Thursday, April 30, 2009

Palm eOS: Fact or Fiction

If this does happen to be true, then Palm is going to have a large number of pissed off Pre-owners. Aside from the crappy keyboard (again!) this device is heads above the chubby Pre. Keep an eye on Engadget for the developing story!


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via Engadget Mobile by Joshua Topolsky on 4/30/09

Filed under: ,

Liked that blurry photo of a new Palm webOS phone we saw earlier? Well how about some specs, a name, and a better look at this thing? Enter the device above, apparently dubbed the Palm Eos (codenamed Castle... where have we seen that before?), which it seems will be the company's proper follow-up to the Centro -- a quadband GSM / HSDPA phone notably rocking the 850 / 1900 AT&T and Rogers-friendly frequencies. The phone will supposedly be an astounding 10.6mm thin, will measure just 55mm x 111mm (about 2.1 by 4.3-inches), weigh 100 grams, and will tout a 2.63-inch, 320 x 400 capacitive display. Now of course, the info we've got right now can't be verified, and since there are a couple of minor question marks here (like barely rounded corners in the OS), you should take it all with a grain of salt... as usual. Needless to say, we're working on getting more details (and some confirmation), so stay tuned!

Update: Oh boy -- looks like we just got the full spec list. And yes, it's definitely coming to AT&T (if it's really coming).

  • 4GB storage
  • Price: $349 (pre-rebate)
  • Camera: 2 megapixel fixed focus digital camera and flash / video capture
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP and EDR, USB 2.0 via micro USB
  • Removable 1,150 mAh battery (4 hours 3G talk time)
  • Messaging: SMS, MMS (picture and video only), integrated IM client
  • Contact sync with AT&T Address Book
  • MediaNet
  • Cellular Video
  • Email: POP3, IMAP4, and EAS support
  • A-GPS
  • Audio: WAV, MP3, AAC, AAC+ ringtones
  • Video Playback: MPEG4, H.264, H.263

Palm Eos: super-thin, 3G, and headed to AT&T? originally appeared on Engadget Mobile on Thu, 30 Apr 2009 12:52:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SocialScope vs Twitterfon

One of the luxuries of having multiple devices on different OS's is the ability to compare various pieces of software. It seems like its a forgone conclusion that iPhone apps are "better" than Blackberry ones, but I've found one situation where this isn't necessarily true.
These days it seems like everyone from the mailroom clerk to the CEO is running a Twitter application of some sort on their mobile device. For Blackberry, the app to have used to be Twitterberry until SocialScope came along with its exclusive beta, and slick UI. Twitterfon is arguably the best of the free iPhone Twitter clients, and I've been pleasantly surprised to find that there's at least one case of a Blackberry app beating the competition.

Information Overview



If you know anything about SocialScope, then you know that its main claim to fame was its integration of Facebook and Twitter into a single stream. However, what we who use SocialScope know, is that the secret sauce lies in the ability to preview the images referred to in the tweet. So far this includes images attached with Twitpic, Facebook, and the cover image for YouTube videos.

Uploaded - 4\30\09-3

On the other hand, Twitterfon has a link icon that you can tap to see the webpage referenced in the tweet from within its internal browser. It also shows you a count of how many updates, replies and messages that are unread.
Twitterfon's layout is surprisingly less eye-candy than SocialScope. Its a flat black on white display with hardcoded colors for new updates and messages.

Following the Conversation

Uploaded - 4\30\09-5

When you select the link icon for a reply, you are taken to the recent updates for the mentioned user. This does not make for a smooth way to follow a conversation, especially if the tweet replied to is older.

One the other hand, using SocialScope, you can click directly on the @username and see the exact tweet it is in response to. Even more intellligently, if the user did not actually use the 'reply' and is simply mentioning a user, it will not tag the tweet as 'in reply to'!


