Posted tagged ‘iPhone’

Streaming Christmas Music (iTunes)

December 22, 2012

Apple could stand a better search interface for searching their “radio” streams in both iTunes and especially in AppleTV.

So, Merry Christmas from me to you… I’ve found a good number of the streams from within the various iTunes radio categories just for you conveniently linked below:

Snow FM Ireland (classic Christmas oldies, 128 kbps)
Classical 24/7 (classical instrumental Christmas muzak)
Big R Radio Christmas Classics (eclectic Christmas mix, 128 kbps)
Fresh Christmas (hodge podge of Christmas “hits”, 64 kbps)
Got Radio – Christmas Celebration (all-over-the-place XMas music, 64 kbps)
1.FM TM – Always Christmas (From around the world, 64 kbps)
Christmas – Sky.fm – (roll of the dice, ?? kbps)

These might work fine on iPhone and iPad (or not). I haven’t checked them yet. I have no clue how to get these “bookmarked” on AppleTV (don’t get me started on that line of griping). And, if I manage to get back to this post I may be able to add a few more before Santa’s big globe trotting spree.

Enjoy!

iOS 7 Better Have…

December 13, 2012

There are some things iOS7 had better have before I consider shelling out the bucks for the next new iPhone. Here’s my iOS bucket list:

  • I need a way to import a high quality greeting to my voicemail. Hardline dialing and recording a new greeting is NOT Apple-worthy. I don’t mind recoding to the Voice Memo app or on my Mac. I just ought to be able to import a sound file as my greeting dangit!
  • I expect a way to SEND my voicemails to my iCloud account as email attachments. Or create a rule that does it automatically.
  • I expect a way to FORWARD voicemails to other iOS devices as messages. I can send a picture/video via MMS… Why not a voicemail attachment?
  • I expect a heckuva LOT more out of Siri. It’s more useless than the Maps app right now.
  • Maps is borked. Now that Google Maps app is on the App Store… I’m going back to what works. Still love you Apple. Just need excellent Maps when I need a map.
  • Something’s still not quite right about Contact sync between iPhone, Mac laptop and iCloud. I have duplicates of many contacts in the order of 19 to upwards of 30 of the same person. There needs to be a super easy way to purge duplicates. Contact management shouldn’t be this nasty a chore.
  • Speaking of chores… Apple got the Notes app sync PERFECTLY across devices. It’s not broke. Don’t fix it. ;) Replicate it’s success for the other devices.
  • Facetime is such a great idea. I’ve tried and tried and tried to Facetime on our local wireless LAN. Each time it rings once (so I know the call is coming through) and then indicates I’m busy to the other devices. Needs to be easier.
  • The new messaging works pretty swank too. Not sure how they’d improve it just now.
  • Can we PLEASE just sync up our phones to Time Machine? Pretty please?
  • Passbook is freakin awesome! A killer, kick ass kind of awesome. The world is ready (it just doesn’t know it yet).
  • Airplay = way awesome.
  • Safari “Reader Mode” is slick. Wish there was a way to make Siri read the content while I’m driving or otherwise occupied. That’s one thing I love about Alex on my Mac.
  • Photo streams to my AppleTV is not quite as straight forward an intuitive as I would expect from Apple. Needs Improvement.
  • Newsstand is a useless icon on my phone deck. Please, let me delete it or file it in another folder.
  • Faxing from my phone should be a no brainer easier than anything to do.
  • Finally, PRINTING. Guys. C’mon. Really? Printing is right up there with copy and paste. We’ve been doing this a long time. Why can’t we seem to get this right?

iOS is a super platform. So good in fact that in our household we’re getting device confused. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve swiped our fingers across the screen of the laptop or the iMac. It’s silly really that we’ve become so accustomed to iOS that is’s bleeding over into how we interact with the other computers around us.

 

 

iCloud VIP list broken?

December 9, 2012

iCloud’s VIP lists seems to be malfunctioning or at the very least working in some cases and not others.

