Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Get live doppler radar maps on your iPhone


iweathr.jpgMacenstein found a great website for iPhones that allows you to view live doppler radar maps from Weather.com. Very sweet. The site: iWeathr.com (there’s no “e”)…but don’t bother trying to view the site unless if you have an iPhone because the site is designed only for iPhones.

After you choose a city, iWeathr loads the latest doppler radar maps from Weather.com and plays those images in a loop (just like Weather.com does).

I accessed the site via EDGE and it can take 20 – 60 seconds for the maps to load but it’s worth it. So, if you have an iPhone, give it a try!

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Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Weather, Wireless

AT&T has activated over 1 million iPhones


According to waitingforiphone.com, AT&T has activated over 1 million iPhones within the first week of sales:

According to reports leaked to waitingforiphone.com, ATT Mobility has fulfilled over 1 million iPhone activations since the device was launched in the US on June 29th. This news comes from a full-time staffer in ATT Mobilty’s Commerce Group who chose to remain anonymous. Wall Street analysists have placed initial iPhone sales between 500,000 – 750,000 units. First week sales of over 1 million would cement the iPhone as Apple’s fastest selling new product, and one of the hottest new technology gadgets in history.

If this is true, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s probably the most successful mobile phone/smartphone launch in the history of the cell phone industry.

Filed under: Apple, AT&T, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

iPhone Tip: How to type a period with one tap


If you own an iPhone or have been reading all of the reviews/comments, you’ll notice that typing a period is a pain in the ass. More specifically, it takes 3 taps to type a period. Not very user friendly, right? Well, David Pogue has posted instructions on how to type that period with one tap:

The iPhone doesn’t register most key presses until you *release* your finger. But Andrew discovered that the Shift and Punctuation keys register their taps on the *press-down* instead.

So here’s what you can do, all in one motion:

1. Touch the “.?123” key, but don’t lift your finger as the punctuation layout appears.

2. Slide your finger a half inch onto the period or comma key, and release.

Incredibly, the ABC layout returns automatically. You’ve typed a period or a comma with one finger touch instead of three. In fact, you can type ANY of the punctuation symbols the same way.

I’ve tried it and it’s pretty slick…and much easier. It’ll take some getting used to because my natural tendency is to tap instead of tap, hold, drag, and release. Nevertheless, it’s easier and quicker than tapping three times so give it a try!

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, How-To, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

500,000 iPhones sold in 2.5 days


Damn, according to reports, Apple has sold 500,000 – 525,000 iPhones from 6pm, Friday, June 29 – close of business July 1. That is absolutely amazing.

Other interesting stats:

  • 95% of buyers are opting for the 8GB model (including me)
  • 50% of buyers are switching from another carrier (I’m switching from T-Mobile)

Plus, I’ve been monitoring stock at the Apple Stores in Massachusetts and other random states and, since Saturday, inventory has been depleting with a lot more Apple Stores showing no inventory.

Needless to say, the iPhone launch has been nothing but stellar.

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

iPhone battery replacement: $86


As you all know, the iPhone’s battery cannot be replaced by us…it has to be sent to Apple to be replaced (yup, just like the iPods). It’ll cost you $86 and will require you to give up your iPhone for 3 days..oh, and all of your data will be erased (a simple sync with iTunes will restore your data).

According to the Apple site:

A properly maintained iPhone battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles. You may choose to replace your battery when it no longer holds sufficient charge to meet your needs.

Hmm, I don’t know about you but I don’t do a full charge and discharge cycle every day, week, or month so I wonder how long the battery will last when I mostly do full charges from a 50% discharge.  At the end of the day, I expect the lithium ion battery to last as long as your typical Li-on battery.  So, hopefully, I won’t have to spend $86 to replace my battery within a year.

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Technology, Wireless

iPhone Scratch Test Video


Thinking about getting an iPhone but are wondering how durable it is? Well, check out this video from PC World. They scratched the screen with a key, vigorously shaked it in a bag with a bunch of keys, and dropped it on concrete multiple times. The end result: no scratches. Just some scratches on the chrome strip around the screen.

The iPhone looks like it should be coddled like a newborn baby but Apple was smart and designed it to withstand real world usage.

