Category Archives: iPhone

iPhone 2.0 – Few Quick Notes

So I managed to download the 2.0 update sometime before coming available on as an official update (as of writing this, it’s still not available)

Here’s few initial thoughts, for your pleasure:

  • App Store is very nice to use, as easy as it was to use the Wi-Fi iTMS, it’s soo-u easy to download apps. Almost too easy, you can quite quickly end up downloading all sorts of little apps. I haven’t tried un-installing any yet, but I’m sure I’ll get to do that very soon.

Few Apps I downloaded

  • Remote. iTunes library remote control. Uses Wi-Fi to connect and surprisingly works on my PowerMac G4 which doesn’t have an Airport card itself but is connected to the Time Capsule. One less reason to get off the sofa. I hope Eye TV will develop something similar.
  • Super Monkey Ball. It’s harder than it looks in the SDK demos. And I can’t seem to be able to continue from same level after leaving the game. This might not be true, I haven’t played it that much yet.
  • NetNewsWire. Fantastic. Reason why I won’t even look at any other aggregator is that this syncs with the desktop and web interface of NetNewsWire. This is probably what I’ve been mostly missing with the iPhone. I get most of my news and blogs through RSS (I can’t understand why so many people still don’t use it) and have become quite reliant on it. It’s a simple, free and a must have app.

Other notes:

  • You can now search for contacts. I’m not sure if I like the way this is implemented- you have to scroll to top of contact list to search, rather than there being a dedicated button.
  • International keyboards! My favorite new feature after Apps. Maybe 15% of texts I send are in Finnish and this just got a lot easier. I hated the way it used to try and correct my words to English. (i.e. when spelling the word ja [Finnish for and] it would always correct it to the English word is. Super annoying but it’s fixed now, thank you.)
  • MobileMe supports contact/iCal etc. syncing. I think it’s disappointing that you need to pay £59 per year for something that should really be free. Seeing how easily the Remote app works with iTunes, the only reason Apple wants us to pay for that sync is that MobileMe still lacks useful functionality for most consumers. Which really comes down to greed. Perhaps someone else will develop a sync app, I’d be happy to pay money for it.

OK, that’s it. More to come when I have more time to spend with this. BTW, I’m not sure when I’m getting the 3G, could be bothered rushing to O2 store. They kept texting me saying how scarce they are and how if you want one this summer, you have to get it now. No thanks, I’m sure I can get one this weekend.

–kristian

iPhone Copy/Paste Is Coming

I bet the iPhone OS X 2.0 will bring the long waited, dearly missed feature of being able to Copy/Paste text and, possibly, files like photos or notes and items like contact details. I can see why they haven’t so far, it’s probably one of the hardest things to implement while keeping the UI as simple as it is. I have two reasons to believe this:

Firstly, it’s pretty obvious. It’s a feature that is missed by more people than the Exchange support is. There’s has been literally countless times when I’ve wanted to send a phone number from my contacts in an email, or SMS, or paste a piece of text from a webpage. You just can’t do it. This would also make the Notes app so much much more useful*.

Secondly and more crucially, Now that the SDK is out, third-party app developers will want to write apps where this is possible. And to keep this sort of feature consistent system wide, Apple has to device it themselves and not allow several different implementations by different developers.

Way I think it’ll be possible is through some sort of contextual menu or some thing similar as we have in the Maps app where the page curls. Copy/Paste -mode. That’s just speculation but no matter how they implement it, I’m sure we’ll have it by mid-June.

–kristian

*BTW, I think it might be pretty cool if the Notes app doubled as email drafts. This way they’d be automatically synced via IMAP and you could continue editing on you desktop.

Fake Steve on Apples Delay on Releasing the Mobile OS X SDK

Fake Steve:

Look, I’ve gotta admit, I’m pretty disappointed with the developer tools engineers. These guys have really let me down. We were supposed to have the iPhone SDK out by February and let’s be honest — it ain’t gonna happen. They’re all whining now saying that they told me from the start that February was unrealistic. Well, you know what I think is unrealistic? Not meeting deadlines and expecting to keep your jobs

–kristian

First 72 Hours With the iPhone – Grapes and Gripes

IMG_6794.jpg

Disclaimer: I’m aware that a lot of the points I’m making in the following article must have been made by various other reviewers. I wanted to start my iPhone experience from a clean plate and decided not read up on it too much lately.

Grapes.

It is the best mobile phone ever made.

It is so fantastically intuitive that you can’t believe it until you use one. Most things work just the way you might imagine them to work. As a proof, my – not really technical – girlfriend hasn’t asked me for advice once. It just works.

