Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

01
Jul

Amazing Short Film Shot On An iPhone 4 and Edited via the iMovie App!


Apple of My Eye” is a short film by Michael Koerbel that was created using only an iPhone 4, and within a 48 period.  Even more amazing, is the fact that the post-production editing was done entirely on the iPhone 4 using the new iMovie app.

If nothing else, this short film itself sells me on the value and capabilities of the iPhone 4.  Michael Koerbel’s impromptu creativity and expertise is well showcased in this film, even though there seems to be little plot or story to the film.  The obvious purpose was to show that even with a small mobile device like the iPhone 4, an individual could still create superior quality films on non-traditional camera platforms.

Huge props to Michael Koerbel and his entire Team!

23
Jun

Google Voice Now Available to the Public




Yesterday, Google announced that Google Voice, a web-based platform for managing your communications, is now available to the public — no invitation required.

Google Voice provided users with one number that rings to all of a user’s phones, and even includes features like voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the U.S. and Canada, low-priced international calls and more.

Google first released the Google Voice Beta a little over a year ago, and I had the opportunity to beta test this unique service.  I have a custom Google Voice number that rings to various land and mobile numbers simultaneously. It allows me to monitor incoming calls using the built-in screening system, and even allows me to block specific numbers for free (unlike most mobile carriers that charge additional fees). Google Voice even forwards incoming text messages and converts voicemails into text.

Definitely check it out, and see if Google Voice can help streamline your small business, or even the way you manage your personal communications channels.



Google Voice with a Google Number

  • Use one number to manage all your phones; your Google Voice number is tied to you, not to a particular device or location.
  • Voicemail like email: Save voicemail messages for as long as you’d like, star important ones, and search through them
  • Voicemail transcription: Voicemail messages will be automatically transcribed to text and sent to you via email and/or SMS.
  • Customize your callers’ experience (custom voicemail greetings, decide which of your phones ring based on who’s calling, send some callers straight to voicemail, etc.)
  • Define which phones ring, based on who’s calling, and even ListenInTM on voicemail before answering the call. We use smart technology to route your calls. So, if you’re already on a Google Voice call, we’ll recognize it and use call waiting to reach you on the phone you’re on.
  • Works with mobile phones, desk phones, and work phones. There’s nothing to download, upload, or install, and you don’t have to make or take calls using a computer.
  • International calling: Make low priced international calls from the web or from your phone.


Google Voice with Your Non-Google Phone Number:

With this option you won’t get some features (i.e. call forwarding, screening, and call recording), but you’ll still get plenty of others, including:

  • Voicemail like email: Save voicemail messages for as long as you’d like, star important ones, and search through them
  • Voicemail transcription: Voicemail messages will be automatically transcribed to text and sent to you via email and/or SMS.
  • Custom voicemail greetings: Customize your voicemail greeting based on who is calling.
  • International calling: Make low priced international calls from the web or from your phone.


22
Jun

Starbucks to Offer Free Wi-Fi On July 1st

Starbucks has finally joined the wireless revolution, by announcing that they’ll be offering free Wi-Fi at 6,700 locations beginning on July 1st.

This monumental news comes six months after McDonalds began offering free Wi-Fi to customers in 11,500 of its restaurants.

This strategic move by Starbucks will ultimately result in increased revenue and traffic at many of its famous Seattle-based coffee houses — in some ways, even more than McDonalds.

The Strategy

Starbucks hopes to increase traffic to it’s 6,700 selected locations by offering their loyal customers with an added benefit, free Wi-Fi.  In today’s digitally connected world, a cup of quality coffee and a laptop (or mobile smart-phone) have become synonymous all across the country. Starbucks hopes to divert potential patrons from other venues such as McDonalds, Panera Bread and others that offer free Wi-Fi.

