Google Fast Flip for iPhone [Review]

Google Fast Flip for iPhone

Google today announced Fast Flip, a news-browsing service intended to replicate the feel of a paper magazine or newspaper. Fast Flip also has an iPhone version, which is automatically activated when you browse to Fast Flip on your iPhone at

Fast Flip for iPhone lets you choose a category and then flip through stories, essentially screenshots of web sites, as if you were flipping actual pages. To turn a page, just swipe your finger left or right to go to the next or previous story.

Google Fast Flip for iPhone

You can flip through stories from a single source, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post or Fast Company; or from a single category, like Politics, Business, U.S. or World. Fast Flip also has Recent, Headlines and Most Viewed topics.

Perhaps the Fast Flip function that has the most potential but needs the most work is Search. Ideally, a keyword search should turn up relevant stories to flip through, but as of this writing, searching for “fast flip” yields only 1 result, and a search for “iPhone 3.1” yields only 2, even though both these terms turn up many stories in Google News.

Is Google Fast Flip the Next Big Thing?

Is Google Fast Flip something I see myself using instead of traditional news aggregators? Not sure. But what sets Fast Flip apart from other news sources, like Google News or Regator, is its visual format and the way you can flip through news stories similar to how you browse through albums in iPhone’s Cover Flow.

What Do You Think?

Have you used Google Fast Flip on your iPhone? Do you think it will revolutionize the way we browse news or is it a failed experiment? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

iFitness iPhone App: An Exercise Log for Your iPhone [Review]


Want to log your workouts on your iPhone? If you exercise and you want to keep track of your progress, I recommend you check out the iFitness iPhone app. It’s the only iPhone workout log I’ve ever used, but I have little doubt it’s among the best, if not the best exercise log for iPhone.

Note: I have no affiliation with the developers of the iFitness app. iFitness is just an iPhone app I’ve used extensively for the last year or so and I really like it.

Here’s why I love the iFitness iPhone app.

iFitness iPhone App Review


iFitness is very user friendly and intuitive. Once you open the app, you’re shown a list of exercise categories:

  • abdominals
  • arms
  • back
  • chest
  • legs
  • shoulders
  • cardio
  • stretches

Narrow down the list and you’ll find an extensive list of workouts for each muscle group. For example, tap “Shoulders” and you’ll find a list of shoulder exercises, like lateral raises, shrugs, swiss-ball shoulder presses, etc.

iFitness Review: Logging Workouts

iFitness Log Entry

Tap an exercise, say lateral raises, and you’ll see an image of a model demonstrating the workout. Some of the workouts even have video demonstrations.

To log a particular exercise, tap the pencil icon above the exercise image and you can log the weight, number of reps, and any notes you want to include.

You can also view “Exercise Records” to see how well you did that exercise on any given day in the past. AND, you can view a graph of your progress on any exercise over time, based on your accumulated logs.

iFitness Review: My Workouts

iFitness: My Workouts

One of the best features of iFitness is the “My Workouts” tab that lets you organize sets of different exercises for different days. For example, I have the following workouts programmed:

  • Cardio
  • Biceps, Back & Abs
  • Chest, Triceps & Abs
  • Legs & Abs
  • Shoulders & Abs

Each workout has a list of my preferred, pre-selected exercises so that I can go into the gym with a specific workout plan.

iFitness Review: Routines

iFitness Routines

The iFitness iPhone app includes a section of recommended Routines put together by fitness experts. Tap a routine and see a description of the objectives intended for that routine, and a list of recommended exercises to achieve that objective.

Routines include:

  • Beginner Program
  • Abdominal Defining Program
  • Weight Loss Program
  • Muscle Building Program
  • Strength Building Program
  • Complete Body Workout
  • Business Travel Workout
  • Ultimate Arm Workout
  • 30-Minute Chest Workout
  • Body Toning for Women
  • Expert Golf Program
  • Glutes Definition Plan

iFitness Review: Logs

iFitness Log

The Logs tab organizes your exercise logs by day. You can choose to view exercise logs from

  • Today
  • Previous Workout Day
  • Past 7 Days
  • Past 14 Days
  • Past 30 Days
  • All Records

Exercises in any given log are organized alphabetically along with a list of sets detailing the weight, number of reps, and any notes you included. You can also export logs to your email.

iFitness Review: Extras

iFitness also has an Extras tab that includes:

  • Weight Monitor
  • BMI Calculator
  • Body Measurements tracker

iFitness App Updates

One of the best things about iFitness is the customer service provided by the developers. They read user reviews and regularly update the app to include new features. Since I bought the iFitness app a year or more ago, the developers have updated the app to include: more exercises, more routines, video demos of many of the exercises, the BMI calculator and the Body Measurements tracker.

