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Articles tagged with: iPhone 3gs

Written By: Gary on March 14, 2012 No Comment

So this amplifier for the iPhone by Bone is very cool. It’s requires no power and it’s made of silicone (rubber?) and your iPhone just sits in it and it’s significantly louder. It surprised me a lot when I got mine.

bone-amp.pngDid I tell you it’s less than $4 shipped?!? It says that the “horn” increases the sound up to 13dB.

The amplifier is available in Black, Red, White and Blue too. The red one says it’s good for the iPhone 3, 3G, 4, and 4S (although the package for mine only mentions the iPhone 4). I assume it would work on an iPod Touch if the speakers are also at the bottom (a reviewer says this works on the recent touches also). It’s got room to plug in the power cable at the bottom too.

Written By: Gary on December 4, 2009 One Comment

The iPhone eats battery power. The more you use it the more it eats. As a result, the more you use it the unhappier you get when it dies.

Maximal Power External Battery for i-Phone, i-Phone 3G, and Ipods (Black) Maximal PowerSo I picked up this 1900mAh external battery and it was a great investment.

I keep it in my bag and it’s great when I need it. It’s not just powering your phone, it’s charging it! So once you remove it from the phone, it’s been charging your phone in the meantime.

Honestly, it doesn’t snap on very well, so it’ll fall off if you place it in a jacket or suit pocket and aren’t careful, but it won’t fall off if you’re using it for most non-gaming applications. It seems to fits well with my Seidio case (review).

For $14 (at Amazon), this is the best stocking stuffer you could get the iPhone enthusiast in your life (or iPod Touch or any iPod device I guess); if only it came in colors!

It always seems to have a charge whenever I need it. Although it’s rare more than a few weeks go by when I need it.

It you plug in the battery into a charger and the iPhone into the battery it’ll charge both. This brings me to my biggest complaint: I wish that when it was on the phone and plugged into the sync cable it’d charge both devices and pass through the data so I could sync at the same time.

This works with the current Amazon bonus of $5 worth of MP3 downloads with purchase (I think this is good only once per cart, not for multiple items in the same cart).

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2009 One Comment

So I tried out CoPilot Live North America GPS turn-by-turn software. First off let me point out it’s on sale for $24.99 through December (and then it goes back to $34.99) and it appears to include free quarterly updates (with no time limits listed as of today). Secondly please note that North America is defined as USA and Canada. FYI, if you don’t have an iPhone and you’re hoping to get one for the holidays, buy it now! It should work later just fine (at least all the sale and free apps I bought before I purchased worked fine.

copilotapproad.jpg

It’s awesome! You can use it in spoken turn-by-turn mode with or without the street names, only one voice (Frank) does the full street names, but I don’t like that on GPS devices (I get long names like “turn right at next exit Grand River / US-5 / 10 mile road”) and it’s too long for my attention span so I use Lisa (or John). In short mode I think it should speak the highway exit numbers though, it actually sounds truncated the way they do it.

It’s really easy to pick addresses from your address book and save as favorites, it did give me a little problem with my home address the way I had it in my address book but not any of my others (I’m not sure why). If you’re typing in an address it’ll let you use zip codes which I like. You can also search by business name (such as Detroit Science Center) and it’ll add to favorites or even make a call for you. It’ll also show routing for cars, walking or biking. It’ll let you play back your tracks, which would be great for hiking but this has got to eat your battery though.

copilotappsettings.jpg

My biggest complaint is that while it integrates the iPod player into the application, it doesn’t pause the iPod part of the iPhone when it’s speaking; but this is listed as one of the next upcoming features. My second biggest complaint, is that sometimes I don’t feel like they followed iPhone interface guidelines and you have to think sometimes when picking out and typing things (mostly in the search areas).

The 2D maps will let you pinch / zoom like many iPhone map programs will. And it works in landscape or portrait modes. While I like portrait better, the fonts of turns show up bigger in landscape.

It’ll give you live weather for where you are too!

It’s probably the biggest app I have, it’s 1.3 GB, that’s a 1/12 of your 16 GB phone! You can get more info here: http://www.copilotlive.com/iphone/

CoPilot Live North America

Bottom line: If you don’t have a turn-by-turn GPS for $34.99 this is a great deal. For the $19.99 sale price (for only a few days) it’s an even better bargain.

Accessories: I’d recommend a car charger or external battery to charge your phone when walking or biking.