Clicking the highlighted text brings you to:


Versus this which shows she is referencing a user but not a specific tweet:


Overall you have 2 nice clients, but its interesting to see that SocialScope has made one that has a nicer UI in my opinion, and the navigation is easier and more intuitive in spite of not running on a touchscreen device.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Blogalyser reveals...

Your blog/web page text has an overall readability index of 14.
This suggests that your writing style is conventional
(to communicate well you should aim for a figure between 10 and 20).Your blog has 8 sentences per entry, which suggests your general message is distinguished by clarity
(writing for the web should be concise).

male malefemalefemale
self oneselfgroupworldworld
past pastpresentfuturefuture

Your text shows characteristics which are 50% male and 50% female
(for more information see the
Gender Genie).
Looking at pronoun indicators, you write mainly about yourself, then the world in general and finally your social circle. Also, your writing focuses primarily on the present, next the past and lastly the future.

Find out what your blogging style is like!

I found this through Twanalyst, which analyses your Tweet personality, and overall I have to say I agree with its findings. I especially like the gender analysis, which explains why I keep the colors and layout as non-gender specific as possible!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Track Your Blackberry Addiction!

A couple of years ago on Palm I used an app called AK AppLog which would tell me how long I spent in each application, and overall on my Treo. It was pretty useful in helping decide when it was time to delete an unused application.
Fast forward to today, and we throw the word "addiction' around without any real data to support it. Well, all that has changed with the new free application called "I Love Blackberry".


This useful freeware tracks your usage over time and you can see the amount of time you've spent on your Blackberry. What makes me excited about this application is that it will give a more valid way for us to calculate battery life, so that we can finally see some proof from all the people who claim to use the Blackberry "all the time" but still manage to get 3 full days on a single charge!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lulu's Closet by iSort

2 profound things happened to me on July 23, 1995. The first is that I turned 18. The second is that I went to see a little movie called 'Clueless' and the concept of wardrobe-managing software was planted in my mind. Perhaps the way some people were moved by the interactive screen Tom Cruise used in Minority Report, is the way that I watched with awe at the idea of software that would automate the entire process of matching outfits.

Clueless Pictures, Images and Photos

Its an idea that stuck with me since then, and I've always wanted to be able to recreate that experience. Fast forward 14 years (wow, I'm old!) and we've moved into a home where I have my own luxurious walk-in closet and I was determined to find a way to do it. Except my goals are to be able to use my mobile device to plan my outfit even before I get out of bed, and to make sure that I rotate my outfits evenly.
I initially had this set up on my HTC Fuze using ListPro for Windows Mobile, but of course, this software isn't available for Blackberry. After an exhaustive and fruitless search through all available apps for Blackberry, I decided to look to my iPod Touch to see if I could get something comparable.
My search led me to an app called iSort, and while it isn't perfect, it certainly gives me a good start. My virtual closet simply lists all my clothes arranged by the last date I marked them worn:


And adding new items is as easy as pulling the image in and naming it:

Outfit detail

I'm still working on getting all my clothes in the database, but I liked how it looked so much that I decided to organize my television shows by which TiVo they are on:

Tv shows isort

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thought for the Day

Man driving down road.
Woman driving up same road.
They pass each other.
The woman yells out the window, PIG!
Man yells out window, BITCH!
Man rounds next curve.
Man crashes into a HUGE PIG in middle of road and dies.
Thought For the Day:
If men would just listen

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Friday, April 24, 2009

When Good Touch goes Bad

Here's a newsflash; every phone does not need to have a touchscreen!

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Skyfire on its way to Blackberry

Having used Skyfire on Windows Mobile, I'm excited to see the kind of experience it will be on the Blackberry. The Skyfire browser lets you view content like Hulu on your mobile device. The only thing that I wonder is if the experience will be as enjoyable with the data being throttled down on RIM's servers.

