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iPad, iPod Touch get Google Voice
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Google Voice for iPod Touch and iPad joins the iPhone app (pictured).

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)

It may have taken Google a year and a half to get Google Voice in the iPhone’s App Store, but it’s taken only one month longer for Google Voice to complete the expansion to Apple’s other two iOS devices: the iPod Touch and iPad.

Starting today, a Google Voice app update compatible with the iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 3.1 and above) will make it easier for U.S. users to manage voice messages and texts made to your Google Voice number.

Of course, it can’t place calls on either of these nonphone devices, but a click-to-call feature will let you initiate a call on a phone associated with your Google Voice account.

Google has made other improvements that will benefit iPhone users, too, including one that will automatically keep the service from texting your iPhone and your Google Voice inbox when you sign on. Receiving duplicate notifications to the phone text inbox and the Google Voice app was an early complaint of mine.

In addition, a new “do not disturb” feature will send all calls to voice mail, and tapping and holding a text will now give you the option to archive or delete it. 

In the past month since I’ve been using Google Voice on iPhone I’ve loved the convenience of the app, but have experienced sluggishness when it loads, some navigation lag, and oftentimes delayed incoming texts and voice mails. What’s your experience?

Originally posted at iPhone Atlas

Dictionary.com gets voice-to-text definitions for Android, iPhone
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If you can’t spell it, at least you can say it.


True story: The other day I was looking up onomatopoeia on Dictionary.com (don’t ask.) Let’s just say I didn’t quite get all my vowels lined up right the first time; trial and error ensued.

Next time, I won’t have to toil so for my vocab payoff. A new voice search feature on Dictionary.com, releasing today for iPhone and Android, will let you speak your search term into the app.

This is a boon for anyone voted least likely to win a spelling bee, or for anyone else who prefers to skip the typing.

Voice-to-text shows up in the app as a separate function on a separate screen. This isn’t a bad interface decision, but placing it on the search bar as Google does its Android search widget would make it much more accessible.

In addition to voice search, the update let you revisit definitions in a list of favorites. It also brings a feature where you can click a word to get a definition, customizable backgrounds, and for word nerds, sharing on social networks.

Dictionary.com has been downloaded over 20 million times on the iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms. The updates will surely make the app richer on the former two; we hope BlackBerry users have a chance to benefit as well.

Facebook: Not so music-friendly, actually

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Although I was resistant to Facebook at first, staunchly clinging to MySpace until all but three of my friends ceased to use it (thereby making it all but pointless), there is one thing in particular that has kept Facebook in my favor since I made the switch. The social-networking service provides an excellent medium for sharing content, particularly quick bits of information via links posted to your Wall or that of a friend. The ability to display (or hide) photos is also quite handy.

But if there’s one place Facebook has failed to excel, it’s in the music department–MySpace has it all over its competitor in that regard. Sure, you can post Pandora stations to your wall (but only yours) and share certain specific tracks from band pages–when they exist. If not, links to YouTube videos of individual tracks work in a pinch. But the overall integration is inelegant at best, with no dedicated space for all of the music you’ve recommended in the past and limited options for posting playlists. So what’s a Facebooking music lover to do?

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Hmm…and I have to get my friends to join?

Screenshot by Jasmine France)

The seemingly obvious answer is the rally call generally applied to the iPhone: there’s an app for that. Most recently, Music WithMe updated its Facebook application to offer a more seamless, user-friendly experience. The app lets you recommend individual tracks and playlists from your own iTunes library, with the new version offering more details on each playlist and including album art for the songs. You can also listen to a 30-second preview of each track, “like” playlists and tracks, and purchase directly from iTunes.

As you may have ascertained, this option is imperfect at best. For one thing, you can share only things from iTunes, which is limiting for those who prefer to manage their music with other programs. Also, your friends can listen only to 30 second previews of a track rather than the full song. Finally, you can share only music that you have in your library, so if you just happen upon a song or album that you have yet to download, you can’t quickly recommend it to a friend or post it on your wall.

So while I appreciate the effort put forth by apps like Music WithMe to make Facebook more music-friendly, it and the others I’ve come across fall short. Is there some great method for sharing or recommending music on Facebook that I’m missing? Or are you also disappointed by the options available? Please let me know in the comments below.

Originally posted at Webware

5 apps for editing holiday video

With the digital video camera making its way into more and more homes, whether in the form of a full-featured camcorder, an ultracompact HD-only shooter, or even your cell phone’s built-in camera, having some good software on hand to edit the resulting clips is becoming a necessity. Unfortunately, most of these modern recording devices don’t come with very good editing software, and many don’t come with any at all.

Luckily, there are plenty of great apps available for turning any expanding library of video clips into a home movie worthy of sharing with friends and family. Now is the perfect time of year to pick something up for the amateur shooter in your life, or even something for yourself now, so you have time to throw something together for upcoming visits with loved ones. We’ve rounded up five great options for Windows users below below, and even one extra for those with a Mac in the house.