Posts made in July, 2008

Three secret iPhone 2.0 tips

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 in Hints, iPhone, Opinions

So besides the more obvious new features, Apple has also added a fair bit of spit & polish in nooks and crannies you might not notice them. Here’s two changes and one “hack” I’ve found so far:

1. Banish Marker Felt from Notes with Chinese

Take care of Marker Felt Olympic style! It seems as though the iPhone automatically substitutes unsupported fonts when typing languages with glyphs. Simply add Chinese as an additional keyboard layout and type a single character to switch the current note’s font to Helvetica (at least I think it’s Helvetica!).

The downside? This trick needs to be done for every new note you create.

2. Improved auto-correction

The auto-correction feature now seems to work a bit better and first letter substitutions in particular seem a lot smoother: When only a single letter of a word is corrected, that change is made seamlessly, without the “drop-in” animation you get with more extensive corrections. It’s a minor detail, but it does make typing feel a lot easier.

3. Add / Edit contacts whilst on a call

You may be wondering why Apple has added a “dedicated” Contacts app, especially it offers the exact same functionality as the contacts list within the phone application. Well now you can easily lookup, add or edit contact information whilst on a call!

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Apple accidently charges users for MobileMe trial

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 in Opinions, The web

And this is why forcing users to enter credit card details to test a free trial of your somewhat troubled online service is a bad idea – here’s one users experience after signing up for a trial:

“I have just checked my card account online and apple have put a £121 pending transaction on the card! that’s not even 1 years subscription.”

Link to the relevant Apple Support Discussion thread.

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That took a while… Apple finally getting around to suing Pystar

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 in Opinions

So it looks that whilst it took them a while to get around to it (hey – releasing highly anticipated CE devices can keep you occupied!) Apple is now finally suing Pystar.

Some have been expecting this move for a while. Whilst Apple doens’t seem to be coming down to harshly on the homebrew Hackintosh community, people selling them commercially is obviously something that hurts Apple’s business and this suit was to be expected.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the other company planning to offer a commercial hackintosh product, EFix (who have announced a USB dongle solution) is reconsidering their launch on hearing today’s news.

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Error message of the week

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 in Mac

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MobileMe trial now requires Credit Card & Opt-Out

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 in Mac, Opinions

In what I believe is a change from the previous .mac trial model, Apple is now requiring potential customers to enter  credit card details in order to test mobileme for 60 days. That in itself isn’t too bad, but the trial membership will now also automatically be upgraded to a full membership unless you cancel the subscription during the trial. I think requiring users to opt-out these types of trials always seems a bit dubious and isn’t the most user-friendly approach to take.

I suppose it helps to prevent people from “freeloading” by using multiple email addresses to use the service for multiple trial periods, but I find it hard to imagine anyone actually bothering to do that (especially considering some of mobileme’s features have excellent free alternatives). But I’m sure some people who have a more casual interest in the new services and want to ‘try before they buy‘ may be inclined to not bother signing up for a trial because of this.

Ideally I see a trial model where users are encouraged to enter Credit Card details, but are presented with a simple dialog window at the end of the trial period that offers a single-click option to automatically upgrade to a full membership. Sure, Apple would miss out on a few customers that simply forget to cancel the subscription, but I think the customers retained anyway would appreciate the entire experience all the more due to the “pro-customer” approach.

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