iPhone 3 Months On

So how is the iPhone after a few months. The 2.1 addressed all my issues and since then it’s been great. Really enjoy using it. I know enjoy sounds a bit daft but I get so much more usage out of the iPhone compared to previous phones. It really does feel like a mobile extension to my Mac’s at home.

It’s missing obvious things like copy and paste, and sending sms to multiple addresses though. Browsing through Please Fix the iPhone also shows some of the niggles that could easily be addressed in a software update. Horizontal typing in e-mail, preferences on auto loading images in Mail, Safari crashes, the screen as a button for taking photo’s (at least make the button bigger!), changing backgrounds, adding custom text alert sounds etc etc etc. Instead the next software update is focussing on…public transit and street view additions to the Map app. While nice, it ain’t on my essential list. I guess the more obvious stuff plus things like bigger memory iPhone’s and a better quality camera will be kept back for next years new hardware upgrade.

Anyway, I was reading Gordon’s list of app’s so I thought I would do my own. Warning – it’s a long list as I do go through a lot of apps.

  • Evernote – Free – Syncs with the online notes, image and PDF capturing service. Updates have brought proper note editing and the voice notes and quick image snaps sync to the website and hence Mac and PC clients really quickly. Would be nice to select certain notes for offline storage on the iPhone.
  • Twinkle – Free – One of the three Twitter clients I have installed. Usually the one I use most as it lets me see tweets local to where I am. Also supports Twitpics and comes with a built in browser so it doesn’t quit out to Safari when viewing a link.
  • Locly – Free – Finds shops and services in your area based on your location. Quick and pretty reliable when I’ve been working away from home.
  • Exposure – Free or £5.99. A much improved Flickr viewer. First version was pretty slow but it is now a lot quicker. I like it for browsing the popular pics on Flickr. Uploading of pics to Flickr is coming soon. Allegedly.
  • Klick – Free – Another Flickr viewer. Faster than Exposure and also has a nicer browsing method – flick your finger to move between photo’s. Download this instead of Exposure, at least until Exposure let’s you upload photo’s to Flickr.
  • Last.fm – Free – Excellent music player and artist finder. Based on your listening habits, radio station can be easily created and listened to over wi-fi and 3G. Using this far more than I thought I would. Lovely app.
  • Tuner – £3.49 – Browse and listen to hundreds (thousands?) of MP3/AAC streams. Works well although very little UK content.
  • Simplify – Free – Another audio streaming app. The difference is that your listening to your iTunes library and streaming it from home. Or your friends stream. To be honest I’d stopped using it due to buggy memory hogging Mac client but that is now fixed…and I’ve used it quite a bit over the last week. Who needs a large iPhone now.
  • Remote – Free – From Apple, control your iTunes playback from the iPhone. Does work very well but will only be useful if you have the Mac set up with speakers and you need to control from a distance. If it played back on the iPhone it would be far more useful.
  • Facebook – Free – Great client for Facebook, although I don’t use Facebook to often.
  • WordPress – Free – Allows you to post and edit your blog from the iPhone. It’s ok but could do with more easy roots into comments and admin of the blog. No real update since release.
  • IM+ – Free – Nice free IM client that connects to all the common protocols. Preferred to Palringo as it required a seperate login which IM+ doesn’t.
  • Bloomberg – Great business app. Allows you to track shares, show share price graphs dating back to a year and has currencies, commodities etc. Been a great bearer of bad news over the last few weeks.
  • 1Password – Free – Syncs with 1Password desktop client for sharing passwords and notes securely. I find this pretty invaluable.
  • AirSharing – Was free, now £3.99 – Drag files to the Mac and view via this client. Works OK although struggles with some file formats that A.I. Disk works with.
  • Twitterriffic – Free or £5.99 – ANother Twitter client. Updated version is very nice although doesn’t have location features of Twinkle or Twittelator. Nicest interface though.
  • Vicinity – £1.79 – An early purchase that I no longer use. Finds shops and services in your area based on your location but Locly does it better and for free.
  • Super Monkey Ball – £5.99 – Great game, reminds me of console version and gets very tricky. Recommended.
  • MotionX Poker – £1.19 – Bargain game. Shake the iPhone and roll the dice. Still playing it today if I’ve a couple of mins to fill.
  • Texas Hold’em – £2.99 – From Apple – a really nice poker game. Recommended.
  • Real Football 2009 – £5.99 – A great demo of what games on the iPhone can do. A football game with a transparent d pad and buttons on the screen. Actually plays a pretty good game of football. Teams and presentation are superb.
