Tag Archives: Apple

iPhone 4 Case

Having been an iPhone 3G user for nearly two years, when I made the mistake of installing iOS 4 on my 3G, I quickly decided I was due for an upgrade. Currently being out of work (at least not employed full-time), I was reluctant to spend money on a new toy that I knew was more of a perceived need than an actual need. The need did in fact become real and the good news is though that I can sell my 3G out of contract for nearly what I paid for my 4.

I was a bit nervous about the upgrade with all the talk about antenna issues. I was relieved to hear that Apple was giving out free cases though and that is when I decided to purchase. I just received my free case through the iPhone 4 case program Friday and have been getting used to it.

First off, I’m not normally a fan of cases. I think they normally don’t provide that much protection and the negatives outweigh the positives. I was originally looking forward to the Apple iPhone 4 Bumper Case (Amazon affiliate link), but I was worried that it wouldn’t be easy to slide in and out of my pocket. After agonizing for weeks over which case to order, I ended up an an Incase Snap Case (Amazon Affilate link)

I’ve actually found that I enjoy holding and using the phone more with the case. It gives the iPhone a great feel when holding and talking on the phone and it doesn’t add that much bulk to it either, which was one of my major concerns. I really didn’t experience too much antenna issues prior to obtaining the case, but service is pretty horrible in my neck of the woods, so I am constantly dropping calls. I was hoping the case would improve things if I happened to be a victim of the antenna issues.

The case also came with a little stand which I haven’t figured out what the purpose is behind. I suppose if you use your iPhone to watch movies on all day long it could be useful. I’ll probably put it on my desk and use it once a week or so.

I like that the case essentially recesses the buttons on the phone. I feel that it actually makes the phone a little bit easier to use. I spoke with a friend who shared the same feeling that the phone felt more comfortable in her hands when using a similar case.

The drawbacks I’ve found with the case are that I can’t use my iHome Alarm Clock/Radio to charge it. The phone does come in and out of the case easily, so this isn’t too big of an issue, and if you are simply plugging your iPhone in to charge and sync instead of using a dock, you won’t experience a problem with leaving the case on.

How to Determine Airport Speed on a Mac

I always use MenuMeters which is a great plugin that will allow you to see your network activity, cpu usage and so forth. I don’t know if my wife would find is so useful though, so it isn’t installed on her MacBook Pro (Amazon Affiliate Link) as it is on all of my machines.

Anyways, we just signed up for a new Verizon FIOS account and got the new Actiontech router to go with it. She’s the only one of us lucky enough to really take advantage of the new 802.11n features built-in though and I wanted to see if it was actually working. I was suprised that the Mac doesn’t show you the speed of your airport connection anywhere, so I had to search and found this great tip to just push the option button while clicking on the airport menu icon.

I hope you will find this useful as I do.

First Impressions of Apple iPad

I must admit when Apple introduced the iPad (Amazon Affiliate Link), I was quite skeptical about the uses for such a device. I’m an avid Apple fan and have many of the products they have come out with. I already have a Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and iPhone, so I was curious, where does this little iPad thing fit in amongst these other great devices?

As the weeks went by and the launch date got closer, I finally started thinking of potential uses for the iPad where my laptop was too much and my iPhone wasn’t enough. Most of them were minor, but as we were getting ready to head out for vacation I quickly realized how much the iPad could compliment us while traveling. You see, my 17″ MacBook Pro is just too large to use on a plane. There just isn’t enough room to use the keyboard and it is quite awkward to even find a place that you can use it to watch movies with. The iPad really excels in this field.

My wife and I just started watching Criminal Minds Criminal Minds - Criminal Minds, Season 1. We had been renting the discs from Netflix, but I decided to purchase the season from iTunes so that we could watch it on the iPad. With a headphone splitter in hand, we had no problems watching episodes the whole way out there. It didn’t matter if we were on a plane or sitting in the airport waiting. It was so convenient to watch anywhere at anytime. We even found ourselves using the built-in speaker to watch a few episodes at our rental house. The built in speaker is loud enough for two to use in a quiet enough environment, like a bedroom, but it isn’t enough to use sitting in a spa (too hard to overcome the noise from the jets).

The iPad was great for keeping up with my email on the trip. Before we left I switched out my USB evdo card to a MiFi with Verizon. I had been eyeing one of those units for a while, but never had a real reason to switch. The iPad’s WiFi only connection (at least in my model) made me make the switch. I wasn’t interested in waiting for the 3G, nor would I want to put any more trust in AT&T’s already way overloaded network using the built-in 3G on future models. The plans are cheaper per month, but you’re locked into using it only on the iPad. The MiFi lets me connect up to five devices at one time, any wifi enabled device that is.

Back to the email, I’ve never really been impressed with the email on the iPhone. It works, it gets the job done, but it hasn’t ever impressed me. Email is georgeous on the iPad. It’s easy enough to handle all of your accounts, file messages, reply and so forth. My only major complaint is that there doesn’t seem to be an option to put your signature below/after the quoted text. (I’m a big fan of doing threaded replies.) It would also be nice to have a combined inbox, but I understand that is coming in a few months with iPhone OS 4. If you aren’t a fan of the built in mail client, gmail does a great job inside of safari.

