Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BlackBerry Tip: Erasing the Calendar

I stumbled across a great tip today while testing out a new Exchange 2007/BlackBerry Enterprise server sync solution.

I needed to clear out the calendar on my BlackBerry Storm2, but I didn't want to have to hard reset the device.

Turns out that there is a secret command of sorts that will allow you to clear out the BlackBerry calendar database without having to wipe the phone.

Note: The BlackBerry smartphone must be running BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 to 5.0 to perform this task.
  1. Open the calendar application on the BlackBerry smartphone.
  2. Press the Menu key and highlight Options.
  3. Select the calendar to be reloaded, e.g. "Desktop" for a BlackBerry Enterprise Server enabled BlackBerry Device.
  4. With the calendar highlighted type rset on a QWERTY keyboard or ER,ER,AS,AS,ER,TY on SureType.
  5. Click Yes when asked to reload the specific calendar to continue.

You can read the full Resarch In Motion article on the BlackBerry support website.

Oh No! I Have A "Dead" iPad!

I got home from work last night and grabbed my iPad to catch up on what has been happening while I was toiling way at work.

I started checking email, Twitter, and a few websites.  Everything was fine.  Then disaster struck!  I pressed the Power button to turn off the screen and take care of a few things.  I came back about 5 minutes later to check the weather and I couldn't wake up iPad!

I was finally able to wake the iPad up from it's deep sleep by pressing and holding the Power button and the Home button simultaneously for about 10-15 seconds.  I was greeted by the white Apple logo and then a few seconds later the password screen appeared and I was able to start using my iPad.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone from your favorite turkeys at Smartphone Fanatics!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rumor: iOS 4.3, Periodical Subscriptions Coming in December

It seems like just yesterday Apple rolled out iOS 4.2.1 to bring a number of new features to the iPad and refinements to the iPhone 4, both models of iPhone 3, and recent model iPod touch handsets.  Oh!  Wait!  It was just yesterday!

But today is a new day, and with it came new rumors that Apple is already at work on iOS 4.3 which is rumored to have enhancements for AirPlay will feature a new set of application program interfaces, or APIs, that will support a new type of for pay subscription system for digital periodicals, like New Corp's "The Daily" digital only "newspaper."

It is also rumored that Apple will make some noise with this update and will hold a media event.  This is where things can get a little bit sketchy.  According to an article that appeared on MacStories.net today, a source indicated that Apple had planned to have iOS 4.2 out within the first two weeks of November, with a public announcement and release of iOS 4.3 about a month later in the first half of December.  It is not clear what impact the discovery of a Wi-Fi bug in iOS 4.2 will have on the iPad maker's plans for iOS 4.3 within the first fifteen dates of December.

What will happen between now and when we close the book on 2010 is anyone's guess right now.  Be on the look out for an Apple media event on or about December 9 and for iOS to start hitting iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches on or about December 13.

Personally, I'm looking forward to a digital daily news paper, and will try out News Corp's "The Daily" for about $4.25/month.  I'm also still looking for digital subscriptions to the paper magazines that I already subscribe to.

[Via MacStories.net...]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Apple Releases iWork iOS Apps Update for iPad

Apple must have released an iOS software update today because their iWork apps for iOS have been upgraded to version 1.3.

Hit the App Store icon on your iPad or in iTunes 10.1 to download the iWork updates that add support for multitasking, AirPrint, and more.

How To: Upgrade to iOS 4.2.1

Apple's iOS 4.2.1 software update that was rolled out today is a nice tweak for iPhone and iPod touch users already running iOS 4.0 and a huge leap forward for iPad owners.  This guide is intended to help you make the jump to the latest iOS release for current model iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Step 1: Install iTunes 10.1 on your Mac or Windows PC if you haven't already done so.  (Use the Apple Software control panel to check for the iTunes software update.)

Step 2: Connect your iDevice to your computer to sync your data and back it up.

Step 3: Select your iDevice from the iTunes "Source" list.
iTunes 10.1 Devices Source List

Step 4: Click the Check for Update button.
Click the Check for Update Button

Step 5: Click the Next button to begin the upgrade process.  Follow the on screen directions.
Click Next to Begin the Install Process

Apple Releases Updated iOS 4.2 User Guide Manuals

As part of today's release of iOS 4.2.1 for iPad, Apple has also updated their online documentation.

Find My iPhone MobileMe Service Become Free

As an early Christmas present along side the iOS 4.2.1 update, Apple has made the Find My iPhone feature of the $99/year MobileMe service free.

