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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Turn Your iPhone into the Ultimate Mobile Idea Management Tool

Have you noticed that interesting and valuable ideas often pop up in your mind at a wrong time? Yes, this is an inherent feature of a problem solving and creative process. If it happens that you great ideas annoy you when you are in a waiting room of your doctor worry no further. With the help of Sparks - a cool new iPhone application you won't lose great ideas any more. Sparks has another decent software from the creators of Firetask - professional time management software for iPhone.

Sparks is easy to use, simple but most importantly functional. First, you have categories. So you can easily categorize ideas - work or personal ideas, does not matter. You can manage them all. To give you a better idea, I've managed some ideas regarding this blog with Sparks. First, I added a new category. Then, I quickly noted down the following ideas.

Idea 1: Post articles more frequently
Idea 2: Increase link exchanges
Idea 3: Add more beginner tips
Idea 4: Make promotional code give-aways more regular

Then you assign criteria to the ideas based on four different dimensions: Innovation, Simplicity, Uniqueness and Potential. Sparks quickly calculates particular idea's Score.

I also liked the feature to add notes to ideas.

The beauty of Sparks is the Analyze tabs where you can see your ideas on a sleek matrix diagram.

In terms of usability, the software is pretty good. The only not so user-friendly thing is that it's not immediately clear what color denotes. In other words, which color identifies uniqueness of the idea. The same can be said about the size. However, with size you can assume that the larger, the more potential.

Now the bad part. Sparks is not free and costs $4.99. However, this app is worth the price.

Now the good thing. The developer has decided to provide 5 promotional codes of Sparks (can you spot idea 4 in action? :). The codes will be given to the first 5 readers to send me an e-mail and quoting the price Firetask! So, the task is quite simple! All you have to do is to look up Firetask's price and send an e-mail.

Hurry up. These codes won't last long!

If you'd rather get Sparks right now, here is the download link:
Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tip #5 - How to Add an Extension to a Contact’s Phone Number

If you are a business user of iPhone like me, most likely you often dial phone numbers with extensions. Listening to lengthy phone menus is not the best experience. So, this tip teaches you how to add an extension to a contact's phone number. The process is straightforward and easy. Just make sure to follow the step by step instructions given below.

1. Create a new contact or go to an existing one.

2. Edit the contact's phone number.

3. Move the cursor to the end of the phone number and tap + * # at the bottom left of the keyboard.

4. Tap "pause", which will add a space and a coma after the phone number.

5. Enter the extension and hit "Save".

That’s it. Now every time you call this number, you will be directed to the contact’s extension.

If you liked this tip, you may like to check out a post listing all of my beginner tips.
Sunday, July 26, 2009

iPhone 3GS' Built-in Encryption "Sucks"

One of the "missing" functions in iPhone and iPhone 3G has always been encryption capability. This can somewhat be compensated by using third party software, for example a commercial SafeWallet or a decent freeware alternative Keeper. However, if a device has built-in security features and they are good and strong, using built-in features is almost always better. For example, think about TPM-enabled laptops. I'm pretty happy with my HP and I feel quite safe. Even if it is stolen, the sensitive data is protected.

What can be said about iPhone 3GS' built-in encryption functionality? The main purpose for including encryption in iPhone 3GS is to make the device appealing to business users. Unfortunately, if you are a business user like me and depend on iPhone 3GS' built-in encryption, think twice before protecting sensible data with it.

As it turns out, a couple of minutes and a couple of freeware applications is what it takes to crack iPhone 3GS' encryption. At least, this is what an iPhone developer and a hacker Jonathan Zdziarski claims. According to Zdziarski, iPhone's encryption is poorly implemented. The bottom line is that, even though iPhone 3GS includes a built-in encryption, it's totally useless. After all, what's the use of security features that cannot be trusted?

Let's hope that Apple will improve this drawback in the future firmware releases. Meanwhile, third party software is the way to go.

Monday, July 20, 2009

iWikiPhone Brings a User-built iPhone App Network

Recently, I've been contacted by Luca di Cesare, the creator of iWikiPhone. In a nutshell, iWikiPhone is a social network for iPhone users. At iWikiPhone everyone is able to talk about iPhone, post application reviews, share experience, insert videos and so on. iWikiPhone is built around true Wiki spirit.

If you want to become more productive with your iPhone and enjoy your wonder device in even better and richer ways, I highly recommend using iWikiPhone. The service is free and open to everyone.

