Up and Running 6a

Page 2 of my iPhone and it's apps...

Again top to bottom, left to right.. All non standard apps on this page were free.

Clock:- I use the alarm feature quite regularly but that's about it, if I want to know the time a quick press of the home button while locked will tell me. No complaints tho.

Weather:- Another standard iPhone app, built from the Yahoo! widget, it's ok, but very very basic, I'm gonna look for a more detailed one, but then if I find one I won't be able to delete this one!!

MySpace:- I don't use MySpace a hell of a lot any more, but I still have an active profile, and I occasionally check it on the go and delete all the crappy spam adds that you get on MySpace, functionally, the app's not as good as Facebook (much like the site itself!) (iTunes)(Profile)

Digg:- Bookmark to the mobile version of Digg, which isn't the easiest to use, and thus doesn't get much use from me. (Link)

TubeStatus:- As I do a fair bit of work and commuting to/from and in London, this would seem like quite a handy app, which I suppose it would be if I actually checked it regularly before my journey, but at the same time, the Tube isn't that hard to navigate and if there's a major problem (becuase "minor or even major delays" generally don't matter if you're just getting the next train), you can easily figure out how to go around, and if you're checking the app now, it's already too late. If it was integrated into a map, that may be more useful. (iTunes)

Linkedin:- Another social network site, this one supposed to be more business orientated, so I've got a profile, have some connections and that's about it at the moment, but the mobile app comes in handy if I want to check on it.(iTunes)(Profile)

Photos:- The standard iPhone photo gallery app, once again, I've got no issues with this, I don't want to be doing any photo manipulation or editing on the go, it simply stores my phone cam photos and syncs with iPhoto. Cheers.

UK Trains:- WebApp interface for the National Rail Timetable search, the interface isn't great, but it delivers the same results, and for a free webapp it's ok, does the job. (Link)

ShoZu:- This seemed like a bloody good app, I could post pictures to my various accounts from a single app, could blog on the go, all looked good. First time I tried posting a pic to TwitPic, it failed, nothing posted. I think I've had one test blog post from it and that's about it. There has been an update and I haven't tried it since, so maybe I should give it another go.  (iTunes)

IM+ Lite:- I keep this on as a just in case, it should handle multiple IM accounts and protocols, I very rarely use it. Don't know if the paid version's any better. (iTunes)

Remote:- AWESOME!!! Brilliant app from Apple to control iTunes. Unfortunately I rarely have cause to use it as I'm generally sat with or next to the computer that's playing the music, however when I eventually DO get a media centre set up, this WILL be used! (iTunes)

eBay:- The interface isn't great, but I have been using it recently to keep an eye on my watch list, and even placed a bid with it, so on that score I guess it does it's job. (iTunes)

AroundMe:- I really like this app in principal, I wish I could get more use out of it. It should link to the location services and tell you what's nearby in any given category, for instance Restaurants. Which it seems to, as long as their in whatever database it looks up (Google??), I've used it to find somewhere to eat, as well as confirm that there were no better options from what we'd already found. (iTunes)

AIM:- I get more use out of this than IM+ Lite, mainly as my girlfriend has a MacBook now I set up an iChat/AIM account for her and now if I'm out and about this can save on SMS Texts, as long as there's a decent connection. Hopefully it'll get the whole push server thing going on and then will run in the background, that would be handy. (iTunes)

MMS:- Okay, was told about this one recently whilst filming at Olympia. We had a chat with one of the guys on the O2 stand there at BETT, and he pointed us in the direction of this app. It's a simple app that gives you an interface to the O2 MMS web portal, so if you receive an MMS message you can use this app to read it rather than faffing about through Safari. This is definitly a much better way to do it. My only concern is with sending. Now, unlike the majority of the whinging iPhone community, I'm not that fussed about having MMS capabilities, true this app makes it easier for me to pick up any that are sent, but I could do that on the web anyway. If I want to send a picture I'll generally email it. However there's still a lot of people who haven't got decent mobile email and so are still using MMS, like my girlfriend for example who has a Nokia 5000, because that suits her mobile phone needs, and has MMS. So I can view MMS messages from her, and with the MMS app I can also, if I REALLY needed to send them. However you need to top-up MMS credit from within the app via PayPal, the rates seem about average, but are they on-top of my mobile tariff, is it a seperate thing? I haven't been able to clarify, thus I haven't given any money over. (iTunes)

Darkslide:- I added this yesterday, because I was specifically looking for a picture of something. Sat in the car, bought it (free) over 3G, used it to search Flickr. Couldn't find what I wanted, but that's not the app's fault. It seems pretty good, lot of functionality, I'm gonna keep it about for a bit. (iTunes)(Profile)

Starting to notice I have a lot of apps that get bugger all use.