Apple descrbes Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) on their website as the following:

Find My iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch — the MobileMe feature that helps you locate your missing device and protect its data — is now free on any iPhone 4, iPad, or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.2.3 Once you set it up, you can find your lost device on a map, display a message on its screen, remotely set a passcode lock, and initiate a remote wipe to delete your data. And if you eventually find your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can restore everything from your last backup.

You can download the MobileMe Find My iPhone client for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad from the iTunes App Store (iTunes link).

Once you have the Find My iPhone client installed, check out Apple's easy to follow setup directions for iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

Apple Releases iOS 4.2.1 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Makes Find My iPhone Free

Looks like Apple will make good on their September promise that iOS 4.2, now 4.2.1 after a few Golden Master resets, will be available in November.  In addition to bringing iOS 4 to the iPad, Apple has also chosen to give iOS users free access to the Find My iPhone feature that is part of the $99/year MobileMe subscription service.

You can read my first impressions of iOS 4.2.1 for iPad; which were posted over the weekend.

CUPERTINO, California—November 22, 2010—Apple® today announced that iOS 4.2, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, is available today for download for iPad™, iPhone® and iPod touch®. iOS 4.2 brings over 100 new features from iOS 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 to iPad including Multitasking, Folders, Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay® and AirPrint.

“iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”

iPad users can now run their favorite apps and switch between them instantly, while preserving iPad’s legendary battery life. Users can organize their apps with drag-and-drop simplicity using Folders, and Mail now features a Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching and a threaded message view.

The Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) feature is now free to use without a MobileMe℠ subscription and helps you locate your missing device.* The Find My iPhone app is a free download on the App Store℠ and lets users easily locate a missing device on a map and have it display a message or play a sound. Users can even remotely lock or wipe data from a lost device to protect privacy.

Other new features that iOS 4.2 brings to the iPad include: the ability to rent TV episodes directly to iPad using the iTunes® App with a 30 day viewing window and a 48 hour session window once playback is started; the ability to easily find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Safari®; enhanced enterprise support so businesses can take advantage of stronger security features, new device management capabilities and improved enterprise integration; industry-leading accessibility enhancements; and support for 25 additional languages, including Korean, Portuguese and Traditional Chinese


The iOS 4.2 update is available today to download to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch by syncing the device with iTunes 10.1. iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) and new iPod touch. Some features may not be available on all products. For example, Multitasking requires iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) or later.

*The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).

To install the update on your current model iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, connect your iDevice to your computer, launch iTunes 10.  Once your device has completed it's sync, select it in the left section of the iTunes window, and then click the Check for Update button.

You can read the full Apple iOS 4.2 press release on the Apple website.

Palm Updates (Beta) Facebook Client

The other day I posted that new mobile Facebook clients for iOS, BlackBerry OS, and Google Android had popped up in their respective app stores.  On Friday evening, Palm posted their v1.4.5 update to the beta Facebook client which now includes support for the Facebook Paces feature.

To learn more about how to install Palm beta applications on your webOS phone, hit the "Read more" link for some helpful information on how to get started.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Setting Up Your iOS Device with Exchange Push for Email, Calendar, and Contacts

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about the upcoming iOS 4.2.1 software upgrade for the Apple iPad.  (iOS 4.0 is already available for current model iPhone and iPod touch units.)

In the article, I talked about support for multiple Microsoft Exchange Active Sync (EAS) accounts.  EAS is a protocol that you can license and use from Microsoft to sync email, contacts, and calendar data from the email server down to a client, like an iPhone or iPad.

If you use a Google account with your iOS 4.0 or later iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can keep your email, contacts, and calendar in sync all the time and across multiple devices, such as an iPad, and a MacBook Pro, for example.

If you want to learn how to set EAS up on your iOS device, just follow Google's directions found in their article: Mail, Calendar, & Contacts: Set Up Your Apple Device for Google Sync.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Impressions of iOS 4.2.1 for iPad

If the rumors are true, Apple is just about ready to release iOS 4.2.1 for current models of the iPhone and iPod touch, and more importantly, the iPad.

The iPad is the last of Apple's mobile devices to get the iOS 4 software upgrade.  It will be the first time that iPad owners will be able to use multitasking, Game Center, folders, and the enhanced Mail application with support for multiple Microsoft Exchange Active Sync accounts.  (I can probably go on for a full blog post, or two, about Mail, but I'll save that for another time.)

My quick list of things that I like and dislike about the iOS 4.2.1 software upgrade for the iPad are up after the break.

