Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category:

Mobile: Native or Web App?

Before trying to build a mobile app, this should be the first question you should ask yourself.  And by native, I mean an app that runs on Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Mobile, or Blackberry. And by web app, i mean something that runs in a mobile browser.

Short answer:  If you got deep pockets and lots of developers (like Facebook), and you want features HTML5 can not provide, go native.  But really it depends on what you’re trying to do and what resources you have.

The right answer only happens after goals have been identified, both short term and long term. This blog post will not cover all the details needed to answer the question, instead it will provide a few links that cover the details.  Note there is also a third option of building a hybrid apps (native apps that get the latest content from the web).

Overview:

Trend towards HTML5 (aka web apps)

Still want native

Option 3: Hybrid

HTML5 Facebook Announcement, Sept 2012

For techies: The details

I hope the links above helped. Remember not to confuse whats best for your app with what other apps do or how they do it.  If you’re still not sure, one approach is to design a web app first, and if it doesn’t meet your needs (which should be fleshed out during the design phase), then go native.

 

Switched from iPhone to Andriod Bionic

June 4th, 2012

After 3.5 years with the iPhone, last September I decided to give the Android a go. Apple was good to me in the beginning, offering a major life improvement when i switched from a standard cell phone. I loved having maps, my personal calendar, email, and music with me all the time. Huge improvement. But ever since my wife got the HTC Incredible (an android phone) in the summer of 2010 I was jealous. Her phone was faster in most ways compared to mine, which had poor reception at home and work, where i spent most of my time. The wife would consistantly leave me in the dust on roadtrips as well.  She also had Verizon, and I had AT&T, so I was eager to switch carriers. Last fall after losing my iPhone i looked into the android options and decided it was time.

At first the main reason I wanted Android was control. I love Apple, they design better than anyone, but at the end of the day I was tired of always doing things the apple way – I wanted more control on how to manage things that are as personal as your mobile device. In other words, I don’t care how awesome your hammer is, everything is not a nail. I prefer a swiss army knife.

After about 9 months, I have mixed feelings on the switch, so I’d thought I’d list my pro’s and cons

Droid Bionic Pros:

  • Bionic
    • 4.3 inch screen is bigger than 3.5 of iPhone.  I prefer bigger screen when using the touchscreen or watching videos/pics.  It still slides easily into my pocket, too.
    • Supposedly faster with Dual Core.  Having a dual core means if some app messes up, even if its in the background, it won’t bring your phone to a grinding halt. In practice it doesn’t seem faster, and several times a week it is dramatically slower (unlocking can take several seconds, oh the horror).
  • Android Hardware
    • I love having a back button.  I hate that Apple doesn’t have that – only has the “home” button.
    • I also love the menu button.  Apps take advantage of that better providing a better and faster way to get what i need.
  • Android Software
    • Notifications bar.  New email, text, voicemail, app msg, whatever.  You’re always 2 secs away from getting what you need.
    • I have not rooted my phone yet, but plan to.  That opens up even more possibilities.  Not so much on Apple.
  • Pro – Google.
    • I am more like google than apple.  That is, I rather have more data and more features available to me then have that one button positioned just right.
    • Google Account integration.  If you’re a google user, with gmail, google docs, maps, etc, then this is for you.  Integration is so natural it blows me away.  Especially contacts – facebook and gmail merged is so sweet.
  • Syncing
    • I love that i can sync my mac with my bionic without using wires.  However, i’m still not excited about the delay it takes to go from my computer to google then to my phone.
  • Camera
    • Although both iPhone and Bionic suck when your photo needs a flash, The droid has 8 MP and a nice video camera – a step up from iPhone.
  • Storage
    • More storage. Bionic has internal card and removable SD card.

