Saturday, March 28, 2009
The interesting thing with the new Tumblr site... it will be 99.9% composed using the iPhone. I setup the site using a laptop... and the plan is to use only the iPhone moving forward.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Going Through my 2/17 Posting:
- Copy/Cut & Paste, Check! This was a no-brainer, Apple had to add this at some point (it should have been in v 1.0). I think all iPhone power users are relieved that we will finally have this basic functionality.
- HomeScreen/Application Management. No Announcement, there was no mention of this during the press conference, it is possible we will see this as one of the 100 or so user improvements that were not discussed. As developers have loaded the beta copy of 3.0 on their phones, word is that there are a lot of new features that were not covered in the press conference. Although, it seems like a new Springboard would have been a big enough item that Apple would have demoed it. I guess we will have to wait until summer to find out. [Note: v 3.0 will implement system wide "Spotlight" search functionality, if the iPhone's Spotlight can be used like OS X's spotlight to launch applications, then application management may not be as important. Just launch Spotlight and type the first few letters of the app you want to launch.]
- Text to Speech at the OS level. No announcement, I think full TTS will require a bump in hardware, we may not see a move toward text to speech on the iPhone until processor upgrades. There was no specific mention of this capability at the press conference.
- User Selectable background processing. NO, this was the big rumor prior to the 3/17 press conference, I think the rumor got a lot of people excited, including myself. There are times where I would want to selectively choose to keep an app open as a background process, even at the expense of decreased battery life. It appears that Apple is not ready to give us this option yet, during the press conference, background notifications was discussed and demoed, while several reasons were given as to why you would not want true background processing.. so, NO selective background processing this summer!
- External Peripherals - Blue tooth or via the dock connector. CHECK! with some reservations, I am looking for an external keyboard! At first glance, this announcement seems to imply we will be seeing external keyboards this summer. But during the Q&A, Apple was asked specifically about the availability of a bluetooth keyboard, the iPhone OS is currently lacking human interface device (HID) drivers, Apple seemed unwilling to commit to HID drivers for 3.0. I do not think we can assume that external keyboards are a slam dunk, we will have to wait and see. FYI, I favor an external keyboard that connects to the dock connector over bluetooth connectivity, mainly for power consumption/battery life issues.
- System Settings Profiles. No announcement, again, we will have to wait and see if the settings application has any new functionality that was not mentioned in the press conference.
While reviewing above, there is only one definite out of the original 6 wishlist items, not a great batting average, but I am still excited about v3.0. Apple touched on a few other items that will be great for iPhone users: Spotlight search, landscape keyboard, improved calendar functionality, call logging, MMS, peer to peer between iPhones, turn by turn GPS, push notification, developer access to over 1000 new APIs, tethering, Safari improvements and interaction with accessories. It is looking like 2009 will be a great year for continued enhancements to the iPhone.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
- Version 2.5 added 34 new stretching exercises... a good place to start if you want some ideas for stretching.
- Version 2.6 added the ability to change the log date in order to enter previous workouts
- Version 2.7 added the ability to create free form workouts on the fly. Thus, if you are wandering around the gym, you can create your workout while you are at each station. This feature was requested by users on the iStayFitClub forums and the developers responded quickly to the request. I can vouch, free form workout, leveraging the ability to search across all exercises from one list works well. The only issue I had was that the onscreen keyboard used for searching sometimes obscured the bottom search result and I could not find a way to dismiss the keyboard.
- Version 3.0 saw the addition of a scheduling function. Allowing you to setup a workout schedule. The scheduling function is full featured, allowing up to 2 schedules per day, thus you can separate out your cardio and weight workouts. Setting up a workout schedule is straightforward, see this link for more information.
The addition of free form workouts and scheduling are two big items that add to iStayFit's usefulness.
Interestingly iFitness ($1.99) seems to be the big seller, as it is usually in the top 5 in the Healthcare & Fitness category, I have not used iFitness since my initial trial (Dec 08), but from researching the current reviews and the iFitness website, it appears that iStayFit maintains the lead in functionality and flexibility for the gym rat or the novice! Maybe the lead that iFitness maintains it is price driven.
iStayFit v3.0 Highly Recommended
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
[Updated: 3/10/09 - See this excellent review of Inquisitor: http://www.iphonejd.com/iphone_jd/2009/03/review-yahoo-inquisitor.html I agree with the review 100% ... Inquisitor is good, will it replace Google mobile or Vlingo as you "go to" search application? Or will it be used as an adjunct... or ultimately deleted to make space for another application?]
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
- Technologizer: Kindle for iPhone: Disappointing. Yet Still Amazing
- Macworld: Amazon releases Kindle for iPhone
- PCworld: What does Kindle really do for iPhone?
- AppleInsider: Amazon brings Kindle eBook library to the iPhone
- TheAppleBlog: First Look: Amazon Kindle for iPhone
- Geek.com: First look: Kindle for iPhone
- 148Apps: Kindle for iPhone
- CNET: Comparing Kindle 2 with Kindle's iPhone app
- Gives you access to Amazon's Kindle ebook content (240,000 books).
- If you own a Kindle, can take advantage of Whispersync, never lose your place from device to device.
- iPhone more portable than Kindle.
- Adjustable font size, color viewing and backlit with adjustable brightness via iPhone settings.
- Can not access Newspaper/Magazine content.
- Can not purchase books from within the app, must drop to web, the Amazon Kindle book site is not iPhone optimized.
- Vertical orientation only, no landscape viewing.
In version 2, please give us newspaper & magazine content, tilt page advance as in Instapaper Pro and landscape viewing.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
- Fullscreen Shutter - allows you to use the full screen as the shutter button, this is a huge improvement over the shutter button used in Camera.
- Stable mode - uses the accelerometer to trigger the shutter when it detects that the camera is stable (3 sensitivity settings). This is ideal for shooting photos of stationary objects, if trying to take a picture of your toddler, you may become frustrated missing the shot or blur from the moving object as the shutter speed is still very slow in low light situations.
Night Camera also provides a timer option and auto shutter - meaning the camera will take a picture once the application is launched. You can also set an option to have the image auto saved, thus dismissing with the review and save procedure.
For me, the Fullscreen shutter option is worth the price of admission. In real world usage, I find that I use my iPhone camera to take pictures of products in various retail settings for further analysis when I return home. For this usage, I set Night Camera to Stable mode with Fullscreen shutter on, since the product is typically stationary, the Stable mode assures that camera shake will be minimized, resulting in a sharp image. If I am taking a quick snapshot of my 2 year old, I turn off stable mode and go into Standard camera mode and leave Fullscreen shutter enabled.
In conclusion, I have relegated Apple's Camera application to screen NINE and moved Night Camera to the HomeScreen, in essence replacing the build in Camera application.