Enrage all the iPhone 7 owners..

RT @HouseOfTheZed: Terrify and enrage all the iPhone 7 owners you know with this one weird trick! https://t.co/4jolVyiI2Y


The iPhone SE is:- Small- Fast…

And mine!!

RT @internetofshit: iPhone SE is:
– Small
– Fast
– Well priced ($399)
– Looks like iPhone 5

tl;dr buy it if you like small phones not large ones

4 ways to fix an unresponsive iPhone home button

RT @CNET: 4 ways to fix an unresponsive iPhone home button flpbd.it/yscJk
Option 1 and 2 work for me.

Unresponsive home button?

RT @CNET: 4 ways to fix an unresponsive iPhone home button http://t.co/K8Z7s3he
1 & 2 always fix it for me.

iPhone 5 praise

Apple’s iPhone 5 praised as ‘a Rolex among a sea of Timexes’ http://t.co/S3SqHBqH

I kind of agree with this. I still think my 4 is a ‘solid’ piece of kit.


I had the chance of a quick poke on a Galaxy Tab in a shop yesterday, my first go on an Android device in the flesh. I’m not sure about the form factor, it felt like it was just a giant phone, so I get the feeling for a tablet it needs to be somewhere about the size of a paperback book. The iPad is maybe a little too big, but the Tab is too small, and I would hazard a guess that this will make or break the tablet scene, the actual form factor has to be just right, and I’d also hazard that most of the buyers of a tablet of this type are going to have a smarter phone anyway. At the other end of the scale, iPad or bigger then yes, people may buy them as a regular PC replacement as they do offer most of the functions for an average user, and are possibly less fiddley than a netbook to use.The actual Tab aside, I checked out the availability of an Android emulator, and it turned out it is possible, on either Windows or Mac, so I’m going to take a look as this could bring an ideal scenario one step closer, and as a result may influence my future device choices.

I want to run a virtual device on my desktop, that could match up with my physical device, keeping apps and mobile data in sync. This virtual device could run like a HUD, either as a small window, iPhone sized, or as a larger iPad sized window, and should mirror my real device exactly. Obviously actual phone functions would have to be ruled out, though there is no reason to ignore anything that could be sent ofer a data connection, just substitute your desktop connection for a 3G link.
The virtual machine would also have to be able to cope with Keyboard/mouse input instead of multi touch, though with the increase in multi touch on desktops/notebooks this may not be a big problem.

If I concentrate on just an Apple implementation of this (I am bias after all!) then I can’t understand why they did not go down this route instead of the Mac App store, surely this would be the better method, virtualise an iDevice onto the desktop, and sell desktop users apps via the existing store. This way it could also easily bring the same thing to the AppleTV, making that device more attractive and increasing sales. It would also be a simple way of syncing the devices instead of using iTunes, if the Virtual device is the hub, and the other devices connect to it then it would replace the slightly clunky method with iTunes, you could stay with the same ‘wired’ sync, but how much nicer would it be to be able to push the sync automatically over the air, maybe just using the wired action for a real device backup, though TimeMachine would help on the virtual device anyway.
I can’t think of many negatives to the idea, only positives. Give the virtual device away to any user, then they would possibly increase the use of the app store, and iDevice sales would also increase as a result of people wanting to take the same simple apps with them across all their devices. Of course this would apply with Android as well, in fact it maybe the ‘killer’ app on Android, causing people to switch from iOS.
I’ve always said it is about the applications, and bringing the same things everywhere has got to be a plus, simpler for developers, one tablet/phone app that could run anywhere as a simple stand alone app, with the same data, and simpler for the ‘stores’ too.
I can always dream, as I can’t see Apple doing this, they missed the opportunity with the Mac store, and maybe Android is too fragmented to fully implement how I’d love to see it run, but home brewed solutions based around Android maybe the way this thing sees the light of day.

Alarms cont…

1st alarm, went off, screen not lit. 2nd alarm went off, same, and no notify box. Can’t turn off! WTF

Finally, alarms on iOS working

But only after it failed again yesterday. Delete and rebuild was the only option. #Alarm #iOS

Good Things

DevonThink Documents 2 Go was released today. This is the most eagerly awaited software application this year for me, and aside from a couple of tiny niggles seems to do what it says on the tin.

