3G iPhone Rumors are Flying!

The buzz on the internet is that Apple is readying its 3G compatible iPhone for a early summer release. Now, these are rumors of course, but like the old iDiom says, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.”

One rumor, from the research firm Gatner, is reporting that Apple has already ordered a (big) number if iPhone units from manufacturing. By big number, I mean 10 million. These new iPhones are rumored to be 3G data ready and have OLED displays. If you don’t know, the reason behind a lack of 3G in the current iPhone was supposed to be a lack of battery life. OLED display would give the iPhone back some battery juice. This rumor has teeth.

Another rumor, this one from Kevin Rose, states that a “High Level” (isn’t it always a High Level Person?) person in a partner company to Apple is reporting the 3G iPhone in June. This rumor has the new iPhone sporting both 3G and GPS.

June is looking good with the release of firmware 2.0, 3rd party applications, and the potential of a major hardware revision. I can hardly wait!


Web App Wednesday – Tax Calculator

Ok, there is no getting around it.  Tax day is right around the corner, and this time it is a major deal.  If you don’t file your taxes on time, you won’t be getting your tax rebate (stimulus) check on time.  I don’t know about you, but my stimulus check is much larger than my tax rebate  bill.

What does this have to do with the iPhone? Well, there is an income tax calculator available for the iPhone.  The calculator, from Vertex42 LLC, has a sleek interface, does its job well, and was very designed.  It also features quite a bit of tax tips and useful information.

I am not trying to make an argumment that this is a die-without application.  It is handy, and very useful.  It is these kind of single-purpose, handy web applications that will continue to be popular, even after the 3rd Party Applications start rolling.  I wouldn’t want to pay for this limited use program, but for free, it is excellent!

Check out the calculator, from Vertex42 LLC.  Use it to do your taxes, and get your stimulus rebate.  You might need it soon for a new iPhone, but I will cover that tomorrow.


iTunes $.99 Movie of the Week

I haven’t seen this week’s movie. If you have, you should let me know if it is worth renting or not. It did receive pretty good reviews on both Amazon and iTunes. This week’s movie is Bandits (warning – iTunes link). It is rated PG-13 and will be on sale from 25 March until 01 April. Here is the movie descrption:

Chemistry and quirkiness–and a stellar cast–help make Barry Levinson’s Bandits more than just another comedy about ill-matched outlaws. Levinson’s deft touch in Rain Man is evident in the film’s road-movie structure, which follows bank robbers Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) on a crime spree from Oregon to California. They’re eventually joined by an aspiring stuntman and getaway driver (Troy Garity, son of Jane Fonda) and a neglected housewife (Cate Blanchett) who falls in love with both Joe and Terry after escaping her boring marriage. As scripted by Twin Peaks alumnus Harley Peyton, Bandits shifts from character comedy to crime thriller with reckless abandon, and the humor (particularly Terry’s multiple neuroses) is occasionally forced and flat. Levinson compensates with offbeat moments of unexpected tenderness, allowing his cast to express depths of character not necessarily found in the script. A twist ending won’t surprise attentive viewers, but it gives Bandits the extra kick it needs.

That’s all for now, come back next week for the iTunes sale movie.


A Great iDea – Ringtone Podcasts

I am not a fan of the Teen-Buzz ringtone; I shouldn’t be, I am an adult. But the people who run the Teenbuzz blog have stumbled onto a brilliant idea. They have created a Podcast that delivers ring tones to your iPhone.

The idea is brilliantly simple. They simply encoded the sound files as .m4a, renamed them to .m4r. They then encapsulated the files in XML as per the iTunes standards. Users can then subscribe to the ring tone feed and download the ring tones directly to the iPhone.

They have detailed instructions and examples here. It is amazing how simple this is, and it is amazing that it works. Well, more specifically, it is amazing that Apple has allowed it to work.

Try this out. If anyone stumbles onto any other ring tone feeds, let me know. I would love to try it out with other ring tone options.

EDIT:

Here are a couple of other ring tone podcast sites:
http://nakko.com and http://www.freeiphonerings.com/?feed=podcast

I am not vouching for these sites, I just found them.  Check them out before you sign anything.


Is the iPhone the Next Gaming Platform?

Have you heard of the N-Gage?  It is / was a Nokia platform telephone that was designed to play video games.  What about the PSP, have you heard of that?  It is a gaming hand held that now makes Skype telephone calls. Is the iPhone the next cross-over telephone gaming device?

Roughly Drafted Magazine has writen an excellent piece examining this very argument.  The article argues that iPhone 2.0, with the addition of the iPhone SDK, will present a gaming platform that might even rival the great Nintendo Gameboy / DS family.

The author, Daniel Dilger, makes a very interesting case.  He cites the the fact that the iPhone is a very sturdy machine with better specs than the PSP or DS.  Also, he states that the iPhone allows for unique and new control schemes.

