Apple iPhone SDK — It’s Official and it’s Free!

iPhone SDKAt Apple’s software development kit release event today, there were plenty of details and lots of good news.  Here are the highlights:

The SDK itself

  • You need Mac OS X Leopard
  • It only runs on An Intel-based Mac
  • It features a modified version of Xcode
  • It is free, but the fee to set-up a application distribution chain will set you back $99 (one time fee).

Applications that will be allowed and/or restricted:

  • Applications that allow unlocking or are distributable outside of iTunes.
  • No obscene or pornographic content
  • No bandwidth hungry applications
  • VOIP over WiFi will be accepted

Also announced was a heavily loaded iPhone firmware 2.0 which is due to be released in June.  2.0 firmware will feature enterprise features, Microsoft Exchange support, 3rd party application support, email mass delete and many other unannounced features.  Does this imply that my long-awaited 3G iPhone 2.0 will also come out in June? 

 We shall see…


Flash is/is not Coming to the iPhone

I wonder if this is the final answer.  As is the case with all rumors, they are in fact rumors.  There has been talk on the internet and this site regarding Adobe’s Flash coming to the phone in the near future.  Well, Steve Jobs may have finally laid the smack-down on those rumors.

In an article on CNN Money, Steve Jobs announced that Flash, it its current form,  is not the product for the iPhone.  Steve Jobs states that the current mobile version is too little, and the desktop version of Flash is too much.  Apple is concerned that there is no product in the middle.

Here are Jobs’ words:

“There’s this missing product in the middle,” Jobs said.

Well, here is to hoping that Thursday’s announcement holds some secret that will make the people who are waiting for flash happy.  We will see.  As I get news about the press conference tomorrow, I will update you here.


Web App Wednesday

PogoNotesWhen I think of the note applications on the iPhone (without 3rd party adjustments), I end up bothered by the silly font and the lack of syncing with my home Mac.  If either of these issues bother you as well, then there is a great Web App that you should try out.

I am talking about PogoNotes.  On the iPhone, the PogoNotes Web Application is a robust not taker.  You can create new notes, edit old ones, and save them for later.  It does everything that the native note application does (without a silly font).  It loads very quickly, even over EDGE.  In reality, I have used it almost exclusively as a note replacement. The great part is, that is barely scratching the surface of why I like PogoNotes.

Because PogoNotes is a web application, you can also access it from any web browser. Bingo, your notes are synced to any computer anywhere.  If you want to sync a note from your PC to your iPhone, simply create it on your PC.  It is automatically synced OTA (over the air).  This is a great feature, but for Mac users, it even gets better.

There is a Mac desktop widget.  Yes, you can have access to all your notes right there on you desktop all of the time.  There is no syncing.  Every note you enter via PogoNotes on you iPhone automatically shows up on the widget, and every note you enter on the widget is on your iPhone.

If you have found the limitations of the note application on the iPhone.  I really recommend PogoNotes. It is one of my most used web apps.  Don’t forget to set a Home Page icon for the app.


iTunes $.99 Movie of the Week

Every week, for an indefinite amount of time, Apple and iTunes are running a $.99 movie rental special. You might remember me blogging about this a few weeks back.

This week’s (less than a) dollar movie is Changing Lanes (warning – iTunes link).

Plot Summary:

Director Roger Michell follows up the hit romantic comedy Notting Hill (1999) with this thought-provoking thriller. Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson star, respectively, as Gavin Banek and Doyle Gibson, two New York men whose lives become accidentally intertwined in a Good Friday fender bender on the FDR Drive. Late for a crucial appointment, hotshot lawyer Gavin tosses Doyle a blank check and leaves the scene, while Doyle, whose car is inoperable, is late for a court-appointed custody hearing. A recovering alcoholic, Doyle’s tardiness doesn’t sit well with the judge, who – sick of waiting for Gipson – grants custody to Doyle’s ex-wife in Doyle’s absence. The situation worsens when it becomes evident that Doyle has an equally important file belonging to Gavin, which proves that an elderly man gave Banek’s firm power-of-attorney over his foundation. So begins an escalating war of words and deeds between the two men. Soon, egged on by an associate (Toni Collette), Gavin hires a “fixer” (Dylan Baker) to destroy Doyle’s credit, forcing Doyle to fire back with some cunning moves of his own. Changing Lanes co-stars William Hurt, Sydney Pollack, and Toni Collette.

