Does the iPad really need TWO cameras?

Filed Under (Apple, iPad, iphone, Technology) by YAB on 29-10-2010

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After seeing this article which says the new generation iPad 2 is rumored to have not only one but two cameras (one rear and one front facing) I began to think to myself… Self, does that even make sense?

Yeah, I agree that having a front facing camera on the iPad would make sense for Facetime and the rear facing camera would make it easy for taking pictures but the question that needs to be asked, at least by me, is…Do you really want to use an iPad as a camera or as a video conference device?

I am willing to bet that most iPad owners, like myself, are also iPhone owners and that already has both cameras for both functions and they work quite well. I just can’t see myself holding up my iPad and taking a picture of a landscape or a group of people. The iPhone is a lot easier and convenient to do that. Facetime on the other hand would be real cool on the iPad since I find it easier to hold than the iPhone when I use it (the iPhone) for Facetime.

So my opinion is that it makes a lot more sense for the upcoming iPad 2 to have a front-facing camera only and for Apple to create a built in, and effortless, method to transfer pictures from the iPhone to the iPad so that the iPod is your primary picture taking device.

But what do I know?

BTW… still working on my iPad blogging guide…or at least if I can do one without killing it first.

Hey AT&T, Tether this…

Filed Under (iphone, iPhone blogging, Technology, WTF?!?!) by YAB on 10-06-2009

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So I sat with bated breath during Apple’s WWDC to hear an announcement about PC/Mac tethering with the upcoming iPhone OS 3. Tethering for those that don’t know is the ability to share/use the phone’s internet connection through your PC/Mac. This is a great tool when you cannot find a WiFi connection.

So during the WWDC keynote speech it was announced that iPhone OS 3 would have the ability to tether to you PC/Mac and that 25 carriers would support it. Except for one HUGE exception… AT&T. Not only does AT&T not support tethering but they also delayed the ability to use the MMS feature in OS 3.

AT&T went on the record saying tethering & MMS would be allowed at a later date but let me decipher AT&T’s definition of “later date”. Basically they are trying to figure out how much extra to charge us for both features. Some have said that tethering will cost between $40-70 extra a month. I can understand $20-25/month for tethering but $40-70? That is a higher price than what you would pay if you just got a broadband USB card and signed up for a 2-year contract. WTF?!?!

So I am fed up with AT&T and their never ending price gouging so I am going to stick it to the “Man”.

I have jailbroken my iPhone and installed PdaNet (link) and I am tethering for the one time price of $30. You could actually use PdaNet for free if the only thing you want use it for is web browsing (the un-registered version is limited to http traffic only). It does have a 14-day trial for you to see all features and see if you want to pay for it.

You can use PdaNet in two ways; WiFi or USB tethering. With WiFi you are basically turning your iPhone into a de facto wireless router. You create a ad-hoc network connection and you are set. I prefer USB tethering since WiFi will drain your battery extremely fast and with USB the drain will be slower as your iPhone is being recharged via the USB at the same time that you are tethering. USB tethering is only supported on Windows right now but I am sure that a Mac solution will be coming soon.

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How fast is the connection while tethering? See for yourself:

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Download speeds are great but do not try to upload big files or you will waiting a very long time.

What’s on your iPhone’s first page?

Filed Under (iphone) by YAB on 04-03-2009

Just curious to see what you have on your first (Home) screen. Here’s mine.

Apple so needs to do this like now…

Filed Under (Apple, iphone) by YAB on 24-02-2009

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There are some features that just scream out “Why didn’t they add this!!!”

This is definitely one of them. One of the things I truly hate about rearanging icons on the iPhone is the fact that when you move one over more than one screen it messes up the rest and leaves blank spaces all over the place.

If this concept was possible then it would solve all those problems.

Can’t quite put my finger on it…

Filed Under (iphone, Signs of the Apocalypse) by YAB on 08-10-2008

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Blackberry is feeling the heat from the iPhone’s rising popularity. But the upcoming Blackberry Storm’s user interface looks a bit too familiar. I just can’t quite put my finger on it.

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I am sure that some art department designer out there will probably lose his job today for this idiotic mistake but come on!!! Could you make it any more obvious.

I am sure this Vodafone page will disappear (or at least be changed) soon so I made a screencap for prosperity.

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VidaOne coming to the iPhone

Filed Under (Fitness, iphone, Nutrition) by YAB on 06-10-2008

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I got this email today from VidaOne and it makes me very happy.

