily the "worst" movie. Not even close. It was actually nearly the same vision I had for the movie when I was reading the book, minus the admittedly repetitive Pensieve scenes. Right now, I think returning screenwriter Steven Kloves strikes a balance of what to omit and what not to omit (unlike in HP5 when a lot of stuff was omitted), and it makes for some rather entertaining, if not talky, fare.

Oddly enough, it also is one of the more intelligent summer movies right now. True, the only time the movie makes you think is the cliffhanger at the end (I forgot who the hell R.A.B. is!) especially since the movie seems to focus a lot more on the awkward teenage moments for the bulk of the movie. But the subtle comedy that comes along with these moments are executed nicely, which is actually quite a nice change of pace for the film!

Fine, there's a little bit of action, but I never really thought of them as anything particularly satisfying. Draco fights? Sectumsempra-ed. Snape fight (as seen in the trailer)? Somewhat non-existent. When you've read the books, you probably wouldn't feel as disappointed since the film's just following the major events in the book, but if you're one of those who just follow the film franchise without reading the book, you might be disappointed. Want proof? My brother. He felt as if the movie was boring and "bitin". I think that it did lack a bit of oomph, but then again, the source material is the one to blame here.

Hell, most of the faults of the movie can actually be attributed to the style of the novel. It's hard to work with without making it episodic. As fascinating a villain Voldemort is, you can't just cram that detail about his parents and stuff, it wouldn't work!

Fans who got disappointed will be glad later, because Half-Blood Prince is a warm-up to the epicness that will occur in Deathly Hollows more than anything. The final important mystery that forms the backbone of the 7th and 8th movies is actually to be found here, so at least any form of exposition in the next movie, will be exposition that probably occurs in the book itself. To those critics who say that all Harry Potter movies are bad because they can't stand alone and newbies won't understand them because they become incomprehensible without prior viewing, suck it. If you wanted to make all of these movies stand alone, they should've made the series a TV show in the first place! Too much exposition would be required before the actual movie would gain steam!

So to make a long story short, this new Harry Potter is visually stunning, funny, but decidedly lacking in a way. It's still nonetheless well-directed, adequately acted, and delicately adapted from the pages of the book. Hell, just adapting the thing alone is an achievement, really.

Rating: 7.5/10

July 18, 2009

Rock Band Network: Don't wait for the third one

One of the major features people talk about when comparing the lasting value of Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2 is the music creator (GHTunes) of the former. While it makes for a little bit of amusement, the amusement doesn't really last long what with the decidedly un-user-friendly creation interface. Now, the arguments can be put to rest, because Harmonix has announced something even better: the new Rock Band Network.

Aimed as both a promotional tool for independent labels/artists and a DIY DLC creator for established labels, the Rock Band Network is the place where the artists themselves can create both the song and the Rock Band chart, then upload them to the community for evaluation. They can set their price (.50c-$2) and they'll get a share of that profit.

Nobody said creating the crap was easy though, and that's because one will need an account before they gain access to the same tools Harmonix uses. So no, it's not the same consumer-oriented composer tools Guitar Hero offers, but the real deal. Now it won't have to sound like a ringtone (unless your song sounded like a ringtone intentionally).

Perhaps one deal-breaker to this new tool comes with the current incompatibility with other consoles-- namely the PS3 and the Wii-- but Harmonix says that they're "working on those versions" as well.

I envision Rock Band Network as one of the biggest promotional tools the music industry can exploit. I mean, since a creator can simply release the song/s on a date he chooses, labels could say, simultaneously put out Rock Band DLC and a new album.

For the interested musicians out there, you better have a 360 if you want to participate in the beta. You'll also have to get your e-mail address and type it in the site though.

July 17, 2009

Movies Opening This Week: Those Graphics Were Great Edition

Another year, another Nic Cage movie. Wait a sec, didn't I already say that last time? (No, I didn't... And kinda did.) Anyway, the man gets a bit of a lower sense of prominence since his new movie is a bit more of an ensemble piece... and did I mention it was in CG?


Disney's at it again with their CGI crap, and now they're kind of cashing in on the success of the Bolt's own hamster character. But unlike that good movie, this movie will definitely, simply suck. I mean, come on, hamsters that are super-spies escape their prison (a pet shop) and save the world from a big baddie? Really?