  • Enigmo – £1.19 – Now reduced in price this is a nice physics based game. The concept and graphics are great although the controls can be fiddly.
  • Aki Mahjong – £2.99 – I love Mahjong and this looks and plays wonderfully. Highly recommended.
  • Solitaire Top 3 – £2.39 – Klondike, FreeCell and Spider solitaire. Plays well.
  • Cube Runner – Free – Guide your spaceship by tilting the iPhone. Simple game and graphics but nicely done.
  • Band – £2.39 – Play drums, base or piano. Nicely done but I never use it. First day purchase spree!
  • Tap Tap Revenge – Free – Think guitar hero but on the iPhone. Plays well and has online scoreboards.
  • Trism – £1.79 – A great little puzzle game with nice graphics and sounds. Quite addictive.
  • Wurdle – £1.19 – Nice word based puzzle game. Recommended.
  • Units – Free – Unit converter with lot’s of conversion options including currency. Not used often but very handy.
  • Movies – Free – Shows what’s on at the local cinema’s, again based on your location. Also shows trailers for movies and DVD’s but those are for American release dates. Again not used often but very handy.
  • iFooty – Free – Great little app that lets you track scores, live games and team news for all the English leagues and Scottish Premier. Same info as on BBC website but better presented and easier to use.
  • ShoZu – Free – I use it to upload to Flickr but it connects to a load of social netwrok for sharing photo’s, commenting etc.
  • Trailguru – Free – Captures walks, runs, biking etc via GPS and allows you to upload to their website. Trying this and Runkeeper to see what one works out the best.
  • RunKeeper – Free – Very similar feature set to Trailguru. First test was very accurate.
  • AeroWeather – Free – Downloads latest weather readings from any number of airports from around the world. I love little weather app’s – this tells you currently what is happening but does no forecasting. Still, lovely little app that’s very handy.
  • SleepOver – £1.79 – Sends a magic packet over Lan or internet to wake a PC…or Mac. My iMac is always asleep but the router is configured to pass on the magic packet from SleepOver and wake it – I can then use it for streaming from Simplify for example.
  • Mocha VNC Lite – Free – Let’s me VNC to my home Mac. Very handy and very powerful.
  • Twittelator Pro – £2.99 – Yes. Third Twitter client and the only one I’ve paid for. Shakeel recommended this and it does have some unique features. It supports adding little icons (dingbats) to tweets, you can see threaded conversations, easily see followers of other users and nicest feature is you can see trending topics from other twitter users. Lot’s of features but probably the worst interface. Also lets you see local tweets, but those are different to the local ones in Twinkle.
  • AroundMe – Free – Similar to Locly. Find local services based on location. Handy to have.
  • Fring – Free – Nice IM client that also supports VOIP to Skype. Don’t use IM too often on the iPhone but this is now the client of choice for me.
  • Trapster – Free – Shows and alerts you to speed camera’s in the area your driving. Content depends on other users updating data. From what I’ve seen it’s not populated with too much at the moment. One to keep in case.
  • Lux Touch – Free – Simple strategy game. Nice alternative to other puzzlers.
  • TV Plus – £2.99 – Fairly new and quickly become my favourite app. Essentially for Sky users it lets you browse a TV guide of all the channels for the next 7 days. The data loads quickly and you can set a local region so that the proper BBC and ITV channels are viewed. You can see information about each programme but the feature I love the most is it support Remote Record. Press the button from anywhere in the world and the record request will be sent to your Sky+ box. used the remote record 8 or 9 times now and it hasn’t failed me once. A fantastic app which every iPhone and Sky+ owner should have.
  • Brightkite – Free – Another social networking site. App is very nice but there are very few users on it. If anyone wants a Brightkite invite let me know – I have a few I can give away.
  • PhotoSwap – Free – Take a picture and send it to random stranger – you then receive a picture. Nice concept but seems to be full of guys looking for guys. One to delete.
  • Google Mobile App – Connects to Google search and other sites quicker than loading up Safari and then finding bookmark.
  • XBLFriends – Free – Add friends from Xbox Live and see if they are online/what they are playing. Handy.
  • A.I. Disk – £4.99 – New for me today – Connects to MobileMe, Box.net or any other webdav server. You can browse and view the file contents of these sites on the iPhone. You can also e-mail any of those files. I’ll probably get a lot more usage out of this than Air Sharing.
  • rRootage – Free – A game that reminds me of Everyday Shooter. Has some really nice concepts but no sound at the moment. Gets so busy on the screen that it slows down.

