So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Email 'n Walk iPhone app
Write e-mails on your iPhone while seeing where you are walking
- Commendable execution, easy to use
- iPhone camera has limitations, no Enter button on keyboard, cannot read e-mails or send SMS messages
Email 'n Walk lets you write e-mails while seeing where you are going by employing the iPhone's camera. We wouldn't recommend its use while driving, though.
Price$ 1.19 (AUD)
Phase2 Media's Email 'n Walk uses the iPhone's camera to let you to see where you're walking while writing e-mails, hopefully stopping you from falling over any obstacles in your path.
Email 'n Walk might seem like a preposterous idea. But given that an English charity last year attempted to wrap lampposts in foam to protect pedestrians from collisions while writing SMS messages, perhaps this iPhone app isn't such a bad idea.
The app is generally well designed. It overlays a customised e-mail interface on top of a live view from the camera. The soft keyboard is the usual opaque input box, but the e-mail interface itself is transparent. This lets you to see through the text to what the camera picks up.
If you tend to hold your iPhone parallel to the ground, then you're likely to see little more than your own feet while typing. However, even holding the iPhone at a slight angle can ensure a good view of what is directly in front of you.
The quality of the iPhone's camera affects the app. The lens speed is a little slow, resulting in some motion blur. It isn't too excessive and won't make you sick, however. Things are likely to look significantly darker on the screen than in real life.
Email 'n Walk provides a text box for the subject and one of the body. The Enter button on the standard soft keyboard has been replaced by a Send button, which means e-mails written using Email 'n Walk cannot be broken into paragraphs until the e-mail is sent to the proper Mail app.
Once you have written up the e-mail, pressing send transfers the text into the standard iPhone mail app. This means you will have to choose the e-mail's recipient without the benefit of seeing where you are going.
Email 'n Walk is a commendable app, but it could be better. The ability to send SMS messages and read others' e-mails in the same fashion would definitely be worthwhile additions.
Nevertheless, as it stands Email 'n Walk is a decent iPhone app that provides innovative functionality for a reasonable price.
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