Review: Poddio on the iPhone

I got a copy of the iPhone application called “Poddio” created by the fellow Canadian, iPhone developer, VeriCorder Technology Inc. in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Poddio is an audio recorder with built in audio editing functions that you can only expects from a desktop application, at least until now.

Poddio Home Screen Poddio Record Screen

Even with the upcoming Voice Recorder application built into iPhone firmware 3.0, it will not make this application obsolete. Actually according to the developer, “firmware 3.0 will allow us to bring enhancements to Poddio that was more difficult to implement before 3.0.”

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WordCamp Arrives in Hong Kong

WordCamp HK 500x100

On April 5, 2009, WordCamp will arrive in Hong Kong for the first time. The event will be held at the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park.

WordCamp is a conference type of event that focuses squarely on everything WordPress. Everyone from casual end users all the way up to core developers show up to these events. At the Hong Kong event, there will be two speakers you will not want to miss, Matt Mullenweg and Hailin Wu, PhD.

Mullenweg is the founder of Automattic and foundering developer of WordPress, and Automattic is the company behind and, which Wu is a developer at.

If you develop WordPress themes and plugins, or simply use WordPress as a blogger, you will not want to miss this great opportunity to hear from the professionals inside WordPress about the platform’s future. While at the event you will also be able to network with fellow WordPress users in Hong Kong. Plus the event is currently FREE, so register now before you miss your chance.

Does Business Get Social Network

I just saw the following tweet in my Twitter stream.

SCMP Tweet

For those of you who does not know SCMP stands for “South China Morning Post” the only major English newspaper left in Hong Kong.

Does SCMP realize they are a news agency. If there is a story about police in China arresting people carrying GPS devices as spy, then we want to know about it now, today. We don’t need a preview of “story to come tomorrow” so you can hope to sell more newspaper tomorrow.

影評:《收錯愛情風》He’s Just Not That Into You


My Rating: 4Stars


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iPhone Firmware 3.0 Announcement Summary

iPhone Firmware 3.0

Numerous improvements to the iPhone SDK was announced. This included enablement of peer-to-peer connectivity no prior pairing required so two iPhone can talk to each other without prior setup, Streaming audio and video over HTTP, Data detectors, built in VoIP API, and more. Push notification finally arrives for developers to add to their applications.

The hotly rumored and confirmed by Kevin Rose’s source last week, Cut Copy & Paste was demoed at the event. During the demo, Apple’s Scott Forstall, SVP iPhone Software, also included multiple selection of photos in the Photo app for sending them in an email.

Landscape mode keyboard will now be available in all Apple applications and will be available to developers to enable in their own application.

Finally, no more Jailbreaking to get the ability to delete or forward individual SMS messages. These features are now built into the new Messaging application. Audio files and contact cards can be sent via the new Messaging application.

There is a cross application search feature to search in the Mail, Contacts, Calendar and Notes applications, it is OS X Spotlight feature for the iPhone. If a result is not found among the local application, it will hit the server for possible results.

Finally, you do not have to worry about loosing your Notes stored on your iPhone, the new iPhone software will synchronize the Notes content with the Mac and Windows computer via iTunes.

Auto login for WiFi hotspots is built-in. So will this see the end to Devicescape’s “Easy Wi-Fi” and 3rd party application like “Seremgeti”?

Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) is now available in the new iPhone software but still does not include the other Bluetooth services in the Bluetooth standard.

For the end-users we will have to wait until this Summer. As this new firmware and SDK is only available in beta form to developers in the iPhone Developers Program. The upgrade will be free to iPhone 3G owners. Again iPod Touch users will have to pay USD9.95 for the firmware 3.0 upgrade.

Review: Finger on the iPhone

Finger IconToday I was sent a review copy of the iPhone application called Finger, developed the Hong Kong company duo Headnix and BeansBox. From the name you will guessed that this application involves your finger, you will be correct.

Finger is an ingenious application that takes advantage of the iPhone’s input methods allowing the user to enter text anywhere on the computer that accepts text input.

There are two components to Finger, an iPhone paid application (@ USD7.99) and a free Desktop background application; for computers running either OS X or Windows (Windows XP or Windows Vista). Since I’m a Mac guy I did not test the Windows Desktop application. The Mac version is a native application so I presume the Windows version is also a native application.