Ultimately, it's geared for kids, thus the premise. With that in mind, I'll just say that... the graphics are pretty great-looking.

But enough child's play, let's go to a movie with... uhhm... a child.


Esther is mature for her age, but when you insult her, you're a dead bitch.

Apparently, this movie's marketing is leaning strongly on the Esther character. Why does she act like she has PMS? Why does she kill people? Well, we'll find out when the movie opens then! The editing of the trailer is really good as it sets an intense mood, but will the film hold up?

Truly, it reminds me of movies like The Orphange or hell, Dark Water among many others.

I wonder if they'll use guns to kill her?

But I do know one movie that uses a lot of guns, and that's the high-profile Public Enemies.

2F6CA52E-3396-4CD5-87A2-3DD12C3B94AA.jpgPublic Enemies

Michael Mann returns from his Miami Vice slump with this new movie starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale-- probably two of the biggest actors right now. I know a lot of people will flock to the theater just to see the star power, but personally I think I'm gonna wait for the DVD.

I've heard a lot of the reviews stating that Johnny Depp is a bit subdued while Christian Bale is uninteresting. I'll let my eyes decide when I watch it, but these two adjectives are not exactly the first things that come to mind when you come up with such a cast. Other things that spring to mind include the fact that it's only shot on a consumer HD camera. If you're gonna make Crank, fine, use the cheapest HD cam you can find. But if you're making a period piece such as this, you might as well kill yourself. I mean, we're talking about Michael Mann here, so there's probably gonna be a handful of intense gunfights. But what good are these nicely choreographed shots when they're blurry and pixelated?

Damn it, I'm talking too much right now. Maybe I'll lighten up with a little Gerard Butler...

070A258D-221B-4D62-ABB9-1092AC113840.jpgThe Ugly Truth

To tell you the truth, I don't understand how the title applies to the new romantic comedy. I mean, it's not like there's a mystery to it.

Set in the modern world, it's about a producer named Abby (Katherine Heigl) who falls in love with the surgeon next door. She looks for advice in the form of "love guru" and sports commentator Mike (Gerard Butler) who promises to spill the beans about sexual tension, men and women, etc. etc..

Obviously, this is gonna be the same fluffy, light, typical rom-com fare. But I think it will be good only because Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler are pretty charismatic. You've seen this movie before, but you probably never saw it with these two, so it's safe to say that it just might be slightly above mediocre. Of course, I'm just judging from the trailer because it's admittedly pretty funny. Who knows if the movie will actually be crap?
This movie also reminds me of another one... can't really whip up its name though.

July 15, 2009

iPhone App of the Week: Movie Lingo

Despite the release of the high-profile Rolando 2 and the equally high-profile addition of the Jackson 5's ABC to the free Tap Tap Revenge 2's collection of downloadable content, I chose to go with something free and decidedly simple-- I chose Movie Lingo.

A really fun, simple app that requires an Internet connection and your wrist's motor skill, Movie Lingo is basically a movie line generator that will make you guess which movie a line came from.

It comes in a package that will definitely remind you of another app called Urbanspoon, but at least it's more usable in the sense that it's not geographically locked to the US.

When you start the app, it will locate your 3G or Wi-Fi connection and present you the relatively clean main interface. You can either press the green Shake button, shake the whole iDevice, or lock on to a specific genre or decade by tapping the lock/s before shaking (as shown in below picture).

Whatever you do, the choices will scroll like a slot machine in Vegas while loading the line it wants you to guess the movie from...

Once it makes up its mind, the sound clip will play. If you want to reveal the movie, you can finally press the blue arrowed button.

You'll get an iPod-like interface wherein playback controls (so if you want to play the line again) are at the bottom while the movie poster makes up most of the screen. The button with the sort of "bullet list" icon lets you see the synopsis too.

There are other options that let you set whether you want to share the line on your Facebook Wall, bookmark the line for later listening, as well as even add the movie to your Netflix queue or buy the DVD on Amazon!