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Sunday, April 19, 2009

'What's On' for iPhone

I always look for TV Guide apps on my mobile devices and my iPod Touch is no different. I heard a lot about the DirecTV app but I didn't like 2 things about it: it doesn't open and just show you the tv listings (you need to select the time you want to view) and it doesn't let you pick the channels that you want to see.
What's On is a neat free app that lets you pick the channels you want to see and opens up to show you the current tv listings. Its color-coded by genre of program, and there is a nice synposis displayed when you tap the program.
Sadly, it doesn't cache data so you'll only be able to use it when you have a data/wifi connection. Unlike the DirecTV app, you also won't be able to use it to schedule shows. But if you need a simple, handy, free TV Guide, this one is it.

What's on tv listings

What's On movie description

Saturday, April 18, 2009

SocialScope 0.9.5 Beta Trickles Out

Well, I was thrilled to get an email about an hour or so ago inviting me to download the latest beta of SocialScope. This version promised several improvements including:

- Multiple Twitter Accounts
- Twitter Profiles
- View Reply Messages within the app
- Groups
- Save tabs between logouts
- Search tabs
- New Direct Messages Interface
- New Icon
- Option to use Escape to go to Tabs
- Cleaner interface
- Comment on Facebook Updates from within app
- Friends and Followers lists
- Save updates as drafts
- $ticker searching
- Read/Unread tracking
- New Message Notification on tabs
- New Update notification in ribbon bar (OS 4.6 and above)
- Album Preview for Facebook Picture Updates

So far I've been beyond impressed. Its much, much faster, seems to take less memory and the avatars are cached so each time you open it, you don't have to wait for it to re-render. I've never said this before, but here's the thing: I would pay for SocialScope. I've never paid for social networking but I would do it for SocialScope- it is just that good!

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Friday, April 17, 2009

Palm Pre Navigation

There's something about the Palm Pre that's been bothering me for a while, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I saw this video. Imagine filling out a long form on the Pre and notice how, because of a lack of arrow buttons, he has to tap each new field to enter data. That would drive me absolutely nuts to have to go back and forth between typing on a keyboard and tapping on the screen!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In-Car Entertainment System


After posting about my lunch-time ritual of movie watching, I got a number of messages from folks asking me how comfortable this actually is. Well, its quite comfortable and I've gone back to the setup I used when I had my Fuze now that I'm using another landscape device.

I bought this business card holder dirt cheap from Office Max back when I had the iPaq HP 910 and had used them around the house as a nice cradle alternative:


After a lot of trial and error, I found that rotating my steering wheel upside down gives me a perfect sized space to comfortably put the card holder in. Its a nice snug, but not too tight fit that was able to comfortably hold the weight of the HTC Fuze (5.82oz) and is also able to hold my iPod Touch (4.2oz):


And that holds my iPod at a very comfortable viewing angle, and I can attach my external speakers, or the audio cable Dean set up for me in the truck and I'm good to go. McGyver!!

*It should be fairly obvious, but this is not really not recommended while driving. Because your eyes should be on the road, you know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bold, Battery, and Life

The biggest battery sucker on my Bold was watching video on it- assigning that function to my iPod Touch has tremendously improved the life of my battery. Today with moderately heavy use my battery is at 73% after over 13 hours off the charger. I've been connected to Beejive IM, Wifi connected, a large number of texts and SocialScope constantly connected.
Yesterday was the first day that I could really appreciate the need for a battery that can keep on ticking. Seth tripped and ended up hitting his head squarely on the corner of our brick fireplace. There was a lot of bleeding, screaming and confusion as we all got into the car and headed to the emergency room. Now this happened at 7 in the evening after my battery had already gotten me through the whole day. While at the ER, I kept our family and friends updated on his progress as we waited for about 4 hours to be seen, and then had a CT and then stitches. We didn't leave get back home until well after midnight and I was pleasantly surprised to still have about 20% of battery left.
Seth is thankfully all better now (actually, about 5 minutes after it happened he was back to hopping around again!), but this incident taught me a lot about the importance of having a reliable means of communication even when you don't have time to pack a bunch of spare batteries. It also taught me that Target stocks a foam corner protector that adheres quite solidly to the corners of our fireplace!
Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Everyone but Bonnie Cha can hold the Pre

