I've been using Sendhub for a few days now and love it. Best integration to date I've seen of a hosted phone service. I am a Google Voice user and it's not bad but Sendhub is a major improvement. The iOS app actually functions closer to what making calls is like on the native iOS Phone app. Pricing seems decent though would love a tier in between the $25 and $50 level. I could see this being something I implement for employees moving forward who BYOD.
Been absent for a while but now I'm back. Been very busy lately but hopefully will be able to post more.
Beat the Lakers last night. Strong performance from Curry and Lee. After a slump last month, they seem to be rolling. Still need more production from Bogut. He's definitely an upgrade from Biedrins or Ezeli but for $14M a year, he should be doing more. Question is will he get healthy/better next year?
T-Mobile iPhone ... FINALLY!
News hit today that T-Mobile will finally be getting the iPhone. I have to admit a certain fondness for T-Mobile. I joined when the original Sidekick came out and never had an issue with the service. The only reason I switched to AT&T was the iPhone. If their LTE footprint were a bit wider, I might be convinced to join up again. They seem to be much more reasonable with their subscriptions and this new "un-subsidy" is a good idea. It's also reported that the T-Mobile version of the iPhone 5 actually is a newer version than the one with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. It makes use of the HD Voice calling feature talked about during the iPhone 5 launch and has access to more radio bands across the world. Overall, glad to see more competition in the wireless marketplace. Could only mean good things for consumers.
I recently moved out of the large office space my company has occupied for over 2 years. Just didn't need the space and needed to be more economical. We found some co-working space nearby in Jack London Square. So far so good. From a financial standpoint it makes a lot of sense. Month to month rentals, shared resources, etc. The one benefit I haven't quite seen yet is the creativity/buzz when people from multiple businesses hang out in one space. Maybe it's the quality of the tenants as most of the folks seem to be lawyers, contractors, etc. Would be great if there were more start-ups in the co-working space but that will take time.
Pretty respectable. I sometimes can get 10MB-15MB down but 5MB+ is the usual norm. Now check out the speed when I turned WIFI off...
Holy... freakin'... shnookies...I have a feeling that I'm about to be throttled by AT&T quite frequently...
I'm currently working on a new iPhone app and starting to understand how difficult it is to build something that is both good looking and also simple to understand/use. There are so many small nuances to consider since there isn't a lot of real estate with which to get your point across. One of the most maddening things to get right are icons. People don't realize how difficult it is to build great looking icons from scratch. There are only a handful of apps that I consider beautiful and even among those, I have issues with the icons. After revision after revision of icons from my designer, I started to scour the web for examples of good icons. To my chagrin, the answer was staring me right in the face - Glyphish. Here was an extensive set of beautifully designed icons that are so simple and yet so clear in what the icon is supposed to represent. How good are these icons? They're used by little known companies like Google, Twitter, and a small phone manufacturer called Apple. The best part of it? $25 for a full pro license that doesn't require attribution and can be used in an unlimited number of projects (free version requires attribution, doesn't include Retina Display version of icons). I've seen icon sets costing four times as much that are no where near as clean and well designed. Kudos to Joseph Wain for creating these and providing them at a ridiculously cheap price.
I love the new iPhone 4S. Super fast and extremely responsive when navigating through apps, browsing, games, etc. Of course, Siri is the huge new feature on the phone and it pretty much works as advertised. I give it a B+ so far but know that it will get better over time. Having to connect to the network to use Siri is a little annoying but it's manageable. And certain voice commands don't work too well like asking it to play certain podcasts that have similar names to songs in your library will more often trigger the playing of the song. For things like setting reminders, calendar meetings, initiating phone calls and having it read/reply/send text messages, it's amazing - to the point where my preferred method of doing these tasks is now via voice. It actually is faster and more efficient. One place it is perfect for is when driving. I've carried on full text conversations with people without missing a beat. Of course, you have to deal with the "looking crazy talking to yourself" issue. Still haven't quite crossed that hurdle yet so when I'm in the office or a public place, I go back to finger inputs. But the dream of Star Trek computer will one day be realized...
