Posts tagged “iphone”.

iPhone-optimized Newton site

March 15th, 2010

Something fun to try on your iPhone or iPod Touch: a Newton site from Sam Speake.

Called NewtonResourc, the site has basic info about Newtons, a tutorial (with more to come), a photo gallery, and links to Newton-specific sites.

[Via NewtonTalk.]

Newton travels the world

February 22nd, 2010

Dr. Adrian Marsh takes his Newton on the road, and around the globe, in My Newton Life – a travelog often updated with an MP2100.

Dr. Marsh makes updates with nBlog from Europe and Turkey, and especially from in and around Istanbul. Lately, however, Dr. Marsh has been posting from his iPhone.

[Image via Dr. Marsh.]

Newton icons grace Brushes for iPad

February 11th, 2010

In the early years of iPhone apps, Steve Sprang, the developer of Brushes, contacted me and told me the story behind a few of his app icons:

Brushes icons

They’re the original Newton Undo/Redo buttons. Sprang wanted to pay homage to the Newton, so he used the icons in his now-famous app.

Here’s the original Newton version:

Newton buttons

As you can see from the above still frame, the Newton icons remain in the new iPad version of Brushes (in the keynote, you can see them at the 42:30 mark).

Sprang developed apps for the Newton, too, back in the day – including Lathe, a popular 3D modeler.

It’s been gratifying to see Sprang’s success with his Brushes app, and great to see he still uses those Newton icons from way back when.

Newton quote of the week: tablet, schmablet

December 22nd, 2009

“The coming of an Apple tablet has been rumored since the death of the Newton. Talk to anyone versed in Apple lore, and they’ll tell you one’s just around the corner. Not only that, they’ll probably tell you what it’ll be like.

…But it’s important to remember that for every true rumor out there, there are five false ones and, most importantly, three things that no one’s even imagined.”

- The Macalope on the spread of rumors about a device no one has even seen yet, and how rumor-spreaders have been wrong (way wrong) before.

Newton keyboard? There’s an app for that

December 1st, 2009

Well I’ll be.

The secret is, you have to have a jailbroken iPhone and a few connectors (details at the namedfork.net source page), but man – look at that thing in action.

Lots of luck to anyone who tries it.

[Via Thomas Brand.]

CNet UK pits Newton vs. iPhone

November 27th, 2009

Newton vs. iPhone

We’ve seen this kind of thing before from the chaps at CNet’s UK edition: a battle of the handhelds, this time featuring the Newton MessagePad and the iPhone.

The duel features arguments over design, screen quality, applications, reliability, connectivity, and “special powers.”

Rory, the dude who sided with Samsung in the last smackdown, chooses to battle with the Newton this time around, and sticks it to the iPhone with the Newton’s app selection:

The Newton, a device older than Jamie Lee Curtis, has both copy and paste, a global search function and the ability to multitask. When it first emerged, the iPhone had none of these things and not even the iPhone 3GS — the daddy of all iPhones — can properly handle more than one application at a time.

I won’t ruin the ending for you, but it’ll probably come as a (contrived) surprise.

I did my own head-to-head battle quite a while ago, but what I missed out on was the fun boxing graphics. Now I know.

Newton quote of the week: retail boxes

October 27th, 2009

“Efforts by Palm, Microsoft, and Symbian to encourage the development of third party software for their mobile platforms, much like Apple’s early 90s attempt to market the original Newton MessagePad, largely just copied the desktop PC software model of letting developers ship retail boxes of software on their own. The result was less successful than the PC desktop, with generally poor quality and often unfinished software titles available at only relatively high prices.”

- Prince McLean at RoughlyDrafted Magazine.

The early days of the Newton featured this boxed-software model, but as the Internet came of age Newton users could find apps online. Now sites like UNNA.org (and sometimes eBay) are the only places to find available apps for the Newton.

These days, if you want something for your MessagePad or eMate, you’ve got to hunt for it.

iPhone stylus in the wild

September 11th, 2009

iPhone stylus

Saw this little beauty in a local auto parts store (!), right next to iPhone skins and car chargers.

I like how it says “makes it EASY to use your iPhone.” Like using a finger is hard? Maybe if you have big fingers.

The most useful part of the package might be the included gel skin, but I can’t say that in all fairness. I haven’t tried an iPhone stylus.

Shucks, I even press some of the Newton’s on-screen buttons with my finger, just to get things moving along quickly.

Blame AT&T

August 27th, 2009

Amanda Fortini, writing for Salon.com, finds a good reason to complain about her “evil iPhone”:

The calls that go straight to voice mail, though, are the worst byproducts of the [AT&T] network’s weakness. Those messages pool silently, while the iPhone never deigns to give a signal or beep of any kind to indicate that they’re idling in your mailbox…If the phone was previously allowing voice mail messages to pool, now it seemed to be holding them for ransom. Even when it has service, messages don’t come through, and then later show up all at once, as though the iPhone has finally decided it’s in the mood to release them. Last week, all of my contacts in the address book vanished before inexplicably reappearing. The phone is worse than an orchid; it’s a high-maintenance techno-girlfriend whose demands are inscrutable and impossible to meet.

