Results tagged “iphone”

iPhone book

OK, today I finally cracked. Because I'm an idiot I can't work out how to pull our phone numbers on the Blackberry. I can search for a person but I only get the Hemel extension number which I can't click on to dial.

So I've put our numbers in an iPhone template and have bookmarked it on the iPhone and the BB--so far so good. It'll be interesting to see how the iPhone template holds up...

mobile phonebook link

BTW this puts your details on the internet. If for some reason you don't want to be listed, let me know and I'll remove you from the list

Is this an April Fool's day thing?

Talk about what makes a great customer experience... My O2 iPhone has been down for four days now and no amount of calls to the 'support' line and emails to the help-desk seem to make any difference. If I can find the energy I'll log each step in the exchange as right from buying the phone it's been one UX downer after another...

As a last ditch effort, I've just sent the following to support (mark of a quality customer experience: somebody steps up to the plate and takes responsibility. So far O2 0/10 on that front):

Dear O2 'support'

This is the fourth day I have not had an active working number on my iPhone.

I purchased this iPhone from you 2 years ago. This iPhone is:

IMEI = 01 161400 578383 7
With ICCID = 8944 1100 6422 5894 959
Number = +44 7515 661 655

This phone has not been working since the 29th of March 2010.

I note that because you are not supplying the services I pay you for, your service may be deemed "substantially not as described" under British law and therefore, this voids the contract between us.

If my phone is not working by GMT18:00 today I shall consider our contracts (I have 2 contracts with O2) void and cease payments to you.

All the best,

Oh, and by the way, Ofcom are on Twitter I wonder if that account is really run by an Ofcom representative?

The platform as orifice?


So allow me a few thoughts on Apple's entry. First off, if iTunes and the iPhone are any indication, the iPad will be a closed system, controlled by Apple. As with the iPhone, only approved apps will get to play. And as with iTunes, only those who cut a deal with Apple will get distribution on the new device.

Which means, in essence, with the iPad Steve Jobs will create yet another orifice through which value must run.

Not sure I 100% agree with the attitude but yeah... 10 dumbest iphone app rejections This first one got me. Banning satire does seem like an early warning of unpleasantness to come.

On the plus side, it's encouraging that Apple seem to be using humans in the review process. Not so Google Adsense or Ebay. I wrote the following in May 2006

Basically, the way it works is that if you find yourself in a situation where on aggregate a crime takes place then you are arrested, whether or not you had any intention of committing a crime. Aggregate justice is a whole new way to say goodbye to our Eighteenth century friends. Maybe we'll be bringing back the lash next...

and this about Google in 2008

The same rules apply: justice cannot be applied by formula or filter. Unless each case is handled (note 'hand' as in 'human') individually by a trained adjudicator a never ending stream of injustice ensues.

Ohna (my sister) had just had a film removed from YouTube that YouTube staff had manually selected for their site! As we move to life in the cloud, we increasingly need to keep an eye out for automated judgments based on algorithms and pattern matching.

I don't care how smart your Silicon Valley mathematicians are, when the big hand comes into your life, you want to know it's connected to a human.

So here's a use case I thought had gone away years ago... Nicki is driving, Dug's riding shotgun and the kids are in the back. We're all trying to squeeze in a quick flooring purchase to finish Hal's room today because we need it for his cousin who is coming to stay.

A not-up-to-date website means we're sitting in the car park at the mall having just come out of the flooring shop that didn't have the stuff we needed.

We've only got a couple more hours to get this sorted so tempers are getting frayed. "Wait, I know, Ikea sells similar stuff, let's head out there. I'll check their website on my phone" says Dug. Launch Safari, google search for IKEA flooring...

Ikea webstore fail

OK, so I know it's not adobe's fault the iPhone doesn't support flash, and I know IKEA's whole site isn't in flash but none of that matters to the customer. When you're designing a product you have to put the customer's context of use before any other consideration.

I'm the customer, I want to give money to IKEA and the website says "no, fuck off we don't want your business" from the customer's point of view this is just a massive #fail on everybody's part.

And of course in the end we did buy the flooring. Just not at IKEA.

Encouraging quote of the day

Ethan Nicholas, on his iPhone game "iShoot" and why it's a good idea to make a free version:

Nicholas found some spare time to code a free version of the app--iShoot Lite, which he released in January. Here's how that helped: Inside iShoot Lite he advertised the $3, full version of iShoot. Users downloaded the free version 2.4 million times. And that led 320,000 satisfied iShoot Lite players to pay for iShoot.

