Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Parallels Offering $20 Apple Gift Card with Purchase

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!
Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac

Parallels is a software that will let you run Windows on your Mac. Different from Apple's Boot Camp, it runs within Mac OS. I.e., Windows application will run side-by-side with your Mac application!

I was planning to test out Parallels as soon as I get a Mac. Unfortunate for me, but fortunate for you Mac owners. Parallels is offering a $20 Apple gift card with a purchase of Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac. Go and get it and make use of this limited time offer. And be sure to let me know how it goes. Hopefully I will join the crowd by the end of this year...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Google (Gmail) Now Supports IMAP

Actually, this does not seem to be the case for all users. I personally have verified this. One of my Gmail account still did not have the IMAP feature available. Nonetheless, this is something great to have and what many have been waiting for. Your Gmail will perfectly sync on your iPhone and any other computer/device you would access your email from.

On your iPhone, you will have to manually set it up by selecting "Other" instead of "Gmail" since the iPhone is still not aware of this change to Google. For detailed instructions, Google has a great help page with pictures.

I'm not sure what some accounts don't have IMAP available, but if this is the case, you will have to do with the old fashion POP3 style.

I noticed that the iPhone will by default put your sent emails to "Sent Messages". This ends up creating a label "Sent Messages" in Gmail and tags all your outgoing emails. To avoid this, go to your mail settings on your iPhone and you can change the "Sent Mailbox" to "Sent Mail" under "[Gmail]".

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Google Finally iPhone Compatible

Yes, the iPhone has a full browser and that is its strength, but who wants to browse every single web site in full size? Zooming in, zooming out, scrolling up and down, left and right... This is the last resort, not the main way of browsing. And finally Google is iPhone optimized. Well, more accurately, they recognize your iPhone. I'm happy, but I can't stop from thinking why it took so much time. Anyways, try these familiar links on your iPhone; pretty convenient.

URL for Google Services

URL for Googe Apps

Again, for Google Apps users, don't forget to replace "example.com" with your hosted domain name.


Monday, October 22, 2007

How to Access Google Apps iPhone Edition

I'm not sure why Google doesn't make this easy or provide instructions on their web site.

Previously, I posted an article on how to setup Google Apps' email on the iPhone mail application. This article is about how to access the web mail interface that has an iPhone specific UI.

Well, it's easy; it's just an URL you need to access from your iPhone.


Make sure you change the "example.com" to whatever domain name you are hosting on Google. This interface has already been available with Gmail. I just had hard time figuring out how I can easily get the same interface on Google Apps' email.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Telecommunication 2.0? (tips and tricks...)

Let me tell you what I am trying to do this past couple months...

Shall I say "telecommunication 2.0"? It's the technology or the service of combining existing voice communication systems and the Internet; such as web 2.0 applications.

If you say telephone 2.0, that may be VoIP, but VoIP itself doesn't really have much appeal. True, in many corporate infrastructures, IP phones are becoming standard. But for most consumers, this doesn't really matter; VoIP is just an infrastructure technology. For the tech savvy, Skype and the sort may be cool, but it's not convenient as existing phones. Carrier backbones may switch to VoIP, but that again really doesn't matter to the consumers. So then, what am I trying to do? Not saying that I like the term "telecommunication 2.0", let me explain what this is about.

Recently, it's very interesting to see a lot of Internet applications that work with the public telephone network. They work with your land line phone or mobile phone and adds convenient features. It's not a replacement, but a complement. And it seems to be more attractive and useful than closed VoIP services which probably comes with bells and whistles. Here are the things I am trying out right now.

  • GrandCentral - Lifetime permanent telephone number.
    Now owned by Google, this service provides you a free lifetime phone number. It comes with advanced voicemail and call forwarding feature manageable via a web 2.0 interface. Calls to a GrandCentral number can be received on any of your existing phones. (It can be, but doesn't have to be VoIP!)
  • Teleflip - Email over SMS. (Hey, I like this copy... This is mine!)
    They actually have two services.
    flipMail fetches your emails and then sends them to your mobile phone via SMS. As long as you have text messaging (SMS) capability, you don't need a fancy hi-tech mobile phone.
    flipOut is a simple email-to-SMS service. Just send an email to <phone_number>@teleflip.com and it will be delivered via SMS. Plus, the recipient can reply back via SMS and return an email to the sender!
  • Pinger - Voice bulletin service.
    I really haven't tested out this service well yet. Basically what it does is that you record a voice message and then Pinger will send out a text message with a call back number. This text message can be sent to as many people as you want. The goal is, you just record once, and that voice message can be delivered to hundreds of people at the same time.