I picked up an iPhone 4S yesterday (launch date). It's a great phone that's broken a ton of sales records but that's not the interesting part. I dropped by the Emeryville Apple Store at around 2:45pm and there were only five people in line. Got my phone in 15 minutes. At last year's iPhone 4 launch I came at around the same time and waited in line for four hours. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. It's just odd that a phone that obliterated sales records didn't have an accompanying crush of folks showing up at the stores. Could it be that most folks got it via preorder? Or maybe Apple got their act together and actually produced more phones at launch. Not sure but perhaps the Apple propaganda machine is running a little differently these days. Maybe Tim Cook is more interested in selling as many phones as possible and not how they are sold. I wonder if the mystique is wearing off and Apple will just make and market good products minus the buzz. If so, Apple may be falling back to just being any other consumer electronics company instead of the one people insanely love.
I went to grab a coffee this afternoon at Blue Bottle in Oakland and the barista let me know a celeb was in the area - Mark Ruffalo. I have no real opinion about him as an actor. I think I've seen two movies he was in and thought he didn't add nor took away from my enjoyment of said movies. However, I'm always curious when movies or TV shows shoot in Oakland (Moneyball, Matrix Reloaded, etc) so I went to rusty-trusty Google and typed in "Mark Ruffalo Oakland". Nothing remotely relevant came up. Tried a few variations, adjusted some search parameters (only searches within 24 hours - one week) but still nothing that explains why Mark Ruffalo was in Oakland. I then popped over to Twitter and typed in the same keywords "Mark Ruffalo" and got these results:
As you can see, the 5th result down mentioned Mark Ruffalo and Sungevity, a solar startup down the street. Clicked on the link and BAM!, Mark Ruffalo sitting in a Tesla Roadster wearing a Sungevity hat. Looks like he was in the area not to shoot a movie but to pop into Sungevity for something or other.This brings up my second instance where Twitter succeeded where Google (and other methods) failed to solve a problem/query. Over the July 4th holiday, I wanted to know if Blue Bottle was open on Monday, the 4th. Calling their number didn't help because it was a standard phone greeting offering hours of service during normal weeks but not holidays. Same for their website and any search I did about Blue Bottle and the 4th of July yielded no mention of hours. I then went over to Twitter and found Blue Bottle's account and BAM!, there you go.
Now these are just two specific instances and of course, I still do most of my general search on Google but it's been a long time since I last found the answer to a query outside of Google. It's a death by a thousand cuts for them as Facebook, Twitter, and others start chipping away at their defenses. Google looked unassailable, much like Microsoft 10-15 years ago. Today, there's only one product of Microsoft's that I use, Office. I've switched from Windows to Mac for my hardware, Windows Mobile to iPhone for my cell, and even Exchange to Google Apps for my businesses. The endless cycle of rise and fall in tech is unrelenting and no one is immune.
I'm sitting at the cafe (which doesn't have WIFI) and doing some work. For instances like this, I use a non-sanctioned tethering app - HandyLight (one of the best $0.99 apps ever). Don't bother looking for it - Apple yanked the app on July 20, 2010. It takes a few semi-complicated steps to get everything setup but once you've gone through it a few times, it takes less than 30 seconds to tether your iPhone to your laptop. One thing I did notice was that things seemed to be slower than usual when surfing on my tethered laptop. I did a quick speed test and noticed that the download speed on my tethered laptop was almost 33% slower than directly to the iPhone itself. Upload speed was almost 40% slower. Not sure if the physics behind tethering means there will always be this speed degradation no matter what method you use - sanctioned or unsanctioned. If so, the value proposition of paying $20 EXTRA a month to tether your laptop to your iPhone seems much less appealing.