Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-settings.php on line 512

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-settings.php on line 527

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-settings.php on line 534

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-settings.php on line 570

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/query.php on line 61

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/theme.php on line 1109

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Strict Standards: Non-static method unfancy_quote::init() should not be called statically in /home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-content/plugins/sem-unfancy-quote/sem-unfancy-quote.php on line 55
<br /> <b>Strict Standards</b>: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method unfancy_quote::strip_quotes() should not be called statically in <b>/home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php</b> on line <b>166</b><br /> Martin Gordon's Blog / 2007 / June

Lifehacker's Top 10 iPhone Apps Suck

I went back and actually tried every app on this list Lifehacker compiled of the Top 10 iPhone Apps (top only because there aren't any others?). I found that a lot of them need some CSS work to adjust to mobile Safari's idiosyncrasies. But anyway, here's the app-by-app:

101 Cookbooks: Works great, probably because it doesn't try to do anything fancy. Unfortunately, I don't see myself needing recipes on my iPhone (or much at all).

Go Movies: Requires a zoom-in on every page to be legible.

iPhlickr: A bit more legible, but requires a zoom-in, which cuts off parts of the page.

iPhoneDigg: Requires a zoom-in to be legible. It may not be an iPhone-related issue, but I wasn't able to get past the root level.

iActu: By far the best app on this list (so far). The JavaScript effects are a bit slow, but everything else works beautifully (including the PDF of the front page of newspapers).

Gas.app: Usable, but the CSS is a bit off and there's no easy way to go back to the zip code screen other than reloading the page.

Zoho: The main page suffers from the same issue as iPhoneDigg (I think it has to do with them set to auto width instead of a fixed width) and I didn't go any further because it required a login.

Google Reader: The Google Reader iPhone skin doesn't work because you can't drag the Bookmarklet necessary to do the changes to the page. Luckily the official mobile version of Google Reader works great on the iPhone, and Safari's built-in RSS reader (via reader.mac.com) is great also.

iPhoneChat: Again, there were issues with zooming. I also had trouble with the CSS not showing my buddy list in a readable manner. I didn't try IMing anyone because I just gave up after the terrible display of the buddy list.

OneTrip: This was the most refined application of the bunch, and it's one of only two that I'll keep from this list (the other is iActu). Everything worked like I expected and it remember my list even after shopping around a bit (I assume it's using cookies to store my info).

I don't see any of these as killer apps, per se, but I do hope that the developers weren't in it just to cash in on the iPhone hype and abandon these now that the iPhone is out. OTOH, perhaps showing Apple that HTML isn't a valid alternative to a proper SDK will push them to release one sooner rather than later.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

iPhone Crash Logs Reveals Some Inner Workings

My iPhone "crashed" today when I was deleting an email account. In reality, it was unresponsive for about 30 seconds and then went back to normal. When I plugged it into my computer, I was greeted with a prompt asking if I wanted to send diagnostic data to Apple and a button that said "Show Details" that took me to /System/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/My iPhone/ which contained two files: Preferences-2007-06-29-202724.crash and Preferences-2007-06-29-202724.plist (links point to the files).

I discovered some curious things while reading through the two files:

OS Version is officially "OS X 1.0 (1A543a)" (a similar crash log for a desktop process has the version number as "10.4.9 (Build 8P2137)")

A non-comprehensive list of Frameworks (Bold means it does not appear on desktop OS X):
AddressBook
AddressBookUI
AppSupport
AudioToolbox
BluetoothManager
Calendar
Celestial
CFNetwork
CoreAudio
CoreFoundation
CoreGraphics
CoreSurface
CoreTelephony
CoreVideo
GraphicsServices
IAP
IOKit
ITSync
JavaScriptCore
LayerKit
MBX2D
MBXConnect
MeCCA
Message
MessageUI
MobileBluetooth
MobileMusicPlayer
MusicLibrary
OpenGLES
Preferences
Security
TelephonyUI
UIKit
URLify
WebCore
WebKit

The most intriguing ones (to me at least) are: Celestial.framework (because of it's non-descriptive name) and CoreSurface.framework (because I think it deals with the touchscreen).

On a similar note, I tried SSH, FTP, Telnet, etc to my iPhone and as expected none worked.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

iPhone's Total Cost Of Ownership

The iPhone nay-sayers are making a last-minute knock at the iPhone by bringing in the old Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) argument, which usually centers around uncovering the not-so-readily apparent costs associated with a device/platform/etc.

The iPhone-flavored version of this argument states that the TCO of the iPhone isn't just the $500-$600 entry fee, but that the "hidden" costs of voice and data should be factored in as well. First, let's assume a potential iPhone buyer will have a cell phone anyway. Let's cut out the $40/month that goes to voice, since they would be paying that anyway. Let's also consider the fact that anyone considering the iPhone is probably also considering another smartphone (or probably already has one). If that's the case, then the incremental cost of data is at best negligible and at worst not a hidden and devious fee.

