Category Archives: Apple

4S

Six months delayed…critics are disappointed. Apple just released the long awaited refresh of the iPhone yesterday.  For me: it’s an upgrade long overdue.  I’ll get myself one when it becomes locally available.  The dual-core A5 chip and longer battery life alone is a big leap (6 hours internet on 3G!).

The new Siri is interesting too. Conversational English as a voice command is a cool feature.  Questions like “Find me a Persian grill restaurant.” Will bring a search list of available Persian restaurants in close proximity with the combination of GPS, Google Search, and Maps.

Apple released the new iPhone 4S - out on Oct 14

The new dual-core A5 chip iPhone 4S

 

I’m sure the iPhone 4 owners are disappointed there’s not big enough reason for them to upgrade.  I think that’s Apple’s usual approach in releasing new products.  I always skip a generation of iteration before upgrading. I’m an iPhone 3GS user and the iPhone 4 wasn’t a big upgrade for me – the iPhone 4S is though.  I hope it gets to the Philippine market soon – I anticipate it can be bought in the market by end of 2011 or early 2012.

Go to http://www.apple.com/iphone for more details of the new iPhone 4S.

Shifting to 1Password…from eWallet

eWallet

eWallet

I had keeping myself from using 1Password over eWallet for the last 7 months.  I’ve got 1Password on a promotion last December and it was free.  I got 1Password for Desktop Mac on a MacTree (forgot the correct promo name) for free around that time too.  I’ve always liked eWallet but Illiumsoft’s downplay of the market on eWallet for Mac to be minuscule to that of the PC market leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  Foolish and stupid – for loyal customers like me.

I’ve been a regular user of eWallet since v3.0 on my Windows Mobile phones about 4-5 years ago.  I’d been happy with the user interface and usability of the password manager especially syncing it with a desktop companion on my Windows system.  I’ve shifted to a Mac platform less than three years ago.  Completely gone full Apple when I bought my iPhone classic and dumped my ETEN M600 Windows Mobile 2003 phone.  I was glad eWallet had an iPhone app later that year.  I’ve looked up the eWallet file I kept from my ETEN phone backup and loaded it to my iPhone. Voila! I got my eWallets back.

And that was just it.  I updated a wallet or two but never opened the eWallet app unless I’ve got an existing wallet that has never changed for over a year.  I had no way of syncing it to a desktop companion and have it backed up.  The eWallet I keep on my iPhone has become volatile that I wouldn’t depend on keeping my passwords on an app that I can’t look up to on more than one device. (Yes, the iPhone has backup utility.  But what if my iPhone breaks or gets stolen? How can I view my passwords now?)

I had been hoping that illiumsoft finishes their long-overdue promise to release eWallet for Mac but it seems like the release date gets pushed and pushed.  I’d understand their concerns as I am a developer myself but as a customer I see it as no full commitment.  Yes, the Mac market may be a fraction of the Windows PC market but can’t you count it with the number of potential users and sales you’d get from people they’d win over if they have a Mac desktop companion?  eWallet started with a small user-base and thrived from there.  Would it mean that maintaining a Mac version costs a lot more these days that they can’t put up time to have it released sooner? What’s with that?

1Password

1Password

It’s been nearly a year that I’ve waited for a desktop companion.  I’ve got 1Password for the iPhone and Mac that I can switch to.  I think it’s just but right that I’d switch now to have the convenience of syncing.  Here’s hoping that 1Password would improve usability of the user-interface – a minor user preference issue I can live with, not like the neutered syncing capability of eWallet with Macs.

Some Bad, Mostly Good

The Bad

The last 7 days I had an all time high with stress levels for 9 months! It’s been that long the word ‘stress’ comes close to anything that I do…the silly part – it’s not me who got stressed up the roof. I’ve only gotten close to irk and that’s it. I’ve finally got my ‘cool’ factor back! I can only hope and dream that someday work becomes fun, instead of stress. I’m on my way there.

The Good(s)

I finally bought myself a new tripod set that I’ve planned on getting for over a year! My SLIK aluminum tripod has to retire from carrying my 350D + lenses. I can finally rest easy from seeing the bent legs and the squeaking camera base. It can’t handle over 5 kilos of gear. The Manfrotto 190xprob + 486rc2 should be strong enough to handle my gears. Now that I have it, I should shoot more to prove its purpose. I didn’t buy this for nothing 🙂

I was also set to buy a new battery pack for my Macbook on my next pay but I decided to check with Digital Hub first if my bloated MB battery is covered with warranty last Saturday. This battery pack was a replacement of my then defective battery (a batch of batteries were eligible for replacement) last January 2008. I was supposed to have another year of warranty for this new battery pack but the swelling started months after January 2009. Normally, a battery pack is considered a consumable item that even an AppleCare (the 3 year extended warranty for Apple items) don’t cover them. The technicians at Digital Hub took a look at it and checked with Apple Singapore. I just got my fresh new battery pack a few hours ago after pickup. Apple agreed to replace it. Thanks Digital Hub!

