What’s New in Firmware 1.1.3? – Part V

Part five of this ongoing series examines the new Google Maps application, and manual transmission of data. I have saved the best feature for the last post in this series. The Google Maps application really out-does itself.

Google Maps, Redux

The greatest addition to the iPhone through the 1.1.3 firmware, is the dramatic improvement to the Google Maps application. This application is argued by many to be the “killer app” for the iPhone. In fact, I can attest that the map application has been used by me many times, and in every instance, it was a critical situation.
With the new firmware comes the iPhone’s ability to find you. In the bottom left hand of the map application, there is a small “target” icon. When you press this, the iPhone uses data from the surrounding cell phone towers to triangulate your position. I have found this feature works best in dense metropolitan areas. Presumably this is because of the sheer number of cell towers. In my small hometown, my iPhone was able to find me within about two blocks; when I traveled into the city, it was accurate within feet. This new feature is more than a parlor trick. If you know where you want to go, and you know where you are, you can get directions. This feature turns your Apple iPhone into travel GPS device. This adds real value to the phone.

Google Maps is also updated its list of map views with a hybrid view. The hybrid view is my personal favorite on the PC version of Google Maps, so this was a delight for me to see. If Google Maps was the wasn’t the iPhone’s killer app, it certainly is a contender now.

Last and for me, certainly least.

The final improvement to the Apple iPhone is that of “manual transmission.” This feature allows a user to transfer a media file directly to the iPhone through iTunes without syncing the machine. This file transfer is one way (from computer to iPhone), and it allows a user to easily sync their iPhone to more than one computer. While this has never been a concern of mine, I do see how this feature can be very useful.


Use your iPhone for Data Storage with Ecamm iPhone Drive

Ecamm iPhone DriveSoftware developers Ecamm have recently updated their iPhone Drive utility for OS X. If you have never checked out iPhone Drive, I highly recommend it. I have been using iPhone Drive since its early release, and I love it. Here are a few things you can do with iPhone Drive.

  • Access iPhone notes directly.
  • Back up and restore SMS messages and recent call lists
  • Transfer music to different computers.
  • Store any data directly on your iPhone.
  • Use your iPhone for data back up.

I really like the new 1.4 release. It allows me to access and play my music directly from inside the utility. That is pretty handy, because I use my iPhone with more computers than the one I typically sync with.

The software is 19.99 to purchase, but there is a trial available.


iPhone 1 – Semi-Truck 0

Check out this Flickr photo story. Mike Beauchamp, the man with the mighty iPhone, made the mistake of leaving his iPhone on the trunk of his car. After driving for a while, he realized his phone was nowhere to be found. iPhone broken

To make a long story short, he found his iPhone, in the center of the interstate. Before he could retrieve it, he watched a Semi-Truck run it over. Oh the humanity.

I have dropped my phone a time or two, and it is fine. That is more than I can say about my own Blackberry Pearl. I dropped that one day, and the faceplate shattered.

I knew the iPhone was tough, but I did not know it was Semi-truck tough. What is the worst you have put your iPhone through? Did it survive? By the way, thanks Mike for sharing your iPhone nightmare with us.


Poll – Do You Run a Pure iPhone OS?

Recently, iPhone firmware 1.1.3 was released, and even more recently, firmware 1.1.3 was jailbroken.

What state is your iPhone in. Let me know in the poll below. If it turns out that there is a lot of interest in jailbreak news and the current iPhone app scene, I will cover it more with posts and news.

If not, I will steer clear of most of the hacking news and only cover major hacking / jailbreaking announcements.

[poll=2]


iPhone and Outlook – Why Can’t We Get Along?

HyperOfficeOne of the largest criticisms of the iPhone has been a lack of proper business support.  Outlook users have had some awkward moments, and Exchange users, whose IT gurus won’t support with IMAP have been left in the dark.

HyperOffice has tackled that very issues with the beta release of their of a business collaboration tool that allows easy connection with Outlook.   According to their website, HyperOffice will allow you to:

•    Update personal and group calendars, contacts, tasks and notes
•    Manage projects
•    Share calendars, contacts, tasks and notes
•    View and Edit personal and shared documents
•    Send and receive Email
•    Manage internal teams and intranets
•    Manage mixed teams and extranets

I am just fine with my Gmail IMAP set-up, and .mac syncing of my calendars, but if you are a serious business user,  this might be worth checking out.  The trial is 30 days and is available here.