Many, many of you are asking about the iPhone. We’re currently working on MyPersonalDiet for the iPhone, which should be available in December. Shortly afterwards, we plan to release MySportTraining for the iPhone. This will be followed by a Mac OS X version of VidaOne Diet & Fitness in Spring/Summer 2009.

VidaOne and the MyPersonalDiet and MySportsTraining software on the WindowsMobile platform is the de-facto standard for fitness and diet software. An iPhone version of both of this apps would make the iPhone a very incredible tool for fitness and nutrition freaks out there.

I can’t wait and I will the very first one to buy this when it comes out.

This made my morning…

Filed Under (Apple, iphone, YouTube) by YAB on 10-09-2008

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This guy is emailing a photocopy of his pet’s butt to Steve Jobs every single day until they add Copy/Paste to the iPhone and since version 2.1 will be released this Friday with no indications of Copy/Paste included, it looks like he will be spending a lot more time subjecting his poor pets to the green light of shame.

Possible iPhone killer?

Filed Under (iphone, Technology, Windows Mobile) by YAB on 10-09-2008

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This looks to be a prototype and very much likely a photoshop job. But dang!!! This thing looks very sweet.

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According to Modaco, here are some initial specs:

Little is known about this device at the moment, but from the images below we can see specs include…

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Qualcomm 7201A processor @ 528MHz
  • 512MB ROM / 256MB RAM (+32MB on processor)
  • WVGA!!!

Update: Additional specs…

  • 115mm x 62.8mm x 12mm
  • ‘In stores for Santa’
  • GPS / HSDPA etc. etc.
  • 5 Megapixel camera (no flash)
  • No Dpad or scroll wheel, does have a stylus
  • microSD slow
  • 1350mAH battery
  • 3.5mm headset jack on the top!

They don’t mention screen size but by using the size chart on the first post of that thread I can tell that it may be in the 3.5-4″ range. 4″ with 400X800 screen? Wow!

Now, if Microsoft could debug WinMo 6.1 to the point that it’s as smooth as the iPhone OS then they would have an absolute iPhone killer.

Oh how true this is…

Filed Under (iphone, Signs of the Apocalypse, Technology) by YAB on 09-09-2008

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Four reasons why the iPhone is Evil.

Another great iPhone app bites the dust

Filed Under (iphone) by YAB on 25-08-2008

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If you haven’t downloaded Tris for your iPhone you BETTER HURRY! It seems that Tris author Noah Witherspoon got the dreaded C&D letter from The Tetris® Company about his app. Not sure if they were pissed about the app or the name but either way Noah is pulling Tris from the App Store. So better go and get it quick.

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I love Tris for two reasons: It was written by a regular Joe (Noah) who is just learning about iPhone coding and the other is the most important reason… its FREE.

iPhone app review: absolute fitness 1.0

Filed Under (iphone, Software) by YAB on 28-07-2008

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Ever since I got the iPhone I knew that I would have to get some sort of diet and fitness tracking software. I have been using VidaOne’s MyPersonalDiet (MPD) for Windows Mobile PocketPC for more than two years. It is a great piece of software and it does pretty much everything I could ever want and then some (lots more). MPD is currently at version 3.2.0 so the folks at VidaOne have been working on this app for quite some time and they update it every 3-6 months.

absolute-fitness-iphone-app When I got the iPhone and the App store opened I waited for the Diet & Fitness apps to begin showing up. Several showed up but since the App store does not allow demo versions I could not decide which app to get. I began to wait for the reviews to show up so I could use them to weed out the features that I needed… custom food entry is the #1 feature that the app has to have. Most of my diet consists of items that would not be on any diet database that any app has or could even think of having.

As the reviews of the several apps began to show up I found that Aqua Eagle’s Absolute Fitness was going to be the app I was going to get. There was a custom food entry feature and from several of the reviews, the built-in food database was very good.

At $15 ($14.99 to exact) Absolute Fitness is $10 less than MPD so I was a little reluctant to pony up the funds for a version 1.0 application. So as the saying goes, I took one for the team and bought the application with the sole intention of reviewing and hoping that it would be able to do most of the things that I have to have in MPD.

So, what is it exactly that I need from this app? Like I said, custom food entry. Check. The ability to keep track of my protein/fat/carb ratios. The Absolute Fitness screen shots seem show this. Check. And most important, the ability to keep track of all my daily totals and be able to chart my progress. Once again, the screen shots seem to show this. Check, check.

