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All posts tagged "iphone"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gizmodo Rounds Up Mobile Browsers

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

"Before 2007, using the internet on your phone would make you want to kill yourself, if you were dumb enough to believe the crap splattered across that tiny screen even was the "internet." But the combination of increased bandwidth and better mobile software means that more phones really are promising to deliver the real internet, in living color. We tested eight different browsers, and while some put smiles on our faces, others proved that rendering HTML correctly is a far cry from actually giving you an awesome web experience. And what about 3G vs. Wi-Fi? Everything the carriers have told you is a lie. This is the true state of mobile web."

The two winners, and it's absolutely no surprise, are the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1. Both run variants of WebKit. Both have excellent speed, great usability, and a rendering engine that gets pages right consistently, and that's why they won. Having used a lot of the browsers listed in the test, I can say that Gizmodo nailed this one. In many ways, the mobile web has a long way to go, but it's getting way better. Honestly, the only part that surprised me was that the BlackBerry browser, as awful and horrible as it is, did as well as it did.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

iPhone to Get MMS... In Sweden... Maybe...

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

"The oft-bemoaned lack of certain, um... capabilities of the the iPhone is forcing individual companies to take desperate measures, it seems. It's not entirely clear, but MacWorld says it's confirmed with Telia that the Swedish-Finnish carrier's developing an MMS-enabling app for the iPhone. MacWorld says the app will hit the market in the next two months, which is great news for everyone in Sweden."

Honestly, I'm not terribly worried about if the iPhone will ever get MMS capabilities. I've had my fair share of phones that had the feature over the years and I don't think I've ever actually used it. It's just not that important to me, but nonetheless there are a vocal group of folks who think the inability to not send a picture of yourself to some girl your flirting with is utterly a dealbreaker so for them this may be the final push they need to buy the iPhone. Your mileage may vary. If you live in Sweden. Maybe.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

iPhone 3G External Battery Deathmatch

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

"You got one of those fancy new iPhone 3Gs and find you keep running out of juice? Apple's decision to keep the iPhone battery safely tucked away in the inaccessible innards of the phone keeps you looking for a power outlet toward the end of the day? This decision may not be popular but it's opened up the external battery market to those enterprising companies looking to make a buck to keep you all juiced up and we bring you a deathmatch between two of the popular solutions available."

Our good friend James at JK On The Run put two external iPhone batteries through their paces in a deathmatch sure to make even the strongest stomached gadget lovers freak. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but he does compare the two side by side with a few good pictures to compare them and even comes out with a well-reasoned winner. Head over now and check it out. I've been pondering one of these for awhile and I'm starting to wonder if I should just bite on it already and stop thinking about it. Anyone out there using one and want to impart some wisdom upon the rest of us?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Google's New App Neat and Terrifying

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 07:26 PM

"Have you ever been in a hurry and really needed to find an answer to something, but there was no one to ask? Like when you're grocery shopping and looking for the last item on your list, the kids are running around you in circles, you're holding a basket in one hand, and you have no idea what "fennel bulbs" look like. That's why we've added voice search to Google Mobile App for the iPhone - and made it super easy to use. Once the app is running, you don't have to tap any buttons. Just hold the iPhone to your ear, wait for the beep, and say what you're looking for."

Ever heard a claim and just went "Nope, there's no way that works." I felt the same way with this app until I tried it. It's actually pretty good, and considering you don't ever have to train it, it's that much more impressive. To search with your voice, simply hold the phone to your head. When the proximity detector shuts the screen off, the iPhone chirps and after the chirp you just say what you're looking for and voila. For the most part it's pretty accurate, too. I never would've expected to be wowed by an app like this, but I think I've been converted to a believer. Try it and report your findings. You'll probably be as surprised as I was!

App Find of the Weekend: Jelly Car

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 02:00 PM

"This is a new version of JellyCar, redesigned and ported over to the iPhone / iPod touch. The game features all of the same physics as the original Xbox 360 / PC version. The game is now available for FREE from the App Store!"

