Friday, September 28, 2007

Comments on Release 1.1.1

Yesterday I saw that the software release 1.1.1 was out for the iPhone. Imagine that I would forget to install it at home that evening! It might be a good thing that I didn't. I'm a wee bit nervous about installing it due to the fact some folks who've never unlocked their iPhone or installed third party apps have gotten hosed.

Some observations I saw though, it might have had something to do with the servers being overloaded with everyone installing the release. Things not working right... something wigging out during the process. Thought: how about doing the complete shutdown of the phone as opposed to mearly pressing the the power button? Might work. After all, after installing the previous patch, I couldn't make calls at all but when I did a complete power-down I was back in business!

I will probably install the patch either tonight or tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Making a Call While Using the iPod Feature

Nothing new here about the functionality. This is just a review/comment about making a call while listening to music on my iPhone.

I hadn't actually done this before so I thought I'd give it a try...
  • Started playing some music on my iPhone (I listened in using the ear-buds that came with the phone).
  • As I walked along towards home, I switched over to the Contacts under Phone and picked out a contact (my wife). The music continued to play on. I like how I can do other things on the phone while the music plays. I can even turn the phone "off" and pop it in my pocket and the music plays on.
  • Tapped the phone# of my wife to begin a call.
  • As I did this the music in a very subtle, very gentle way, fades out and the call begins.
  • The phone rang, I talked to my wife via the ear buds.
  • One nice thing here is that I was walking down the street outside and I could hear my wife just fine and she could hear me clearly too. Nice.
  • I hung up.
  • The music began to play again.

Though I knew the iPhone had this functionality, I did not know how easy it would be to use, or, the quality of a phone call using the ear-buds. I found it was very good. Very easy to operate. I'm getting more and more impressed with how Apple has paid attention to details.

Too bad my Blue tooth ear piece isn't as intuitive to setup/use. It took me awhile just to figure out how to get it on my ear! ... I know I'm lame!

I haven't even used the Blue tooth headset yet, but I hope to spend some time with it tonight to hash things out. I'll let you know how it goes, the quality of the audio, etc.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

iPhone Web Dev Google Group... Zzzzzzzz

As I do every two or three days, I went out to the iPhone Web Dev Google Group site to see what was new. I've gotta say, things are boring there right now. Not a whole lot of activity. You might say to me, "Well then post something on it fool!" Well I don't have anything to post now. But I'm just one guy. Just one grain of sand in a sea of programmers. Surely something is going on? I speculate:
  • People have lost interest in developing software for the iPhone and their attention has moved on to other things (I hope not).
  • People are busy working on their killer iPhone app and don't have time right now to post something (wait unit it's done and we'll post)... this is the camp I fit in.
  • Everybody knows everything there is to know about the iPhone so there's no point in posting anything anymore (not likely).

Ok, I want to be intellectually entertained. I'm bored.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Site with "Native" iPhone apps to download

The site iPhonexe.com contains native iPhone apps to download and use. How good are these apps? I don't know. I've not gotten the nerve to to try them yet. One item I am interested in trying is the Ringtonator Studio. This app doesn't run on the iPhone but appears to make it possible to edit your own custom ring tones and place them in the ring tones folder of iTunes. How long it might work is anyone's guess.

Confession Time

I develop software for a living. I own two Windows PC, and one MacBook. I know several programming languages and have been developing software for over 20 years. You would think I'd know how to do some basic stuff on my iPhone already! Like shut it down (really shut it down not just sorta shut it down)!

About two or three days ago I noticed that all of a sudden I couldn't make calls on my iPhone! Everything else seemed to work, even when data had to be gotten over Edge instead of Wifi. When initiating a call, it would "start" and stay that way. No ringing heard, no person answering, nothing. I had my wife make sure that her cell phone was on while she was in the same room. I attempted placing a call to her cell phone. It did not ring. She tried calling another number I had just tried to call. It rang, she got through. Same network, we're both AT&T customers. She tried calling me, again, no work-ey! My phone didn't ring and she got immediately dumped into my voice mail.

I tried "turning off" my iPhone and turning it back on. This was Saturday. It still didn't work. I resolved, that if I couldn't figure this out over the weekend I would go to an AT&T store to get things sorted out.

It seemed to happen sometime after the latest firmware upgrade. I checked all the latest iPhone news on the web to see if there were any items describing how Apple introduced some new bug which made the phone functionality not work. There was nothing.

Fortunately for me the phone part of the iPhone is not critical for business, etc. It could wait until Monday to deal with.

Interlude: On Sunday, after visiting my father, I printed out my Apple store $100 credit and headed to the ol' Apple store to use it (I got a blue-tooth headset by the way). I decided to talk to an Apple associate about this. I wasn't really sure this would help cuz I figured it was probably an AT&T type issue (everthing else on the phone seemed to work fine and I didn't get any error messages).

Apple guy: "Did you do a completely power-down of the phone?"
Me: "I don't know how." ... how embarrassing!

Did I ready all the instructions? No for Pete's sake, I'm a guy!

Turns out that turning the phone off (pressing the "power" button on the top of the phone), doesn't turn it completely off. I knew that already. What I didn't know is that there is a couple of ways to do a complete shutdown of the iPhone:
  • Hold the power button down several seconds until a slider comes up that you can slide with your finger to turn the phone all the way off.
  • If the phone is locked up really good (never has happened to me so far), and the slider doesn't work for you, hold down the power button and the "home" button at the bottom of the phone at the same time until the phone powers down.

I used method number 1 in the store and waited a few seconds (gotta let those electrons disperse), and then turned the phone back on. I tried to make a call home.... Ring!

Yes! It worked! It was suggested to me that I turn my iPhone all the way off about once a week and then turn it back on (sort of a iPhone version of a Cold Boot).

Hope this helps anyone else who doesn't read all the instructions!

Monday, September 10, 2007


I found out about a very cool site with alot of stuff on it called ModMyPhone. I discovered it via a post on the iPhoneWebDev Google Group under this post. Thanks Randy! I like this site. Gotta look around it some more! I'm going to add this link to the side bar on the right.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Discovery: Javascript Variables Need Declaring

I've been working on this iPhone App... which had been rolling along nicely.

Then... after adding a few lines of code, it stopped working (what I had gotten done so far anyway).

Narrowed it down to this line:

sCurrPanelCode = sID;

"Weird!" I thought. So I used a try/catch on this line with a message box.

The message returned: "Can't find variable: sID"

I would have assumed if I hadn't declared it it would have created it automatically and returned "NaN".

Nope! Just keep a weather eye out for this one mates!

Some Consolation

There looks to be some good news on the horizon for the early adopters of the iPhone. Did you buy the iPhone at full price before the discount? Apple's planning on giving out $100 gift certificates to soften the blow. I'd of peferred $200 (the actual difference) but beggars can't be choosers!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Boo Hoo! Sniff!!

The price of iPhones has dropped by $200! Nice if you haven't gotten one yet... Not so nice if you already purchased one. Kinda stings! Can't wait to sync with iTunes later to see the new ring tones feature.