Finally, I'd like to note that that Luca Di Cesare is an Electronic Engineer and online sales and management consultant. He has been awarded third place among the best start-up participants at the TechGarage2009 Users Choice Awards.
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Best Features of the iPhone 3GS

Apple recently released the iPhone 3GS, which they’ve branded the fast iPhone model ever. It comes with either 16GB or 32GB, a 3-megapixel auto focus camera, and works with Wi-Fi and 3G Internet connections for a fast, quality web experience. The iPhone 3GS also has built-in Yahoo! and Google search capability and comes with an entirely new set of features and updated applications. Keep reading for a recap of some of the best features on the iPhone 3GS.

• It still syncs. The iPhone 3GS syncs with Macs and PCs like always, and it even lets you access your iPhone apps on your computer.

• Maps and Compass. This feature works quickly and easily to pinpoint your location, which you can text or e-mail to friends. When you get directions via the iPhone’s GPS, you’ll see a highlighted route showing you where to go. The compass rotates maps to match the direction you’re currently standing in, and you can bookmark locations and directions, too. Better yet, you can even view traffic information from your iPhone 3GS.

• Updated 3D graphics. The new iPhone boasts updated 3D graphics perfect for gaming and street view maps.

• Its faster and more responsive. The iPhone 3GS works two times as fast as the older iPhone model.

• Video features. With your new iPhone, you can shoot, edit, save, post and e-mail videos. You can sync videos to your Mac using iTunes, post videos on the MobileMe gallery, or even publish it to YouTube, all from your phone.

• Search tool. The search tool works just as it would on a computer. You can type in a keyword or name, and the iPhone will search everything in your contacts, iPod, e-mail, and more.

• Visual and audio assistance. iPhone 3GS users who are visually or hearing impaired can still use their phone with special assistance features like the VoiceOver screen reader, Zoom, or White on Black display.

• Voice Control. The Voice Control features allows your iPhone 3GS to recognize the names of your contacts and music from your iPod, letting you “tell” the phone who you want to call or what you want to listen to.

• Find MyiPhone. If you lose your iPhone, all you have to do is log on to, and AT&T will show you the approximate location of your phone.

This post was contributed by Tara Miller, who writes about the best online schools. She welcomes your feedback at TaraMillerr00 at
Thursday, July 09, 2009

Top 10 Vacation Guides for Summer Travelers From Top-Tens iPhone App

Summer already came. And we are looking for some very interesting places to visit, enjoy and relax. Many people search information through internet, friends’ experience and so on. But nowadays an iPhone/iPod touch app, Top-Tens gives the user the ability to keep tabs on the top 10s of their favorite hobbies, interests or pastimes. It allows users to see a series of top 10s for the most popular theme parks and water parks in the USA and UK and other attractions worldwide.
According to the SOURCEWIRE, if you choose Top-Tens, it will be with you every step of the way by listing the top 10 rides and attractions at each of the theme and water parks, allowing you to plan your visit with the minimum of fuss.
The list includes top 10 books, movies, albums, singles and more.

Rod Cambridge, developer of Top-Tens said: “I’m off to Florida this summer and so I thought it would be cool to track the top 10 rides and attractions at the major Theme Parks so that when we get there, we know exactly where to head”.

“I thought it would be cool to add these to the library in Top-Tens so that anyone else who's traveling this summer and using my app can also benefit.”

Top-Tens can be downloaded from the iPhone App store for £1.19 ($1.99) here:
Originally featured on
Saturday, July 04, 2009

Beginner Tip #4 - How to Bring Your Voicemail Button to Life

Do you have an unlocked iPhone? Then your Voicemail button must be totally useless, right? This little hack will bring your Voicemail button to life.

The first step is to find out the voicemail number of your cellular provider. For example, I have to dial 311 to access my voicemail. Usually, your provider will have this information on their website.

Once you have found out your voicemail number, click the iPhone's Phone icon.

Now switch to the keypad by touching the Keypad tab.

Then type the following code: *5005*86*xxxx#, where xxxx is the voicemail number that you found out in the first step. In my case, the code was *5005*86*311#.

Finally, touch the Call button.

In a moment your iPhone's voicemail button will be brought to life. Now touch the Voicemail button and your iPhone will dial your voicemail number.

If you liked this tip, you may like to check out a post listing all of my beginner tips.