Stop those pesky iPhone backups

Some of those backups go on and on and on. This useful tip from iPhone Alley automatically stops the backup from starting, to perform a backup when you wish, just right click the iPhone in the source list and pick the backup option.

I will give it a try myself as I don't need a backup every time I open iTunes although the thought of messing with Terminal sends shivers down my spine.

iPhone games mania

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Apparantly, there are now over 600 games available to purchase in the AppStore, of which I have bought just two. I think they need to get some sort of filtering/organising thing in there soon as it is getting a struggle to find stuff. They need some sub-categories to further help refine searches.

How many Tip calculators are there out there? And don't mention Suduko applications….

To be honest, there has been little of late that has appealed to me, I'm still waiting for ListPro to appear and have been religiously updating the desktop app on my work PC with all my list stuff, just waiting for the day when it can be exported triumphantly into the iPhone version.

Dandy Dons march on…..

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Another away win for the mighty Reds today and by all accounts it was a walkover…okay, it wasn't and in fact it sounds like we were rather jammy, as they say. So, after a disasterous opening day defeat to the Highlanders we have bounced back with two wins and a draw from the last three league games plus an away win in the CIS Cup on Wednesday.

That should keep the whingers off Jimmy Calderwood's back for another few weeks, the poor man has taken a lot of rather unjustified stick over the past season or so despite us having had our best season for a while last year…4th in the league, 2 Cup semi-finals and a decent run in the UEFA Cup. Not too shabby? Some folk are never happy.

Now I can sit back tomorrow and watch the Bigot Brothers play/fight it out and have a good laugh.

Nice Nokia free themes

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There's a whole lot of choice here and you can elect to download a set with the default icons or with enhanced theme based icons. I think the latter option is worth going for even though the file size is much larger. I've gone for the Black and Orange theme which looks nice and is easy to read. They are all currently free and are lovely.

The default themes are a bit yucky and I find the text hard to read. I really felt the need to hunt down something more visually appealing for the E66 which is not normally a requisite for my smartphones.

Talking of the E66, after a day of full useage I am glad I swopped out the E71 out for it, so far anyway. I have been using the predictive text system and it is surprisingly simple-ish to get along with, I can't now understand why I was so anti it before. To think, the number of non-qwerty based smartphones I have ignored or rules out of the equation for this very same reason in the past. It does have one or two little quirks…for example, when trying to type "it" the T9 system insists on predicting "he" and I'm not sure how to sort that out…I ended up changing that manually using non T9 and then reverting back to T9 after. Is there a simpler way?

iPhone security flaw…need for passwords?

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This seems like a fairly major mistake…..resulting in a password-protected phone being less protected than one that has no password. Sort of completely defeats the purpose of having a password on in the first place.

My initial reaction was actually "big deal", mainly because I have never bothered to password lock any phone. The only private info I ever carry that would be of some financial benefit to a thief would be the stuff stored in eWallet on the iPhone and that has its own security lock anyway. Sure, they can get a hold of my email info but not one email has any private bank or credit card details or anything on it that would lead to financial ruin for me should it be discovered.

It would of course be a different story in the corporate world where IT departments insist on a certain level of fairly stringent password control for phones. To me, it is just another example where Apple is showing its unsuitability for that sector of the market. The more it tries to wheedle its way into this sector the more it seems to balls things up on the iPhone front, think Mobileme and it's non-push email/syncing, numerous outages since it was launched and now you have a smartphone that can be accessed by any Tom, Dick or Harry even though it is password protected. If you muck things up in this sect of the market, because you think you are big enough to enter it and can handle the pressure, then you rightly run the risk of ending up getting loads of flak and a bad reputation if mistakes are made.

Sadly, it won't stop me continuing with my current practice, the best procedure to avoid having a stolen phone is to take jolly good care of it. God, I'm so lazy the thought of having to enter a password, even if it is only 4/5 digits long, seems to be too much like an inconvenience.

E66 arrives

Initial impressions are favourable, I'm pretty sure that I prefer the look, feel and form of this over the E71. It has been a while since I last had a slider type phone and with no qwerty keypad, I'm going to give this T9 text entry malarkay a real go. Who says you can't teach an old dog tricks? Crikey, I may have to break the habit of a lifetime and read the manual which to me is an admission of defeat and a sign of weakness.

Reception on the E66 seems better too than on the E71, I have had a more consistently powerful 3g signal albeit over an admittedly shorter test period. Specs are virtually identical to the E71 aside from the very obvious form factor differences but to me, this device feels and looks nicer…just my opinion though.

So far, I have only installed the free MobileWeather and Nokia's own "beta" threaded SMS application, Conversations. The former is rather decent for a free application and covers all UK cities. The latter is quite good too, I can't tolerate the thought of using a phone that doesn't have some sort of threaded  SMS built in or available.

Right, I'm off to read all about this T9 stuff and fully expect to be a master overnight. Then I will try and set up a bluetooth connection with the home mac and transfer some stuff across, not because I particularly have need of it  but rather just because I can.

NewsStand for iPhone

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, geeks and nerds…I think I may have found the best RSS reader for the iPhone and that is something quite big for me as I do a heck of a lot of RSSing (is that a word?). May I present NewsStand which is quite a snip at £3.99, or was it £4.99?

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I have been using NetNewsWire as it was free and pretty darn good. It also syncs with NewsGator which has been my online RSS reader of choice for a while so that was convenient too. NewsStand syncs with Bloglines so if you use that online reader it is a cinch to get your feeds in. You can also import an OPML file from online, not unfortunately from on the device but by navigating to a web address…I have no idea how that works so just transferred my feeds from NewsGator to Bloglines and synced from their. I also added in some extra feeds by just typing in the website URL and it then presents you with a list of available RSS feeds from that site. Quite nifty.

So, what differentiates this app from the other RSS readers out there?

  • landscape support
  • ability to edit feed titles
  • a fancy dan "newspaper" style view of feeds when in landscape view which looks nice but doesn't really add real function, mind you who cares about function?!
  • you can arrange feeds within folders and have a hierarchical layout if required
  • theme support!
  • ability to email links and "star" items

I must say this is a very nice looking app that appears to work very well, it has already replaced NetNewsWire on my iPhone and has the look and feel of a proper iPhone application. When I last checked the AppStore it had 100% 5-star reviews…no mean feat.