AT&T's network has been in the news lately, with a lot of iPhone users venting about the quality of service. Of course, it depends on where you live. On Tuesday, CNet writer Elinor Mills posted an article about her problems with AT&T service on her iPhone in San Francisco. That set off a firestorm of comments from iPhone users around the country. Today she posted a followup article, summarizing the comments and listing the dozens of locations that people complained about.
It's great to see so many major publications creating apps for the iPhone. Nowadays it seems like every company feels as if it's necessary to have an iPhone app, just as it's necessary to have a website. Polar Mobile has been working hard creating apps for some top magazines, having recently released apps for Time, Sports Illustrated, and BusinessWeek — all free.
I still have a first generation iPhone, and the data connection is slow. But even if I had a more recent device, I'd still have a slow connection here in rural Iowa because there ain't no 3G network in this area. So I was delighted to find out from a friend that I can use my Mac as a wireless router to connect my iPhone to the Internet via Wi-Fi. I can turn it on and then use the wireless access anywhere in the house. It's cheaper and simpler than buying a wireless router. Here's how to do it. First be sure that AirPort is turned on on your Mac by going to System Preferences and clicking Network, then selecting AirPort in the left menu, then clicking Turn AirPort On at right. Then go back to System Preferences and select Sharing. Next select Internet Sharing in the menu at left.
If you're bored this weekend and enjoy comics, the Comics (Free) app might be just the thing. It offers over 50 free comic books, with more being added every week. If you get hooked, then you can buy the paid version (99 cents), which has in-app purchasing so that you can load up on more comics. The publishers include AdHouse Books, Creative Impulse, Evil Twin Comics, Moonstone, and Zenescope. The app requires iPhone 3.0 or later.
The new iPhone 3.0 software brought with it two features that have been much in demand: MMS, which is multimedia text messaging, and tethering, which lets you connect your laptop to the Internet via your phone's data connection. The trouble was that although these features were now part of the software, they hadn't yet been enabled by AT&T. That's changing, with MMS imminent (and some people already using it) and tethering coming in the not-to-distant future. iLounge posted a helpful article today titled Sixteen things you should know about MMS and Tethering. If you're interested in either of these features, you'll want to read this article.
I just got a press release saying that the free WhitePages Mobile is used by over 2 million people on a variety of platforms. And I'm going to be one of them. I can't remember the last time I used a phone book, since I've long been in the habit of using Google for a phone number lookup. And now when I'm away from my computer I can conveniently use WhitePages Mobile for lookup. Plus, it has quite an array of useful features. You can use it for people and business search, as well as for reverse lookup (find out who's associated with a particular phone number).
There are 75,000 apps in the app store and counting. And if you or someone in your family is expecting a blessed event — the arrival of a baby — Adrienne Carlson has identified 50 apps that are relevant, from fertility logs, due date calculators, and baby name databases, to health, prenatal care and delivery. Her article, titled 50 Useful iPhone Applications for Your Pregnancy, even has a selection of baby-related games.
TidBITS is my favorite source when there are new developments related to the iPhone, iPod touch, iTunes, and the Macintosh. Why? Somehow they just always explain things more clearly than anyone else. Maybe it's because they've been doing their thing for around 25 years, and maybe it's because Adam Engst was an English major in college. So I look forward to their free weekly e-mail newsletter. The most recent issue has a great article giving you all the detail on the recent iPhone 3.1 update.
I love the new feature in iTunes 9 that lets you organize your apps via your desktop computer. I find it to be quicker and easier than doing it via my iPhone. Still, one of the weaknesses of the interface is that you have to page through a bunch of screens to find the app you want, and it's hard to tell at a glance which page you're on. AppButler is an amazingly simple, yet clever solution. For now, it's a free service that you access by pointing your iPhone's Safari at appbutler.com. They have an app awaiting approval that will cost $2.99. Here's how the free service works.
I've long been into healthy living. And it's done well by me. So I was pleased to see iVeda recently released, since it's a handy app for helping you integrate into your life my favorite system of alternative healthcare: Ayurveda. What I like about Ayurveda is that it does away with the notion of "one size fits all." Instead, this system that originated in ancient India says that there are different body types and that the way to get healthy and stay healthy varies according to one's body type. Me, I'm a "vata" body type — underweight, uncomfortable in cold weather, light sleeper.