Olympic Wallpaper

9 08 2008

This is just a quick wallpaper I whipped up for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I’m thinking of modifying it to make it more Olympic-like but I don’t want to over-complicate it. I have three sizes: 1680×1050 (for wallpaper), 320×480 (for iPhone/iPod touch) and a square for other use.





Top 10 Free iPhone Apps [Quick List]

5 08 2008

Below is my personal list of my top ten favorite free applications from the App Store as of current.

10.WordPress

9. Exposure

8. NetNewsWire

7. Aurora Feint

6. Remote

5. Facebook

4.DizzyBeeFree

3. 1Password

2. BoxOffice

1. Zenbe Lists





Installer.app Almost Ready for Release [Firmware 2.0]

24 07 2008

The RiP Dev team today announced the imminent arrival of their fourth version of Installer.app. This version will be able to be used with the recently released 2.0 firmware for iPod touches and iPhones. From what Gizmodo is reporting, the new version will contain multi-threading “meaning everything doesn’t come to a halt while your sources are being updated” and support for package dependencies. By the looks of the screenshots posted on the RiP Dev Blog, they are looking to match the style of the App Store. It also appears to look less cluttered than before. The proposed released date for the app is sometime in the next week.





Zenbe Review [Part One – iPhone & iPod touch]

24 07 2008

While browsing through the iPhone and iPod touch App Store, I found an application called “Zenbe”. Figuring I was just going to open it just to end up deleting it from my system minutes later, I didn’t give it much hope. Once the application finished downloading, I opened it up to find a beautifully clean interface that offers many more options than the other simple to-do applications. When you first start it up, you must create a free Zenbe account which you can input in the Zenbe Settings, under Settings.

The beautiful feature about this application is for one, because you now have a Zenbe account, you can sync anything you do on the Zenbe Lists in your iPhone or iPod touch to the web version, which is accessible on any computer with Internet access.

Another killer feature of Zenbe is that you can create multiple lists instead of a single To-Do list (e.g. Things to Buy, Places to Eat, Things to Blog On, To-Do, etc.) Also, once a list is created, you are able to share it with others so they can check off possibly completed items themselves and add more of their own. A great example of this would be having a shared grocery list between two people, so if one of them were to pick something up off  of the list, the other would see it and know not to buy it as well. Lists are also organizable by moving them up and down as you would with an On-The -Go playlist, and are just as easy to delete by swiping.

All of the information put on your Zenbe application is also accessible through their site here. I just wish that they would make some sort of widget or Adobe AIR application so I could see it on my desktop. Other than that, no problems whatsoever – flawless.

Stay tuned for part two of my Zenbe review, which will cover the web application portion.





WordPress For iPhone

22 07 2008

photo

Early today, WordPress released their brand new iPhone and iPod touch app into the App Store. As of right now, I can tell to covers basically every blogging function in WordPress and places it in this great package. The option to preview a post is a great feature that I wouldn’t have expected to been implemented in the initial release, but non-the-less it was brought to us.
The only function I would like to see added as of right now would be the addition of blog stats like the ones on their website (and obviously you can’t view the graphs in Mobile Safari because of the lack of Flash).
Overall, this is a very nicely designed app and am excited to test it out further on the near future.

Note: This entire post was written through the WordPress app.





1Password Review

9 07 2008

[OS X only] I purchased my copy of 1Password back during Macheist II and have fallen in love ever since. For those who don’t know, 1Password is a manager for web passwords, but with many more capabilities than one might expect. Firstly, it integrates into almost any modern browser, placing an icon at the top for easy access to all web passwords. Another neat feature of 1Password is that it will also store “identities” containing your name, occupation, address, email, etc. to make filling in forms online as easy as clicking a mouse button. It also contains a built-in password generator with a slew of options from the number of characters (from 1 to 50) to the ratio of digits to symbols. Also, (as though that weren’t enough) you are able to place all of your credit card information in a “wallet”. Not only can you put your credit cards in there, but also items such as memberships, passports, Social Security Numbers, iTunes accounts and much more.  Finally, you are also able to create “secure notes” which house any information that you would like to be kept confidential.

Not too long ago, Agile Web Solutions, the makers of 1Password, implemented a similar option for the iPhone and iPod touch which prompts a dialogue box overlaying the current web site, asking for the master password and the options available for the site. I found this feature helpful but not entirely as great of a solution as the one for desktop computers. But once again, 1Password has found out how to create a brilliant workaround – thanks to the iPhone and iPod touch SDK and the AppStore. The plan, according to Agile Web Solutions’ David Teare, is to create their own browser with 1Password built in. They were forced to do that because Apple has disallowed any modifications to their own applications. According to Teare, they’re including some “cool features” that will “make users not want to use Safari directly anyway.” Sounds good to me.

Last but not least, the 1Password team has just released a new feature to their killer application (like there weren’t enough features already) entitled “Bookmarks”. This opens up a well designed HUD panel that contains all of your passwords and with a simple click, directs you to the web site and logs you in. Also, it includes a search bar at the top for easy finding of all of your passwords.

Also to note: It protects against phishing sites by alerting you that you have never entered information on that site before. Also, their customer support is well beyond my expectations, replying to my email within the hour.





Reign of the iPod Over?

21 06 2008

Is it possible to imagine a world where Apple isn’t dependent or even manufacturing the iPod anymore? This may be approaching a lot sooner than one may think. If you look back at the keynote from Steve Jobs almost two weeks ago, he outlined the three central items that make Apple who they are: Mac, iPhone and “Music”. What’s interesting here is that he did not explicitly mention the iPod during this. Which is surprising, considering for one, that 40 percent of Apple’s profits ($24 billion) were generated through iPod and iTunes sales – the other half being from its iMac, Mac Pro and MacBook series, which have been increasing in sales immensely due to poor acceptance of Windows Vista and the popularity the iPod has created for the company. In 2007, the personal computer division sales rose around 40%. Now, if you contrast this with iPod growth, you see a totally different story. In 2004, the year-over year sales growth topped 500%; in 2005, it was around 207%; 2006 it was 50% and in 2007 it was only around 6% increase. Based on these trends, it is completely feasible that the iPod may reach a 0% increase, and even possibly a decrease in the iPod’s sales y/y.

Apple has obviously realized that the seemingly endless rise of the iPod can’t continue forever, seeing as they excluded even the title “iPod” from the keynote. They have begun to focus on the “new gadget” – one which they will try to repeat the phenomenon displayed by the iPod. The iPhone in essence, is an iPod, but with many more capabilities. It is where the current market is quickly heading – the all-in-one device. As society has progressed, we have seen more and more creations being packed in to smaller and smaller packages. Prime example – the calculator. How many people, unless they’re still in school, still buy a calculator? What’s the need? Most devices carry them in some form or another: computers, cell phones, even the iPod touch has one. Is this the direction the iPod is headed? I believe so.

If you take a look at cell phones nowadays, they already have the built in MP3 capabilities of an iPod plus the functionality of a phone. Why would anyone want an iPod when they can get a similar MP3 player with a phone included. Also, a large amount of people use their cell phones as their lifelines – all the more reasons to have everything in one device. A well designed interface can’t stave off the incoming challengers forever.

Instead of placing all of their eggs in one basket, Apple has done the right thing and hasn’t put itself into a corner where it can’t escape. Instead they’ve branched out into other markets (eg. iPhone) and tested the waters there. So will there be a day when children ask their parents, “What’s an iPod?”. I believe this future is closer than we think.








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