Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’
So, after all the politics, chicanery and tripe, some magic. Instagr.am, as you probably know is a popular app for the iPhone which piggybacks on the Camera and allows you to share photos with friends. Better yet, you can apply a selection of filters to the said photos in the app. I was messing about with this on Sunday at the old Goodwood race track and after arriving at the effect featured in the photo here, decided I’d quite like to share it on my photoblog. How to do that was not immediately obvious, short of synchronising the phone with iTunes and downloading the photo there seemed to be no easy way. Since it’s the convenience of Instagr.am that really appeals, I quickly abandoned the idea.
Until now. Copygr.am has been in action for just ten days and does exactly what it says on the tin. Copies your Instagr.am photos to your desktop. Well, in fact it emails them as an attachment, but what the hell it’s easier than synching the phone! Highly recommended. Simple, straightforward, unpretentious and it works.
Windows Mobile OS can finally be consigned to the dustbin. In Android, Google have come up with a mobile operating system that is super slick, lightning fast and paired with HTC technology represents a very real threat to both Blackberry and iPhone.
The Phone is impressively specified:
3.2 inch TFT Screen
5 megapixel Camera
420 minutes talk time and 750 hours standby (WCDMA)
Onboard 512mb ROM, 288mb RAM expandable via MicroSD Card
Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
The most notable innovation is that the touch screen has been improved in both sensitivity and responsiveness and enhanced by the addition of a Blackberry like tracker ball with scroll and click functionality.
Android is the operating system built on a Linux kernel by Google with the intention of competing with Microsoft, RIM technologies (Blackberry) and Apple in the mobile market.
The immediate advantage Google have in this space is evident the minute you provide your Gmail credentials. The telephone leverages the full range of Google Apps, so if you are already using Google Calendar for example, you will find your phone calendar automatically synched with the online version.
The operating system supports VGA, 2D graphics library, 3D graphics based on OpenGL ES and as you would expect from a Linux based distribution, virtual screens. The HTC Hero provides a total of 6 full screen estates.
Android uses SQLite for data storage and for connectivity, supports GSM/EDGE, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The web browser is, like Google Chrome, based on the WebKit framework and the OS has a development kit with an emulator, debugging tools, performance profiling and a plugin for the Eclipse platform.
Android, like Apple have organised a virtual mall, Android Market , where developers can sell or give away applications written for the Android platform.
First impressions are jaw droppingly good. The phone is everything its Windows based predecessor (HTC Diamond Touch) wasn’t. It is fast, flexible and intuitive, largely down to the dropping of the Windows Mobile platform. The Google tie in has ensured that Microsoft document formats are supported and there is support for multiple mail accounts and social software support in the shape of Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. HTC still persist with the USB supporting but proprietory connector for headphone and laptop connectivity. It’s a minor irritation, thankfully mitigated by the addition of a standard headphone jack on the top of the phone.
This is a serious piece of kit and fully deserving of the fistful of awards it has already picked up. Even the arch Apple apologist Steven Fry has conceded that “you have to applaud HTC, they have gone all out to rethink every detail of the user experience … It’s an impressive device, really really impressive”
Such is the speed of technology that the once proud LP cover, 12 inches square, gatefold and legible has undergone miniturisation via illegibly tiny CD covers replicating cherished original artwork, to its current status as a 200 pixel square icon pressed into service as a usability aid in iPlayers, Squeezebox Duet, SqueezeCenter server and just about every mobile phone currently doing double duty as a music player.
Ok that’s a curmudgeonly take on what actually is a pretty decent usability aid and in this post I’m going to recommend some software that will retrieve the album art from the internet and insert it into your music files so that the player can pick it up and display it.
I played around with a number of different applications that would tackle the difficult job of searching the internet for the cover art, retrieve it and insert it into the ripped cd files. since I have well over a thousand CD’s converted to flac, I wanted a program that would give me these options;
- Configurable search – I don’t want the software to download hundreds of random pictures, I want to configure the primary sources and have the option to widen the search if the primary source doesn’t deliver.
- Choose Image – I want to be able to scroll through the images and choose which one to use
- Automate the inserting of the image into the flac (or mp3) file and insert a copy into the folder for the library
Of the standalone products I tried, several were iTunes focused (Tune Up, Widget Foundry Amazon Art) which is no good for me and a couple were modifications on the software used to rip cds – dbPoweramp being the best of the bunch.
Because I don’t use dbPoweramp, (preferring the freeware EAC) I needed a dedicated piece of software that would do just this job and do it well. I ended up with a Windows only application snappily entitled MuvUnder Cover. This delivers on every point, is childishly simple to use and best of all, if not free, cheap. at $14.
So the HTC Diamond arrived today, as promised by Helen @ Orange, promptly at 8.45am!
Total cost to an existing Orange user £0.00 – that’s zero pounds and zero pence! A tad less than the £499.00 that Apple apologist Stephen Fry trumpeted in his Guardian column on Saturday. Here are a few more features that Stephen mysteriously chose to ignore…
Screen – 2.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with VGA resolution
Wireless connectivity – two minutes to set up (wireless is switched off by default)
Browser – customised version of Opera – handles Facebook with aplomb
Camera – 3.2 megapixels
Music, Photos – 4Gb storage
Integrated GPS maps
First impressions? I’d say the HTC is better equipped than the iPhone, is better looking and if Orange can control the supply and demand, will raise the bar in the smart phone market – and thanks to Stephen Fry, the muggers will all be lookng for iPhones!