If I was recommending a top five it would be Evernote, TV Plus, Twinkle, Last.fm and Locly/AroundMe. There’s been quite a few more app’s downloaded, tried and binned. Too many to mention!

I also have home page links to iPlayer, Google, Flickr and Remember The Milk. I’d really like a Remember The Milk dedicated app rather than the Safari based solution at present. Rumour is that such a client is in development and isn’t too far way. iPlayer is used quite a bit as it works so well on the iPhone – I just wish BBC would hurry up and move away from Real streams for radio programs.

So that’s it from a happy iPhone user. I already have a waiting list for those that want to buy my current iPhone when the inevitable upgrade happens next year. How sad.

iPhone One Week On

One week done and it’s time to share some thoughts. In no particular order:

  • The iPhone 3G uses a lot of battery. For the first few days I had to recharge daily. However with some careful management that seems to be stretching to two days now. The biggest difference for me was made by managing 3G and wi-fi networks. At home I use wi-fi, elsewhere I use 3G/Edge. So at home i switch off 3G, outside home I switch off wi-fi and only switch on 3G when I actually want to use faster access. Management of these settings has made the biggest difference to the battery life.
  • The on screen keyboard is really good. Much faster than I imagined and great for texts, e-mails, tweets although I’m sure a long blog post/document creation would be pretty painful.
  • iPod is great. Coverflow really works well on a screen this size. Music sounds much better than my old iPod.
  • Some of the AppStore app’s have been pretty buggy. I guess that’s to be expected but it’s still annoying when you launch an app and it either repeatedly crashes or, worse, requires an iPhone reset.
  • Call quality is excellent and taking phone calls while listening to iPod works well.
  • Twinkle appeared on the app store yesterday and is a great Twitter client. Looks good and has a nice location based feature where people in 10, 25 mile radius to you can see your tweets and easily respond. For me it’s work so much better than Twitterrific which is buggy and allow in comparison.
  • App’s launch quickly and it’s easy to move between sending a text, getting mail, browsing and then back to some video’s or music.
  • When I’ve been typing I occasionally notice some lag. It’s like the key’s are taking a half second or so to register and then appear. Nothing to bad but there are reports on the net than some people are seeing scary 20 second delays in typing. Hopefully these issues are firmware fixable.
  • Love the text’s layout. Just makes so much sense when you see then laid out as an iChat sesion.

Great phone and despite it’s shortcomings it’s the best I’ve owned. It’s easy to do and does so much more than other phone’s despite it having inferior hardware.


