Month: September 2008 (page 2 of 2)

iPhone 2.1

Two months on from it’s launch, the iPhone today got it’s biggest software update so far. My thoughts on the upgrade are below:

– Backup does work a lot quicker than before. It now doesn’t get in the way of syncing
– Application installs on the phone via Appstore are so much quicker – 10 times quicker, or so it feels. Makes installs so easy and quick to do
– Syncs are overall more speedier
– Contact list scroll lag has gone
– Text and keyboard lag seems to be fixed
– Updating app’s will remember their screen position
– New 3g and edge icons
– Signal strength meter at home is now 4 bars instead of the 1 that I’ve had since i got the phone. Speedtests are much the same so it looks like the bars are just a fix to more accurately display connection rather than being a better connection
– Mail – failing to get some mail content tonight which was allegedly one of the issues fixed…an issue I didn’t previously have
– Genius playlist is nice but due to size of iPhone and amount of music it’s not as useful as it is in iTunes
– Battery life – who knows. Too early to tell but I have zero expectations of any sizable improvement to battery life

The biggie for me are the third party application crashes as I’ve suffered this problem for the last 4-6 weeks. Is it fixed? No idea! First install of firmware and no app’s worked. I then tried syncing again and some worked. Decided to start fresh and do full restore without using an old backup. All app’s installed but none would work. I then wiped all the app’s, sync’d, re-downloaded the app’s and sync’d. Still no joy. Then I installed an app from the Appstore on the iPhone – yay they all work. Or so I thought. Some didn’t. Tried them all and around half were still failing. I then downloaded another app from the Appstore and now all the applications are working.

While this sounds like problem solved that is the same behaviour I’ve seen up to now so it will take a few days/weeks before I’m convinced that particular issue has gone. It also seems there’s a couple of things missing. No background notification feature which was supposed to launch this month. I’m also disappointed that after boasting of 3000 app’s and 100 million application downloads that there is still no easy way to see only new additions to the Appstore. iTunes 8 and the new firmware should have had this feature added at the very least.

Those negatives aside it’s good to see the iPhone has lost it’s beta feel. Basic functionality now works well and with all the app’s back up and running it feels far more useful again. Lets hope it stays this way over the coming weeks.

Google Chrome and some data to go with it

Just read through the comic that announced Google Chrome. Comic? Google Chrome? Google Chrome is the name of the long rumoured browser that Google has been developing. The comic was sent out via mail today and describes the main features of the browser really well. Seeing as I’m hacking web based app’s more and more, Chrome seems to be ideal. In fact if it had bookmark syncing I’d give it a serious trial instead of Firefox. But then again, it’s not out yet and for all I know it could be rubbish. Doubt it though – could be another step forward for browsers, our most used app. *Update – official announcement on the Google Blog and admission that info leaked early. Beta available tomorrow. For Windows only initially, Mac and Linux to come.

So…data. Often the biggest problem in putting together mashup’s and web app’s is finding good reliable data sources. I’d posted before on where to find data sources and the good news is there is some movement in the UK. From the rather excellent Katy Lindemann is a post on freeing our data and how Show Us a Better Way is fronting a government initiative to free up data, mashup the data and has already made gigabytes of data available. The site also links to many web data sources, many that I hadn’t seen before. Time to get the thinking cap back on…and maybe download the iPhone dev kit again.

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