The iSlate Will Be Announced In

October 14, 2009

Augmented Reality Is A Reality

Layar, the first camera-based AR app to really blow us (or anyone) away, has quietly slipped into the App Store. As with the Android version, the app overlays all kinds of information onto a live view of the world around you.

Since OS 3.1 dropped, giving devs (almost) open access to the iPhone's camera we've seen a minor avalanche of augmented reality apps hit the store; some have been interesting, like Yelp's, but most feel a little bit like tech demos. Layar, for what it's worth, has grown up since we last saw it: now you can overlay all kinds of data, from geotagged Wikipedia entries to Flickr photos to local Tweets.

You can get Layar here (and it's free!)

Apple Adding FM Radio to iPhone 3G(s)

Apple is building a new app for its iPhone and iPod Touch that will bring FM radio to the devices.

Our guess is that the functionality of the application will be similar to what Apple built into the iPod Nano. That includes the ability to pause live FM transmissions and fast-forward when you resume playing. The delay in getting the app to market is Apple's decision to integrate it with the iTunes Store. With this integration, people will be able to tap on a song they hear on the radio and buy it through iTunes. Whoptee-doo.

This app is made possible by the Broadcom chip that runs the iPhone 3G(s) which already contains an FM Tuner. So Apple is basically just adding a program to access a feature which should have been available on day 1.

We're filing this one in the "This Would Be Great If It Was 1998" pile. FM Radio? Really? Didn't we buy iPods so we didn't have to listen to all those commercials?

Who knows, if you're into corporate rock, this will bring a rainbow of joy to your ears.

PS What about AM? That's where all the action is? With just FM, Republicans won't be buying this app any time soon (and will probably complain that it's a left-wing plot to squelch wind-bag conservative talk show hosts. On second thought, we hope it is. Good Job Apple.)