A Swype iPhone solution is yet to arrive, but after seeing my roommate use Swype on his HTC EVO, I’m eagerly awaiting a similar Swype keyboard for iPhone.
Why Swype for iPhone?
What is Swype?Swype is a modification available on some Android devices that lets you input text by sliding your finger from key to key and lifting it only to begin a new word. Swype is the most efficient way to type. In fact, the technology even earned a Guinness world record for typing speed.
Check out my friend using Swype on his EVO in the video above. This was his first day using Swype, but imagine the potential.
Swype for iPhone is theoretically possible, but would likely be contained within an app, which is less than ideal. For example, the ShapeWriter app, which is no longer available in the App Store, was similar to Swype, but you had to type your text within the app and then copy and paste it into whichever app you wanted to input the text in.
However, a genuine Swype iPhone solution would be easily implemented on jailbroken iPhones. Whether for factory or jailbroken iPhones, I hope to see a Swype iPhone keyboard soon.
I have really enjoyed the quality, portability and protection offered by the iMainGo 2 iPhone speakers. Watch this video for my complete review:
The iMainGo2 case is ultra protective, including a plastic screen that does not hinder use of the iPhone’s touchscreen. The plastic screen suffers from air bubbles, but the protection is invaluable. I love using the iMainGo2 while I cook or garden outdoors, since I can control the music without getting my iPhone dirty.
The speakers offer loud, high fidelity audio, although they sometimes “crunch” a little bit at the highest volume levels. They are definitely loud enough, though.
Overall, I have been happy with the iMainGo2, but I would love to see some controls on the case to allow me to use the iPhone’s volume buttons and the on/off switch. I would also like to be able to receive phone calls while the iPhone is in the case, since the iMainGo2 does not allow access to the microphone.
Update: I’ve realized that I sometimes forget to turn the unit off, and that’s because the on/off button for the iMainGo2 is inside the case. I would really appreciate an LED light on the outside of the case so that I know when it is turned on.
A video I once created about ZiPhone now has nearly half a million views on YouTube because it cleverly showcased a Jailbreak solution that could be installed in under a minute. Although ZiPhone was once a fast and useful iPhone Jailbreak software, this utility has since become obsolete, and its creator is profiting off of confusion over the old software.
What is ZiPhone? ZiPhone was the first (free) iPhone jailbreak software I discovered, and it was in fact one of the first truly easy jailbreak solutions. I saw that a lot of people were demoing ZiPhone on YouTube, so I added a video to YouTube to show how easy it was to jailbreak with ZiPhone — so easy a caveman could do it, and in under a minute at that!
Jailbreak is Tough Business
The video went viral and Zibri from ZiPhone enjoyed some much-deserved recognition for his iPhone jailbreak software. But as it turns out, jailbreak is not an easy business to be in when you are constantly playing cat and mouse games with Apple.
Every time Apple issues an iPhone update, you have to update your jailbreak software to get around some new restrictions. I can imagine how time consuming it must be to develop jailbreak software and I commend Zibri for his work as well as the Dev-Team for their tireless efforts to distribute free jailbreak software for every iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
ZiPhone Creator Quits
The ZiPhone creator, however, seems to have given up on jailbreak. Now, ZiPhone.org is a butchered, ad-infested version of what it used to be. While Zibri used to constantly post updates to his blog about Jailbreak software improvements, his posts are now absent from the site and it seems others have been hired to post general blog updates.
The link to “Download ZiPhone” is still in the navigation, though, and clicking it takes you to a page where a couple of download links (Windows and Mac) are hard to point out in the flood of advertising banners (six!) tempting you with the “Easiest Way to Unlock.”
If you are able to get around the ads and download the ZiPhone jailbreak software, you’ll come to an application that was last updated March 2008. Something tells me this software is severely out of date.
If you plug in your iPhone, click “Jailbreak” and then end up screwed, you’ve got nowhere to get help. ZiPhone.org offers no support, and clicking the Contact link in the navigation does nothing.
A thread at modmyi reveals that ZiPhone is in fact “extinct.” Yet Google still ranks the site well for jailbreak-related terms, therefore many visitors are likely deceived by ZiPhone each day.
Now, I’m not saying a guy can’t make a living, but it seems ZiPhone.org is turning a profit at the expense of iPhone users. ZiPhone is unsupported, outdated software, and the deceptively placed ads on ZiPhone.org point to jailbreak software that you can get for free in plenty of places. For these reasons, I withdraw my support for ZiPhone and I don’t recommend you download it.
