Random App Plug: Typography Manual

by Devin Coldewey, Mobilecrunch

If you spend a lot of time in a web publishing environment, it pays to be aware of all the little things that make writing and layouts work — and not work. The wrong line height or kerning/font combination can be disastrous to readability. You can, of course, read books on the subject, but a ready reference tool can be had in this Typography Manual app, which looks about as to-the-point as such things can get.

It does in fact comprise a short book, along with some handy tools for the printer or publisher like conversion tables and a font ruler. It doesn’t have an iPad form yet, unfortunately. $4 in the App Store.


Scosche unveils solar-powered solCHAT Bluetooth speakerphone

By Darren Murph, Engadget


If you happened to snag one of those Iqua Sun solar-powered Bluetooth headsets a few years back, you’ll probably have no need whatsoever for this. For everyone else, listen up. The Scosche solCHAT Bluetooth speakerphone boasts an integrated solar panel and rechargeable Li-ion, and when installed within one’s vehicle, it simply pairs up with BT-enabled handsets when in range in order to give drivers the ability to talk handsfree. The simply styled unit has just three visible buttons — volume up, volume down and the all-important answer / hang-up key — and it can be yours right now for $99.99. Oh, and just in case you live in some shadowy place like Seattle, a USB charging cable is also throw in — just don’t tell Mother Earth, alright?

Android Dev Phone Update: Version 1.1!

By Rob Jackson, Phandroid

Anybody can buy an unlocked T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream courtesy of Google – all you have to do is buy one of Google’s own Android Dev Phone 1 devices for $400 plus a few fees. Many have been reluctant to do so though, originally with frequency of OS updates being of concern and most recently non-access to Paid Apps being the issue. Google and HTC have now resolved both of these with Version 1.1 of Android for the Android Dev Phone launching today.


The release notes provide a list of everything that is new and some of the improvements included are:

Support for Search by Voice
Priced Apps
Alarm Clock Fixes
Sending Gmail freeze fixed
Fixes mail notifications and refreshing intervals
Maps now show business reviews

Many of the improvements are in regards to the POP3 e-mail accounts which I’m sure will make people using the Dev Phone 1 as their main phone very happy. A bunch of API changes have been made as well.

Japanese company rolls out cell phone charger with built-in zinc-air battery

Source, Iamrajendra

A Japanese company called KFE has developed a charger for cell phones that gets its energy from a zinc-air battery. Users can recharge their phones about 20 times and KFE says compared to dry-cell battery based charger, their $35 device (Japan-only) is more economical.kfe_japan_zinc_air

The battery can store up to 13 Ah and generates a voltage of 5 volts. Once it’s empty, it can be mailed back to KFE for a hydroxyl ion refill.

The device itself measures 2.3 x 5 x 9cm. Users have to open the cover to expose the battery to oxygen to trigger a reaction between hydroxyl ions and zinc so that electrons are generated.

KFE launches sales by the end of this month, but (apart from a short text-only news release) there is no further information to be found on the company’s Japanese website at this point.

kre-8 cellphone concept is only for music buffs

Source, Iamrajendra


This is one of the better concepts I’ve seen ’round these parts, and I see plenty of them. It’s called the kre-8 (the name could use some work, yes), and it’s a cellphone designed, as it were, for those who fancy themselves as DJs, music creators, etc.

So what is it, and why should you care? Its designer, one Jose Tomas DeLuna , describes it as “the next-generation music tool/communication device for the musically creative and the aspiring musician as well.” That covers just about everyone on planet Earth, right?


Like the iPhone, the kre-8 would be outfitted with a touchscreen and an accelerometer. That last part is key, since, depending on how you hold the phone, it’ll go into one of three different modes: instrument mode, mix mode and record mode. All musical output conforms to the MIDI standard, so, theoretically, you’d be able to integrate it into your multi-thousand dollar Pioneer setup. Even better, all the music you compose, mix or whatnot can be shared over the 3G connection to other kre-8 users. These other users would then either merely enjoy the music you created, or can mix and add to it as they sit fit. Crowdsourcing!

Presumably kre-8 also makes phone calls, but cellphones haven’t been about phone calls for some time now.

Also, keep in mind that it’s just a concept, and hell will freeze over before you’re likely to see it move beyond an Adobe Creative Suite render.