in tip

iPhone App Freebies and Sales Abound

This may be old news to most readers, but in case you’ve missed it, Blacksmith Games has organized a holiday giveaway of one iPhone game per day for the month of December. It’s called Appvent Calendar 09. Some of the games are quite good. Today, for example, you can pick up an excellent well-designed, and beautifully illustrated game called Blimp from Craneballs Studios (normally $2.99).

Also of note on the App store, Nuance Communications recently released a very impressive spoken word-to-text translation tool called Dragon Dictation. It’s free for a limited time. I’m very impressed with the accuracy of the app. It’s produced using the same engine behind the popular (and expensive) desktop clients Dragon Naturally Speaking and Mac Dictation. Once you capture your text, you can copy it to the clipboard, email it, or send it as a text message. Note that the app works by ferrying your voice recording to servers at Nuance, hence you need a WiFi or cellular connection. While translation speeds are zippy over WiFi, it’s a bit slow on my Edge connection. Of course, it’ll be faster on the 3G network. It’s definitely worth picking up while it’s free.

Last but not least, it’s worth your time and effort to monitor price drops and giveaways on the App store this month. There are a ton of one-day-only and limited-time holiday deals hitting the store each day. I use a free iPhone/Touch app called AppMiner to keep on top of the deals. Appshopper.com and 148apps.com are also good places to monitor price drops and promotions online.