Thursday, March 19, 2009

iPhone training available

Since I purchased my first-generation iPhone in 2006, (and my 3G phone last year) I have learned an awful lot about the device, and how to make it a productive part of my personal and business life.  I can show you the same tips and tricks.

The iPhone has replaced the following items that I used to carry:
  • printed maps
  • watch
  • business cards
  • calendar
  • wallet photos
  • to-do list
  • voice recorder
  • iPod (which had already replaced my radio, CDs, and other MP3 players)
  • paperback books
  • camera
  • day planner
  • laptop computer (for 95% of my travel)
  • diet tracker
  • time sheets
  • phone (duh!)
  • shopping list
  • restaurant guides
  • travel itinerary
  • Rolodex
  • USB thumb drive
  • calculator
  • expense tracker
  • mileage log
  • personal ID info (family SSNs, passwords, etc.)
  • personal journal
  • business receipts
  • language guides.
If you would like to learn how to maximize your iPhone's potential benefits, email me.  I will be happy to provide personalized training for you, your friends, business, or non-profit group, at reasonable rates.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Get the heck outta here!

OMG! Have you seen this yet?!

Hardware APIs for the iPhone will enable all kinds of cool, useful, Star Trek-like devices, like the kind forecasted by this guy. And this device API may be useful for a little app that I'm writing, too. The Device is almost here.

New features
Some highlights from the OS3 demo video:
  • Spotlight Search across ALL apps on the entire phone, including:
  • Search Email, and continue search back on the server, if result not found on the iPhone
  • Cut, Copy, Paste across all apps
  • Notes Sync
  • Hardware APIs
  • WiFi auto-login
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • Anti-phishing and Auto Fill on Safari
  • VPN on demand
  • Peer networking via Bluetooth and Bonjour for auto-discovery (no pairing!)
  • CalDAV and calendar subscription support
  • Undo
  • Landscape keyboard on all major Apple apps
  • Voice Memos
  • Send photos, maps, vCards, audio files, and more via MMS.
Dead phones walking: Android (DOA), Windows Mobile, PalmOS, Symbian. And all "netbooks."

Holy cow, this is big. Not just big for Mactards like me, but big for mobile computing, and the way we think about it. Think mobile:
  • medical records
  • fitness measuring
  • password valut (already here)
  • smart wallet (who needs credit cards???)
  • passports
  • car maintenance records
  • car computer interface
  • smart home controller
  • mobile server that plugs into dumb terminal (keyboard, monitor, mouse and extra storage), either at home, work, hotel, or client site.
800 Million Downloads in 2 years
Remember Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's rant about developers? Guess what, Steve? Apple's got 'em.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

iPhone: Lifestyle Companion

I was just thinking out loud to some friends how cool it would be if one of those heart rate monitoring straps you see people wearing at the gym, or while running, could talk to my iPhone, and keep data on my workouts and activity. After all, Apple already has partnered with Nike for running stats.

But if this post from March of 2008 is right, then Apple is waaaaaay ahead of me, complete with patents. So much the better. Now, if they would just hurry up and release it, I would buy it! This is the kind of useful, easy tech that really improves lifestyles. Not just pretty accessories, but functional (and pretty) accessories. And with the new iPhone OS 3.0 SDK out, I expect big things from iPhone apps in the months to come.

IBM missed the personal computer revolution, which Microsoft rode to dominance. Microsoft missed the Web browser revolution, but recovered in time to dominate again. Now a third platform- smart phones- is rapidly emerging as the new mainstream. Palm was there first, then Nokia, then Microsoft. But it is Apple who has (1) developed the sexy hardware that everyone wants (the iPhone), and (2) opened it up to third-party developers, the same way Microsoft did. It was those third-party developers that helped MS entrench itself in the PC world; but they have been slow to react to Apple's one-two-three punch of iTunes, iPhone, and App Store. And Apple continues to innovate rapidly, hardly giving competitors a chance to catch their breath.

Google's Android OS and Microsoft's Windows Mobile have the best chance of catching Apple (Symbian will die on the vine), but I think they will remain as far behind Apple as the Opera browser is behind Internet Explorer.

If these patent rumors are true, it will be the straw that break's Android and WinMobile's backs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Knock, knock- who's there? Not Microsoft

When you weren't looking, Google went and did something very sneaky, and veeeeerrrry cool.

If you've got an iPhone, or an Android-based phone, you can now edit your Google Spreadsheets. Not a lot, but some. And, as we all know, Google is like a locomotive: once they get rolling on a feature set, they just keep coming, and with a helluva lot of mass behind them.

I wonder what Steve Ballmer was doing while Google burned up the mobile phone world? Bill Gates wouldn't know, because he's banned Apple products in his house. (Seriously.)

What ELSE could you do with a 10-inch touchscreen?

I mean, a 10-inch screen has simply got to be a netbook computer, right?  


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's that noise?

Now, this is just sad.

When I was a musician, every studio engineer was upgrading their studio from plain ol' "CD quality," 16-bit, 44.1kHz sampling to 24-bit, 96kHz sampling. The result was something much, much closer to the smooth sound of freshly-pressed analog, with even more dynamic range. Assuming you had the audiophile speakers (and ears) to hear the difference.

MP3s were handy for portability, but the crushed dynamic range, loss of bass, and the "TSSHHHH-TSSSHHH-TSSSSHH" of cymbal sounds was just too much for us serious musicians. Harrumph.

Stanford University professor Jonathon Berger has been surveying his students for six years, to find out what audio signals they prefer: uncompressed 44.1kHz original, lossless AAC, or a variety of MP3 bit-rates: 128, 164, or 192.

Guess what?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dead sexy

From the Apple Rumours department, comes news of a new Apple netbook this fall. A netbook is a stripped-down computer for lightweight duties, primarily Internet access.

I'm not sure that I actually need a netbook, what with our two iPhone, two Macbook household, and all. But this does indeed look like something I might need to budget for.

You know, just... because.

UPDATE - March 11
Reuters has confirmed the 10-inch touchscreen orders.  OK, now you can start to get giddy with anticipation.


I've really been wanting to do this for two years.

The instructions for jailbreaking your iPhone are getting simpler and more foolproof (in my case, idiot-proof), and Apple's factory reset provision makes it a safe bet if things go horribly wrong.

The apps listed in this teaser are exactly what might convince me to spend 30 minutes (I'm guessing) jailbreaking my baby:
  • Use your iPhone as a 3G modem with your laptop.
  • Record video using Cycorder.
  • Unlock your iPhone installing a simple program, so you can use a pre-paid card when you go out on vacation instead of paying outrageous roaming charges.
  • Follow speech turn-by-turn directions in a GPS program.
  • Copy and paste (yes, copy and paste).
Cue the "scary anticipation" music, please...