This game is a lot of fun, very simple, and totally addictive. The graphics are also brilliant (what can I say? I'm a sucker for the hand-drawn look!) and the music is fun and sticks in your head. Overall this was a great find that I can't take credit for. My wife, who is the master of finding free games, is to thank for this one. You can download it directly from the App Store here.

The Price is Right Released for the iPhone and iPod Touch

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 08:00 AM

"The Price is Right game brings all the excitement of the show to your iPhone and iPod touch! Feel the thrill of being called to "COME ON DOWN!" to participate in Contestant's Row. Play 16 different pricing games including Plinko, Cliff Hangers, Punch-a-Bunch and more. Spin the Big Wheel for the chance at fabulous prizes and a huge pay-off at the Showcase Showdown!"

I've always said that the person who translated The Price is Right into a game would be an instant millionaire and I have no reason to think Fremantle and Ludia won't make a ton of money on this game. I played with it a bunch this morning and it's just like being on the show and that's a good thing because TPIR is one of my favorite gameshows ever (I imagine that's true for a lot of people). I did have some random lockups with it, but powering off my iPhone then powering it back on and playing the game solved it; apparently something else I was running was hanging in the background. Overall, it's a heck of a lot of fun and hopefully their upcoming translation of the cult favorite Press Your Luck will be equally good. You can download The Price is Right from the App Store now for $4.99 (a bargain, without a doubt).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SpaceTime 3.0 Available for the iPhone and iPod Touch

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

"SpaceTime 3.0 by SpaceTime Mathematics introduces the most powerful mathematics program for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Move, pinch and rotate 2D, 3D and 4D graphs in real-time. Explore mathematical concepts in an innovative interface and write your own scripts in our new programming language. Solve limits, derivates and integrals with MobileCAS®, the first computer algebra system ever developed for iPhone. With features only available in Mathematica and MATLAB, SpaceTime is the only cross-platform mathematics software available for computers and mobile devices."

Okay, I'm not going to lie. This application looks cool in the same way a genetic map or anatomy chart looks cool to me. I can appreciate its complexity and its beauty, but I don't understand a single bit of it. Honestly, I still have trouble with long division (thank God for calculators... Am I right or what?) I was told, however, by one of the intrepid souls who helped make this site what it is today that it's a very popular app for Palm and Windows Mobile devices, so that's all I need to know to let you all know about it. SpaceTime is available now for $19.99 from the App Store.

HanDBase Available For the iPhone and iPod Touch

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 10:00 AM

"HanDBase, a longtime favorite on all other major smartphone platforms, has been modified to fit the unique characteristics of the iPhone platform. Finger-friendly navigation enables users to easily move between fields and records by swiping left or right on the screen. Also unique to this version is the ability to email records and integration of the popular HanDBase Gallery, an online repository of over 2000 database designs that can be installed right from the device."

Let's be honest. If you've used a Palm or Windows Mobile device for business purposes, you've probably used HanDBase at some point. I've used it on countless Palm and Windows Mobile (before they were even called Windows Mobile, mind you) devices. It's quick, easy to learn, and powerful. Over the years, they've added all kinds of functionality including synchronization with ODBC databases, something that makes me instantly interested in getting my hands on this one. HanDBase is available now from the App Store and is $9.99.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Touch Physics Released

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

"Can you take on the laws of physics to complete all 30 levels of Touch Physics? Draw shapes with crayons that come to life on your screen. When the wheel reaches the target you proceed to the next level. You move the wheel by creating shapes that interact with the wheel. Touch physics models real physics. Play your own music, change the laws of physics, resume where you last left off and shake to reset. Addictive, fun and fury all in one package."