There are only three minor cons to this fun, free app: first is that you'll always need an Internet connection (because otherwise, the app will automatically exit by itself), second is that lines of the '00 decade only consist of comedies (at least, based from my experience), and third is that even only after 3 or 4 shakes, the lines repeat already! I don't know if it's because it was too lazy to download or the Internet disconnected during the shake process, but it kinda sucks to see that even an Internet-only app that generates random movie lines isn't exactly random.

But why should I even complain? It's free. That's all there is to it.

Rating: 7/10 [iTunes Store Link; come on, it's free!]

July 13, 2009

Tangerine! gives you control over your music

If iTunes' built-in Genius feature and anonymous info sharing doesn't do it for you, you could always go to Pandora. But since that service doesn't work in the Philippines either, it only seems fair that a third-party app that works offline could be considered, and what better way to rediscover and get the beat you want than to get Tangerine! for the Mac?
Picture 1.png

The catch here is that the program will analyze your whole iTunes library ala the aforementioned Genius, but won't send the information to some server in Barbados, it will locally process the music by their beats per minute (BPM), so say, if you want all your songs to be fast when you pump for your weekly jogging routine, you can do so.
Picture 1.png

This is the only preset the program comes with, but you can make your own presets by adjusting the properties and editing some rules if you want to, say, omit a certain artist or album from the analyzation.
Picture 1.png

After a few seconds, the playlist will appear. You can delete songs as you please, listen to the whole playlist from the app, or just save the playlist to iTunes if you like it so you can sync it to your iPod.
Picture 2.png

You don't even have to worry about the analyzing process, because analysis of about 2199 songs (in this iMac I'm typing on) takes just 8 minutes!
Picture 2.png

Obviously, the app isn't perfect, but a little fine-tuning here and there will help let you enjoy the songs you might want to hear (but didn't think of playing).

Exclusive for the Macintosh. [15 day trial link; $25]

July 11, 2009

Movies Opening This Week: Critics Go Spellbound edition

Harry Potter movies have always been the epitome of what a summer movie franchise should be: enchanting, frenetic and entertaining. While the movies also have the tendency to be rather long, it has never stopped anyone from busting their wallets out. The new movie is no exception.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 16, Thursday, Philippines; July 15, US)

The highly-anticipated, long-delayed sequel is finally coming, and it seems as if it's geared to be the best of the series. Early reviews are already giving a bit of Oscar buzz to at least one character ("Jim Broadbent does 'Best Supporting Actor' level work here. It's a master class in how to make the most of every moment onscreen without ever once overpowering the film around him." -Drew McWeeny of HitFix.com), and critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks it with a rather stunning 96% rating. True, it definitely will not stay that way as the movie opens to everyone, but it's already rather compelling to just watch it on opening day just because of those reviews-- and maybe that trailer too.
Quite frankly, I've always remembered book 6 as a rather slow-moving book. It's not my favorite (even though it does present a huge revelation that affects the entire series), but the movie seems to make it brilliantly epic in scale while retaining the dark, but humorous elements that people have come to love. I think David Yates is now comfortable with the cast, and is now able to make an even more capable movie, so gauging from early praise, I'm now even more excited to see what he'll do with the last chapter (or in the movie franchise, the last two chapters).

July 8, 2009

iPhone App of the Week: Doom Resurrection

Waiting for your fix of classic Doom? Well, id has delivered something that'll help you wait, but only for a little while. No, I'm not talking about Mecha-Hitler busting Wolfenstein 3D Classic, I'm talking about the iPhone-exclusive Doom Resurrection.
I'm not familiar with the world of Doom, so I won't get into this review thinking like I do. But the impression I have of the game story-wise doesn't seem to be of much significance in comparison to the storied full-fledged franchise. Still, the thing that probably matters more here is the gameplay, so I'll start walking through it then!

After a few seconds of the id Software logo, you'll be put right into the main menu screen. No cutscenes, no intro movies, just the Main Menu as indicated by the words on top (seriously though, who does that nowadays?). Anyway, it lets you select between two game modes (New Game for Campaign, Free Play for perfecting any level in the campaign), and it also lets you Resume your game from the last checkpoint. Not much to the game except the campaign, is the $9.99 77MB download still worth it at this point? Let's find out.

