Consumer Reports has run lab tests and confirmed what many real-world users likely already know -- in areas with weak signal, touching the iPhone 4 external antenna band at the bottom left side can cause a loss of voice and data connection.
My latest productivity app this week? Penultimate for iPad. There are several competing "free hand" note taking apps on our favorite tablet device. After our recent TiPb at Work Post, I thought I would see if Penultimate tries to separate itself from other note apps on the iPad. Is being simple with just enough of a "feature" to get the job done enough?
Penultimate starts you off with a single notebook. That notebook serves as a tutorial to show you how to use Penultimate. The example notebook is excellent as it "teaches" you everything you need to know about the app. The basic setup is this; you can have virtually unlimited notes in your notebook. You tap the bottom right corner to go to the next page and the bottom left corner to go to the previous page. You have a pen, eraser and a clear page button at the bottom as well. On the main screen you can create your own notebook, email or delete notebooks as need, you can even rename them by tapping the name located below the notebook.
Writing in Penultimate is a pure joy. As you draw or write with your fingers, the developers have given the virtual ink a very distinct look, almost like calligraphy. The ink is thick in some areas and thinner in others. If you want to adjust the thickness or color of your ink, simply tap and hold the pen icon at the bottom of the page to make your changes.
You can create new notebooks with the tap of a button located in the top left hand corner. The top right hand corner gives you additional settings. The style of paper be changed from graph to lined for example, you can reposition the tools (pen, eraser, etc.) to the top of the page and even email the entire notebook or just the page you are on via email. Penultimate converts the notebooks to PDFs for emailing.
I like Penultimate for what it does; it is a simple no-frills note taking tool. I find there to be a couple of irritations however. In landscape view, you are given a cropped view of the page and you can flick the right side of the screen to scroll towards the top and bottom. I feel there has to be a better way to implement this, or, give me completely different functionality in landscape. The other issue is that there is no way to zoom to give yourself more space; the notebook is it's real size and there is no zooming. I would have liked to have seen a pinch-zoom function that increased the size of your note area. Ah, perhaps in a future release. Regardless, Penultimate is a beautiful fun and easy note taking tool that most of use can find a use for in our busy lives.
Under iOS 4, if you're using an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS, when you double click the Home Button the UI slides up and reveals the multitasking fast app switcher "behind" the dock. That certainly fixes the problem of moving between apps quickly, but it sacrifices everything the double click did on previous iOS versions.
Looks like some of AT&T's "most valuable customers" are receiving a letter offering them a free MicroCell. The box, which sits in your home or office and re-routes your cell phone -- including iPhone -- over your broadband network can often work miracles in low signal areas... for a price.
What's less clear than the reception boost, however, is just who's being offered the feebie.
Though his calls do frequently drop at home, Jason says he wasn't terribly vocal about the issue and only pays around $180 per month for his family plan -- the only thing that might possibly qualify him, in his opinion, is that his contract was set to expire.
Leanna paid for a MicroCell recently, and while it does seem to power through even the iPhone 4 antenna issues, she's not happy she was excluded from the MVC list. AT&T, expect a call from a tiny, agro blogger any time now...
Apple has begun airing 4 new iPhone 4 commercials and once again, it's all about FaceTime, and heavy on the emotion and sentimentality. Titled Smile, Meet Her, Big News, and Haircut, each focuses on a moment of shared intimacy, of insecurity and anticipation, of surprise and joy. And they do it in a way that makes the visual integral to he communication.
Again, incredibly smart advertising on Apple's part, and another step towards mainstreaming video calling and the way they're doing it...
It's no longer about their being an app for that. Now it's about there being a phone -- specifically iPhone 4 -- for that.
One of the questions we get all the time is whether or not it's better to get an iPad with built-in 3G (which costs $130 more for the device, $15 or $30 for the service), or to get an iPad Wi-Fi and tether is via Mi-Fi or to a Google Android or Palm webOS device running Mobile HotSpot software (which costs 0 to $30 for the option).
Of course, Apple currently doesn't offer Mobile HotSpot on the iPhone, or a way to tether the iPad via the existing Bluetooth or USB feature, so you're out of luck there.
We ran two (admittedly unscientific) test just to see how the iPad would perform, both natively and when tethered to a Nexus One running Android 2.2 Froyo, and a Palm Pre Plus. First we put all three through the Speed Test app, and then we loaded a web page on each to get a feel for real-world performance. (Cache, cookies, and history cleared, of course.)
And the results varied quite a bit. Check out the video above for highlights and continue reading for more...
NAVIGON dropped us a note to let us know that new, feature-filled, iOS 4-friendly version of MobileNavigator they previewed for us back at WWDC 2010 has hit the App Store and is available now. It includes:
TiPb gave away a couple of iPhone 4s last month and our grand prize winner, Brandon, was kind enough to not only send us the picture above -- showing off his new iPhone 4 -- but to film a sequel to his prize-winning film, iPhone Envy.
Check it out below, and huge appreciation and congratulations again to Brandon!
Chirpy for iPhone is a Twitter application that focuses strictly on direct messages. High Order Bit, the creators of Twitbit, have designed this app with the intention of it being a replacement to the Messages app. They have focused on bringing nearly instantaneous push notifications and a stripped down, yet beautiful, interface to make direct messages quick and easy.