Google Maps is very nice on the big screen, but I didn’t find the built in GPS to be all that accurate. I understand this is because it tries to figure it out solely based on your WiFi connection. Being in a new city, it was nice to be able to search and plan out different routes to restaurants and other destinations. This feature is probably available on the iPhone, but I hadn’t noticed it until using maps on the iPad: If you search for something in directions mode you can simply click on each pin to see the route and estimated travel time to the destination.

I really like the new TweetDeck TweetDeck for iPhone, but I also started to become a fan of using the mobile twitter.com site to tweet. My main reason for liking the mobile site is the control over geotagging. TweetDeck will allow you to geotag your tweets, but you can’t choose how much info to share about where you are, which isn’t good when the GPS puts you a few miles away from your actual location, or when you want to only list your general area like city. Using the columns in TweetDeck is great and the way they laid out the screen is very nice. It is very nice to click and follow things on the top when in portrait mode. It doesn’t seem that the columns sync back to your other computers though and I have a bunch of issues removing columns. I also found issues when changing account names or passwords with Twitter. Tweetdeck makes all new columns, again.

As for the iPad itself, we found that it was nearly impossible to drain the battery. We could go all day watching videos and doing casual web activities. I don’t think I ever got the battery below 50% in a day. It seems you will get at least the 10 hours or so to make it through the day before you can easily recharge. I did find that it takes some time to recharge the battery, unlike the iPhone, which is certainly related to how long it lasts.

The Netflix app is great, but other than just using the app to test it, I haven’t tried any prolonged watching on it. It sounds like Netflix is really working on improving and adding more movies with streaming abilities. It sure would be nice to be able to rate movies inside of this app, but I’m sure that will be coming eventually, probably around the time people give up on flash.

Safari is greatly improved from the iPhone, or at least it fills that way with the larger screen. Other than the obvious flash limitations, I haven’t found any sites that didn’t work which is probably more than I could say about most desktop browsers. One limitation you may encouter, you can’t print, at least not natively. There is an app for that though.

I’ve recently become a big fan of Google Apps, especially Google Docs. While you can’t yet edit documents natively, you can selectively edit spreadsheets, just like on the iPhone. I’m sure Google will be coming up with a solution for this eventually. In the meantime, you can use Office2 Office², or upload a document from another application created offline later. Evernote may be worth checking out. I just downloaded it an am pondering how to give it a good workout.

I had been thinking about getting the keyboard/dock for the iPad since day one, but hadn’t brought myself to order one. Finally, someone gave me the idea online to pair a bluetooth keyboard. I’ve had an Apple Wireless Keyboard laying around for years, the one without the numpad, which I had ordered solely so I would have a numpad when working with my laptop. I quickly paired it up and have been using it all day. This is just the solution I have been looking for. I think it may work even better than the keyboard dock designed for the iPad in that it won’t restrict you as to how you’d like to use it. I did find (not through a scientific test) that the battery life seems to be going down quite a bit more since I’ve been using the keyboard, but that could just be incidental to me using it for longer periods at once today.

As for things that need improvement: Apple needs to get the keychain to sync from MobileMe. It is nice that Safari remembers passwords, but it sure would be nice to have everything already on the device from your desktop/etc. It would also be really nice to have an application to see the items in your keychain. A friend suggested using 1Password, which I am currently contemplating integrating into my digital life.

This post is a little old now, but check out Chris Brogan’s First Take on the iPad. Be sure to read through the comments there. Some of his followers left some great insights. Sorry this has taken so long to get from draft to post!



What It Takes

So it has been a while since I’ve written. To some extent, I’d say that I’ve been busy, to some I’d say I’d been too bored to write. Tonight I’m just not quite ready to go to bed, even though I really need to get some sleep. I guess there are just too many things going through my mind that I’ve been trying to figure out lately.

Let’s see if I can recount some of the recent highlights: The fireside with President Monson was great this past Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have watched it twice now and have two pages of notes. I never take notes. I hope to collect those thoughts into something more coherent soon.

My favorite song recently, and I don’t mean in the past two weeks, but the past few months, is definitely “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley.

The girls have been keeping me up way too late recently. Maegan and Larilyn came over on Monday night when I normally get to bed between 8 and 9 and I think were here till almost 11. Surprisingly I wasn’t all that tired at the temple the next morning. Lauren came over last night, I was able to bribe her with some brown rice pasta I found at Trader Joe’s, and I finally started watching 24 which kept me up late. It seemed like there was something all last week. I remember being somewhat excited with a Friday night off. I was going to get to bed early, but then I fell in love with the pink roses on my kitchen table and spent a few hours taking pictures of them.

