Friday, July 25, 2008

iPhone Atlas

This is what I need for my runs! I really need to get the 3G iPhone
now. If I only had some money...

Sent from my iPhone

Geomapping for iPhone

This is what the iPhone really needs: A way of inputting a list of addresses and then displaying them in Google Maps. This would be invaluable for salesman making their rounds on a given day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Where is iPhone Blogger app?

I have to say, I am seriously underwhelmed by the iPhone Google App. I was expecting much, much more, like a whole suite of Google applications that would work seamlessly together: gmail, Blogger, Picassa, etc. Come on Google, you don't want TypePad showing you up now, do you? I thought Apple and Google were tight, so a comprehensive Google App would have been a no-brainer. I guess Google Maps for the iPhone took up all their effort. I'll settle for a stand alone Blogger App, but please Google, throw me a frickin' bone here!

iPhone Super Monkey Ball crashing

Anyone out there having this problem: You go to launch Super Monkey Ball, the title screen comes up, and then poof, you're right back at the iPhone home screen. The only way to fix is to reset the iPhone by holding both the home and off buttons. Really annoying, I don't know who to blame Apple or Sega on this one.

iPhone My Lists review

One of the great oversights of the iPhone 1.x software was the lack of a "To Do" program, something that was standard on the Palm OS. I never realized how useful this kind of tool is because, frankly, "To Do" on the Treo sucked. For a mere 1.99 you can have a very decent list tool for all the things you need to get done. It's call My Lists.

I have tons of things to do in my life (don't we all), but getting a handle on it was more then the craptacular "Notes" program was capable. I just went on having an extremely disorganized life, using iPhone's calendar for important things, but my little projects went neglected because the calendar program demands you put in a set time. That's why I like My Lists. You make up list categories like "Everyday", "Work", "Groceries", and then add items accordingly. Once they are done, simply tap the item and a satisfying check mark appears. You can delete the item if it's a one time thing, or just uncheck it is a recurring list, like "Everyday". I used it for the first time today and I was much more productive. The only complaint I have is that it would be nice if there was a master "uncheck" option for the recurring lists. As it is, at the end of every day I have to uncheck each of my "Everyday" items. All in all, not that bad. I highly recommend this program due to it's versatility and ease of use.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

iPhone eReader review, continued

Yesterday, I installed the eReader on the iPhone and began plowing through "The Last of the Mohicans", which came with the program. I was about to try downloading some books when the iPhone decided to go haywire. Three hours later everything was fixed, but I was too tired to mess with eReader's website. However, today is a new day, and I'm pleased to report that I have had great success so far in putting two new books on the iPhone: Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick", a free book, and a book I had previously purchased: Getting Things Done.

While eReader's website seemed extremely slow to me, I finally managed to log in on my existing account and saw that I already had two existing books on my "Bookshelf" from my Treo days. It turns out that you add books over wi-fi (no iTunes middle man) from this online "Bookshelf". The only bad thing is that you have to go to eReader's website and buy the book (no store from within the app), and then you can download it to the iPhone. I've gotten rather used to being able to put things directly on the iPhone from the onboard iTunes and App Store, but I can't complain too much. Once you've logged into eReader's website from the iPhone eReader app, you log in with your eReader account and can begin downloading books from your online "Bookshelf". I started with "Moby Dick", and some three minutes later (I guess the book is pretty big), I was able to begin reading. After stumbling through a couple of pages (you really need a dictionary handy when reading "Moby Dick"), I tried to download "Getting Things Done". Opening paid for content is a little tricky since you have to enter your name and credit card number, but I punched it in and the book opened up. It's still easier then the Treo method which required downloading a zip file, opening it up, and then transfering it over. Theoretically, I suppose you can buy all the books on the eReader site from Safari on the iPhone, thus bypassing your local computer entirely, however, I think a wi-fi connection is still required. I'll try that later and see how it turns out.