A while back, there was a game called Crayon Physics that hit big with the geek set. Someone hacked up a version for the iPhone back when there were no official Applications or an App Store. Now we finally have a legit version of a Crayon Physics-like game that's a heck of a lot of fun to play. The idea is simple: coax the wheel onto the star. In the above example, you could do that by drawing a circle that would fall on the wheel and launch it down the ramp into the star. Everything observes the rules of physics, making the game much more of a puzzler than it appears. If you haven't tried this one yet, you're seriously missing out. Touch Physics is available today from the App Store for the special introductory price of $0.99 USD.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NPD: iPhone Has Surpassed the RAZR

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

"NPD reports that the 3G version of the iPhone surpassed Motorola's RAZR as the leading handset purchased by adult consumers during the third quarter in the United States. That'd be a big deal no matter when it happened, but it ends RAZR's 12-quarter winning streak as the nation's top handset. Not surpassed by BlackBerry (#3), or some offering from LG (#4 and #5), but iPhone. "The displacement of the RAZR by the iPhone 3G represents a watershed shift in handset design from fashion to fashionable functionality," says NPD's director of industry analysis Ross Rubin in a release this morning."

Let's be honest about something. We all knew that some phone at some point would replace the RAZR. It's been the number one phone on the market for so long it's hard to remember what the number one phone was before it (although I'd hazard a guess that it was some model of the StarTac, another Motorola property). The fact that the iPhone 3G is the phone to unseat the RAZR says two things to me.

Firstly, people aren't buying solely on price anymore, or the RAZR would be whipping the iPhone all the way around the block.

Secondly, people aren't interested in limited feature set phones to the degree they were a few years ago.

When you combine these two things, plus a great overall device that has a positive aura around it, it's hard to make the case that this isn't exactly what was "supposed" to happen; the only surprise being it happened this quick.

Anyone else as surprised and not surprised about this as I was?

Tags: sales, iphone, npd, , motorola, razr

Monday, November 10, 2008

App Find of the Weekend: Radarscope

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 02:00 PM

"RadarScope is a specialized display utility for weather enthusiasts that allows you to browse NOAA's public NEXRAD Level 3 data feed. It can display the latest reflectivity and velocity data from any NEXRAD radar site in the lower 48 United States. These aren't smoothed PNG or GIF images, this is real Level III radar data rendered in its original radial format for a high level of detail. Whether you are scanning reflectivity for a mesocyclone's tell-tale hook echo, trying to pinpoint the landfall of a hurricane's eye wall, or looking for small features like velocity couplets in the radial velocity product, only RadarScope gives you the power to view radial NEXRAD weather radar on your iPhone or iPod."

Above: The left image shows Base Velocity (windspeed) and the right shows Base Reflectivity (precipitation).

I have to admit that Stormchasers has turned me into a bit of a wannabe meteorologist, so when I found this app over the weekend I grabbed it immediately. If you're into radar reading and detailed info, this is your app. It'll find you based on your GPS position and will let you choose the radar whose data you'd like to view. It's $9.99 in the App Store, and despite the few negative reviews from people who don't understand what the app actually does, it's quite cool and is one of those great little apps you can use to impress your friends when you demo your iPhone.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Curious Case of the iPhone

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 11:30 AM

When the iPhone launched on June 29, 2007, the lines to get one were tremendous. I waited on line for about 8-10 hours to get mine. A lot of people waited a lot longer, and in New York City if you didn't get yours before the weekend was over, you had at least a one-week wait to get your hands on your own. No sooner did people get them in their hands than a disgruntled group of non-buyers began explaining to anyone who would listen that the only thing selling the iPhone was hype. Accompanying that argument was the repetitive pointing out that there was "nothing new" about the iPhone and that everything we were seeing in it had been done before. Read more...

Tags: apple, iphone, history

Friday, November 7, 2008

Remember the Milk For the iPhone Now Available

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:00 AM

"We set about re-creating pretty much all of RTM on the iPhone, but that was a big (ahem) task! We recruited a new team member to help us (we didn't mention it at the time, but Ab's a Mac developer... we're sneaky like that). You know you've been staring at your iPhone just a tad too long when you reach out to tap an icon on your iMac screen, so we're happy to announce that we're finally done! The app is now available as a free download on the App Store for RTM Pro users."