On the last episode of CNET's Dialed In podcast, Senior Editor Bonnie Cha had a minor rant about the Palm execs not letting her hold the Palm Pre on multiple occasions for 'security reasons'. Bonnie suggested that they were favoring celebrities and that would explain why Howard Stern and Jimmy Fallon got to score hands on. Well, Bonnie, 2 non-celebs were spotted with Pres in the their possession with Palm nowhere in sight- hmmm, have you been assessed as a special security risk by Palm?? Haha! Love ya anyways!

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via Boy Genius Report by Zach Epstein on 4/13/09

If you're looking for rhyme or reason, unfortunately we can't offer either for the time being. All we know is this: It looks like Sprint and Palm may be loosening the reigns a bit when it comes to allowing the Palm Pre out into the wild. The image above was supposedly taken at something called "the annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race". It shows two people, whose identities are unknown, rocking Palm Pres. An eagle eyed attendee spotted them and managed to chat the pair up before snapping a few pics. The stealth photog tells us that the Pre-toting pair claim to have been using the handsets for several weeks now. In fact, they supposedly weren't all that blown away by the device at first, but recent updates to the handsets have converted them into satisfied users. When asked about a public release, the duo's only response was that we "probably won't have to wait too much longer". Could the recent rumors of an April release be on point? Were these naive Sprint or Palm reps who managed to get their hands on the device a bit early? Your guess is as good as ours. In the meantime, hit the jump for some more pics.


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Sunday, April 12, 2009

First Impressions of my iPod Touch

Hurray! My iPod Touch (8GB First Gen) arrived yesterday and overall I've been impressed. The videos I converted into MP4 format for my Bold worked perfectly on it, and I had a pleasant surprise when I added my Tivo Desktop converted videos. The iTunes software created a sub-category under videos for tv shows where it placed all my episodes of Samantha Who, Lost, etc. Nice!
I also decided to have all my podcasts on my iPod Touch, including my audio ones that I usually listen to on my Zune. We'll see if this is going to replace that too. I suspect it'll have to- I'm unlikely to be able to manage 3 devices daily!
I was lucky enough to find an iPod auction that also included a case. Its the speck toughskin and while it adds a fair amount of bulk to the device, it also provides a nice shock absorber, and makes it easy to grip. I was going to look into a slim profile flip case, but now I think I'll stick with the Speck for now.
I downloaded a few free apps from the Appstore (Facebook, eBay, Evernote, TapTap Revenge, and Diner Dash) and have been generally impressed with them. Having used the Blackberry App World before the Apple AppStore I didn't have any preconceived ideas about the comparisons, and even now, I wouldn't necessarily compare the two. The Appstore seems more tailored to leisurely browsing while App World is good for specifically finding a particular app that you already know you need.
Using the iPod Touch in conjunction with my Blackberry Bold feels like the best of both worlds. I couldn't see myself using an iPhone, but I enjoy using my Bold as my communication device with the spacious keyboard, and battery life that reads 40% after a 15-16 hour day of heavy use including being consistently connected to Beejive IM and SocialScope. Then, for my daily videos I can enjoy the large, spacious screen of the iPod Touch. Best of both worlds!

bold and ipod touch 2

Friday, April 10, 2009

Getting My Touch On

My new habit of watching movies on my Bold during my lunch break finally reached a critical point- my eyes have started really bugging me peering into my screen. Its ok to watch periodically, but try doing it every day for the better part of an hour and its downright headache-inducing. Its bad enough the size of the screen is small, but with most movies in widescreen format, you lose an additional chunk on the screen to the black bars.
I had an Archos 605 wifi until last fall, and debated getting another but I found the 605 too bulky to commit as a daily device, and the newer versions too pricey. I looked on eBay and noticed that the first gen ipod touch had gone down significantly in price, and when I spotted one for $130 I couldn't help but snap it right up. Yes, I've done my share of Apple trash-talking, but my new resolution is to put my money where my mouth is. Apple is the only mobile OS that I haven't tried, so I'm looking forward to the new experiences it will bring.
I should be getting it next week, and in the meantime I've been using Videopara iPod converter to get my movies into the appropriate format.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Amazon App for BlackBerry goes live

There could not be a better time to be a Blackberry owner. It seems like everyday there's a new must-have, useful app to be had!


