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Apple removes MyFrame for offering widgets

June 3, 2010 1 comment

Earlier this week Apple removed the MyFrame photo frame application from the app store. There’s nothing new about apps being pulled, but in this instance the app in question was a high quality photo frame capable of displaying the time, date, weather, notes and twitter feeds. I can say it’s high quality as I paid for the app and used it whenever my iPad was sitting on my desk while I worked at the hackintosh. The app stopped working a couple of days ago which I initially thought was caused by jailbreaking the iPad, but now I’m not so sure.

From the Groundhog software blog and Macworld article it appears MyFrame was pulled from the app store for using widgets, and the reply to an email sent to Steve Jobs said, “We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops. Sorry.

While this is good news for a much requested feature in the upcoming iPad OS 4, it sucks for a useful app. Especially an app that was recently upgraded to version 1.2, the third release approved by Apple. There also appears to be some confusion at the app store. Clicking the link on the Groundhog software site to buy the app took me to the UK iTunes store with a warning the app was not currently available in the UK, but was in the US store. This happened as I have both a UK and US account from my recent US iPad purchase. Agreeing to be taken to the US store then gave an error that the app is not available there either.

The most puzzling thing here is why Apple doesn’t contact app developers and give them the chance to remove whatever conflicts with planned OS features or new unannounced ‘rules’. I’ve just fired of this question from the iTunes report a problem feature, any reply will be added as a new post.

I paid for MyFrame a couple of weeks ago and use it often. The 1.2 update added more control over the photo slideshows and some other great features. Then earlier this week it stopped working. After launching the app would take a while to display anything, then freeze and finally exit back to the iPad desktop. I’ve since found out the app has been removed from the app store, is this related to the sudden problems I am experiencing?
Also, now the app has been removed and there is no word on future updates or re-admittance to the app store, will Apple be issuing a refund to all the loyal Apple customers who paid for this app? Or is the developer going to get a big bill?

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iPad thoughts part 3 – Other Apps

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

While the iPad’s built in apps are an impressive if incomplete start, the real strength of the iPad will be it’s app store. Like the iPhone has already proved, having a vast catalog of easily available and mostly cheap software is a huge selling point. Currently the available iPad apps are a bit frustrating due to the amount of excellent iPhone titles just begging for a bigger screen but not yet available. Here are some of the titles that have impressed so far.

Magic Window

Using a huge amount of high quality time lapse photo’s played like a video this app makes for a great desktop clock. All of the photo slideshow/clock apps tried so far have missing features or problems, but Magic Window is both simple and flexible enough to not irritate. There are currently fifteen photo sets available but not all are installed by default. This sensibly keeps the initial download smaller and required sets are added from within the app.  ‘Nightfall over the San Francisco Bay’ and “Goblin Valley State Park’ are two of my favourites, and the ability to control the speed of playback makes this a perfect iPad app to show off to photo loving friends. Read more…

iPad thoughts part 2 – Included Apps

May 25, 2010 4 comments

The iPad really comes alive when you start using the touchscreen and interacting with the OS and applications. The most common layout in landscape mode is the left third of the screen showing a list of some sort while the middle and right thirds show the selected document or view. The Settings app below shows this, with the list of setting groups on the left and the options on the right.

Turning to portrait mode shows the same options squeezed in width for the narrower dimension, while other apps such as Mail show a full screen view with a dropdown list. Read more…

iPad thoughts part 1 – Hardware

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

The UK release of the iPad is only a few days away on 28th May, so here are some thoughts on the iPad and using it in the UK. These are based on using a 32Gb WiFi only iPad in both the US and UK.

The Hardware is very good, especially for a first generation device. There are plenty of comments online from those waiting for the next generation iPad, the one with the camera and all the other things on the wish list. There are also those waiting for the price to drop, but given the current level of sales that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Read more…

Categories: apple, ipad Tags: ,

An Englishman in New York. With an iPad.

May 8, 2010 1 comment

Several news sites are reporting the limited availability of the WiFi+3G iPad at Apple store, but in New York there’s a shortage of all models. I visited the 5th Ave store Thursday evening to be initially told at the entrance there were no iPads available at any of the New York Apple stores. Further enquiries inside revealed deliveries had been received every couple of days so I reserved a 32Gb WiFi only model. The “come get it” email arrived Friday morning, so after a visit to the Top of the Rock (awesome view) I headed to the store and got the iPad activated for immediate use.
Requests for iPads at the store are constant, and within five minutes of getting mine out of the box to set it up I had an offer of “whatever you paid plus a hundred dollars”. That was without even seeing what model it was. Setting up a US iTunes account is necessary since there is no UK iPad support until launch. A $25 iTunes gift card took care of the app store billing requirement.
Onto first impressions. It’s surprisingly heavy but more solid than cumbersome. Performance is very smooth, and there have been no lags or pauses so far. I bought the Acer Aspire One hackbook on this trip and it cannot play my holiday movies exported from iMovie at quarter HD (960×540). The iPad has no trouble and they look fantastic, no stuttering with vivid but realistic colour.
The camera connection kit is sold out as well so I haven’t been able to directly import photos. iPhoto is sluggish on the hackbook so I am only importing a select few photos for syncing to the iPad. Those viewed so far look just as good as movies.
Off to the New York public library today as Mrs Basshead loves The Day After Tomorrow film, so more thoughts to follow.

Categories: apple, computer, ebook, email, ipad Tags:

Spirit jailbreak released

May 3, 2010 2 comments

A new jailbreak named Spirit has been released for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Supporting firmware 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.2 on the iPad, the new jailbreak is untethered so not connection to a computer is needed to perform a hardware reset.

Spirit has been tested on my 3Gs and appears to be working fine on a fresh restore of 3.1.3. There isn’t really much to report, the app shots above are all that is shown during the jailbreak. Cydia is installed as part of the jailbreak but is currently unavailable with an error message due to the huge volume of traffic from newly jailbroken devices.

What’s new in iPhone OS 4

April 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple today unveiled many of the new features of iPhone/iPod/iPad OS 4, with the disappointing news that some of the features will only be available on the current generation of iDevices. More on that later, the new features were dominated by the seven chosen for attention:

Multitasking

There wasn’t much chance of this being left out if Apple wanted to stay competitive with Google’s Android platform. New API’s are provided to allow apps to run as background services until resumed. Background apps can allow control from the lock sceen, and display notifications. There are seven background services available:

  • Background Audio
  • Voice over IP
  • Background Location
  • Push Notification
  • Local Notifications
  • Task Completion
  • Fast App Switching Read more…