Friday, July 30, 2010

We've got another App Store for that...

Remember how I said that one of the big reasons why Apple doesn't want to allow Flash to work on the iPhone is because people could deliver app-type content by bypassing Apple's App Store.

Well... it looks like somebody did it anyways, with OpenAppMkt:

It's basically a collection of web-based apps using HTML5... a technology that Jobs and Co. support... but also something that app-style content can be made of.

I tried it out and it's interesting, 1st off when you browse the URL through your iPhone, it asks you to "install" the app which basically adds a bookmark to the website on your homepage. Then for every app (I should say "webapp") you install, it adds an appropriate bookmark to your homepage. So they act just like your other apps (you can even move them into your folders).

The big difference is because they are web-based, you need to have either a cell or WiFi connection but most of the times you do. And of course, depending on your data plan, it will eat bandwidth.

So far I've installed PieGuy (a Pacman clone) and the YouTube webapp (it's exactly like the one except it hides the URL so it looks more "app" like). In comparison to the native one, the one thing I like is it doesn't force you into landscape mode at the beginning.

Not sure if they will successfully be able to get people to pay for apps that they can find on the web... but the point here is that this is an alternative to Apple's App Store, meaning less restrictions... which could also mean other things.

We'll see how this plays out and if Apple breaks down any doors.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I haven't blogged lately due to many things... the one main thing being laziness. I understand this is something many bloggers go through and was hoping not to succumb to it.

I also think not having many shows to watch blows my one weekly blog post I used to do. Warehouse 13 started up again and I really like that show but I don't watch much else. I've also been on vacation for a few weeks so while I still surfed the web, I kept most of my communication to a minimum. So just a few observances while I was gone:

1. iPhone 4 came out and sold billions. I visited 3 Apple stores and no one has it. I got mine finally from Best Buy but it was 3 weeks after the release and I had pre-ordered it a week before... I was quite the Hulk.

2. Samsung Galaxy S phones are coming out under different names, Vibrant on T-Mobile, Captivate on AT&T and I forget on Verizon and Sprint. I saw the Vibrant at a T-Mobile store and it's impressive. The one for Sprint is going to be 4G and have the slide-out keyboard.

3. Is it just me or is HTC+Sprint/Verizon dumb for not keeping the EVO and Incredible in stock? These are the few phones they could have sold more of before the iPhone 4 came out and they didn't capitalize on it. Now that i4 is out, they will probably be getting more inventory but now they are going to face competition from within their own Android offerings (Droid X, Galaxy S etc etc). Boo.

4. Speaking of, Droid X is supposed to be out in a few days. But why get that when you can get an EVO on 4G?

5. My search for Smalls (my mini notebook) may be coming to an end. Toshiba (one of the companies I despised because their keyboard layouts were lame) has released the Portege 700 series and it's very nice and affordable for all the features it has. It's not exactly a real Smalls since it has a screen bigger than 12" and an optical drive but it's close.

6. Looks like WUXGA (1920x1200) is going the way of the dodo bird. Dell's newest Latitude line only goes up to 1080p or FHD (1920x1080). Why did notebooks adopt TV's 16:9 aspect ratio? I'm getting less screen real estate for no reason.

7. Is it just me or is 3D TV overhyped? I don't even watch the 3D movies (it seems like every family film is in 3D nowadays) in the theatres. If I wanted to pay a premium to wear expensive glasses, I would not have got contact lenses... bleh.

8. UFC 116 was awesome and one of the best shows this year. All matches were good and who would have thought Brock would use a submission to win? I'm looking forward to the Silva/Shonnen match but I think The Spider will still win.

9. Warehouse 13 is even better this season... although the characters have changed a bit. Myka is softer, Pete is dorkier, Leena is damaged... and Claudia is funnier... she said "Boom goes the dynamite!"... hehe.

10. Tell all those Android phone makers to stop getting rid of the optical trackpad button. It's the one thing that helps differentiate it from iPhone and also gives Blackberry users something familiar. I'm still waiting for an Android phone with the physical keyboard in a form factor like the Blackberry, Palm Pixi or my Palm Treo Pro. Just make the keyboard really small and the screen really big (and of course include the optical trackpad).

Oh... and why "Ghost?" for my title. We have this thing where when people disappear at work, we say they turned into ghosts... that's what happened to me on this blog.

iPhone 4: There is no Antennagate!

So Apple held a press conference today to address the "issues" of the iPhone 4. Basically, they've said that all smartphones have the same problem and that they are not getting large reports from customers about it. But in order to help appease people they can 1. Return it within 30 days without a restocking fee or 2. Get a free case from Apple (if you previously bought a Bumper from them, they will refund it). Here is a link to the Engadget LiveBlog:

Now, they did say they would not be able to produce enough iBumpers to mean demand so they our sourcing other cases and will give you a choice. You will be able to apply on their website next week.

In addition, 4.0.1 is out to address the software formula "bug" that calculates the strength signal and they will be releasing another update to fix the proximity sensor problem.

Although I can understand the uproar, I really do think this was a bit blown out of proportion. Every phone has areas you can touch on it that will degrade signal strength. Ever since phones went with an internal antenna design, that has always been an issue yet people have short memories. I remember on my Samsung A420, there was even a picture in the manual that showed me where to not touch the phone on the top because that's where the internal antenna was.

I think Apple is making the right move by offering free cases but I also think they may not have tested the whole "finger on the black line kills reception" problem that much considering that the prototype was in a case... we can assume all their field testing units were also in a case so there was no "real-world" type usage to account for it. Jobs theorized that since the 3GS had the same design as the 3G, 80% of the users probably had a case for it so the signal issue went undetected.

Anyways... this hasn't stopped over 3 million people from buying the iPhone 4 and that number would probably be closer to 4 million if Apple could supply as many phones as people wanted. I had to wait a few weeks to get mine because I pre-ordered through Best Buy and they didn't get very many phones (Apple saved them all for themselves... heh.). I do notice the issue but since I don't really use that phone as my primary voice phone, it's not a problem for me... it acts more like my iPad nano.