Reviews | Page 148 | iMore


Web App Review: Bloglines

Reading my news and RSS feeds on the go is important to me. Most people I know use Google Reader, and it is a fantastic desktop web application. However, I find the mobile version really lacking in features and functionality; this is where Bloglines ( comes in.

Bloglines really takes advantage of Apple's HIG's and gives a very integrated environment for your news. Keep in mind that this version of Bloglines is is still in beta...

(Ed Note - We've already welcomed Rene Ritchie to the fold, now we welcome Chad Garrett! Chad will be bringing us a software review each week -- with any luck at all he'll be able to move to reviews of real, honest-to-god, Apple-approved native applications very soon! Welcome Chad!)

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Review: Seidio Inno Dock for the iPhone, iPod Touch

The Seidio InnoDock for the iPhone ($39.95) is a straightforward dock with a couple of non-straightforward features. It will charge your iPhone (via USB) and also features an audio-out port. The main feature, though, is that it's able to work with your iPhone in its case - no removal required.

Read on for the full review!

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Review: Speck SeeThru Case

The Speck SeeThru Case ($29.95) for the Apple iPhone is a hard plastic case that also comes with a belt holster. When I saw Speck at Macworld, I was impressed with their wide array of cases and also with their clip/stand system. After some time with their SeeThru case, I continue to be impressed.

Read on for the full review!

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Review: Pacific Rim Leather Jacket for Apple iPhone

The Pacific Rim Leather Jacket is a simple flip-lid style case for the iPhone. It has a clean, elegant look, but is it clean and elegant to use? Read on for our review.

Buy: Pacific Rim Leather Jacket - $39.95

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Round Robin: iPhone, Long Live the King

After a month without the iPhone, it's good to be back. I got used to a lot of things in the 6 months of use with the iPhone that just aren't possible with the other devices. In using the iPhone, I got used to having 7GB of music handy. I got used to carrying around headphones so I could slip into the world of music at a moment's notice. I got used to looking whatever I needed on the real web. I got used to checking voicemails individually whenever I needed. I got used to how I checked email. I got used to threaded SMS. I got used to viewing videos. I got used to not charging my phone religiously every night. I got used to the seamless syncing with iTunes. On my return to the iPhone, I was astounded how quickly I was spoiled with syncing information. It was downright nasty to get all of my information onto a lot of these other devices. After 6 months of using the iPhone, what would have pleased me now frankly shocked me.

That's not to say that the iPhone is perfect. No, there are a bunch of things that I realized I'd miss once I got back to the iPhone. I'd miss to-do lists, I'd miss installing programs, I'd miss the culture of openness that most of the other smartphones possess. I know that I'll have some, if not all, of the features I've been wanting in a few months once 3rd party applications arrive; I'm sure that others will arrive as carrots in the future whether they come from Apple or whether they come from the hacking community.

The future is really why I went for the iPhone in the first place. I wanted to use a device that has a future, not one that has a past. All of the other smartphones, they come with what is best described as baggage. There's a history to how they do things, and when they do something that's probably wrong in terms of how a smartphone ought to work, there's an excuse for it, or some obscure technical reason that was relevant years ago but isn't relevant now. They were designed to work around older technology, and all of that cruft builds up, and that cruft takes battery power. Why else would those thicker devices have worse battery life? In a lot of ways, the other smartphones pioneered the way, but it doesn't seem like they kept up. The iPhone, even with its shortcomings, is a fresher look on what it means to be a smartphone than any of the other devices out there, and I'm pretty sure that it will continue to be that way. Who is going to be able to keep up with what Apple has started?

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Round Robin: Palm OS, The King is Dead

After a week of using the Treo 680, I have to say that it's pretty much the same as I remember it. I used the 680 as my primary phone for about half a year, and I've reviewed it twice already. I won't claim to be the most knowledgeable 680 user out there; that honor would certainly be bestowed to many, many users in our forum before I would even enter consideration for it. I've had a lot to say about Palm OS, generally favorable I suppose, but there are caveats. I've said as much in the TreoCentral TreoCast, but I've never had an opportunity like this one to really distill thirty podcasts and a few dozen hours of listening into a manifesto of what's good and what's bad about Palm OS, and what I really think about their Linux venture, and why Palm is on their current path.

When I say the King is dead, I don't mean that the 680 is a bad device, or that there's no reason to use Palm OS, or that anyone that uses it is dumb. Far from it, I think the 680 is pretty high up on my list. It's still a good phone. If I thought Palm OS was dumb or not relevant, I wouldn't do the TreoCentral TreoCast. It boils down to two things with Palm OS: the hardware and the software. The hardware will see updates. There will probably be more Palm OS GSM phones to come out. Better cameras, 3G, smaller form factors, the whole shebang. When it comes out, it will probably be a compelling upgrade for Palm OS users. But I don't think we'll see a significant software update for Palm OS in the next two years. While some may accuse that it's unfair to say "the king is dead" alluding to Palm OS, it's not accurate to say the king is alive, either. But still, there are always these persistent rumors about faked deaths and random sightings...

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Treo 680 First Looks All Over Again

I think that I've been lucky with all of the phones that I've reviewed in the Smartphone Round Robin. I think there's a proper order. I began with the device furthest away in mentality to the iPhone, the BlackBerry Curve, and it was a fine device. I missed having a touchscreen, but it was a good device. Then, I got to use the Tilt for a week, and that was actually another good device -- very powerful with its touchscreen, and it has a form factor at least in parts reminiscent of the iPhone, though maybe without some of its ease of use. And last, I get to review the Treo, which is in many ways the closest of all of the phones we'll review to the iPhone. Did you know that iPhone owners were 7 times more likely to have used a Treo (or Sidekick) than any other phone?

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Round Robin: Windows Mobile Fond Farewell

Of all the smartphones we test during the Smartphone Round Robin, the constraints of our phone exchange is felt most with the Windows Mobile 6 AT&T Tilt. One week is just not enough to get a full grasp on what Windows Mobile can do. If you've read some of my other reviews, you'll hopefully recognize that as a compliment-dig.

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Round Robin: AT&T Tilt

For the past few days, I've been working with the AT&T Tilt, a Windows Mobile smartphone. I've used Windows Mobile before, so this isn't quite the new experience that the BlackBerry Curve was, but I haven't used the latest version of Windows Mobile (version 6) either. I used WM5 with a Treo 750 for a while, but I ended up dealing with a bad bug that prevented calls from ringing. That was pretty much a killer for the device, and I stopped using it.

And that would be the end of the story, but for the Smartphone Round Robin. And here we are again.

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