Category: iPod

WordPress app for iPhone/iPod Touch launched

WordPress launched it’s long anticipated WordPress app for the iPhone and iPod Touch this morning. See http://iPhone.wordpress.org for more.

I downloaded to my iPod and am writing this post using it.

The write screen seems quite bare. I don’t yet see how to add links, emphasis or photos to posts. I am sure the functionality is there I just need to look around more.

Ok there was some kind of bug when I was using this first and the bottom Menu bar was missing. I hit the Home button quitting out of the app and opened it again. This notified me that it had recovered a post (good, I thought I would lose it when I quit).

Opening the post now displays the bottom menu so I don’t know what caused the bug or if it will recur.

I still don’t see an easy way to create links in blog posts.

Adding multiple blogs is easy. The hardest part (for me) was being able to remember the passwords!

It is a free download. And they say it will be open source. Not sure where to download the code from yet. Will update this post as soon as I find out.

iPhone and iPod Touch leading to huge increase in mobile web browsing

Two stories being reported today point to how Apple got it right with the iPhone/iPod Touch.

In the first story, coming out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, EE Times is reporting that:

A blue-ribbon panel of human behavior and technology experts at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain agreed that the best recent advance in the mobile telecommunications user space came not from a mobile telecom company but from Apple Inc. — the iPhone.

Anup Murarka, director of technical marketing for Adobe, cited a study showing that 77 percent of iPhone purchasers described themselves as “very satisfied” with their user experience

Going even further than that, AppleInsider today published a story about how Google said it has seen

50 times more search requests coming from Apple iPhones than any other mobile handset — a revelation so astonishing that the company originally suspected it had made an error culling its own data

So despite the fact that the iPhone is only on sale in 4 countries and is significantly outsold by Nokia et al handsets, the vast majority to Google from mobile devides is from the iPhone.

Why is this? Because Apple made it easy to do. Not only that, they made it a fun experience (turn the device, the page reformats to the new orientation, two finger zoom, etc.).

The iPhone/iPod Touch user experience is so far ahead of anything the competition (Symbian, Windows Mobile) are producing that it will take them several years to catch up. If, in the meantime, Apple can add features like Bluetooth, and 3G and sign deals with more mobile operators they have a strong chance of becoming the dominant handset manufacturer as well as the dominant mp3 player.

Screaming fast browser?

After reading Seth Weintraub’s post on how the upcoming versions of Safari are blisteringly fast I decided to download the latest nightly (WebKit r30123) and check it out for myself.

To check the different browser versions I used the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark.

The results were pretty amazing – on Vista the performance times came in at:

Internet Explorer 7 -   66,870.6ms

Firefox 2.0.0.12 -       34,121.0ms

Firefox 3.0b2 –           29,293.6ms

Safari 3.04 -               21,930.4ms

WebKit r30123 -          9,094.2ms

While on OS X:

Flock 1.08 -               30,476.8ms

Firefox 3.0b2 –           10,863.4ms

Safari 3.04 -               13,534.0ms

WebKit r30123 -          5,720.0ms

That’s pretty spectacular performance – and seeing as I use Safari quite a bit on my iPod Touch, I may just have to switch default browsers for a while to see how I get on with Safari Webkit!

UPDATE – post updated with results for Firefox 3.0b2 on Vista

Is the iPod Touch the ultimate Internet tablet?

I recorded a video on Seesmic yesterday on why I think the iPod Touch is a spectacular Internet Tablet. It has an amazing screen, great UI, and tiny form factor.

Seesmic now includes the ability to embed videos you record there, so rather than go over it again I thought I’d embed the video here. The quality of Seesmic videos is poor, sorry about that!

http://seesmic.com/Standalone.swf?video=jlX9kFp6tI

A lot of the functionality I’m referring to in the iPod Touch is new and was announced at MacWorld 2008 earlier this week.

iPod Touch – a gateway drug?

Pilar gave me an iPod Touch for my birthday the other day and, wow I love it!