[Update: March 30, 2009]
Headnix today announced a Lite version of Finger for Free. The only difference between the Lite and regular versions is the Lite version’s limit of only allowing input of 5 characters per start. This latest decision of Headnix is definitely a welcome move. It will allow more users to discover the usefulness of Finger before they commit to the USD7.99 price of the regular version. Now that there is a Lite version, I strongly recommend everyone who has a need for entering Japanese or Chinese characters to download Finger Lite on iTunes App Store to see for themselves what this little application can do.

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What Will Be In iPhone Firmware 3.0

iPhone 3G imageTomorrow morning (Tuesday, March 17, 10:00 US Pacific Standard Time) Apple will hold a special media event in Cupertino to announce the new iPhone firmware 3.0.

In the past, iPhone firmware upgrades did not garner such fanfare. Especially when considering Apple’s recent trend of not holding special events to announce new products, like the new Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro and iPod Shuffle, makes this event tomorrow that much more special. It also shows the significance Apple has placed on this upcoming announcement.

As always there are no definite information on the features that will be announced at the event. Of course, this had not stopped the rumor mill from generating lists of possible features for the yet to release iPhone firmware:

  • Cut, Copy & Paste
  • Enhanced Bluetooth functionalities
  • Improved camera software
  • A feature to allow layout management of application icons within iTunes
  • Multitasking

The less likely features are:

  • Tattering
  • MMS

I personally think that Multitasking may be built into the new firmware, but we will not see it enabled until the next version of the iPhone hardware.

Improvements in the camera software is welcome, but there are already several 3rd party applications, which had done a good job at improving the iPhone camera’s ability to take better photos. One such program is “Darkroom” by Stepcase, which I use almost every day.

Having additional Bluetooth functionalities will also be welcome, particularly the ability to preform file exchange. I really miss the ability to send contact cards to any mobile phone with Bluetooth capability. This had been a feature I used on other mobile phones for years.

What do you think? Please feel free to add your opinions in the comments.

Apple Is Shuffling Its Way Into Our Lives

iPod Shuffle 3GWhat is Apple doing?

They released a new generation iPod Shuffle tonight (morning US PST) that is ultimate in minimalist.

Like the 2nd generation iPod Shuffle it had no display, which when the 2G was released back in September 2006, people thought Apple was crazy to release a MP3 player without a display. So much so, that the imitators (in China) created versions of the iPod Shuffle (2G) look-a-like that had a display and radio tuners.

Now with the 3rd generation iPod Shuffle Apple went further to remove over 50% of the controls from the previous model and achieve to deliver the rest of the controls with just one (3-way) switch.

Of course, Apple did not do this minimalistic approach hastily, they replaced the removed 50% controls with a multi-positions switch on the headphone. This is the same headphone that was shipped with the iPod Touch (2G).

To satisfy the critics who complain that the original iPod Shuffle did not have a display, Apple included voice over in the new Shuffle to announce the details of the currently playing track and playlists.

A flaw I see with this latest minimalist design, is for people who do not want to use Apple’s headphones, they will have lost the ability to control the skipping, pause and play of the shuffle. Apple could have solve this by sliding the headphone control down the headphone cord and then made the cord a two pieces detectable. With one piece housing the pair of headphone and the other piece becomes an extension cord with the single switch control. So users with 3rd party headphone can easily plug their own headphone into Apple’s extension cord with the control switch. Of course, this is not my original design, many manufactures (ie. Sony, LG, etc.) have this design.

Aside from a minimalist design of the new iPod, did Apple marketing also adopted a new approach? There was no fan fare to announce the new iPod, nor did they make any rumble when they released the new Mac Mini, iMac and Mac Pro last week. They also did the release on a Wednesday (US PST time) rather than the normal Tuesday release date.

Is this the new Apple, or is it just while Steve Jobs is absence? How many more product announcement are we to expect before Jobs’ return? Given that almost all the hardware had been upgraded, they are only left with Apple applications and OS X, that latter which everyone have been expecting at this year’s WWDC.