I noticed that that there were some useful tools on eReader like Search, Chapters, and Font by tapping once on the screen. I hadn't seen them yesterday and thought that eReader had forgot them in the rush to get the program in the App Store. There are a lot of half-cooked apps out there, and I'm glad to report the eReader is not one of them. I still have a few gripes about landscape mode as the menus don't switch orientation, but other then that the app is solid. Having the ability to read books in Airplane mode is vital, and Lord knows this app would have made my 17 hour train ride to Washington much more bearable. I look forward to building up my library and drastically increasing the number of books I read in a year.

iPhone unbricked, again

After all the restores and syncs, Super Monkey Ball still didn't work. I nearly tossed the iPhone at this point. I then calmly deleted all of the apps of the iPhone. I just synced Super Monkey Ball and eReader, and then I got a message saying the computer wasn't authorized for those apps. Completely flummoxed I went back to the iPhone App Store and downloaded the first free app I could find, some arcade program, and mercifully it worked.

Long story short I had to go into the iTunes library and double click on Super Monkey Ball, authorize it, and then resync it back to the iPhone. It finally worked, but I had to start from scratch in the game (I had unlocked a couple things). Small price to pay considering it's now 2:20 in the morning. I wasn't going to sleep without this being resolved. As a final test I went from Super Monkey ball to play tunes on Shuffle to watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force to checking my e-mail, weather and stocks, and to cap it off I checked my photos and took a picture. Everything seems to be in order, but I've been fooled before. Tomorrow I'm going to get some new books from the eReader and see how that goes.

Accessing iTunes Store...

This has been on for the last two hours. I'm going to assume that all of the iTunes servers are indeed offline and will be for the near future. I think DRM has a little bit to do with this. The Treo, bad as it was, never had issues like this after resets. While upgrading the firmware was more involved, there was no iTunes verification stage to be completed.

I'm just feeling really dejected right now. It just seems that the perfect convergence device is something beyond our capability. A portable medida player, phone, web browser, e-book reader, and gaming system is just too much to ask from one device. The Treo came up short, and now Apple has as well. I hope I'm wrong, but this is really frustrating.

Still an iBrick

Well, if you have to completely reset your phone, better give yourself a good hour. Apple is taking this data wiping crap seriously. My phone is back to being a paperweight after getting the music and movies to work, but all the apps would crash. I figured wiping everything out might work but who knows....

Friday, July 11, 2008

iPhone Music and Movies now have issues after upgrade to 2.0 firmware

I can't believe this. Just when I thought everything was fine, I went to go play some tunes only to find all of my songs and movies were gone! What the ****? I've seen this before, so I synced up again. It went kind of fast, too fast. Sure enough, while the songs looked like they were all there, some played and some didn't. I got a message saying that the iPhone couldn't play the movie. So I synced again, and now all the movies and music are playing fine, but... Now Super Monkey Ball doesn't work! WTF! I'm going to try resetting the whole thing and see what happens. This is such BS the iPhone is starting to act like the Treo.....

iPhone eReader review

OK. The big thing for me today besides Super Monkey Ball was eReader. Anyone who knows me has heard me say "I like reading, but I don't like books." And why? Books take up tons of space (half of our room is taken up my wife's trashy novels), are heavy (which really sucks considering how much I moved over the last half decade), they don't keep your place, and it's hard to read them without proper light. Throw in the fact Tinley Park doesn't have any decent bookstores and they moved the library to the other side of town, and you know why I haven't tackled anything more then the Harry Potter novels recently.

When I had the Treo I loved using eReader to read books, many of them classics that were available for free, but also some new stuff like "Freakonomics" and "Getting Things Done". Indeed, the hardest thing about trading up to the iPhone was losing the wonderful eReader program.

