Archive for the ‘iphone’ Category

Typographic World Map Desktop Wallpaper (Vlad Studio)

Monday, December 15th, 2008

[Editor's note: Get this awesome desktop wallpapers for your computer or mobile device. Thanks Curt!]

Republished from Vlad Studio.

[Vlad] loves drawing world maps! This time, shape of each country is represented by its name.

Download these and others from Vlad Studio in multiple sizes.

Desktop

Mobile (iPhone, etc)

Color Expert for the iPhone (Code-Line)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

[Editor's note: I helped Matheau at Code Line beta test his Color Expert app for the iPhone and I'm pleased to see it's getting good press (over at MacFormat it is the iPhone app of the month for Dec 2008). Think of Color Expert as Adobe kuler for the iPhone but with the mobile ability to start color color schemes based on the world arround you. Point the iPhone's camera, tap the image, and walla! A whole new custom color wheel scheme, which can be emailed back to your computer in swatch file format directly importable into Adobe desktop apps. Or shared and modifed with your client at a job site. Color Expert still needs better support for CMYK and ability to snap to RGB and CMYK color library, not just Pantone. And I really like Mordy's idea about shaking Color Expert to come up with new color schemes ;) But the app works well and unlike any other tool for the iPhone and at the introductory price of $9.99 is a steal. And the 1.1 update addressing some of my gripes will of course be free.]

Republished from Code-Line.com.

Also see Mordy Golding’s review and other apps listed in Designer Work Plan’s must have 20 iPhone apps for designers.

Color Expert contains powerful tools to help artists and designers identify, translate, capture and showcase color.

Designers know inspiration can come anywhere at anytime. Just look around. Some of the best ideas are waiting for you in the real world away from the studio. Now with Color Expert, you’ll have the tools to capture the moment, the moment a color captures you.

DESIGN WHILE IT’S FRESH

Look down. See the color of that Pomegranate in your cart? Go get it. It’d be perfect for the project you’ve been working on. Whip out Color Expert and it tells you that shade is PANTONE® solid coated PANTONE 220 C. The interactive color wheel then finds the perfect color schemes and palettes to match. Now, email that color scheme to your friends or clients. But, you might not want to tell them you’re still in the check-out line.

Whether designing, decorating or accessorizing, Color Expert is indispensable for anyone working with color. Anywhere. Anytime.

Click here for more information in iTunes. $9.99 for now.

Color Expert’s exclusive “snap & tap” technology. Just snap a photo and let your finger select that perfect color. From your eyes to the screen. Powerful, interactive color wheel with multiple color schemes including Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Split Complementary and Triadic.

Quickly search through PANTONE® solid coated, PANTONE® solid uncoated, PANTONE® Goe™ coated, PANTONE® Goe™ uncoated, Web Safe Colors, HTML Colors.

Email your palette ideas to friends, colleagues and clients. Color Expert provides a rich, HTML based email you can send from your iPhone or iPod touch.

Apple releases iPhone Software v2.2 (AppleInsider)

Friday, November 21st, 2008

[Editor's note: Cool new features in the iPhone 2.2 update include enhancements to Maps enabling Google Street View, public transit and walking directions, automatic reverse geocoding for addresses on dropped pins, ability to turn off auto-correction (still no way to manage the cx list), and my favorite: tapping the home button when in a screen of apps other than the home screen to return to the first page of apps. Useful when you have more than 3 screens of apps (don't you!?).]

Republished from AppleInsider.com from 21 November 2008.

Apple early Friday morning released iPhone 2.2 Software Update, which delivers a number of improvements and adds Google Street View, public transit and walking directions, and more. A similar update is available for iPod touch users without the new Maps enhancements.

