Author Topic: iPhone apps  (Read 15703 times)

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2010, 03:56:37 pm »
You can get about a week (maybe more) from a full charge of an iPhone in Airplane Mode.

I would have managed the whole of LEL on a single charge but I forgot to put it into flight mode on a couple of legs and that chewed up too much of the battery looking for a singal where there wasn't one. The phone was used for sending/receiving a few texts at each control, yacf browsing at longer stops and a few photos, and as an alarm clock on all but one of the nights.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2010, 01:28:11 pm »
I just went looking for a scientific calculator app, for help with my homework. :smug:

I have just downloaded an etch-a-sketch.  :-[
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2010, 01:42:21 pm »
I just went looking for a scientific calculator app, for help with my homework. :smug:

You get more functionality from the standard calculator if you turn the phone into landscape mode.

parens, trig funcs, hyperbolic trig funcs, inverses of those, powers, roots, reciprocal, factorial, log, ln, log2,  ex, 2x, pi, deg/rad, EE and rand.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2010, 06:07:55 pm »
I just went looking for a scientific calculator app, for help with my homework. :smug:

You get more functionality from the standard calculator if you turn the phone into landscape mode.

parens, trig funcs, hyperbolic trig funcs, inverses of those, powers, roots, reciprocal, factorial, log, ln, log2,  ex, 2x, pi, deg/rad, EE and rand.

<turns phone sideways>

Well I never! So it does!

You just deprived someone in the App Store of £0.59. I might go and blow it on the Etch-a-Sketch upgrade.  8)
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2010, 06:46:48 pm »
Yeah I discovered that too.  "I wonder what happens if I turn the calculator sideways".  (I wanted more digits, but I got more buttons too).

Very cute feature.  :)

I also found that the calculator is a bit pants with handling very small numbers, e.g.

take 0.5 and hit x2 repeatedly

when you get to 7.458xxxxx e+101, it's gone wrong.

In a "scientific" (or any) calculator that's rather poor, tbh.  Maybe the app store ones aren't quite so buggy?

(Yes, I'm sad)

Euan Uzami

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2010, 06:56:41 pm »
Yeah I discovered that too.  "I wonder what happens if I turn the calculator sideways".  (I wanted more digits, but I got more buttons too).

Very cute feature.  :)

I also found that the calculator is a bit pants with handling very small numbers, e.g.

take 0.5 and hit x2 repeatedly

when you get to 7.458xxxxx e+101, it's gone wrong.

In a "scientific" (or any) calculator that's rather poor, tbh.  Maybe the app store ones aren't quite so buggy?

(Yes, I'm sad)


0.5 squared repeatedly shouldn't ever equal anything e PLUS 101. Minus 101, maybe.
Or is that the bug you have noticed?

Euan Uzami

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2010, 06:58:55 pm »
not wanting to start an unwanted debate about the merits of iphones or to cast aspersions on anybody who likes them, but my issue with iPhone apps is that they make themselves out to be some kind of new technology when they in fact aren't at all.
Most are just a java shell wrapping a browser, with a custom icon. So you're effectively paying just for an icon.
They are either simple accessors of content on the internet, i.e. basically just an internet browser configured to load a particular site, a feature that a fairly advanced smartphone should have anyway - i.e. not unique to iPhone, or a novelty demonstration of some sensor that the iPhone has got inside it.
A sensor which has probably only been included in the iPhone in the first place purely in order to fend off the charge that the apps are just accessors of content on the internet.

I would be interested to know what apps there are that don't rely on the internet or one of the movement/orientation/speed etc. sensors in the iPhone, and that offer something that a normal (smart)phone can't do.

Sigurd Mudtracker

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2010, 09:25:12 pm »
Most of the apps I have on my Touch are stand alone.  I think some of the early apps were just "webapps" and did access internet content.  But as I don't have always-on internet access, most of the things I have installed function independent of the web.  Some, of course, like RSS readers, need access to download content.  Location-aware stuff (like apps that tell you where your nearest bike shop is) obviously need access - but would be unfeasibly large if they didn't.

Mind you, I did have a program for my Palm that had the whole of Wikipedia squeezed into 1GB.  Allegedly - but it was nevertheless pretty comprehensive.

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2010, 09:59:02 pm »
So you're effectively paying just for an icon.

True, but I don't bother with anything but free apps.

Many of them may just be gathering information that's already available on the web and presenting it another way, but that's what I like about them. Sky Sports Soccer Score Centre (I could just look at the BBC website), ECB Cricket (I could just look at Cricinfo's website), etc, etc. I get what I want, with much easier browsing between different bits of info, on something optimised for the size of the screen I'm viewing it on.