IMG_0009 After I bought and installed Absolute Fitness I launched it and after entering my stats (gender, weight, goals and nutritional goals) I was given the option to watch the video tutorial. Good thing I did. It explained a few things that I would have never figured out if I had not watched it. Nothing major but since the GUI implementation is different from Windows Mobile to the iPhone it sure helped out.

I also read the user’s guide that is also included in the “More” tab and there is also a few tidbits that will help you navigate the app with ease.

So let’s get to it. How does this version 1.0 application stand up to MPD that is on version 3+ and has been around for several years? Pretty well I have to admit. For the features that Absolute Fitness has, it holds up its own weight.

The “Add Food” menu (below) looks better than any other app I have seen. The nutritional facts label gives it a real nice touch.

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The food/exercise categories and selection menu (below) is very thorough and although I could not search for every single imaginable thing, some of my favorites were included by brands or restaurant. There were a few I didn’t find but those are hard to find in the first place so custom food entry will help with those.

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I do wish there was a way to enter weight training by set/reps/weight but 99% of apps don’t have that either so I was not disappointed not to see it.

There are a lot of features that are missing in comparison to MPD but it would be totally unfair to do a head-to-head shoot-out.

So instead I will address some of Absolute Fitness’ shortcomings and hopefully give the developers a heads up on what few features, if added, would make this application absolutely “kick-ass” in the early stages.

The number one thing I noticed was the fact that the daily diary (below) is divided into three sections (Morning, Afternoon, Evening). This would be fine by itself if you could further group meals into smaller sub-sections. Anyone who is trying to lose or gain weight, or is seriously interested in fitness knows is that you have to eat 5-6 times a day. Having the day divided into only three (3) sections is very counter productive. The application does allow you to enter the time of each meal but it is not use in any way other than to place them in the described sections. There is no way to group each meal by their time.

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Instead of grouping the diary into Morning, Afternoon, and Evening, change the grouping to the time of the meal was eaten. MPD does this very well (below) and it should not be too difficult to implement in Absolute Fitness.

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Another thing that I noticed is that there is no way to do macro ratios for each individual meal. Most people on a strict nutritional plan will tell you that they live and die by their macros. They need to know the exact percentages for each meal. Some people follow a strict 40/40/20 macro (40% carbs/proteins and 20% fats). Others that follow a low carb diet also need to know the exact ratios of each meal so they can keep their system in ketosis.

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Here is a simple example (above) of how MPD keeps track of each meal’s ratio (macros) at the top of the grouping window (look at the top right corner showing 5% carbs, 44% protein, and 50% fats). Once again, people live and die by those numbers with each and every meal.

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I then noticed that the “Stats” menu (above) shows you a percentage of your daily totals and not your overall totals. This means that if you set a goal of 139G of fat for the day and you have consumed 45grams it gives you the 32% of that total goal. There should be an additional stats window that gives you the overall percentage of your macros.

In other words, not only do you need to keep a per meal macro indicator but you also need a daily macro scale to make sure you are keeping within your plans specific goals. Here is how MPD handles daily and weekly macros (below).

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Another thing I noticed right away is the weight graph goes from 0-200lbs on every single time-scale option. This is fine when you are looking at 3-month, 6-month, or even 1-year graphs but when you are looking at the 7-day (1-week) graph (below) it  is pretty much flat unless you have a huge weight change (which most people would not have in a healthy nutritional plan). Having the chart change from a 200lb range in the greater time span (3-months or greater), the 1-week and 1 month graphs should be change to only show a 10-20lbs range at the most.

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Once again, here is an example of a 7-day range graph on MPD.

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I could be picky and ask for a specific date range be added to the graph function but that is not really needed at this early stage.

Other than these few items that could easily be added in coming versions, Absolute Fitness is a great version 1.0 application that holds a lot of promise if Aqua Eagle continues to improve it. Is it worth the $15 I paid for it? Right now, for me, it’s not quite ready for everyday use in a strict nutritional regime.

I am not sure if VidaOne will develop (or port) an application similar to MPD for the iPhone but if they did it will be due to their extensive experience in the Windows Mobile version. So Aqua Eagle is in a good position to take the crown away from VidaOne by adding extensive features to Absolute Fitness and by the time VidaOne does develop MPD for the iPhone no one will care.