Droid Bionic Cons:

  • Bionic has Bugs
    • Sometimes I must reboot to get data connection to work over phone network (when not on wifi).  This is better than it used to be, but still buggy.
    • Google calendar interface is jumpy – When looking at agenda view, it will jump backwards a week or more.  Just annoying.
    • Freezes for a few secs sometimes, while i’m typing (which screws up your flow) or during a transition or animation (like unlocking phone).  This happened alot on iPhone, too.
  • No screen capture by default
    • On iPhone, you can take a photo of any screen by pushing power and home button.  Nothing like that for Android, making it hard to share cool stuff with friends or debug.
    • Note: The maxthon browser lets you capture the screen of a webpage with this addon.
  • Video Player not good
  • I miss Apple’s Music/iTunes sync
    • I got used to iTunes, and once i setup sync with my iPhone, I loved just plugging in my iPhone and having things just sync. I could easily organize music and podcasts (i get news and stuff daily) on my computer, then in a few mins my updated playlists are sync’d.
  • I miss Apple’s intuitive interface.
    • Basic things apple does really well, like size of buttons, how much info to display on a page,

Iphone OS 3.0 Beta

March 18th, 2009

iPhone 3G

I’m totally excited. Yesterday Apple announced the newest version of the iPhone OS, 3.0, to be available in June 2009 to both iPhones (original and 3G), and iPod Touch (1st and 2nd generation).  For those building iPhone apps, the beta version of 3.0 SDK is available now.  That means developers can actually start playing with 3.0 TODAY.

Here’s my favs from what’s new in 3.0

  • Cut, Copy, and Paste (finally)
  • Send photos, contacts, audio files, and location via MMS (iPhone 3G only)
  • Push Notification Service
  • In App Purchase Support
  • Peer to Peer Support
  • Maps API
  • Audio and Video Enhancements

I’m glad to see cut’n’paste is gonna finally work.  So many times I want to copy a URL from a text or email to Safari, or copy an address to google maps.  However, I’m really pissed that MMS (send a picture message) is only for iPhone 3G.  Back in 2005 I was using my cell phone to send pictures AND VIDEO to my friends phones.  2 years later I bought the iPhone, and now I still can’t do it.  As a phone, iPhone kinda sux.  But as the most awesome portable touchscreen internet customizable high quality audio and video playback device, iPhone rules.

I like the “Push Notification Service” because it allows custom iPhone apps to do receive messages from the internet even if they are not running.  For example, when you get a SMS Text message, an alert pops up on the iPhone with the text message, which you can close or reply, launching the Text Messaging app.  Similarly, the new push service allows an alert to pop up for a custom app.   However, if user hits close the alert goes away and the app is not run.   That means that background processing is still not allowed.  Another way to view it is:  Internet –>  iphone –> Human –> iphone app.  I much prefer this view:  Internet –>  iphone –> iphone app.  Skip that human interactive component and let the app process a notification as it sees fit.   NOTE: originally I thought 3.0 would allow background processing, but 3.0 beta SDK corrected me.

If you want to make money, the “In App Purchase Support” is huge.  You can make an app cost $0.99 in iTunes, offering some basic functionality at a low price point for mass adoption.  Then offer premium services for an additional $1.99 (or whatever) right there in the app – it does not get easier.  Perfect for games (download the next 10 levels for $1.99) or for monthly services ($5.99 for next months premium financial or sports information).

Peer to Peer Support is cool because it makes it easier for iPhones to talk to each other (or other devices that support apple’s bonjour protocol).  Examples include games (just like online multiplayer playstation games), exchanging virtual business cards, or sharing documents.

Maps API has a lot of potential, especially since its closely intergrated with Google Maps API (terms).  Combined with location aware (GPS or cell tower triangulation) phones, this makes it much easier for apps to have custom annotations displayed near the user’s location.  You can also do some of this in safari, skipping the iPhone app and just makeing a website page specific for iPhones (the new safari in 3.0 allows javascript to know users location).

Audio and Video have also been updated.  With iPod Library Access, an app can play any song on the phone. One example would be a game tied to a specific playlist, where each game event (begin, score, foul, goodbye) is mapped to a song, allowing users to customize the audio themselves.  Video Streaming is improved – now you can playback video streamed from a standard HTTP (Web) Server.  Expect more websites to have a feed made for mobile devices. Core Audio and Audio Recording got newer engines under the hood, including support for more codecs and software decoding.

iPhone as a Remote

January 28th, 2009

Yay. Today I finally got it working the way I want – use my iPhone as a remote control when watching movies. If you’re not a uber geek, you might want to stop reading now. Move along.

