Sunday, 30 August 2009

WunderRadio - run radio on background on non-jb iphones

Today i noticed last version of iPhone app WunderRadio now allows running radio streams on background, on non-jailbroken iPhones!

Sometime ago, it was discovered that while being one of few apps authorized to run in background, Safari was also able to maintain streaming media playing while other apps are being executed. Sadly, this does not happen with gps logging, and that's why Google Latitude webapp is severly handicaped.

Well, WunderRadio devs cleverly took advantage of the said fact, integrating this feature in a very elegant way:

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Facebook just got more awesome

The much awaited 3.0 update for the facebook iPhone app has just been released! My veredict? You'll never use facebook has much has you will from now on! It's that good. Only real thing missing: push notifications.

Get it

-- Post From My iPhone

Apple, wtf?

The way Apple is shooting their own feet regarding the AppStore questions is getting ridiculous. Forcing developers to remove usefull features they approved before? Not nice.


N900 - Nokia finally ups the game

Bought a N97 thinking you were getting Nokia´s flagship smartphone? Think again, because the finish giant is releasing its true top of the line handset in October, a mere 2 months after launching the N97.

To be honest, if you thought the N97 was all that, you: did not research properly; too much of a Nokia fanboy. Right now, i´m sorry, you look silly. The N900 puts Nokia finally on par with the iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre, Samsung i8910 and SE Satio in terms of hardware platform:ARM Cortex-A8 600 MHz processor with 256MB of RAM, unlike the clearly underpowered n97. Plus they ditch the HORRIBLE s60 v5 symbian touch UI, using the much more attractive MAEMO 5.

What´s not so hot about it? Well, no capacitive screen and multitouch is enough for me not wanting it. Frankly, right now this should be in any smartphone. Also, it seems way to bulky, but i understand it can be ok for some people, this is a tablet/phone hybrid after all.

More details about the N900 here.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

UNO - now with Gameloft Live/Push Notifications

I always liked UNO, but have been on the fence regarding buying the iPhone version due to lack of better multiplayer features. Mind you, UNO was one of the first iPhone games to support live online multiplayer. However, setting up games with friends was not easy.

Well, taking advantage of OS 3.0 features, namely push notifications, Gameloft updated UNO, adding suport for their xbox live type community service, Gameloft Live. Setting up games with one or more friends is now VERY easy, so i decided and bought the game. It´s a must right now.

However, there are some things that i´d like to be added in a future update: improvements to the notification system, and most of all, voice chat.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Rally Master Pro: finally some rally action coming to the Appstore

There are plenty of racing games on the Appstore, some with really great quality like NFSU and Real Racing, however so far there is no rally specific title.

Fishlabs will solve this problem by releasing Rally Master Pro, a port from their java 3d title. Has you can see on the video above, this is no lazy port, because the game seems to be using all the power available on the iphone platform.

Monday, 24 August 2009

An iPhone GPS turn by turn app for the recession

Regarding turn by turn gps apps, we went from 8 to 80 in the in the iPhone scene: from a period when there was nothing, thanks to Apple´s stupid SDK restrictions, we now reached a situation with several options available: Navigon, Sygic, iGo, Co-Pilot, and TomTom. And there are more in the pipe, like the solution made by portuguese company Ndrive.

Problem is, apps like this are not cheap, ranging between 50 and 100 euros. Also, there not seems to be a clearly superior option. All have their strengths and weaknesses, although people seem to consider TomTom and Navigon the better alternatives. If you´re still ready to spend serious cash in an iPhone GPS app, i advise you to take a look at this iPhone Navigation App Comparison Chart.

However, most of us will consider strongly to spend such high ammount of money in an iPhone app, reaching levels similar to standalone GPS apps. Well, for the economically conscious, there´s an app for that too, it´s called Roadee.

Roadee it´s a GPS turn by turn app, with voice navigation, that costs a mere 1,59€! Why? Well, problem with these GPS solutions is that normally maps licensing costs ALOT. Roadee uses OpenStreetmap data (user generated, wikipedia like), and so it´s possible to be this cheap.

Of course Roadee is no TomTom, but for this price, there´s really not much to complain about. Still, take another look at the comparison chart, and make your decision.

Friday, 21 August 2009

iPhone becomes iHero (III) - rss and more

This seems to be a very popular subject right now, so i feel i should make you guys aware of my progress.

