Archive for the “iphone” Category
While juggling helmet, barley and keys trying to get into works cycle cage the other day my iPhone had a nasty encounter with the concrete floor. Luckily I only shattered the rear pane of glass rather than the main screen.
Had a hunt around for places that could replace it and found illpod in Nottingham. Prices were reasonable, only a couple of quid more than some of the online places, but I didn’t have to post it off to some anonymous address or be without a phone for a couple of days as illpod could do it while I wait. So in the spirit of giving praise where praise is due if you need any iPod or iPhone repairs in Nottingham give them a shout.
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So I managed to end up having to replace my iPhone 4 this weekend. But it turns out T-mobile don’t make this as easy as possible. As soon as I’d realised I cancelled the account and had the account barred. My insurers were great and just wanted the police reference and the cost of a replacement handset, they wouldn’t take the Apple direct price (£510) but wanted me to see if T-mobile had a deal. So back to T-mobile’s customer service number to get a replacement cost. The gentleman on the phone said £478.99, I said really, he said yes and reconfirmed the amount. So took that amount back to the insurers who said “no problems, cheque or bank transfer?”.
So far so good. On arriving at the T-mobile shop on Monday to pick up a new handset I’m informed that a replacement handset is actuallty £500. Hmmm, that’s not what I was told, “sorry sir, that’s what it is”. So I’m £20 out of pocket on the deal, not exactly the end of the world and I’ll have a phone in my hand and reconnected in the next 10 minutes, so let’s just go with it.
Oh, but wait, there’s then a mandatory £20 top up as it’s a PAYG handset. Sorry, I understand it’s a PAYG handset, but I’m actually paying for a replacement contract SIM at the same time. Might T-Mobile not think that making a quick buck is a stupid move, of course they don’t
So now I end up £40 down. And all thanks to T-Mobile’s customer services department.
So if you’re on T-Mobile and looking to replace a lost/stolen iPhone 4 be very very careful what price they quote you for the replacement. And make sure it is actually the amount you’ll pay before you give it to your insurance company.
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After having got the iPhone 4 I thought I’d give Runkeeper Pro another go after having got fed up with it previously. Also given that my old Forerunner 301 is pretty much dead (knackered USB port) and I’ve bought the Edge 800 for the bike I thought I’d better find a decent way of tracking runs and running pace that wasn’t going to cost too much more
Not really played with any of the new features yet. But it’s a lot better on the iPhone 4 than it ever was on the 3G. Most of this is probably down to the improved GPS reciever in the 4 which improves all the GPS apps on the phone. There also seems to be less insanity in the tracking, though wether this is down to the GPS reciever or better error checking in the app is unknown.
So far the only extra feature I’d like is a simple method to connect the data to my dailymile profile where I pull everything together.
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My iPhone 3G was gradually becoming more unusable. Modern apps were running too slow, and the touch screen seemed to be on it’s way out. It’s not had a bad innings, just over 3 years with 2 geeky owners who’ve probably hammered it quite a bit. So decided it was time to bite the bullet and fork out some money for an iPhone 4.
So far so good. Certainly a lot faster, which makes it so much nicer to use.
The only slight fly in the ointment at the moment is that I can’t jailbreak it. Which means no scrobbl, so all my lovely music plays are going unscrobbled. I’ve tried various suggestions to get it working via iTunes when syncing, but no joy yet. On an old ipod I used to use a batch file to load them up, but I’d rather not have to do anything that requires me remembering to take extra steps, just lazy like that.
Hopefully there’ll be a jailbreak soon so I can back to normal. Or Last.fm could just add scrobbling functionality to their own app, as far as I knew it was the lack of official ‘backgrounding’ that was the problem, which isn’t an issue any more is it?
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I’m one of those people who believe that there isn’t anything that can’t be improved by music. So on long runs I need music, and plenty of it. And if I’ve got to carry a phone as well, then I might as well take my iPhone running with me. But then came the problem of how to carry the iphone while running?