The game starts in a pretty straightforward manner. Basically, you just got into consciousness, you see what seems to be your comrades, you get their guns, you see zombies, then it's tutorial time.
Controls are actually surprisingly intuitive as it only has a low learning curve, but if you are not a fan of accelerometer-controlled games, stop reading now. It relies on the orientation of the device so you can aim, and if you want to shoot, just go ahead and press the lower-right button. The lower-left button (whose function is not defined until a little later after those two screenshots) is a context-sensitive button that lets you execute defensive maneuvers like dodging or covering. The control scheme works very well, personally, and the development team did a good job with the auto-calibration system (which calibrates the iPhone's accelerometers after every level). The only minor hitch is that, if you change the iPhone's orientation in any part of the level, you'll have to go to the pause menu to calibrate the thing again. Afterwards, well, the fun times continue to roll. But how to actually move, though? Well, you don't and you do. Basically, the game is a variation of Time Crisis or House of the Dead. Yes, it's an on-rails shooter.
But at least looks good! That's because it actually uses Doom 3 game assets, so there are times when you'd think that the iPhone's graphics somehow look much better than the DS or the PSP. The twist here, like House of the Dead: Overkill is that you can at least change the type of weapons you use. The character can only yield three weapons: the trademark BFG, a pistol and either an arm gun thingy, a laser or a chainsaw!
Still, the character models don't really measure up to the level of graphic fidelity that the environments achieve, which isn't a surprise. Plus, I've encountered some stuttering (but only once!) which shouldn't come as a surprise either. The important thing is that it's stable, responsive, and just pretty as hell.
At the end of the day, it's your gunplay that matters. The controls may not give you enough accuracy to always guarantee a headshot, but at least it's a hell of a lot of fun. If it's worth your money is up for debate, but personally it's much better than many of the other $9.99 games out in the App Store even if it doesn't offer the best replay value nor length. Future updates will probably cover those, though. Ahh, the beauty of the App Store (Happy 1st birthday on that note!).

July 4, 2009

Movies Opening This Week: From Yagshemash to Vassup? Edition

Before I get to this week's opening flicks, I'll have to apologize for my 2 week absence due to unexpected circumstances. It would've been fun to make fun of Transformers 2's noisy trailer, and comment on how unexpectedly low Public Enemies' Tomatometer is. But enough about them, let's get on with an even more outrageous character...

The outrageous Sacha Baron Cohen is at it again with a new creation. After Borat, you'd expect that everyone would be able to see through his shtick, but as his new movie suggests, people haven't, and that's because Cohen is so good with the improvisation thing that he can still keep his character even when a stripper is threatening to ruin his real-life marriage with Isla Fisher!

The real goal of Bruno, like Borat before it, is to act as effective social commentary. Are people who claim to be pro-gay, really pro-gay? How about all those prejudices that people hold with regards to race, adoption and other issues? Well, get to see it in Bruno- which will probably make you hurl and laugh at the same time with its sheer offensiveness. Prediction: it will also make a killing in the box office.

Bruno is actually enjoying a lot of rave reviews. True, it's not as universal as the original and relatively revolutionary social experiment-cum-movie Borat, but rave reviews are rave reviews. Still, you'd probably want to stay in the safe side of movies for now, and I've got the perfect thing for you...
I Love You, Beth Cooper
With a relative unknown as the lead, you'd think this movie would suck. And quite frankly, the trailer doesn't exactly change my mind.

At least they get points for trying to be more creative with the initial plot, though. The movie starts with a graduation, and when the valedictorian gets his chance to speak, he professes his love for the school's most popular girl Beth Cooper, played by Heroes' Hayden Panettiere (I spelled that wrong, didn't I?). Unexpectedly, Cooper decides to go to the nerd's house to show him the night of his life.

Quite frankly, Paul Rist looks just unbelievably old for a high school graduate. I would've believed him more if he were a college graduate, but I guess it was the way he plays the nerdy persona that got him in the role... or something. That goes for Hayden as well! Ain't she tired of playing the same archetype over and over again?

Whatever the case, I'm sure love heals all wounds even after you get hit by the side of a car!

Sigh, next week will probably be much more epic. Why? Harry Potter, of course!

