Saturday, November 14, 2009

Palm Pre OS 1.3.1 goes live, iTunes syncing no go

Good news Palm Pre users, the newest update to webOS is out, and should be available on your phone immediately.  This update will allegedly speed up the phone since it unlocks access to the GPU, but their is no fix for the latest block on Apple's iTunes.  To be honest if you really want to sync music to your Pre reliably I would suggest you go with DoubleTwist.  Some noteworthy improvements are:
  • Text message forwarding.
  • Widescreen video playback on Youtube.
  • Full Synchronization with Yahoo Services.
  • Unique ringtones for text messages. (Finally)
  • and more.  Check your phone for the update and download.  
Did you find any new features not mentioned in this post, please comment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to lower your iPhone bill to $55/month

If you are like most iPhone users, you are very proud to have the best in mobile technology in your pocket and feel an extra boost of confidence every time you pull out your device. We get it, you’re cool, you can afford to pay $99/month in a jacked up economy. Ok let’s say you’re not one of those customers who can afford the $100 tag for all you can eat iPhone. Well maybe this can help you keep the device you love and finally treat your friends to that latte you’ve been promising for months.

Now technically speaking this is dishonest, and if you do it and are caught, I am not liable for ANYTHING. Just like Jailbreaking your iPhone, you do this at your own risk and there may or may not be consequences. You will sacrifice the ability to receive text messages directly to your number but I’ll tell you how to get around that. With that said, you’ll need: a back up low-end phone, and an iPhone, yeah that’s really it, oh and an internet/WIFI connection
Step 1: Call AT&T customer service and tell them you no longer want to use your iPhone and would like to switch to another device, they will blah blah blah you but insist. They will ask for the ESN code for your other phone, I used my old Sony Erricsson W810i. At this time take the SIM card out of your iPhone and set it aside. Once they have made the switch ask them to put you on the $39.99 voice plan, and to add the $15 unlimited data for non-smartphones to your plan. Thank them and hang up.
Step 2: Put the SIM card back into your iPhone and reboot the device, twice to be safe but once is just fine. Make sure you are able to access a WIFI access point and connect your iPhone, then go to then follow the pictures above.  Now, download textfree, or textplus, or any other free text messaging app you like to be able to send text messages.
Step 3: Go online to your AT&T account and make sure that the device listed there is the one you switched to, AT&T has a funny habit of changing it back to the iPhone, so make sure it stays a non-smartphone or they may try to get you. That is pretty much it, and you’re welcome.

If you have any questions or issues, please comment.

iPhone Facebook developer quits: Says Apple’s policies suck

Apple has an approval process used to screen apps before they are allowed on the App Store. This is all good and fine and many developers have even come to accept this as a quality control measure, ie. approval signifies that their app is up to Apples vaulted standards.
Now this would be the end of the story if Apple’s approval process actually made sense, or there was some type of published guideline that tells developers which apps are acceptable and which are not. Instead Developers have to piece the puzzle together based on what has been accepted or rejected in the past. For example, Apple approved Skype, after rejecting GoogleVoice months before. Okay, there is no excuse for “Baby Shaker” but come on, “Booty Call” is not acceptable? (Booty Call was later resubmitted and accepted as Black Book Caller.) 20 Rejected iPhone apps - Newsweek
The inconsistencies have cause Facebook developer Joe Hewitt to call it quits. Mr. Hewitt is not your average developer, he was the guy who wrote the first Facebook application, without any documentation, 12 hours after the original iPhone launched. Joe then released a library for other app developers who wanted to make iPhone apps that actually resembled native iPhone apps.  He had this to say about the situation:

“My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies. I respect their right to manage their platform however they want, however I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process. I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms, and soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software develope

The web is still unrestricted and free, and so I am returning to my roots as a web developer. In the long term, I would like to be able to say that I helped to make the web the best mobile platform available, rather than being part of the transition to a world where every developer must go through a middleman to get their software in the hands of users.”

– Joe Hewitt

Don’t panic, Facebook on the iPhone is not going anywhere, but Joe’s departure on the grounds of philosophical differences could be the catalyst for change in Apple’s policies. This issue raises some questions in my mind such as; whose iPhone is it really? How much ownership do we really have over our iPhones? Is it fair for Apple to tell us what we can and cannot do with a device after we've bought it? What do you think?