Taking the pictures led to last weekends project of figuring out how to fix the picture problem. My laptop just hasn’t been cutting it with the pictures and it has taken all the fun and enjoyment out of it. So, I thought maybe it was the slow HDD and dug out some externals. That didn’t seem to make much of a change, but did help. Around 11 or 11:30 I gave up and visited apple.com to find out what time the Escondido store opened up. After an impatient morning, I was at the Apple Store and bought a new Mac Pro. It actually runs Apeture and it is really nice to have a desktop again. I want to burn some backups and then delete a bunch of the stuff that I have on my laptop. Actually, I’m starting to like the new OS (don’t remember the cat’s name) so I may wipe and reinstall.

Ryan got me playing with APRS yesterday. He told me the magic combinations I had been missing before. I now really want to get the weather station setup at the house and get it transmitting via APRS and get a GPS in the car that will talk to the 710 radio in there. I’ve also been toying with buying a truck and am considering doing it sometime this year. I think I might want to get it fully loaded with the radio rigs, scanners and other toys, so I might save the full scale gps integration for that bad boy and keep my car a little cleaner, i.e. no more toys in it. Now I just need money!

In any event, I’ve found myself depressed quite a bit lately that life just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Clearly I can buy all sorts of expensive toys, but it doesn’t progress me anywhere. I think I’ve lost touch with some things that I need to be doing. I haven’t been reading my scriptures daily. I’ve been very anti-social which only leads to being more anit-social. Something needs to change; I’m just not sure what or how and sometimes I just want to give up. I realize that we have to go through ups and downs in life, it just seems that the valleys are larger than the plateaus.

Oh yeah, I want to plant a garden. I realize I’m not the perfect person to care for it, but I think it would be great to have fresh fruits and veggies growing outside. I could totally go for having a huge supply of strawberries this summer. It would also help me accomplish the job of setting up a compost bin or at least a kitchen pill bug type compost.

I guess Adam Gregory is singing the song of this era of my life right now:

I want to know,
I want to understand,
what it takes to be your man

What’s your favorite color,
whats your favorite song
if i sing it to you,
would you sing alone
i need to know,
I’ve got to understand
what it takes to be your man
what you want,
what you need,
baby tell me everything,
there ain’t nothing
I don’t want to know
cause all I want,
all i need,
is just you here with me
baby let me know so that I can
do what it takes to be your man.

Adam Gregory - What It Takes - Single - What It Takes

Apple – Support – Discussions – ‘Your network settings have been …

Apple, I’m appalled that this problem hasn’t been fixed yet. My trust is being lost quite quickly in the recent months. There is no excuse for this to have not been fixed the week it was discovered.

Apple – Support – Discussions – ‘Your network settings have been ….

I’m not about ready to delete my network setups just because someone at Apple is too lazy to solve the problem they created with a security update.

Apple, AT&T sued for over-saturating 3G network with iPhones

I’d almost consider buying an iPhone just so I could be part of the lawsuit against both companies.

AT&T is just dumb and needs to be removed from existence or at least needs to stop adding devices to their network until they can adequately manage their existing customers and devices.

As much as I love Apple, they need to be called on this stupid decision to use AT&T in the US. I understand that it let them make one phone for the world, but we’re a bit slow here in the US and need a phone that works on our older CDMA networks like Verizon.

AppleInsider | Apple, AT&T sued for over-saturating 3G network with iPhones

Get your act together Apple!

Cleaning Floors

I had fun today cleaning floors. I got a steam cleaner to do the carpets, and it also said it did hard surfaces. I ended up spending the afternoon cleaning all the hard floors in the house. I didn’t think it was doing that good of a job at first, but I noticed the water was fairly dirty. Later I realized walking around that the floors felt really clean. I don’t know what that is worth, but I had been noticing that my feet were getting really dirty walking around the house. I’ve vacuumed so many times that I figured there was just dirt that didn’t want to come out of the carpet and such so it needed a deep cleaning. I got the only Hoover model that they had at Best Buy, and used my 10% off coupon for moving on it.

The family came over for dinner tonight. Well, they came over to eat Papa John’s pizza. I have a feeling my dad really likes having a place he can come and eat it and I think I’m going to be seeing them every three weeks. They also brought some stuff from the house – as I figured they would – that I promptly threw away most of. I can’t figure out if the Apple posters are worth anything. I tried searching online for ipod lisa poster and such regarding the 2004 remake of the 1984 Lisa poster/ad and couldn’t find anything on eBay or really much talking about it. I guess if I make an Apple museum I’ll want to keep at least one of them – and if I put them all in one container they wouldn’t take up that much room.

Kenny and I watched Definitely Maybe tonight. I thought the movie had a good premise and liked the story telling of his life, and the interactions from the daughter. It kind of reminded me of Princess Bride with the story telling. While not a fan of some of the things they did in the movie, I thought it was funny how intertwined the lives of these women were and how you supposedly couldn’t see what was coming – and definitely didn’t know who her mom was. It was clear early on how the movie would end, as with most. It was enjoyable through the end though and that is what matters.

I discovered the other night that I have a broken sprinkler line. I’d like to say the neighbors probably did it when they poured concrete, but i can’t be certain. I picked up the stuff to start digging today and maybe can get out there and get going on Monday night. I need to start working on a food list for the housewarming party next weekend so I can start doing some form of planning ahead.