Today, with the advent of the App Store and the iPhone 2.0 software, the eReader is now back in my possession. I eagerly downloaded it once I got my fill of Super Monkey Ball, and started sifting through "The Last of the Mohicans". A small swipe from the right to left turned the page, almost like reading a real book. A flip to landscape and the screen became wider, but unfortunately the menu still stayed in portrait mode. So far that's my only gripe. The text was easily readable on the iPhone's glorious screen, indeed one has to wonder why Apple didn't include this functionality themselves and sell their own iBooks on iTunes. Whatever, I guess Steve Jobs doesn't like reading.

You have to go to your eReader or Fictionwise account to get more books. I haven't actually tried that yet since I got pretty far along in "Last of the Mohicans". For now, I am content in the fact that my iPhone now truly exceeds my old Treo in every respect (except cut and paste, but that's a battle for another day).

Apple servers still down?

According to Engadget, iTunes is still having issues and people are being sent home without working iPhones. Ouch. I feel doubly blessed for having been able to get back on, because there are a lot of pissed off people out there. I've gotten more comments today on my blog then I've got all year. If Apple doesn't get it's act together soon they are going to have a public relations disaster worse then the 200 dollar price cut last year.

Super Monkey Ball reviewed

Well now that the iPhone has been restored to normal, it's time to check out the new stuff, which means strolling through the iPhone store. I visited on the phone because it seems stupid to download to the Mac and then sync. Cutting out the middle man is great.

The store is pretty well organized with the top 25 paid and unpaid apps shown first. You can also look by category, or if you really know what you want, you can search for it by name. To no one's surprise, Super Monkey Ball was the top paid app, and I immediately downloaded it. About three minutes later it was fully installed and off I went. The graphics are pretty nice, with the beginning of each stage going through a 360 degree preview. The play control, however, takes a while to get used to. You almost have to have the iPhone horizontal to the ground, because if it's perpendicular (like I normally hold it) the monkey flies straight off towards you. The movements required are very, very subtle, indeed people in cars will probably have a very difficult time if the road is bumpy in the slightest. Although I never played the original, the game seems to me to be a console level game. It is easily the best game I have ever played on a phone. There's no doubt that the game is challenging and fun, and after playing it for a half hour I definitely feel I got my money's worth. I highly recommend downloading it, at the very least it is a time killer of the first order.

iPhone unbricked!

So far so good. I just called my wife to make sure I can still make calls. I checked mail and that was OK. On to the App Store and Super Monkey Ball!

We could not complete your iTunes Store request

I imagine this is going up on screens all over the planet and I know just one thing: I'm glad I'm not within 1000 miles of Steve Jobs at the moment....

iTunes is dead. iPhone still bricked.

Well, according to TUAW, iTunes has gone offline. This would be merely annoying if you're just trying to buy the latest Coldplay album, but it is fatal to all of us trying to upgrade to the 2.0 software or those poor souls lined up to buy the new 3G version. Clearly, the iTunes servers weren't beefed up enough ahead of time and now we're all paying the price. Will we ever get to play Super Monkey Ball? Only time will tell

iPhone 2.0 has bricked my iPhone

This post from Engadget says it all:

Update 5: Looks like the activation servers are on the fritz, so if you updated your iPhone you can't activate it with 2.0 just yet, leaving you with a locked iPhone. Even more fun!

Yeah fun isn't exactly the operative word I'd be using at the moment. I started this process at 8:07 and it's now 8:57 with no end in sight....

I'm assuming all 6 million of the old iPhone users are going through this at the same time, so this may turn out to be an all day affair. I'm going to go out and pound the pavement, and check back around lunch time. Hopefully I'm not missing a zillion calls...

New iPhone 2.0 software downloaded!

The new iPhone 2.0 firmware finally came online at 8:00 today and I have already downloaded it. It is verifying the backup as we speak... I'll have screencaps and picutres in a minute...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Posts tagged App store at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

Above is the app store blog run by The Unofficial Apple Weblog. I'm
glad there are sites like these to keep track of the upcoming goodies.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, July 03, 2008