After mucking around for a while with
- an old iPod armband – never felt like it held it securely or safely
- then trying to hold the iPhone in my hand – ended up with arm cramp, and it was too vunerable if I fell or it started raining
- and then in a bum bag (fanny pack for an trans atlantic runners ending up here) – the earphone cables kept getting wrapped around me and it was a pain to skip tracks
I finally came across a Tunebelt when picking up some new shoes from “Up and Running” in Nottingham. It’s a simple sleeve of reasonably thick neoprene with a clear plastic front. The iPhone feels securely snug in the sleeve and I don’t think it’d even fall out if you started doing handstands (sorry, I can’t test that bit, yet). The clear plastic front is so so to see through, but to be honest once it’s on your arm anything is hard to see through and it’s plenty good enough to see how to unlock the phone and hit next to skip a track, There’s no cutouts for the charger port or the volume controls, but you can still thumb the volume through the neoprene, though it might be a bit hit or miss
The armband is nicely adjustable with plenty of velcro. Seems to be plenty left on my arms, and theres an extender kit available as well. It’s always stayed where I’ve put it, and I’ve never needed to adjust it once I’m on the move (and I get pretty damp and slippery while running).
I’ve taken it out in the rain a couple of times and the iPhone always seems to be dry. I’ve not taken it out in torrential rain as I tend to wear a karrimor rain jacket which I’ve modded the pocket (ie; cut a hole) so I can carry the iPhone safely in there.
It cost me £18 which is a pretty good price as far as I can see. Tunebelt claim on their site that it will also fit BlackBerry Bold, Blackberry Curve, BlackBerry Storm, Blackberry Tour, Microsoft Zune, Motorola Droid, Nokia N97, Palm Pre and others, but I can’t confirm that.
So all in all, I think this is about the best option for using the iPhone while running that I’ve seen
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While researching the best ways to develop film I naturally stumbled over the Massive Dev Chart website. This site seems to contain all the combination of film, chemicals and ISOs normally needed.
And it turns out they have an iPhone App as well. So a copy was purchased.
Got to say I’m very impressed. All the data is held locally so there’s no need to constantly drain the iPhone’s battery while looking up a combination. The app has a start page holding the most recent/popular settings so you’re good to go quickly.
Adding another combination to the page is a very simple process:
- Select a film
- Select a developer each entry being split by:
- The dilution of the developer
- The film speeds that data is held
- The ISO rating the film was shot at
This is all that’s needed for basic usage. From the main screen each ‘recipe’ can be selected and then edited further if needed. Options include altering the temperature if you happen to not be working at 20oC
The settings page (hidden under the iPhone’s settings app rather than within the App) allows you to set Temperature Scale, Volume scale, Fixing times and Agitation Scheme.
This all comes together when you use the built in timer. Clicking start (suprisingly) starts the timer running. And from then on your phone will tell you when to agitate and when to change chemicals. By default it pauses between each stage so you’ve time to change chemicals and reseal the developing tub.
All in all this is a bloody useful little app which is easily worth it’s £3.99. The only caveat is it depend on how much you trust the data in the Massive Dev Chart, at this point it all looks good to me. Though given the amount of editing you can do you can always tweak the setting to accommodate any tweaks and changes you wish to make.
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So Google’s Buzz went live this morning. Got to admit I’m completely underwhelmed so far. Unusable on the iPhone, even when running over wifi. And not much better running on a full laptop, when they eventually managed to release it into Gmail many hours after the announcement.
As far as I can see the only use is as an aggregator for all the sites I like to track. But until I can pull in Myspace and facebook stuff as well it’s just another thing to check, rather than a useful site in itself.
That said, let’s see if this does something to buzz now it’s a linked feed.
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So having just got over problems with Apple’s app store apps crashing out all the time (see here) I wasn’t hugely impressed when Cydia decided to play up as well.
2 things showed the problem.
