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Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Usable Apps Weekly

February 15, 2010 1 comment

Please welcome Jason Morales, 98 Pound Geekling’s first staff member. He’s working for zero pay, but he is excited to be our new “Apps Pimp” (yes, that’s his official title), whose primary mission is to tell me about apps that I can’t live without for at least a week or so. Jason’s iPhone 3GS is currently home to a legendary amount of apps, 90% of which he hasn’t used in a very long time. But he has fun loving them and leaving them.

This week’s usable app is Siri, a “personal assistant” app which has the ability to find information on restaurants, events, taxis, movies, weather, and just about anything you would want to spend your time or money on. The genius of this app is that the method for getting an answer is to simply ask a question. You speak into the mic, and Siri finds what you are looking for.

Questions like, “What’s playing at TPAC this week?” will prompt a list of shows coming up at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville (as long as it knows your location).

I’ve tried the YellowPages app, and tried using Maps to find things I’m looking for, but Siri looks to be a one-stop app for this purpose with great ease of use.

The application currently supports iPhone 3G and 3GS with OS 3.0 and is expected to support the iPod Touch in the future.

Is The End Near for Apple’s Exclusive Contract with AT&T?

January 26, 2010 2 comments

The first question during the Q&A of Apple’s Conference Call on Monday went straight to the question of whether or not AT&T would remain an exclusive carrier for service on the iPhone. It’s an important question, since Apple is bound by contract to miss a huge portion of the market, thanks to their firm handshake with AT&T.

Tim Cook, Apple’s COO, had an indirect answer to Munster’s question about staying with a single phone service carrier. When Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray asked Cook to “remind us what the benefits and the virtues of sticking with a single carrier in the US are,” Tim hem-hawed around with his answer. If you read carefully, you’ll see that his answer below was, “There are none.”

First of all, AT&T is a great partner. We have been working with them since well before we announced the first iPhone to get it out. I think it is important to remember that they have more mobile broadband usage than any other carrier in the world. In the vast majority of locations, we think that iPhone customers are having a great experience from the research that we have done.

Let’s rephrase the conversation. Munster asks, “You must have good reasons for only using one carrier for iPhone service. What are some of those reasons?”

“AT&T is neato.” Tim replies.

He might as well have come out and said it directly: AT&T’s days of being the iPhone’s sole provider are coming to an end.

Did anyone else hear the sound of a blackberry being squashed?

iPhone OS 4.0 Wish List

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

BoyGenius is reporting that they have “some exclusive iPhone OS 4.0 details” from one of their trusted inside sources. Sounds like it will be a significant upgrade which may give a fresh feel to 3G and 3GS iPhones.

If I could ask Apple for only one thing, I would vote for an improved navigation method for getting to the many apps on my phone. Some users like myself have nearly 100 apps on our phone, and getting to page 7 just takes too darn long.

“Why the crap do you have almost 100 apps?” you may ask. God knows I’ll never be able to use most of these on a regular basis, but for the intermediate geeks out there, it’s nice to mess around with a variety of different apps, if only to see what the iPhone is capable of.

So the first item on my iPhone 4.0 OS Wish List is a new way to navigate the iPhone. Here a few other things I’m hoping for:

  • Wireless syncing over Wi-Fi with iTunes.
  • Improved formatting for emails when sending to Windows Outlook users. (“Geez man, what’s with the Times New Roman font on your iPhone?”)
  • This is a small request, but an ongoing annoyance… please allow us the option to tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture with the Camera app!

Will Apple get into the iPhone OS details on January 27? Seems like they have a lot to cover, even if the rumor mills are half-right!

Apple Handles MobileMe Mess Up With Class

July 19, 2008 Leave a comment

MobileMe

When Apple launched MobileMe last Friday, most of the focus was on the activation problems everyone was having with their new or newly updated iPhones.  However, the iPhone problems weren’t the only thorn in Apple’s side that day.  Many MobileMe subscribers were not able to login at all on Friday.  Others were couldn’t sync or found out that the “push” service, which was promised to push updated info on your calendar to all your devices instantly, was seeing a 15 minute delay on all your devices except the iPhone.

Fortunately, Apple made an announcement on Wednesday that acknowledged the problems.  With their apology they are “giving all current subscribers an automatic 30-day extension to their MobileMe subscription free of charge.”

This move is more evidence that Apple is still taking the right steps when it comes to taking care of their customers.  Anyone can search for and find horror stories on the Internet that are the exception, but the MobileMe situation makes it clear that they want to keep the masses happy, even after closing the sale.

Click to see the text from the email that MobileMe subscribers received…

iPhone 3G: First Impressions

July 12, 2008 1 comment

Without diving into the frustrations surrounding the activation problems that 99.9% of new iPhone owners experienced, I am glad to report that I now own a 16GB black iPhone 3G. Overall I am thrilled with it and don’t regret joining the line in Nashville at 5:45 a.m. yesterday morning. It was actually fun, thanks to my wife who came along and some terrific people next to me in line.

The iPhone 3G feels great in your hand, it’s size being a good balance between providing enough screen real estate and not being too large to carry around. The new iPhone design is not much different from the first version, but this one has even more of that intangible Zen-like quality to it.

The screen has the capability to be very bright. I’ve kept it at about 70% indoors, which is plenty of brightness for viewing photos, movies or the internet. When going outside, the auto-brightness feature cranks up the meter, and I was able to see my contact list without a problem.

The GPS is amazing. I tracked myself on the way home from work and it followed me perfectly. This feature alone is worth the upgrade!

3G is obviously much faster than the EDGE network, so the speed increase was clear. Safari loaded pages at a much more tolerable rate and Mail pulled in about 70 messages from my various accounts in a very short time. Surfing the internet on the 3G network will be a completely different experience for you if you currently have the original iPhone.

I’ve surfed enough of the App Store to realize that it will be a great addition to the iPhone experience. There are plenty of useful, free apps available to get you started along with others which can be had for a small charge (usually around the $3-$10 mark, though I’ve seen a one as high as $79.99).

The only negative was a problem I had with Wi-Fi which required a complete system restore. For some reason, the iPhone would not switch to a Wi-Fi network that I was clearly connected to already. Once I restored the original system and wiped it, Wi-Fi worked as advertised.

Now that the activation problems are over, get your hands on the new iPhone if at all possible. It’s some of Apple’s best work.

iPhone 3G Liftoff!

July 11, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s 7:30 a.m. CDT and I’m in line for the iPhone 3G at my local AT&T store.  I will be posting a first impressions review later today.

The frenzied hype will peak in T-Minus 30 minutes.

iPhone 3G Exchange Support

July 10, 2008 17 comments

I cannot find any definite word on AT&T’s web site on whether or not a person will need the AT&T business data plan ($45) to sync with an Exchange server and Outlook at work

According to CNET, “a business data plan is required when using iPhone to access corporate e-mail, company intranet sites, and/or other business solutions/applications.”  But the link they reference doesn’t mention it as a requirement, though it is implied.

The most confusing part is that original iPhones will get Exchange server support with the 2.0 software update, and AT&T hasn’t said that these original iPhone users will need to change their data plan to use the Exchange feature.

I’m betting that my personal data plan will allow me to access my Exchange Server at work without a problem.  We’ll see about that tomorrow!

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