iphone, iphone 4, technology, Uncategorized

The punches are flying between Fring and Skype

The fighting words have been flying between VoiP clients Fring and Skype over the past few days. In what Fring has described in their company blog as well as in an email to its users, “we are very disappointed that Skype, who once championed the cause of openness is now trying to muzzle competition, even at the expense of its own users.”

The gloves don’t come off there. In an email to Skype earlier tonight, Chaim Haas, Senior Vice President of Technology & Emerging Media at Kaplow PR said that  Fring chose to remove Skype functionality of their own accord.

In an official statement, Skype added, “We [Skype] have been in discussions with Fring regarding our belief that Fring is breaching our API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. Skype is disappointed that an amicable resolution was not possible. There is no truth to Fring’s claims that Skype blocked them, it was their decision and choice to withdraw Skype functionality. Skype will rigorously protect its brand and reputation and those companies that do not comply with our terms will be subject to enforcement.”

Skype did not comment when asked if and when the software communication magnet had plans on bringing video calling to a specific phone operating system such as iOS or Android. However, a Skype spokesman did say the following:

“It’s clear to us at Skype that the next generation of innovation involving video calling will not be bound to the computer and that mobile video calling will become increasingly important to our customers in the coming year. We’re seeing a proliferation of video calling shared between all kinds of connected devices. It’s on computers, TVs, and it is starting to come to mobile devices too, such as Skype video calling (over 3G) on the Nokia N900. We envision a world where video plays a larger role in the way we communicate. We’re betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling.”

To top that off, Apple will hold a press conference tomorrow at 10 a.m. PST to address the latest complaints about the iPhone 4.

Its just starting…


Do the Hulu! Hulu comes to the iPhone – @ a cost…

After dozens of rumors about Hulu coming to the iPhone, its finally happened. The biggest surprise came when they announced a monthly service fee to watch it on portable devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and PS3. The service fee will be $9.99 a month. From there, viewers will be able to watch their favorite shows, both current and past, search and browse for shows and video clips. Movies will also become available. A feature that users will sure to love, episodes and clips will pick up where left off in the event of a phone call on the iPhone or having to switch between applications. How nice, especially in the event of waiting in the doctor’s office! Viewers will be able to enjoy up to 720p HD resolution with multi bit rate support for viewing. The hulu+ app is free in the iTunes app store.


Toy Story 3 Read-Along for iPad – What will happen to Andy’s toys?

In the third installment of Toy Story from Pixar and Walt Disney, devoted movie goers will find out what happens to Woody and Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the toy box when Andy leaves home for college and adulthood.

Warning… for those who have not seen the movie yet, this app does give away key details in the plot.
The graphics in this app are gorgeous. Disney brings to life the magic of the movie to the small screen if the iPad. This app is a must for children of any age – readers and non-readers alike.

As with the other Toy Story Read-Along books for the iPad, this edition brings the characters to life with sound clips, featuring the voice talents of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the rest of the TS3 cast. The app features two reading modes in which allow you and your child to follow along as the story is read aloud or to read at an individual pace. There is also a younger reading mode to simplify page turns. (Perfect for my two-year-old, JD!)
In the event a parent can not be around for story time, there is also an option for an adult to record their voice to narrate the story.
Also with the TS3 Read-Along, a free 30 day trial of DisneyDigitalBooks.com is included for parents to try out. This is an effort for Disney to expand their products to parents beyond the offerings on the iPad. Does Disney anticipate a toddler typing on a keyboard in addition to handling an iPad? oh well..
Since this is the first TS film to come out in 3D, there is an option to view the book in 3D. Just like in the theaters, 3d glasses are required and are available for free at Disney Stores around the country. For locations, click here.
To add to the fun, there are also puzzles, coloring pages, music and games to play in the app after the story is over.

The price for Toy Story 3 Read-Along is $8.99 and is available in the iTunes store.