Pownce it! Pownce it!

Up and Running 6

I've now been using my iPhone 3G for about 6 months, so here I'm going to cover the 'page 1' apps on my iPhone. Top to bottom, left to right. (pages 2-4 will follow)

Calendar:- Pretty straight forward this one, I use iCal on my MacBook as my main calendar, so it's synched to that. Unlike on my previous Nokia phones, I can add an item to any calendar category I like, rather than having to specify just one iSync or something. Only bugbears with it are that there's no week view and the calendar colours don't match the one's in iCal, the latter at least seems like a no brainer!!

Maps:- Maps gets knocked by a fair few people, mainly for it's lack of "turn-by-turn" SatNav abilities, all I can say is that so far, it's got me everywhere I've needed to go. True every now and again there's a post code error and it takes me to the wrong street, but this isn't the application's fault as such, more the data it's using from Google Maps, or maybe even address having the wrong post code on it. 
Back to the "turn-by-turn" side of things, yes, this is is a tad fiddly in Maps, you have to tap through each waypoint and then re-engage GPS tracking each time, not the best thing to have to do while driving. Rumors still fly about the Tom-Tom software for iPhone and a guy from O2 told me there was another SatNav app coming out soon (same one as they have on XDA perhaps), but I've yet to see it, plus it'll be a subscription based model, not sure about that.

Contacts:- I don't have to delve into this that often, apart from via the phone book. It was dreadfully slow to begin with, updates have pretty much sorted that.

Camera:- For a bog standard phone camera, it's not terrible, yeah sure there's better phone cameras out there, but this is comparable to and better than some previous Nokias and Motorola's I've had. Does ok.

Twinkle:- I'm a Twitter addict. So until it goes bankrupt (revenue model yet anyone?) I'll keep going. There's a variety of Twitter apps out there, I've been happiest with the interface on this one, plus it's location aware. (iTunes)

Calculator:- It's a calculator...

Notes:- It does exactly the job I need it to do. If I need to make a note of something, this is where it goes.

NetNewsWire:- I got into the whole RSS thing a few months back, and I have both the mobile and desktop version of NNW, both pretty good, for collating the various sites I read. Still think the mobile one has syncing issues tho. (iTunes)

Facebook:- A pretty good interface for the site, they do keep improving it, there's more needed, but I'm sure they'll get there. I do get quite a bit of use from this. (iTunes)

Safari:- All in all, it does a pretty good job, can be a little fiddly with some sites if there's crowded text, you can easily tap a link when you wanted to zoom in, or tap an adjacent link to the one you want. Can be a tad slow at times and obviously doesn't cope well with pop-ups etc.

Evernote:- Thinking this may go soon. It's an interesting concept when combined with the broswer applet, you can clip to Evernote then it's accessible from pretty much anywhere. Thing is cell data isn't great and I rarely use it. Favouring emails, Notes and PDFs it seems. I want to like it tho. (iTunes)

Settings:- Cos there's no quick switch icon for Wi-Fi on/off

Air Sharing:- Brilliant, gives you wi-fi disk access to your phone, create folders, drag over docs, whatever really. I've got a store of useful docs on my phone and use this a fair bit. Be handy to have some integration to mail or something, to allow you to save docs to it tho. But that's probably more a restriction by Apple. Luckily I also got this when it was free, but well worth the £2.99 now! (iTunes)

Traffic:- WebApp, quick view list of traffic problems around the UK, listed by region, very useful (if I remember to check before I set off!), would be handy if it listed by Motorway, cos half the time I'm going somewhere of any distance, I lose track of which county I'm in!! (WebApp)

FireFone:- Recently discovered Fire Eagle, added it to my Twitter-style addictions and online explotation. Tried a couple of Fire Eagle apps out, this seemed to do the job the quickest. Apparently the recent update allows Location to Twitter posting, haven't tried that yet tho. (iTunes)

Quick bar.

Phone:- No complaints so far, sometimes the Visual Voicemail is a bit sketchy whether it will actually be visual or not, but that hasn't been a major issue so far.