New Features

The update includes all of the features that were outlined in recent weeks, including Emoji icons for Japanese users. Apple has published a page on its website dedicated to the release, and specifically highlights the following enhancements:

  • Enhancements to Maps
    • Google Street View: Street View takes you on a virtual walking tour: Navigate street-level photographs of places you’ve located in Maps.
    • Public transit and walking directions: Get walking directions, find public transit schedules, check fares, and estimate your travel time.
    • Display address of dropped pins
    • Share location via email: Tap the Share Location button to send an email that includes a Google Maps URL.
  • Decrease in call setup failures and dropped calls
  • Enhancements to Mail
    • Resolved isolated issues with scheduled fetching of email
    • Improved formatting of wide HTML email
  • Podcasts are now available for download in iTunes application (over Wi-Fi and cellular network): Get access to millions of free podcasts on the iTunes Store via Wi-Fi or your cellular network.
  • Improved stability and performance of Safari: A new search-friendly user interface, better performance, and more stability make Safari even easier to use.
  • Improved sound quality of Visual Voicemail messages
  • Home screen shortcut: pressing Home button from any Home screen displays the first Home screen.
  • Preference to turn on/off auto-correction in Keyboard Settings

iPod touch Software v2.2

Apple has also released a similar update for iPod touch users, however the accounting principles adopted by the company require that it charge for ‘new feature’ additions to the digital media player. As such, the iPod touch version of the software does not include the Google Maps enhancements and there’s no word on when or how Apple plans to ultimately deliver those features.


An iPhone with v2.2 vs. and iPod touch with v2.2 | Image Credit: Gizmodo

Upgrading

To update your iPhone or iPod touch to version 2.2, make sure you are using iTunes 8 and then connect your iPhone or iPod to your computer. When iTunes opens, select your iPhone or iPod under Devices in the Source List on the left.

In the Summary pane, click “Check for Update.” Click Download and Install. Do not disconnect your device until the update has finished.

iPhone Insurance from SquareTrade (Kelso)

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

When the iPhone first came out, AT&T decided not to include it in the list of devices they would cover with optional accident insurance. There was speculation as to the reasons, but the bottom line was still: if you broke your iPhone you’d be responsible for the full replacement cost. Even when the cost dropped to $400 for a first time purchase the replacement cost is still $500. That lower price is just a promo for new customers. An expensive toy to break!

I purchased an iPhone 3g the morning of July 11th, 2008 and it was love at first sight and we had a great honeymoon. But then I took the phone to the state fair up in Timonium, MD mid-summer where it succumbed to the centrifugal force of one of the amusement rides and the screen glass cracked. Phone still worked, but glass shards prevented easy use of the touch screen digitizer.

Normal computer insurance providers like SafeCo or home owners insurance would not cover the loss. What to do?

Enter SquareTrade and BestBuy / GeekSquad.

BestBuy’s plan is only available for phones purchased in-store and their rates ($15/month) is more expensive than SquareTrade where an 8 gig iPhone 3g will run you $5 / month and the 16 gig model $6 / month.

Please note that your credit card MAY provide some protection as noted at iPhone Atlas where they have a good survey of insurance options and where to buy new digitizers or glass screens. (I bought a new glass screen and installed it myself, not for the feint hearted!). You can also purchase an Apple Care plan for the iPhone but it simply extends the warrenty and does not cover accidental damage. iPhone Atlas lists WirelessSafegaurd.com as an insurance provider but I do not see this device in their list of supported smart phones.

To summarize:

SquareTrade:
$5 or $6 / month for iPhones within first 30 days of original purchase (any outlet).

Best Buy / GeekSquad (1 | 2):
$15 / month for original instore iPhone purchase only.

If you are a klutz or know an iPhone owner who is, seriously check out these insurance options! The SquareTrade plan also covers battery problems. You and only you can decide if such a plan is worthwhile for you. Both of these options were not available to me.

If you have any experience with either of these extended warranty / insurance providers please leave it below in the comments section!

All information below directly from SquareTrade.