Whenever I tried to start cydia, either:
- The screen would black like it normally does and then dump me straight back the spring/winterboard
- The app would look like it was starting up, complete with the ‘reloading sources’ and the crash out back to spring/winterboard
After the usual googling around there appeared to be a couple of options that people reckoned:
- A problem with sources
- A problem with updates
Both of which seemed quite reasonable. So I decided to follow these 2 through. Now this didn’t quite go as planned, so the following is a big WARNING:
- Take a backup of your phone before starting, and be aware that if you change the extension from ipsw to zip you can open it and see the files inside
- Have a tool ready that lets you transfer files over a cable from your machine to your iPhone. I’m on a Mac and used iPhone Explorer
All of the suggested solutions involve removing various files from the Jail broken iPhone’s filesystem. And, if like me, you remove a few more than you should you’ll be thankful you’ve got the ability to replace them.
The 3 suggested solutions to this problem are:
1) Remove an offending file from /var/lib/apt/lists though don’t touch the partial folder.
2) Remove an offending file from /etc/apt/sources.list.d
3) clear out /var/lib/dpkg/updates
For 1+2 try removing a file at a time and then respringing it to see if Cydia then starts up. If it doesn’t seem to fix it, put it back and try another. This is where I went wrong and deleted the lot, which stops Cydia from seeing any of the repositories and kills any chance of installing or updating apps. Luckily I could put the lot back from my backup.
In my case it was case 3. So clearing out all the files in the update folder fixed it.
It’s probably safer to remove the files using iPhone explorerer, but with my Unix hat on I decided to do it through the terminal on the phone.
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I’m a very enthusiastic user of last.fm (for the whole horror story of my music taste look here).
In the past I’ve always used various methods to make sure that my mp3 players have synced up with last.fm so I get everything scrobbled. With my previous iPod I used lastPod to update everytime I synced, which while manual was a pretty good solution.
So with an iPhone with a connection I was thinking, surely there must be a way to scrobble my tracks. Either while I’m walking along, or quickly as soon as I get within range of a friendly Wi-Fi network.
Unfortunately due to Apple’s restrictions on ‘official’ apps the Last.FM client can’t scrobble tracks (this is due to the restriction on apps running in the background).
But thanks to a jailbreak, I had another option. Scrobbl, a small free application available from the bigboss repository. The installation is the usual Cydia one and once completed you have a nice new Scrobbl icon available on the launcher.
Fire this up and it prompts for your username/password for last.fm. Enter these and then it pops up with the settings view.
You can pick whether the app should try scrobbling over your phone link (I’ve supposedly ‘unlimited’ internet so I’ve let it), whether podcasts should be scrobbled,
You also get some quick stats about how many songs you’ve scrobbled and how many are queued. The queue is great, you can listen away while you have no connection and then when you do reconnect Scrobbl will upload all your queued tracks to last.fm. Excellent.
Such a small simple app, but for a music obsessive like me it just makes the iPhone so much better. Unfortunately I now have to be careful what I listen to, no more secretly bopping away to crap 80′s pop in secret.
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Apologies for the repeated terms, but I spent a lot of time on Google trying to find a solution to this one. So hopefully this might appear near the top of the list for someone else’s benefit. (I hope it helps you in that case).
The problem was:
Whenever I tried to open an application on my iphone it would start to load, then almost instantly return me to the home screen (crashing out). This only appeared to affect apps from the iTunes App store, both free and purchased. My Cydia apps were fine. As were the apps that come preinstalled on the iPhone.
I tried all the solutions listed on various forums
- Restarting the iPod
- Installing a new free application via iTunes
- installing a new paid application via iTunes
- Removing an application on the iPhone and then reinstalling
- Removing an application on the iPhone, restarting and then reinstalling
- Syncing everything again with my Mac
None of these worked at all.
In the end the solution that did work was to restore my phone, set it up as a new phone and then resynceverything else. Luckily I always keep my calendar synced with iCal and Google calendars, my email syncs with Gmail and my contacts are synced with the Mac Address book. Plus iTunes copied all my apps back across for me. The music was all safe as well, it just took a while to resync everything back on. In fact the only things I actually lost were my Cydia apps, but they were soon put back on.
comment below just to try and advertise this:
iphone apps crashing immediately. iphone apps not starting. only built in iphone applications working. iphone applications stopped working
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So I’ve had the iPhone about a month now. Got to say I’m pretty impressed with it so far. It’s nice and speedy, the screen is nice and useable. Not been overly bothered by the size, which I was initially worried about, but it seems to disappear into jeans pockets reasonably easily (even with my other phone already in there.). As an iPod it works brilliantly. And with Runkeeper Pro (my Runkeeper Pro review) it’s been brilliant out on runs as well.
