Welcome to the first installment of what will be a new weekly column. Each Friday I will vent my anger and frustration at one lucky company, or broad range of topics. So sit back, relax, pop some popcorn, and watch as I descend in a frenzy of incoherent ravings.
Quick, someone throw me a life jacket. I'm drowning in a sea of social networks! I've actually lost count of the exact number in existence, but it has to be in the hundreds by now.
Well you can add another bookmark to your overflowing list of socials. This one goes by the name Multiply, who has developed a web-based social networking application for the iPhone. One feature that differentiates Multiply from other networks is that it integrates Media-Sharing Capabilities into its service rather than act just as a web frontend for text, like so many other services - Twitter, I'm casting an eye in your direction.
Among the list of things you can do with Multiply...
Minglets is a new social network designed specifically for iPhone users to meet and mingle. Just go to app.minglets.com, select one of many different categories of topics to choose from, then chat with other iPhone users who share your common interest.
My only complaint is that a broader range of topics is desperately needed. I didn't see a Suicide hotline for overcharged AT&T users available, and that is a must have.
User Centric, Inc., a usability consultancy research group, has published a study finding that iPhone's virtual keyboard is nearly twice as slow to enter text compared with devices that have fixed hardware buttons.
The study gave iPhones to 20 participants who were asked to send text messages and emails using the device, while UC searchers monitored their actions. Hilarity ensued. The group found texting on devices with fixed keys to be fast and accurate. On the iPhone - slow and clumsy.
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).
Kyle Stoneman managed to successfully setup his very own Myth TV box. After dancing wildly through the living room, shouting with glee, like a nine year old boy on Christmas morning, his elation was soon dampened when he realized that controlling the box required sitting next to a computer. Lame.
So the industrious would-be hacker came up with a solution - use the iPhone as a remote. And wouldn't you know it, the son of a b*tch did it!. He even posted a video demonstrating his creation.
Shhh...do you hear that? The deafening silence of a slow news day. Seriously, either today's news about iPhone being fully unlockable has everyone running to AT&T and Apple Stores, or there is like NOTHING happening in the land of iPhone.
But fear not, I have a bone to throw into your hungry waiting mouths. Free iPhone wallpaper. More of redux really. I posted these several weeks ago, but in case you missed them - here they are again.
For those of you who have grown weary of iPhone's default wallpaper gallery, Efiko has a supreme four-pack collection that will satisfy your craving. These image packs feature rich, vibrantly colored wallpapers that will have you hitting the sleep/wake button all day.
I think we should talk this over before you do something rash.
Why don't you take a stress pill and we can sit down and talk about it.
You can begin popping corks off Champaign bottles and dance through the streets in your underpants. This is the moment that many folks have waited for.
In case you've been living under a rock this morning the internet is aflutter with news that iPhone has now finally unlocked, using an $80 tool called Turbo SIM card.
The feat is said to be 100% effective, meaning that it unlocks all of iPhones features and functions, allowing users to make and receive calls, SMS, access GPRS readio (data), browse the web, send email, download porn, over any GSM network. Viola!
Oh Apple, how ever did you think you could keep developers from breaking down iPhone's backdoor. Hmm? Not only have developers managed to find their way inside, knocking over lamps as they stumble in the dark, but one developer created a rather illuminating piece of software. meniacal laugh
Lights Off is the first, that we know of, "unofficial" game for iPhone. The first of many perhaps. The goal of this simple puzzle game is to switch off all the little blinking lights in order to advance levels. Installing this code isn't for the faint of heart. It involves a bit of rubber chicken swinging and poking through iPhone's hidden file system. Full instructions are on the site.
AdMob offers a new spin on web advertising. Rather than a generic text link, AdMob links aggregate targeted content advertisements and generate relevant results that tie into services like Google Maps, directing iPhone users to services they might wish to exploit.
Make sense? No? I don't understand what I just said either. So just watch the video above and let the guys from AdMob explain. I need a nap.
Listen up Skype junkies! You can now use your iPhone to make Skype calls over the wireless tubular interweb...nets. A German-based company called SHAPE Services, whoever the hell that is, is offering a new service (invitation only, in beta) allowing iPhone users to connect with other users in the Skype ecosystem.
You can make calls to any Skype user at their PC, make el cheapo phone calls all over the world, or do the IM + Skype cally thing. Try it yourself and see what you think.
Justine Ezarik from Tasty Blog Snack got an unexpected surprise in the mail today - her first phone bill from AT&T, after purchasing an iPhone and switching carriers. Nothing unusual about that, except that it arrived in a box (that would be my first clue that something terribly wrong had occurred at AT&T's billing department), not an envelope, and...oh yeah...it's 300 freaking pages long!
Some clever Modders have found a novel approach to creating a working two-way video conferencing solution into iPhone. With a little IP voodoo and huckleberry mirror, twin brothers Glen and Ken Aspeslagh found a way to successfully pull off a live video conference, over the web, by streaming compressed video to a special server which then streams the video to a recipient iPhone.
You can read more about this bit of hackery after the jump. I'm giving these guys my coveted "I want to have your children" award for sheer brilliance.