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robotic life signs.
makes noise, hears sounds, intafon.
affe auf deux roues.

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Yes, I am now one of those people I said scare me in an earlier post, having recently acquired a 16gb iPhone. I have to say, out of the box, it has been a pretty interesting experience, as the device very nearly fulfills what I pretty much have wanted for a long time in a mobile network connected device. I hesitate to gush; there are still some unsettling aspects of it such as the slow Edge network speed and the occasional crash. In fact, the when it crashes it is really annoying because the OS continues to run, but several applications will just refuse to work. Granted, I don’t want an iPhone blue screen or that crazy OSX multilingual black shroud crash, but the first time it happens is very unsettling.

I also had a difficult time getting my contacts and calendars to sync. If you are viewing this post with that same problem, I was able to remedy the problem by opening iSync, going to the iSync preferences, and under Advanced – click the “Reset Sync History” button.

The best part about the iPhone is its ability to connect to the internet via any available WiFi hotspot. I navigated all around SF last weekend using the maps functionality and 511.org and hopped around multiple hotspots in the city. Using Muni in this city has never been easier. I have to say, this more than makes up for the lack of speed on the Edge network (at least in a place like SF). AND, I say this with moderate excitement — BART WiFi is available in some BART stations. I don’t know if it is available in all stations, and I don’t know why I would ever pull a laptop out of my bag at a station, but its pretty great if you have a WiFi enabled phone.

Of course, the first thing I had to do, mostly out of principal and secondly out of burning curiosity, was to jailbreak the phone. I kept reading posts about “bricking” one’s phone that made me a bit timid, but I am 90% sure now that unless you do some serious mischief on your phone, everything is fixable with a restore.  I ended up using ZiPhone 2.6b for my jailbreak operation, which was super smooth. Note: I used only the “Jailbreak” option, the one that says “Best choice for ‘official’ carriers;”  that is all I know, and I can’t help you past there. It did work for me, however, and worked very well. The next thing that was required was to install the community sources in the Installer application loaded onto the phone, which gives you access to the “official” list of 3rd party apps for the iPhone and iPhone Lonely Edition (iPod Touch).

I have to say though, with all the booing that enthusiasts did regarding the iPhone not yet enabling 3rd party apps other than web apps, the web app functionalities are rather nice.  More on that later, but just to say, my favorite web apps so far for Home bookmarking are the most simple, such as google, AA.com (kudos to American Airlines for getting that one right),  and although I don’t use it, Twitter has a nice simple interface. Most of the third party native apps are still in their infancy and not terribly impressive. There are a couple that are pretty nice though.

BossPrefs and PocketTouch I think rank as my number 2 best third party apps. PocketTouch aptly allows for simple iPod functions for volume and next/previous functionality using swipe gestures on the touchscreen. It also features a silly but kind of cool function that allows you to play a random track by shaking the phone. (so the next time you see someone on the train shaking their hand in their pocket, don’t be so quick to judge…) BossPrefs is great. It does what it is supposed to do, namely that it allows you to turn off and on various network services on your phone, including OpenSsh, if you have that installed.

My number 1 pick so far, however, is MobileScrobbler. If you participate in the whole LastFm thing, you already know what LastFm is and I don’t need to explain it; if you don’t check it out — you may or may not like it, but anyway… MobileScrobbler is one of the the most mature apps I have seen so far, and allows you to stream radio via WiFi. Very nice. It probably kills your battery life, but hey…what are you going to do…