Voicemail to texts

August 16th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Apple employees are said to be testing a new Siri function that allows the digital assistant to convert your voicemail messages into texts.

Transcribing voicemails into text and relaying them on to the user via text message could eliminate the need to call and listen to voicemail, according to Business Insider.

That would be great. I detest voicemails. You need to pay to clear them, and have to then write them down, before actioning them. My phone message actively discourages people from leaving voicemail messages and requests they text or e-mail me.

iPhone 6+

February 15th, 2015 at 10:43 am by David Farrar

News.com.au reports:

THE Apple iPhone 6 Plus phablet has changed the way we use our smartphone, sending people around the world scrambling to watch video on their bigger and better screens, a global report has found.

The Citrix Mobile Analytics Report, which looks at the a global cross section of mobile network usage for 2015, found that Apple fans who own a 5-inch iPhone 6 Plus use twice as much data as those with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

The report attributes that extra data demand to a insatiable hunger for video for those people with the bigger screen phablet.

This does not surprise me. I have a 6 Plus. Since I got it, I have not used my iPad in over two months. I can use the 6 Plus to view videos, read documents, browse more websites etc. I was nervous about it being too big when I ordered it, but am very very glad I did get a 6 Plus, not just a 6.

It is no coincidence that this week Apple became the first company in history to break the $700 billion mark in terms of market capitalisation.

iPhone 6

September 10th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Apple have announced details of their new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. The 6 has a 4.7 inch display and the iPhone 6+ a 5.5 inch display. The iPhone 4 by comparison is 3.5″ and iPhone 5 is 4.0″

Features include:

  • Thinner (6.9 mm and 7.1 mm)
  • Higher Res (1920 x 1080 for the 6+)
  • 64 bit A8 chip
  • An M8 co-processor that can calculate elevation, number of steps climbed etc and also be a barometer
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • A near range wireless chip which can be used to make small purchases – very exciting
  • Battery life of 11 or 14 hours
  • Handoff to allow you to switch between Apple devices

I’m definitely buying one. Not just for the new features – but mainly because my 4s battery only lasts around four hours now before draining!

iOS 7

September 20th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Mark Webster at NZ Herald writes:

I don’t. But I put iOS 7 on my old iPhone this morning. My iPhone 5 immediately looks radically different as soon as it’s awake, and since you interface so visually with your iDevice (I upgraded an iPad 4 as well) it feels like you have a new product. The whole look of the interface is changed, and some will find it jarring, but it’s surprising how soon you get used to it, and how quickly the old interface looks all clunky and wrong (like on my iPad 1).

The home screen can now have a moving background, and the all-new Apple apps often show clever little touches. For example, the clock icon now tells the correct time with a sweeping seconds hand.

Largely, the whole redesign is effective and elegant. The Compass app has been redrawn to be neatly clearer – and swipe it to the left to get a level. …

Generally speaking, apart from the excellent new Control Center (sic) that appears when you swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen, giving you instant access to settings you access often including a flashlight.

There’s quite a lot about Control Center on TUAW.

Folders now have greater capacity. Up to iOS 6, you could place 16 apps in a folder. OS 7 lets you have nine apps per page, and 14 pages per folder for 126 apps total.

A little blue dot next to an app name means an app has never been opened, as a handy reminder you have yet to try an app you have downloaded.

I downloaded iOS7 overnight and like what I have seen so far. The larger folders, the control panel, the ability to restrict certain apps to wireless use, the automatic app updates. How have others found it?

The iPhone 5s

September 11th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The second phone, the 5S, is “the most forward-looking phone we have ever created,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. It will come in silver, gold and “space gray” and run a new chip, the A7 that is up to twice as fast as the A6.

Schiller said the new phone can run more health and fitness applications. These apps have become increasingly popular as more people use them to track exercise routines, calorie intake and even sleep patterns.

I know so many people who use My Fitness Pal. It makes a huge difference being able to track your calories.

The camera in the 5S received some major upgrades, including several automatic features designed to produce better photos.

It has larger pixels, which helps capture more light. The phone also has a two-tone flash feature that is designed not to clash with the colours in the room or a person’s skin colour – something Schiller said has not been done on a phone before.

The camera, called iSight, has “auto image stabilisation,” which helps avoid blurry pictures, and a slow-motion camera for video.

The 4s photos are okay, but still quite inferior to a proper camera.

The 5S also includes “Touch ID,” which reads fingerprints at a “detailed level,” Schiller said.

He said it is “fun and easy” to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can just touch the home button to unlock the phone. The company said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.

Tying the fingerprint scanner to payments could also open new revenue channels for Apple.

That’s a smart idea.

However none of the new features would cause me to upgrade until my current phone dies. On an iPhone 4s and an iPad 1 and both working fine.

