Archive for iPhone

iPhone Explorer solves stupid Apple problem

Free utility iPhone Explorer does what Apple should always have done…

It lets you access the data on your own iPhone – just like a proper grown up.

I took an audio recording of a client presentation today. It was critical that I had this audio file in order to play it back to some people who weren’t able to attend and to transcribe the content in text form. The Apple voice memo app has (to my mind) always been sorely lacking in the control department. Once you’ve recorded your audio, there’s no clear ‘click to save this’ option. You find yourself clicking the pause button which takes you to the file storage area.. where you hope your file has been stored.

Today, it appeared to tell me that my 46 minute file had recorded. But to my horror, when I tried to access the file on my iPhone although it said it was there, it ominously wouldn’t play it. Nor would it sync that file to the MacBook (although it synced another from the same session).

A quick Google search revealed a free little utility called ‘iPhone Explorer’.

Fantastic. Not only could I see my iPhone without Apple’s annoying iTunes getting in the way, but – miracles! – I could drag and copy the file that neither the iPhone or iTunes could play to my MacBook desktop. Once there, I was able to open it in Bias Peak, edit away, then levelate it and get it off to my client for reference.

Brilliant. All thanks to iPhone Explorer – and no thanks to Apple’s voice memo app and iTunes.

Looking for a guitar chords app for the iPhone?

Ultimate Guitar chords is a bargain. (Secret: I would have paid 3 times as much)

I was in the mood to play some guitar the other day. But the thought of starting up the iBook, opening a browser, searching for a song and then having to choose between competing websites offering lyrics, chords and tabs was a bit off-putting.

“Why hasn’t someone brought out an iPhone app that does this?” I thought – and then went looking.  A few minutes later, I was downloading the Ultimate Guitar app on the strength of the screen shots alone.

£1.79?? I would have paid a tenner for this app. For a guitarist, this app is simply the best use of the technology you can get: any song I want to play, whenever the mood strikes me.

Seriously, the value this app adds over and above the laptop/browser based experience is huge.  I genuinely think that the developer has been guided here by the norms of app pricing rather than by the actual value this app delivers.

It is a tiny bit buggy (it’s crashed a couple of times) but it’s so fast to load – and has been such fun already – that it’s still worth every one of those 179 pennies.

BBC news iphone app: complete dud

UPDATE: Turns out it WASN’T the BBC’s app after all.  So how come somebody could misuse the BBC name?


The BBC’s news app for iPhone has been broken for over 6 months

What a Big Marketing Mistake!

How hard can it be to make an app that will serve news summaries?

[UPDATE: 14th November 2009 - the new version of the App seems to be working (finally).  Well done BBC.  Now I can dump the ITN one.  I want my news serious and deep, know what I mean?]

[DOUBLE UPDATE: December 2009 - ended up dumping it finally because it still doesn't work]

I’m blogging this purely to give a little shout out to the BBC that their inability to a) create a working app or b) take the reams of feedback at the app store seriously sends a very strong message to the world: we are crap.

Big Marketing Mistake!

I wanted a BBC reader on my phone but it didn’t work. So now I have an ITN one instead. I’d far rather a BBC one. Geddit?

Make your blog work with the iPhone

WPTouch plugin makes your blog readable by iPhone

If you’re a blogger, you might like WPTouch, the plugin for WordPress that once activated, outputs a version of your blog in a format designed for iPhone users.

It’s brilliant! But how come I didn’t know about it before?

Well, I can think of st least two reasons, depressingly common in online media. First of all, there’s the dire and counter-intuitive interface of the WordPress ‘Extend’ plugin repository. Try finding something there to solve a problem you might have. No chance unless you already know the name of the thing you need to solve the problem…in which case, you wouldn’t be bloody well looking for it, would you?

Then there’s a peculiar tendency of developers to give their plugins names that give no hint of what they might do in case they might help you solve your problem without sufficient frustration and suffering. I mean, ‘WPTouch’? Why not ‘ConvertWPtoiPhone’ for God’s sake?

If a friend hadn’t told me about it, I doubt if I would have found it at all. Mad – particularly since it opens your blog up to the entire world of iPhone users, especially via Twitter.

Its worth remembering that this mobile internet stuff is really still in its infancy. It’s taken me over 30 frustrating minutes to write this on my iPhone and I haven’t got the energy to try to work out how to copy and paste a link URL, but miracle of miracles, I’m doing it on train travelling at 125mph.

Mustn’t grumble, eh? :-)

Podcasting is dead! Long live Podcasting!

AudioBoo – podcasting meets social media (finally!)

Once upon a time there was a thing called podcasting.

You got some kit together, took a deep breath, recorded your words of wisdom spent hours editing them and then?  Then you faced the daunting technical task of distributing them to an unsuspecting world.

To do that, you had to build a site to host your files and create mysterious (and unfathomable) things called ‘RSS feeds’ so that people could become regular subscribers. The technical stuff was hard enough, but harder still was attracting subscribers in a ‘pre-social media’ era.

‘AudioBoo’ connects podcasting to social media. No more worry about where your stuff lives (they host your audio), no distribution worries (it integrates with Twitter and Facebook plus has its own social network) and no recording hassles (it uses your iPhone as a good quality mic).

Perfect.  Except for the silly name and the fact that there’s no search facility yet although they say they’re working on it.  Makes it hard to, er…network.

And don’t forget that you still have to create interesting, quality content that your market will want to hear :-)

Cycle trip recorder for the iPhone

Track where you’ve been with this free cycle trip recorder app for the iPhone

Polruan to lamerton

How cool is that? The eagle-eyed among you will notice that this was one hell of a bike ride. Ok, so it was in the car. But you get the point. Just press ‘start’ and the iPhone does the rest with its clever GPS trickery.

Get home, upload your journey to the site and share. Not bad for free. All you need now is an invisible ‘permanently on in background’ version and – presto! – know where your kids are 24/7. Shudder.

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