Having discovered this glorious news via TUAW last night, I immediately linked to the the Google provided directions and had no issues setting up a new IMAP account on iPrecious.  I did find it curious upon reading other news accounts about this, that Matt Miller found his account wasn’t working yet due to how Google must be provisioning this rollout?  Another curious thing is that I skipped enabling IMAP in my gmail settings and yet it downloaded messages to my phone and is syncing my changes without a hiccup.

Another question to ask is this:  why would Google give me less need to actually manage my account from a full web browser where they can throw targeted ads in my field of vision?

Having discovered this glorious news via TUAW last night, I immediately linked to the the Google provided directions and had no issues setting up a new IMAP account on iPrecious.  I did find it curious upon reading other news accounts about this, that Matt Miller found his account wasn’t working yet due to how Google must be provisioning this rollout?  Another curious thing is that I skipped enabling IMAP in my gmail settings and yet it downloaded messages to my phone and is syncing my changes without a hiccup.

Another question to ask is this:  why would Google give me less need to actually manage my account from a full web browser where they can throw targeted ads in my field of vision?

Perfect Storm Forming

October 19, 2007

You didn’t really think South Florida was the 2nd best college football team in the country did you?  But if they weren’t who was/is?   The answer we don’t know now, and we won’t know it by the time the last BCS poll is published either.  Parity among the top 20 teams (and beyond with the App St./ Michigan and Stanford/USC upsets as exhibits A & B) in college football this year has never been so obvious and lead to such unpredictable results.  At this point no one can honestly say they have a clue who the top 10 teams in the final polls will be, much less the top 5, or the top 2!

So, again why must we argue over who is number 2, when a much better argument to have would be over who is number 7 or 8?  This way, we would be much less likely to exclude deserving teams from a shot at the national title.  What would it take to make this happen? Adding two very lucrative games to the current BCS bowl schedule, sandwiched between the the 4 traditional New Year’s Day games (or “around New Year’s Day” at least) and the national title game.

The final BCS poll would finalize college football’s Elite 8, and the 4 NYD bowls would suddenly have huge relevance every year in addition to then having the national title game every 4th year, just like it is now.  Except, 2 “Final Four” games would have to be played to determine the participants in the title game, and I say make them home field advantage games based on final BCS rankings.  In other words if you win in the BCS quarterfinal round and you’re ranked higher than the team you would be slotted to face in the semifinal round, you host it.  How freaking cool would this be if say a Michigan or a Florida hosted this kind of high stakes game.  I mean as great as the “around New Year’s” day quarterfinal round would be, this semifinal round would be as compelling as anything in sports…..ever!  And the end result is you almost can’t not wind up with the two best, or most deserving teams in the country playing for the trophy.

With another unpredictable Saturday of “upsets” bound to occur tomorrow, maybe I should pretend we’re already immersed in the playoffs I can now only dream of happening.  But the kind of storm it would take to make my dream a reality is taking shape, and it looks to get much stronger as it hovers and gains speed above a very warm gulf of convention……

111 days of iPhone dislikes

October 19, 2007

There is plenty to like about the iPhone 16 weeks after I purchased it, including some of the recent 1.1.1 software upgrade enhancements like the double click home button feature, as well as the super snappy and simple iTunes wifi app. But there are plenty of things that have frustrated me thus far, and are as follows by order of
annoyance level:

The keyboard is probably better than I feel like it is, but the lack of
tactile response and my fat fingers combine for a pretty awful thumb
typing experience. However, the text prediction just got me through
the preceding sentence (and all but one word in this one) without the
need to correct or even hit the backspace “button” once. I have to
admit that’s much better than I would have done on a real thumb
keyboard, but the typing experience is definitely the key sacrifice
you make for the screen size and the overall UI experience. It’s a
trade off that at most moments I am happy to make, but not all moments
to be sure.

The typing issue certainly affects the usefulness of the email
application, but even excluding that as a factor the email app needs a
lot of improvement. My chief complaint is the number of taps required
to move from one account to another. Also, full blown HTML messages
are nice but only really practical over wifi. If someone sends you a
note with large attachments forget about even being able to read the text in the note via EDGE. In fact, I received one such email from a
family member and attempting to open it completely locked the iPhone
up requiring a soft reset a la Windows Mobile. I saw this happen I
think 5 different times exactly the same way, so I’ m convinced as to
the cause. This was before the first software update (1.01, followed by 1.02, and then of course the 3rd party app killing 1.1.1) and I haven’t
seen this happen due to large attachment messages since, but the fury
this caused me still lingers….

