Thursday, October 20, 2011

Here's what the new cards from Apple's new Cards app look like

When Apple made their new Cards app available last week, I went ahead a cooked up a quick test card and sent it to my younger siblings. The whole process is extremely easy, and it shipped in no time. And the day it was to be delivered, sure enough my iPhone popped a notification letting me know.

The entire shipping time was about two days, and here's the result. The picture are a little crappy because they were taken in low light, but you can tell that the cards are nice while still being very inexpensive. And you can't beat custom-made, personalized cards conveniently shipped for you for only $3 bucks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So many podcasts, not enough time

I love podcasts. It's a great way to keep entertained while doing menial, repetitious tasks like doing the dishes, working out, or driving. But the time you take to do those things usually doesn't go over an hour or so, and then it's back to work.

With the growth spurt podcasts have had over the past couple of years, there are now more shows that I love than I know what to do with. There is never a time when I have to wait another week for my next favorite podcast to put out a new episode. Not only are there so many shows, but now many shows are on a three-a-week, if not daily, schedule. That's a lot of content! Now I just wish I had more time to listen to them.

All in all, this is a great thing. It's about time great, entertaining and/or smart, informative people have an audience without having to go through "suits" in the entertainment industry to have a voice and get themselves known.

Some of my favorite podcasts: This is my next (soon to be The Verge), MacWorld Podcast, Adam Carolla Show, WTF, The Joe Rogan Experience, G.I.O (Get it on), Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, SModCo Morning Show, Mohr Stories, The Nerdist, Having Sex (with Katie Morgan), etc...

The list gets longer than this actually.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My favorite feature of iOS 5

Safari on iOS 5 hasn't changed that much in terms of obvious new features. It's a little bit faster at loading a rendering pages, and with twitter now built right in to the system, sharing links and pages is now easier that ever. But my mostest favoritest feature is the Reader function, which intelligently consolidates the main text of a web page or story into a sleek, easy-to-read overlay. You can then adjust the size of text to your liking. All the ads are gone, the random spotting of miscellaneous tables, pictures and other junk also disappear. As someone who reads a lot of news on websites from my phone, the Reader function, which actually had its first appearance on the desktop, finds a perfect home as a new little button right in the address bar.

Here's some screenshots--a page of the NYT before and after:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Was the iPhone event disappointing?

You know, I'm having trouble deciding. It seemed so essential and obvious to me that the best device to run iOS 5 would be the iPhone 5. I mean, next year when we get iOS 6 (we will get iOS 6, right?), is it going to run on iPhone 5? Six on a 5--that may have a nice ring to it, or not. But alas, today at Apple's keynote we saw kinda what we all expected from the rumors, though our hopeful and optimistic attitudes nearly got the best of us. Since earlier today, I've had some time to purge my brain of the dreams of that super awesome-looking iPhone 5 mockup floating around the interwebs and take a good look at what the new iPhone 4S means for consumers and Apple.

Are consumers really missing out this year when the iPhone 4S has everything you could have expected from an iPhone 5? And just how important is a hardware redesign, then, when every feature is already there? Look at the feature set of the 4S: iOS 5 and all it's new features, faster, new super camera, 1080p video recording, a world phone with multiple carriers, the new Siri personal assistant (which looks fantastic, btw), and iCloud--the service all iOS 5 devices will sync to for backup, syncing and storage. This is all pretty impressive. The only thing missing? A pretty new package.

The biggest question is, does that really matter to people? Do consumers have to have new hardware to be truly excited about this product? It begs asking when the hypothetical iPhone 5 wouldn't do a single thing more effectively than the already gorgeous iPhone 4S design. I know I was disappointed. But for what real reason? I told myself I would not upgrade if they didn't change anything externally. But why does that matter so much? The point is that it does and doesn't matter at the same time. For starters, it didn't matter when they did this once before with the iPhone 3GS. It broke previous iPhone sales records. And what features did it gain sans a new look? The same thing that the 4S has received today: faster processor, improved camera and the new OS with voice command capabilities. What Apple needs to prove now is that this is enough for the iPhone 4S to make up for all the bad press the iPhone 4 design got with the antenna problems.

At least it sounds like they might have fixed that ol' bug that haunts every iPhone 4 today--the signal drop. Please let this new antenna be the end of that crap. Please?