iPhone 2.0.1 Available

Apple has released version 2.0.1 of the iPhone firmware. It is available through iTunes for those who want to update their iPhones. One thing I noticed is that it doesn’t mention specific fixes, it simply says “bug fixes”.

I have already updated my iPhone to 2.0.1 and so far so good. One fix that I’ve noticed so far is in the address book. Before, there would be a couple of seconds lapse between the time you selected the search field and when the keyboard would pop up. This is fixed with this update and the keyboard is immediately available and search is fast and responsive.

WordPress iPhone App

WordPress has joined the party and has released a native iPhone app. I’m actually writing this post from said app. I guess I’ll have more time to test it out but so far so good. One negative so far is that the app does not make use of the accelerometer. It would have been nice to take advantage of the bigger keyboard layout when the iPhone is sideways.

Maybe on a future release? Who knows!

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iPhone Apps: My Fave 5

I’ve had about 3 days since upgrading my iPhone to firmware 2.0 and the opportunity to download and try many of the apps in the iTunes appstore, so the idea for this post is to list my favorite five applications so far and why I like them. So let’s get started.

1. MLB.com At Bat (US$4.99)

I’m a huge baseball fan and a huge Yankees fan. I absolutely love this app. The ability to just fire this up and have all the scoring info from all the games at my fingertips is just phenomenal. I can just tap on a game and see the line score, see who’s on base, who’s pitching and who’s hitting. MLB.com took it even a step further and a simple tap of the video icon let’s you watch clips from the game (same as on the MLB.com website). The video works well even on EDGE (although a bit pixelated) but on WiFi is magnificent. This was the first app that I downloaded and I didn’t think twice to pay the $4.99!

MLB At Bat iPhone App

MLB At Bat iPhone App

2. Facebook (Free)

What can I say about this app? Clean design, well thought out and simply great. The Friends section can easily replace the iPhone Contacts section at times. A simple tap on a phone number calls your friend. Same for email, just tap an email address and voila! – mail app opens up. You can even take a picture right from the Facebook app. Great!

Facebook iPhone App

Facebook iPhone App

3. ShoZu (Free)

I’ve always loved ShoZu on my S60 devices and when I got the iPhone I continued to use ShoZu by emailing the pictures. This method worked great but having a native app is always better. This way I can see my friends pictures and comment right on the app without having to go to Flickr, for example. Sending photos is as simple as a tap on “Send Photos” and choosing the picture you want to send. This app is a gem and certainly something I was missing.

ShoZu iPhone App

ShoZu iPhone App

4. Google App (Free)

Google did not disappoint with their iPhone app offering. Start typing in the search box and the app starts giving you suggestions. It even searches within your address book. Simply tap on one of the results and Safari opens up. I find myself using this a lot now.

Google iPhone App

Google iPhone App

5. Evernote (Free)

Evernote is very useful in allowing you to save notes and all sorts of information. I used this constantly on my computer and also made use of their web clipper to save web pages and things of interest. Now with this app, I can save a text note, take a picture of something and save it to my Evernote account to remember later and even an audio note. But the best part of it is that I can access this information from any web browser anywhere I am.

Evernote iPhone App

Evernote iPhone App

Needless to say, there are other great apps that I have tried so far but since the title says “My Fave 5”, I need to stop at 5, right? NOT! Who says I can’t have some notable mentions? Here they are:

Last.FM

Last.Fm

Last.Fm

Pandora

Pandora

Pandora

Midomi Mobile

Midomi Mobile

Midomi Mobile

Twitterrific

Twitterrific

Twitterrific

Jaiku Beta Photos

Jaiku Beta Photos

Originally uploaded by admartinezjr

Jaiku has a new private Beta of their S60 client. The new one includes support for photos. It is great and allows me to see thumbnails of the photo feeds and comment on them right on my S60 device. How cool is that!!

Kudos to the Jaiku team for continuing to develop the S60 mobile client and adding new features.

S60 Browser vs. Opera Mini

We all know about Opera Mini (now on Beta 2) and its powerful features. Honestly, since I wrote about the Opera Mini Beta release, one big letdown for me was that it was a RAM killer on my N80. With the release of Beta 2, I decided to try Opera again (this time on my current phone, Nokia E61i).

I did a quick comparison on the go between the S60 browser and Opera Mini to see which one would take more RAM from my device and to my surprise Opera Mini came out on top. Now, this is my own personal experience and is not by any means the result of any serious benchmark tests. I used the New York Times website for my test. In the screenshots below you can see how the available RAM is affected by each browser.

Started with 19.7MB of available RAM

Available RAM

NYTimes.com on S60 Browser

NYTimes.com on S60 Browser

6.9MB RAM Left (S60 Browser)

6.9MB RAM Left

NYTimes.com on Opera Mini

NYTimes.com on Opera Mini

9.9MB RAM Left (Opera Mini)

9.9MB RAM Left

The difference was 3MB, not much but certainly RAM that can be used to run other apps. I guess it I had a significant amount of memory on my E61i, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, until then….I want to squeeze as much RAM as I can possible can 🙂

Nokia Wants You To MOSH

Nokia’s MOSH or Mobilize and Share is a social network in its Beta stages right now. The service allows mobile phone users to collect and share content (pictures, ringtones, videos, docs, games, and applications). You can sign up at http://mosh.nokia.com. When prompted for a password, enter ALLACCESS.

From their website:

What exactly is MOSH?
MOSH is a content sharing site where community members upload, distribute and manage content to be viewed and enjoyed on mobile devices. With MOSH, anything from applications like mobile games, to videos, blogs, songs or photos are now accessible and distributable on your mobile device.

There is also an S60 app that you can install on your S60 device. I have already installed the application on my E61i. You can download it from http://mosh.nokia.mobi/start right from the S60 browser.

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Push Email: Cortado

Admittedly, one of the things I really miss from my BlackBerry devices is the push email. Push email comes to your device as it arrives at your mailbox and there is no need to be polling or checking email at intervals.

Since I got my Nokia E61i I have been looking at different options for push email and settled for one of the many available out there: Cortado.

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Cortado uses Microsoft Exchange and offers a free option with a 20MB limit but you can also upgrade to several packages: Standard, Plus, Business and Business Plus. I will talk about the Standard option since this is the one I am currently using. Cortado Standard gives you a 250MB mailbox, 3 email aliases, Outlook Web access, Professional spam filter and virus protection, and ActiveSync synchronization. The Standard option will set you back $5.98 per month but you can try it for 30 days free to decide whether you want to commit to the monthly charge.

The instructions on the website to set up your account in your device are very straight-forward, they have screenshots and overall it was easy to set up. One of the settings you can tweak is the Peak/Off-Peak settings. I have mine set up for Peak between 8AM and 8PM and anything after that (including weekends) is off-peak. During off-peak, the email will not be “pushed” in real-time but rather at the intervals you set (for mine, off-peak is every 30 minutes).

mfe_settings.jpg

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Another option you can change is whether you want to synchronize calendar and contacts in addition to the email. One of the things that I find Cortado offers that made me go with them is the fact that I can specify which account shows up on all my outgoing emails and replies. For example, instead of the ‘address@cortado.com’ that I had to set up for the service, I have set to show my Yahoo Mail Plus account. This is very important for me since this is my primary account and the account that my contacts are used to seeing.

In my case, what I did was to set my Yahoo Mail Plus account to forward all emails to my Cortado email address, therefore they get pushed to my E61i and if I reply to them, it shows as replied from my Yahoo account. In addition, if I want to check my messages on the web I use the Outlook Web option, which works very well.