Help your student excel in math

I had an interesting conversation with my sister-in-law (SIL for short) yesterday. After expressing how hard the math curriculum has been for her son CL, I remembered an app in which drills students on their math skills. Regardless of where your child is at in their math skills, KosmicMath by SlothMedia, LLC, offers different tools for students, parents and even educators.
Rae, my SIL. is an excellent mom. After graduating at the top of her class in high school and in college, it was ‘eye-opening’ to hear her expressing frustration about how her son is learning third grade mathematics. After hearing that, I told her about KosmicMath.
Mind you, I have not purchased any of the other units available on iTunes. The only version that is installed on our iPad and iPhone is the LITE version, in which offers a skill drill in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. JD has played around with it, and loves the artwork in the app.
I became intrigued with KosmicMath’s platform and began to find out more information about it from SlothMedia’s website. According to the page devoted to KosmicMath, it says the following:

KosmicMath is a space exploration game that reinforces mathematical scope and sequence requirements covering preschool through 4th grade. Players are urged to demonstrate mastery over basic mathematical operations as they travel through the solar system collecting alien trophies and visiting NASA web sites. Players will be mesmerized by the stunning graphics and audio-making KosmicMath fun while educational. Mission logs showing player performance and proficiency are charted on a web portal.”

In the iTunes store, searching for KosmicMath, three products are available. The first, the Lite edition, which was discussed earlier is free. The second, Family, is available for $7.99. This version is described as a version liscensed for up to five players with five grade levels, pre-k through grade 4.
The Education version is designed for classroom and educator usage, allowing for teachers to monitor player response. According to the app describtion in iTunes, the Education version is

“Player performance data is stored locally and synchronized into a central data repository via WiFi/cellular networks, if enabled. Players, educators and parents may view and analyze mission or drill data stored on the KosmicMath Web Portal to track achievements and quickly identify problem areas. Access to the KosmicMath Web Portal is included in the KosmicMath license for 12 months.”
Tempting to try it. Go for it Rae!


iPhone apps gaining attention in role of educating kids

According to a recent CNET.com article, a PBS Kids study found mobile apps are a new source of learning. The findings reported that kids who played with educational iPhone apps, increased their vocabulary as much as 31 percent in two weeks. Kids in the study were playing with the PBS Kids app, Martha Speaks Dog Party ($2.99, iTunes).

“The Martha Speaks Dog Party app successfully extends our efforts to build oral vocabulary for four- to seven-year-olds, a core goal of Martha Speaks,” said WGBH Vice President of Children’s Media and Educational Programming Brigid Sullivan in a press release.
In the app, Martha Speaks features four different games. In the “Chow Time” game, kids build vocabulary by helping dogs clean their plates, identifying different shapes, patterns, colors and objects. Martha, the talking dog, explains what each word means. The app is based on the PBS Kids series Martha Speaks, about a beloved family dog who eats a bowl of alphabet soup and gains the power of human speech.
The study focused on a group of 90 Title One children ages three to seven. Each child played approximately 2.5 hours on the Martha Speaks app across the two week study period of five hours total time spent on the iPod Touch. The app was played with 11 times, and was self initiated time, not prescribed.
I just downloaded Martha Speaks for the iPhone and will report any results.
Though the CNET.com article is about results with a specific app, I have indeed found this to be true in general with JD. After playing with Monkey Preschool Lunchbox from THUP games, JD was able to figure out the concept of big and small, puzzles and matching. This is quite impressive for a little guy who just turned two in April. (I’m a biased mother! LOL)
Regardless of which app your child uses, work with them. Any child will benefit from close time with their parents. The apps should not take place of quality time with your child, though they can be used during quality time.


Exclusive: THUP to update MP Lunchbox to include veggies

An iPhone Mom exclusive! In an email sent to the CEO of THUP Games via Facebook, this blogger inquired about a possible addition of including vegetables to Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. Peter Evan Ginsberg, CEO of THUP, responded immediately with this response:
“You’ll be pleased to know were actually working on an update to Lunchbox with this very thing. It’s going to be a few months before we’re done since we have some other work tying us up right now, but it will be coming as a free update.

Believe it or not, one of our biggest snags is what to call them. ‘Touch the red fruit’ rolls off the tongue, ‘Touch the red fruit or vegetable’ not so much. ‘Touch the red food’? I think we might go with ‘fruit or veggie’.
Anyway, thanks,


Thanks to Mr. Ginsberg for replying!


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