The ECM Cricket app is a good example. Scoreboard in portrait mode, turn to landscape mode and you get the detail scorecards, no zooming or "clicking" or visible delay whilst you wait for the info to load.

It's nothing new, after all, a web browser is just a fluffy way of displaying data grabbed over a network connection, but making sense of the raw data is nigh on impossible.

I would be interested to know what apps there are that don't rely on the internet or one of the movement/orientation/speed etc. sensors in the iPhone, and that offer something that a normal (smart)phone can't do.

I can't think of anything that has to be iPhone specific, but then the iPhone has several orders of magnitude more apps than most smart phones, all vetted, all easily downloaded from a single place (including on the phone itself).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2010, 10:05:31 pm »
Most are just a java shell wrapping a browser, with a custom icon. So you're effectively paying just for an icon.

It's mostly the free ones that are like that (eg Twitter and Facebook readers, Sky+, News feeds, etc), so you're not paying anything except the data charges which you'd pay whether they were in app form or accessed by a conventional browser.

The ones you have to pay for usually have some content or feature that you can't access for free on the internet anyway, so it's the content you're paying for.

Quote
or a novelty demonstration of some sensor that the iPhone has got inside it.

My wife has a spirit level app on her iphone that fits into this category. It's very impressive as a toy but totally useless as a spirit level.

d.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2010, 10:20:33 pm »
Something like the livestrong calorie counter illustrates this well - it's designed to work on a phone.  It accesses the same data as you get by going to the website, but the website works best on a pc, and is probably a bit cumbersome on a phone.  The app is designed to present information in a way suitable for a phone, with a completely different user interface.  Also, by providing the UI in the app instead of over the web, the amount of data allowance used is much smaller since only the raw data are transferred and the overhead of all the html and javascript to implement the UI is avoided (typically the size of this will dwarf the data being displayed).


Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2010, 10:40:33 pm »
<snip>
but then the iPhone has several orders of magnitude more apps than most smart phones, all vetted, all easily downloaded from a single place (including on the phone itself).

What is the benefit of them being "vetted"?  It's not a guarantee the app will work the way it should or that it's actually finished, and it takes a long time to get a bugfix through from submission to Apple to actually available on the App store.  Is it guaranteed virus free?  I can't see any other benefit of "vetting" (other than to Apple).

Euan Uzami

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2010, 10:50:07 pm »
Airplane mode; switch off when not in use.  Easy.


What and the alarm still works?


Ah yes, good point <snip/>


Ha! Tesco Value phone - alarm still works when off.

border-rider

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2010, 10:51:27 pm »

Ha! Tesco Value phone - alarm still works when off.


I'd hope any phone would do that.

Do iPhones not ?  Bit crap if so.

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2010, 11:00:32 pm »
I phones do. The vetting procedure just makes sure they're not malicious, that they work, are virus free, won't interfere with others and if they do access resources they do it in a while that doesn't make the system or other apps unstable.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

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simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2010, 11:10:49 pm »
The vetting procedure also prevents apps like Skype from being used on 3G (it's wifi only).

This is clearly done to prevent you from making free calls over the data network.  Without the vetting the business model would be broken; something else would have to happen, such as paying for all data.

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2010, 10:06:58 am »
I phones do. The vetting procedure just makes sure they're not malicious, that they work, are virus free, won't interfere with others and if they do access resources they do it in a while that doesn't make the system or other apps unstable.

When you say "they work", there are numerous articles on the web where developers/companies are complaining that they released something that was buggy, and then it took >6 weeks from submission for Apple to approve the bug fixed version.  So I believe the rest, especially the bits about avoiding viri and enforcing the business model, but the QC argument doesn't really wash.

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2010, 10:17:00 am »
I phones do. The vetting procedure just makes sure they're not malicious, that they work, are virus free, won't interfere with others and if they do access resources they do it in a while that doesn't make the system or other apps unstable.

When you say "they work", there are numerous articles on the web where developers/companies are complaining that they released something that was buggy, and then it took >6 weeks from submission for Apple to approve the bug fixed version.  So I believe the rest, especially the bits about avoiding viri and enforcing the business model, but the QC argument doesn't really wash.

The quality will be better than if people can just shove anything up with no vetting at all. It's nigh on impossible to produce bug free software, and Apple would be naive to think that they can achieve this, but weeding out the provable broken stuff is quite easy. Putting in a testing requirement means that the developers will be less likely to chuck stuff over the fence with no thought at all.