One thing the aforementioned update seemed to have fixed was the flaky
crashes Safari mobile was quickly becoming infamous for. However, the
Apple and/or Google developers don’t seem to have cracked the code on
the same problem occurring regularly in the otherwise glorious Google
Maps app even now by the 3rd software update.

The only other issue with Google Maps on the iPhone is how much more
intuitive it would be with a back button. There are times where you
simply can’t (easily anyway) get back to what you just searched. The
email app has this button so why can’t GMaps?

One thing Gmaps and email have that the contacts portion of the phone application could
sorely use is Palmesque contact filtering. I am almost certain that
Apple is choosing not to make this option available due to UI
aesthetics though. They would prefer we scroll for our contacts and
it is very neat and minimally less efficient than filtering (and
depending on where you’re looking in your list sometimes more so), but
I would like the choice nonetheless.

With regard to the Jobs promise that the phone app would be the
killer app on this device, I have to say I largely agree. Aside from
the need for some way to speed dial more easily (double tap of the home button helps but an icon on the home screen would be perfect) it is otherwise a true
joy to use. Apple seems to have borrowed and beautified the phone
application from PalmOS largely, and I much prefer it over the phone
apps from any of the other mobile OSs. If only the call quality were
as good as the Nokia N70 I used for a few months, or the Treo 700p (when
it didn’t crash during a call of course), or the Blackberry 7100 I
borrowed from my wife regularly or even the many HTC Windows Mobile
devices I’ve used over the last few years, which though similarly
challenged in terms of call quality, were still a little better than the iPhone.

And one more gripe: lack of copy and paste functionality on a device
so capable of so many things makes it’s omission more frustrating than
it otherwise would be I think.

So what do I like? Gosh where to start is a dilemma because so much
about iPhone experience is so good. However since web browsing is
what I do most, I’ll start there, but in a another post….stay rss tuned.

Perfect Storm Forming

October 19, 2007

You didn’t really think South Florida was the 2nd best college football team in the country did you?  But if they weren’t who was/is?   The answer we don’t know now, and we won’t know it by the time the last BCS poll is published either.  Parity among the top 20 teams (and beyond with the App St./ Michigan and Stanford/USC upsets as exhibits A & B) in college football this year has never been so obvious and lead to such unpredictable results.  At this point no one can honestly say they have a clue who the top 10 teams in the final polls will be, much less the top 5, or the top 2!

So, again why must we argue over who is number 2, when a much better argument to have would be over who is number 7 or 8?  This way, we would be much less likely to exclude deserving teams from a shot at the national title.  What would it take to make this happen? Adding two very lucrative games to the current BCS bowl schedule, sandwiched between the the 4 traditional New Year’s Day games (or “around New Year’s Day” at least) and the national title game.

The final BCS poll would finalize college football’s Elite 8, and the 4 NYD bowls would suddenly have huge relevance every year in addition to then having the national title game every 4th year, just like it is now.  Except, 2 “Final Four” games would have to be played to determine the participants in the title game, and I say make them home field advantage games based on final BCS rankings.  In other words if you win in the BCS quarterfinal round and you’re ranked higher than the team you would be slotted to face in the semifinal round, you host it.  How freaking cool would this be if say a Michigan or a Florida hosted this kind of high stakes game.  I mean as great as the “around New Year’s” day quarterfinal round would be, this semifinal round would be as compelling as anything in sports…..ever!  And the end result is you almost can’t not wind up with the two best, or most deserving teams in the country playing for the trophy.

With another unpredictable Saturday of “upsets” bound to occur tomorrow, maybe I should pretend we’re already immersed in the playoffs I can now only dream of happening.  But the kind of storm it would take to make my dream a reality is taking shape, and it looks to get much stronger as it hovers and gains speed above a very warm gulf of convention……

111 days of iPhone dislikes

October 19, 2007

There is plenty to like about the iPhone 16 weeks after I purchased it, including some of the recent 1.1.1 software upgrade enhancements like the double click home button feature, as well as the super snappy and simple iTunes wifi app. But there are plenty of things that have frustrated me thus far, and are as follows by order of
annoyance level:

The keyboard is probably better than I feel like it is, but the lack of
tactile response and my fat fingers combine for a pretty awful thumb
typing experience. However, the text prediction just got me through
the preceding sentence (and all but one word in this one) without the
need to correct or even hit the backspace “button” once. I have to
admit that’s much better than I would have done on a real thumb
keyboard, but the typing experience is definitely the key sacrifice
you make for the screen size and the overall UI experience. It’s a
trade off that at most moments I am happy to make, but not all moments
to be sure.

