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App Store additions include medical marijuana, e-books, call recording

New software recently released on Apple's App Store could help iPhone users legally obtain doctor-prescribed marijuana, read electronic copies of books on the go, or easily record telephone conversations.

Cannabis

Released by AJNAG (Activists Justifying the Natural Agriculture of Ganja), this $2.99 application aims to help those who have been legally prescribed marijuana obtain the controlled substance.

"There's nothing worse than being a qualified patient with a physician’s recommendation to consume cannabis— commonly referred to as marijuana," the official Web site reads. "You never know where to find cannabis resources near you. Sure, you could search the web but that’s as tedious as flipping through the phone book or browsing through the advertisements in the latest cannabis publication."

The application gives directions not only to places where users can purchase marijuana, but also to doctors, attorneys, organizations and other patient services.

The application displays a map with pinpoints for nearby locations. The data includes the Web address and phone number, and each location can be added to a list of favorites.

Cannabis


The developer says new features are coming in the future, including medicine menus and video tours. They also say they will donate 50 cents for every purchase of the "Cannabis" app to a non-profit marijuana reform fund. The developer says the fund will be set up once the application sells 1,000 copies.

"The non-profit will unite with the many cannabis organizations and raise money for grassroots media campaigning," the developer says. "Our goal is to put the power of cannabis change in your pocket while you enjoy the most sticky and potent iPhone application available!"

Recorder 10

Developer Retronyms launched an update this week for its $0.99 Recorder application, this time adding the ability to record phone conversations.

The iPhone does not allow developers to record phone calls, so Recorder accomplishes this task in a roundabout way. The software works through an external service connected to the telephone network, which limits the recording ability to outgoing calls originating in the U.S.

It also carries a per-minute charge. Users can buy one hour of recording for $1.99, or 8 hours for $12.99. And Zach Saul, co-founder of developer Retronyms, said users will be able to make the most out of their minutes.

"A lot of phone companies bill by in 1-minute or six second increments," Zach Saul told AppleInsider, "but we do our billing in 1 second increments, which means you only pay for the time you actually use."

Recorder


As before, users can also use the application to make voice memos. Recordings can be synced with a computer via WiFi or e-mail.

An average recording takes up 940 KB per minute, so a 16 GB iPhone would hold 290 hours of audio.

Barnes & Nobile eReader

Delving into the world of e-books —and taking on Amazon's Kindle head-to-head —Barnes & Noble hopes to make a splash with its free iPhone app.

The service will sell e-book titles at $9.99, like Amazon.com. Barnes & Noble's e-bookstore offers more than 700,000 titles, and claims it is the largest currently available. The company expects their store to offer more than a million books within the year.

The application comes with a number of free public domain books, including Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility."

Barnes & Noble eReader


“Today marks the first phase of our digital strategy, which is rooted in the belief that readers should have access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time,” said William J. Lynch, President of barnesandnoble.com. “As America’s #1 bookstore and newsstand, our goal at Barnes & Noble is to build a service that revolves around the customer, enabling them to have access to hundreds of thousands of titles and read on their smartphone, PC, and many other existing and future devices. We want to make eBooks simple, accessible, affordable and convenient for everyone.”

Announced this week, the eReader app is just one part of the book seller's strategy with digital publications. The retail outlet also revealed plans to partner with Plastic Logic's e-reader, due out in 2010.