Mail:- Again, this has been working okay, nothing has stopped me from working or anything like that, would like to be able to save documents tho, that did cause a minor delay in things the other day as I couldn't get the doc off the phone (no wifi to pickup email on my MacBook), but overall it's done well. My email accounts are all over the place, but I will be upgrading my server to Exchange which will hopefully solve all that (but not until Snow Leopard!)

SMS:- I'm pretty sure I text a hell of a lot more with this, the conversation format works well, only issues are me being too quick and accepting some of it's stupid spelling and word suggestions by mistake.

Checklist:- I tried various ToDo list apps, this one enabled me to add tasks the quickest, so it stuck. (iTunes)

Okay, so there's page 1, I'll cover pages 2, 3 and 4 when I can/feel like it/am bored/etc. Always interested to hear about useful and interesting apps, especially paid apps that are actually worth the money!

Pownce it! Pownce it!

BETT 2009

Today was the first day of BETT 2009 @ Olympia, and as I've done for the past couple of years, I was part of the team covering it for Teachers TV. It's been a long day and I have a blister on the ball of my left foot.

If you're hoping for an insightful post on the current state of technology in the education marketplace, this is not going to be the one. This is about what freebies we snagged on the way round, mainly as despite being rather tired, I'm not quite ready to go to bed yet, so you get this!

The haul is not as good as previous years :( no bags, no mugs, no drinks bottles. I'm pretty sure we could've found all three of those (bags at the very least), but for some reason, the freebies were hard to find, the stands were more reluctant to give them away and we seemed to have a much tighter schedule (or at least it became tighter!) this time round, which meant less time to browse on our way between I/V locations!

But what did I come back with.

A Pencil with TWO rubbers on it!
A Rubiks...sorry...Logo-Branded-Generic-Puzzle Cube (which one bit pinged off while I was smugly boasting about it to the presenter)
A rather snazzy flower shaped highlighter (may give that to my g/f, on the other hand, may not)
A few sweets, including a sherbert lolly!!
A Stress LightBulb
A Stress Phone
2 'credit-card' sized packs of mints
3 USB Memory Sticks! (not sure on the sizes yet, won't be huge, although my sound guy got given a 2GB one and he didn't even ask!!!!!)

Also got recommended a couple of iPhone apps by the guys on the O2 stand, I'll cover at least some of them in a post tomorrow (yeah right, believe that when I see it!!... I Will honest!)

Anyway, it was a great show and we saw (and filmed) some interesting stuff, should be a good programme!! BETT Report 2009 goes out on Teachers TV 20:15 Thursday 15th (Today now!!) and should be available online shortly after at http://www.teachers.tv/video/30904

Pownce it! Pownce it!


Well it had to happen I suppose... as it does every year, one finished and another arrived, this time, something a little different, Two Thousand and NINE, yes NINE of all numbers!!

OK it's late, 20 past 1 in the AM Jan 2nd 09 and after pretty much 3 months, I NOW decide I want to post some random shite up here. Deal.

So, was pretty damn busy at the end of last year, mix of stuff and, by the time it came around, I was really glad for a bit of a break over xmas! :/

How did '08 go?? Not bad, first 8 months of being freelance done and dusted, all going ok so far, sure there's a way to go, but for a start, I'm pretty pleased. 4 months left of my first year, and then a proper assessment I think.

Been trying to work out my 1 year and 5 year plans, not going great, still needs a lot of work, and preferably some sort of writing down, once I do figure out what they're going to be. Still interested in creating some sort of online content, still toying with various ideas, still not moving forward with anything... that'll be on the plan.

Spent too much money over xmas... mainly on myself, post xmas. I'm not a bastard, I bought good presents, just buckled afterwards and bought myself one..

What you see there is my spanking new Nikon D80 sat next to what can now probably be described as my vintage Nikkormat EL, which used to be my Dad's. The Lens on the D80 is an 18-55 'G' lens, which isn't great, but it's a start. I want to get a decent zoom for it as the Nikkor 80-200 I picked up recently for the EL is of too old a type to mount on the D80. Damn.

Apparently I can get the lens modified to fit, which I may need to do anyway, as I bought it not only for the EL but also for use with lens adapters on video and I think there's a similar mounting issue there.

Anyway, Happy New Year.

Mood is quizzical and ever so slightly apprehensive
Currently (still) listening to White Star Liners - Dimmer Then Explode

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