1. I hate the iPhone's touchscreen keypad. To crank out messages with any kind of speed I need both hands on it, and I still make frequent mistakes. With the beautifully tactile keypad of my old Motorola e815 and T9, I could quickly text one-handed while walking, like a New Yorker should, leaving one hand free for coffee and one eyeball free to scan for taxis; the iPhone requires stopping and focusing--anathema to an impatient multitasker in transit. I have gotten really good at finding horizontal surfaces to rest my coffee on.
I'm hoping the solution lies in Gary Fung's Typing Genius, a typing tutorial/exerciser meant to build your iPhone typing speed. Ridiculous? Maybe to you, but after missing my third taxi because of trying to add the goddamn apostrophe to "he'll" so it doesn't come out "hell," I figured the $1.99 might be worth it.
Typing Genius runs you through simple, short exercises just like your high school touch-typing class, starting with localized keys and gradually spreading out.
Immediately after completing each exercise it spits out your score--speed, words- and characters-per-minute, and accuracy--and it's gratifying to see your speed/accuracy quickly increase with subsequent attempts.
There's also a "tips" section, and the short exercises are the perfect dead-zone time sink; you can bang a few out on the subway you'll be taking after missing that taxi.
2. Griffin's new recording app, iTalk Recorder, kicks ass!
As a writer conducting interviews, I have to carry a second iPod with a Belkin recorder attachment, and transferring the resultant audio files means plugging into my computer. Griffin's iTalk means I can now do all that with my iPhone, giving me one less thing to carry.
The interface is simple, well-designed, and well-thought-out--if you turn the phone around to aim the mouthpiece at someone sitting across the table from you, the interface "flips" 180 so you can still read it. I love little details like this.
There's no practical limit on recording length, so I can get those hour-long interviews as long as I have the hard drive space; a gigabyte will store 200 to 800 minutes, depending on the quality setting. And when the recording's done, you can quickly and easily name the file, an impossibility with my earlier and unwieldy iPod-recorder set-up.
Transferring the files is dead easy. Once you've downloaded Griffin's free, corresponding iTalk Sync to your computer, your phone can beam the recordings to your machine as AIFF files. Pop 'em open in iTunes and you're ready to go. I did it so quickly I was like, "What just happened?"
Best of all, this app is currently and temporarily free! Get it while it's hot. (Sorry PC guys, it's currently Mac only.)
3. I sometimes think of product design as a diagnostic tool for our society's ills. Bear with me for a sec.
Doctors can't detect certain diseases, but they can detect the antibodies your body produces in response.
Specific product designs can be like antibodies--their very existence indicates certain problems we face as a society.
So what does it say about us that someone wrote an iPhone app called "FakeCalls," that ranks 4 out of 5 stars (with 430 reviews at press time)?
Have you ever been in the situation where you need the perfect excuse to get out of the room or step out of an annoying conversation?
FakeCalls will "dial" you at a predetermined time, so your conspicuously ringing phone will give you a reason to step away. That's right, when human interaction becomes unbearable, a computer can enter the situation and separate you from the offending life-form.
I haven't downloaded this app.
via apple insider, griffin technology and tuaw