There are literally thousands of applications in the iTunes App Store now and it’s hard to keep up with all the new applications being added daily. I keep up through an rss feed that you can subscribe to [here]. If your using google reader you’ll end up with a listing that looks something like the following.
apptism.com is another new way to keep track of App Store applications. They have a nice way to browse applications and sort in a variety of manners. There are also links to user reviews and a top 5 box for popular free and paid. It’s not a bad alternative especially if you want to do some browsing on a desktop machine or laptop then look up the application for download on your iPhone.
I’ve been using eReader on and off for a few weeks and thought I’d post some thoughts. I was looking for a simple application that was free and also let me upload my own books that I already had collected. eReader can read eReader PDB format. There are tools to convert most formats into PDB so it’s not to big of a hassle to get your own text into a PDB format. You can also find pre-formatted free PDB files at places like http://manybooks.net/
When you open eReader it will present you with a list of your installed ebooks. They can be sorted by Title/Author/Date. Once you tap a book it takes you to the reading view directly to your last page. There is no need to make a bookmark or other action to remember your place it automatically remembers your place in each book your reading.
The reading view can be full text, display graphics and a tap bring up the menu to return back to your library or access settings/zoom and other options.
One of the features I’ve found most useful is being able to load your own books that you may already own from having a palm, or have converted from other sources. From the library menu select the “+” in the upper right corner and choose “Another site” to type in the url of a website where you may be storing some books. The web page you type in will display inside eReader and if you select a PDB file it will be downloaded and added into your library.
I’ve gotten some good use out of eReader and it’s earned a permanent spot on my iPhone.
You can read allot more about eReader [here] at ereader.com eReader iPhone faq
The iPhone 3g has a built in GPS so one of the neat things you can do with it is add location information to your photos (Geotagging). The regular full size photos taken with the iPhone camera have the appropriate EXIF information embedded for location information to work but when you try to email photos from the iPhone directly to Flickr.com for instance the EXIF information is stripped off for some reason.
I tracked down a great application after some searching around that solves this problem. My ultimate goal was to be able to take a photo on my iPhone and have it end up on flickr.com directly from my phone without having to sync to the desktop pc.
The application I’m using is AirMe from airme.com. It offers the ability to take pictures directly inside the application and then upload them to a varriety of destinations. You can upload to Flickr/Facebook and AirMe.
I was interested in uploading primarily to Flickr and getting my pictures to plot onto the Flickr map. You will need to enable your Flickr map to be public if you want the photos to be automatically added to the map on upload time.
The setup of AirMe is pretty easy, you will need to create an AirMe account on installation, you can do this inside the AirMe app on first launch. Once you create your account it will walk you through adding your upload destination. If you choose flickr you will have to login to flickr.com and retrieve your access code to allow AirMe to have access to your flickr account through the API. This is a security measure and just assures that you wish to have AirMe be able to do some management of your photos.
There are a few more settings you can select such as if you want your uploaded photos to be public on upload and if you want to use the location option. There is also a selection to determine your photo quality on upload. Choosing a smaller resolution will obviously decrease your upload time.
Once you take a picture inside AirMe you simply select Use Photo and it will save the photo and begin the upload process to your selected service. Shortly after taking the picture it should show up on Flickr or the other destinations you may have configured.
There are a few things I think would be nice to add to AirMe, one is the ability to select pictures you have taken with the regular camera application and maintain the geotagging if it exists on the photo. I’d also like to see the ability to do a crop inside AirMe since the iPhone has no zoom built in this would allow for at least a little fine tuning of the picture before it was uploaded.
This is a great application for my favorite price of Free and I think I’ll be getting quite a bit of use out of it.
I’ve been playing around with the WordPress app on the iPhone and it’s very nice. The application is very simple but allows for quite a good bit of functionality. If your not familiar with WordPress its one of the more popular pieces of blogging software that runs on web servers to allow publishing blogs.
Initially you configure your blog or blogs by entering their web address and your username/password for access. The application will go out and attach to your blog and if you got your settings correctly entered it will set up your site. This will setup the blog as an item on the application start page. Each time you launch the WordPress application you will be presented with the main page that contains links into manage each of your configured blogs.
If you enter into the link to manage a particular blog you will be presented with a listing of posts that are on the blog as well as a folder that links into any local drafts. Local drafts are posts that you have been working on that you have saved only on your iPhone. These are not published to your blog in any form. To begin writing a post you can select the edit box which is the small square with the pencil in it in the lower right corner of the posts list. Once you select this you’ll be presented with the “write” window that will allow you to title your post as well as add tags/categories and display its current status which indicates if its saved locally or has been published to the server as a draft or live post.
The editing is pretty basic but you can upload pictures into your post from within the application which is nice. For this post I wrote the whole thing on the iPhone and then published it as a draft to the blog and did the final formatting on the site. All of the pictures I took as screenshots on the phone and uploaded them through the WordPress app along with the post so when I went online I went directly into the draft and all of my resources for the post were here to work with.
One thing I did notice is once I posted a draft if I tried to edit it again on the iPhone it was raw html instead of a rich text mode so thats something to keep in mind it may be better to keep a draft saved locally until your mostly done with it because it gets messier if you post it as an online draft then try to edit it again on the iPhone.
All in all it’s a nice application and you cant beat the price “Free”!
So, I bought an iPhone………………. I posted that I picked one up on Twitter and instantly got 20 replies and DMs inquiring about the status of ceTwit. Rest ashured I plan to continue work on ceTwit. It’s moments like that that make me feel how important a little application I wrote for myself has become to some people.
I have been using the iPhone for 2 days and am having fun. The AppStore is fun to browse and there are some nice apps. I’m using the wordpress app right now to type this up. My initial impressions are good but so far I’m really missing the today screen from windows mobile. What most people would agree is the ugliest part of windows mobile turned out to be what I find lacking on the iPhone. I can’t glance at the screen and see upcoming appointments and the last few SMS and emails. I have to launch into calendar to find out what’s coming up this afternoon. There is no denying the iPhone is dead sexy but I’m not sure that the loss in utility is worth it yet. Someone has probably written a summary application but without being able to map that to the unlock action I’m not sure what that would buy me, just another place to go digging for information that should be up front.
I was nervous about typing, but the reality is that that has been a non issue. I’m flying along almost as fast as I can type on my tmobile dash which has a great front facing keyboard. Battery life is kind of poor compared to what I’m used to on my ATT Tilt. I’m at 15% after about 12 hours of use with 3g off and a couple hours of wifi. I can live with that but would have traded another quarter inch of thickness for a larger battery.
I’m not going to completely dump all my current frustrations out as I think there may be solutions to many of them. One frustration I was having was having to finger swipe 200 times to get to the top of a web page. A quick question to Twitter and @funkatron and @ChrisHerbert replied I could just touch the title bar to jump to the top which was a real finger saver.
I’m going to continue taking notes on my observations and post now and then about my experiences. I’ll leave you with a parting shot of something I’m pretty annoyed with right now. The zoom bubble only floats above your finger as you approach the top of the screen it doesn’t float down to remain visible on the screen. It’s making placing the cursor at the top of the screen a very frustrating experience.
There is a game I’m having a great time playing Aurora Feint. It’s a total time waster and really shows off the platform. Another application I’m enjoying is eReader. A long time palm and windows mobile user I’m very familiar with the eReader format and am happy to be able to load my books onto the iPhone. You can get books form the eReader site or simply plugin a url to some books you already own/have and download them into the application.
Right now I’m leaning toward not returning it but I have 28 more days to decide. Stay tuned for more in depth analysis and hey, I might even get crazy and do a few software reviews.