iPhone OS 3.1, iTunes 9, New iPods Today

As expected, Apple rolled out several updates and new iPods today. So here’s a quick recap:

 

iPhone OS 3.1

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The iPhone OS 3.1 update was rumored to be in the works shortly after 3.0 was released. This new version adds Genius App Store recommendations. I’ll be interested to try this feature. The idea is that now that there are over 75,000 apps available on the App Store that you can’t possibly find them all or see them all. So like Genius playlists, this feature will recommend Apps to you. Should be fun. 

Free update, available today via iTunes

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New iPods today!

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Today is Apple’s annual iPod event

 

It’s highly likely that we’ll see a complete new line of iPods introduced today and possibly a new version of iTunes too. An Apple TV update would be sweet too.

 

I don’t like to deal in rumors, but here is the running list of rumors about what’s on tap for today:

  • New iPod nano with camera
  • New iPod touch (16GB, 32GB & 64GB) with camera, microphone and maybe video recording
  • New iTunes 9 with social networking features
  • Either a New iPod Classic with a camera/wi-fi or the iPod classic will be discontinued completely
  • New shuffle??? Maybe?
  • Beatles catalog coming to iTunes
  • Beatles Special Edition iPod that includes the entire collection
  • iPhone OS 3.1 Update (non-destructive video editing, 3GS voice control over bluetooth, bug fixes)
  • New Apple TV update (the 40GB model seems to be out of stock at the Apple Store online)

I’ll give you my run down of the event and my thoughts after the introductions are made. Check back here later today.

 

 

What do you want in iPhone OS 4.0?

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Disclaimer – I know that for many of you the first "feature" you would like to see is the iPhone on another carrier besides AT&T. In all honesty that day probably isn’t too far away. The Apple AT&T Exclusive Contract ends in the 2010-2011 timeframe and I’d bet money that we’ll see a 4G Verizon iPhone. So my focus here is not going to be on carrier support.

 

While iPhone OS 3.0 certainly brought a lot to the table and went a long way towards bringing some long awaited features and capabilities to the iPhone. The over 60,000 available 3rd party apps have also filled in many gaps. Although the 3.0 update makes a great phone even better, the iPhone is not perfect and there is still room for improvement. Also yes I know that there are apps and workarounds for some of the items I’m listing below, but I feel that these features should be BUILT-IN!

 

So I thought I would start a NEW list of the features and enhancements that I would like to see come in the next major update. 

 

Flash support

This is now my number one feature request. Safari on the iPhone was definitely a breakthrough in web browsing on a smart phone. However, without an Adobe Flash plug-in there are still way too many sites that are inaccessible on the iPhone. Why doesn’t Adobe just do it? The problem is that although 3rd party apps can be written, Safari on the iPhone doesn’t have support of plug-ins. So the ONLY way that the iPhone can get Flash support is with Apple’s help. There, I said it.

 

Now in no particular order, the rest of my list….

 

Mail Needs an Overhaul

Unified Inbox

In both Calendar and Contacts, I can either look at a single calendar or a single group of contacts. However, in Mail I can still only look at one inbox at a time. While I can live with that, the back back back method of switching between different email accounts is a pain. If we can’t have a unitifed inbox (like there is in the desktop version of Mail) we should at least have popup menu to easily switch between accounts.

Spam Filter

It would be great to either have a built-in Spam filter or at least allow 3rd parties to create one. My favorite one on Mac OS X is SpamSieve. I’d love to see it as an iPhone app.

Mail to a Group

I have groups of contacts, yet I have no easy way to email to a group other than having to key the names in each time.

Multiple Signatures

It would be great to have multiple email signatures or at least one per account. I do both work and personal email on my iPhone. As it stands now I have to have one generic one.

Mail Rules

All of your mail comes into the Inbox whether you want it to or not. In the desktop version of Mail or Outlook you can set up Rules to automatically file messages, respond to them, mark them as read, etc. I’d like to see Mail Rules in Mail on the iPhone too.

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My New iPhone Book 3rd Edition is Now In Stock at Amazon!

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I’m very pleased to see that my New iPhone Book 3rd Edition is Now Available at Amazon.com. I think this is the best edition yet (I’m a little biased that way). We (my amazing co-author and dear friend Scott Kelby, number one selling computer book author in the world!) went through the book page by page and not only rewrote the pages that needed rewriting, but we also simplified a lot of the language even further. We also added tons of new tips that cover the iPhone 3GS, iPod touch and of course the iPhone 3.0 OS update. So whether you’re a brand new iPhone user or someone that just wants to learn more about your iPhone this book has something for you.