I like most of the apps but here’s few that surprised me positively:

– Safari is the best mobile browser there is. Double period. Lock on top and lose the key. Nothing comes anywhere close.
– Google Maps, works fast enough even under EDGE.
– Mail, no setup needed, just syncs your account detail from your Mac and starts ticking away. Also, with Gmail’s IMAP support (which, to me, remains a little buggy) if I read some of the mail on my iPhone, it gets tagged as read on my Mac. Good good.
– I didn’t realise the Notes.app had been included, I don’t think it was there when it first came out in the States. Anyhow, I’m using it all the time.

Gripes.

I think the biggest gripe I’ve revolves some what around that there’s no copy and paste. Now some of you might be thinking either:

1. There’s no copy and paste as Apple has designed the system so that copy and paste becomes irrelevant.

2. It would be hard to design the interface to be as intuitive as it is if you had to be able to select i.e. passages of text and then have interface for either copying it or replacing it.

or

3. Many other smart phones don’t have copy and paste.

Quick answers to these:
1. But I’m still limited.
2. Work a bit harder.
3. Poor excuse.

Longer answer:

Having copy and paste (C/P) would fix some of the limitations I’ve faced so far. For example, you can’t forward an SMS or add many recipients. C/P would help by allowing me to type a note, then C/P the text in to a new SMS and send it of. Or select text from an existing SMS and paste it into a new one. With C/P I could take images from emails and copy them to my image gallery. You see what I’m going for here? These are all features that are, for reason or another, missing.

Apple’s idea behind not including copy and paste was that what ever you might want to do with information on screen, the options you most want, are made available for you. I.e. On a website, if you click on a phone number, the phone will ask you if you want to call that number. Same with texts and emails. Images in the gallery can be emailed or attached to contact. It’s a very interesting concept and I’d be all for it if it worked with everything. At the moment, you can’t save images from, as I said before, email or from the web. I find this limiting.

What I’d like to see Apple do to fix this in a point release:

Tap and hold on top of text, you enter text selection mode. Tap once on the first and last words of your selection and a contextual menu appears. There you could have options like: copy, paste (but only if possible, you can’t paste in to website, obviously), create new contact, attach to contact (if it’s a phone number or email address) etc. Same could work with images, tap and hold to save it in Photos.app or email it or what ever. I don’t think this kind of extra functionality would cripple the intuitiveness of the interface.

Conclusion.

I know the Gripes sub-heading in this article is a lot longer than the Grapes one. This, I guess, is because it’s easier and more fruitful to discuss about problems and improvements that I feel that would help development of this already fabulous platform.

All in all, it’s a fantastic web browser, email client, iPod and a great phone. If this blog gave star ratings consumer products, it would get five out of five.

–kristian

PS. I was going to include a paragraph on which 3rd party apps I’d like to see. I didn’t. It’s a whole other story. Stay tuned, I’ll put it out in few days time.

[update 1] I’ve just noticed that on a photo of an iPhone from early July, there indeed is an icon for Notes.app which means it must have been there from the beginning.

iPhone the End of Geekyness?

Let’s start with few quotes:

…last week’s iPhone firmware update. This not only plugged a bunch of security holes, it wiped out users’ unapproved applications, and “bricked” some phones hacked to unlock them from AT&T.

Nokia has even stopped calling them phones. In its press releases, it says things like “the Nokia N95 is an all-in-one multimedia computer”. Nokia also makes clear that: “Because multimedia computers have a programmable operating system, people can download and install software applications.”

Yes, it still sells Mac Pro tower systems that can be expanded at will, but the bulk of Apple’s computer sales are of relatively closed portables and the iMac, which is basically a large portable with the keyboard detached. The Mac mini and Apple TV designs, all the iPods and the iPhone show a company increasingly in love with sealed boxes designed for consumers, not for geeks.

-quotes from this article by Jack Schofield on The Guardian

I don’t think Apple was aiming to ‘brick’ their customers iPhones. It was just something that happened to happen with the changes they had to make. It would be too big of an support issue if tried to screw with the phone. Of course AT&T would like them to do it, as they don’t get any money from customers who moved to another carrier (and I’m quite surprised how many actually did this, what if you had had your contract for more than two weeks? Could you still cancel it or keep paying AT&T).

Also I’m absolutely certain that at WWDC 08 will see an SDK for the iPhone. It need to happen. We’ve already seen many applications made for the phone that shows that there is a real need for it (and even if it already had every conceivable app on it, we’d still see proof of concept apps). There’s, I think, two reasons for that we haven’t seen the SDK yet:

1: iPhone’s OS; even as it’s running OS X it’s still really young of an OS. They want to keep tweeking a bit longer to make sure they’ve build it as solid as they can without worrying about breaking hooks for the apps.