Last year, Remember the Milk released one heck of a web-app version of their service for iPhone users. I was very excited, signed up, and enjoyed it greatly. Of course, that ended immediately upon entering the subway and realizing that there was no offline access. On Wednesday, all that came to an end as RTM released the single most polished To-Do app thus far for the iPhone. Gone is the need to be online with it, and the amount of features they've ported over from the service itself is awesome. And it's free! The catch, of course, is that you have to be a Pro account holder with Remember the Milk, but at $25 even that isn't such a bad deal, and considering Apple hasn't gotten off their collective bottoms and created an alternative, I'll be sticking with this one permanently.

Your Scores Everywhere: Sportacular for iPhone Reviewed

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Sports Scores Application
Where to Buy: iTunes App Store
Price: Free
System Requirements: iPhone or iPhone 3G with Firmware 2.0 or later
Version Reviewed: 1.2


  • Free;
  • Wide variety of sports to choose from;
  • Very detailed information.


  • Interface can feel sluggish at times;
  • No play-by-play function;
  • No Canadian sports;
  • Ads pop in from time to time.

If you're the type of person who needs to keep on top of their favorite teams and sports all the time, aside from seeking counselling, you may want to grab this app. Read more...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rumor: Podcast Downloading in iPhone Firmware 2.2

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 01:00 PM

"The new iTunes Store screenshots confirm that Apple will be delivering over-the-air downloads for both video and audio podcasts. According to Schimanke, podcast downloads will be limited to episodes less than 10MB in size when using the cellular network. The screenshots also show off the new App Store category view with icons embedded. Additional 2.2 features previously revealed include the addition of Google Street View and Japanese Emoji icons."

Welcome news? Most definitely. If this rumor turns out to be true, one of the biggest knocks against the iPhone will have been remedied internally and officially. It's also nice, if this screenshot is true, that you don't have to be hooked up via WiFi to use the feature. Me? I don't really care one way or the other. Honestly, I've long since become disenchanted with a lot of podcasts I used to love and only listen to / watch a few of them, but it would be nice to not have to hook up my iPhone to grab the latest episodes. Any of you out there excited about this? Have you been holding out on the iPhone because it didn't do podcast downloading natively?

Apple to Be a Mobile Gaming Powerhouse

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 10:12 AM

"For the last few days I've been sampling some of the games available from the iTunes Store on the iPod Touch, and I've been stunned at how elaborate and involved they are. On the iPod Touch I've played a version of Gameloft's Real Soccer 2009 that rivals the version of the game on the Nintendo DS, and I didn't even miss the buttons. I've seen demonstrations of Sim City, forthcoming for the iPhone and the Touch from Electronic Arts, that look more elaborate and sophisticated than any versions I've played before on a desktop PC or console. They're immersive, addictive fun. And it's now readily apparent to me that the iPhone and iPod Touch are well on their way to becoming an important force in handheld gaming. When you consider the ease and reach of Apple's online method for distributing games, Apple could do in this category what it did in online music, causing big headaches for the genre's established players, Sony and Nintendo."

I can't count how many times I've heard this sentiment, and I can't how many times I've laughed at it. Honestly, as much as I love Apple and most of what they kick out, the idea that they're going to suddenly start dominating the gaming market is ludicrous to me. While the author does have a point in how good some of the games are, he gets off track by talking about how many of them there are. Yes there are way more games, but there's also way more kruft to get through to find the good ones. The other problem is that contrary to what Steve Jobs and his staff are selling, the touch screen and accelerometer are just crappy ways to control a game. Super Monkeyball and Cro-Mag Rally are two good games that are seriously hampered by the accelerometer control scheme. I don't mind the iPhone / Touch for casual games and puzzle games, but give me my DS for more advanced games and action games any time. Of course, this isn't the "Vincent Rants" show, so now it's your turn. What do you think of the overall quality of Apple's gaming offerings for the Touch / iPhone, and do you think that Apple is in any danger of becoming the handheld gaming platform of choice for most people?

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