I use VLC on my mac as my media player. Why? Cuz it plays everything – all types of .avi, .movs. mp3s mpgs, dvds – and lets you program hotkeys to do what you want. For example, I use spacebar for play/pause, and “.” and “,” for jumping forward or backward 15 secs at a time (tivo has trained me well). What else do you need? Volume is done thru my stereo – laptop audio out goes there, and laptop DVI goes into HDMI on my 40″ Bravia. But it sux to have to get up to pause or rewind 10 seconds to see that scene again. So I had to get a remote.

I found it hard to find a good remote control app on the iPhone – Apple’s “Remote” app only controls iTunes, which is good only for playing music (I’m not gonna import GB’s worth of .avi’s into iTunes, Hello..). I really liked the Telekinesis Uniremote app, it has slick remote interface, but I could only get VLC to play/pause (no rewind/ff). XBMC and Movist options seem more complicated.

In the end, the free “mocha vnc lite” iPhone app worked adequately. First, you turn on Apple’s default VNC server – on Leopard, goto System Prefs, Sharing, check the box for “Screen Sharing”, then click on ‘Computer Settings’ button to the right, and on the popup check the box for “VNC .. password” and give it a password – you don’t want anybody in your neighborhood to start controlling your mac. (Tiger instructions). Make sure you remember your password and the IP address. Second, launch VLC on your mac and full screen that baby. Third, install and launch the “mocha vnc lite” app, enter the IP and password and it should connect just fine. Now, you only get a small section of your screen, but thats cool. Click on little keyboard icon to get keyboard, now you can spacebar pause/play your VLC player all night long.

Ending Geek transmission.

First iPhone App In One Day

January 4th, 2009

I was actually surprised by how easy it was to create my first iPhone app – From launching Xcode for the first time, building an application on the simulator, to paying $99 so i can legally put apps on my iPhone, and getting my app to run on my iPhone – all in one day.

The following is a summary of how to create your first app using iPhone OS 2.2 and the iPhone SDK available in December, 2008.  I write this blog since documentation can become out of date very fast (ahem, apple).

First, this is what you will need

  • Intel Mac with OS X 10.5.5 or later (I used 10.5.6)
  • iPhone SDK for iPhone OS 2.2 (I had build 9M2621)
  • iPhone with OS 2.2
  • $99 if you want to run your app on your iPhone – its free to develop and run on the iPhone simulator that comes with XCode

How to create a simple “Hello World” app on your iPhone

  1. Login to iPhone Dev Center
  2. Download and install iPhone SDK if you have not – its 1.56 GB (HUGE, may take more than a day to download).  It comes with XCode 3.1.2 and everything you need for iphone development.
  3. Follow this 6 minute Hello World video.  Note: after a minute he launches Interface Builder – one of the windows does not launch by default, launch it from – Tools – Identity Inspector
  4. Done with free section – Hello World on Simulator
  5. Pay $99 to join the iPhone Developer Program – lets you install apps on 100 devices (iPhone, iPod Touch)
  6. Once you’ve paid, download the “Program portal user guide” (right side, near top) from the iPhone Developer Program Portal, (links will not work unless you login and are in the program).
  7. Follow the instructions in the user guide (version 2.4 is what I had).  It is mostly accurate (getting certificates, etc) up to section called “Installing iPhone OS” (pg 18) where it says

    To run your code on an Apple device, you will need to install iPhone OS onto each development device and “restore” each device to a development state. Note: Once a pre-release version of iPhone OS is installed on the device you cannot restore the device to an earlier version of iPhone OS. The device may only be used for development and testing purposes until that version of iPhone OS is publicly released. Please DO NOT install the iPhone OS before registering device UDIDs, as installation on non-registered devices will render them inoperable. The public release version of iPhone OS should be installed using iTunes.