2: They want to see what type of apps people are ready to install even if it means they might break their phone. This will then show direction on what might worth adding to the iPhone 2. You could say: ‘just look at computers and see what apps people use on those’. But must remember that it is a very different platform, a mobile phone.

It’s easy for Nokia to allow third party apps on their Symbian based phones as they’ve been running and developing Symbian for a decade.

As for the last quote. Has anyone ever changed the hard drive on an iBook? That is frigging geeky.

–kristian

iPhone UK – Liveish Coverage

Launch on 9th Nov

Price: £269 (seems like I was a bit off last week..)

Carrier: O₂

Deal with 7500 wi-fi spots

No 3G because it’s power hungry, plaa plaa plaa.

wi-fi spots provided by Cloud

Unlimited price plan is almost unlimited: 1400 webpages brakes the fair use contract. (that’s about a page per minute a day)

18 month contract.. at least it’s better than 24 months in the US…

O₂ is having to invest in EDGE?!? That sounds as backwards as investing in PowerBooks, or steam train engines… wtf.

As to the carriers, we took the approach to see who would be the best fit — it’s like going out on a few dates before getting married. So yeah, we have a few upset girlfriends out there.

-Steve Jobs
(This is of course a reference to Steve Jobs having a kid before getting married to someone else. Nothing wrong with that, just thought it was a funny detail…)

Event pretty much over. Thanks to Engadget, where this was extracted from.

–kristian

On David Pogue's iPhone

Along with David Pogues NY Times review of the forthcoming iPhone there’s a short video showing his experiences with the phone. You should watch the video, it’s funny. Little detail I noticed on the video: he’s got an album by a finnish ‘rock’ band, The Rasmus, and he shows a video clip featuring The Arctic Circle in Finland. This must be the next greatest infiltration of Finland to the global consciousness after Conan O’Brien realized that he looks like Tarja Halonen.

On David Pogue's iPhone; video from The Arctic Circle

–kristian

Well done Apple, inc.!

Yes, well done. And also:

WTF!?!

This must have been one of the most suprising keynotes ever! For two reasons.

1.
iPhone must have been the most expected product to be announced that no-one expected to be announced. I mean, everyone wants one, everyone thought they’re making one, but was it really gonna come now? And actually it’s not, but I’ll come back to that. It is all that you can hope from a mobile (except GPS but I think that’s gonna be added before it’s in stores).

Little background:
I’m with Vodafone at the moment, and my contract has expired again which means I can upgrade to new phone. Problem is that at the moment they don’t really offer anything I’d like to upgrade to. My phone is N70 and it’s a pretty decent phone even though it’s over a year old, it does what I want from a phone. I mostly use it for calls, to receive SMS’s, take some pictures, check email if I’m not by a computer and play Snakes. Things that i’d like my next phone to have are Wi-Fi and a proper web browser (which really needs a bigger screen, too). And to be able to play music as easily as with an iPod (this hasn’t really bothered me ‘cos my nano is really small).

Back to main story:
And yes, iPhone is all that I would expect from a phone. And just two days ago I said N95 is the pinnacle of mobile phones (what it still is). Problem with iPhone is that it doesn’t exist. Not until in June in the US and Q4 in Europe. This is the furthest-away pre-announcement that Apple has ever had and right up there with PS3. Q4. Europe. 2008. Asia. Another Problem with it is that you won’t be able to play Snakes on it. Those who know me also know how big part of my life that game is.

OK, so, iPhone. Great. Really can’t wait for it. And year from now, I’ll have one. Promise.

1.5
The official name for iTV was announced. It’s now called Apple TV or TV, as they spell it. Yippee. Nothing really surprising here. You should get one if, 1. You have a HDTV and a Mac in different rooms 2. you want to buy stuff from iTunes Movie/TV show Store (This obviously excludes everybody but Americans) 3. [make up your own reason here].

2.
I think what makes this keynote most surprising is what wasn’t announced, and wan’t in the updated Store after the show.

Here’s what wasn’t there that REALLY should have been there:

– iLife ’07, no one in their right mind can say they were expecting this not to come.
– iWork ’07 with Spread(whatever)sheets.
– Octa Pro’s
– Preview of Leopard. I mean, why not? Vista’s been sealed and boxed for about 2 months now, it’s gonna take Microsoft about 5 year to copy those new features, sorry, new ways to make life better and the world a nicer place to live in
– Screen refresh, this is really long over due as well.

Out of these, lack of new iLife is the most surprising one. iLife ‘0n = Macworld 0n.

All in all, both things announced are gonna be really great. And that’s just the problem, ‘are gonna be’. I’d really like to go to Apple Store UK and fill my shopping cart with an iPhone and a new screen and maybe an TV. I guess we’ll just have to wait. Been there done that, until it ships.

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