Btw, iLounge has a nice review of the iPhone and speaks to their findings in regards to durability.

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Technology, Video, Wireless, YouTube

Got an iPhone


iPhoneWell, I broke down, today, and bought an 8GB iPhone. To be honest, I was really trying to hold out until July 2008 because 1.) I have 1 year left on my T-Mobile contract and 2.) I wanted to wait for the 2nd gen iPhone with (hopefully) 3G.

Why did I break down and buy it? Well, I spent 20 minutes playing with it at the Apple Store and I was 110% sold. I was really concerned about the keyboard but it’s really not bad.

Btw, I’m very pleased with how Apple has been able to meet the demand (at least, thus far) and didn’t pull a ‘Playstation, Wii, or Xbox 360 launch’ Meaning, having (artificial) shortages to drum-up demand and press/hype.

Anyways, I’m in the middle of upgrading from OS X 10.3.9 –> 10.4. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to activate and use my iPhone.

I’ll post a review in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Filed under: Apple, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Wireless

Windows Mobile 6 for T-Mobile Dash coming on May 4?


wm6_tmobile.jpgRumors have been circulating that T-Mobile will be releasing a Windows Mobile 6 Standard ROM upgrade for T-Mobile Dash owners on May 4.

If it does drop next week, I would caution that you make sure all of your 3rd party apps are compatible with WM6 before upgrading.

[via Smartphone Thoughts]

Filed under: Cellphone, Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Rumors, Smartphone, T-Mobile, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Are cell phones killing bees?


Some scientists are suggesting that the radiation emitted by mobile phones are killing bees by interfering with their navigation systems. When this happens, the bees can’t find their way back to the hive and end up dying.

German research has shown that the behavior of bees change near power lines. Now, a small study at Landau University (Germany) has shown that bees don’t return home when mobile phones are placed nearby.

In the East Coast of the U.S., 70% of the bees are missing. In the West Coast, 60% are missing. This is not only occurring in the U.S. but across the world – Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece.

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

When was the last time you saw a bee?  I haven’t seen one in years…

[The Independent via Gizmodo]

Filed under: Cellphone, Mobile Phone, Wireless

Samsung BlackJack owners will get free upgrade to Windows Mobile 6


wm6-logo.gifGood news: AT&T has publicly stated that all Samsung BlackJack, Treo 750, and Cingular 8525 owners will get a free upgrade to WM6.

Bad news: the AT&T/Cingular spokesperson would not commit to a specific date and only said, “later this year.”

If I owned one of these phones, I wouldn’t mind waiting since I bet a lot of 3rd party software is not yet compatible with WM6.

[via Brighthand]

Filed under: Cellphone, Cingular, Mobile Phone, Samsung, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

iPhone to be released on June 11?


Word from a CNet blog is that a Cingular/AT&T customer support rep said the iPhone will be released on June 11, which coincides with Apple’s WWDC from June 11 – 15. This could be a bunch of b.s. since most of those CSRs don’t know jack.

All this said, I’m guessing Apple will formally announce it at the WWDC…and, hopefully, along with an update to the MacBook Pro.

[via MacRumors]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Rumors, Smartphone, Wireless

Microsoft Deepfish: a new concept for mobile web browsing


Microsoft Live Labs has created Deepfish – a new approach to web browsing on your Windows Mobile device that is very similar to how Safari will work on the iPhone (remember Steve Jobs’ demo from MacWorld?). Instead of loading a web page and only being able to see a small section of the page, Deepfish takes a screenshot of the web page so you see the entire page as it was designed (as opposed to the page’s header, sidebar, etc. being displayed all jacked-up). When you want to zoom-in on a specific section, click the center/joystick key to bring up a small gray focus box, move the box around the page with the directional keys, then click the center key to zoom-in. If you click the center key a third time, you’ll see an arrow cursor so you can click on buttons, links, text fields, etc.

Deepfish is in pre-beta and you need an invite if you want to try it…which is fine by me because the last thing I want to do is install buggy/unstable software on my smartphone and have it crash/reboot on me when I need to make a call.

Looks like Windows Mobile users will have a similar web browsing experience as their iPhone counterparts.