Try it out and if you like it let me know.  I would love to help some of my more corporate friends be free of the Windows Mobile nightmare they are stuck in.


What’s New in Firmware 1.1.3? – Part IV

In part four of this ongoing series, I am looking into both the multi-SMS messaging feature as well as the improved iPod app.  These two advancements in Firmware 1.1.3 have been very welcome.  While the SMS feature isn’t that big of a deal for me, I very much enjoy my new iPod app.

I don’t have that many friends, but you might.

If you are a texting fiend, then the Apple iPhone 1.1.3 firmware update is definitely for you. The text messaging application has been improved to allow you to send SMS messages to multiple friends.

To do this, simply open the text messaging application, create your message, and then by pressing the blue “plus” button, your contacts will open up. You will be able to send the message to as many friends as you like. Keep in mind that if your messaging is limited, each person you send the message to counts as one message.

Now, an even better iPod.

The iPod feature of firmware 1.1.3 is better than ever. New is the ability to display lyrics to songs (if you have the lyric metadata set through itunes), turning the iPhone into the coolest karaoke machine ever.

You also have the ability to navigate movies by chapter. This was a big deal for me personally. I had several movies on my iPhone that I used for educational purposes. I had to write down my time stamp every time I went to a different movie, and then fast forward the movie to the proper place. Being able to navigate by chapter and have my chapters remembered is a huge boon for me.


Are you Jailbroken? What iPhone OS are you running?

iPhoneI have an iPhone since day one, hour one. I have had it jailbroken and restored, jailbroken and restored, jailbroken and restored again. I have had custom ringtones before they were legit, and even changed my carrier logo a time or two.

Now, I am running iPhone Firmware version 1.1.3. The legit version with no hacks or tweaks. To be honest, I like it it this way. I have found the Web Apps that I enjoy (I will review some of my favorites), and I have a ringtone that I like. Don’t get me wrong, I am anxiously awaiting the release of the software development kit in February, but for now I am content.

What OS are you running? Have you forked and are running one of the Jailbroken versions of the iPhone firmware? Let me know in the comments what what iPhone version you are running and why you like it that way.


Damn the Torpedos AT&T’s EDGE is down – My iPhone Weeps.

//www.usask.ca/AT&T is reporting that the servers responsible for running the EDGE network are broken. You probably aren’t getting any internet on your iPhone today.

This outage is affecting users from Chicago to Colorado. If your EDGE is broken, let me know in the comments, and let me know when it is back.  Personally, I am getting the dreaded CANNOT ACTIVATE EDGE message of doom.

AT&T says the problem should be fixed by the end of today but could go as long as February 5th (WTF the 5th?!?!?).


What’s New in Firmware 1.1.3? – Part III

In this ongoing series, I am examining the new benefits of the Apple iPhone firmware version 1.1.3. Here is how to rearrange icons..

My iPhone waggles, does yours?

aggling isn’t just for the Nintendo Wii anymore.The iPhone’s new home screen management system allows the user to radically adjust and customize the user interface and home screen of the iPhone. You can rearrange the location of any of the icons. Remember the web clipping feature in Safari? Well, if you add more than three Web Clips to your home screen, you can add new pages to the home screen. You can have up to nine pages total of icons on your home screen. Personally, I love this feature. I have broken the applications and icons into user-friendly, contextual groups. For example, I have all my media applications such as my iPod, Photos, and a seeqpod.com Web Clip all organized together.

To activate this feature, press an icon and hold your finger on it until the icons waggle. You can then slide the wiggling icons to their new positions. If you want to move an icon to a new screen, slide it to the left or right of the home screen and the page will change automatically.


iPhone Photos on the Go!

Ok, here is the scenario:  you just snapped the perfect photograph of your cousins on your trusty iPhone.  Before you know it, the cousins are insisting that you give them a copy as soon as possible.  The cousins are rich and you want to be in their will.  What do you do?

Answer: you hit up ECCE TERRAM for their just announce Photo2lab client.  A handy piece of software that will allow you to order prints from your iPhone for your iPhone photos.  According to their press release, you will be able to create prints, post cards, and photo books directly from your iPhones.

ECCE TERRAM says Photo2lab will be available after the iPhone’s SDK is released in late February.