(P.S. *pet peeve* it's viruses, 'viri' is the plural of 'vir' (man), and 'virii' just doesn't exist in Latin.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2010, 11:34:20 am »
The quality will be better than if people can just shove anything up with no vetting at all. It's nigh on impossible to produce bug free software, and Apple would be naive to think that they can achieve this, but weeding out the provable broken stuff is quite easy. Putting in a testing requirement means that the developers will be less likely to chuck stuff over the fence with no thought at all.

(P.S. *pet peeve* it's viruses, 'viri' is the plural of 'vir' (man), and 'virii' just doesn't exist in Latin.)

I agree about the quality being improved, but I'm not sure you can just say "they work".  That's all.  And the difficulty of putting bugfixes up is a significant impediment to having apps that "just work".

Fair enough.  I know no latin.  According to the resident expert here, the latin plural of virus might just be virus.  But I'll use viruses from now on. :)

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #69 on: January 27, 2010, 03:55:16 pm »
It's only partly about quality.  It's also about policing the app space to keep it clear of too many boobs, fart machines and so on.  There are taste guidelines, and so on.

Apple control the experience, which means if you want an Apple experience it's a full-on Camerongasm in 3D with space elves, and if you don't, it's a dictatorship.  ;)
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2010, 05:40:42 pm »
Has anyone seen the GTA: Chinatown wars app? It's got some very good reviews, and at only £6, it's the cheapest GTA installment I've seen. I'm awfully tempted to get it (though am currently contenting myself with killing zombies in the free Call Of Duty game).
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #71 on: February 16, 2010, 02:20:48 pm »
OK, I've had my iPhone for just a week but it has already transformed my daily train journey. These are the apps I've been using most so far...

National Rail - OK, so it's not cheap but it's worth paying for because it's so much nicer to use on the small screen than the NR website.
The Guardian and Crosswords - seems like an extravagance, but I've not had to buy a daily paper since I've had these two apps, so they've already paid for themselves. Doing a crossword on the small screen isn't quite as satisfying as doing it on paper, and there's no doodling space for working out anagrams, but it's a very neat app none the less. And it gives access to loads of other free crosswords, both cryptic and quick, not just the Guardian.
The Telegraph - not as slick as the Guardian app but it is free. I like to look at the Torygraph occasionally for a change of perspective.
Sky Sports Score Centre - looking up the football scores was one of my main reasons for using online access on my old phone. This does the job sooooo much better.
Units and a2z Pro - both unit conversion apps. I like Units better, with its neat calculator-like interface.
The Good Beer Guide - so much more convenient than lugging the weighty tome around with you. I might have to cancel my subscription to the paper version.
Flixster - movie information, listings, trailers... works brilliantly.
Yell.com - handy and free.
Sky+ - was a slight pain to set up but already proving indispensible.
This American Life - a companion app to one of my favourite podcasts. It gives access to the whole TAL archive, with the option of streaming (free) or downloading (paid) old episodes.
Amazon - neat, functional and free.
Jumsoft Money and PocketMoney Lite - personal financial management. I used to use Quicken on my desktop PC but because it is tied to a single location, I was never very good at keeping it up to date. Hopefully, one of these will overcome that problem - I've not really got to grips with either yet, so I don't know which is best.
Fstream - thanks for the recommendations upthread, folks. This is great. Just a shame you can't listen to radio while using other apps. Why won't Apple do something about making the iPhone's built-in FM capabilities available for this use?
Facebook and TweetDeck - I've never really taken to Facebook or Twitter before now, but social networking makes more sense to me when you have full mobile access.
Byline - nicely packaged interface for Google Reader. Very basic but works well.
Photobucket - makes uploading camphone pics very easy.
ShopShop and My Lists - shopping list managers. Of the two, I think I'll end up using My Lists. It seems quite versatile but I haven't really explored its capabilities fully yet. One of those that will probably become more useful the more you use it.

Assorted games - of which the ones I play most are BeeCells, Flight Control, Doodle Jump and Cogs. Frivolous but a good way to pass a train journey. I don't begrudge paying for games when they individually cost less than a pint and provide more enduring entertainment.

I've also used it as a phone occasionally.

d.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #72 on: February 16, 2010, 02:54:47 pm »
Doodlejump!   I can waste hours on this.....

Sigurd Mudtracker

Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #73 on: February 16, 2010, 09:53:55 pm »
I tried Fstream with no success at all: a brief snippet of audio and that's all.  Then I tried allRadio and had even less success, particularly galling as I spent 59p on it.  I don't know if a 1st generation iPod Touch is the problem or not.

But the Guardian app was well worth the money.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: iPhone apps
« Reply #74 on: February 20, 2010, 11:34:16 am »
Can anyone recommend a To Do List/Task Manager app?

I've downloaded the free version of 2Do and I'm liking it so far. ToodleDo also looks interesting. Any others I should consider?

d.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."