Web-based iCloud mail isn’t showing the last month or so of a certain VIP. Though my iPhone (latest rev of iOS) displays my VIP lists her properly. For reference this seems to only display properly on web back to early November. Then nothing in VIP newer than that displays correctly.

I’ve turned off all my rules based settings at iCloud.com.

I’ve double checked my iCloud contacts are set properly on iPhone settings.

I’ve removed all my VIPs and added them back slowly.

Nothing seems to have improved the iCloud VIP situation on the web-view of my email.

Any thoughts out there?

Smart. Phone. Distracted. Driving.

March 27, 2012

We want it all too quickly don’t we?

A nifty device lands in our life in the form of a smartphone. One iteration after another it’s improved upon until we reach the intersections of dependence, need and technical capability. I’m of course talking about my iPhone and it’s current OS (version 5.1).

Siri intrigued me as a potential virtual private assistant. The concept is sound and the execution is promising. But, it’s also clear why Apple would label it “beta” at this point in time. It’s tantalizing to the point of leaving me wanting it to do more than it does (or perhaps is capable of at this time).

Point in case, Siri can handily manage my text messages plus respond to simply queries. Which is really quite nice. But, not particularly habit forming as texting just isn’t my cuppa. But, email IS my domain. There are so many things I’d have Siri do for me in the email department such as finding, reading, writing, responding, filing certain emails for me. Some would be routine such as notify me ONLY when an email from Alexander or Tania arrives and file it in the Important folder.

I know we’ll get there. But, as fast as technology is moving wouldn’t it be great to have Version 21.0 right out of the gate?

iPhone Dev: Button for iPhone (not Touches)

January 2, 2010

The App Store rejected my first attempt at submitting an app based on “Reachability” (which I’m still trying to resolve) and showing a call button (even to devices incapable of placing a call, such as iPod Touches). Turns out what I was looking for is somewhat easy… at least the part that checks if the device is capable of calls. See code below:

- (BOOL)deviceCanMakePhoneCalls
{
    BOOL canMakePhoneCalls;
    if ([UIApplication instancesRespondToSelector:@selector(canOpenURL:)]) {
        // OS 3.0, so use canOpenURL
        UIApplication *app = [UIApplication sharedApplication];
        canMakePhoneCalls = ([app canOpenURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"tel:+44-1234-567890"]]);
    } else {
        // OS 2.x, so check for iPhone
        UIDevice *device = [UIDevice currentDevice];
        canMakePhoneCalls = ([device.model isEqualToString:@"iPhone"]);
    }
    return canMakePhoneCalls;
}

What this doesn’t do is show the button (or hide it). Now, if you know how to solve for any this more elegantly… please, do tell. AND… if you’d like to help me via ichat or Google Chat to walk through the Reachability issue… lemme know!

REVIEW: Pelican Micro Case i1015

January 1, 2010

I’ve bought a LOT of Pelican shipping containers in the past several years and they make a MEAN box.

So, when the email came in asking me to review the i1015 Micro Case (for iPhone) I have to admit, my expectations were pretty lofty.

The GOOD
The i1015 seals TIGHT. So, if you work in a dusty environment or maybe a little bit wet/misty… this case might just do the trick for you. The lid is transparent to boot. There’s a handy jack outside that couples with the phone on the inside. While I haven’t tried this (and don’t recommend it by any stretch) I suspect the i1015 will float if dropped in a lake.

The BAD
What seems to be missing to me is a charging/peripheral slot. For instance, I might be on a boat (or sitting on the front porch when the neighbors sprinkler turns on). My phone should be able to charge while safely stowed away. There really aren’t any security features… It took my oldest (8 years old) less than a minute to open the box. All the other Pelican cases I’ve owned were lockable… I like the idea of being able to store my iPhone in a shock absorbing case, still use it AND charge it. So, that’s where my expectations were maybe too high.

The UGLY
I suspect there’s no way around the bulk. It just seems unnecessarily big in my opinion (about as big as the 3GS box my phone came in when I bought it).

