Category Archives: iPhone

App Cubby Launches Launch Center Pro

If you haven’t heard of the Launch Center App before, you will want to now. App Cubby first launched their shortcut app Launch Center and it was basically a list of shortcuts and actions. It was in a list view and it was really handy.

Now they’ve redone the app and relaunched it as Launch Center Pro. The basic point of this app is to make things easier to do and faster to do things. The shortcuts you create in the app can be specific to certain apps or people, like create a new item in Omifocus, or message or call a certain person to launch Instagram in the camera view.

The format of Launch Center Pro uses a grid of large buttons, that are accessible with gestures. There are a lot of supported apps and actions, and I really only went back to using the original a few weeks ago, but it saves me a lot of time and actions.

The one thing I do like is that you can schedule actions to happen, so for example if you want to write an entry in Day One everyday at a certain time, you can schedule it to notify you.

There are a lot of supported apps and actions, and they use the Custom URL scheme. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, it’s how you can launch apps and actions, and a developer has to use that within the app itself. If you want to add one that’s not included, you can check the handleOpenURL index. Most of the time though you can just try appname:// and see if it will open your app (replace appname with the name of the app you want.

You can also customize the icons in the app, which is nice, and I highly recommend you get it and start using it, the more you use it, the more you will get used to it and customize it.

Launch Center Pro is available right now for $2.99 in the App Store ($4.99 after the introductory pricing).

 

Apple’s Let’s talk iPhone Announcement

apple-iphone-event-iphone5Apple has it’s iPhone event tomorrow. It says Let’s talk iPhone, but we all expect them to announce iOS 5 and iCloud, as well as a new iPhone of some kind.

The Times to start listening and following along are:

7:00AM Hawaii

10:00AM Pacific

11:00AM Mountain

12:00PM Central

1:00PM Eastern

6:00PM London

Here are some places you can follow along.

TWiT

GDGT

Engadget

Update To My 5 Things I Want To See In iOS 5 Post

Back in January, I wrote about five things I’d like to see in iOS 5, I thought I would update that, as the beta is out, and it’s been officially announced.

The first thing on my list was wireless syncing, this is now going to be a part of the iOS system. It works in the way that everytime you plug your phone into the wall to charge, it’ll sync with iTunes automatically. It’ll also backup to iCloud if you want it to use that instead of iTunes as a backup system.

Number two on my list was lockscreen improvements. There wasn’t really a good improvement to the lockscreen, as I would have liked to see my calendar and weather, but this also is a part of number four on my list better notifications.

The third thing was SMS enhancements. This didn’t get done, as I also would’ve like them to incorporate some Bite SMS features, like quick reply, but they did come out with a new messaging system called imessage, which is an iOS to iOS device messenger, that bypasses the carriers SMS fees. It’s built into the SMS app on the iphone, and when you add the person it automatically changes to imessage if that person has it activated.

On to number four, better notifications, this got reworked, and now notifications show up on the lockscreen, and you slide the icon to open the app, and there is now a notification center that slides down from the top and all your notification are in one place, it also doesn’t do the popup window by default, it shows the notification across the top of the window.

The last thing was the built in apps and the ability to delete them. Nope, still can’t do that.

So, as I’m looking back at this, my score was 3.5/5, so that’s pretty good for a guess at what Apple will do.

The Case for Google Voice

gvoicelogo.jpgI’ve been using Google Voice for a long time now, I started using the service when it was still called Grand Central. Since the Google takeover, the service has become more and more useful. Here is my case for everyone to make the switch to Google Voice.

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The newest feature that they’ve added is number porting. This of course means that you can port any current number you own to Google Voice for a small $20 fee. I myself wouldn’t want to port a cell number because you will be responsible for all ETF’s and other fees, but this makes more sense for people who want to get rid of their landline service and keep their number.

 

The part of the service that I use the most is the SMS, it allows you to send unlimited SMS messages for free through the service. This can be done on the iPhone and Android apps, as well as from the web interface. You can also send a message to up to 5 people as well.

The other feature that sells it for me is the phone forwarding options. This allows you to add all your current phone numbers to the service, and then when someone calls your Google Voice number it will ring to all those phones. Phones can be mobile, home or work, as well as Google Talk, and you can customize the times the phones will ring, so if you aren’t going to be home between 8-5 on weekdays, you can choose to not have it ring your home number at those times. If you are going to be in a meeting or have some work to get done, you can turn on the Do Not Disturb feature and all calls will go straight to voicemail. You can also record calls if you need to, of course you need to be aware of local laws regarding call recording.

If you don’t want to make the full switch, you can sign up for the service and just use it for voicemail on your mobile phone, because when you get a voicemail, it’s transcribed for you, so you don’t always have to listen to them. The transcription is not perfect, but 90% of the time I get the gist of it without having to listen to them.

The other thing that I love about the service is the call blocking, ever since I’ve been with the service, I hardly get anymore unwanted calls, and if I do, I block them and then the next time they call, they get the standard phone company “We’re sorry this number is no longer in service” message, and you’ll never get a call from them again.

It’s best also to keep your contacts in Google contacts and I would also recommend that you keep them in groups such as Family, Friends, Work, etc. That way, you can record separate voicemail greetings for each of those groups. Since it is a voip service, you can also buy credits to make very cheap international calls.

The service is great for what it does, and they seem to be rolling out new features on a regular basis, so go to the Google Voice website and get your number now and start using it.

As always if you have any questions you can email me or leave a comment below.