The Return on Investment

Starbucks’ business model is one that will capitalize on having it’s clients remain in the venue for as long as possible.  The longer the customers remain in the restaurant, the higher the probability that their patrons will require additional food and beverages.  Since Starbucks doesn’t offer free refills on many of its products, it stands to reason that the potential to increase revenues from keeping their patrons in their venue longer, should increase.

The Catch

Starbucks will be relying on the AT&T Wi-Fi Service, and each patron is only allocated two consecutive hours a day of complimentary Wi-Fi service.  However, AT&T DSL customers will have unlimited Wi-Fi acess free of charge, as will patrons with Wi-Fi enabled AT&T mobile devices (iPhone/BlackBerry).  If you’re not an AT&T customer, you can purchase two consecutive additional hours of Wi-Fi access for $3.99 on your Starbucks card.

Connecting to the AT&T Wi-Fi Service

  1. Make sure your computer has Wi-Fi capability.
  2. Connect to the “attwifi” wireless network. (Most wireless devices will automatically detect it.)
  3. Open your web browser. A login page will appear.
  4. Sign in using the connection bar at the top of the login page.
  5. Agree to the AT&T Terms and Conditions.
  6. Enter your username.
  7. Select “AT&T Wi-Fi” from the dropdown menu.
  8. Enter your password.
  9. Click “Login.”


21
Jun

A Quick “How-To” Guide for iPhone iOS4


iOS4, the latest version of the iPhone Operating System has finally been released to the public — for free.

After updating my iPhone 3GS’s firmware to the new iOS4, I immediately realized that as always, the new functionality isn’t really intuitive for most users.

So Here’s a Brief “How-To” Guide for iOS4:

Device Compatibility

The new iOS 4 update will not work for the following devices:

  • Original iPhone
  • First 2 Generations of iPod Touch Devices



iOS4 is verified to be compatible with:

  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3GS
  • 2009 iPod Touch (3rd-generation)
  • iPhone 4


Multi-Tasking

The availability of this feature is only for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 devices.  Simply double tap your home button while running a program, and the screen slide upward to reveal your “task manager” style menu.  This allows you to quickly switch between programs.  You can swipe on these icons to scroll rightwards through all of the open applications four at a time, tapping to switch between them, or holding down on any one of them to bring up red circles that stop the selected application immediately.

Application Folders

Simply drag and drop an application into another application, and iOS4 will automatically create an application folder.  You can rename the folder to your preferences and add additional applications into the folder as you wish.  Folders can be moved much like an individual application can.

Mail Updates

iOS4 includes the addition of a “All Inboxes” folder, as well as the separation of “Inboxes” verses “Accounts.”  Apple calls it the “unified inbox,” the aggregation of multiple email account inboxes into a single scrolling list that’s also described as “All Inboxes,” removing your need to check separate accounts by tapping multiple times and flipping from inbox to inbox.  Messages are now threaded, similarly to how Gmail handles threaded “email conversations.”  You can turn off the threaded email feature by going to SETTINGS < MAIL, CONTACTS, CALENDAR < ORGANIZE BY THREAD.

iPhone Wallpaper

Your wallpaper is now visible behind your icons.  You can change this by going to SETTINGS < WALLPAPER.

Internet Tethering

You can share your iPhone’s Internet Connection with your computer via Bluetooth or USB, but this will incur additional fees via AT&T.  Simply go to: SETTINGS < NETWORK < SET UP INTERNET TETHERING.

Cellular Data

This may have been an existing setting, but I don’t remember it, so I’ll mention it.  If you go to SETTINGS < NETWORK < CELLULAR DATA, it appears that you can have some control over when your phone is allowed to access data via AT&T’s DATA network.

20
Jun

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X8 Could Debut on AT&T


While I typically only write about iPhones and iPhone applications, those of you that have known me prior to the iPhone revolution, know that I used to be an avid evangelist for Sony Ericsson and Nokia mobile devices.

On Wednesday, Sony Ericsson announced the Xperia X8, an Android 1.6 based Smartphone that aims to compete in the iPhone and Blackberry dominated smartphone market.

