Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Santa Wishlist for iPhone/Touch

As a long time Palm user there are a few things I would like to see for the iPhone (actually, these items should be available by now... in my opinion). Maybe Santa will deliver at the next Macworld Expo.

  1. iWork for the iPhone/Touch. Or DataViz's Documents To Go for the iPhone OS.
  2. Portable/foldable keyboard for the iPhone, similar to the excellent keyboard that Palm had for their PDAs. I know this is a long shot but it would be great if Apple or a third party developed a hardware add-on keyboard. The iPhone/Touch can be seen as a feasible laptop replacement with a mid-size keyboard add-on.
  3. OS level Copy & Paste... I know.. this is not an original request... but it is needed!
  4. Logic or Ableton Live for the iPhone/Touch. A scaled down version of either that lets you create anywhere and upload back into your desktop/laptop version of Logic or Ableton Live.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

RWU - Google.app - Easter 2009?

While out eating breakfast this AM:
Wife:  "When is Easter this coming year? March or April?"
Me:  "Hold on" I pull out my iPhone, check iCal - I do not have holidays loaded.. Idea - perfect use for the new google.app.  I speak "Easter 2009" into iPhone, I answer "April 12, 2009" 20 seconds later.
Wife:  "Aren't you cool!"

iPhone 2.2 Update - Home Screen Shortcut

Now that we have been collecting/purchasing iPhone/Touch applications for 6 months, it is safe to say that most users have at least 3 screens of applications.  With the 2.2 firmware update Apple added a useful shortcut:  Press the HOME button from any of your home screens and you will be wisked back to your "primary" home screen.  This enhancement saves having to flick thru 6 or 7 screens to get back to your primary screen (and presumably the home of your "go to" tools!).
The idea of organizing your applications by screen is enforced by the new home screen shortcut.  With this blog I will be sharing with you my experience with iPhone/Touch applications, screen organization will be may method of rating aplications.  For example, the new Google mobile application with voice input, on my iPhone is placed on the Primary Home screen, usually within one click from launch, as it truly provides "information at your fingertips" type functionality!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Part 3: google.app - Initial real world usage...

After 3 days of usage...
The google.app does not disappoint! One caveat though, you need a good solid 3G network connection or better. WIFI is great, 3G is good, edge is not so good. With slow network connections the application is slow and often does not recognize your utterance.
I suggest using traditional type search if you have an edge connection with less than 3 bars.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Part 2: google.app

Using the advanced google search tools, such as arimetic, dictionary and conversions. Also, a tad more detail on location based searching.

Search Tools:


  • "333 times 27"; see the screen image below, within a couple seconds you have the answer courtesy of the new google.app on the iPhone. This is just the beginning...
  • "How many inches in a meter?"
  • "How many kilograms in a pound?"
  • "Define: obviate"
  • Stock ticker: for example say "A A P L" to return Apple's stock quote.
  • Sports scores.. speak the city and team name you are looking for.
  • Time. Speak "Time in London" to get the actual time in the city you are looking for.
  • Location based search: the google.app video used a couple of examples, here are several additional examples that I tested: doctor, dentist, hospital, chiropractor, funeral home, gas station, library, bar, starbucks, church... speaking any of these terms into the google.app provided a listing near my current location complete with one touch dialing and quck access to directions via the built-in map.app.
  • There were a few words that did not seem to work with the location search, they were: barber, ice cream, hair stylist and pharmacy... when I spoke these words they turned up a standard google result without the "Local results near:" listing.

At this early stage of reviewing the new voice aware google app, it looks to have a firm placing on my home screen, it is extremely useful in the car where voice input is preferred over texting.

google.app - Hands Free Searching!

The New (11/08) Google app works like magic! I have been using the "voice search" funtionality of the new google app for a day now, it has returned useful results 80% of the time, mainly failing on vanity searches. The location aware voice search is amazing, speak "pizza", "McDonald's", "library", etc into the phone and the google app returns a list of locations near you - complete with one touch phone dialing and one touch directions leveraging the map.app.

With this new functionality I have moved the google.app from screen 2 to the home screen, and the whiz bang functionality of this application has moved it up to my number one demo app when showing non iPhone users what the iPhone can do.

Dissappointment, of course, I have not been able to get the voice search to work on my address book, in theory the google app should be able to function as a "one touch" voice dialer, but with my current configuration, it does not seem to search through my contacts when using voice search. Maybe the next version will inprove contact search!

Highly Recommended.. price: FREE