    ….

    1) Download the iPhone OS Disk Image (.dmg) from the iPhone Dev Center for the Apple device you are using.
    2) Connect your device to your Mac, close iTunes and launch Xcode.
    3) Once the device is detected by Xcode, select ‘Use for Development’ when prompted.

    • Ignore.  You do not need to download or install anything special for development if you have the regular retail version 2.2 on your iPhone (normally installed using iTunes).  I assume these instructions were for 2.1 or 2.0 or earlier.
    • Just backup iPhone on iTunes, close iTunes, launch XCode, go to Window – Organizer,
      click on your iPhone, click “use for development” under summary tab. That’s it.
  8. Continue with guide, create App ID (when choosing your “Bundle Identifier”, I recommend using asterisk like: com.mysite.*), install profile, etc.
  9. If you follow the guide exactly, you will see this error when you try to install app on your device (aka iPhone)

    Your mobile device has encountered an unexpected error (0xE800003A)
    ApplicationVerificationFailed

  10. Here’s how you fix the above
    • You must create entitlements.plist – On you XCode Project, goto File->New File…->iPhone OS -> Code Signing ->Entitlements.  Just name new file “entitlements.plist” (it should be created in your project directory).
    • Goto Build Info (on your main project window in XCode, right under “Groups & Files” click on project name at top, then click the big Info Icon at the top middle). Under “Build” section, look for “Code Signing Entitlements” – the Value is probably blank – double click, in the popup window type in the new file name “entitlements.plist”
    • Under Target Info (on your main project window in XCode, under “Groups & Files” Targets list click on project target name, then click the big Info Icon at the top middle). Under “Properties” section, change “Identifier:” from com.yourcompany.xxx to the “Bundle Identifier” you created  on the program portal website under App IDs – do not include the ten character “Bundle Seed ID” prefix, just the “Bundle Identifier” you picked. ex: com.chadnorwood.${PRODUCT_NAME:identifier}
  11. DONE.  You should now be able to create new projects and more apps.

Links

Free Iphone 2.1 Apps

November 12th, 2008

This summer the 2.0 version of iPhone software came out, and lots more apps with it. It had some problems, so I waited till 2.1 was released. Overall the OS doesn’t seem much different (some new features, but also new bugs and a bit slower running things, at least on my non-3G non-GPS original 16GB iphone). However, there are ton more apps in 2.x, which is why you should get it. None are as cool as the basic features of the iPhone – phone, internet, ipod, and maps – but the apps are definitely worth checking out. I tried to make my list practical and useful for today, avoiding apps that would be great if only something somewhere did something also as well.

2008/12 UPDATE:  I upgraded to 2.2 and its not much difference.  I do love the new voice search on the google app – best ever – including easter eggs. I’ve also slightly changed the list below from the original post.

So forget my old list of free iphone applications, here’s my new favorites, best ones first:

  1. Shazaam (MUSIC) – AWESOME. Ever heard music and wish you knew then name or artist? This app can listen and identify most any song in less than 20 seconds – from radio, your friend’s CD, or that one track on that hour dance mix you downloaded. Midomi is a similar app that tries to do more but needs to work on errors.
  2. Nuevasync (CALENDAR) – OK, Not an app, just awesome for those who use Google calendar. Using iPhone’s Microsoft Exchange support and the default calendar app, setup a instant 2-way auto sync with Google calendar. Changes made to Google calendar can be seen minutes or seconds later on the iPhone calendar app, no manual synchronizing required. Likewise, edits in iPhone calendar show up seconds later on your google calendar. How to setup Nuevasync.
  3. Google Mobile (SEARCH) – At first, I had mixed feelings with this one, mainly because its slow (you type 5 characters but it can take 3-10 seconds for them to appear, since the app starts to search for matches after 1 or 2 characters). However, it definitely saves time. In addition to being a shortcut to google results page on safari, its a shortcut to google maps, remembers previous searches, suggestions, and you can search iphone contacts. Google made a nice overview video. I love voice search in newer version.
  4. Movies (ENTERTAINMENT) – If you like the box office, going to theaters, or just getting info on movies, Get This. This would be my favorite app if I still went to the movies – they are just too expensive. Best feature is finding showtimes for theaters near you using iPhone’s location, as well as remembering your favorite theater.  But I also love watching the trailers, finding out the biggest box office hit, and connecting to IMDB. Showtimes is a similar app.
  5. Evernote (PRODUCTIVITY) – Ever wanted to record a voice memo? you know by talking not typing? Get this. Not only is this great for audio notes (up to 5 mins), but it also does picture (with text recognition ability) and text notes, rounding it off with a very advanced search. Picture notes are perfect for receipts, wine labels, or anything else with text that you’ll want to have later. Major problem is that it does not cache notes on the iphone – so if you are on an airplane or in a dead zone, you’re screwed. review.
  6. reQall (PRODUCTIVITY) – Similar to Evernote, it lets you write text notes and record audio notes (up to 30 secs), no pictures, but will translate audio to text (can take a few mins). ReQall focuses on organizing notes (almost to the point of confusion), but – here comes the best part – it stores notes on both iphone and the web! (it appears to have 2k limit on text note, about 30-40 lines). No more worries about dead zones, which makes this app better for me. Still, took me a few tries to figure out how to use it. Also see Zenbe below. review and quick-start guide.
  7. Facebook (SOCIAL) – Best interface to Facebook, I especially love the simple list of friends, news feeds, inbox, and update status.  Get this is you wanna give great facebook.
  8. UrbanSpoon (MAPS/FOOD) – Find restaurant near you. Very fun, fast, and easy (cities covered)
  9. Where (MAPS) – Brings up a map of where you are, then plots the closest starbucks, places from eventful, places with yelp ratings, gas stations, zipcar, local search, buddy beacon (like loopt) and more. I just wished their map zoom in/out/drag was as fast as google maps.  It also times out alot.
  10. Loopt (MAPS/SOCIAL) – If you have friends with iPhones and want to share your location with them, get this. It’s great when you’re out on the town. works with GPS and non-GPS iPhones
  11. Weatherbug (WEATHER) – More details than the default Weather app, including wind, chance of rain, and the ability to have more than one source for a city. For example, find highs/lows for SF downtown and the airport (which can vary by ten degrees).
  12. Stanza/eReader (BOOKS) – Both are good if you want to read books on your iPhone, nailing down the basics like easy access to books you’ve downloaded, turning pages while you’re reading, jumping to a certain chapter or page, searching for text, tweaking color/font. Both have tons of books, all the classics, but could impove ways to search for books. I like Stanza slightly better because… you don’t need a login, a few more settings to tweak, more books available even tho eReader has DRM (copy-protected) books and stanza does not. Check out stanza – review1, review2.
  13. ESPN Cameraman (FUN) – Picture game – find 5 differences between 2 similar pics, like that bar game “Photo Hunt”
  14. Brain Toot (FUN) – Simple but fun game that tests memory, eye coordination, thinking, etc.  Also check out Brain Blaze for more brain exercises.
  15. Aurora Feint (FUN) – Game similar to tetris or jewel quest.
  16. Klick (PICS) – Flickr app. Does a good job of allowing you to upload a new or old photo to flickr, giving it title, description, tags, and location/geocode info.  In addition to upload, you can view your recent sets, tags, recents from contacts, search, etc.

