August 5, 2009

Almost time for proper satnav on the iPhone

Filed under: iPhone — Simon May @ 8:36 pm
Tags: ,

The clincher for me moving to iPhone from Windows Mobile was that TomTom is coming and not only that it looked like an excellent implementation as this teaser video shows.  That was a couple of months ago at WWDC (Apple’s big conference).

Today it appears that the first pre-orders are available from UK site Handtec for the special mount that provides “enhanced GPS performance, clear voice instructions, hands-free calling and in-car charging.” I have to say though that I’m totally shocked at the price, £113.85!! 

For that princely sum you get the special car cradle and the software, although it’s not quite clear yet how you go about getting the software from iTunes as this is the first peripheral hardware for iPhone that needs software and will work happily without the hardware.


Also launched today is iGo My Way 2009 which doesn’t have any external hardware and is available with Western Europe maps for £52.99 or £44.99 for the US maps.  Navigon MobileNavigator is also available at £52.99 for Europe and £39.99 for the US maps.

Where next

I’ve been waiting for the TomTom solution for a while, so I’m personally going to wait for the reviews.  I want to see what the verdict is about the car cradle, and if it really does add much to the navigation experience (it’s supposed to make it more accurate) if it doesn’t add much it’ll be a strait choice between 3 products all competing on almost the same features.  I’ll let everyone know how I get on.

[via iPhone Alley – RSS]


July 28, 2009

Recycling your mobile for profit

Filed under: How I Use...,iPhone,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 9:04 am

I’ve just moved over to iPhone, as you’ll see if you browse about abit, but obviously I had a great phone before that, a Samsung i780 and before that a t-mobile touch plus (aka HTC Touch Dual) and before that an m3100 from orange (HTC Hermes) and before that an Orange c550 and before that … you get the drift.

And I still have all those phones, or at least I did until we decided we needed to declutter, we’ve been selling stuff for months on eBay! Checking out the prices for all those mobiles on eBay and it seemed a bit hit or miss so I decided to look at the mobile recycling companies. Just as an aside here worth noting it’s taken me a while to come to terms with actually getting rid of gadgets (I kept the i780), I say this only in case some thinks I’ve lost the plot, or a portion of my mind a least. The final decider, apart from the clutter was the cash.

I opted to use Mazuma mobile. The reasons behind this choice were many but mainly based on a first hand endorsment from a colleague and my being overly inflenced by the TV! So how was it?

On their website you fill details in about the phone and you don’t really even need to know much about it since they have a huge catalogue to choose from. Next you enter the IMEI number of the phone and they go off and check that the phones not been stolen (or at least not stolen and put on the register). Finally they give you a valuation. The touch dual and Hermes fetched £45 a piece and the older phones abou £15 each. The price is based on the condition of the phone; either working or not working. The definition is happily very loose too. “Working” basically means it turns on and you can, therefore, guess what the “not working” deffinition is too. The m3100 I sent had a button missing, but I still got full price and none of the Windows Mobile devices had propper firmware on, but that was no problem either. Anyway back to the process because I didn’t have money in my pocket at this point.

Having submitted the “order” through the web site I got a little pack in the post a couple of days later that contained instructions, a plastic ( and unpadded) postage paid returns bag and a certificate of postage for the post office clerk to sign. All I had to do was pop the phones in the bag and put it in the post box at the post office. A day or two later I recieved an email to tell me the phones had been recieved, then hours later I was told that a check was in the post. Full price for each!

And so a day or two later I have a cheque waiting for me to make it to the bank and I’m writing a review of a company that is actually more based on low tech postage methods than a digital lifestyle. It’s a superb service though, worthy of recommendation and in my oppinion it could be improved only by allowing an option like me getting my cash though paypal. If you don’t fancy using Mazuma then there are some alternatives listed below.

July 10, 2009

Best value charging cable ever

Filed under: iPhone — Simon May @ 6:09 pm

I’ve just been to one of my favorite gadget shops again, Poundland.  I’ve written about them before when I’ve hit upon a bargin and I’m really motivated to do it again so that everyone can benefit.   The image with this post is their retractable USB iPod charging cable and they sell it for just £1 like everything else in store. Here’s a similar item available online. These should be available UK wide right now and they’re the perfect, compact cable for your gadget bag. Quality is ok, not Apple standard but then I could buy one of these a month for the price of the Apple sync cable.   Bargin.

July 7, 2009

iPhone App news

Filed under: iPhone — Simon May @ 7:42 am

I’ve already said that one of the big reasons I moved to iPhone was for the innovate apps, well how’s this.  The people who make the excellent application have created this for Londoners, an “augmented reality” application that shows you where your nearest tube station is.  It’s 3GS only, because it uses video and looks amazing.

[Via @jamestenniswood and Gizmodo]

Also leaking out today is news of the TomTom application, which is what pushed me over the edge when it was announced that my favourite navigation application was on it’s way.  There’s some very promising information in this and I must say I’m looking forward to it….it’s one app I know I’ll buy.