Read: TechCrunch Facebook: Please Back Developers vs iPhone
Read: Joe Hewitt Innocent Until Proven Guilty

How to get PUSH notifications for Gmail on iPhone

Many many people use the iPhone, but to be honest there are a lot of people out there using the device that probably dont know what they are doing.  No offense, you might think that you are pretty tech savvy and have figured out most of the things your iPhone can do but this one was asked of me a couple of days ago and I was wondering if there were others who might be having this same issue.
The steps require you to delete your current Gmail account from your Email application and re-add it as an exchange account.  They also recommend backing up your phone before doing this process.  The guide is pretty simple and its published by Google itself so you're in good hands.  Without further delay How to get PUSH Gmail on Iphone.

An Open Letter from a Blackberry User

Dear Blackberry,
Please grow up, I am sick and tired of having other people flash the latest and greatest thing their phone can do in my face and all I have to fall back on is how quickly I can send and receive emails. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Blackberry, I have owned a Blackberry in one form or another since 2001, but frankly, its getting kind of embarrassing and you need to do something. Phone envy is slowly draining my willpower and you haven't given me anything to look forward to.
Let me be clear, I don’t have a problem with my Blackberry, in fact it works great and that’s why I still have it. The battery life is out of this world, the keyboard is unbeatable, my phone doesn’t crash every 3 hours, I have access to over 10,000 apps and themes, we have our own IM client (how cool is that), I can do 3 or more things at once, Email Email Email, my phone is indestructible, my phone does EVERYTHING, the platform is open, there’s a huge following of bloggers and developers who have been working with you for years, so i can find the answer to just about any question I have.
Here’s my issue, every time somebody brags about the cool thing their phone can do, I quickly whip out my Blackberry and say almost verbatim, “I can do that too, ok its loading, wait, after the hourglass, yea I know it’s hard to see look closer, that’s because it’s a smaller screen, okay it doesn’t look exactly like yours but that’s because it’s a beta version.” Then I sadly put my phone, and my self-worth away and play with their device. I am running out of excuses, my defense is all basically paper thin. I’m developing carpal tunnel from demonstrating that I can type 30 words per minute on my blackberry to compensate for its lack of other features.
It’s not only me, others have mentioned this before, that’s why you made the Storm, I know I know, the Storm was an attempt, a humorous one but still you tried. The thing is you can do better, you're better than the Blackberry Flip, honestly who were you aiming for with that?. Here is the problem: we’ve exhausted the form factor, and the OS is 9 years behind. You've used the same form factor since day one; full keyboard, screen, convenience keys, trackball, mute key, ports, that’s fine but everybody else has that, and they’ve managed to be creative along the way. I understand, it’s the old adage “if it aint broke don’t fix it” but there’s a new adage nowadays “look what my phone can do” and typing really fast, is just not that cool anymore.
Here’s what I hope to see in our future, a real browser, a more up to date OS that doesn’t click, being able to play online content such as videos reliably, WIFI in all your models, and a new form factor. I know my requests may seem a bit ambitious but those are them, and if you're worried about losing your corporate customers over these changes, NEWS, they are starting to weight their options too. In closing, I love you and I want you around but you’re starting to embarrass me in public and well, “what would you do?”
Peace and much love,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jailbroken iPhones beware of Rick Rolling

If you've jailbroken your iPhone please pay attention. This week two iPhone viruses were discovered with the potential to infect your device and steal your information.
Earlier this week, Australian coder Ikee wrote an iPhone worm targeting the users of jailbroken iPhones, the worm changed the wallpaper of the iPhone to a picture of Rick Astley. Nice. Ikee explained that the worm was to show people the vulnerability of their iPhone and he had no intention of stealing anybody's info. He explained that users needed to change the root password of their SSH, which is set to "alpine" by default after jailbreak, and this was his attempt to get them to pay attention. Fair enough.
Today another virus named "iPhone/Privacy.A" popped up. This virus can retrieve email messages, SMS messages, calendar appointments, contacts, photos, music files, videos and any other data on your iPhone it finds worthwhile.
Heres how to fix the problem: Techie-Buzz

Droid Wannabe: Rooted G1 can use Google Maps Navigation

The XDA development crew have done it again, this time the good folks have found a way to enable users of rooted G1's to use the new Google Maps Navigation found on the Droid. This is not for the average user since you will have to go through the root process to get this to work, but if you are not squimish.....Read Here

WalMart:$100 Gift Card, You:Buy a Blackberry

This one is simple enough you buy a new Blackberry smartphone from Wal-Mart (Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile, and AT&T) they give you a $100 gift card. This offer is only good from Nov 14th-21st so you might want to hurry. Keep in mind that you get the gift card immediately if you go into the store and have to wait 6 weeks if you order online. Sounds like a good way to get some Christmas presents early. Did I mention, that the T-Mobile Blackberry 8520 Curve is $48.88 @ Wal-Mart. Check it out at

Iphone on Verizon, Coming Soon

Like it or not sooner than later Verizon will get the Iphone, its a matter of business fundamentals. If you want to sell the most products and make the most money, you go with the biggest distributor and Verizon is just that. There have been rumors and speculations of this marriage for years, but when the exclusivity contract with ATT expires in 2010 Verizon will be in position to get the Iphone.