  • Covers both accidents (drops and spills) and normal use failures including battery life.
  • Pays you full replacement cost if iPhone can’t be fixed – up to $399 on the 8GB and $499 on the 16GB

What is covered:

  • 2 years of coverage (or more) The SquareTrade iPhone warranty covers your iPhone for 2 years, starting on the date of purchase. You have the option to purchase a 3rd year of coverage for a bit more.
  • Accidental Damage from Handling (ADH) 80% of all iPhone failures reported to SquareTrade are caused by accidents. The SquareTrade iPhone warranty is the only coverage option that protects against drops, spills, and other accidents!
    • Deductible: There is a $50 deductible when claiming on an accidentally damaged item (e.g. drops, spills). If your issue falls under the standard warranty terms (i.e., a mechanical or electrical failure), no deductible applies.
    • Exclusions: There is a 30-day exclusion window after you first purchase your item. ADH does not include loss, willful damage or damage occurring through gross misuse of the item. The damage must have occurred unintentionally while the item was being used as intended.
  • Extended coverage of the manufacturer’s warranty The SquareTrade iPhone warranty also extends the same coverage as the manufacturer’s warranty. This covers all mechanical and electrical problems that arise out of normal use. This includes most hardware failures and power/charging failures.
    • No deductible: If your iPhone fails because of a manufacturer defect, there is NO deductible to claim.
    • Battery: If the iPhone battery life drops below 50% of the original, it’s eligible for a replacement.

Indoor Positioning ala Cell Phone Tower Triangulation (GIS User)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

[Editor's note: First we had GPS, than we got cell phone tower triangulation and outdoor WiFi hotspot triangulation. Next up: indoor triangulation via wireless hotspot locations. I hope this makes it to the iPhone, too!]

Post below from Nokia press release. Originally seen at GISuser (original). Click thru to the press release to see video demonstration of this technology.

Have you ever been in a rush to catch your connecting flight in the airport, without knowing exactly where to head? How about that beautiful Monet painting, still haven’t seen it in the museum and there is only 30 minutes left before the museum closes? Need to find your favourite fashion outlet quickly in a new shopping mall?

Today, you can already use your mobile outside to navigate to your destination – driving or walking. In the future, indoor positioning will make it possible to find your way indoors. Your mobile will show your location inside the building, find the point of interest your searching for and then guide you there. This technology, could even find your friend when it’s time to go home.

How does this work?

The mobile uses the buildings’ WLAN infrastructure to triangulate your position and then indicates where you are on a building map. Nokia prototypes today can show your location – building section and floor level. They allow you to browse the building, find points of interest and you can even share your position with the people you choose, when you want. Today Nokia has Indoor Positioning trials ongoing within 40 buildings worldwide.

In order to enable indoor positioning in buildings, the indoor positioning solution requires a list of available WLAN access points and their approximate location in the building. Based on this list, which often already exist due to network planning, the indoor position is calculated. Nokia is working on and testing algorithms capable of finding your indoor position to within a few meters.

Continue reading at Nokia.com to see video demonstration . . .

iPhone Software 2.2 to add public transit & walking directions (AppleInsider)

Friday, November 7th, 2008

[Editor's note: The next version of Apple's iPhone software will not only introduce Street Views to the handset's Maps application, but also provide bus, train and walking directions, a series of new photos reveal.]

Reprinted from AppleInsider.com. By Sam Oliver. Published: 02:00 PM EST October 25th, 2008.

Public Transit Directions

iPhoneYap has posted an extensive screenshot gallery from iPhone Software 2.2 beta 2, released Friday, which offers a walkthrough and detailed descriptions of the new features.

When set in Directions mode, Maps now offers three icons — car, public transit, and walking — centered at the top of screen, in between the “Edit” and “Start” buttons. Selecting the transit icon provides a list of transit choices that can include subways, buses, or a combination of the two.

A list of departure times and estimated commute times accompany each transit option. Once you select a particular method of transit, the Maps application will serve up step-by-step directions from your current location, usually directing you to your chosen departure subway or bus stop on foot. During commutes, Maps will specify when you should board or disembark from a bus or train.

Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing public transit directions | Source: iPhoneYap.com

Street View

Meanwhile, Street views on the iPhone will let you view street-level photographs, just as they would at maps.google.com. To activate the feature, iPhoneYap reports that you simply need to “drop a pin or click a searched location to get the tooltip to popup from the pin.” The tooltip popup then serves as a gateway to the Street View interface.

