Firmware 1.1.4 Released – Updated

Today, Apple released iPhone 1.1.4 for the iPhone and iPod touch. In the extensive minimal changelog, all that we get is “bug fixes.” There are reports that systems seem “snapier” and there are conflicting reports of the accuracy of the Google Map App being more / less accurate. Exchange support is also rumored.

I will toy around with this and post details if and when they become available. What appears obvious however is that the SDK will infact be delayed unless something amazing happens between now and Friday. We shall see.

More to come.

UPDATE 1

I have tooled around with the update for a few hours now. I am reasonably sure that is was indeed just a bug fix update.  There may be some SDK support behind the scenes, but it is not obvious.

  • Safari does load pages faster.
  • At my work, Google Maps was far more accurate, but not at home.  I live in a remote area however, and the update may help when there are multiple cell towers to help with the triangulation.
  • I cannot get my homepage to “stick” in between pages.  With  1.1.3 that would happen often.

Have you noticed anything else here I have skipped.  Let me know in the comments.


Talk is Cheap – Unlimited Voice Plan

If you talk on your phone, and I mean talk a lot, then AT&T has a deal for you. AT&T is offering unlimited voice calls for a flat $99. If you choose this plan, you are still tied to the $20 data plan. So, if you can’t seem to stop calling and surfing on your iPhone, then you are looking at $119.00 (plus taxes, fees, and access extortion fees).

I do not have an unlimited plan, and I won’t be moving to it. I have a few minutes left over every month that I roll over. The$79 plan includes 1350minutes (plus roll over), and that seems like a ton of minutes. I cannot imagine using that much, let alone more than that.

How many minutes do you use every month? Are you a contender for an unlimited plan? Vote below:

[poll=4]


Weekend Distractions

Welcome to the Weekend Distraction for the week of February 23rd.

This week’s photo comes to us from Cameron. He took this photo in Jamaica using his iPhone. This is a great photo because where I am at, it is cold and gray outside. A little Jamaica sun and cuddling sure would brighten my mood.

iPhone Photo

You can see more of Cameron’s photos and memories over at the Empty Nest Blog. Thanks for sharing Cameron.

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.


Bad News Sportsfans, iPhone SDK May Be Delayed

The iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) was promised by the end of February. I just checked, and well, here we are; it is the end of February.  Unless Apple is going to do a sneaky, underwhelming release of the SDK, it doesn’t look like it is coming.

In fact, Business Week is reporting rumoring that the SDK will be delayed anywhere from 1 – 3 weeks.  I am not typically a rumor hunter, but in this case, Business Week is the group that broke the SDK story originally, even before Mr. Jobs released the information way back in October.

What does this mean?  It means that all of you installer.app folks still have a better phone than me.  It also means that Web Apps are going to have to suffice for a bit longer.   There is no arguing that the iPhone is anything but great.  Third-party applications would make it so much better though.

For now, I have to be patient.  Third-party applications are coming.  The rumor wasn’t that the SDK was canceled, just delayed.


iTunes Video Rentals on The Cheap and on the Go

This it iPhone news; I promise.

There was an update to iTunes 7.6.1 this week for those of you that weren’t paying attention.  This update was mostly Apple TV related, which is neither here nor there.  Accompanying the update release, was a tasty tidbit about 99 cent iTunes movie rentals.

Every Thursday, Apple will release one move for 99 cents, that’s right, it will be less than a buck.  The movie will be a available for the current week.  These movies can of course be synced with your iPhone and taken on the road.

This week, the 99 cent iTunes movie is The Hours (Warning – iTunes link).  A movie rental for the price of a tune isn’t so bad, especially if you are a commuter or someone else with the need for pocket entertainment.

It would appear that Apple is very serious about the rental business, and this sale movie will be a great way to spur business.  I, of course, will be updating you every Thursday on the weekly sale movie as long as Apple is willing to give it to us.


New Blog Feature – Weekend Distraction

Smile!I am starting a new blog feature this week, The Weekend Distraction. In the Weekend Distraction, I want to post and share your photos taken of your adventures with your iPhone. That’s right, this is your opportunity to share you iPhone photos with the world.

Interesting topics can include:

  • People you meet on the weekend
  • Places you go on the weekend
  • Things you ate on the weekend

I would love to publish your photo and your story. I am going to feature one photo and story per weekend in a Weekend Distraction piece. Interesting captions and photos will take precedence, so if you think your iPhone Camera and your life have something to offer, then email me your photo and caption to: iphone[at]contentquake.com.

Get me those photos soon. The weekend is just one day away. Thanks in advance!


Web App Wednesday

Task ManagerAre you a list person? Do you make lists before you do anything? Does the phrase “Getting Things Done” get you all twitterpated?