XCode!!!

It’s been a lot of fun reading thru Aaron Hillegass’ book “Cocoa Programming in Mac OS X – 3rd Edition”.  I’d say it’s a Cocoa newbie Bible – for anyone who is looking for an easy to read book pick this up in your nearest bookstore.  Aaron makes programming in Mac OS X so easy it’s like taking Algebra for a refresher.

There isn’t a lot of new programming languages an enterprise developer needs to know these days.  It’s either you are into COBOL/Mainframe or your into Java.  I’ve literally stopped learning a new programming language for some time now – the last usable langauge I tried to learn was…uhmm…Javascript/AJAX.

Since I’ve switched to a Mac, I’ve tried to learn as much as how this thing works. For a long time Windows Power User, and an Ubuntu hobbyist – the Mac OS seemed pretty familiar, but its not.  Enter XCode.  I’ve had a lot of experience in different IDEs for almost a decade I’m into software development.  XCode is a mix of the complexity of MS Visual Studio but with the simplicity of look-up functions of Eclipse. All I can say is Wow! Just that!

If anyone of you who wants to explore development in a Mac – I’d recommend getting Aaron’s book and walk yourself through XCode.  It’s amazing how a free development tool just works!

Dynamic Pricing in App Store

I don’t know when all of this started but a lot of applications in the App Store had been having promotional prices in the last month or two. It’s just been like what? Over 3 months since the release of firmware 2.0 for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Developers and publishers for the mobile device have indeed enjoyed the new economy given by Apple’s distribution framework for mobile applications. And it is making its own market culture. Perhaps promotional pricing can push the application to the top of Apple’s Top Apps in iTunes, or they’d get noticed with all the buzz for even just a price drop – some has even gone to give it for free for a limited time.

For two weeks now, I’ve had 4 screenful of applications in my first generation iPhone. Some apps had been disappointing (e.g. MobileChat – buggy!) and some useless. With the promotions going on, I even corrected one mistake I made in purchasing an app. Although FileMagnet has great UI, AirSharing had a lot more features that I have used it more – it is multiplatform and doesn’t need a desktop client, and I got it for free!

I frequent a localized Mac Users Group forum to get the latest price drop listing of applications in the App Store, but most of the apps listed are also posted in this site here -> http://www.148apps.com/price-drops

148Apps has provided this page to help iPhone/iPod Touch users with latest promos

148Apps has provided this page to help iPhone/iPod Touch users with latest promos

With all this price drop frenzy, you might ask what’s my favorite app so far? Tap Tap Revenge!! It’s free, and gets me lively whenever I use it. The Indie tracks are just perfect for this app – all downloadable. Nice!

iPhone 3G in the Philippines on Aug 22, 2008

Globe Telecom’s investors briefing today has set the initial release of the iPhone 3G on Philippine shores on Aug. 22.  A press release has been posted from Globe’s iPhone 3G site showing the mobile plans set for Globe customers.  A ‘Reserve’ button is available for eager customers to get in line for a unit come its release date.

Personally, I’m glad that a legitimate source of the Apple iPhone is available to Filipinos – including Apple’s warranty coverage.  However, my gripe is with all five mobile plans.  It’s prohibitive – and none even comes with unlimited data service.  The iPhone just became level with no distinction with other Nokias and Sony Ericsson’s in the market.  What user can make use of its 3G features, Map Location, always connected MobileMe sync capability, and iTunes and App Stores?

Finally the official price plans are out...but will I take one?

Finally the official price plans are out...but will I take one?

I was initially hoping to get one for myself…but I don’t think getting another expensive mobile plan just for the 3G version makes sense at all.  I’ll keep my classic iPhone while my Globe Visibility unlimited data plan will fill its place.

Calvin and “Jobs”

I’ve always loved the humor of “Calvin and Hobbes”.  Mix that with Apple humor (esp. with Stevie) then you’d have another twist of laugh.  I got this tip from Macenstein that Mad Magazine featured a debut of their Calvin and “Jobs” comic strip.

A spoof of "Calvin and Hobbes" - Calvin and "Jobs" by MAD Magazine

A spoof of "Calvin and Hobbes" - Calvin and "Jobs" by MAD Magazine

Flickr link here.