Another great iPhone app was released today, which is causing me to move my fledgling blog from Blogger to WordPress.

WordPress for iPhone is now available as a free download from the iTunes and iPhone App Stores, and works with any WordPress 5.21 or higher installation, including blogs hosted at WordPress.com and installations on your own servers.

In typical iPhone app fashion, it installed without issue in seconds (while I walked to lunch with some friends from work). The interface is clean, quick, and very intuitive; and it supports:

Offline editing
Local drafts
Multiple blogs
Keyword tagging
A great built-in preview function
Uploading photos directly from your camera or photo library

I was enamored with the TypePad app released at the launch of the iPhone app store, but WordPress has the distinct advantage of offering FREE blogging. Maybe Google will release an iPhone app for Blogger soon, but with the ease of converting and importing my blog into WordPress, I found no compelling reason to wait.

Thusly, you may now find Hyper Text at: https://jswphoto.wordpress.com

I may even find a domain name soon to clean that up a bit.

photo

Advertisements

iPhone App Wish List

July 15, 2008

As of today over 800 apps are available at Apple iTunes App Store.  It’s been fun browsing them, but I’ve only installed the following:

AIM
Box Office
eBay Mobile
Facebook
Pandora Radio
Remote
Super Monkey Ball
Twitterriffic
WeatherBug
Maybe I’m too picky, or maybe I’m just to paranoid junking up my beautiful iPhone.  Interestingly, I have also pared down my collection of “Web Apps” since the release of the 2.0 firmware, so my total collection of home screen icons is down to less than two screens.
At any rate, I have started to compile a wish list of apps I’d love to see–the sooner the better.
Netflix
This app already exists for “jailbroken” iPhones, so it’s just a matter of time.  In fact, I heard the developer of this app interviewed in an Internet webcast last Thursday night and he indicated he’s already submitted it to Apple for review.  The ability to update my Netflix queue on the go will be nice.  Very nice.
MMS Client
Yes, I know I can just e-mail photos to any phone recipient. And, yes, I’m aware that this will likely require some cooperation with AT&T to implement.  As far as I’m concerned AT&T can just write it themselves, as long as I don’t have to deal with the horrendous kludge of a process we have today for handling an inbound MMS message.  For the love of Han Solo, why do we have to invoke Safari and enter a message ID and password?  How hard can it be to fix this?
ESPN App
I’ll admit this is the neanderthal sports (college football) nut in me revealing itself.  There it is.  But I really want this.  ESPN Mobile works fine for WindowsMobile devices, but they could do SO MUCH MORE on the iPhone.  I envision something like a marriage of SportsTap and MLB at Bat.  I’d pay for this one.
Pizza
My family orders pizza at least once a week.  It’s a staple.  I’d love to see an iPhone app that lets me order pizza from my choice of Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa Johns, Mazzios (a local fave), etc.  It should be able to store my customer information, remember my last and favorite orders, and check the status of my order/delivery.  In reality, an incarnation of this will likely be distributed on a per company basis.  I can live with that.
MYOB or QuickBooks
I don’t want the whole accounting suite, just a secure, wireless dashboard view of my business essentials.  I’d like to see my current accounts receivables, payables, account balances, and some cashflow and expense charts.
Depth of Field
This is for my photography needs.  I want a quick calculator for photographic depth of field/focal plane given my aperture and distance from subject.  Similar calculators have existed for Palm and WindowsMobile for several years.  This one should be easy.
Arvest/Home National Bank Online Banking
Simply, I want MY banks to have the exact same functionality as the Bank of America app.  I’m baffled that Arvest recently released and seems to be quite proud of a secure, mobile banking app that works with AT&T Wireless and Verizon and several phones, but not the iPhone.  Hey, Arvest, ever heard of the iPhone?  They’ve sold 7 million of them in the last year.  One million in the last three days.  
WeatherScope
This would be an iPhone port of the existing app for Mac and Windows desktops.  It’s a really sweet program that lets you graphically overlay map, radar, and statistical weather data in any custom form you want.  In Oklahoma, it’s especially cool as it allows you to access MesoNet data for really granular analysis.
Are there any apps you’d like to see?  

I’m into my third day using the newly released and much-anticipated 2.0 firmware revision to the iPhone software. (I updated my existing iPhone early using an unsupported download from Apple.com that circulated the Internet on Thursday.  More that and its significance later.)  I started with a blog post to cover new features and hits across the whole spectrum, but quickly realized I was getting long-winded so I decided to divide this into several posts.  I’ll share my quick first impressions and some feature hints, many of which you WON’T find on other blogs and tech review sites:

The App Store works beautifully and efficiently, and is a model application for other iPhone developers.  You can install applications ranging in price from FREE to over $60 using the icon on your iPhone or the iTunes Music Store on you computer.  Discovering and installing apps right from your iPhone is so easy and quick that there’s really almost no reason to use iTunes.  

What others haven’t yet told you:
  • If you have iTunes setup to sync your apps, you may have trouble making them go away if you want to uninstall.  This is because if you delete (uninstall) an app from the iPhone, iTunes will reinstall it next time you sync.  Fix this by going to the Applications icon in the left pane of iTunes, selecting the icon of the app, and deleting it from iTunes also.
  • You can share purchased apps between iPhones if they use the same iTunes account.  My wife and I have our laptop and iPhones setup to use the same iTunes account, which already allows us to share music while paying only once.  Apps work the same way.  Just purchase the app on one of the iPhones or computers and install it.  Because Apple allows you to re-download apps and their updates for free, you simply install the same app from the other iPhone (or its sync computer).  A polite message will tell you that you’ve already purchased the app, and that clicking okay will install it again.  This means Super Monkey Ball on two phones for the price of one.  WOOT!  You can’t go crazy, though.  Remember that you can only authorize an iTunes account on five computers at a time and your iPod or iPhone gets its download authority from the computer it syncs with.  So this is really only useful for a small family like mine.
  • Messaging-type apps are somewhat handicapped until September.  Apps such as Twitterriffic and AIM work really well, but they don’t run at all in the background.  This is by design, as Apple has insisted from the beginning that the iPhone remain a stable platform.  One of the most bulletproof ways of ensuring this is to disallow third party apps from running at the same time and allowing them to be “minimized” like on a desktop computer.  Apple engineers are not being mean, they just want to be sure that your iPhone doesn’t gag trying to field a phone call because Super Monkey Ball, Facebook, MySpace, Texas Hold ‘Em, and WeatherBug are all competing for attention in the background.  The impact on you today is that if you exit an app such as AIM to check your e-mail, AIM actually quits.  You won’t get “buzzed” if someone sends you another instant message whilst you’re reading that Viagra spam.  The GOOD NEWS is that Apple will release an update targeted for September that will resolve some of this.  According to Apple, one centralized background notification service will run on the iPhone at all times, and can be used by any program that needs it.  This will work much like the SMS and Mail apps today, in that you’ll be notified by badges (the little red dot in the corner of the Mail app that tells you how many unread messages you have waiting) and/or alert notifiers (the little messages that appear in a translucent box to tell you about new SMS messages and battery drain).  This feature will really complete several apps and make them several times more useful.  
I’ll have more goodies soon.  
-JSW