The version you see above contains the folowing changes:

  • FiveiconDock (get it on cydia)
  • New dock, phone, mail and messages icons from bluemetal. Also edited two of his icons for "O" (ipod) and "+" (stacks v3)
  • Wallpaper and clock digits from Calix
  • iTicker rss widget
  • "More..." and "Alarm" icons are also from bluemetal, and open and
  • Added a blank icon named NetNewsWire just over iTicker widget, so that when i press it i can read the full rss info
  • Also installed BlankNull (to avoid problems with blank icons) and NoPageDots (to remove page dots) from Cydia
Ok, i figure it´s best for me to provide the all package of changes. Here it is.

If anyone figures a way to change background for spotlight, please tell me.

iPhone becomes iHero - part 1
iPhone becomes iHero - part 2

Gangstar - a 3D GTA on a phone

It´s stuff like this that makes us pay attention to tech evolution. Only 4/5 years ago, who would have guessed a fully featured GTA III clone would be played, and in a good way, in a phone?

Having played it already, all i can say to you guys is that although this is not an amazing creative achievement like Spider, it´s also a landmark for iPhone gaming. Go and grab it, give Gameloft the support they deserve for delivering such great experiences on the iPhone platform (and more is coming).

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Push alerts for gmail on iPhone what to choose

One of the big complaints people have about the iphone, is the lack of push support for Gmail accounts. With the advent of OS 3.0, and push notifications, several solutions appeared, namele Gpush, Pushmail and Prowl.

I have tested all of them, i can tell you this: right now, avoid Gpush - it´s completely unreliable, and only supports one account, despite being the cheapest alternative.

Now to the good options:

Prowl is a superb application, that however needs alot of work to setup (pc/mac client + gmail pluggin). It also requires you have your Pc/Mac always running. Nevertheless, it has endless possibilities, far behind gmail push.

Pushmail is my favorite. It does not store any user information, alows support of multiple accounts (not just gmail), it is SUPER reliable and fast. However, you need to set up mail forwarding to your personal pushmail account for it to work.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

iPhone becomes iHero (II) - now with Stacks!

As a followup to my previous post regarding the awesome Sense UI inspired winterboard theme, i thought i should tell you guys i managed to incorporate the also awesome Stacks 3.0 (currently in alpha testing) into it.

To do it, i changed the icons inside Library/Mobilestack (stack_drawer_button_single.png
and stack_drawer_button.png). Now "+" opens the stack, "-" closes it, has seen above. Really cool.

ComicZeal updated

The best iPhone comics reader, ComicZeal, has been updated. See image above for the changelog.

If you have interest on comics, this app is highly recommended. It makes reading comics on the iPhone a joy, with a superb interface and great speed.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

iPhone becomes iHERO

Lately, HTC Hero´s Sense UI, has been generating alot of buzz.

If you want to get a taste of the Sense UI beautifull looks on your iPhone, there´s now a winterboard theme for that. Folow the instructions provided here.

BeejiveIM 3.0.2 is out - alows 7 days of push connection!

My favourite IM app has just been updated. You can see the changelog on picture above - among several enhancements, session timeout has been extended to 7 days! That´s right, now you can be always online, via push notifications, for an entire week.

Not only that, i just notice one of the few problems i had with it has been solved: now Beejive works even on networks protected by proxy servers, like the one i have at work.

Monday, 17 August 2009

How to: adding push notifications to skype for iPhone

Last June, Skype released their 1.1 update for the official iPhone app, but instead of making users happy, they only brought them rage for missing the single most important wanted feature: push notifications.

Anyway, they promised that push is coming, alowing their iphone app to actually be usefull. Problem is, no one knows when.

Well, don´t fear, there is now a solution that really works, unlike the poor job made by multi-IM apps like Fring, IM+ or Nimbuzz (connection time is too much limited to be usefull).

First, you need to grab the awesome Prowl from the appstore. This fantastic app alows forwarding notifications generated by Growl (windows or mac), to the iphone

Second, install SkypeToGrowl on a PC (windows) that you have on all the time (my work PC is), and presto, you have proper skype notifications!

Edit: here´s the solution for Mac

Spider: the Secret The Secret of Bryce Manor

Hundreds of games are published on iPhone appstore every month. Most are complete crap. However, from time to time, something appears that really shows why the iPhone platform is becoming a serious player on the gaming world.

Spider: the Secret The Secret of Bryce Manor is one of these games. See it by yourself. Highly recomended.