Probably there are more of these cool services. But I only brought up some that I thought were promising; plus, we don't want to over complicate here. Managing multiple services is not easy.

Just FYI, I don't have a land line and I'm using Gizmo and/or Skype for that purpose. This is another topic, but here, I consider them as land lines because all I need is a phone number. For mobile, I'm trying to make use of my iPhone but I'm not all happy with it yet. I've been contacting support of the service providers and sending them feedbacks and requests. We'll see how well they'll support the iPhone.

In the near future, I will post more details on each service and also discuss how it can well be used with an iPhone. And of course, your input is always welcome.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hot News From Apple - Leopard and more...

Some hot news from Apple. Things we've all been waiting for...

  1. Mac OS X Leopard gets a release date
    October 26, 6pm! Go and get it you Apple freaks! I'm going to try to wait until Apple releases a new MacBook. If I can wait...
  2. iTunes Plus is now 99 cents a track
    The DRM-free iTunes Plus track is now 99 cents from previous $1.29. Are people going to complain about this as well?
  3. Third party apps on the iPhone (includes iPod Touch)
    Finally Apple is going to release a SDK for third party application development on the iPhone. Steve says it will be available in February. Let's see what the hacking community does by then, and if that is going to impact Apple's release of the SDK. Also, wonder what the security strategy is and when Apple will give out more details...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Get $100 Rebate + Free Phone for a New iPhone!

No, it's not about the $100 store credit from Apple. But honestly, you can get a $100 rebate and a free phone for your new iPhone. That is exactly what I got. Thanks to my wife for helping me out on this.

If you are new to AT&T Wireless, you can get a free phone and even a $100 rebate for it. I think you can go to Amazon.com, but in our case, my wife went to LetsTalk.com. Buy a new phone and sign-up for a plan. I bought a Nokia 2610. Yeah, yeah... It sucks, you should get a better one. But I wanted this because it has not camera, small, light; just really simple. This is going to be my sub phone when my iPhone is activated. For a plan, actually, we got 2 phones so we signed up for a family plan.

Now you got a free phone and you'll get a $100 rebate after a few months. Next, buy an iPhone. If you got a store credit, good for you! Use that as well. Activate the iPhone with your new AT&T number.

Don't worry. There are no tricks or gotchas. It works perfectly fine. Although when you do have problems, AT&T customer support may drive you crazy.

Norton Joins the Super Heros (in Japan...)

Did you know that Norton Anti-virus joined the super hero force?

For more details, go to NORTON FIGHTER's official website. BTW, this is an official Symantec website.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

iPhone Experiment - SIM Card Swap

Just out of curiosity, I did some SIM card swapping experiments. Most of them are probably already reported by others. The test was conducted on the iPhone shipped on Sep. 28, 2007 and before any activation. I am uncertain of the firmware version at the moment.

  1. SIM card from unlocked iPhone
    I inserted a SIM card from another unlocked iPhone (activation without AT&T). Did not do anything.
  2. SIM card from another AT&T phone
    As reported by many, did not do anything.
  3. SIM card from another AT&T activated iPhone
    This also did not do anything...

So, I assume that the phone itself must be activated or unlocked to use it. SIM card has nothing to do with it. Especially #3 was surprising. So if you get a replacement iPhone, I guess it's not as easy as just swapping the SIM card...

Okay, experiments are enough. I'm going to activate the iPhone for real this time.

My First Apple Online Store Experience (second iPhone)

So, we finally purchased our second iPhone!

This was actually my first Apple Online Store experience. How was it? Not bad, but not too good either...

First, my wife got the $100 store credit for our first iPhone. That went smooth. Then, we went on to the Apple Online Store and purchased an iPhone along with some accessories; a total of approx. $480. We applied the $100 store credit and paid the rest via credit card. As soon as we finalized the order, the iPhone was on its way; from Shenzen, China via FedEx Air! My goodness, no wonder the iPhone is expensive... But it's amazing how fast things travel around the world nowadays.

While the iPhone was on its way, Apple notified me that the credit card did not approve the payment and that my order would be canceled. At the same time, my credit card company reported that they detected a fraud. Well, it turns out to be something frustrating. Apple wanted to charge things separately. Accessories and the iPhone w/ $100 credit. So it ended up my card being charged $333 for the discounted iPhone and 50 something dollars for the accessories; 2 separate lines. I'm not sure what caused it to detect as fraud, but just because of this, is was such a hassle calling Apple and the credit company and have each of them understand what was going on. I wonder if this had to do with how the $100 store credit was applied...

Anyways, I got my iPhone today, and my case should arrive tomorrow.