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via MobileCrunch by Peter Ha on 4/9/09


The rate at which RIM updates BAW is horrendous. I get countless e-mails every day about new apps launching for the BlackBerry and they're nowhere to be seen in the store. So it comes as no surprise that I had to go directly to Amazon to download their new app. God forbid it actually be available in BAW.

Like the iPhone app before it, the BlackBerry version also does its voodoo magic with "Amazon Remembers," which is a pretty wicked awesome feature. If you're unfamiliar with AR it goes a little something like this – snap a photo of a product, photo gets uploaded to Amazon and then a few seconds later it spews out a listing for that product. Pretty rad, huh? Other features include:

* Purchase using Amazon's 1-Click ordering and Amazon Prime
* Track packages or modify orders using the Your Account feature
* Receive personalized recommendations
* View editorial and customer reviews
* Get the Gold Box Deal of the Day
* Access to their Wish List

Navigate your BB here to download the app.

Crunch Network: TechCrunch obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies


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A Joke, or a Prediction? You decide.

Hot New Video Game Consists Solely Of Shooting People Point-Blank In The Face

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

PageOnce for Blackberry: The Best App EVER


The very great thing about having the new Blackberry App World is the ability to find apps that you might not have found on your own. For me, that meant finding the incomparable PageOnce service which not only is invaluable on my Bold, but also is a great tool on my desktop! The idea is simple: aggregate all of your bills, account info, onto one page that you can look at to see the what, when, and how much of your financials. The Blackberry app neatly shows you a synopsis and detail of each account, then a summary by account type (credit cards, bank accounts, etc)

Detail by account

Summary by type

What got me really excited was the level of detail it provides for services like cell phone usage:


I was thrilled to find such a service using App World, and frankly that alone has made the store worth its weight in gold to me! I expected to pay a high monthly subscription fee and was pleasantly shocked to find that all this is only $9.99 per year! There's also a nice trial of 5 accounts that you can get through App World, and I believe that the desktop version is free, meaning that you can really get a feel for what it does before putting it on your device. They also seem to be extremely secure, which helps my peace of mind.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Michael Bay: "I'm here for LG, but rocking a Samsung"

I'm not convinced Samsung didn't pay him under the table for this major, and very public, snafu. If I were LG, I'd whip up a line of phones that are "Cheap enough for even Michael Bay" or "Dumb enough for even Michael Bay"!


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via Engadget Mobile by Nilay Patel on 4/6/09

Filed under: ,

We're not sure what LG expected when it invited Micheal Bay to speak about the company's promotional support of Transfomers 2: Revenge of the Fallen at CTIA, but let's be honest -- they probably should have known dude was going to blow something up. Unfortunately for the gathered LG employees, this time Mike-Mike delivered a figurative explosion, telling the crowd "I don't know anything about mobile phones. In fact, look at my phone -- it's a thirty-nine dollar Samsung." Ouch -- that's roughly the equivalent of throwing a Ford in with the rest of the Autobots. Making matters worse, LG president of mobile products Juno Cho tried to salvage the moment by offering Bay his personal phone, but was rebuffed because "all my contacts are in the other one." Yeah, that's probably not the best way to play it -- although we're guessing Samsung's already angling for TouchWiz to feature prominently in Transformers 3.

[Via Gartenblog]

Michael Bay strikes again, pulls out Samsung cellphone at LG promo event originally appeared on Engadget Mobile on Mon, 06 Apr 2009 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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