High Profile Companies Unveil New Apps at Macworld / iWorld 2012

Garmin, best known for its GPS devices, unveiled its new collection of apps at Macworld/iWorld 2012 in San Francisco.  Garmin updated its Garmin Tracker app, allowing it to work in tandem with their GTU 10 tracking system.  It uses a map as a platform on which to display his or her location, and also allows users with iOS devices to send links to other users, who can then view the location on a map in continuous tracking mode.  This could work closely with the GarminFit app, which integrates exercise routines.

Garmin has also updated SteetPilot OnDemand.  The app now includes the ability to check in through Facebook, Wikipedia, and foursquare integration.  Their OpenCaching app is designed for treasure hunting games.  It allows users to manage cache information from their iPhone.

They also have an app for aviators, called the Garvin Pilot My-Cast, available for iPads.     It is designed to give pilots what Garvin calls a “paperless cockpit.”  It also has flight-planning, weather, and navigation functions.

The Pilot My-Cast, Garmin Tracker, and Open-Caching apps are free at iStore.  The StreetPilot OnDemand or Garmin Fit apps may be purchased for ninety-nine cents.
On the business front, a company called Soonr has come out with an app called Scribble.  Soonr provides file storage service, and this app allows users to annotate, mark-up, or highlight documents that are already stored.  This can be done as an individual or as a collaboration, as long as everyone has access to the files.

The app is designed to be best-used with the Pro Plan, which costs $30 a month for 100GB of storage, 20 connections, and access for five users.  They also offer the Standard Plan, which costs $10 a month for 25GB of storage and three users.  It also allows two other users to gain simultaneous “ad hoc file access.

Another new service is called nivio.  Similar to OnLIve Desktop, it provides users a full windows desktop on an iPad or iPhone.  It includes essential apps from the MS office suite,  including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.  It will also rent the user over 100 different apps, including essential Microsoft programs such as Outlook, IE, and Office.  This cooperation between Apple and Microsoft can only bode well for the future.

The app is in beta right now, and has two promotional offers: $15 a month for unlimited access, or $5 for up to ten hours of use a month.  This gives you the service and up to 10GB of storage, with any other usage, such as apps, subject to rental fees.

Among many of the other apps, were some music apps: IK Multimedia’s DJ Rig app ($99), for iPhone and iPad, the iRig Pre ($40), and even an app designed for live performances called the iRig Stomp, which sells for $60.  Sonoma Wire Works has an app called GuitarJack 2, which allows users to connect a guitar into an iPhone or iPad dock.  It sells for $149.
Some new social apps debuted at the show, too.  Willow Tree Apps now has an app called Likes for iPhone that recommends bands, books, and new places based on the interests and likes of your friends.  It also pulls data from friends of friends.  The app does require that the user log into Facebook.  It can be downloaded free at the App Store.

Hypershop has developed what they call the “world’s only flash drive for the  iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.”  It uses a USB connector at one end for a Mac or PC, and a dock connector at the other end.  It allows the user to download files from a mobile device to a PC or Mac or vice-versa, but it doesn’t yet allow the user to copy the files.
The prices increase with the amount of storage space: 8GB costs $100, 16GB costs $150, and 32 GB costs $200.

For the first time, Macworld/iWorld was dominated by mobile apps.  The general trend at the show was the obvious intent and mission of a majority of manufacturers to focus mostly on mobile apps in the future.  Many vendors were quoted as saying that they preferred mobile apps to desktops or laptops as business tools, citing portability and versatility as a main reason.

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