I’ll probably give this unit to my neighbor across the street. He bought the iPhone on opening day just like I did and is an avid fisherman (taking his boat out regularly). Wouldn’t it be great to know his iPhone didn’t go down to Davy Jones’ locker because of the i1015. THAT would be one swell success story… Maybe he’ll toss HIS phone into the drink just cuz. If he does I’ll let you know all about it. :)

BOOK REVIEW: “iPhone for Programmers”

January 1, 2010

As luck would have it I received a review copy of “iPhone for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach” just as I was getting up to speed on iPhone development.

What I like about this app… it steps us through the programming and considerations behind 14 very different apps. Lots of different frameworks covered and the walk through behind the steps involved is quite good. It helped me get my app ready for App Store submission… Can’t give anything a higher recommendation than that!

I have a fairly substantial library of iPhone dev books and this one’s ing the top three I crack open on a regular basis… What’s also nice is all the source code for the apps is conveniently parked online and reasonably commented.

Definitely recommend ++

[REVIEW] iFrogz Earpollution Earbuds

September 24, 2009

iFrogz was kind enough to send me a pair of their Earpollution Earbuds to review. The short of it: They’re decent earbuds at a good value. More after the jump…

(more…)

App Store Workaround

September 15, 2008

Oh this is stinking BRILLIANT!

If you haven’t heard, Apple rejected an iPhone Developers App & on the surface it sounds as if it was due to a competing feature set to iTunes’ Podcast stuff.

What did the rejected developer do? What any clever and determined developer would. He routed around the damage and used a legitimate back door Apple left ajar… “Ad Hoc” app distribution of course.

Now, what Apple may have just done is unwittingly cracked their own strangle hold on the heavyweight title of iPhone app distribution. I hope someone (possibly Alex) can exploit this to full advantage. Apple’s heavy handedness in this matter is not something we ought to tolerate silently.

INTERVIEW: iPhone App: PhotoShare

July 23, 2008

Another installment of our iPhone developer interview series has us talking with Satoshi Nakajima, founder of Big Canvas.

First, congrats to the team at Big Canvas on your new iPhone app. Is everyone as excited on the creation side as we are on the consumption side?
It’s been an unbelievable experience. It’s a super exciting time in the industry. It IS game changing. It’s an iPhone only app. Our application is called PhotoShare and maximizes the iPhone’s camera as a “friends & family” experience… a sharing device for casual communication. Twitter for pictures. We’re focused on the user experience and host the photos and conversation on our servers. It’s Secure. Private. Registration isn’t required – we eliminate the pain of passwords altogether.

In talking with other iPhone developers it’s become clear… this platform is surprisingly easy to develop for. What kinds of good surprises did your team encounter?
Emotionally it’s very gratifying. It’s a great device. A year later, the “love” is still there for iPhone. Apple pays a LOT of attn to power consumption and memory allocation. CPU management was clearly on their mind and is evident in what’s possible. Controlling and optimizing the power consumption was easy. The choice to avoid true multitasking was also the right call. Apple’s attention to these kinds of critical details was a nice surprise.

How helpful was Apple in the grand scheme of things during development? Resources beyond the usual ADC and WWDC venues?
Mostly we developed with the SDK. We drew on some Apple help at a few critical points. Despite being really busy they got back with us quickly to help us debut with the App Store on opening day.

How did you arrive at pricing for PhotoShare? Curious minds would like to know…
It will be free as a social networking application. We’ll offer it for free, learn some lessons and develop a business model as we go.

Finally, beta testing apps under development seems to have taken a step backward due to iTunes being the distribution point. Has that crimped the development and testing cycles at all? How did Big Canvas adapt and overcome?
There are complexities. Observing the nuances of the detailed documentation and preparing the application for iTunes is slightly tricky. Apple made it easy in one sense but rigid and strict in another. The most difficult part was not being able to test widely. Refinements for our apps will come quickly after the App Store launches.

Any parting advice to iPhone users? Apple?
Try a LOT of applications. The Long Tail dictates many will be garbage. There will be some really good apps rise and emerge as major apps.

PhotoShare can be downloaded from the App Store now. (Link will launch iTunes. v7.7+ required)


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