There’s a demo on the Live Labs website and there’s also a video of Deepfish in-action on a Palm Treo.

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile Software, Web Browser, Windows Mobile, Wireless

T-Mobile raising SMS rates: cancel your contract without paying the fees


Following in the footsteps of Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and Cingular/AT&T, T-Mobile is raising their SMS rates from 10 cents to 15 cents on June 1, 2007. You know what that means? It means, if you’re in a contract and want to leave T-Mobile, you should be able to do so without paying the early termination fees (ETF). The reason is because their contract allows you to cancel your contract without penalty if they increase the pricing of their services (I suspect, this is why they don’t increase your monthly rate plan when they increase it for new subscribers).  However, your mileage may vary depending on the customer support rep you get.

I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical but people have reported that they have been successful in doing this – like The Boy Genius Report.

I have another year on my contract and have been very happy with T-Mobile but they won’t be carrying the iPhone…hmm, should I try to get out of my contract? If I successfully pull this off, I’ll definitely blog about it. 😉

[via Engadget Mobile and CrunchGear]

Filed under: Cellphone, T-Mobile, Wireless

Daylight Savings Time bug with Google Calendar’s API


There is a bug with Google Calendar’s API – their API doesn’t account for the changes to Daylight Savings Time (DST). This is making life hell for anyone who uses 3rd party software to sync Google Calendar to their Outlook, Windows Mobile, etc. calendars. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google but they royally screwed-up on this one. According to Google Support, they’re hoping to fix this in April – April?! WTF!

I noticed this because I use GooSync to synchronize my T-Mobile Dash to Google Calendar. Things were working perfectly until the changes to Daylight Savings Time (DST) took effect on March 11. Post March 11, when I created an appointment on my Windows Mobile 5 device and synced it to Google Calendar, the time of the appointment would show up correctly. But, on a subsequent sync, it would push the appointment time forward by one hour.

If you’re a GooSync user, here’s the link to the post about the DST issue in GooSync’s support group. I gotta say, it’s nice that GooSync posted this note because I’m sure they got a lot of people bitching at them – thinking it was GooSync’s fault (at first, I thought it was their fault, too).

Filed under: Calendar, Cellphone, Daylight Savings Time, Google, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Windows Mobile 6 demo in Flash


Microsoft has released a 38 MB Flash-based demo of Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition for download. Interestingly, the demo shows a T-Mobile Dash/HTC Excalibur. It’s worth a quick look if you want to see WM6 in action instead of screenshots.

Some cool things the demo shows are:

  • Ability to send a Contact card via text message
  • Calendar ribbon
  • Viewing call history in Contact cards
  • Support for HTML e-mails
  • Search your device by simply typing the search terms
  • Viewing/editing Word & Excel files.

FYI, this demo is targeted to business users so it also shows a good amount of corporate-related features such as: out of office status, searching Exchange Server mailbox, ability to remotely erase data on the SD card, etc.

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Smartphone, Software, Windows Mobile, Wireless

GooSync: Synchronize Google Calendar with your mobile phone


If you have a Google Calendar and want to synchronize it with your cell phone or PDA, then GooSync is something you should check out. GooSync does a 2-way synchronization between Google Calendar and your mobile phone. So, any appointments you make on your celly or PDA is synchronized to your Google Calendar and vice versa. Cost: free (for sync’ing 1 Google calendar). If you want to sync multiple Google calendars or shared calendars, you’ll have to pay £19.95 (GBP) for 12 months of service, which is $38.30 (USD)…too bad GooSync is a British company! 😉

To use GooSync, all you need to do is create a GooSync account and grant GooSync access to your Google Calendar (don’t worry, you can do this without giving your Google login credentials to GooSync). After you create your account, you select the type of cell phone you have and follow the instructions on how to install the GooSync software on your phone. For Windows Mobile devices, all you have to do is download and install a .CAB file. The installation varies depending on your phone type (and GooSync lists A LOT of supported phones). After the software is installed, you enter your GooSync login credentials and press the “sync” button. After 10 – 20 seconds, your calendars are synchronized.

