I’ve got a new favorite Twitter client on my iPhone: Reportage. The thing I like most about it is that it organizes tweets by the posting person, using a channel paradigm to do so. It also allows you to mark users and create a special subset of them for times when you just don’t have time to go through all your tweets. I’m really enjoy reading tweets with this app.
In my last posting here, I mentioned an innovative note taking program: Dan Bricklin’s Note Taker. Today, I’m going to talk about another very innovative note taking iPhone application: FrogPad NoteTaker.
FrogPad is an interesting company. They manufacture a one-handed keyboard that uses multiple key-presses to input characters and attempts to create an ergonomically optimized device for inputting data. I actually owned one quite a few years ago. It’s an interesting approach to data entry, but I never got the input speeds claimed by FrogPad and eventually gave up on using it. It may be that I simply didn’t have the patience to master this new approach to typing.
FrogPad has taken this concept and created an iPhone application that I’m finding works extremely well. As you can see in the picture above, it puts far fewer keys on the screen than the built-in keyboard. The keys are thus much larger than the built-in keys. In fact, they are large enough so that I’m finding that I never hit the wrong key, something that happens all too often with the built-in keyboard, even when using it in landscape mode.
Since the text entered in this program can easily be copied into the clipboard and pasted into other applications, it would become my preferred method of keyboard input on the iPhone, except for one glaring problem – the program crashes and loses all your input if you enter too many characters in one session. This is the first version of the program and I’ve reported the problem to FrogPad, so I’m optimistic that it will soon be fixed. In the meantime, I like it so much that sometimes I’ll enter 60 or so characters of input into it, close the application, re-open the application and continue with my typing. It’s a drag, but I’m finding it so wonderful to be able to type so accurately on my iPhone that sometimes I’m will to actually put up with it!
If you’re interested in trying out a truly new and innovative approach to soft-keyboard input on your iPhone, get a copy of this application.
I’m constantly looking for more and better ways to input data into my iPhone. Voice recognition works fine for some uses and in certain locations, but isn’t always the best way to input data. The built-in keyboard, especially when in landscape mode, is pretty good, too, but still suffers from having keys too small for super-accurate input.
I’ve just come upon a very innovative program, Dan Bricklin’s Note Taker, that takes a whole new approach to data input on the iPhone. It allows you to simply write on the screen with your finger, You can write quite large because it then shrinks your writing and puts it in the appropriate spot a simple lined input form about the size of a 3X5 card. The shrinking is the key to this program, it allows you to write big enough to be clear but end up with handwriting in a size more appropriate for easy reading.
You can take the handwritten notes and email them as JPG attachments. You can set up defaults for email destination, subject, and printed text message for these emails. You can also save the note to your iPhone’s photo gallery. Finally, the program also features a transcribe feature making it easy to retype information from a note into the iPhone’s contacts or text fields.
I’ve only been playing with this program for a couple of days, but I’m already really impressed with just how unique and innovative it is. There’s also a free Lite version that allows you to try it out before decided to buy it, but at only $1.99 you may want to just go ahead and purchase the full version. I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did!
I probably fly at least 40 weeks out of every year. To get some idea of what that’s like, I recommend you read the novel “Up in the Air’, or see the movie of the same name. The book is better, but the movie also provides a very good insight into the life of the corporate frequent flyer.
In any case, as such a frequent flyer I make every attempt to focus on all the little details that can make my travels easier. I scope out airport security lines, belong to airline clubs, and find the best seats available for each type of aircraft on which I fly.
One item of utmost importance is the ability to obtain accurate and up-to-date information on my upcoming flights. I’ve found that FlightTrack Pro provides just this type of information to me on my iPhone. It provides push notifications for reminders of upcoming flights, as well as information regarding delays, gate changes, etc., right as they occur. It even provides historical data on the flight’s on-time record. It’s integrated with the TripIt Web service, so that my upcoming flights can be automatically added to the program through this interface.
I regard this program as a must-have for the frequent flyer. If you fly much at all, I strongly suggest you get a copy of it for your iPhone.
In my previous posting, I made a brief mention of Showtime, a video recording program that works on my iPhone 3G. The frame rate is only 6 fps, and the video size is fixed at 320 X 240, but boy this program actually works quite well. I shot videos of the family during our Las Vegas trip, and even a few short videos of the John Mayer Trio concert we attended. All the videos came out great. You can see one of them above. By the way, John Mayer allows his fans to shot photos and videos of his concerts, unlike most artists!
The nice thing about this program is that it stores the videos on the iPhone in .avi format and doesn’t require a server like the Ustream Live Broadcaster for the iPhone program I’ve previously written about. The videos can be emailed or transferred via WiFi to a computer. Just make sure that you compress them (an operation provided by the program) prior to doing so.
This is a great addition to all of us poor 3G owners who have been jealous of the 3GS video functions!
My family and I spent 8 days in Las Vegas and we just returned home late last night. While in Vegas, we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which turned out to be one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at either in the US or overseas.
While there, we attended two Cirque du Soleil shows (Mystere and O), saw Frank Caliendo, attended the John Mayer Trio New Year’s Eve concert (see picture above taken with my iPhone for some idea on what great seats we had!), and generally had a ball exploring this amazing city. My wife’s iPhone 3GS and my iPhone 3G were used constantly during our stay there. We used the G-Map and the built-in Maps application to find our way around, AroundMe and Nextstop to find restaurants and points of interest near us, and Point Inside to guide us through the many shopping malls we visited while shopping. Dragon Search provided us with more detailed information on points of interest and the shows we were to see. I even shot some videos using the ShowTime application, which is a phenomenal video application for my iPhone 3G.
No doubt about it, our iPhones really enhanced our enjoyment of our vacation.
Just a few weeks ago, Nuance released the terrific free Dragon Dictation program for the iPhone that I’ve written about here. Now they’ve followed up with another terrific free voice-input program: Dragon Search.
The program’s voice recognition is first-rate, just like the Dragon Dictation program. Over and above that is the fact that Dragon Search is a really nice search program even without considering voice input. It allows you to quickly search Google, Yahoo, or Bing (configurable), and in addition search YouTube, Twitter, iTunes and Wikipedia with the search term you’ve input.
I’m finding that this program works great and quite quickly, and it has become my primary search tool on my iPhone.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about how a new generation of very useful iPhone Web applications will soon be appearing – ones that take advantage of the new features of HTML5 and have capabilities virtually identical to the applications we download from the Apple App Store. I just found one that seems to work just that well: Nextstop.com.
Just point your Safari browser to this link and you’ll find a very nifty application for the traveler – one that’s similar to the App Store’s AroundMe application. With Nextstop you can find points of interest located near you: places to eat, things to do, and “hidden gems” to explore and experience. You’ll even be able to add your own discoveries and share them with other users.
This is a very impressive application, Web-based or not. Give it a try and see for yourself!