Have you rented movies for you iPhone? If so, would you sound off in the comments. This weekend, I am going to write a review of the iPhone movie scenario, so I look forward to your input.


iPhone Firmware 1.1.4 May Hose Batteries

BatteriesThere are numerous reports circulating through the Apple Support Forums and various other internet sites regarding the effects of iPhone firmware 1.1.4 on our batteries. Apparently, upgraded iPhones are documenting a 10% – 15% reduction in battery life.

The battery life reduction seems to equal a strength increase to the iPhone radio. If you remember, many iPhone users were reporting that when they had a very week signal (in a fringe cell coverage area) and you had a weak battery, then calls would be dropped. By most accounts, this is no longer a problem in firmware 1.1.4, but the signal boost comes from a boost in power.

On my Macbook, I have noticed a similar problem. My Airport decides to putter when my battery gets low. It would seem that maybe the iPhone was built to use similar power saving techniques, with similar unintended consequences.

Have you experienced similar issues with your battery and iPhone firmware 1.1.4? Let me know!


Weekend Distraction

This week’s weekend distraction comes to us from Aaron in Colorado.  It is a picture of a holly leaf after a rainstorm. Check it out:

leafphoto

These photo submissions are actually turning out quite nice.  The iPhone’s little camera doesn’t do so bad.  Thanks for the great Aaron!

If you are interested in sharing your iPhone captured memories, moments, or maniacal mayhem email me at iphone[at]contentquake.com. I will be glad to share a shout-out, link back, or well wish in exchange for your Weekend Distraction.


Refurbished iPhones on the Cheap

There is news of a memo that is circulating the internet that AT&T is selling refurbished iPhones for deep discounts. This would be awesome if I could find one of these in my area, but alas, they, for now at least, are only out east. The refurbished iPhones are rumored to be only $199 (4GB) and $249 (8GB).

Here are the details:

Refurbished iPhones will only be available to purchase in select COR stores across the Northeast Region and will be available while supplies last. Please reach out to customers that have recently purchased an iPhone to see if they are interested in activating an additional iPhone at a discounted equipment cost. Please note no in-store sales materials should be created. This is to be sold as a closing tool only.

All three of my Macs are refurbished, and I have had spectacular luck with them.  I would love to have a refurbished iPhone as a back up in case my little friend dies.  What about you?  Would you buy used?


More on the iPhone SDK

With an official Appple announcement coming next week, iPhone SDK news rumors are flying.

iPhone Lounge is rumoring the following details:

  • iTunes Store as hub: iPhone applications will apparently be released through the iTunes store.  This is the same as iPod applications are handled currently.  There is no surprise here.
  • Apple as application picker: Apple is might be very restrictive when it comes to quality control. Rumor has it that they are going to formally approve or deny every application.  They will only publish approved apps.  This, of course, is a slam to independent publishers.  It is honestly not much of a surprise however, iPhone applications have been handled this way for years.
  • No accessory connectivity: What this mean is that 3rd party add-ons, like GPS or expanded Bluetooth support,  will be almost non-existent.  The SDK will support the onbord devices and applications (camera etc), but you shouldn’t be expecting anything new anytime soon.

With the announcement only a few days away, the road map will become clear, and hopefully these rumors can get cleared up as soon as possible.   As soon as I here more, I will let you know.


Apple iPhone SDK News

iPhone SDK

Reuters is reporting that Apple is sending out those golden tickets to all of the major media and technology outlets for a press conference on March 6.

Here is a snippet from the invitation:

“Please join us to learn about the iPhone software roadmap, including the iPhone SDK and some exciting new enterprise features,”

The announcement is only a week late. Considering all of the necessary logistics, programming miracles, hoops to jump through, I suppose that isn’t so bad. When details are released, I will have them here.


Web App Wednesday – TipCalc Review

Tip CalculatorTrue story – I went out to eat with a bunch of writing teacher friends of mine.  When it came time to pay the bill, were were at a loss.  Imagine a bunch of word nerds trying to divvy up the check, figure out tax, and calculate a tip.  It was honestly a pretty sad state.

So, there we were, running out of fingers to count on, and contemplating taking off our shoes, when I whipped out my iPhone and loaded my TipCalc Web App. Not only did it figure out the tax and gratuity correctly, but it also divided the check up evenly so that we wouldn’t squabble.

Danny Goodman’s Tip Calculating WebApp is a thing of simplistic beauty.  You simply browse over to the calculator on your iPhone.  You are prompted to enter in the food and beverage total (a nice calculator touch-pad is provided), the tax total, and number of diners.  The Calculator does the rest.

This is a very simplistic application with a very targeted purpose.  I love it though.  I had an application like this on a Palm Pilot years ago, and it cost me 5.00.  Danny Goodman’s application is just as good, and it is free.