A day without my laptop

A few weeks ago, I went to work without my Macbook’s power adapter. To make matters worse, I used my macbook on the 1.5 hour commute… Net result, I only had a 2 hours battery life for a 9 hour day.

Luckily for me – I had my iPhone (Lucky is incorrect, I always carry it). I had never considered my iPhone to be as business capable as previously owned Windows Mobile & Nokia phones, but it disproved that in a hurry.

I did have my email configured on the phone so that was not a worry. What really helped me out that day was Quickoffice, an app I had installed on my phone for over 2 months, but never had an opportunity to use.

I moved all the relevant files (2 documents and a ppt) I needed for the day, to the phone, crossed my fingers and watched my Macbook save memory state and shut off.

As far as email goes, I had no issues. The iPhone had been quite impressive handling emails since I started using it. What I did need to do was configure quickOffice to edit my attachments. This was a circuitous route that involved sending the attachment to a specific email address and then re-downloading it in Quickoffice.

I realized that day that the biggest problem with the iPhone is – that apps cannot access the file system. A very misguided sense of security.

Anyway, Quickoffice does allow quite usable editing tools, considering it is a mobile application, allowing me to finish 2 documents, and read up another couple from mail.

At the end of the day – I had to charge my iPhone in the middle of the day – the iPhone helped me retain my productivity (granted it had been a slower than average day :p).

It is obviously becoming apparent that devices like iPhones, Windows Mobile sets, and other smart(er)phones have the ability to take over from a computer for day to day tasks.

The next step should be a universal docking station, where any smartphone can be plugged in, and provide a keyboard and a large screen monitor –  I am looking forward to it.

iPhone 3.0 Update – we have copy and paste

The Live event previewing the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware started in Apple’s Cupertino time hall building at 10:30 pm IST approx today.

Apart from general promotional information about the iPhone sales – available in 80 countries and 13.7 million sold in 2008. Apple has now sold 17 Million iPhones

The feature list for the iPhone 2.0 SDK and Firmware was next

  1. In app pricing – offering developers the ability to price not just the app but for individual content. eg: magazine subscriptions
  2. Peer to Peer networks – over bluetooth powered by Bonjour (Apples Zero conf networking technology) iPhone 3.0 will automatically discover other applications over Bluetooth, and there’s no pairing involved
  3. The Maps API would be opened up to developers allowing developers to embed Google Maps in theri applications
  4. Core Location would now be available to developers to build turn-by turn directions into their apps, but as they cannot use maps due to licensing reasons, developers would have to provide their own maps.
  5. No background processing BUT there is now support for Push notifications. Notifications would pass through an Apple server. Applications can pass badges for icons (letting users know of waiting messages or IMs etc.)
  6. 1000 API’s to be made available for developers – Ability to access the music library and access email from within an app.
  7. A lot of games and apps are demoed– showing off notification and true multiplayer over wifi
  8. COPY AND PASTE IS COMING TO THE iPHONE 3.0 (YAY) Two finger tap to select and a bubble overhead with options
  1. By the way Copy and Paste works across all applications (third party as well), and images
  2. Landscape keyboard in all applications – Mail and SMS
  3. SMS Forwarding has been added finally as well as deleting individual and multiple messages
  4. And we have MMS 🙂
  5. An apple developed Voice Memo application – No voice dialing though
  6. CalDAV support for calendar and ability to add subscriptions
  7. Global Search – including support for Messages, web, and itunes Song library (based on Apple’s Spotlight technology) And support for Applications as well
  8. 100 new features will arrive with this firmware including
    1. Sync notes with your Mac
      Shake to Shuffle your playlist
      Stereo Bluetooth
      Safari will support autofill and antiphishing technology

So when is this available –

  • The developer beta – available immediately
  • Official release – This summer – which might mean – June

The release is free for iphone users and $9.95 for Touch users

I guess Im a installing the beta soon…

CNET Live link here

So still not tethering and flash, but still this makes the phone the best out there in my opinion…

One month with the iPhone

So about a month ago, I did it. I took the leap and bought an iPhone, – in the process selling my Nokia E71, my Nokia E61, and my imate Windows Mobile.¬†Didn’t¬†end up putting in too much money out of pocket, plus took advantage of Vodafone offer of Rs. 500 off my phone bill for 10 months – effectively my iPhone 3g 8GB only cost me about Rs. 1500.00, so very thrilled..