Can the iPhone become a gaming giant?  Check out the article and see if you are convinced.  I am.


PC and the iPhone – a Perfect Match

If you thought this post would be about your PC and iPhone suddenly working well together, then you would be mostly wrong.  If you thought it was about John Hodgeman, the fellow who plays PC in the I’m a Mac ads, loving his iPhone, then you would be both a psychic genius and correct.

If you are a fan of John Stewart and the Daily Show (iTunes Link), then you might have seen my favorite PC showing off his iPhone the other night.  Here is a screen capture in case you missed it:

PC and the iPhone

Isn’t it great how the iPhone is bringing people together, ushering in peace, and making the world a better place?


iPhone Users are Data Hogs

M: Metrics, an internet data collector company is reporting that the iPhone does, in fact, bring the real internet to its users.

According to a recent survey, they have found that iPhone users are surfing the heck out of the web. More than any other Smartphone on the market and much more than any traditional cell phone. Here is a sample of their findings:

Data usage

I use the internet more on my iPhone than any other iPhone application or function including the phone itself. My data usage has been in the 1gb range the last month or two. I hope that AT&T doesn’t start to change their unlimited tune.


Flash is / is not Coming to the iPhone, The Saga Continues

Do you remember a few months ago when there was a rumor surrounding Flash being released with iPhone firmware 1.1.3? That didn’t happen.

Then, do you remember when, a few weeks later Steve Jobs came out and said that Flash was not the right product for the iPhone? That was final(ish).

Then, did you hear the other day when when Adobe’s Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said:

“We believe Flash is synonymous with the Internet experience, and we are committed to bringing Flash to the iPhone,” Narayen said. “We have evaluated (the software developer tools) and we think we can develop an iPhone Flash player ourselves.”

Wasn’t that great?

Oh, but did you hear today when Adobe, took it all back and said:

” However, to bring the full capabilities of Flash to the iPhone Web-browsing experience, we do need to work with Apple beyond and above what is available through the SDK and the current license around it,” the company said. “We think Flash availability on the iPhone benefits Apple and Adobe’s millions of joint customers, so we want to work with Apple to bring these capabilities to the device.”

WTF??!!??  This is absolutely ridiculous.  This is one of the worst, passive-aggressive, he-said/he-also-said arguments I have ever seen.  I feel like an ignored step child in the middle of a custody battle.  Has anyone stopped to ask the user what they want?  Are we willing to sacrifice some battery for flash, or is flash even necessary in a mobile world of Java and AJAX?

Tell you what Mr. Narayen and Mr. Jobs, figure this out and move on.  The sooner we can get these awkward details out of the way, the sooner we can have an iPhone that does what we all want.


iTunes $.99 Movie of the Week

This week’s iTunes $.99 movie of the week is an oldie, but a goodie. Your movie this week is Escape from Alcatraz (warning – iTunes link). This week’s movie will be on sale until 25 March, 2008. Here is the official movie description:

Based on the true story of the only escape from Alcatraz–a maximum-security prison built on an island located in shark-infested waters to contain the most dangerous, hardcore criminals and most gifted escape artists in the U.S.–ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ stars Clint Eastwood as inmate Frank Morris, the man who plans the escape. When he arrives at Alcatraz in 1960, Morris has an interview with the pompous warden (Patrick McGoohan), who assures him that the prison is escape-proof, well aware of his record of prison breaks. Upon entering the prison population, Morris makes friends with some of the more human inmates, including Doc (Roberts Blossom), an old lifer who paints in his cell; and English (Paul Benjamin), the prison librarian. Less engaging is Wolf (Bruce Fischer), a huge prisoner who tries to stab Morris during a knife fight in the exercise yard after the latter had refused the hulk’s generous offer to become his punk. Morris emerges from his punishment in solitary to find that his old friends, the Anglin brothers Jack (Fred Ward) and Clarence (Jack Thibeau), have arrived. He knows that with them he can make a break. This meditative, deliberately paced film might be the only Zen prison movie on record. Eastwood, Siegel, and screenwriter Richard Tuggle brilliantly evoke the look and feel of prison life in this exhaustively researched project, eschewing excess violence and histrionics as they make clear how much patience, ingenuity, and careful planning are involved in an escape of this magnitude.

Make sure to come back each week to check on the $.99 movie.


iPhone Ad – Does it Stretch the Truth a Bit?

Here is an iPhone add featuring a devoted iPhone user. In the ad, the user states that she can update her blog in real time to keep the world updated on her dance studio. She makes the iPhone sound like a wonderful tool for mobile blogging and freelance writing.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/IRGSki2ydvw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I have one real issue with this ad that I hope Apple is willing to clear up soon. I cannot use the iPhone to blog. For example, this post would have been impossible – I wouldn’t have been able to paste the YouTube link in. Without rudimentary tools like copy/paste, the iPhone will not be able to meet the needs of many online writers and professionals. What else is the iPhone missing that is necessary for your day-to-day needs?