Two down, Pocket Informant 1.6 being the first, DT2GO the second, one to go, Momento version 2, and I could be a happy bunny.

In the meantime I’ll be testing DT2GO to destruction, and fitting it firmly into the key position in my daily workflow.

My first week with an iPhone

No, this is not about me, or my iPhone, but this story touched me.




Yes, this appears to be real! Human ingenuity in the face of adversity

Oh boy. Did Apple make a boo-boo this time, and no amount of spin will really make it better. This is a real hardware issue, and can only be treated as such, software won’t fix it, spin won’t fix it, only a rev-2 will.

Or a case, or maybe a band-aid!

I love mine, and would not be parted from it, issue or no issue. I usually use a case, and bought a £2.99 silicone case from Amazon for mine as a stop-gap, and I can use my Ivy-Skin pouch from the 3G, but I’m still looking, and waiting, for an every day case. This was not a problem when I got the 3G, six months into it’s release cycle there was a huge choice available, and the form factor stayed the same through the 3GS making a choice for my wife’s even easier, but with the new form factor of the iPhone 4 there is very little in the way of quality cases to choose from right now.

I live, and work in a marginal coverage area for O2. 3G is not an option in either place and 2G varies room to room, or position to position, so the antenna problem is very real for me. I’m not even sure I can’t still drop bars with the silicone case when touching the “sour-spot”. No Service is very quick to appear in the top left, more so than the 3G, but equally quick to re-appear, again more so than the 3G. I do get service when the 3GS doesn’t, but my 3G was always better than my wife’s 3GS. I’m spotting no clear patterns here, and frankly I’m bored of reading all the hype now, but what is reproducible every time is touching the ‘join’ on the lower left with a naked iPhone 4 will cause all service to drop out within seconds in all the places I normally frequent.

Naked the iPhone 4 is a beautiful looking piece of engineering. It reminds me of something like a TAG watch, a marvel of glass and stainless steel. It looks, and feels, lovely, a thing you want to own, but the reality is that I feel it is fragile, more so than the 3G/GS, and it is not something I want to carry around naked. It needs a case, and it needs one that does it justice as well as protects the device. That choice is not yet available for me as I want it all covered, front and back, while it is not in use, so until then mine is wearing a cheap silicone case, and a cheap peel-off screen cover.

Maybe I should get a band-aid?


iOS 4


So it is here, and I’ve lived with it a few days, only to report that I’m underwhelmed.

Not only did I suffer from a 4 hour installation processes but once I was there I found out that some of the features I’d been looking forwards to were not going to be available for a 3G. The most important of these was bluetooth keyboard support, still a no go, but not till I’d tried all kinds of work arounds trying to get there. It was by chance that I found a simple text line on a blog, “Not supported by the 3G”.

Initial thoughts were also frustrated by a huge slowdown on the device, solved to a large extent by doing a hard reset, home>off, a couple of times. This has helped a lot and made things feel almost as quick as they were before the update.

Folders are very useful, at least until I spring clean the device to clear out duplicate apps I have permanently in ‘testing’, and I love iBooks, though converting things into ePub is a little of a bind. I’m not in a position to splash out for some new books at the moment, but I will check out the options when I get there, maybe for my holiday.

Inbox is a step forwards, but I’m still frustrated by the inability to flag a mail to be dealt with later on the desktop. Isn’t this an obvious need?

The rest? Well I’ve not really dug into it. I’ve got other things taking a priority at the moment, not least moving on and replacing the 3G with a 4G, but that is another story…



Announced today, iBooks for the iPhone

Can’t wait for this, a much needed app that may replace Kindle iPhone/desktop (Not that I read much from the desktop) and other assorted apps. All the features sound to be right on the money, with PDF reading capabilities a must. If it does what it says on the tin and I can add in my reference PDFs this will be another killer app.

Ohh, they also announced a new iPhone. I’ll take one of those too.


Opera unleashed

What a disappointment. I guess there maybe be a million underwhelmed downloaders if the stats are anything to go by. It won’t be replacing Safari mobile on most of those devices anytime soon, in fact I wonder how many may have already deleted it.