I installed GooSync on my T-Mobile Dash (Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone) tonight and it works as advertised. Here are my pros/cons:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calendar, Cellphone, Google, Reviews, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

3G iPhone in early 2008?


AppleInsider is reporting rumors that a 3G-capable iPhone will be released in January 2008 per a Swedish company. So, if this rumor is true, then European folks will see a 3G iPhone next year. As for those of us in the U.S., the question is: will Apple release the 3G in the States at the same time? Who knows…Steve Jobs has publicly mentioned long-term 3G plans (see last paragraph) so, at least, we know there will be a 3G iPhone in the U.S….at some point in time.

Personally, I don’t think we’ll see a 3G iPhone in the States until around June 2008. Releasing an updated iPhone 6-7 months after the initial introduction is a tad too quick. Apple will want the Gen 1 iPhone to be on the market for at least 1 year.

I know, I know…it’s surprising we’re already hearing rumors about the next iPhone before the first one is even released…welcome to the world of Apple rumors. 😉

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Rumors, Smartphone, Technology, Wireless

Free Extended Battery for Samsung BlackJack Owners


samsung-blackjack.jpgHave a Samsung BlackJack with poor battery life? Well, surprisingly, Cingular is offering a free extended battery to *some* BlackJack owners. BlackJack owners who have an IMEI serial number between 352794010030189 – 352794012269959 are eligible for this offer. If you qualify, all you have to do is fill out a form on this website and Cingular will send you the extended battery.

Engadget Mobile got the deets from the Cingular BlackJack blog. If you own a Samsung BlackJack, you might want to check out that blog.

Filed under: Cingular, Mobile Phone, Samsung, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

CNET Review of Windows Mobile 6 (Rating: Very Good)


wm6-standard-homescreen.jpgCNET has posted a review of Windows Mobile 6 and they gave it a 7.0 out of 10. This review is a bit more in-depth than the Pocketnow review I linked to in my ‘Windows Mobile 6 for T-Mobile Dash‘ post (the author could’ve done a better job differentiating the features between WM6 Standard and WM6 Professional). Here are some of the highlights:

  • Outlook Mobile can now display HTML email
  • Outlook Mobile supports email searching (you just type the letters and it will filter your emails)
  • Call history is associated with your contacts (see screenshot)
  • Calendar now displays a ribbon at the top of the screen so you can easily see your free/busy time (see screenshot)
  • Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition now comes with Mobile Office, which allows you to view and edit Word and Excel files but only view PowerPoint files (on Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone Edition you had to install a 3rd party app to view these files). However, the editing capabilities are pretty thin: (who actually does massive edits on a smartphone, anyways?)

“We should note, however, that the editing capabilities are pretty light. In Word, you’re pretty much restricted to adding and deleting text and formatting type (such as bold, italic, underline, and highlight); while in Excel, you can insert rows and columns, sort, perform basic functions, and so forth.”

One thing that does not seem to be fixed (*sigh*) is that when you “close” an application Windows Mobile hides it instead of closing it. When an application is closed, it should be closed (just like it is in Windows XP/Vista). Why does that matter? Well, when an app is hidden it still utilizes memory and when you don’t have enough free memory the performance drops and you can encounter memory errors.

Even though WM6 has some room for improvement it sounds like it’s worth an upgrade. Heck, since it’s free for T-Mobile Dash owners, I’m definitely upgrading. If I had to pay for it, I most likely wouldn’t (thanks to the iPhone!).

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Reviews, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Wireless iPod Charging Coming Soon?


One of Apple’s patent filings has been released by the US Patent and Trademark Office; it’s about a docking station that would allow a device (iPod/iPhone?) to be docked in multiple ways and, more interestingly, allow for wireless charging. The wireless charging reminds me of how a Sonicare toothbrush is charged: there’s a cradle and all I have to do is seat the Sonicare in it to have it charged – there are no exposed metal contacts.

Of course, just because a patent has been filed doesn’t mean Apple will actually bring this product to market. But, if it does, this is one-step closer to my ideal Apple scenario where I have an Apple docking station sitting on my nightstand that allows me to charge and wirelessly sync my iPod/iPhone.

AppleInsider has more deets on the patent filing along with some diagrams.

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, iPod, Rumors, Technology, Wireless