What should have been a post saying ‘woo – iPhone rulez’ has turned into a sorry saga. No iPhone for me today and at the moment, no date from Apple on when I’m likely to get one either.

I didn’t fancy queueing much this morning and driving by the local O2 store I was surprised to see around 40 people in the queue. That sealed the deal and I headed into town. The Apple store queue was quite light and they were obviously expecting more as they had lots of crash barriers out…and one security guy for every four customers! Looking down to O2 the queue was also big so I stuck with the Apple store. Some folk were already inside when I joined and within 15 mins we were all inside…but no phones had been sold. Roll on to 09:00 and one hour after opening still no orders had been processed.

The 02 site that Apple had to use was constantly crashing. They had no idea when it would be back up but annoyingly we couldn’t leave our names and come back later. If you want a phone you have to stay in the queue. Some folk left as they had to get to work. Free drinks from Starbucks were provided but even at 10:00 there were still no orders processed. This wasn’t looking good. By this time I knew that a couple of friends had failed at O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores due to limited stock so there didn’t seem much option. Again people asked to leave there names before leaving the queue and they were knocked back by Apple.

Finally at 10:20 a loud cheer – first phone sold.

Then a shriek at 10:21 as the system crashed…again.

Common sense kicked in at 10:30 and those that wanted to go could leave their details and Apple would keep the phone for you, phoning you back when things started to work so you weren’t hanging around anymore. I left and as far as I know my iPhone is still at the store with lot’s of others as I don’t think they sold any/many at the Glasgow store today. Shame others that walked out earlier didn’t get that option. On the way back to the car park I passed a couple of O2’s and Carphones – lot’s of 8GB, no 16’s. So Apple have lot’s of stock they can’t sell…stores within a couple of hundred yards can sell them but don’t have any. Where’s the logic in that?

They’ve now pinged out an e-mail asking for patience and they hope to get things sorted quickly. I do hope quickly means tomorrow but I have zero expectation now and don’t expect to grease up an iPhone until well into next week. I hope someone at O2 and Apple is getting roasted for this mess. While some of the people in the queue feel it’s solely O2 to blame I disagree. Stock management could have been so much better and both companies have had weeks to prepare for this. I guess for both of them the hype and news stories from this launch is priceless no matter if it’s good or bad.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big issue. It’s only a phone and I’ll get one soon enough. Feel better for that little rant though.

Almost Here

Three days from now I hope to have me greasy paws on an iPhone. I decided against v1.0 due to lack of 3G but as time went on I think the bigger reason, and certainly the most exciting thing about Friday, is the applications that will launch in the Appstore alongside the new phone and the v2.0 software. The iPhone is a new platform and from that point of view I can’t wait to see what app’s are available.

What I’m not looking forward to is re-joining O2. When I was previously with them I was never entirely happy with contract or upgrades. The deal looks good though and I think they’ve been pretty fair with existing iPhone owners so clean slate time.

Biggest issue on Friday will be limiting the spending on the Appstore. And finding an iPhone if O2 is to be believed. Happy days. Exposure, Twitterrific Touch and Super Monkey Ball will be 1st day purchases hopefully.

The iPhone I’ve Been Waiting For

Another day, another keynote. Some thoughts…

  • iPhone 3G. Roll on July 11th. An iPhone with 3G, GPS, better battery life, no recessed headphone socket, an App’s store full of software and all for…something less than today’s price. O2 are promising more information tomorrow. Hurry up please. Cheaper American prices come with a 2 year contract.
  • No upgraded camera, no video chat, 16GB max. Nice to see there’s a reason to buy a new iPhone every so often.
  • The updated design looks good. I like the thin edge’s and don’t mind the plastic back. Still undecided though – black or white? Black = better looking but more obvious scuff’s and scratches?
  • MobileMe. Nice upgrade to .Mac which is no more. Option to use me.com e-mail address. The push updates from the cloud look excellent. Not so sure on the web app’s which look slick but how do they perform?
  • With the GPS will locational app’s really take off? If only the camera res was upgraded as taking geo tagged photo’s is a really nice feature. Missed opportunity?
  • Nothing much on Snow Leopard, the next version of OS-X. Quality upgrade and not a feature upgrade. Mmmm. Ok. Surely that’s a service pack?
  • Can’t wait to play Super Monkey Ball. For all the people that say iPhone is meh….show me software on your phone that look, runs and plays like that. Thought so. Band looked pretty cool too. $9.99 for Monkey Ball too. Sounds like a bargain.