Below are ones I tried and kept, but don’t use very much

  1. Remote (MUSIC) – Apple’s way of controlling your computer’s iTunes from your iPhone. It’s great if your computer’s iTunes is less accessible than your iPhone, but when i’m listening to iTunes on my computer, my computer is more accessible.
  2. Banner Free (FUN) -Scroll a message LED style across your iPhone.
  3. Scribble (FUN) – Turn iPhone into a blank canvas and your finger into a pen and scribble. Or, instead of a blank canvas, scribble on top of a picture from your photo album. Kid Friendly.
  4. Tap Tap Revenge (FUN) – Simple game where you tap to the music, kinda fun with two players, but gets old.
  5. MazeFinger (FUN) – arcade style game, cool sounds and graphics, but simple and kinda boring.
  6. RJDJ Single (FUN) – plug in headphones, and RjDj will tweak what it hears for you. Make it fun to walk down the street. faq. The free version comes with only one scene, and it sux – it basically echos then environment, but even with headphones at full volume you can’t hear much. Paid version seems more interesting. youtube.
  7. NYTimes (NEWS) – read NY Times articles. Nice UI, I like browsing news categories, but crashes alot
  8. NetNewsWire (NEWS) – read RSS feeds on iPhone, including blogs and major news feeds. I prefer Google Reader on the PC.
  9. WritingPad (PRODUCTIVITY) – new way of typing. Instead of tapping each letter, you draw words, going from the first letter of the word on the key layout to the second to … the last. It works pretty well, but you can only use this interface to take notes, you can’t use it anywhere else. Why learn a new way to write when most of the time you have to write the old way?
  10. Jott (PRODUCTIVITY) – Once setup, it will turn 1 to 15 second audio memo into text and email it to you. Not always accurate, but accurate enough to make it great when you need to quickly jott stuff down when you’re driving or don’t want to type. I will prolly remove Jott since ReQall also translates audio to text, but reQall is also not always accurate (and slower at translating than jott), so I’m holding on to this for now.
  11. nxtb.us (MAPS/TRANSPORTATION) – bart/muni arrival predictions in SF, check out flash video on http://nxtb.us/
  12. Trapster (MAPS/DRIVING) – alerts you to speed traps. Useful to locate speed traps on regular driving routes like a commute, but not something you would leave on while just driving around.
  13. Twinkle – Twitter for iPhone but with location – find out what people are doing within 5 miles of you. Cool in theory, but i barely twitter and know nobody in chicago. setup could improve.
  14. Shozu (PICS/SOCIAL) – shozu is the uber social app – talks to 50+ sites, sharing info back and forth.   If you spend lots of time updating various social sites, definitely check it out.  review. I don’t use it cuz it often has errors talking to flickr or facebook, my two most used apps.

Below are ones I tried and uninstalled.

  1. VoiceNotes (PRODUCTIVITY) – Just records audio notes, but had no timestamp. Evernote does and offers much more.
  2. Zenbe (PRODUCTIVITY) – Simple list manager – sync’s with web, which i love, but reQall does everything Zenbe does plus has voice to text translation. Sorry, you get the boot!
  3. Rember The Milk RTM (PRODUCTIVITY) – Another list manager, similar to reQall, and tho its free to download you got to pay to use some web service. You get the boot!
  4. YouNote (PRODUCTIVITY) – Similar to Evernote, but its not easy to backup notes or sync with the web. Dealbreaker for me. However, if you use notepad alot, this is a nice upgrade. review.
  5. Exposure (PICS) – another flickr app, Similar to Klick but no uploading. Free version has ads (Boo).  Latest version (November 2008) crashes alot when i try to login to flickr (I login to yahoo, authorize app on flickr.com, then tap ‘done’ on iphone and Exposure crashes).

Need To Spend TIme On These

  • Pandora (MUSIC) – stream music
  • last.fm (MUSIC) – stream music
  • Fring (SOCIAL) – chat with friends on Google Talk, AIM, Skype, MSN, Twitter, etc. And make phonecalls for free using wifi/VOIP (prolly great if you travel internationally).
  • IM+ (SOCIAL) – another IM client
  • linkedin (SOCIAL) –

NON-FREE Noteworthy Apps

  • Air Sharing $5 (UTILITY) – Turn your iPhone into a wireless USB drive using wifi. Also a image/document viewer. I have this and have geek friends who love this.
  • Things $10 (PRODUCTIVITY) – list manager (Todo, etc)
  • Notebook $5 (PRODUCTIVITY) – todo list manager
  • Syncbook $4 (PRODUCTIVITY) – another note sync manager
  • Byline $4 – RSS Reader, syncs with Google Reader, better than NetNewsWire.