I am definately a list man. That has been one of the bothers of the iPhone since the day 1 – there is no task or list manager that is native to the iPhone. Luckily, there have been a few Web Apps that have stepped up to fill the void. The one I use is Orion Belt’s Easy Task Manager.

Easy Task Manager comes in two flavors. There is a Web App version that works very quickly and smoothly on your iPhone, and there is a OSX 10.4 or later version. Personally, I use both. The reason I use both is because the desktop version syncs with the iPhone version. Therefore, I can keep all of my tasks, projects, and lists in perfect harmony. It is worth noting also that the desktop version also syncs with iCal. When using them all together, as I do, you can accomplish a pretty seamless synchronization between your various iAddictions Apple Devices.

To use the Easy Task Manager Web App, simply point your iPhone’s Safari here and create an account. Once your account is made you can set up projects, lists, or tasks (or any combination). In order to use this software to its fullest extent, it would help to have some background with David Allen’s GTD productivity model, but it is certainly not necessary.

Once you have tasks or projects set-up, managing them is a breeze. The software does load very quickly over the EDGE connection, and it is perfect over WiFi. I would reccomend a creating a Web Clip on your homescreen, but that is up to you.

Give Easy Task Manager a try. While there are other list making Web Apps out there, I like this one. It is modeled after GTD, it syncs with my desktop mac, and it is pretty darn snappy. Let me know if you end up liking it.


My iPhone is a Bit Closer to Perfect Today

Fly TunesI had a Samsung Blackjack for a while.  To be honest, the entire experience was completely underwhelming.  Despite my lackluster experience with it, there are two things that I miss about that phone.  I miss being able to tether my laptop and share an internet connection, and I miss listening to streaming internet radio.

Now with the iPhone, the tethering piece isn’t such a big deal because of the fantastic web browsing and Google Maps, but I still do miss the internet radio.  Until now.

I stumbled upon FlyTunes (literally).  FlyTunes is a pretty slick Web Application that allows streaming radio to my iPhone.  I know it sounds silly to want radio on an iPod, but there are times when I want variety, not the songs in my itunes library.  I also have a hankering for public or talk radio sometimes.  FlyTunes certainly meets that need.

They advertise that they are are newly expanding and limiting new accounts, but I didn’t have any trouble getting one.  If you do, I have a limited number of invites if you request on.  They currently offer over 90 radio stations grouped together by genre with a very slick interface.

When you launch a station, the handy dandy Quicktime player loads and allows you to stream the radio station to your phone.  Audio quality was pretty good over the headphones on EDGE, and great over WiFi.  Your milage may vary however.  I due recommend making a shortcut on your Home Screen to the Web App once you have signed up.

Give FlyTunes a try and see if you like it.  Even with the iPhone expanding, it never hurts to have unlimited music to carry around with you.


AT&T and Starbucks Sitting in a Tree – Free WiFi Coming Soon

I recently found myself on a whirlwind trip across the country. It was rushed, unexpected, and impromptu. Let me tell you, I have never used my iPhone so much. It was so reassuring to have my iPhone at my side, but at times, the AT&T’s EDGE speeds left me frustrated.

I was in the center of Manhattan, and I was relying on my iPhone for email communications, directions, and scheduling. I didn’t always have the time that EDGE demanded of me, but I certainly didn’t have extra money to spend on WiFi connections, and while in a strange city I didn’t know where the local Free WiFi spots were. What I did see was approximately 50 Starbucks Coffee Shops along my way. It was then that I wish the AT&T / Starbucks deal recently struck was already in place.

Here are the details, if you use a Starbucks Card (not the credit card) to purchase your coffee or dessert, then you will receive free WiFi for 30 days. This is a great deal. I would have been able to stop in at any Starbucks and get my high speed groove on.

This deal is rolling out during the second quarter of 2008, and will be in place at company owned Starbucks, not the kiosks or in-store (Barnes and Noble) shops. If you are looking for free WiFi, then get your Starbucks stored value card today.


iPhone Display Problems Bubbling Up?

Over on the iPhone / Apple Forums, there are some disturbing reports of bubbles showing up on displays. This photo, from iPhone Atlas tells the story pretty well.

iPhone Bubbles

It seems that these bubbles are creeping up on both new and old iPhones. I scoured mine, but I did not see any, and I hope that none sneak in, but I will be checking daily (I tend to get paranoid about things like that).

Apple, in their malevolent ambiguity are not admitting the problem, but are saying that they will replace any affected units immediately without question. They have a knack for plausible deniability.

Do you have any iPhone display bubbles? If you do, please let me know how and when you noticed as well as how the exchange process went. I would love to hear your story.