Written By: Gary on October 24, 2009 No Comment

I shot, edited (titles and transitions) and uploaded this video from my iPhone. I used ReelDirector for the editing. This is my first attempt but it was way easy to use. reeldirectorvideoThe video was shot on the iPhone, edited on the iPhone and e-mailed to YouTube for uploading. It’s five short stiched-together videos (which I was able to trim when I imported them) with some text at the beginning and end. I used the same transition (blur) for all the transitions since it was easy to use (you can customize this per transition). You can rearrange the videos once they are in there, but I pretty much picked them in the order that I wanted them in.

This is from the balloon festival from a few months ago. The first speaker is me talking as I shot it. The rest is whatever voiceover was going on at the time. Nothing fancy at all.



Direct link to the video is here.

I didn’t time it, but I’d guess it was about three or four minutes (on the iPhone 3gs 3.01 OS) to stitch and build the one minute video. My biggest complaint is I couldn’t extend the time for the titles and credits and the time is too short). I also wish I could have inserted some photos too (but then there wouldn’t have been audio behind it). The strangest thing was that it didn’t save the video back to the phone, I didn’t see any way to get it out of the program other than e-mailing it to myself (or YouTube) but that worked fine (the iTunes page says this works in 3.1). it’s very cool software but it’s a little pricy at $7.99 for $3.99 (since iMovie came out); I used an iTunes gift card that I got last month for my birthday which made the (old $7.99 price) a bit more digestible…

Written By: Gary on September 24, 2009 One Comment

What I don’t like about my Bluetooth earpiece for my iPhone is that it only streams audio from the phone calls. Why Apple (all cell makers) don’t let you use BT audio from other parts of your phone, I don’t understand. I have a pair of semi-bulky BlueTooth stereo headphones that and they stream the iPod music, podcasts, sound effects from games, and everything (but they’re bulky). My normal bluetooth earpiece just fits in my shirt pocket for when I’m not using it so I rather use that. The trick is to find an earpiece that supports A2DP.

Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset (Black) PlantronicsI decided on the Plantronics Voyager 855 Bluetooth Headset for three reasons: they were inexpensive, I’ve had good experience with Plantronics in the past and they came with a second earbud (earplug?) for your other ear if you want stereo sound.

So now I can listen to podcasts or news (or whatever) while waiting for something (doctor appointment, a movie to start, anything) without having to cover both ears (and not have to carry anything big around to do it). The same goes for videos or watching YouTube. Or if I’m playing a game I’ll still get sound, it’s nice to have audio feedback even for simple puzzle games, but especially for puzzle games. Your device must support A2DP for audio other than phone calls.

I think my main uses for this will be phone calls, listening to audio (books, The Economist and podcasts, streaming some radio) and some games. I can walk pretty far from the phone when listening, when I head upstairs (most amount of wall/stairs interference) it cuts out a little, but once I’m upstairs it still sounds great.

I think I’ll rarely plug in the second earpiece but I’ll keep it in my computer bag just in case. It’d be great if I knew I was going to be somewhere loud, but it might be too loud for them to hear me. Obviously I can use these for music, but I rarely listen to music via headphones, I generally listen to music at home or in the car, but I guess I now have the option (sort of).

The packaging was very nice, I couldn’t believe these were a $35 from from the box. In the box was a nice manual, not some teeny tiny thing that you’ll never find again. The BT headset, a nice carrying bag, two ear loops, 3 different pairs of ear gels (plus a weird pair foam ear pieces), a wall plug charger and some weird strap (unidentified in the manual) to dangle it from your neck (like a neckless, I guess).

So this BT headset gets a two thumbs up from me. No real minuses on the headset at all, but this is my first few hours of use and I really enjoy them so far.

I’ll probably do a follow-up in a few days, so if you have any questions, leave them in the comments.

Written By: Gary on September 10, 2009 No Comment

So if you have any older iPod or iPhone accessories or chargers many of they don’t charge properly. I’m not sure what they changed but it’s a pain when it’s a nice speaker dock or your car stereo won’t charge our battery (and instead drains the battery).

Enter the Scosche Charging Adapter for iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2G and iPod nano 4G! This device plugs in between the cable and you iPod of iPhone. I plug my iPhone into the adaptor and then into the cable in the car and now I can listen and charge my iPhone. So I can actually stream audio over the air (network) and pipe it straight into my stereo in my car, it’s awesome!

I’ve picked up the adaptor for $24.99 at Amazon. They also make an adaptor that plugs into some docks/stands that does the same type of thing (available in black or white).

It was well worth it for me, I think my car stereo is less than 18 months old so I didn’t need a new one and they’d probably have charged me at least $50 labor just to run a new cable (assuming Alpine even makes one for my stereo, which I couldn’t find). So this was a no-brainer.

If it’s a short ride and I’m just listening to the iPhone via the iPod application then I don’t use the adaptor so that I’m not just charging for only few minutes. I try not to charge my phone (or any device) if I’m really not going to need it, the iPhone is probably only good for a certainĀ amount of charges so I try not to waste the number of charges.