As an added bonus there are links to videos that Scott and I recorded covering our favorite apps, tips and accessories.

Order your copy today!

Happy Labor Day!

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Take some time out from the tech world and go enjoy it with your family and friends. I’m having an awesome vacation!

Thanks!

 

iPhone App of the Week – DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition

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As a portrait photographer I’m very used to shooting in a controlled environment like my studio. I’m also used to shooting tethered into my laptop. So when onOne announced that their DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition app for the iPhone was now compatible with Nikon DSLR’s, I was intrigued and wanted to try it out.

 

Before we go any further

Before I get into this app let me first tell you what it does AND what’s required to use it. First off you’ll need a compatible Canon or Nikon DSLR camera. Here’s the list of the ones that this app works with. Next you’re going to need to plug that camera into your Mac or PC using a USB cable and you’re going to need to run the onOne DSLR Camera Remote Server app (free download here.) Lastly you’re going to need a Wi-Fi connection between your iPhone/iPod touch and your laptop so that the app can control your tethered camera.

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Hey AT&T! Summer is almost over! Where is my MMS?

MMS-sendingErikBernskiold

For the Northern Hemisphere, as in the United States, Canada and most of Europe, Fall begins on September 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm EDT.

AT&T promised us that we would have MMS messaging for the iPhone this "Summer".  Although AT&T did recently announce that MMS is coming on September 25th (3 days after summer officially ends), there is still no word on Tethering support (which was given no timeline at all except for "in the Future").

I’m not a fan of AT&T nor do I hate them. I’ve had AT&T service for years before the iPhone. However, I’m starting to see WHY so many people complain about their service. The mere mention of AT&T in a public setting will usually get you a few glares and eye rolls.

We can speculate and take AT&T at their word that in order to allow for iPhones to do MMS, they had to do some network upgrades. However, the odd thing is that MMS is hardly new technology. All other AT&T phones can do this and have been doing this for years. Tethering is also not a new thing. Again, other AT&T smart phones can do this. What this really says is that although AT&T allows both MMS and Tethering on other phones, these features must either be rarely used by non-iPhone users or that they are so hard to do on other phones that most people don’t ever use these features. So it was OK to offer these features with the existing network to non-iPhone users because they couldn’t handle the traffic. Studies have shown that because the iPhone is so easy to use that 80% or more iPhone users do web browsing and email REGULARLY on their iPhones. So it’s a sure bet that iPhone users will also be using MMS too!

Note to AT&T: Advertising that you have the biggest, fastest 3G network doesn’t really mean much if you can’t actually do anything on it!

We all know that the minute Apple announces iPhone availability on another US carrier such as Verizon, that they will see an immediate increase in market share especially from those hold outs that have refused to go on AT&T’s service. Now what will really be interesting is how many people will LEAVE AT&T to go to Verizon for their iPhone service?

 

 

 
 
 

UPDATE: Seth, the AT&T Blogger responds!

A lesson in customer service – I’m trying to give you more money!

 badcustomerservice

I’m not one to complain a lot. I count my blessings every day. I also understand how business works (most of the time). However, sometimes I run into a situation that boggles my mind. You may remember my review of the HyperMac External Battery a few weeks back. As a matter of fact I bought it for the trip that I’m on right now. Although my initial calculations seemed to suggest that I would have enough battery life for the long plane ride(s), I wanted to make sure by going with the next model up ($100 more). 

By the way, the battery did last the whole trip! It’s amazing!

 

Don’t you want my money?

I emailed the customer service guys over at HyperMac and explained that not only did I like their product, but I liked it so much that I wanted a larger one. My hope was that since I hadn’t really used it yet (other than the one day of testing), that I could simply exchange it for the next size up and pay the difference. I ordered it on 7/24/09 and sent the request to trade up on 8/15/09.  I was actually kind of shocked by the response:

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What I want in an Apple Tablet/Netbook

Rumors have been swirling for years that Apple is working on a tablet device. To be honest, the thought of a tablet computer has never really excited me. Sure, it would be nice to have a device to walk around the house with and do internet stuff with. However, I think I would be frustrated the first time I went to go do something and I couldn’t because it wasn’t a real computer.

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