The Xperia X8 ships pre-packaged with all of the typical software utilities you;d expect from a smartphone at this point in the game, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, as well as the ability to install all of the available applications within the Android Market.

This of course is assuming that should the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 debut on the AT&T network, whether or not they allow “off market” applications is yet to be determined.  AT&T has has a long track record with disallowing “off market” applications from running on their devices, prompting the creation of a ever-changing subculture of mobile device jail-breaking communities for each new device introduced.

While no official announcement has yet to be made by AT&T, the Xperia X8 is likely to be debuted on the carrier since it supports AT&T’s 850 & 1900 HSPA network.

We are delighted to be able to bring the full experience of our XperiaTM smartphones to new consumers by delivering a fully featured device at a more accessible price point.

— Timo Maassmann, Product Marketing Manager for Xperia X8


The Sony Ericsson XPERIA™ X8 At-A-Glance:

Camera

  • 3,2 megapixel camera
  • Direct picture upload to Facebook™
  • Geo tagging
  • Sony Ericsson Album application
  • Video recording

Music

  • Bluetooth™ stereo (A2DP)
  • PlayNow™
  • Sony Ericsson Music Player
  • TrackID™

Web

  • Bookmarks
  • Pan and zoom
  • WebKit web browser

Communication

  • Facebook™ application
  • Sony Ericsson Timescape™

Messaging

  • Push email
  • Instant messaging
  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® support with Dataviz™ RoadSync™
  • Picture messaging (MMS)
  • Predictive text input
  • Text messaging (SMS)

Design

  • Auto rotate
  • Picture wallpaper
  • Capacitive touchscreen

Entertainment

  • Infinite button
  • Sony Ericsson FM radio
  • Video streaming
  • Video viewing

Organizer

  • Calendar
  • Flight mode
  • Phone book with dialer
  • Sony Ericsson Home with Widget
  • Notes

Location-Based Services

  • A-GPS
  • Google Maps™
  • Wisepilot™ turn-by-turn navigation* (free trial version)
  • *The service may not be available in every market. For more information, go to www.sonyericsson.wisepilot.com

Connectivity

  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Bluetooth™ technology
  • Micro USB connector
  • NeoReader® barcode scanning app
  • Sony Ericsson Sync
  • USB mass storage
  • USB support
  • Wi-Fi™

Google™ Services

  • Android Market™ Client
  • Gmail™
  • Google Calendar™
  • Google LatitudeTM
  • Google Maps™ with Street View
  • Google search widget
  • Google Talk™
  • YouTube™

Screen

  • 16,777,216 colour TFT touchscreen
  • Capacitive touchscreen
  • 3.0 inches
  • 320 x 480 pixels (HVGA)
  • Scratch-resistant (min. pencil hardness 6H)

Accessories

  • In-Box:
  • XPERIA™ X8
  • Battery 1200mAh
  • Stereo portable handsfree
  • 2 GB microSD™ card
  • Micro USB cable for charging, synchronisation and file transfer
  • User documentation
  • Optional:
  • Hi-Fi Wireless Headset with FM Radio MW600
  • Portable Stereo Speakers MS450
  • Hi-Fi Headset with Remote MH810

Facts

  • Size: 99 x 54 x 15 mm
  • Weight: 104g
  • Phone memory: Up to 128 MB
  • Memory card support: microSD™ up to 16GB
  • Memory card included: 2 GB
  • Operating system: Google™ Android Donut, version 1.6
  • Processor: 600MHz

Availability and Versions

  • Networks
  • UMTS HSPA 900/2100
  • GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • UMTS HSPA 800/1900/2100
  • GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Available in selected markets from Q3 2010

Available Colors

  • White
  • Dark Blue/White
  • Aqua Blue/White
  • Pink/White
  • Silver/White




*If you enjoyed this article, or even if you didn’t, please feel free to leave a comment below!