My YouTube video got a laugh out of a lot of people, but after it became outdated, ZiPhone confused the hell out of iPhone owners looking to jailbreak. It’s time I set the record straight about this iPhone jailbreak software. Sorry for any confusion it might have caused.
They even removed a game because the main character (read: cartoon) wore a skimpy outfit.
The App Store changes are due to customer complaints from a vocal minority of people embarked on a crusade to rid the world of the slightest titillation because, well, “think of the children!” Here’s a letter to Apple from one of these censorship-minded Puritans. Let’s hope these folks don’t have their way or the iPhone is going to become rather… unstimulating:
Dear Apple & Mr. Jobs,
I commend your recent decision to remove sexually-suggestive apps from the iPhone App Store. When I discovered that 8 of my 12 children had downloaded Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet on their iPhones and iPod Touches, I was deeply agitated by the outfit on that Ms. Daisy. Really, a thong on a cartoon character? Where do these app developers get off exposing my innocent young boys and girls to such provocative imagery? And those bikini photo apps, DEAR LORD are those out of line. Thank you for laying down the law and forbidding these graphic applications.
It was a step in the right direction, however I still have some suggestions for improving the iPhone and making it more family-friendly. Please remove the following apps from the iPhone or I am afraid I can no longer remain an Apple customer:
Messages: After I heard about this “sexting” craze among teenagers, I can’t help but think your Messages app will encourage my children to engage in this lewd and lascivious act. Please remove it.
Camera: Do you realize that innocent children can use the iPhone camera to photograph women in bikinis (at the public pool, on TV, or at the beach), just like those tramps in the apps that you have rightfully banned?
Photos: I would prefer my sons not be able to use their iPhones to store photos of women they find attractive. Heaven forbid he refer to these photos for the sinful purposes of arousal! Worse, photos from the Internet can be stored in this application, opening the door to all kinds of inappropriate content. I demand that Apple remove the Photos app or else lose my patronage.
YouTube: I am sure you are aware of the smut on this vile video site. Once while browsing for instructional videos on knitting and scripture, I inadvertently stumbled upon videos of women in bikinis. What is this world coming to? I would prefer that YouTube be removed from the iPhone as well.
Maps: What were you thinking including this Maps application on the iPhone? I would really rather my children not know that there is an entire world outside of their safe and cozy home.
Notes: The Notes application permits my children to freely express and document their thoughts. I can’t support that kind of behavior.
iTunes Store and iPod: I know that iPhone permits me to ban Explicit Content from the iTunes Store and the iPod, but I would really rather my children not listen to music at all. Popular music promotes free thought and dissent, and I prefer my children do as I say. Beyonce is not the mother of my kids, I am.
Settings: Settings gives my child too much control over her iPhone. I am the one who paid $300 for their iPhones, I deserve the right to control every aspect.
App Store: Now that I think about it, you should just remove the App Store altogether. As I was writing this letter, I discovered my child playing this violent Quake game on his iPhone. Now, I am all for the Second Amendment but my Joey is too young to be shooting a gun. I have also discovered that despite your recent ban on stimulating apps, the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition app is still on the iPhone! Please remove the App Store altogether.
Phone: When I discovered 1-800-LETS-DO-IT on my phone bill last month, I realized this iPhone is giving my children all kinds of freedom. I would like the Phone app banned, or at least give me the option to set my phone number as the only contact.
Email: The Email app lets my children receive all kinds of inappropriate emails, whether from their prepubescent friends (whose heads are always in the gutter, I tell you!) or from spam lists that deliver pornography or promises to enlarge a certain private part. I don’t allow my children to setup email accounts, so I would rather they not have access to the Email application.
Safari: This is my last request, but my most important. I nearly fainted when I learned that Safari could access ALL OF THE INTERNET, including pornographic content way more explicit than any of those apps you banned from the App Store. I won’t begin to detail the things I have seen in my boys’ Safari history. This app is the devil, it must be removed!
If I am going to criticize you for what you have done wrong, I should also praise you for what you have done right. I love the Clocks app, it is very useful for waking my children up in the early morning to milk the cows! The Calendar is wonderful for keeping my kids on track with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities. The Calculator is of great assistance for their math homework. And the Weather and Stocks apps are fine, too. Nevertheless, the majority of iPhone apps I consider inappropriate, for the reasons outlined above.
I understand that iPhone has certain Parental Controls, and that you could simply implement Parental Controls in the App Store to keep the adult apps out of sight from my naive children, but really I would just rather you remove all of the applications that can potentially be used to access graphic content. It would give me peace of mind and it would establish Apple as a family company in my mind.
Thank you for your understanding.