In use Opera is a step backwards. Yes, it was my browser of choice on my N95, and Opera mobile was my choice on two generations of XDA, though mini was a poor substitute for Opera Mobile. Now it feels like the iPhone version is a poor substitute for Safari, though as it is version 1.0 there may be room for improvement in the near future.
I’m unsure if the shortcomings are because Opera ‘rushed’ through the app thinking it would never be released, or wether because it routes everything through Opera’s servers, either way I’m not keen on the interface, and I’m suffering from ‘stuck’ pages. The interface is very uniPhone, and while I have other similar apps non-standard apps it is not very intuitive, not something I could particularly level at Opera in the past. I guess the learning curve is not that huge, but it is not grabbing me yet, so I’m not keen on learning the quirks.
Speed is touted as Opera’s key selling point, but my experience is not overwhelming. I’m usually on 2G, or wifi, and on neither does it set the world on fire, 3G is still a little novel for me, most of the places I visit are not enabled (thanks O2), but I can’t say I’ve got a worthwhile browsing boost while on this connection, but my usage has been very minimal anyway, so this is not a totally fair test.
Summing up I think I’m going to be like a lot of users, it is fine for quick access while you are mobile, especially if it can deliver the promised speed, but it won’t replace Safari anytime soon as the browsing experience is already very good, and bookmark/history sync are nice little extras (available via Opera if you use it on the desktop with an Opera sign up, but not easy to hack around to use with Safari or any other browser).
I’ll keep it around, but I don’t know about the other million downloaders. Were they all excitable geeks too, or were they taken in with the hype?

Video iPhone 3G

I guess we all knew it could be done, and that it really is just Apple artificially limiting recording to only the 3GS, but now anyone can have video recording on the iPhone, whatever the model.

iVideocamera is available on the app store.


OK, its not HD recording. It’s not as good as the 3GS, and it is not perfect, but it is impressive all the same, and this is a ‘must have’ app if you own a 2G/3G iPhone.

Well done guys, this is what great development is about, working around the limitations, and sticking with it through Apple’s approval process. This is a great application, well worth the 59p (99c) and proves, like Omnifocus with their work around for push notifications, that if a developer is prepared to put the effort in they will reap the rewards.

All change. Again.

After a long, hard look at journalling, blogging and linking in the iPhone I’ve had to make a change again.


NoteLife, the app I was pinning my hopes on for making entries ‘on device’ is not living up-to expectations. I had a suspicion it would end up like this, the whole of the SOHO Organizer suite has always given me problems, though the current version 8 is the least buggy, is getting plenty of updates, and runs very well on the new iMac. Syncing between the two is the problem, partially due to the amount of information I want to keep in sync.

I wanted to use NoteLife as a giant Shovebox, keeping all the information I currently need to hand, including passwords etc in SplashID, and act as a notebook for my diary and other stuff that pops up everyday. In practice this is not working, NoteLife is buggy with encryption, and the amount of stuff I appear to be carrying about simply takes to long to sync across, and sometimes causes a crash during syncing that will either end up doubling all my entries, or losing the most recent from either database. As always this leaves two options, either I persevere, filing bug reports, contacting support and cleaning up the mess that results from failed syncing, or I look for alternatives.

I have chosen to look for alternatives, and maybe stupidly I’m pinning my hopes on another yet unreleased application, this time the iPhone companion to MacJournal, with another option of the yet unreleased Devon Think application for some of the more important information exchange later on.

Put simply it is back to Shovebox on the iPhone, and as a halfway house for info on the desktop, MacJournal for journaling and blogging, and I’m continuing to use Devon Think as my main document store. When the MacJournal app is available I’ll start to use it for direct journaling, and when Devon Think become available I can then take with me the major bits and pieces I need when out and about, Shovebox is filling in this role now, and with a little planning is working well.

Listening to: spacemusic.nl – Coffee Break: Christmas 2009


Best handheld for 40 years?

A Brilliant iPhone advert spoof.

I can’t say I’m a Sun reader (If you remember Jasper Carrot you’ll know what I mean), and I’m definitly no fan of Rupert Murdoch and News International, especially in the way he wants to dominate the way we consume news, another dinosaur who can’t adapt to the way the net has changed things, but this is a very well executed spoof.

I saw it aired on TV tonight and it gave me a very big smile, and while I love my iPhone and you’d have to pry it from my cold, dead, hands I can see a great deal of truth in what it says. Unlike the app store though, there is an awful lot of crud going to displayed every time you top up, and not just what you choose to put on your handheld!