Fortini complains about the touch-screen typing and the auto-correct feature, too, both of which I’ve become used to and – over time – have come to enjoy. I like how the keyboard changes depending on how you’re holding the iPhone.

She also complains about how easily the screen cracks after you drop it, which seems like complaining about your car’s crumpled hood after you rear-end someone. I have my own first-hand experience with Fortini’s “fault,” and I know where the blame rests: squarely with me.

But the AT&T network (lack of) service and the voicemails not appearing until hours or days later – that’s got to stop. At first, I thought it was the piss-poor service in my apartment. One side of the apartment, and the upstairs, gets decent reception. But move into the dining room or the kitchen and you cross some sadistic border where cell service is completely missing. It’s like my rooms are made of Superman-grade lead.

It’s only natural that the iPhone receives some backlash. It’s becoming so popular, and selling so well, that problems start to become a statistical guarantee. The more people use something, the more it goes wrong. Think about when the iPod become super popular and then, predictably, started to attract critics.

Some of the iPhone’s problems are legit. The problems, however, are not with the phone itself. Mostly, I blame AT&T. It’s their network that sucks, and it’s their voicemail that fails to come through.

Get even the most basic aspects of the phone wrong – you know, the calling at the messages and whatnot – and the whole device seems to be tainted. I don’t believe that’s the case. I love the apps and the iPod and the fun the iPhone provides. It’s just that I also find myself cursing when Twitterific gives me a “timed out” message, or the Facebook app loads at dial-up speeds. That’s the fault of the network.

“Don’t blame the phone,” I tell my friends. “Blame AT&T.”

iPhone 3G goes boom

August 14th, 2009

iPhone shattered 2

The worst possible thing happened to me last Friday: I dropped my iPhone 3G and shattered the glass screen.

I say “worst possible” only because of the way I felt at the time. When I picked it up after dropping it on the tile floor at work, I nearly sobbed. It felt like my dog just died.

Friday’s incident wasn’t the first time I dropped my iPhone. Thankfully, each time before, I dropped it on its protective white case.

Last week, however, it landed like a piece of toast and jelly, business-side down.

I couldn’t tell whether the awful screeching sound was from the phone or from me, but I knew right away that something terrible just happened. Picking it up from the floor, turning it over to see the damage, I felt my face grow pale. Everyone has to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, I reasoned, even in non-combat situations.

This was it. My phone was doomed. It turned on, luckily. The touchscreen still worked. But now there was a horrible spider-web crack across the top half of the screen. It was more than damaged – it was shattered. I took it back to my work desk and just stared at it.

Then I did some research. I didn’t opt for the Apple Care plan, so I was on my own financially. The best I could do is take it to my nearest Apple Store and see what they could do. From everything I read online, the best option was to pay $200 and have the Apple Store mechanic replace the glass screen. iPhone 3GSs are nice, but my phone was fine, and I don’t qualify for an upgrade. Not yet.

The glass replacement is exactly what happened, but that’s only half the story.

I took it to the Ann Arbor Apple Store, at the Briarwood Mall, and explained my situation to the Geniuses. My option was exactly as I had figured: $200 for a new glass screen ($100 of that is just for labor). And it was a quick fix. I had my iPhone back in about 10 minutes. When the Genius gave it back, I clicked on the wake button, saw that the iPhone was alive and kicking, and headed out the door.

When I got home, however, I found that the home button on the phone wasn’t working. I would open an app, get done with it, and click the home button to return to the iPhone screen. But when I hit the home button, nothing happened.

Whatever happened between the Genius taking my old glass screen and replacing it with the new one was enough to make my iPhone malfunction. The home button wasn’t taking me home.

I placed a quick call back to the Apple Store. A representative, Mike, answered. When I started to explain my problem, he kept saying, “Hello? Is anyone there?” Then he hung up. Weird.

A second call yielded the same results. A rep named Cat answered, asked “Hello?” a few times, and hung up.

My mic, it seems, was busted too. In fact, everything from the the home button down was malfunctioning. I called the Apple Store on the home phone and set up an appointment for the next day – Saturday at 1 p.m.

I came back into the store, and the Genius that helped me the night before recognized me.

“Weren’t you just in here last night?” she asked.

“I was, now I’m back,” I said. “However you guys replaced the screen, it busted the home button and the microphone.”

The Genius tried connecting my iPhone with the USB cable, but it wouldn’t sync with iTunes. Even the USB port, it seems, was broken. The technician took my phone to the back, disappearing for a few minutes, and came back with good news:

“We’re going to give you a new phone.”

Hoo-ha. He switched my SIM card out of my old phone, popped it into the new phone, and kapow – I had a brand new iPhone 3G.

I took it back home and, after a few connection issues involving resetting the phone several times and a lot of cussing, synced all my apps and data back to my phone.

The whole process, from me shattering my iPhone’s screen to getting a new phone from Apple, was a lesson. Now I grip my phone a little tighter and treat it like a new parent treats their bundle of joy.

But I have to give credit to Apple. Sure, I paid $200 for a new glass screen, but they made the whole process as easy as possible – right down to recognizing that their technicians did something to break my first iPhone. They remedied that with a brand new phone, and it was the right thing to do.