TCO of the iPhone for current/future smartphone users: $500-$600.
TCO for non-smartphone users: ~$1600
TCO for anyone who is not a cell phone user (and most likely not looking at the iPhone as their first phone): ~$2200

On a similar note, why is AT&T's early termination fee such big news now? ETFs have been around for as long as cell phone contracts existed. The fact that it applies the contract you sign when you buy an iPhone shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

I was going to post the above in response to this article on the iPhone's Total Cost of Ownership. I got distracted by this ridiculous video Scoble linked to, and I went to Apple's site to find where Apple is flaunting the iPhone as a replacement for your PowerShot when I saw that Apple had posted the iPhone rate plans (my first story to make the Digg homepage, BTW) and a video on how to activate the iPhone through iTunes.

Thanks to this fresh information, the argument about the exorbitant and misleading TCO becomes even more ridiculous. With the minimum data plan on a Blackberry at $40/month and the minimum data plan on the iPhone at $20/month, it's quite possible for a soon-to-be-former Blackberry user to get an iPhone for under $150 ($20 x 24 - $600 = $120). The iPhone is now cheaper than the consumer-segment Blackberry Curve.

The final piece of the iPhone launch puzzle is now in place (well, until the 80GB iPhone mystery is resolved) and it is killer. Undercutting AT&T's other "pro" data plans by $20/month is going to go a long way to boost iPhone adoption (as if it needed it).

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Google and Yahoo Afraid Of Microsoft?

I can't believe I missed this: Google Gears is available for WebKit. This was announced three weeks ago, but I just found out about it on this TUAW post regarding future Google/Apple iPhone-related announcements.

News of this makes me feel better about AJAX/HTML based apps on the iPhone, easing my concern over offline access to these apps. I also haven't seen many developers complaining about the lack of a "real" SDK on the iPhone, which makes me believe that offline access and home screen placement was discussed at NDA-covered WWDC sessions.

A big question I have is that amongst all this Google/Apple collaboration, Apple decided to go with Yahoo for the iPhone's bundled email solution and widgets (you'll note that the Stocks and Weather widgets now sport Y! icons). Could Apple be playing both sides? If Google and Yahoo were desperate to get placement on the iPhone, then perhaps they didn't want to (or couldn't get) exclusivity. Google and Yahoo are currently tied on home screen icon placement at two a piece (Yahoo is slightly ahead overall because of the mail tie-in, however).

The biggest loser in all of this is of course is Microsoft. The one-two punch: iPhone is going to take away customers from the Windows Mobile platform (RIM sure isn't helping them out either). Thanks to the Google/Yahoo integration, iPhone users will have an investment in Google and Yahoo's online services, driving usage away from MSN/Windows Live/whatever it's called now. After the iPhone, Microsoft will be facing increased competition from both the mobile space and the internet space.

There is a bright side to all of this for Microsoft. From any way you look at it, Microsoft is seen as the biggest competition to Google and Yahoo: Either Google and Yahoo compromised to "share" the iPhone, in which case they don't think they can handle Microsoft alone, or Apple didn't want only Google or only Yahoo on the iPhone, in which case Apple thinks that Google and/or Yahoo are vulnerable to Microsoft.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How Much Bigger Can iPhone Hype Get?

Signs suggesting that iPhone hype has reached atmospheric levels:

Signs that it still hasn't peaked:

  • No one is lining up yet.
  • There aren't any on eBay yet.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

iPhone Camps

There are a bunch of camps that everyone considering an iPhone fall into:

  • Those that will buy it because it's Apple
  • Those that will buy it because it's cool
  • Those that will buy it because they want to try multi-touch
  • Those that will buy it because they want a converged device
  • Those that will buy it because they're fed up with Palm OS/Windows Mobile/Blackberry OS
  • Those that will buy it because they need every new gadget
  • Those that won't buy it because it's Apple
  • Those that won't buy it because it's an Apple Rev. 1 product
  • Those that won't buy it because it doesn't do 3G
  • Those that won't buy it because it doesn't have an SDK
  • Those that won't buy it because it requires a 2-year contract
  • Those that won't buy it because it doesn't have a removable battery
  • Those that won't buy it because they need more than 8GB
  • Those that won't buy it because it's $500-$600
  • Those that won't buy it because it's out of stock

I'm not quite sure what camp I belong to, but I'm a candidate for the no 3G and no SDK camps. I'm looking to replace my aging Treo 650 with something that doesn't randomly shut off, and the current contenders are the Blackberry Curve and the iPhone.

3G may not be that big a deal-breaker since the BB Curve doesn't have it either, but the slow connection speed on my Treo 650 make it almost unbearable to use. I'll have to decide whether this is enough of a big deal for me to consider the Samsung Blackjack, which does have 3G.

HTML + AJAX do not an SDK make. Though I don't doubt that there will be a real SDK in the future, the lack of one right now makes me wary of jumping into a closed platform. That's one of the main draws for smartphones and the iPhone falls flat in this regard.

That said, am I missing any camps? Which camp do you fall into?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Quick Update

I've been back in Philly since last Wednesday, but Verizon won't activate my DSL until this Wednesday, so I've had very limited internet access. Work starts tomorrow, but once things get settled, I'll be posting more frequently. With WWDC starting tomorrow, I'm sure there will be plenty to talk about too.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,