Archive for the 'OEMs' Category

Jared Benson

Create any ringtone with iPhone 3.0

The iPhone 3.0 software introduces a new app, Voice Memos, into the Apple canon. It’s function is simple enough: Tap one button to record, tap another to stop, tap one more to share via email. This is where the fun can begin.

To create your own ringtone from the audio of your choice, simply use Voice Notes to capture your soundbyte. The sky’s the limit, but you’ll need to keep the duration to 40 seconds or less. Use the share function to email yourself the file. You’ll notice the file will be saved as an .m4a, a format Apple has popularized as a flavor of Mpeg-4. But I digress.

Converting an .m4a into a ringtone that iPhone recognizes is dead simple. Simply change the filename extension to .m4r and drag it into iTunes. Next time you connect your iPhone, clicking the Ringtones tab in iTunes will give you the ability to sync your new ringtones to the phone.

Have fun!

Joe Pemberton

iPhone UI Photoshop Template

Design company Teehan+Lax has released a robust Photoshop template to aid in the design and comping of iPhone applications. Download the template from their blog.

Missy Kelley

Idle Bites // July 4th, 2008

Editor’s note: Each week someone will run us through the noteworthy headlines in mobile and convergent device user experience. This week: Missy Kelley, Senior Designer, Punchcut.

// Rumor: T-mobile testing 3G in Chicago

This short week started with T-Mobile’s little rumor. Fierce Wireless is saying T-Mobile will test 3G service in the Chicago region starting June 30th. Along with @Home, 3G could be a good incentive for T-mobile users to stick around even after the announcement of an increase in SMS prices (from .15 to .20). The increase to .20 isn’t out of the ball park, most carriers charge the same price, but it could be a pain point for those folks without unlimited plans.

// Speaking of SMS, Alltel adds messaging to My Circle

With so many offerings out there, Alltel has to be one of the most attractive with their My Circle plans. Now you can add messaging to these packages - that’s right, unlimited SMS and MMS to your circle**. With the new law in San Francisco against talking on your mobile phone in the car, this comes as a great relief, message away and keep those roads safe! Someone please improve voice to text!

**wizard not included

Read the update

// Ruined

If you live in Canada, you’re probably not impressed with Rogers/Fido’s offerings for the iPhone. If that’s the case you can check out Ruined iPhone and sign the petition. Will it change anything? We’ll see.

// Are you ready for an open source phone?

Well if you can wait until July 4th you can order yourself a neo Freerunner. This phone is Linux based, so all you developers start drooling now. The shipped version of the phone will come in both 850Mhz and 900Mhz Tri-band GSM flavors with a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen, WiFi, AGPS, GPRS 2.6G, Bluetooth 2.0, 128MB WSDRAM, and 256MB NAND flash. I won’t speculate what this will mean to Android and Symbian, last time I did that we all thought Android would take over the world… That has yet to be seen.

UPDATE: Wait no longer! OpenMoko started taking orders a day early, that would make it July 3rd, TODAY!


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Joe Pemberton

The Opportunity Cost of Early Adoption

Khoi Vinh,  prolific design blogger at Subtraction, created a great info graphic contrasting the reduced resale value of his iPhone (orange) with the rising value of AAPL stock (green). The graphic illustrates the cost of being an early adopter. If you had invested $599 in AAPL stock instead of buying an iPhone you would now have enough to buy the 3G iPhone and have $599 in AAPL assets.

Joe Pemberton

HTC Touch Diamond Interface

HTC has released a promotional video of the new HTC Touch Diamond user interface. The device boasts touch input and an accelerometer with HTC’s TouchFlo 3D rendering. The Windows Mobile 6 device will hit shelves any week now in the UK. The product is slated for the US later this year.

Jared Benson

Six Free iPhone Themes for Download

Ever since we’ve hacked our iPhones, we’ve been noodling on themes for SummerBoard.

We’re happy to share six of them with you today, with more to come in the future. If you grab them, be sure to post comments to let us know what you think. Five more after the break…

1 Bit by Jared Benson

Pixels rule. What if the iPhone was released with a 1-bit display? Enjoy this old school rendition. Download it here.

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Joe Pemberton

Pogue loves/hates T-Mobile Shadow

David Pogue, New York Times consumer tech writer, has written a candid article first praising and then trashing the T-Mobile Shadow.

Pogue outlines the newish environment created when T-Mobile and an ex-Apple designer partner to design a device with some great innovative features and then taken the third-party manufacturer (apparently HTC is the manufacturer, if ZDNet is correct) out of the picture and designed their own device; rethinking a few key features. The list of praise is impressive including a rethought click-wheel for scrolling plus directional buttons for up, down, left, right selections and a Blackberry Pearl style keypad licensed from RIM. But then, Pogue says, “you turn it on.” You see, its fatal mistake is it’s running Windows Mobile 6.

Pogues’ rant reminds me of my own review of the Windows Mobile 5 Samsung Blackjack.

Gareth Finucane

Context vs. Consistency

The context versus consistency debate is not new, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be over. 37signals adds another argument to the context pile…

I read this interesting (short) article on concerning Apple’s placement of their new iTunes icon on the iPhone home screen. Given that the western world reads from left to right, users would expect this last icon to appear on the left side, right?… Not so says Apple, here’s why:

Read Context over Consistency at

Although it’s something that the common person might not notice or ‘get’, it shows that the Apple UI folks are never asleep at the wheel and that they spend time thinking about the small details and their resulting implications. Don’t just do things automatically because tradition says we should or because the technology says it should be that way.

Joe Pemberton

iPhone passes the 2 week test

You’ve probably had this experience:

  • You anticipate the arrival of a new device for weeks.
  • You discuss it with your friends, read the reviews and the promised features.
  • You listen to the hype; sometimes a believer, sometimes a skeptic.
  • You try the device in the store. It’s got some nice features.
  • You buy it.
  • Your friends ask to play with it and strangers ask what it is.
  • 1 week later the allure is gone. The experience has imperfections.
  • 2 weeks later its weaknesses are clear. You don’t love it. There are a few cumbersome interactions and design flaws.

The iPhone stands out strongly as an exception. It definitely passes the 2 week test criteria: a) you love it more after 2 weeks than you did when you got it and b) you can’t remember life before it. (Okay, so I’m exaggerating that last point.)

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Jared Benson

“Sorry, I Gotta Take This…”

This iPhone tip goes out to those of you following the growing “Life Hacks” movement - gaining back precious minutes of your life through efficiency practices.

We’ve all been stuck in meetings that we wish we could get out of. Well, fortunately His Steveness has designed something handy into the iPhone which will help us reclaim our lives so we can get back to doing what we _really_ want to be doing. If you have the foresight, try this before attending your next meeting:From the main menu, select Clock then Timer. Use the wheel interface to set your interval (How much of this meeting are you willing to endure?), set your ringtone and hit “Start.”

Attend your meeting. Go ahead and shut your phone down (read as: Hit the hardware button on top right) and set it on the table next to your notebook, printouts, etc. and act as interested as you can in the meeting. Resist the urge to check the timer - don’t worry, it won’t let you down. When the timer reaches zero, it will wake up your iPhone and play the ringtone. To anyone glancing over at your iPhone, the combination of idle screen wallpaper and ringtone will look convincing, even to a fellow iPhone user.

Grab it shortly into the first ring, give it a quick glance, and apologize to those left in the room.. “Sorry, I gotta take this…”

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