Archive | January 2009

TMobile G1

With all of this talk about the iPhone and the Palm Pre I often wonder how the G1 and future Android phones will stack up. I’ve had limited interactions with the G1, but I’ve read lots of conflicting reviews. It’s nice to see a review from someone with the kind of holistic understanding of mobile phones that Jonathan Greene has.

Read Jonathan’s review over at atmaspheric endeavors. Pay close attention to his positive comments about the browser and his negative comments about the battery.

Palm Pre FAQ

Gizmodo has an up-to-date Palm Pre FAQ.

Meanwhile: has rapid fire coverage specific to the device.
PrePoint is adding historical context, comparing the new OS to ACCESS and pointing to some of the things we DON’T know about the Pre.
Pre Community is discussing both the business and technical aspects of the Pre.
PalmPreView dug up more hints from the past about the Pre.
I expect that the official Palm Developer Blog will ramp up coverage quickly, too.


Palm Pre

I watched the Palm Pre CES announcement. WOW.

I’m blown away. I read the blog posts, but even they did not prepare me for the complete package. Watch that video ASAP.

I still think Apple could win this war, but Palm is definitely showing up for the fight. Before the Palm Pre announcement I would have ranked the smartphone operating systems as Apple, RIM, Nokia, Microsoft. Now I think it’s Apple, Palm (Web OS), RIM, Nokia, Microsoft. And if everything shown in that video pans out and Apple doesn’t repsond in a major way, the ranking will move to Palm (Web OS), Apple, RIM, Nokia, Microsoft.

It makes you think. Are the other players sitting on some next gen tech, too? Will we see something earth shattering from Microsoft soon? One thing is for sure. This year, last and next are going to be historic for the phone industry.

Here are some of my observations (crossposted on Twitter) while watching the Palm Pre announcement:

  • The Palm Pre would not have happened if the iPhone hadn’t happened first. But, Apple needs to respond ASAP.
  • Developers Developers Developers Developers. Developers Developers Developers Developers. CSS, JS, Ajax, HTML.
  • If you browse to one of your Outlook contacts, their Facebook contact info will appear, too, if you are connected there.
  • If you are on a call and you place the phone on the inductive charger, the call moves to speakerphone.
  • Typing while no app is in the foreground starts a device-wide search for content or apps that match your text entry.
  • Conversations are in one pane even if they move from IM to SMS to IM.
  • PalmPilot: Centralize todo, calendar, documents, etc. Treo: Combine MP3 player, camera, PDA, Phone. Pre: Unify your online personas.
  • Web Browser Instances are treated, each, as currently running apps. They are each in the carousel with email, etc.
  • Task switching is baked in. Currently running apps appear in a carousel and can be discarded by swiping them up.
  • The application launcher appears, translucently, over the current foreground app. Like glass.
  • The CPU (TI OMAP 3430) has horsepower and Palm is the first to use it in a phone.

iPhone Twitter App Comparison Chart

Here is a report card / eye chart I put together to compare the 5 leading iPhone Twitter clients. Enjoy! Please leave a comment if I’ve made a mistake in any of the rows. Click on the thumbnail to open the full comparison chart.

My current favorite is Tweetie. TwitterFon is the best free option (and the only open source option). Twittelator is the only app with sub group support.

iPhone Twitter App Comparison Chart

UPDATE 1/16/2009: Updated the chart to include the latest version of each app.

UPDATE 1/18/2009: Reading a tweet by Steve Birney, I realize I need to add offline functionality to the chart. [DONE]

UPDATE: 1/19/2009: Note to self – add Dave Winer’s link format to the list of features.

UPDATE: 1/21/2009: Added several new rows, corrected some inaccuracies.

One More Thing…

I have one additional wish list item for Macworld 2009: the iPhone needs a better application launcher. Paging through screens to find the app you are looking for is inefficient and can be frustrating.

MacWorld 2009 Wish List

TUAW asks what I want to see at MacWorld. Check out their predictions. Here is my wish list in order. First is what I want most.

1. A Car PC experience for an Apple product. Voice navigation, Text-to-Speech for email and news, Voice Recorder, Traffic. App Store. This could be related to the rumored Tablet or maybe just a new interface for the iPhone…

2. 6″-9″ device. This should incorporate learnings from the iPhone, NetBooks and Mobile Internet Devices.

3. iPhone: Hulu and Netflix streaming.

4. iPhone: Background downloading of Podcasts, Twitter and Google Reader. If I understand correctly, the promised “push” functionality will be insufficient for these applications, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

5. iPhone: Copy/Paste

6. iPhone: Better calendar integration with Exchange.

7. iPhone: Email more than one photo at a time.

I’m not really in the market for an Apple TV or a Mac Mini, but there are definitely changes they could make to those devices that would make them hard to resist. The Apple Home Server product rumor is also interesting, but I’d be in wait and see mode. Especially after experiencing the flakiness of the Time Capsule product first hand this year.

My Top 10 Favorite iPhone Apps

Short and sweet.

Google Reader’s mobile version – This isn’t a native app. It’s the iPhone Safari version of Google Reader. I’d prefer something native, but, until background downloading comes along, it’s faster for me to just visit the site directly.

Things – a todo app that syncs with the OS X version of Things. This is the first time I’ve had a tasks application so well integrated into my daily life. It’s nice! Not cheap, though – $10 for the iPhone app and $40-$50 for the OS X app.

TwitterFon – My favorite iPhone twitter client. Twittelator is my backup, though. It supports groups so I can view tweets from a small group of people if I’m short on time. I hope TwitterFon adds that kind of functionality soon! – This app is great in stores. Take photos of the things you want to see reviews on or want to price check. Moments later, the Amazon product pages for those items show up and you can make informed purchases at local stores OR do a 1-click purchase from Amazon.

iPod – The built in iPod functionality is great and I use it a lot for Podcasts, AudioBooks and Music. Still, I wish the Podcast downloading was automatic.

iTalk – Great for taking voice notes.

Yelp – Excellent source of information about local restaurants and services.

Maps – The built in Google Map functionality is great and keeps getting better.

The Creeps – My favorite Tower Defense-style game currently.

Shazam – Helps me identify songs on the radio that I’d like to download when I stop the car.