In fact, as I’m writing this I see that iFitness has issued an update that adds the ability to add your own cardio exercises.

iFitness Update

iFitness is $1.99 in the App Store, an unbelievable deal, in my opinion. I highly recommend iFitness because it’s a stable, easy-to-use iPhone app with great features and a diligent team of developers.

Do you use iFitness or do you recommend some other exercise logging iPhone app?

iSpinBottle iPhone App: A Modern Makeout Game

iSpinBottle iPhone app

Hey teens, if you’re looking to “get some” next Saturday night, check out this clever new iPhone app by Memention called iSpinBottle.

Just like the traditional game of Spin the Bottle, the iSpinBottle iPhone app helps you get some tongue with little effort on your part. Plus, you young ones can stay out of trouble by spinning the game’s virtual beer bottle instead of those real ones you’re not allowed to have anyway.

iSpinBottle is free in the App Store. It works great, but I think the developer should consider updating it to add sound. Happy spit-swapping, kids!

Google Latitude for iPhone: Cool or Creepy?

Google Latitude on iPhone

Google’s new location sharing service, Latitude, is now available on iPhone. You can direct your iPhone to Latitude and opt to share your location — with all of your friends, or with select friends only.


I can imagine a few ways Google Latitude could be useful:

  • You’re at a music festival and you’re trying to meet up with your friends. Instead of trying to talk over the music to tell them where to meet up, just share your location with them using Latitude.
  • You’re traveling and you want to give your family members the peace of mind of knowing where you are, so you share your location with them.
  • As Google themselves noted, imagine you’re playing tennis and you want to invite your friends. Simply share your location and include a status message inviting people to join you.
  • Parents can setup Latitude on their children’s phones — Latitude is also available on phones other than iPhone — to keep track of where they are at certain times.
  • Or, in an extreme situation, let’s say you are kidnapped and the police are able to locate you because of Google Latitude.

Note that strangers can never track you using Latitude without your permission. Anyone who wants to track you needs to be approved by you first.

Google Latitude Friend Request


Despite the benefits, however, there are a number of scenarios where Latitude could be abused, some of which have prompted privacy groups to speak out against the Google service.

  • Anyone could covertly set up the service on someone’s phone and track their every move. Once Latitude is active, Google does not remind you that the service is turned on.

    Privacy group Privacy International explains how this could happen:

    We have considered the following five scenarios:

    * An employer provides staff with Latitude-enabled phones on which a reciprocal sharing agreement has been enabled, but does not inform staff of this action or that their movements will be tracked.
    * A parent gifts a mobile phone to a child without disclosing that the phone has been Latitude-enabled.
    * A partner, friend or other person gains access to an unattended phone (left on a bar on in the house) and enables Latitude without the other person’s knowledge.
    * A Latitude-enabled phone is given as a gift.
    * A phone left unattended, for example with security personnel or a repair shop, is covertly enabled.

    Once the phone has been enabled, the second party will be able to mask his phone’s presence, thus ensuring that the victim is unaware that her phone is being tracked.

  • You could also set up Latitude on your own phone and forget that you have it turned on, unintentionally allowing your friends to track your location at all times.
  • Law enforcement could subpoena Google to find out where you are at any given moment. But Google says it stores only your most recent location, so your history is not tracked.
  • Although unlikely, a skilled hacker could crack the system and stalk you or learn your patterns so as to break in to your home at the perfect time.

xkcd Latitude comic

Google Latitude Privacy Tips

In the video below, Google shares some Latitude privacy tips for using the service safely and securely.

What do you think? Does Google Latitude and the idea of location-sharing go too far? Or is this something you plan to use? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments.

Paper Toss iPhone Game [See Video]

iPhone paper toss game

I’m not big on games in general, but I discovered a fun iPhone game with a simple concept yesterday: it’s called Paper Toss.

To try to beat the high score, you toss the paper into the waste basket as many consecutive times as possible. A missed shot resets the score ticker to 0.

It’s a fun little time-waster, so I thought I would share.

Paper Toss can be downloaded for free from the App Store. There are three levels — Easy, Medium and Hard.

Here is a video of my friend playing it on the 4th of July — you can hear fireworks in the background. If you’re easily offended, ignore his frustrated profanity at the end of the video when he fails to match my high score.

Voice Memos on iPhone 3.0 [Video Demo]

Watch the video below to see the new Voice Memos app in iPhone 3.0.

Voice Memos is a simple, useful iPhone app. But frankly, I don’t know why it was necessary for Apple to create it, since there are other recording apps in the App Store that closely resemble Voice Memos. I use Griffin’s iTalk, for example.

This raises the question I asked over a year ago before the App Store’s debut: Will Apple compete with its App Store developers?