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Reviews

Review: Marware Sport Grip

by Doug Morse

My iPhone came well in advance of the computer. So for nearly ten days, I had an attractive looking paperweight. Meanwhile, a box full of accessories went to a different address -- I was on vacation you see -- so I couldn’t do much except stare at the iPhone box. Finally, I figured I would activate the iPhone on a different computer – though there is a danger to this madness. When I finally synched it to my home computer, I'd essentially be 'wiping' the iPhone and starting anew. Still, I had a working iPhone for a couple of days before the device and accessories were united.

Like a giddy young girl headed to the prom, my iPhone looked at the box of accessories. Cases, screen protectors, sync and charge cables, even a fancy Motorola Bluetooth headset were ready to take her out. The question of course: what to wear. Well, the one screen protector was a no-brainer. No one wants to get damaged on a night out. The sync and charge cable was a simple retracting affair. No, it was the cases that posed the most difficulty. There were three soft rubberized cases in pink, brown (yuck), and blue. Two semi hard cases, and a Tough Skin Sport by Speck. And the prettiest of the lot was an executive deep red leather case. For whatever reason, I was attracted to the light blue bad-boy-sounding Marware Sport Grip (store link, $14.95).

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Bluetooth Audio

There's a bug in the 1.1.1 firmware that lets you stream audio through bluetooth. It's not quite Stereo Bluetooth. It's essentially mono Bluetooth, but it brings some functionality, and may be useful for podcasts and the like. To get audio through Bluetooth:

  1. pair your Bluetooth, if you haven't done so already
  2. open Visual voicemail
  3. select 'Audio' at top right. If it doesn't say 'Audio,' reconsider step 1.
  4. It will bring up a dialogue box to choose sound output. Select your Bluetooth headset
  5. Presto! Enjoy your audio through both the speaker and your Bluetooth headset.

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Review: NewsGator Online Makes RSS Reading Simple, But Irritating

My day revolves around web-based RSS readers. Google Reader, Bloglines Beta, NewsGator...you name it, I've tried it. Unfortunately those services aren't conveniently rendered on iPhone's 3.5" display, and require lots of pinching, jiggering, and side-scrolling to view content. Adding to that frustration, Safari tends to choke on AJAX code which these online readers employ heavily - crashing the browser and dumping you back to the home screen.

Enter Newsgator Online for mobile users; a service designed for small screens with low overhead.

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Native App Review: ApolloIM v0.1.2

ApolloIM was the first native app to provide AOL Instant Messaging. Although it's a little rough around the edges, it's a solid first attempt at an IM client. It's currently in version 0.1.2 and developing quickly. Read on to see what works, what doesn't, and what we might expect from future versions.

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How-To: Using Installer.app

Here is our guide for using AppTapp Installer.app. Yesterday, we covered how to install it (Mac / Windows); today, we'll cover how to use it.

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Review: Belkin Sport Armband


figure 1: the Belkin Sport Armband. Note the absence of the holes by the key slot

I quit smoking over a year ago. I didn't like how expensive it all was (a pack a day gets expensive quick), so I started rolling my own cigarettes; which is probably way worse for you. I liked smoking, but I knew I had to quit. I was going to be moving in to a house, meaning my tiny little monthly rent was going to jump up to a ginormous monthly mortgage. So I quit. Boy, did that suck. I mean, it sucked at first. Eventually I was done with smoking and that's great, nothing bad about that. Except for the 30 pounds I packed on. The charts don't say I'm overweight, but I started running anyway. It's either that or buy a whole bunch of pants.

I can do a mile without killing myself, so that's great. It takes a while; long enough that I sometimes wish for music or podcasts as I jog. But, I'm not really excited about dumping an iPhone to flop around in my running shorts. Ergo, the need for the Belkin Sport Armband case (store link, $24.95).

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David Adams Chronicles His Month With iPhone

David Adams from OSNews.com wrote a lengthy and very interesting seven page review of the iPhone and shares his experiences with the device after one month of use. He seems to have grown quite fond of it (haven't we all?) and sees Apple capturing a sizable chunk of the cellular market.

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Bookmarklet / Favelet Smorgasbord

So, yeah. Favelets and bookmarklets. In the podcast, I promised a review article about useful bookmarklets and favelets, for the iPhone. And here it is.

I've written a few simple bookmarklets as well; it seems a lot of the bookmarklets are designed for web editors, and not always so much for the average web user. I'm guessing that not many regular folks need to edit CSS from the iPhone, and those that do already have those bookmarklets synched over. But still, there's a void for popular sites. It seemed that all I found were eBay, Amazon, and Google sites. So I set out to make a few of my own, and edit a few others so that they'd work on iPhone Safari (henceforth, iSafari).

If you have any requests for a custom bookmarklet, put them in the comments. It has to be said that I make no guarantees that I can make the resulting request as I'm not an expert with javascript by any means, but the worst that can happen is that I say no. Okay, that's not the worst that can happen. The worst is that I say no VERY IMPOLITELY.

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Can the iPhone Double As a Laptop? MSNBC Thinks So

MSNBC.com technology writer, Joe Hutsko, purchased an iPhone to replace his Treo 680 (a common trend it seems) and decided to put the much hyped gadget to the test, to see whether iPhone is road worthy as a laptop replacement.

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iGot an iPhone, Initial Impressions and Reflections, Part 2

Does the iPhone live up to the hyperbole? Is the device really as cool as it looks? Even more important – is it a practical device to use or just an expensive, but impressive, luxury gadget? I can’t fully answer the philosophical aspects until I’ve used the iPhone for a longer period of time. Two weeks is my usual period for test modeling a product before passing final judgment. But in this case I will share my initial impressions and experiences. Some good, some not so good.

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