P.S. Oh, and those sexy rounded edges on the iPhone body… please fix that too.
My opinion (video)
What do you think?
What do you think of Prudence’s letter above? Should Apple take more care to protect children from the leagues of inappropriate material they can access on the iPhone? I welcome your opinion in the comments.
Update: Commenter reinharden thinks Prudence does not go far enough in her call for app bans:
As lust for money is the root of all evil, the stock app should be removed as well.
If the map app is removed so as to not pollute the minds of the young with notions of faraway places, similarly the clock app should be modified so as to only show the time at the current location. And the weather app should only show the local weather.
And frankly I’m not sure how I feel about all this touching, especially when combined with all that pinching and zooming. It’s all too sensual and likely overly stimulating for young minds (and hands!).
I’ve asked my readers what one iPhone feature they would like to see in 2010, and the responses have been trickling in.
Here are my top 10 feature wishes, including some that my readers have mentioned:
Increased SMS privacy. For a long time, Apple caused humiliating situations for many iPhone owners because of its SMS Preview feature, which interrupts you to display an excerpt of the content of an incoming text message on your screen. You couldn’t turn off SMS Preview, so an inconvenient or naughty text message would pop up on your screen for anyone to see. Read: How Has iPhone’s SMS Preview Gotten You Into Trouble? Apple fixed the problem, but I would like them to take it one step further and allow me to turn off all notifications for text messages.
Locking native apps like Messages, Email and Calendar. I don’t want to Passcode Lock my entire iPhone, I just want to lock certain apps. Let me put a password on my text messages, emails, and any app I want.
Delete native app icons from the home screens. No longer are the Weather, YouTube and Stocks apps the highlight of iPhone’s magnificence. I use more apps from the App Store than I use the native, rudimentary ones. Let me delete native apps from my home screen, they are wasted space.
Ritchie Champagne says:
I want to delete the stock and weak weather apps that came with the phone.
Multitasking. I want a Google Latitude app that broadcasts my location to friends even when the app is closed. I want music from Pandora to play while I browse the web on Safari. I want multitasking on my iPhone.
Better battery life. No doubt the main reason Apple has not enabled multitasking on iPhone is that it would be a battery drain. For that reason, I hope to see a better battery on new iPhones in 2010.
Laura T. Rush says:
Better/longer battery life
Removable battery. The iPhone’s lithium ion battery will weaken over time, and you will have to replace your entire iPhone, instead of just the battery. Also, if your iPhone battery drains on any given day when you are away from an outlet, you’ll have to own a backup battery add-on if you want to add battery life to your iPhone. What if I could just pop in another battery instead. iPhone’s fixed battery is inconvenient, and an unfair way of forcing you into buying another iPhone. This is the reason some people don’t buy the iPhone, including my step-grandfather Virgil, who is interested in one but does not like the idea of not being able to remove the battery.
A hardware switch for custom uses. I would like a switch to turn off WiFi, or to launch the camera or any other app. Essentially, I would like a switch that I can use for whatever I want… a Settings Switch?
A custom button to add your own text sound alerts.
Allow media downloads. If you can download songs, movies and applications from whatever sources to your Macbook, why then does your iPhone forbid you from downloading media to your device? Apple has too much control over my iPhone. I demand the right to download whatever media I want to my iPhone.
An open platform. I don’t expect Apple to go ahead and reveal all the source code for the iPhone platform, but I would like the iPhone platform to be more accessible to developers so that they could be free to build apps that interact with native iPhone features. For example, an app that accomplishes functions like hiding text messages or putting your calendar as your wallpaper. A more open platform for iPhone would be very appealing.
The thing I would really like my iPhone to be is an open platform…
No more carrier exclusivity in the US. You don’t need me to tell you AT&T has made a lot of iPhone users very angry, most notably for dropped calls and weak 3G coverage. I would like to see Apple drop the US exclusivity deal with AT&T, and allow me to use my iPhone on any carrier.
iTunes Giftcard Giveaway
Let me know your iPhone wish for 2010 and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win one of ten $15 iTunes gift cards. Tell me if you agree with any of my iPhone wishes, or if you have an iPhone wish of your own. To enter, go here: 10 iTunes Gift Cards for 2010! [Comment to Win]Update: The giveaway is now over. Happy New Year and thanks for playing!
Watch the video below to see the new Voice Memos app in iPhone 3.0.
Voice Memos is a simple, useful iPhone app. But frankly, I don’t know why it was necessary for Apple to create it, since there are other recording apps in the App Store that closely resemble Voice Memos. I use Griffin’s iTalk, for example.