[via @jangles and macworld]

IPhone 3GS battery life

Filed under: iPhone — Simon May @ 6:51 am

The battery life on my iPhone 3GS is really starting to impress me. I cannot remember the last time I got more than a full day out of a phone, with pretty average usage and email on a 15 minute pull schedule.

There is a secret to this, I’m actually using 2g most of the time and am using WiFi in most locations turning on 3g when I need fast data on the move…which isn’t that often right now as most places seem to have WiFi. Incidentally this works well because connecting to Wifi is so easy on this thing. This is my “Usage” screen a few moments ago on 10% battery.

June 29, 2009

iPhone armour

Filed under: iPhone — Simon May @ 4:48 pm

These little iPhones  look beautiful and no one wants to have a device that’s covered in scuffs and scrapes, me included. So as soon as I got it…no wait before it arrived, I started doing research into screen protection for it and it wasn’t long before I realised back protection was also a must. The research led me to the products of Case-Mate, a great company that specialise in phone protection. At the time I was looking for a silicone skin to sit around the device but I soon came across the Stealth, an adhesive protection for both front and rear that doesn’t increase the size of the device, nice I thought. Case-Mate iPhone 3G / 3GS Clear Armor

I didn’t go for it though. One of the super-cool features of the Case-Mate site is their extensive use of their own, and customer created, YouTube videos. For lots of the products they have instructional videos for applying the product. Wait. How good is that? Half the time that’s the big problem with installing these things, and these guys have cracked it! It was on examination of these that I found ClearArmour. What makes Clear Armour stand out is that it’s applied “wet” just like you put wallpaper on the wall. The video showed just how easy the spray on formula was to apply and how good the results are and it showes the magick tip to get the corners to stick. I bought one immediatley.

When it arrived the postman had crushed it to get it into the letterbox, but I opened it up and got the video playing for a refresher. The installation experience was absutley as advertised, it applied perfectly.   Spray the films, spray your hands, put it in place (moving it easily if necessary) then use the supplied bit of board to remove any bubbles and leave to dry.   Overnight it dried and looked great, but with two bubbles on the back, 24 more hours later and they’d gone too.   Superb my iPhone was now protected. That’s how it’s stayed too, but there is one issue.  A couple of the corners have stared to pick up a little dust, but that will probably stop as soon as those ares loose some stick. However there are actually two comple armours supplied so I might use the other to get a better application, I could use some more spray though.

I’ve been mega impressed by Case-Mate and they answered my Twitter questions quickly. Put simply their customer service rocks so much that I want to try more of their stuff. I’m gonna get a silicone case from then still as I want some impact protection.

June 28, 2009

Dock it

Filed under: iPhone — Simon May @ 4:44 pm

The number one reason I chose the iPhone is the innovative Eco system that’s built up around it, not only in terms of the great apps that are available but also the hardware. Apple make a beautiful, minimalist doc that looks super but it really cost some cash, not only for the dock but also for the cable that’s required. Combined the cost is about £40. A quick scout on eBay turns up lots of lower cost alternatives, the best value of which I found was the Belkin TuneSync. Available for about £10 delivered it offers the same charging and sync benefits of the Apple dock but with the very useful addition of a 5 port USB hub.

It’s a great device and works superbly, clearing away some of the clutter from the desk. It’s more functional than the Apple dock and a quarter of the price. The only minor flaw is that it’s lacking in weight so when the iPhone isn’t docked the weight of the USB cables tips it up by a quarter inch.

June 24, 2009

Broken down and got an iphone

Filed under: iPhone — Simon May @ 12:48 pm

Well it had to happen I suppose. It took a while too but eventually I had to get one. I’ve been a winmo fan for years and this really pains me but I’ve got it for the developers. WiMo has some of the best devs out there but they are stuck with a creativity sapping 10 year old OS and iPhone is where all the exciting apps are at. Sure there will be more soon but here’s a snap of my home screen to mark the moment.

June 30, 2008

Long term test – the new Jawbone

Filed under: Geek cool,iPhone,Mobile,Technology,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 5:00 pm
Tags: ,

jawbone-earwearWhen I was in the states a few weeks ago I picked up the new Jawbone from an At&T store.  A small sleek black unit, with hidden buttons, leather bound ear loop and the killer feature “Noise Assassin” technology.  Well I’ve been using this device for lots of phone calls, from both my BlackBerry pearl and my T-Mobile Touch Plus (HTC Touch Dual) and I’m now ready to talk about using the device on a day to day basis.

You can read the full review at Mobile Tech Addicts

June 13, 2008

Apple limiting what Apps can use GPS on the new iPhone

Filed under: Blogging,iPhone — Simon May @ 9:36 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve just posted the following article on MobileTechAddicts… read the full article go click here to the post…

Having launched the new iPhone and with the new SDK on the way Apple have added in a couple of clauses to curb what developers can do with the GPS built into the new iPhone.  According to Electronista the agreement states that the GPS cannot be used for real time navigation applications.

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