(via wired)

Nokia is doomed

Nokia n97

Say your friendly tech commentators Gizmodo

The N97 is Nokia's attempt to stand tall in an unfamiliar, hostile world populated by the iPhone, Pre and Android the only way it knows how: by throwing the kitchen sink at them. If this is it, they're doomed.

They do go on to qualify that remark but somebody needs to make some tough decisions at Nokia. Point a gun at my head and give me 15 seconds to come up with a plan and I would have to say the solution is to go deeper and narrower by reducing the number of handsets and associating them more clearly with wider types of experience as opposed to the narrower marketing segments they currently appear to focus on...

Life-work balance

I was just about to shutdown and head hamewards when I noticed this fab iPhone app, a game by designers for designers. Don't know if the game is any good but I loved this comment from Craig Thomas


Is there an App that informs you when you've crossed the work / life threshold? Perhaps it could detect games like this and automatically suggest suitable punishments.

Craig Thomas
19/Feb/09, 11:54 am

Nokia's iPhone beater?


Well, not exactly... I wish Nokia all the best, but I've got a couple questions:

  • In my experience, v1 Nokia Symbian firmware is always rough (I suspect there is internal pressure to release new devices from groups that think more in terms of hand-feel and physical device than software-led user experience). Both my N73 and my N95 were essentially unusable out of the box (unusable = requiring a hard reset more than one per 15 minutes). They do get better but if you want to go after iPhone customers you're going to need the software to work pretty much straight away. In the case of the N97, an early-ish 2009 launch in restricted markets (USA) means that in reality, us Europeans won't have a good N97-based user experience until Q1 2010 by which time Android will have a wider developer pool and Apple may well have come up with even more challenging goodies
  • I'm surprised to read that Nokia can't use multi-touch and that Apple has a patent on the process. I thought the system was developed by Jeff Han at NYU and later developed into a shippable product by his own company? I guess not, if anyone can fill in those blanks I'd be curious to hear.
  • How social is the social? I'd love to hear more about the value-creation network Nokia is proposing to set up with the N97 as a hub. Also, will the social survive the firmware? I guess we'll see.

Tufte strikes again

Well, I don't do Lowest Common Denominator Design.

Lowest Common Denominator Design is a sure road to dumbed-down, content-deprived, interfaces that feature themselves. LCDD is based, at its heart, on contempt for users and for content.

You tell em Ed ;-)


iPhoto cameraBag

Darren's breakfast by CameraBag "Lolo" lens


Darren's breakfast by CameraBag 1962 lens


Darren's breakfast by CameraBag Helga lens


Darren's breakfast by CameraBag "Ansel" lens


Darren's breakfast by CameraBag 1974 lens


Darren's breakfast by CameraBag "cinema" lens


(there is also "infrared" but it weren't very nice)

Aside from the absurdity of camelCaps in blog post titles, isn't the camerabag iPhone app groovy? I mean I've hated the iPhone camera from the start and this was compounded by the zero quality improvement in the iPhone 3G release but this app somehow manages to make taking rubbish quality digital photographs fun again. It's a bit like using the Nokia 6600 for the first time...

extra credit for those who can name the movie

Well you can't, or at least I can't:-(

Instead, I have to tether my device to a master file system (my PowerBook) using a funny white stringy thing that need to keep in my bag (my usb cable).

Both my laptop and my phone are running FreeBSD, an advanced, Unix operating system the runs rsync (a native unix application all the more fabulous for its power and simplicity) out of the box. Both my laptop and my phone have advanced networking features with options to create or open sockets across a wide array of transports (IP over Firewire anybody?) so why doesn't this just work?

Rsync could run as a cron job and every 15 mins it would try and connect to a known host over the air (including connecting to the host via IP over the cloud, not just bluetooth or 802.11 lan) and voilà! A lovely synced up iPhone without the hassle.

I mean how hard could it be?

Current edge iconOK, I think O2 wins this donkey's current "Edge du Jour" tag.

Take a look at this wizard-style information display from the O2 self-care website. I landed here as I had just invested a chunk of my free time trying to review my invoice online having received my monthly your invoice is ready html email. Of course I failed, and I then failed to refresh my password, and sent a few paragraphs of vitriol to the support email only to be told that O2 can only be contacted using their customer contact wizard (perversly named "email us").

This wizard display suggests a reluctance to engage in dialogue

So before you even get started, what does this display suggest?