Adding to the credibility of this union is news out of a company called Northeast Securities. They speculate that the device may arrive next year, supposedly Apple will launch a WCDMA/CDMA2000 enabled version of the Iphone through Verizon by the summer of 2010, other sources also confirm this. Using a new hybrid chip produced by Qualcomm, the new Iphone would be able to retain its compatibility with UMTS 3G networks and Verizons CDMA. Read More

Google Buys Gizmo5, Skype should be scurred

Google has bought internet Voip service Gizmo5 for $30 million. The purchase essentially means that Google is now poised to enable internet to cell phone/landline calling to its Google Talk/Voice subscribers. Heres how this would potentially work: Google could offer its Google Voice subscribers the ability to make calls to Cell phones/Landlines through their phone apps or online without having to forward the call to a phone number.
Gizmo5 already offers this function for about 2 cents a minute.
This feature could easily work over WIFI but the real benefit would come in being able to make these calls over 3g. This would essentially eliminate the need for a voice plan from your carrier, moving us closer to the day of data only cell phone service which is right around the corner.
Useful Links: Make Free Calls with Skype , Free Calls using GUAVA and Android , WIRED Article: Google Poised to Become your Phone Company

Palm Pixi Arrives 11/15/09, for $30

Thank goodness for the new ad campaign by Palm, was anybody else creeped out by the Pre lady? The specs on the Pixi are: a 2.63-inch capacitive touchscreen, a full QWERTY keyboard, 3.5mm headphone jack, MicroUSB port, 2 megapixels camera with flash (thats right 2), Qualcomm MSM 7627 processor clocked at 600Mhz, EV-DO Rev. A, bluetooth, WebOS 1.3.1, and no WIFI.

Although the specs might not be mind blowing but for $99 it seems like a reasonable deal, the biggest issue is that the Pre is only $50 more and for what the PixiDon't the PreDoes, for the price conscious Sprint customer the decision to buy the Pixi comes down to form factor and their intended use of the device. The folks over at Engadget Mobile have a more in-depth review for you.

UPDATE: Wal-Mart is offering preorders of the Palm Pixi at $30, you heard right just $30 through its affiliate Visit Wal-Mart online for more info.

Free NFL Games for Sprint Customers

Good news for those Sprint Customers with an Everything Data Plan of $69.99 or more. Starting today you will be able to watch the first of eight games schedule this season by the NFL as part of its Thursday Night Football schedule. Sprint is one of the few carriers that has fully embraced mobile TV and this campaign may bode well for the ailing carrier.

Verizon is attacking ATT not IPhone, and its working

Verizons onslaught on AT&T continues with their newest commercials aimed which depict the Iphone as a misfit toy. In the commercial the iphone wanders into the Island of misfit toys and one of the other toys say "What are you doing here? You can download apps and surf the web" The poor iphone pops up its AT&T map, and the other toys sigh. Classic. The ad is brilliant and does exactly what it is intended to do, which is, stick it to AT&T where it hurts.
It is common knowledge that AT&T cannot handle the Iphone, their network has been torn to shreds by the mobile powerhouse and the masses are getting fed up. AT&T has promised to expand its 3g coverage and is rolling out its high speed HSPA network ahead of schedule, but that could all be much ado if Verizon continues their assault. This ad is the 3rd Ive seen in the line of ads aimed at crippling AT&T's growth and they are funny, informative, and best of all direct.
Verizon has taken a few notes out of the "Art of War", their ad campaign signals an offensive approach that is careful not to offend the Iphone (which they obviously covet) but makes a great arguement for their network. They are effectively saying, "you may have a great device but if its on crappy network it will suffer". Although it seems like the Iphone is doing fine, thanks mainly to Apple's shift from taking a cut of AT&T's monthly royalties to basically making them pay $600 up front and letting them figure out the rest on their own.
It seems like the date for an Iphone on Verizon is coming soon, and Verizon is doing a great job of paving the way for customers who are eager to abandon the spotty coverage of AT&T for a more reliable network and its obvious by the recent lawsuits filed by AT&T that the attacks are working.