Rumor: Free, Limited MobileMe Subscriptions On the Horizon?

Back in June I read a rumor on the gadget blog Electronista.com that stated that Apple was considering launching a free version of their $99 a year MobileMe service.  At the time, I was really excited by the prospect, because, I have a number of Apple devices (three Macs, and three iOS devices) and this would be a great way to keep the address book and calendars in sync across all six devices.

On June 4, Electronista.com wrote;
"Apple has lately faced growing criticism for continuing to charge for MobileMe at a time when Google can promise free e-mail, calendars and contacts synchronized online for Android phones where the iPhone is still at least partly reliant on a physical sync without paying $99 per year. The company has recently been working on a North Carolina data center that could help scale such plans in the future."
And so, I stated to wait patiently.  In the mean time, Google's Android platform began to grow in popularity until today, Google's Android is breathing down Apple's neck.  Does Apple think that they could continue to sell a $99 a year service when Google's free web apps could deliver a similar service and experience?

Fast forward to this weekend when Mac-centric website MacRumors.com released more evidence that Apple is still considering providing at least some of the MobileMe services for free to iOS users.

In the latest iOS 4.2 and 4.2.1 builds of iOS, MacRumors has discovered error messages in the operating system that read "MOBILEME_CREATE_UNAVAILABLE_IPAD" = "The maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPad."

Well, well, well...looks like the iPad maker is still very much considering a free MobileMe offering of some sort.

Naturally, Apple has not confirmed their plans to launch an new MobileMe services.  Many believe that an new MobileMe service would go into effect once Apple's new $1 billion North Carolina data center is fully ramped up and is online.

[Via Electronista.com, MacRumors.com...]

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Astraware Mahjong Released for iOS

Today, Astraware has released Mahjong for Apple's iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Mahjong is described by Wikipedia as a Chinese game based on 152 tiles; which is a game of skill, strategy and  calculation with a little bit of chance thrown in for good measure.

Astraware Mahjong for iOS includes the following gaming features:
  • AutoZoom - optional feature which zooms in or out from the play area
  • Mahjong of the Day daily challenge
  • Truly solvable puzzles at Easy, Medium and Hard difficulty levels, as well as Classic
  • Full tutorial with photos to help you learn how to play
  • More than 30 different puzzle layouts
  • Supports Game Center achievements. Earn all the achievements to unlock the Golden Tile Set
  • Optional tile highlighting – removable tiles appear lighter in colour. This can be adjusted in Settings)
  • Helpful assistance features including the ability to shuffle the tiles or undo moves
  • A choice of decorative tile sets and traditional backgrounds
  • Ability to play in landscape or portrait modes
  • Universal binary is optimized for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Retina display devices
  • Automatically saves when you exit and allows you to play your own music in the background.
 Astraware Mahjong is available now exclusively from the Apple iTunes store for $0.99. (iTunes link)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

iTunes: The Beatles Are Offically Here

Apple has updated their website splash page announcing the arrival of all 13 of the The Beatles' original studio albums are now available in the iTunes Store.

For more details, visit the Apple iTunes website.

Confirmed: The Beatles Are Coming to iTunes

MacDailyNews.com is reporting, and I have confirmed with my own tests, that The Beatles are finally coming to Apple's iTunes Store.  (To test: Open the iTunes Store and search for the term "the beatles".)

While that is probably great news for many people, I'm not a big fan of The Beatles.  I'm still holding out for the iTunes.com steaming service.

[Via MacDailyNews.com...]

Monday, November 15, 2010

Palm Pre Reaches EOL Status at Sprint

According to a PreCentral.net article posted today, the Palm Pre, the original HP webOS device, has reached End of Life (EOL) status on the Now Network.
"Today we’ve received word from a trusted Sprint source that the end is here for the original Palm Pre, with Sprint marking the device as EOL (End of Life). It's not a surprise after it already disappeared from their site, but it's still a blow: we still find that the largest and most loyal webOS contingent lives on Sprint.
Quantities of new Palm Pre phones in Sprint warehouses are very low (we’re talking hundreds of units here), so it shouldn’t be too much longer before the phone is completely sold out."
With the Palm Pre gone, Sprint customers will only have the option of the original Palm Pixi should they want to use a Palm phone and stay with Sprint.  There has been no word as to whether or not Sprint will pick up the new HP Palm Pre 2 that has already gone on sale in O2's network in France, and will be headed to Verizon and AT&T in the near future.