The typing issue certainly affects the usefulness of the email
application, but even excluding that as a factor the email app needs a
lot of improvement. My chief complaint is the number of taps required
to move from one account to another. Also, full blown HTML messages
are nice but only really practical over wifi. If someone sends you a
note with large attachments forget about even being able to read the text in the note via EDGE. In fact, I received one such email from a
family member and attempting to open it completely locked the iPhone
up requiring a soft reset a la Windows Mobile. I saw this happen I
think 5 different times exactly the same way, so I’ m convinced as to
the cause. This was before the first software update (1.01, followed by 1.02, and then of course the 3rd party app killing 1.1.1) and I haven’t
seen this happen due to large attachment messages since, but the fury
this caused me still lingers….

One thing the aforementioned update seemed to have fixed was the flaky
crashes Safari mobile was quickly becoming infamous for. However, the
Apple and/or Google developers don’t seem to have cracked the code on
the same problem occurring regularly in the otherwise glorious Google
Maps app even now by the 3rd software update.

The only other issue with Google Maps on the iPhone is how much more
intuitive it would be with a back button. There are times where you
simply can’t (easily anyway) get back to what you just searched. The
email app has this button so why can’t GMaps?

One thing Gmaps and email have that the contacts portion of the phone application could
sorely use is Palmesque contact filtering. I am almost certain that
Apple is choosing not to make this option available due to UI
aesthetics though. They would prefer we scroll for our contacts and
it is very neat and minimally less efficient than filtering (and
depending on where you’re looking in your list sometimes more so), but
I would like the choice nonetheless.

With regard to the Jobs promise that the phone app would be the
killer app on this device, I have to say I largely agree. Aside from
the need for some way to speed dial more easily (double tap of the home button helps but an icon on the home screen would be perfect) it is otherwise a true
joy to use. Apple seems to have borrowed and beautified the phone
application from PalmOS largely, and I much prefer it over the phone
apps from any of the other mobile OSs. If only the call quality were
as good as the Nokia N70 I used for a few months, or the Treo 700p (when
it didn’t crash during a call of course), or the Blackberry 7100 I
borrowed from my wife regularly or even the many HTC Windows Mobile
devices I’ve used over the last few years, which though similarly
challenged in terms of call quality, were still a little better than the iPhone.

And one more gripe: lack of copy and paste functionality on a device
so capable of so many things makes it’s omission more frustrating than
it otherwise would be I think.

So what do I like? Gosh where to start is a dilemma because so much
about iPhone experience is so good. However since web browsing is
what I do most, I’ll start there, but in a another post….stay rss tuned.

Isn’t it interesting how the first three days of the MLB postseason
have showcased games with distinctly similar personalities on each
day?  Day one saw 3 dominant pitching performances in games that all
lasted mercifully under 3 hours.  Day two was comprised of three
blowouts that dragged on forever it seemed, with the first two games
bleeding into coverage of the games that followed.

Speaking of that bleed, TBS is using sister network TNT to cover
simultaneous action which is the only way I can watch the broadcasts
in HD, and of course as soon as the need for bleed coverage ends, TNT
returns to being the Law & Order channel.  Why no HD on TBS?  Only 6
days ago TBS  was being broadcast in HD via Charter in the ATL.
However, Turner Broadcasting has decided to maintain their local
signal, or the original WTBS, as “Peachtree TV”, and make TBS
nationally syndicated and no longer a concurrent local feed.  They are
to this point broadcasting none of the programming on this “new”
channel in HD. And yet Charter has inexplicably replaced what is now
the national version of TBS in their HD lineup with this non HD
Peachtree TV spin off.  What makes even less sense is their
broadcasting of a non HD version of TBS which thankfully has allowed
me to watch the games at least.  It is difficult to imagine this is
just incompetence on the part of either party, and smells much more
like a game of chicken while meanwhile their customers get ignored.

Anyway, enough of my ranting and back to baseball.  Yesterday’s
contests were garden variety October nailbiters, both ending in walk
off fashion. That the Red Sox won and the Yankees lost made it all the
more enjoyable.  It is surprising that all four NLDS series now sit at
2-0 because if ever there were a year where any of the 8 teams could
win, this is the one.

So what will today’s games bring?  Hopefully plenty of need for bleed!