The power of the market

September 21st, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports that in August 2008 the share price for RIM was $132.40 and for Apple $176.03. Fairly close.

Today the price for Apple is $701.91 and RIM is $7.25.

So four years ago $100,000 would get you 568 Apple shares or 755 RIM shares.

If you had invested in RIM you would now have $5,475 left – you would have lost 95% of your $100,000.

If you had invested in Apple you would now have $398,744 and would have 299% of your $100,000.

Now it is very sad for all the RIM staff who have lost their jobs, and all the RIM investors who have lost 95% of their investment.

But this is how the market works. Some companies succeed, and some fail. Some people get rich, and some become poorer. Yes, you have massive income and asset inequality.

I’m not surprised by the fall off in value for RIM. Three years ago almost everyone in business had a Blackberry. Now I see one about as often as Haley’s comet. Quite simply Apple produced a much better product, and customers voted with their feet.

Bye Bye Blackberry

February 20th, 2012 at 3:31 pm by David Farrar

I’ve had a Blackberry for around six years. It was great with the no cost Blackberry Messenger, the secure e-mails through Blackberry servers, and the normal smartphone functions. I got to experience why it was also known as the crackberry as it was highly addictive.

But sadly the time has come to say bye bye to my Blackberry. I have a Blackberry Bold, and it is less than three years old but it just craps out so much. Almost every day, after a few hours use, it starts to freeze up. At first for a few seconds, then for minutes then indefinitely. The only way to fix it is to remove and replace the battery. This is bad enough, but doing so suddenly drains the battery to near empty, and your phone then dies for the rest of the day unless you have a charger.

A number of other Blackberry users say they experience this also, so it seems to be a design fault. Even worse if someone calls you while your blackberry is having a pause, the phone never rings. Or it does ring but stops you being able to answer the call. I figure more calls are being blocked than getting through.

So this week I plan to buy a new smartphone. My intention is to get an iPhone 4s. I would like to wait for the iPhone 5, but Apple have not announced a date yet and even another three months of my Blackberry will send me mad.

The reason I am looking at the iPhone 4s is partly the features, but also partly that I have a iPad and iPod so easy to synchronise data and applications between all my devices.

However welcome thoughts from readers as to what they recommend. Does someone want to make a case for upgrading to the latest Blackberry or perhaps to get an Android?  Or should I join the 102 million people who have purchased an iPhone in the last year?

And if anyone has secret info that in fact the iPhone 5 is going to be released in the next month, let me know and I’ll suffer and delay my purchase.

Vodafone v Telecom speeds in Dunedin

October 2nd, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

A reader has sent me details of speed testing on an iPhone4 in Dunedin, comparing networks.

The author also has a website, detailing the tests.

He notes these are not a general comparison of speeds between networks, but a comparison on the iPhone 4 only, in Dunedin. He did try six different locations there and his conclusion was that Telecom XT provides far greater speeds – but only in places where it works. In two places a good signal could not be located.

iPhone v4

June 9th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve been waiting for video calls to become standard, and the new iPhone looks like it will do just that.

I love how some of the imaginary technology that featured on shows like the Jetsons, is fast becoming reality.

Civic interaction

August 24th, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

A reader alerted me to this article:

Though not necessarily heralded as a hotbed of technological innovation, the City of Boston is plunging headlong into what may be the future of civic engagement by debuting an iPhone app connecting residents to city hall. The app, known as Citizen Connect, is the brainchild of a handful of mayoral aides and will allow residents to file complaints with the city by snapping a photo of a problem–a pothole, a fallen tree limb, a neighbor’s overgrown lawn–and sending it to city hall, complete with a geo-tag so city officials can find and fix the problem.

Now that is a great idea.

The new Auckland Council could be a leader on this!

Cheaper iPhone plans

August 24th, 2008 at 7:48 am by David Farrar

Yay, Vodafone has made available some cheaper plans for the iPhones. They have introduced a $60 and $40 monthly plan. You don’t get much talktime but if you like it for the data, it will be good for you as still 250 MB a month.

iPhone prices

July 8th, 2008 at 2:35 pm by David Farrar

Vodafone has announced its pricing for the iPhones which go on sale on Friday, and its certainly not cheap.

The phone itself starst at $199, but only if you to a $6,000 contract over two years. Yeah thought not.

Their cheapest plan is not so bad – $80 a month which includes 120 minutes of calls (4 minutes a day), 600 texts (20 a day) and 250 MB of data (8Mb a day which isn’t bad). The phone will cost $549 or $699 (for 16GB phone) on top of that.

The $250 a month plan gives you 600 minutes or 20 minutes a day. No increase in texts (600) and a nice 1 GB of data.

I hope prices will drop over time. They probably have them high now because they know there will be some peopel who will pay anything for an iPhone. Personally I would hold off and wait for some lower prices as will be inevitable when they want more customers.