FYI – In my experience plugging the Scosche adaptor into the iPhone first before the other device works better; otherwise (at least my car stereo) sees it as 1/2 an iPhone and gets confused.

Written By: Gary on August 7, 2009 No Comment

So I made a plea a few weeks ago looking for a case for my iPhone (zero responses). Just couldn’t find the one for me, I want something not too bulky but I wanted the screen to be protected. I was worried about damaging the screen, I’m not so concerned about scratches to the case (or even around the edge of the screen). Although when you try to take things in for warranty repair, I’ve learned the less damage to the case the better.

Seidio Innocase II Surface Spring Clip Holster Combo for iPhone 3GS, 3G (Black) SeidioSeidio Innocase Holster for iPhone 3G and 3GS - Black SeidioI think this is the case for me, it’s the Seidio Innocase II Surface Spring Clip Holster Combo for iPhone 3GS and 3G. When they say combo it’s really two products in one it’s this holster with a separate form fitting case for the iPhone that fits in the holster. What I really really like about this is that the screen faces in. I loved my cheaper holster but the screen faced out and that made me nervous.

The form fitting case is nice because it’s not too big and it makes the darn iPhone a lot less slippery! It’s easy in and out of the holster. And the holster has a stopper on it so that the phone cannot slide and release the pressure of the spring clip, it pretty much has to be intentionally released to remove it. I love it and since I’ve been using this I’ve stopped looking at other cases for my iPhone.

The case fits so tightly if you’ve got a screen protector on your iPhone make sure it’s on perfect or it’ll hit the case, I had to peel it back (it wasn’t perfect) and trim it back (now it looks bad). And I think it definitely runs a little hotter with the case on.

Here’s the problem: Since I’ve got the case now it doesn’t fit in my car holder and it’s a little tight on my bicycle holder (a future post). And it fits so tightly it takes way too much time to remove.

So if you think this is the type of case you want, it’s definitely worth the extra money and it seems very well built. Just make sure you pick the “combo” so you get the holster and the case; the phone doesn’t fit in the holster without the case.

Written By: Gary on August 1, 2009 No Comment

They’ve now released 12cast to record and post video to 12seconds.tv for the iPhone 3gs. And it’s free! This lets you shoot video and upload directly or upload video that you’ve already shot. It’s interface is very simple (see below) although I think it could use a few more features (see below).


12cast test on my iPhone on 12seconds.tv

I’ll probably be testing this a bit this weekend so keep an eye on my 12seconds.tv channel http://12seconds.tv/channel/garylapointe/ and feel free to subscribe.

If this seems fun to you, you better go get 12cast before Apple pulls it from the store for some reason!

FYI – If your iPhone doesn’t do video you can still use the original 12seconds which lets you narrate 3 photos to make a 12secons.tv video. Here’s a sample I did.

12cast.pngNeeds a few really quick features:

  • Show me today’s 12seconds.tv challenge!
  • Needs to give me an option to upload it to 12seconds without going to Twitter.
  • Needs to let me type tags (and remember tags from previous upload!).
  • Needs to let me use update location (and autofill with GPS!).
  • This one probably isn’t so quick: Need a way to trim the video. Mostly if I’m trying to record myself it’s always jumpy at the begin and end. (Apple needs a way to set the API so you can click a button to “start recording in 3 seconds” and have it countdown.)

I really wish they had combined it with the older three photos application, I’ve got so much crap on my iPhone I really don’t need an additional application, but I can see some use of the other app too.

Written By: Gary on July 12, 2009 One Comment

Apple iPhone 3G Holster Clip BoxWave CorporationSo I have a holster for my iPhone that looks like this (I think it’s this same case with different branding). And it’s a great case! It’s plastic and holds the phone in just perfect, the clip at the top keeps the phone from bouncing out (the clip is important to me). But it’s got the screen exposed…

What I want is for the iPhone to face inward, to protect the screen. That’s what I had for my 755p and I really liked that. Any suggestions?

I’ve only found one and it doesn’t look like it has a clip at the top, not sure how it rotates without phone falling out.

Honestly, I’m tempted to get a heat gun and make it a little bigger at the bottom so it’ll fit face forward. I just don’t know how much more fragile that will make the plastic. Plus, there isn’t anything soft on the plastic to protect the screen.

UPDATE: This is the Seidio iPhone case and clip that I got.