  1. O2 only gives customer service to customers who know their details. This could be a problem for new customers who may not yet have received all the cryptic bits of misorganised pseudo-information that O2 sends out in a bid to help new customers settle in. This might also be a problem for existing customers who are on holiday or away from their base (imagine being in an internet café in Belize City trying to get help with your phone).
  2. Assuming a customer has their details to hand, O2 will only engage in dialogue with users who can pass security. Now, this is a support email for crissake, what the hell kind of security do you mean? I just want to email you to complain or ask for help and you will only hear me out if I can give you secret password (which I've either forgotten or never had to begin with). This is just ridiculous
  3. O2 will only listen to queries for internet users who get through steps one and two above

This is bad on a number of levels but the most obvious one is that the experience design takes no account of context-of-use.

If you are designing a support interface you can be pretty sure that most of the users who engage with it will have negative context-of-use issues. A big part of the interface's success will be taking into account why the user might feel upset or confused. Think of issues like:

  • my phone is broken
  • there's a problem with my bill
  • I don't understand something and need help
  • I'm in unfamiliar surroundings
  • I don't have access to my own computer (with its cookies and bookmarks)

I think it's obvious from the entire interface that the O2 team took no account of these issues.

This is bad on further level. Dialog and transparency are now key elements of most sensible corporations' comms strategies. There is no point having your CSR team and your marketing folk writing about how open you are to dialog when your website clearly isn't.

Finally, the contact form has an input box which I think demonstrates the marketing team's deep understanding of the customer:

are you sure you have an iPhone?

Now I'm pretty sure most iPhone customers can't tell the difference between an N95, an iPhone and a K800i. I know i certainly struggle with that one every day;-)


Well I've been running the iPhone plugin for movable type for a while now but had never used it in anger.

So I'm sending this entry as a test.

Fingers crossed:-)

This is the modern world

daftnessYou know it doesn't get more cutting edge than this. First, after much stress and waiting, I jailbreak my iPhone and go in search of hot software. Great, open, free liberating productivity apps here I come and lo, I end up with the iFart, which pretty much does what it says on the can...

So yeah, post Jailbreak briccups (handset would cycle instead of turning off--made reseting impossible), have replaced iPhone and wait patiently for the 2.0 firmware to be delivered via proper channels and sync away with itunes and visit the app store and yes! I know have the iPhone light-saber app installed.

Surely our parents could never of conceived of such a wondrous world;-)

iPhone floppyware 2.0

OK so it's now Stevenote - 7 and my iPhone is stuck in an imap loop and when I turn it off it reboots instantly. Of course plugging it in and clicking "restore" (which theoretically wipes your iPhone and restores it to OEM condition) doesn't fix the problem so I'm sort of hoping the 2.0 firmware will sort this...

...but I keep trying to decide if I should continue to put up with the phone. So many aspects of it drive me crazy. Take the battery for instance. On my N95, when Symbian thinks it's the best mobile OS on the planet but gets it wrong, the phone lets me take the battery out. This is kinda like the handset saying "sorry" like a grumpy two-year-old, a good thing. When it turns out iPhone needs to be disciplined, Steve just repeats "no, mine!" like another kind of two-year-old, a very bad thing indeed:-(

Well, on balance I think my iPhone sucks, but it sucks less than the other twenty smartphones I've lived with over the last couple of years.

It's not all handset woes, take for example O2's brilliant Apple-approved billing structure. Unlimited data (unless you instal a demon in which case the fair-use policy kicks in) and a set number of calls for a set monthly price. That is (almost) exactly what I want except that when I call my bank, or the power company, or I want book a movie ticket or call a helpline I have to pay extra for the 0870 local-call number. Never mind that I haven't got the choice. Powergen hasn't got a local extension I can call so the word from O2 is "tough" :-(

Not a big deal you might say but my £45/month all-in contract quickly becomes an £80/month which is way way more that I want to pay for the service.

I thought O2's iPhone contracts might have jogged the other operators into finding some sense so I checked my fave, Orange (France Telecom) to see what unlimited data contracts they had for new users.

Well, surprisingly, as of 2 June 2008 not a sausage

Sigh... crap really.


Question: why does my iPhone not sync automatically (or even manually) with with my Powerbook via wifi when both are on the same network and iTunes is running (hell, why isn't their a syncd process running in the background).

I'm finding the 'tethered device' design of the ipod increasingly annoying but for the iPhone which is by nature a wireless device to still follow the same method is just silly...