Once in Street View, you’ll notice two options in a bar at the top of the screen: “Report” and “Done.” A small navigation circle showing your current location (on a map) overlays each Street View photograph.


Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing Street Views | Source: iPhoneYap.com

Location Sharing

One final feature noticed in the new version of Maps is location sharing. Selecting the “Share Location” option of an address will auto-fill an email with a hyperlink to the location, which will automatically launch and load in Maps application of the recipient, assuming they too have an iPhone.


Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing Share Location | Source: iPhoneYap.com

Go Vote!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

This nifty tool from govote.org lets you type in your home address and then will show you a map with your polling place and it’s address. Thanks Jo!

The same site also has a cell phone version: For mobile polling info, text pp with your address, and zip code, to 69866 or click SMS reminder on a map to send info to your phone.

Trapster for iPhone alerts users of speed traps (Macnn.com)

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

[Editor's note: Would be great to combine this user-submitted speed trap database with an accident database that would sync with weather reports to alert you of, say, approaching road sections with high rate of accidents when wet with rain. Republished from Macnn.com.]

Trapster.com has announced that its speed trap notification app is now available on the iPhone. Trapster allows users to post places where they have previously encountered traps, alerting other drivers of where to slow down. Trap reports are also updated instantly as users enter them, keeping map information accurate.

The software uses Trapster’s new Virtual Radar technology, which follows a person’s position on a map and provides both an animated visual representation of traps and corresponding audio alerts as the user approaches them.

Trapster has also integrated a new private messaging system, allowing users to communicate about the traps they report. A Trusted Groups feature, finally, allows car clubs and other organizations to create private data-sharing communities. Trapster is a free download from the App Store.

Using SVG to Create Interactive Maps on the Apple iPhone (James Fee)

Monday, October 27th, 2008

[Editor's note: Republished from James Fee's GIS Blog on Sept. 18th 2008. Hopefully Apple and Adobe will figure out their differences.]

So you can’t have Silverlight, Java or Flash to develop interactive mapping on the iPhone and have to “resort” to using JavaScript. Well maybe not, could SVG be the way forward to creating mapping websites on the iPhone?  My 2G iPhone seems to support SVG fairly well, but many SVG sites aren’t optimized for the iPhone.  Take ESRI’s abandoned (?) SVG Viewer:

ESRIs ArcWeb SVG Viewer

ESRI’s ArcWeb SVG Viewer

It loads and you can turn on and off the “widgets” with ease.  But navigating it was impossible.  I know zero about developing with SVG so I suppose someone else will have to comment on if it is possible to create iPhone compatible navigation for SVG apps.  Heck if ESRI were to make a ArcGIS Server SVG API compatible for the iPhone, every ArcGIS Server implementation would be viewable on the iPhone.

Clueless in Cleveland? Use Your Thumb [iPhone] (NY Times)

Monday, September 8th, 2008

SURE, you can turn your iPhone into a Star Wars-like light saber, a virtual pet or an interactive mug of beer. But did you know that those newfangled applications can also tell you the nearest sushi bar in London, the wait time at La Guardia’s security checkpoints or how to say “Where’s the toilet?” in Cantonese?

As Apple’s iTunes App Store continues to grow with hundreds of titles, the iPhone is proving to be a useful travel tool — and not just for when you’re bored on that 18-hour flight to Singapore. The best programs take advantage of the iPhone’s location-aware feature, tailoring the information to your whereabouts. Say you land in Baltimore and you have a sudden craving for crab cakes. With a few taps, iPhone apps with names like Yelp, Urbanspoon and iWant can quickly guide you to Faidley Seafood or Obrycki’s Crab House. Other apps can point you to the cheapest gas station, book a hotel and even call a cab.

Below are some of the handiest apps for travel. Many are free, though some cost from 99 cents to $24.99. Warning: Some apps require data downloads that may incur roaming fees if you’re overseas. To avoid such fees, turn off “Data Roaming” and look for Wi-Fi hot spots.

Getting There A number of airlines are creating mobile-friendly versions of their Web sites, allowing iPhone users to shop for flights, buy tickets, check in, select seats and modify reservations. Now, at least one, British Airways, has a free downloadable iPhone app that makes finding the next red eye to London as easy as flicking your thumb.

