Just Mobile Xtand for iPhone

Xtand for iphone
When I first saw this I thought…”gotta have it”…then I came to my senses and realised it’s all a bit show and not much else, which in my shallow eyes, makes it all the more desirable. Review is over at iLounge.

There’s very little to complain about in Xtand’s execution. Just
Mobile’s design, while clearly heavily influenced by Apple’s, offers
iPhone users the opportunity to completely match the look of Apple’s
desktop machines with what can look like a miniature monitor for video
or widescreen album browsing, shifting effortlessly to a vertical mode
appropriate to most of the iPhone’s other features. The rubber corners
hold the iPhone properly while providing access to all of the ports and
controls, including the speakerphone and Dock Connector, headphone port
and volume buttons. In other words, your iPhone is as useful inside
Xtand as it is in your hand, but more conveniently mounted for viewing
and other tabletop use. Xtand was clearly engineered with considerable
thought and precision; everything just works


iSale sneakiness

There are several ebay style apps available for the mac platform and for the last couple of years I have used GarageSale over iSale. The advantage of these types of app is that you can do your ebay listings offline and then upload them later, saves on time spent online and also works more smoothly.

These two apps are both very good, I started with GarageSale and have just stuck with it out of convenience more than anything else, I do not see the point of starting out again learning a whole new application.

A few months ago, iSale was given away free with MacFormat magazine here in the UK and I grabbed a free copy and installed it on the MBPro. It was an older version but still worked in the way that I needed. I was basically too lazy to hunt down and reinstall the existing version of GarageSale. Sneakily, after a few days, when I was testing out the application a message appeared on the MBP telling me a new updated version was available. Great, I thought, and went ahead and downloaded it. I then kept using the app and listed a few more ebay sales using it. A week or so later, when I launched the app a message appeared telling me my version was now locked and to unlock it I would have to pay the upgrade cost!

Those sneaky guys at iSale had misled me into upgrading from my older version to a paid for upgrade without saying anything along those lines at the time. Sneaky and annoying as I had to uninstall the unwanted version and reinstall my “free” version. Isn’t that annoying? Had I known at the time that the “update” was in fact a paid for upgrade I would not have installed it.

Macally Turtle mouse

Macally turtle mouse
Macally make a huge range of stuff for macs and mac hardware. This is a new mouse they have launched that has a twist, the “tail” retracts which may make it useful for saving on space in a laptop bag. It even works on windows PC’s.

Portable retractable USB laser mouse

• Laser technology for precise and smooth control
• 3 buttons and scroll wheel
• Compact size and retractable cable for maximum portability
• Ergonomic ambidextrous design
• Includes Turtle mouse and manual

System requirements
• USB port
• Mac OS X v10.1.5 or later
• Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4 / XP / Vista

Headline RSS for mac

Headline rss mac app
MacApper have done a nice review of this small but perfectly formed native mac RSS desktop application and it sounds quite good. I have been using NewsFire for a while personally and it is now a free application.

“Headline is different from other RSS readers because of it’s size.
It has a small window that looks much like the iChat buddy list. For
each feed entry the status is represented by a dot: green if it’s new,
yellow if it’s from the week, or white if it’s older (there will be no
dot if it has already been read). These look just like the iChat icons
and help you easily find new feeds. The number of new items also
appears as a badge in the dock icon. One other useful feature to find
new feeds is just to hit the spacebar; this will switch to the next new
feed. There is still an issue with this, though; it only goes to the
newest feed below the selected feed. If you have any new ones above it
you need to scroll up and select that feed”

Apple…playing with the big boys

Listening to a recent MacBreak Weekly podcast I think it was the one released on July 16th, one or two of the people on it were laying into Apple for what they perceived to be a gi-normous cock up of the 3g iPhone launch, subsequent fiasco on iTunes and mobile.me botch up. They were making the point that as Apple continues to grow and as it becomes a bigger company then it needs to realise that more can go wrong and that when it does go wrong, things need to be sorted out.

Iphone and jobs
They have a point. I often think it cannot be easy being a huge company like, for example Microsoft, with a huge customer base to keep everyone happy. Apple, through the launch of mobile.me and its supposed Exchange like syncing, needs to realise that it is now playing with the big boys and needs to get things working from day one. Especially after all their self proclaimed fanfair about “exchange for the rest of us” hoopla. I don’t think most users care two hoots what they want to call it, they just want it to work out of the box from day one and it quite plainly hasn’t. “Exchange for the rest of us who aren’t that fussed anyway about getting access to their email” would have been a fairer initial description.

I don’t go in for the lame excuse that they under-estimated demand and weren’t ready. Bullshit. They knew the day iPhone 3g was launching (they set it after all), they knew that version 2 of the software would be out almost the same time and they already knew how many existing .mac users they had. They should have sufficient system resources in place to meet the infrastructure demand. If a whole lot of companies had set themselves up with iPhones on a corporate network/exchange type thing on launch date they would have been hugely unimpressed. We snigger at RIM when they have an “outage” after all and so can only expect the same back.

Still, it’s not the end of the world, not by a long shot and Apple have plenty of time to get it right and I’m sure they will but it has left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. Worst thing is, a whole lot of people were probably knew to Apple products when buying the 3g iPhone and could only have been less than impressed by the buying and subsequent setting up experience.

WebIS developing for the iPhone

WebIS sent out an email last week to subscribers, I previously bought Fleximail for windows mobile, informing readers that they will be porting Pocket Informant to the iPhone in the coming months. They have already launched an app on the AppStore, Note2Self, which is a voice recording programme for recording voice notes. Interesting to see developers more normally associated with another platform developing apps for the iPhone. I hope it works out for them.

“When we set out to design our iPhone version we sat down and
designed an application that iPhone users could love. To be honest we
are Apple fans here – all of our desktops, laptops are Macs; our
servers are XServes; some of us have even worked at Apple in the past
(recently and from the past)! So we know what Mac OS X users like,
expect, and deserve. As such Pocket Informant for the iPhone is focused
on making productivity fun and easy, yet focused”.

In a lather…

These AppStore reviews are a bit flaky with very few apps getting full marks and an overall rating. What gets me so far is the level of reviews, fi you can call then that, from irate UK reviewers whinging about certain apps not having some sort of UK centric feature. This gets their dander up and in response they just slam the application with a 1 or no stars review. All a bit unfair methinks.

These guys need to realise one or two things. Firstly, there is absolutely no requirement for a developer to make their app UK centric and they are perfectly entitled to, for example, not have the facility to enter UK postcodes to get UK based news. If they want to make it US only that is their choice and I say..so what? Of course a direct consequence of that choice will be fewer sales outside the US.

Secondly, they need to be aware that they are making the rest of us Brits look petty and shallow. In addition, some of their comments make themselves look like arrogant little Britishers and that reflects badly on us all. So what if an application has no “£” sign? Get over it and pick something else that does. It is not fair to slam what might actually be a great application for something as relatively trivial as that.

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