References

  • http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/mowi/article.php/3773366/Top+Ten+Free+iPhone+Apps.htm
  • http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/10/iphone-application-overview-and-demo-videos/
  • http://mashable.com/2008/10/24/iphone-apps-revisited/
  • http://www.didigetthingsdone.com/2008/10/21/top-5-iphone-applications-for-productivity/
  • http://www.lifehacker.com.au/tips/2008/11/07/battle_of_the_iphone_task_managers-2.html

More iPhone Tips

April 21st, 2008

Now that i’ve had my iPhone a while, here’s some tips and tricks i can share.

If you’re iPhone is freed/jailbroken, get these (best items first)

  • fring – finally a found a google talk client (blog). Also does chat/IM with yahoo, aol, MSN, ICQ, Skype, Twitter, SIPwith others apps
  • Productivity/WebSearch – shortcut to searching on google, wikipedia, ebay
  • Multimedia/MobileScrobbler – last.fm client – like internet radio, but need good wifi
  • iLog – view details about missed/received/dialed calls (with call duration!), individual SMS, etc.

Solar Recharge

April 15th, 2008

My last backpacking trip to Sykes was great, but my GPS watch ran out of juice after a second full-day of use. Sigh. I figure if I ever do any multi-day backpacking trips and want to record the GPS waypoints the whole time, i’m gonna need a way to recharge. Plus I like being green, so I looked into a solar panel charging device.

My goals for a device, most important ones first:

  • Recharge my Garmin Forerunner 305
  • Recharge my 5G iPod
  • Recharge my iPhone
  • Can’t break easily
  • Lightweight, small
  • Under $100
  • Bonus: works with AC outlet and DC car cigarette lighter
  • Bonus: work like my current iPhone AC to USB charger
  • Bonus: minimal attachments

This roll-up solar charger looked cool – It can recharge a laptop – but was too big and expensive. Solio was pretty popular on the ol’ google search results, and they have 2 models that met my goals – the Solio Classic and the Solio Hybrid 1000. Looking at the tech specs, the classic has a bigger battery and more juice, but the 1000 is a bit more rugged, as this guy suggested. The H1000 doesn’t charge as well as the other Solio products, but I liked that it was the most durable and cheapest. We have a winner that meets all my goals. Watch video. I paid $74 including shipping/taxes at thenerds, and it arrived 2 days after I ordered it. I confirmed it worked as expected with my GPS watch, iPhone, and iPod. Hurray.

iPhone

March 21st, 2008

I finally broke down today and got a 16GB iPhone. I mean, seriously, a geek like me waiting like 9 months to own an iPhone? WTF? Well, not not a big fan of the phone and SMS part – the main reason I bought it is to have a mini web browser internet device with a nice user interface. I’ve always loved the iPhone interface – half my friends have iPhones and i’ve been jealous for a while. I considered waiting for next generation iPhone (3G phone, GPS, etc), but according to appleinsider, it’ll be summer/fall before they come. I just couldn’t wait!!

iPhone 3G

I bought it at the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco. It took about an hour from walking into the store till chadPhone was totally up and running. Breaks down like this – Buy iPhone .. 5-10 mins. Open iPhone, plug into your mac (I brought my macbook pro with me, so i could register it quickly). iTunes notices iPhone, leads you down registration process. I chose the $59/month (450 mins, unlimited data, 200 SMS TXT msgs/month). For $10/month more, you can get 1500 SMS msgs/month, or unlimited SMS for $20/month. I love SMS but i’m pissed that Apple/AT&T are charging that much for SMS when it basically costs them nothing. I much rather use safari/gmail. Anyway, registration ends with giving AT&T your credit card, and done – 10-15mins. So less than half hour my iPhone was registered and i could make outgoing calls. They said up to 6 hours to route incoming calls to my new iPhone, but really it took another 20 mins. Total .. 50 mins.
Already found these 22 tips, what are your favorites? anything to avoid?

Update – Download hundreds of cool games and applications from people besides apple by jailbreaking your iphone.