Posts in the “gadgets” category

iPhone HTML apps - Using an app startup image (app splash screen)

iPhone HTML apps startup image FAQ: How do I set the startup image (splash screen) for my iPad or iPhone HTML app?

This quick blurb from the Apple developer documentation leads us to the answer:

On iOS, similar to native applications, you can specify a startup image that is displayed while your web application launches. This is especially useful when your web application is offline.

By default, a screenshot of the web application the last time it was launched is used. To set another startup image, add a "link" element to the webpage.

iPhone HTML apps - Conditional iPhone style sheets

iPhone HTML web app style sheets FAQ: I'm trying to optimize my HTML/web app for the iPhone, how do I specify a style sheet to be used for just the iPhone?

There are several different approaches you can take, but with CSS3 the most direct approach you can take is to add an expression to your iPhone CSS link tag, as shown here:

iPhone user agent - Use JavaScript to detect the user agent

iPhone 'user agent' FAQ: I'm trying to optimize my HTML/web app for the iPhone; how do I detect an iPhone, iPod, or iPad browser in my web application?

This Apple page shows the iPhone, iPod, and iPad user agent strings, so you just need to write some JavaScript that properly parses those iPhone/iPad browser user agent strings.

iTunes movie error - movie was not copied to iPhone because it cannot be played on this iPhone

iTunes movie/video error FAQ: As I continue to explore the process of creating digital movie files I can play on my iPhone (or iPod), I keep running into an iTunes error message when I try to sync my movie file to my iPhone through iTunes.  Every time I try to sync my movie, iTunes gives me the following error message:

[Your movie] was not copied to the iPhone "Alvin Alexander's iPhone" because it cannot be played on this iPhone.

This iTunes movie sync error message is shown in the following figure:

An iPhone select paragraph and copy tip

iPhone copy/paste FAQ - Is there was way to select an entire paragraph on the iPhone (or iPod Touch) when starting a copy and paste process? Copying a paragraph by selecting a word on the iPhone/iPod, and then expanding the selection box is okay, but it's a bit of a slow process.

iPhone 3G iOS 4 performance issues

Immediately after I installed iOS4 on my iPhone 3G I reported that it seemed surprisingly fast. However, within two days, whatever pleasant surprise I felt about my iPhone 3G iOS performance came crashing down, and I do mean crashing.

The iPhone iBooks application, for example, crashes, a lot. Try to open a PDF in iBooks? Crash. Try to read a book? Crash. Time to wait for iBooks to open after you've downloaded 10 eBooks? I have no idea, I'm not that patient.

The Facebook app on my iPhone 3G w/ iOS 4? It crashes at least once out of every five startups.

How to download iPhone photos to Windows XP

iPhone photos and Windows XP tip: How to download iPhone photos to a Windows XP computer.

Okay, this was surprisingly hard. I just went to download all my iPhone photos to my Windows XP computer, and assuming this worked with the normal iTunes sync process, I started the 'sync', waited a very long time, and then at the end, all my photos were ... wait ... none of my photos were downloaded from my iPhone to my Windows XP system. What the heck?

iPhone wireless charging devices

After seeing an ad for a wireless iPhone charging device recently, I thought I'd dig around and see what I could find out about iPhone wireless charging devices. After a little research, it looks like there are two good options, the AirVolt Wireless iPhone Charger, and the Powermat system. There is a third wireless iPhone charger available from Brookstone, but I'm not impressed by it, though I've shared a few details on it below.

Apple iPad design - incomplete, intentionally

Thesis: Apple is willing to ship an incomplete product when entering a new market, such as with the new Apple iPad design. Because they are entering a nascent market, this has the effect of generating more revenue from the product line. This has been demonstrated repeatedly by Apple (when led by Steve Jobs), first with the original Macintosh, and then the iPod, iPhone, and now the iPad. By shipping incomplete products initially, Apple gives "early adopters" and affluent buyers compelling reasons to upgrade when new product versions are produced.

Smartphone life in Alaska - no Verizon, no Sprint

If you live in Alaska, and you want to use a smartphone, you better be going with AT&T, because for all their commercials, Verizon and Sprint won't do you any good here. Here's the beatdown from Verizon Wireless when you tell them you live in Alaska:

There's no Verizon in Alaska

Gene Roddenberry, iPad inventor?

Did Gene Roddenberry and other Star Trek designers create iPad-like devices many years ago? No need to say much here, just check out all these "Star Trek iPad" images, and see what you think. First, the iPad as seen by Star Trek - Next Generation designers:

Star Trek iPad device 2

Hmm, no keyboard in that first one. Must have used multi-touch.

No keyboard here either:

Roku Netflix 2009 "review" (via some friends)

Okay, I have to say up front that I don't currently have a Netflix subscription or a Roku digital video player (the Roku HD Player at Amazon

Geek gifts - the world's most expensive pen?

A few days ago a friend and I were talking about gifts for geeks, and she told me about a "smart pen" from a company named Livescribe. When I went to their website and looked at the Livescribe pen, I originally saw the price as $24.95, and I thought wow, that's a pretty good deal; you must have to buy their paper refills, and that's probably where they make all their money.

After that, I had a very good laugh.

iPhone users "blows past" Windows Mobile

I don't know about you, but I was surprised to read this morning that the iPhone user base has surpassed the Windows Mobile user base.

I never knew the numbers, so I always assumed the iPhone was this "premium" phone that a relatively small percentage of people owned, and that Windows Mobile was on a lot of phones.


My tablet experience (circa 2004)

Haha, this is funny: I forgot that I wrote a review of a Tablet PC that I used back in 2004. I just found that article, and ran across this line:

"Having this Tablet PC ... is like having a sexy girlfriend who also has a lot of irritating habits and no substance. There's a lot of excitement at first, but when the excitement wears off, you've got a decision to make."

iPad Java support - Funny Apple iPad comment

Many thanks to Tristan and Bob for a great laugh on an Apple Java email thread concerning iPad Java support:

Question - Will the iPad have the great Java support that regular desktops and laptops have, or will we Java developers be SOL, like we are with the iPhone?