Written By: Gary on July 11, 2009 No Comment

autostitch-icon.pngSo one of the coolest programs I’ve downloaded from the iPhone App Store is AutoStitch. It takes a bunch of photos and stitches them together. Alex Lindsey talked about this on MacBreak Weekly a few weeks ago. He spoke so highly of it, I plopped down my $1.99 and started using it immediately.

autostitch-screen-capture.PNGYou take a bunch of overlapping photos and it stitches them together, it does this completely automatically, there is no user intervention. You can use pictures you’ve taken with the iPhone but you can just as easily use pictures that you’ve synced with the phone. So this can work for the iPod Touch too, just sync some photos and when you’ve got some spare time, stitch them together. It does an amazing job.

I first used some photos that I shot on my Canon SD1100, it that just happened to be synced to the phone and did a great job of stitching them together. So you don’t need an iPhone, an iPod Touch with photos that you’ve synced works great too.

Above you can see a sample screenshot from the program where I chose 22 photos and it stitched them together (click it to enlarge). Remember all I did was pick the photos and a few minutes later it churned these out. All these photos were taken with the iPhone 3gs. If I cropped some of the edges of the photos, it’d look like I took there with a really wide angle lens.

Here are two samples:

detroit-cityfestjaggies.JPG
I chose this one specifically so you can really see how it pieces these together. It’s got gaps in it, (I think) this is the one I took 22 photos for the image; just the part with the people on the blanket in the middle is 3 or 4 images.
Click the image to enlarge to 2,500 by 800 pixels.


detroitcityfest.JPG
This one is more complete as I took many up and down photos to go with it. That’s the Detroit Fisher Building on the left.
Click the image to enlarge to 2,000 by 1,000 pixels.

These pictures were taken at CityFest in Detroit this summer.

I’ve used it multiple times and only once had a problem; it got confused when I did a 360 panorama when the same type of railing showed up several times, this was because all the condos where I live are similar so it really couldn’t match things up. There are some matching issues with color/contrast and people moving, but this is really great!

This software is well worth the $1.99! I think I got that much fun out of it in the first hour, let alone all the time since then. ZZZ

Written By: Gary on June 21, 2009 No Comment

I’ve had a few people just happy that the iPhone phone dropped to $99 (for 8GB) and are tempted to get that instead of the $199 model with more features (and 16 GB). They want to know if it’s really worth the $100 more.

Here’s why it’s worth it (and I’m not even going to point out the things that you think I will):
3gornor3g.pngJust a few weeks ago there was $100 difference between the $199 (8 GB) and $299 (16 GB) iPhone 3g models and the only difference was 8GB of storage. Right now the $99 model is 8 GB and $199 is 16 GB so it’s the same $99 for 8 GB. The 8 GB iPod Touch (it’s an iPhone with no phone, no GPS, no camera, no microphone and lots of other stuff too) is $229 and you don’t get much at all! Here’s my countdown list on why to get the 3gs, please note that compass, video and better photos are the last three reasons, not the top three. This list is really for those who are making a purchase that think they don’t want the compass or better camera w/ video; this is not a reason to upgrade from the iPhone 3g, that’s expensive.

Here’s everything between the $99 iPhone 3g and the iPhone $199 3gs:

  • 8 GB of storage (flash) memory – twice as much storage memory for apps and videos and music and audiobooks.
  • 256 MB of RAM – twice as much memory for applications to run in (more efficiently which makes it seem faster).
  • Faster Processor – The main processor is 50% faster and a faster graphics chip, Apple says this gives you up to twice the speed.
  • Better battery life – For just about everything but phone calls and 3g network use.
  • Faster network – This will utilize AT&T’s faster network (once it gets installed) which should improve battery life according to Apple.
  • Oleophobic coating on screen – more fingerprint resistant (geeky oleophobic details from Bill Nye
  • Photos – 3.2 MP with tap to focus (instead of 2 MP).
  • Video Recording – This is new, not on the other models. You can directly upload to YouTube, MobileMe and (I assume) email to someone.
  • Compass – Maps will orient the right way and I think people will come out with some cool applications utilizing this. I think thinking astronomy applications first, point at the sky and it identifies what you are viewing and offers links to more information or you ask it for a star or planet and it points it out for you (I predict this won’t take long at all, scroll down on this page to see this for G1); maybe even point out satellites as they travel across the sky. Then I’m counting on being at a national park or a big city and point my phone at something and it will supply all sorts of information about that landmark. See this page for a sample tourist image or imagine this (see video) but overlaid on top of live images of where you are. Or this interactive view of Wimbeldon.

Did I leave anything out? How far did you have to go down the list before you decided it was worth $99?

The first four are really the biggest value: Twice the storage, twice the memory (this will help), faster processor and better battery life!

Notes: I do understand that Apple is only charging $100 for 16 GB more memory in the $299, but since you don’t want to spend that much, we’re really not going go there.

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