 

5 Things I Want to See in iOS 5

I love the iPhone, and have yet to take the leap into an iPad, but that’s the next item on my Apple purchase list. So with the release of iOS 4 the system got better, but it’s still a little lacking. Here are a few things I would like to see in iOS 5.

1. Wireless Sync

I would love to be able to sync without plugging in, especially if I want to just add a few items. This is available to jail-breakers, but not everyone wants to take that leap, so it’d be nice if apple could just turn the switch on and let us sync without wires.

2. Lock Screen Improvements

The lock screen is rather useless now, all you get is a clock, but I would love it if Apple bought the company that makes intelliscreen, which is a very useful lock screen for jailbreakers.

3. SMS Enhancements

At one time I had my idevice jail-broken, and loved biteSMS because I could reply to a SMS from the notification screen, or quickly compose a SMS from anywhere, this doesn’t seem like it would take too much to implement, and would be a wonderful addition.

4. Better Notifications

This one is a no-brainer, the current notification system is clunky and needs work, if you get multiple notifications you have to go through them one at a time, and they pop up on top of each other, this is another one that Apple needs to buy the company that makes the Notifier app for jail-broken devices, and it would make the notification system a lot more usable.

5. Default Apps

The built in Apple apps are nice, but not for everyone, I would like Apple to let the users choose their default apps, I don’t use the Calendar app, but if I make an appointment through mail, it goes into the calendar app, and for the love of God, let us delete the weather and other apps we don’t use or need.

This is just a small list, but it’s some of my biggest ones I would like to see implemented. Let me know in the comments what you would like to see changed in iOS5.

AirVideo: One of the Best iOS Apps

watch video on iphone

I started using this app during the first version, and if you don’t know what it is, I’ll explain that now.

AirVideo comes in two flavors, the free version and the $2.99 paid version. The main difference between the two is that the free version limits the number of items displayed in each folder.

AirVideo: Air

AirVideo Free: Air

Here’s the lowdown:

  • Video Streaming: Watch videos from your computer, over the air via WiFi or 3G, on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. No need to sync with iTunes or transfer files.
  • Live Conversion: Convert video from a non-iPhone friendly container like AVI or MKV, or codecs like XviD or DivX while you’re watching. No need to convert first, watch later.

Continue reading AirVideo: One of the Best iOS Apps

Apple Event To Be Streamed Live By Apple

In a move that no one knew was coming, Apple released a press release stating that they themselves would stream the event. There is a catch though, you have to have a Mac running Safari on OS X version 10.6, an iOS device with 3.0 or higher, or an iPad. This is because they will be using the open HTTP live streaming protocol.

In reading the multiple blogs about why Apple is deciding to do this, according to TechCruch, they claim that streaming media will be a key part of the event, I myself think that with the new Apple TV or iTV, that will introduce some sort of iTunes in the cloud option, but there will probably be limitations, as I wish I could put my 1.72TB of iTunes media on the cloud, but it would take a year to get it uploaded somewhere.

This will also cut back on the illegal streams and hopefully Steve won’t have to tell people to shut off their wireless devices.

Anyway, it’s all rumor and speculation, so tune in at 10 AM PST and watch for yourself at Apple.com.

Jailbreak.me An All-In-One iOS Jailbreak is Out

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The time is finally here, and thanks to the Dev-Team and @comex, they have released a web based jailbreak for all iOS devices. All you have to do is go to jailbreakme.com and run it, you’ll see a loading dialog and then it will install Cydia and you are good to go.

I was hesitant to post this last night as I ran it on my iPhone 4 and lost the ability to use FaceTime and MMS, but that was all hype, as they have released a fix for it, seems it was a permissions error, and that is in the past. This was the easiest jailbreak by far, and I ran it last night, but did have a few stability issues and so to be safe I did a restore. It’s now been renewed, and the FaceTime and MMS bugs have been worked out so if you were or wanted to jailbreak your iOS device, give it a try.

As always, there is the chance this could brick your phone, and even though the DMCA said it was legal to jailbreak, it will void your warranty, so use at your own risk.

Apple’s Friday Press Conference

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Apple held a special press conference on Friday, and in a way they admitted that yes if you hold the iPhone 4 a certain way there is a drop in signal, but does anyone other than the press who blew it up really care? I do notice the issue, but every iPhone I have had since the first generation I’ve never once dropped a call, and even with the bars dropping I still have a great signal and people have said that I sound better on this one.

So in the end, they are giving every iPhone 4 owner a free case, either a bumper or another one until September 30th. Also what I thought was interesting was when the question was asked if Steve and folks used a case they all pulled out their naked iPhones. I myself have a Griffin case that I like because they didn’t have the bumpers available in my area on launch day, so yes I will probably get the free one or see what the other options are, but again, if this was an issue to anyone besides the tech media, why does Apple continue to sell millions of them, and why are they still sold out in a lot of places. I really don’t think people care all that much.

Let me know what you all think in the comments.

Wunder Radio is Now iOS 4 Ready

Wunder-RadioLarge-300x300.pngMy favorite, and possibly the best streaming radio app Wunder Radio (iTunes Link) is now iOS 4 ready with official background streaming. The app has had background streaming available for a lot of it’s feeds via mobile safari streaming for awhile, but it’s gotten better with official streaming. Wunder Radio offers more radio stations than you can imagine, and they offer Sirius and XM streaming as well as live streams of Air Traffic Control and Police Bands. When TUAW reviewed this app they said that most of the time the signal was actually better on the iPhone then on the car radio, and I agree.

Continue reading Wunder Radio is Now iOS 4 Ready