After living with this phone for an even month РI am willing to effectively disown my own post written August last year. Sure there are some glaring flaws Рnot least of which the inability to copy and paste, and forward an SMS which are the only ones Р which really bother me.

The development platform that the iPhone SDK has empowered, really impresses me. Wether it is ¬†an application like Ocarina, which turns the iPhone into the wind instrument by the same name, or Midomi,¬†which¬†does a fantastic job of¬†identifying¬†music that I have without any ID3 information. The fact that this is the first phone I have had that supports (almost) 3D gaming with games like ‘Hero of Sparta’ and ‘Super Monkey Ball’ . So much so that I paid for them…

That’s not to say that the free apps are not good – Stanza, a beautiful ebook reader that can plug into the Gutenburg free library and download books, as well as sharing them from my Mac. WifiRemote Lite which allows me to use the iPhone as a trackpad.

What about Jailbreak-ing – I did Jailbreak my phone twice, and found that the only app I needed to jailbreak for was a Keyboard extension that enabled copy and paste. I actually found my Jailbroken iPhone running slower (not tested scientifically but my impressions).

The last word – Im happy, I think my 6 monthly phone upgrade cycle may actually have ended. And the next upgrade would be to an iPhone with improved hardware 🙂

Unlock your iPhone 3G

So.. it has finally happened. An application known as yellowsn0w has made it possible to unlock the iPhone 3G and use it with any network of your choosing.

Unlocking requires Jailbreaking your iPhone and then using the Cydia application installer to install yellowsn0w. Post installation it is a matter of removing the sim card and pushing a button. Voila .. unlocked iPhone.

Steps to unlock iPhone

  1. Update iPhone to version 2.2 firmware
  2. Run Pwnage
  3. Add the relevant Yellosnow repositories to cydia
  4. Download and install Yellowsnow
  5. Remove the Sim, run Yellowsnow
  6. Put in new sim.
  7. You’re done

So as I wait to purchase my iPhone 3g goodness, those of you who have it can unlock it for worldwide use.

🙂

Life imitating Star Trek

How many people amongst us remember the crew of the USS Enterprise D running into an alien ship, – Up the ship’s captain comes in the viewscreen, and the message goes out – “¬†DaHjaj ‘oH QaQ jaj Da¬†”. The magical universal translator would kick in and convert it to ” Today is a good day to die” and the Klingon warbird would blow the Enterprise and its wimpy captain Jean Luc Picard to smithereens… Ok, Ok so i escaped into a bit of fantasy there – the destruction of the Enterprise D that is.. The first part though fantasy no more…

Thanks to Cisco and its Telepresence¬†products videoconfrencing has become an absolute reality. Crystal clear picture and call quality and screen sizes actually belay the fact that parties may be on seperate sides of the world. The newest feature that Cisco is working on right now for telepresence is icing on the cake though,as Cisco¬†will add real-time translation to its TelePresence high-definition conference technology next year, enabling people in several different countries to meet virtually and each hear the other participants’ comments in their own languages.

The service which would be rolled out in the second half of 2009, would be initially available in 20 languages, across a spectrum of continents and languages including Asia, European and Western languages.

Cisco is also planning to bring Telepresence to the consumer masses around the same time, making video-calling an ubiquitous reality Рthis was something that was hoped to have been achieved by 3G services worldwide, but video-calling never really caught on.

The translation system will be able to scale beyond two-way meetings, according to Cisco. In a press confrence demonstration on 10th of December Cisco executives gave the example of a TelePresence session among participants from four countries, speaking in four different languages. Each would be able to hear and read everyone’s words in his or her own language, they said.

 

Around the same time that the translation system becomes available, Cisco will offer a transcription feature  to perform speech-to-text conversion of video content. This will create a searchable word-for-word transcript and allow users to go directly to the spot in a video they want to see.