My new iPod Touch

As you can see, it looks fantastic. The interface is unbelievably slick and surprisingly responsive. Using Nokia smart phones means I have become used to devices this size being slow but there is absolutely no lag on the iPod Touch.

The browser is fantastic, esp. for my feed reading. YouTube videos are way better quality than on the site. In fact the video resolution, in general is spectacular.

The only negative thing is that synching with the computer can sometimes take a while so don’t try to synch as you are about to run out the door!

Other than that I have now realised how much better the iPhone experience must be – uh oh!

Beatles tracks to be made available for sale online finally?

The Toronto Sun is reporting that the entire Beatles back catalogue may be released through iTunes in the coming months with the first songs being made available as soon as next month- wohoo!

This follows on from a deal having been struck between the Beatle’s Apple company and Apple Computers over naming and sales of music by Apple Computers.

Seemingly:

Apple Computers plans a “special” announcement scheduled for a Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 4, which may give more indication as to where the new remastered CDs will debut first.

FairPlay cracked

According to an article on CNN Money, Jon Johansen, the hacker who cracked the DVD encryption, (aka DVD Jon) has now broken the ironically named FairPlay. FairPlay is the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software which Apple puts on songs sold through its iTunes store – this DRM stops songs bought through iTunes playing on devices other than an iPod.

DRM is an evil, market restricting, anti-consumer device (why shouldn’t I be able to play DVDs bought in the US on my DVD player in Ireland?).
Any and all cracking of DRM should be applauded.

Way to go Jon.

Zune to illegally add DRM to podcasts?

Microsoft is to launch the Zune on November 14th according to its PR site.

This date is just in time for the American holiday of Thanksgiving. What is not clear from the site is if this is an American launch date of a global launch date.

I wrote, in not too glowing terms previously about the Zune. One criticism I missed at that time is that if someone shares one of my podcasts over wifi on the Zune, the Zune adds on its own DRM to my podcast, in direct contravention to my podcast’s Creative Commons Licence causing the podcast to self-destruct in three days or after three plays.

Can someone in Microsoft explain the legality of that to me please? ‘Cos to me, that’s just plain illegal.

Apple claims trademark infringement on 'Podcast'

Apple has yet again sent in the lawyers – this seems to be a favourite tactic of theirs which is increasingly giving them a bad name (and I am a Mac fan!).

This time, Apple have gone after a company called Podcast Ready for their use of the word Podcast and myPodder (their product name).

Robert Scoble has suggested using the terms Audiocast and Videocast from now on and dumping the term podcast – however this doesn’t solve the problem for Podcast Ready (nor any potential problems Robert’s company PodTech nor my podcast/audiocast site PodLeaders might yet have). Apple have already gone after several companies for their use of Pod in product names.

Russel Shaw has a very in-depth analysis of this spat where he speculates that:

we have Apple, maker of the iPod, trying to get right with the Trademark office about achieving formal Trademark and related mark protections for iPod AND its sought-after IPODCAST applications.

Russel is probably close to the mark here – however, Apple’s over-vigilence is doing nothing but tarnishing their image.

Zune – where are the podcasts?

Microsoft have announced the upcoming release of their rival to Apple’s iPod – called the Zune.

Microsoft Zune

The Zune will have a 30gb hard drive (as opposed to the top iPod’s 80gb), will have an iTunes rival called Zune Marketplace (‘cos we all know the key 18-24 year old demographic thinks marketplaces are cool) and will allow limited sharing of songs over wifi (limited as in the shared song can be played 3 times or stored for 3 days after which it disappears!). Somehow I don’t see that kind of sharing being too appealing when the sharing being done right now (burn to mp3 cd and give to friends!) is still far superior (and cheaper).

Oh, and while it can play video, you can’t buy video in the Zune Marketplace nor can you share video.

I didn’t see mention of the ability to subscribe to podcasts anywhere either – unbelievably lame. Podcasts are the only thing I listen to on my iPod.

Apple can’t be too worried.

Still, it looks nice in brown, doesn’t it?

[Update] – this is the top story on TechMeme right now