WOW, 2009 has been an awesome year in blogging terms for me. My site has literally taken off, and has proved to me, after a bit of doubt, that blogging is still very well alive.
In June Apple released OS 3.0 for the iPhone, and included in the release was MMS & internet tethering. unfortunately Vodacom had not released the setting required for this to work. Thanks to the magic of PJ from Glucode, I hosted a file on my blog, which allowed you enable these settings if you were a Vodacom user. With that, my site exploded, and that specific post has almost had 15,000 hits to it. I soon realised that the South African iPhone market is not as small as we think. It is growing HUGE, and I honestly people are catching on the device, that is more than “just a phone”
I started doing a couple of posts of recommended apps, and then did a post on how to get a US iTunes account. Again, the response was phenomenal. We have a very limited selection of apps in the South African iTunes store, so getting a US account is imperative when setting up a new iPhone.
The blog carried on doing well, and I was beginning to make some money through Adgator, which is always a help. Then on the 21st of November this year, a meteor appeared over Gauteng, and I did a couple of posts on it. My wife and I saw a similar light over KZN that night, so I took quite a keen interest in it. Within about 4 days I had had about 8000 hits on the 3 posts that I had done. I couldn’t believe it. People were using the site to relay their stories about the meteor sighting, and even the planetarium in Joburg called me for some info. The site went crazy. Even today, I am still getting hits about this rather strange occurence.
All in all, I am really “stoked” about the way 2009 has turned out for my blog and, I am currently ranked as the 19th most popular blog in South Africa, according to Afrigator, which makes me happy :)
I thought I would close off the year, with a couple of my favourite apps that I have found for the iPhone through the year. There are so many to choose from, so I thought of breaking them down in a couple of categories.
There are a couple of choices here, but for me, Doodle Jump takes this one. It is one of the most addictive games I have ever played, and I just can’t seem to beat my highest score. The fact that the Developers keep updating the app with new fun features, makes it a steal at $0.99 as well as the best game for me in 2009.
Best Twitter Client:
I muddled over this one for a while, cause earlier this year I was a huge SimplyTweet fan. The app is brilliant, and the push notifications top it off. But then Tweetie2 came out. At first I wasn’t a fan, as it only loaded the last 100 tweets, and I had no way of seeing when my last read tweet was. That was until they upgraded the app and introduced gap detection, to allow you load older tweets. Now I use Tweetie2 to read my tweets and use SimplyTweet to notify me of new Direct messages and @ Messages. The developer of SimplyTweet is working on a new version which I will be helping to beta test, so watch out for some interesting developments there :)
Best Local App:
Another tough one, as all the developers have been working hard and have pumped out some really cool apps. the ZATV guide is awesome for checking whats happening on the small screen, and RadioPod allows you to check in on your favorite Podcasts. But for me the one app I use on a daily basis is the News24 app. The content is up to date with the website, and the latest update has introduced push notifications to allow you to be up to date with the world’s breaking news.
Best Photography app.
There have been loads of photography apps released this year, and I have taken a liking to iPhone photography, thanks to the Chase Jarvis book I ordered earlier this month. The slogan, ” The Best Camera is the one that is with you”,has inspired me to take loads more photos with my iPhone camera. Coupled with the release of the book, was the Best Camera app, which allows you on device post processing of your pictures, and allows you to post them to your various social media streams. I also started a site dedicated to the photos I have taken with my iPhone camera, called iPhonetoGraph.com
Best GPS App:
With the release of OS 3.0, Apple allowed developers to develop turn by turn navigational apps. TomTom wowed the crowd, and eventually were one of the first to hit the market. In South Africa, we have a choice of 3 navigational apps; NDrive, Navigon & Tom Tom. Having used Navigon and NDrive, I have to admit that NDrive is the winner in the category. The app is simple to use, and has the most up to date maps. I will be doing a review on Navigon in the new year and compare it to NDrive.
There are probably loads more categories I could go into, but the above are what has really stood out for me. I cannot wait to see what 2010 brings to the app store, as I think with technology evolving the way it is, we should be in for a few surprises from Uncle Steve next year.
So, thats a wrap from me for the year, and I hope that in 2010, I can share loads more with you on my blog :)