Listened to: 13/12/2009 on SPOTIFY: Vangelis, Voices.

Killer Application

Just scanned the app store again for anything to use as a stop gap for NoteLife.

There isn’t, at least not without learning the complexities of Handbase, or maybe Tapforms which I already own. I took another look a Bento, but there is no compelling reason to use it, or upgrade to the latest desktop edition. In fact the reviews have got worse.

Looks like the wait continues.

It is strange that though the iPhone is a really great piece of kit, and there are some really good applications available for it, that there are still some glaring great gaps in functionality.

  • Why no access to the built in calendar?
  • Why no iCal todo list?
  • Why no simple database?
  • Why is syncing so complicated?

Sure, many developers have worked around these limitations, but even when they have produced a great app why does it take so long for things to be approved and appear on the store, surely Apple can afford to have a team dedicated to fast tracking applications that increase the qualities of the device?

Pocket Informant is a prime example. A great app that took months to appear, months to make really usable, but it is still limited to a ‘hack’, or more correctly a workaround, to offer any functionality. Yes, they are working on things, but they have to use Google for calendaring and Toodledo for tasks, when in the end there are really two sets of users, one wants it to work with Outlook, and the other iCal. Period.

Pocket Informant and now NoteLife are two of my killer apps still waiting full development, and I’ve had the phone for almost a year now. One is only just becoming fully usable with 8-9 months of development after it was released, and it still uses a workaround to get part of it’s function back to my desktop, the other function, tasks, still doesn’t sync to my desktop in any kind of usable way. The other app, NoteLife, is not yet available, and I can guarrantee will need a lot of further development before it fully does what it says on the tin. I’m only waiting for this because nothing else advertised appears to offer a proper desktop sync of all your important data, and most importantly offers editibility on the device.

Hurry up Apple, the wait is killing me.

Spotify Approved

I said it would be approved, and it has, though not yet available on the app store, apparently because Spotify need to upgrade their servers to cope with the expected demand.

So to all the people who said it would never be approved as it is likely to prove the end of iTunes, watch this space.

Spotify is not iTunes, it is a paid for streaming service, that with the iPhone/Touch will allow you local storage so the content is available when the network is not.

Spotify is not an all you can eat music download, and you will not lose your tracks if/when the service goes down, or you cancel your subscription, simply because you never had them in the first place, you only paid for the streaming service.

There are ways around this if you wish, Audio Hijack is one method on the Mac, and there are other similar methods on Windows, but this was always a way to capture any audio stream, I used to do this years ago with Winamp and my favourite internet radio stations. It also appears that in the standard desktop application the tracks are cached to your hard drive, and surprisingly so far no-one has attacked this storage to gain full access, so there is nothing really new in the iPhone app other than making this cache available to another application.

My best guess is that the Spotify availability will be announced at Apple’s scheduled event on the 9th September, and I’m certainly happy with the service so far, and happy to pay the premium to have the full streaming ability on my iPhone. Long term, who knows, but I’m glad that sections of the music industry are finally learning to listen, and act on the advantages of  the internet instead of constantly criticising and fighting their own customers.

iPhone update?

Received        21 Aug 2009 14:17:28        O2UK
Hello. Apple have released an important software update for your iPhone.

This will help manage data roaming abroad.

To check you’ve got the latest version, connect your iPhone to your computer as soon as you can. Click the ‘Check for Update’ button in iTunes.

For more information please visit shop.o2.co.uk/update

But there is no update in iTunes!

Yet again my lack of understanding for the telcos rises, and with it more mistrust.

With my Nokia I had to tell the device that it was an unlocked euro model to get access to the latest Nokia updates using dubious methods, Windows Mobile I had to use cooked ROMS, sometimes of questionable quality, Palm never released a firmware update, but at least it ‘just worked’, or my expectations were lower.
At least Apple control, and distribute updates for all the models from the last couple of years, even if the older models can’t have the latest features, the core OS is updated.

But why this message? I’m on the latest firmware and I see no further updates in iTunes at the moment. More to the point, I don’t see any ‘new/improved’ way to manage data roaming abroad. Telling the device never, ever, even under the most pressing circumstances, NOT to download any data when roaming is good enough for me, unless O2, or just about any other telco I’ve ever come across, decides to do the right thing and make data a sensible cost at home and abroad.

Fat chance of that I guess.

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