I’m looking for an iPhone navigation app to fill a niche. I had planned on writing this app myself, but I haven’t had enough time and don’t expect to find it.

I’d like to be able to import my own maps and then track my progress across them. The iPhone camera is probably the most convenient way to get the map in if the resolution is good enough. You’d need two points for accurate display: the current location and a verifiable location some distance away, plus the ability to move/scale the map and/or the trail.

This opens up possibilities for any other kind of map (such as a guidebook map) and will really help when travelling away from data connections or where writing is in a non-Latin script. I’ll be in Japan in a couple of weeks and even when I can get wi-fi to cache some Google maps, all the location names are in Kanji. I’d much rather follow myself around a Lonely Planet map.

The navigation market is getting pretty competitive, but there’s a lot of ugliness in the current offerings. Track ‘n Trail and Trails both look good but neither does quite what I want. For me, tracking is nice but only a side benefit. I really want to know where I am without a data connection, in useful detail, and in a language I can decipher.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a hot new iPhone app, there you go.

I have created an iPhone app. It’s not new, though it hadn’t been done when I thought of it and still hasn’t been done in a really elegant way. Right now, I need beta testers. There’s so little to it that I don’t expect it to take you long to test, but test I must. If you have an iPhone and a few minutes, please send me your UDID by following these instructions and I’ll send you back an app for you to test shortly. Email [myfirstname] @ [thiswebsite.com]. Thanks!

I just tried the demo of the game “Braid” on Xbox 360, and my brain exploded with happiness. It’s wonderful, joyous, liberating.

If you download just one iPhone app, make it Stanza. A free book reader, it lets you download hundreds of copyright-free classics and many current Creative-Commons licensed books, such as those by Cory Doctorow. You can customise colour, font, size and more. Perfect when you’re stuck in a car with a sleeping baby, for example. It’s easy to read on the iPhone because the screen is very high resolution, and you can see why printed books will be a niche collectible product in years to come. Great. Now all I need is time to read.


Does anyone else cringe a little when they see “iTouch”? There is not and has never been a product called iTouch. iPod touch, yes. iTouch is just another iBlah name, and it’s not even Apple’s fault. Well, not directly, anyway.

Every new iSomething name out there, from web designers to florists, is a little death in our collective imagination.

Well. Google has announced their new browser by launching a comic explaining the whole thing. It uses Webkit, as used and developed by Apple, with a host of great UI and functionality improvements. Available tomorrow but sadly Windows-only at first, I suspect this could be a big deal.

But hey — no problem testing against another browser if it’s another browser based on WebKit. Maybe this will actually wake up all the corporate IT people mandating Internet Explorer.