I think that it for now. Great announcement, a new phone for me soon. Can’t wait…unless O2 tamper too much with pricing. Surely not.

Sony Ericsson K800i

Another year, another phone. This is the 3G follow up to the k750i, my current phone. Although it’s been out for a couple of months I wanted to get the phone on T-Mobile’s Web ‘n’ Walk deal and take advantage of all that 3G speed online. So after a few days how has it faired?


What do you get?
In the box you get the phone plus USB cables and also headphones that double as an aerial for the radio. The k800i uses a new memory stick format, the M2. This really grinds with me – just how many different formats do manufacturers think we need? Also it means my previous cards wouldn’t work with the phone – more expense. However the T-Mobile deal included a 256Meg card which is more than adequate.

The Phone
The phone itself is heavier, taller and slightly more bulky than the k750i although it’s a great size for a 3G phone and the build quality is excellent. The back of the phone is rubberized and the only issue I have is with the lens cover – I’m sure that will break off over time. The back of the phone is also difficult to open which I guess is good in the long term – wouldn’t want it to easily slip off. The screen is excellent – more readable than the k750i, photo’s and in particular small text is clear and sharp. The software built into the phone is almost identical to the k750i except additions for RSS and Video calling. Voice quality has been excellent and on a par with the k750i which was one of the best phones I had used. Signal strength has also been excellent over the last few days.

Height Comparison.jpg

The software on the phone also supports apps working in the background. You can be on a call or listening to music and at same time surf or get/receive e-mail. You can swap to apps running in the background via one of the keys on the front of the phone – very swish.

I was disappointed though with the software for synchronizing with Outlook. It is buggy and will only sometimes detect that the phone is connected. When this happens the launcher for file transfers also doesn’t work. Although it’s easy to connect in file mode so that transfers from the memory card can be made I recommend you download MyPhoneExplorer which has worked 100% for me. You can transfer files, sync calendars and get some other info like firmware version, battery life and temperatures. Another disappointment’s is lack of Mac support from Sony.

The big new feature of this phone though is the 3 Megapixel camera. Continue reading “Sony Ericsson K800i”

K750i Update

It’s been a month since I picked up my new phone and thought it worthwhile doing a quick update. The phone hasn’t crashed or frozen once which is excellent, especially as I’m still using the original firmware. Updates have come out but have caused issues with some users – I’ll stick with the original version until I know there’s a stable new release which increases functionality. Pictures are also excellent and amazingly close to my 3 megapixel digital camera. I also like the shortcuts available and the events screen which shows missed calls, new texts etc.

Downsides – menu’s can feel slow to open which is apparently being addressed in new firmwares. Also there are some graphical flaws in the menus. Apart from that – nothing. Cannot recommenced the phone enough.

If you want more info on the phone visit Esato – great forums with lots of good advice on Sony Ericsson phones. There are loads of theme sites out there but eSeth.net has some of the nicer ones. Finally, if your looking for free Java games this site has plenty – http://maestro.intramail.ru/files/java/index.php?page=1&sort=date


Took receipt of my new phone today – Sony Ericsson K750i. Since getting a T68i I can’t see past Sony phones – the T610 was next and now the K750i. I’ve only had a few hours to charge and play with it but already it’s very impressive and certainly the most feature rich phone I’ve owned. What wins it for me though is the connectivity.
Continue reading “K750i”