Frequent fliers might want to download Flight Status ($3.99). It gives the status of thousands of flights, as well as the arrival gates and baggage carousels. Another app that can be useful for today’s delay-plagued skies is AirportStatus (free). It displays a list of airports in North America with delays or closings.

Travelocity (free) takes an all-in-one approach, letting you check flight schedules, gate numbers, security wait times and — if you booked through Travelocity — your itinerary. The app also lets you search for “Hotels Nearby Me” — a feature that could come in handy in travel emergencies (or, perhaps, for some other purpose).

Where to Eat Looking for a place to nosh on the road? Urbanspoon (free) recommends restaurants in more than 50 cities using the iPhone’s location-aware capability and offers reviews from newspapers, blogs and fellow users. While suggestions (and prices) can be out of date, the fun and easy-to-use app looks like a slot machine and is activated by shaking the phone.

Foodies, however, might prefer Local Eats (99 cents), an iPhone version of the guidebook series “Where the Locals Eat,” which ranks what it considers the top 100 restaurants in 50 American cities. Tapping “Near Me” finds places nearby from that list, along with reservation numbers and directions.
 
What to Do Need an A.T.M.? Thirsty for a sakitini? Shopping for a Marni purse? Several location-aware apps are vying to be your mobile concierge. Among the best are Yelp (free), which has a fanatical base of reviewers who weigh in on everything from dry cleaners to karaoke bars. Where (free) lets you scroll through different services (like Starbucks, gas stations and restaurants) and plots them on a Google Map, along with your location. And iWant (free) offers a similar service, but in a streamlined interface with clean black-and-white icons: a martini for bars, a projector for movies, a hanger for clothing stores, and so on.

Traditional travel guides are getting into the action, with mixed results. Frommer’s has turned several of its guides, including New York, Paris and London, into iPhone apps ($9.99 each). The e-guides offer many of the same maps, reviews and suggested itineraries as the bulky book. But unlike Yelp, Frommer’s doesn’t take advantage of location-aware technology; you still must look up the suggestions manually, as with a book.Washingtonpost.com’s City Guide app (free) is smarter; it lets users easily navigate through 2,000 bars and restaurants, many with well-written reviews. Unfortunately, it is limited to the Washington area.

How to say it A handful of apps seek to lower the language barrier. Lonely Planet ($9.99) offers phrasebook apps in 10 languages including Czech, Italian and Vietnamese. In addition to translating phrases like “I’ll buy you a drink,” in written text, the app also translates it verbally (“Te invito a una copa,” it says in Spanish, in a suave male voice).

A different approach is taken by Babelingo ($5.99), which may appeal to those afraid of mangling pronunciations. After choosing a phrase like “Please take me to the airport,” it displays the translation in big bold type, making it easier to show to someone, like a taxi driver. Babelingo offers 300 phrases in seven languages, including Italian, German and Japanese.

How to Get Around Numerous subway and mass-transit apps are available for major cities, with the best offering clean design, location-based station finders and service advisories. Worthwhile apps include CityTransit (for New York City, $2.99), Tube London City ($9.99) and iBart (for the San Francisco area, free).

Taxi! (free) has a yellow cab-inspired design and finds taxi services throughout the United States based on your location. Just tap one of the companies, and the iPhone dials it for you. It also offers user ratings, whether the company accepts credit cards and, according to the App Store’s description, a prescreened list based on hotel referrals.

Cool Tools Until Skype creates an iPhone app, Truphone may be the closest thing. It allows you to make cheap international phone calls over Wi-Fi (about 6 cents a minute to landlines and 30 cents to mobile phones), especially when compared with roaming rates. Some kinks need to be worked out — voice quality can be poor and calls didn’t always go through.

How much is that Chinese wardrobe in dollars? Currency (free) is a frequently updated converter for more than 50 currencies. Easier to use is MOMPF Currency Converter (free), which has a funny-looking cartoon for a mascot, and allows you to easily switch among currencies and to store favorites.