The battery does go down very quickly, but I’m guessing that’s actually the amount of WiFi usage I put it through. But I have now finally bitten the bullet and signed up for a 02 Pay as You Go sim card, so this could be the difference as I try to use it as a proper phone, and also seeing how good/bad 02s network is. Got rather used to using it on fast wifi all the time :).
The balance is tipping towards making it my full time phone. At the moment though it’s the worry of how good o2′s network actually is that’s stopping me comitting by porting my number across (I’ve had it for nearly 10 years now and don’t fancy changing). But with Orange about to release the 3GS on their network as well, I could be very tempted to migrate. Though then there’s the worry about wether Apple will release a version 4 just as I get locked into a contract.
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One of the things that attracted me to the iPhone was the possibility of reducing the amount of stuff I carry when I go for a run. Normally I carry an iPod for music, my phone for emergencies and a Garmin Forerunner 301 to track the distance and pace.
Individually the bits break down as follow:
Phone – Obviously the iPhone does this bit as long as you’ve got signal and,unlike me, a working sim card
iPod – Again the iPhone does this pretty well as well.
GPS tracking – The iPhone has a built in GPS unit, but as standard doesn’t really offer any apps to track your routes, to get feedback on current distance/pace or to allow you to view stats afterward. So an app is needed to do that. RunKeeper Pro is the most popular one I could find in the App store, thinking I’d get what I pay for I went for the Pro version for £5.99 rather than the free version.
default screen for Runkeeper Pro
First impressions were quite good. GPS lock was nice and quick and it seemed to track pretty accurately on my test walks around town. Bonus feature was the ability to upload the routes to a website where the stats could be seen better (for instance, elevation information isn’t available on the device, but can be seen on the website).
Runkeeper website showing route
As you can see from the picture the tracking accuracy isn’t perfect (I’m pretty sure I’d have noticed running through the River Trent). Though whether this is down to the innacuracy in the iPhone’s GPS unit, or an error in putting the route onto Google’s maps I’ve no idea..
The app could also be configured to give verbal stats at set intervals (every mile, 5 minutes, on demand and never) which amount to time since run started, total distance covered and pace. Plus you can pick your units and whether you prefer pace or speed
Settings in Runkeeper pro
You can also set the display so while you’re running you only have to touch the screen of the iPhone to get the stats spoken to you. This also replace the usual lock screen, so you don’t have to worry about unlocking the iPhone while running
The long 'locked' screen for Runkeeper Pro
The app also has the ability to set workouts. So you can program the app to give you a verbal notification when it’s time to go harder or slower. These can be saved so you can build up a library of training routines.
Choosing a workout in Runkeeper Pro
An example of setting up a workout in Runkeeper pro
There’s also a nifty feature so that you can control your music without leaving the app. Start your playlist before going into Runkeeper, you can then press the home button twice to bring up the iPod controls on screen so you can pause or skip without leaving the app.
The only things really missing are:
Some form of pace coaching. On the forerunner I can set an alert to sound when I go above or below a preset pace window (ie if I run faster than 9:30 a mile or slower than 11:00 a mile) which is very handy as I have a habit of running too fast. Without that the forerunner looks like it’s staying for the time being, though Runkeeper do seem to have it on the list of things to do.
The other annoyance is a general iPhone problem, if you do need to leave the app for any reason it stops and you have to remember to restart it. Not tried it with backgrounder yet, but that may well fix some bits.
The iPod controls are useful, but not necessarily easy to hit without stopping when the iPhone is strapped to your arm. It’s looking like I’m going to have to fork out for some proper controller headphones, or at least an adaptor for one of my current pairs.
So overall a very nice app that’s got a lot of features and is very useful. but it’s probably not going to replace dedicated GPS units quite yet.
More info @ Runkeeper’s website – http://runkeeper.com/
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