The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Tag: iPhone

If I Ruled the iOS World

The latest Apple operating system is due out this week. Or soon. I can’t keep up, to be honest. Anyway, I decided this would be a good place to list my pet peeves and almost all of them are related to music apps, which is interesting. In particular order:

1. I hate hate hate how the Music app just does whatever the hell it wants when the phone locates and connects to a Bluetooth device. A good half the time, when I start my car, the music app just starts playing, even if I was using Spotify last. And it just starts playing in alphabetical order. I got to hear the first 5 seconds of the ABC Cafe from Les Mis until a song called “A Thrill of Anticipation” pulled in first. Hey, Apple, nobody includes the articles when determining alphabetical order. WTF.

Either way, stop auto-playing, and stop going back to the top of the song list.

2. Almost worse than that, why can’t I set the default for shuffle? Sweet baby Jesus, turning off shuffle multiple times a day is pure horseshit. If I turn it off, LEAVE IT OFF.

3. iTunes: STOP SUCKING. Music App: maybe force the developers to USE it so they’ll understand how unintuitive they’ve made the damned thing. I loathe Music now and listen to Spotify EVEN when I own the album and have to use data because the Music app sucks hard.

4. Spotify app: you need to let me change the order my playlists are in from the app. And set the default to add new songs to the top of a list (from within the app). (I figured this one out. Pull down on the playlist and the sort order is upper right.) Also, MyMusic would be far less annoying if it let me view by album. I hardly ever want to play every song by an artist, but I may want to play a whole album. Your UI makes me take 4 extra steps. And bring back the original concept of “Starred” songs going into the Starred playlist.

5. LastFM app: Get your shit together. Who on earth releases a whole new version of their software with all the functionality turned off? You weren’t ready to go live? Roll back to the previous version. The app is pretty much useless right now, listing only song title (not artist). Knowing I listened to Luce 22 times last week is different from knowing I have listed 322 times total. A weekly view should be a weekly view. Period.
Lastly, I don’t know if this is on Apple or you or the 3rd party app I’m using, but I shouldn’t have to listen to every second of a song for it to scrobble. Listening to 5:45 of a 6 minute song should count.

Is that a full wish list? Hardly, but addressing these issues would remove 80% of my iPhone frustration.

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Typewriting

I downloaded a new app today called Hanx Writer. Oddly enough, the Hanx does refer to Tom Hanks, who worked to create an app that replicates his beloved typewriters.

Anyone who knows me at all knows there are three sounds in life that I adore beyond reason; tap dancing, crackling fires, and typewriters. The sound of typing literally lulls me to sleep, which is a dangerous thing when you work in a building surrounded by people typing all day.

But I digress. Go download this free app (Hanx in iTunes) and tell me it’s not fantastic. I actually paid for all three styles of typewriter AND the 99 cent add-on that will let me use these as my keyboard in any app.

Yes, I have a problem, but any time I can give myself a soul-soothing delight for less than $6, I’m all in.

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Only an iPhone: Results

You know, it was okay just taking the iPhone to Disney. I was pretty happy to only have to carry the phone. Of course, iPhone batteries are not your friend when you’re away from a plug for 12-14 hours a day, so only having the iPhone for your camera and ALSO your phone AND your computer, means by dinner time you are in a panic over how long you can make 20% battery last.

Also, no zoom, no real image stabilization, no RAW data. But hey, rhinos!

Rhinos at rest

I loves me some elephant. (Another iPhone photo from the safari. I will add, this photo and the one of the rhinos were taken when the vehicle had stopped specifically to let us take photos. The animals were all out in force on Saturday.)

2013-01-26 13.46.19

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Good Gravy, Where Did Everyone Go?

The hits to my website since the big move have dropped off by about 90%. Maybe 95%. I have no idea why this is, other than the change and all my existing links probably being broken.  Or the fact that you’re all out having fun at the arcade with your rolls of quarters and cool sneakers. Jerks.

I suppose this means  I have to wait until Google re-indexes my entire site, I suppose. I’ll have to go see what I can do to force that, but I don’t think Google cares enough about little old me to make a huge effort on my behalf. I should probably hurry up and add back all the stuff that’s currently missing so that you can all come here to look for it.

So while I wait for everyone to find me, riddle me this, batman – on my iPhone, what do I have to do to make reading my gmail in safari stop automatically launching new windows when there’s a link to YouTube, or whathave you? It’s really disconcerting, if I’m reading email to suddenly have a video start playing when I don’t want it to. Okay, tech weenies, what say you?

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Why I’ll Be Glad When Winter’s Over

My dog has hair, not fur, and snow clumps on him. Every time he goes out we have to towel him off. He goes out a LOT. as in, every time he sees a bird, squirrel, leaf…

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When Cornered, I Become Increasingly Adorable

I have a lot in common with Sarah Palin, you see at least according to the line of questioning by Katie (Amy Poehler) Couric when she interviewed Sarah (Tina Fey) Palin “for the 4th time”. When cornered, I too become increasingly adorable.

That’s a good thing, right? Everyone loves adorable. Look at how popular Fur Real Pets are. My God, you can own your own baby lion cub! How adorable! I mean, it doesn’t get more adorable than a fake baby lion cub, does it? Unless it’s a fake puppy, but anyone can do a fake puppy. I think the fake baby lion takes the cake. I want to be THAT level of adorable. Maybe at my next meeting I’ll wobble my head a bit and purr. That would do it!

p.s. You iPhone users – http://m.nbc.com/iphone/ for full eps of NBC televsion shows. Woo!

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Best Free iPhone Application

Everyone out there is posting stuff about iPhone applications, so I thought I should do the same because if you know me, you know I like to be completely and utterly trendy. It’s almost a genetic thing. That and my need to wear comfortable shoes. Now I can already hear you saying “but Jody, the need to be completely trendy and the need to wear comfortable shoes cancel each other out!” You know, for some people, that would be true. But I can be completely trendy AND wear comfortable shoes and they do NOT cancel each other out. That’s how awesome I am.

So here is my pick for the absolute best free iPhone app. The runners-up, More Cowbell and SimStapler, were very worthy opponents. I’m guessing tens of thousands of people out there did not know they needed an iPhone application that allowed them to make a cowbell sound, followed by Christopher Walken saying “I need more cowbell”.

As for SimStapler, well, where else can you go if you have an urgent need to pretend to staple something? Nowhere I tell you! SimStapler does it all! It pretends to staple, and keeps count of how many pretend staples you’ve done! Perfect!

But to get all serious, the true winner here, in the “I can’t believe it’s free” category, is AOL Radio. All kidding aside, this app (which I’ve run on Mr. Dump’s 1st generation iPhone so it doesn’t need the 3G) gives you access to dozens of radio stations, to listen to live over your iPhone. There are some custom AOL set up stations (comedy, trance, and my favorites, One Hit Wonders and All 80s.) If you hear something you like, you can mark it as a favorite and/or go pull it up in AOL Music (where you can learn more about the song/artist) or iTunes to buy it. You can set favorite stations to find them quickly. And big bonus, it carries some terrestrial local stations, so you can listen to WBCN anywhere.

There are some limitations if you aren’t on wifi or 3g, according to the iTunes site, but don’t let that stop you. If you have an iPhone and haven’t grabbed AOL Radio, go do it now.

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