July 2, 2009

iPhone 3G H or iPhone 3G K?

The iPhone 3G S is out in America, and Apple is already thinking of some new hardware (and software) components for what seems to be the next few iPhone's. Yes, here are some more patents.

1) Haptic Feedback
This feature is notably not new for modern touch screen phones that are made by Koreans, but Apple proposes that the haptic feedback should have different frequencies depending on what clickable user component is present on the screen. In more condensed terms, if the iPhone has, for example's sake, a click wheel displayed on-screen, the vibration you'll feel from touching the wheel (which is basically the 'feedback') will be different from when you touch the center of the click wheel. This could somewhat help blind users a little bit.

2) Fingerprint scanner
Going hand-in-hand with the haptic feedback patent is a sort of fingerprint scanner. While laptops already have this as a security feature, Apple also proposes something else that will enable the user more control over the iPhone without even taking it out.
Basically, the multi-touch screen will read your fingers distinctly- as in it can determine whether the finger you used to press the touch screen is the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger or the pinky individually, which is actually kinda cool. Supposedly, because the screen does know how to read these fingers separately, the touch screen can let you control, say, the music player of the iPhone by just putting your hand in the pocket and poking the touch screen with the index finger so it can pause for a bit.

Hey, with that and haptic feedback, there's a potential winner! Now if only the technology could even be perfected first?

3) Karaoke.
In a rather bizarre twist, Apple also published a karaoke interface for the iPhone. Like Rock Band however, it will also read your voice's pitch and tell you if you're singing a song right. Apparently, you'll be able to make voice memos of your singing as well.
Apple also proposed that this feature be in the iPod application, which is probably the only sensible place to put it anyway, although it bothers me if the music you'll be able to sing to will have to be bought from iTunes...

An interesting, but ultimately gimmicky, proposition. Maybe the advertising division thought this up... jokingly.

4) The iPhone's also an RFID reader.
Forget putting some barcodes in the iPhone's camera, the future, it seems, lies in RFID. RFID is basically like a barcode on steroids-- when a reader reads it, it will also provide information like how many times a day one should take a pill (if the RFID tag is on a prescribed drug, etc.).

This is gonna put a bit of a new layer on the iPhone, simply because Apple wants the whole touch screen to be the reader itself. This will obviously be of much use in the future, so I'm guessing Apple will only introduce this functionality when RFID actually catches on. Wonder if this will make Delicious Library iPhone a bit more functional if ever books get RFID's?

July 1, 2009

iPhone App of the Week: Delicious Library

A companion to the Mac inventory app, Delicious Library is a convenient way to check your inventory of books, movies, video games, etc. right from the palm of your hand. That way you can check whether your dad isn't buying his 3rd copy of that House of the Flying Daggers DVD.

The catch here is that you'll need to actually buy the full Macintosh app Delicious Library 2 before you'll be able to think that this app is even of use. For now, the only purpose of the iPhone app is a viewer, but what a gorgeous viewer it is for those who actually own the software!

Anyway, the app greets you with a dialog box that lets you choose whether you want to pair your Mac library now or have a Sample Library displayed.
When you're under Wi-Fi, you'll be able to wirelessly sync your Mac library to the iPhone app. Surprisingly, it's as painless as using Apple's Remote app.
When your iPod touch or iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot and has the Library app open, Delicious Library 2 will immediately spot your iPod touch or iPhone and let you choose the stuff you want to sync in an iTunes like device page.
When you either touch the Sync button from the app itself or click the Sync button from the computer, both machines will let you know that the library information is being transported over the air.
When the long process is finished, you'll finally be able to bring your library anywhere you go.
Fortunately, when your collection is below 1000, the page will load automatically without dialog boxes.
What's more is that it's readily searchable as well!
Very useful for me when, for example, I'm in Quiapo and I'm not sure if I already have a DVD of some movie I want. Unfortunately, you still can't add items directly on the device and sync them back to your computer, and this would've been a deal-breaker if the app weren't free!

But it doesn't hurt to request this relatively basic feature, does it? Eh, I guess one could take into consideration the data charges that'll accompany searching the Amazon database from the iPhone... and how about bringing that killer barcode scanner too?

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