Personally, without a new high-end HP Palm or Apple iPhone on Sprint's Now Network, I'm not sure how long I'll be sticking with Sprint past the end of my 2-year contact that I signed when I purchased my Pre.  Sprint, you have until April, 2011 to pick up either the HP Palm Pre 2 or newer device or an Apple iPhone.  If not, I'm heading for Verizon or AT&T.

[Via PreCentral.net...]

Facebook Mobile Clients Updated

I noticed today that Facebook updates started rolling out for iOS, BlackBerry, and Android.  Here's a breakdown of the version bumps.

iPhone/iPod touch/iPad version 3.3.2
- Access account settings, privacy settings and Help Center
- Fixed a bug that prevented users from uploading photos to specific albums

- No specifics details as being included in this update

Android 1.4.1
- Fixed a bug to improved Places usage in non-English locales
- Added higher resolution uploads
- Various bug fixes

Apple Schedules an iTunes Media Event Tomorrow, 11/16/10, 10:00 EST

Well, well, well...what do we have here?  Anyone visiting the Apple website today was greeted by the above splash page.

Apple's legendary secrecy is clearly alive and well as we heard all sorts of rumors around the release of Mac OS X 10.6.5, iTunes 10.1 for Mac OS X and Windows PC, and we even had gotten word of not one, but two possible release dates for the iOS 4.2 update.

But this, my dear readers, was completely off the radar.  If I had to guess what might be going on tomorrow morning at 10:00am, I will only speculate that whatever it is, will likely have to do with Apple's new massive data center in North Carolina.

Back on October 25, AppleInsider.com reported that "According to a Data Center Knowledge report published Sunday, the data center is "fully operational," with Apple beginning to "ramp up production" at the server farm. The Cupertino, Calif., company could be planning to build a second facility on the site, the report notes."

Below is an aerial photo of Apple's new data center.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Astraware Releases Tradewinds 2 for HP webOS

Whether you are new to gaming on your smartphone or have been around for a long time, you owe it to yourself to check out the games that Astraware releases.  These guys make some of  the best mobile games around.

Staffordshire, UK – November 11, 2010 – Astraware® and Sandlot Games® are excited to announce they are bringing the highly-acclaimed adventure trading game, Tradewinds® 2, to Palm® Pre™ and Pre Plus smartphones.

Astraware has recently released its first games for webOS™, and is delighted to work with long-term partner Sandlot Games to add to the range of quality games on the App Catalog by bringing one of its most popular franchises to the platform.

“Astraware continues to be a fantastic partner on a variety of platforms, bringing the best of our franchises to new users worldwide,” said Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Sandlot Games. “We look forward to the success of Tradewinds 2 on the webOS platform.”

Based on the PC game of the same name, Tradewinds 2 is an adventure trading game set in the Caribbean. Players are invited to navigate a fascinating new world and discover uncharted ports teeming with friends and foes alike. They can be a master commander, defeating pirates and plundering their vast hordes of booty, or they can play it safe by trading exotic island goods, gradually amassing untold wealth, power and influence.

“We’re delighted to work with Sandlot to bring Tradewinds 2 to webOS smartphones,” said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. “Many long-time Palm users will know and love the Tradewinds games and we’re sure they’ll love the hours of in-depth game play, trading in goods, battling pirates and completing missions”.

Tradewinds 2 is available now for Palm Pre and Pre Plus running webOS 1.4.5 from the App Catalog on device. For more information about the game, visit http://www.astraware.com/webos/tradewinds2.

EA Reckless Racing for iPad On Sale This Weekend

Electronic Arts newest racing game for Apple's iPad, Reckless Racking is on sale for $1.99 this weekend only.

I wasn't going to take the plunge at $4.99, but I'll bit for $1.99.  If racing games aren't your thing, most of EA's other games for the iPad are also on sale this weekend too.

Hit the App Store or the EA website for more details.

iOS 4.2 Still "Coming Soon"

Did a last minute Wi-Fi bug end up aborting yesterday's rumored launch for Apple's iOS 4.2 update for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad?

There certainly seems to be enough evidence of that.  Apple had released the golden master, or "GM" developer release of iOS 4.2 a few days ago.  The GM release of software is usually identical to the shipping version.  Many speculated that this past Friday, 11/12/10, was suppose to be the launch date for iOS 4.2.  November 24, 2010 is the new rumored launch date for iOS 4.2.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Apple Releases iTunes 10.1, Paves Way for iOS 4.2 Update

Earlier today, Apple released the iTunes 10.1 update that paves the way for a release of iOS 4.2.

