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Opinari - Latin term for Opinion. Opinari.net is just what it seems: a cornucopia of rants, raves and poignant soliloquy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If you are in need of some new software for your Mac, or if you're a bargain hunter like me, you'll be interested in the Macweed Creative Bundle, available at macweed.net until August 10 for only $49.99.

.: posted by Dave 10:32 AM

Monday, July 27, 2009

If you're an iPhone power user, you've no doubt ran into this problem:

OMG, my battery is almost dead!

With my old Treo 680, all I needed was an aftermarket battery that doubled the device's capacity and all was well in the world. But Apple, being the proprietary junkies they are, have stuck the end user with a non-replacable battery. Of course, there are always enterprising individuals out there who are willing to provide an alternative solution, so if you look hard enough, you can find an aftermarket battery replacement, but until I've had my iPhone a bit longer, I'm not willing to do something that will void the warranty. So, enter the external battery solution. To that end, I chose the Incase Power Slider (retail $89, on sale at Target for $62).

At first I was very pleased with the Power Slider. It added a lot of bulk to the iPhone which will turn off some users, but that's fine with me as I use mine in a manufacturing environment. The case fits snugly and definitely offers a high degree of protection for the device.

The external battery has to be charged for several hours before initial use. This isn't such a big deal unless you're absolutely dying for some juice to your iPhone on the spot. Once charged, just slide the phone into place, and you're good to go.

Now, as I said, I was pleased "at first". What turned me off of the Power Slider? For whatever reason, the case severely inhibits the signal strength of the iPhone by about 3 bars on average. In fact, in the factory and offices in which I work, I have zero coverage in about 3/4 of the area. For someone who relies on push notifications and network connectivity no matter where I am, this is unacceptable.

I don't quite see in the case's design where and why it is causing such a reduction in reception. As far as I can tell, the antenna is only covered by the plastic case.

To Incase's credit, they have offered a full refund based on a one year warranty on the case. I don't want to return it, as it offers solid protection, but I don't have a lot of choices here.

So, my question is this: what battery/power solutions do others use for their iPhone? Does anyone recommend an alternative case/battery combo that does not inhibit the mobile signal?

.: posted by Dave 1:34 PM

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Truth be known, there are some things I miss about the Treo series of smartphones. One of the most obvious things is ZLauncher, a customizable app launcher. The default offering for the iPhone is just too limited.

What a power user needs is a tabbed launcher that contains only the apps for that particular tab. For example, I would like to have a tab for Utilities, another for Games, another for Productivity apps and so on. What the iPhone offers me is space for 176 apps plus 4 in the Dock, with no way of titling the individual panes that contain the apps. This just isn't very efficient.

What I and many other users would like to see is a dropdown or tab where i could assign apps to those panes. Given this functionality, I would be better able to find the app I need and the desktop would be more aesthetically pleasing and better organized.

For now, I find that I am forced to manually drag apps to different panes to organize them, and even then there is no way to title those panes, and I am limited to the screen real estate of 16 apps per pane.

Why doesn't Apple offer this out of the box? I have no idea. Why hasn't another developer provided such a solution? Likely because of Apple's imposed limitations on background processes that can or cannot run on the device.

Regardless, I'm hopeful that Apple finds a way to incorporate a more robust launcher into the next version of the iPhone software, or at least I'm hopeful that a third party can find a solution that will please Apple and iPhone users alike.

.: posted by Dave 12:38 PM

Yes, I'm new to the iPhone. Yes, I'm pretty pleased with it so far. And yes, I often find some things that are a bit perplexing.

This morning I was looking at the iPhone Settings and i inadvertently clicked an unknown slider. Later, I noticed a mysterious phone icon in my system tray. Anyone know what this is and how to turn it back off?

.: posted by Dave 10:24 AM

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