With the iTunes 10.1 release, Apple has included support for iOS 4.2 running on current generation iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices and the new AirPlay feature.

The update is currently available for Mac OS X and Windows PC users.  To get the update, use the Apple Software Update control panel.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AT&T Slashes Price of RIM BlackBerry Torch, PlayBook Priced Below iPad

Oh, really?  What's going on with RIMM and AT&T?  This morning Barron's Tech Trader Daily blog noted that AT&T has cut the price of the new BlackBerry Torch to $99.99 down from $199.99.  A 2-year service agreement is required.  The BlackBerry Torch was introduced back on August 3.

The Torch, you will recall, looks like a second cousin for HP's Palm Pre smartphone that was released back in mid-2009.  Those interested in the Torch, and yes, it is available in red, should head over to the AT&T Wireless website.

Research in Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsillie also has been reported as saying that the Berry-themed tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook will go on sale at Target and Best Buy retail locations and that the device, when it does become available in early 2011, will sell for less than $500.  The cheapest non-3G, Wi-Fi only Apple iPad starts at $499.

The price cut on the Torch, while unexpected by me, isn't too surprising.  Interest in the new slider BlackBerry hasn't exactly lit the fire that RIM was hoping for.  As for pricing the PlayBook below the Wi-Fi Apple iPad's $499 price tag, well, I think that anyone releasing a table in the next 12 months is looking for something, anything, that might resonate with consumers and get them to purchase their product verses and iPad.

[Via Tech Trader Daily...]

Who Needs iOS 4.2? Run Android 2.2 On Your iPhone 2G, 3G Now

I saw this over on Engadget and couldn't resist commenting on it.

It seems that iPhone hacks have way too much time on their hands, because with an application called Bootlace 2.1 for jailbroken iPhone 2G (the original iPhone) and iPhone 3G, the job of getting Android 2.2 installed is even easier.

So who cares if Apple is stopped releasing iOS updates for the original iPhone?  Now we can run Google Android 2.2 and we don't even need to sync to a computer to load it up.

You can find the installation directions over on FSM.com.

[Via Engadget.com...]

Apple Posts Mac OS X 10.6.5 Update

 Earlier today, Apple has released the fifth update to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.  Some of the enhancements that have been baked into Mac OS X 10.6.5 include:
  • Improves reliability with Microsoft Exchange servers
  • Addresses performance of some image-processing operations in iPhoto and Aperture
  • Addresses stability and performance of graphics applications and games
  • Resolves a delay between print jobs
  • Addresses a printing issue for some HP printers connected to an AirPort Extreme
  • Resolves an issue when dragging contacts from Address Book to iCal
  • Addresses an issue in which dragging an item from a stack causes the Dock to not automatically hide
  • Improves Bluetooth pairing with Magic Trackpad
  • Add SSL support for transferring files with iDisk
  • Resolves an issue syncing Address Book with Google
  • Improves reliability of Ethernet connections
However, the real reason you will want to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.6.5 is to plug the holes in Adobe's Flash Player.  If you follow the security breadcrumbs, you will end up at the Security Update 2010-007 page which reads:
Flash Player plug-in

Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player plug-in

Description: Multiple issues exist in the Adobe Flash Player plug-in, the most serious of which may lead to arbitrary code execution. The issues are addressed by updating the Flash Player plug-in to version Further information is available via the Adobe web site at http://www.adobe.com/support/security/

To be fair to Adobe, Apple also plugged nine holes in their QuickTime software.

The 517MB update is available now via the Software Update control panel.  You can read the full list of fixes and enhancements in Mac OS X 10.6.5 on the Apple Support website.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

T-Mobile To Sell Black iPhone/iPod/iPad Cable

Despite all the shenanigans caused by a recent post at TMoNews.com about T-Mobile selling Apple's iPhone 4G, does anyone else think that a black Apple sync/charge cable is cool?  A white cable looks good with a white iPod or with the mythical white iPhone 4G.  But a white cable with a black iPod Classic, iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad just doesn't seem right.

The T-Mobile cable is intended for European T-Mobile customers who are traveling State side and is expected to sell for $14.99.  (In Germany, T-Mobile is a non-exclusive carrier of the iPhone.)  I can't say that if I happened pass a T-Mobile store that has this cable that I won't pick one up.

The bottom line: So far, AT&T is still the only game in town for an iPhone.  Verizon has all but been confirmed to start selling the iPhone 4G in early 2011.  No word at this time if T-Mobile or Sprint will ever end up ironing out a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone.