I was pretty excited to upgrade my 17" MacBook Pro to Snow Leopard.
So far it is exactly as Apple markets it: some nice polish to the OS and some cool new technology under the hood.
My list of complaints quite short, but number one has to be the new practice of requiring a password to wake the screen from sleep. In past versions of OS X I could require a password to wake the computer from sleep and screen saver which suited my needs perfectly.
I understand the logic of adding it as a feature, but why force it down our throats? When I Google the problem, people all seem to point to the fact that you can set a time delay before requiring a password after sleeping. That in no way solves my problem. When I close the screen, I want it to be locked. Being able to set a delay is nice, but it's not a replacement for a check box where I can disable prompting for my password in more granular terms.
Most of the other tweaks I have noticed have been nice, if underwhelming. This was not unexpected and I applaud Apple both for taking the time to do some serious work on core technologies and to only charge $29. The promise of more multi-core aware applications and advanced graphics card utilization has me drooling. Unfortunately, it's a waiting game for apps that actually take advantage of the new technologies.
Maybe I'm just spoiled. I jumped on the Mac bandwagon at OS X 10.3. The subsequent upgrades brought Spotlight and Time Machine and all sorts of new user facing technologies to explore. Snow Leopard is different because the payoff comes later, but that fact that I'm seeing fewer obvious positives means that the irksome qualities become more pronounced.
Snow Leopard on the Apple Store
iPhone Application List was kind enough to list PassAlong on their fine site.
A sincere and warm thanks to them for helping me get the word out about my nascent app.
iPhone Application List
After finally clambering onto the iPhone bandwagon this past June my interest in developing for the device reached an all time high.
It's probably evident when browsing my body of work, but my favorite hobby projects tend to solve very specific problems that annoy me personally. I make a living writing code for other people, so it is very satisfying to me when I get to apply my professional skills to a personal endeavor.
I therefore find it very fitting that PassAlong, my first iPhone app to be available on the App Store, is an app that I wrote simply because I wanted it to exist.
The app was born out of my frustration when friends would ask a simple favor: "Hey, can you text me so-and-so's number?" While this may seem like a simple task, older phones required a pen and paper (or second phone acting as a note pad) to look up the number, transcribe it and then type it into a text message.
I thought surely iPhone would save me from this senseless complication, but I was disappointed to find that the 'Share' button for a contact would only attach that contact's vCard to an e-mail message. This annoyed me for two reasons:
My non-techie friends would have no idea what to do with a vCard that I e-mailed to them.
I was out of luck if I wanted to share contact information with someone who does not have a smart phone with e-mail access.
What I really wanted was an easy way to insert phone numbers (or other contact information) as plain text into an SMS message for near universal compatibility.
Using the built in copy/paste to send more than one piece of information (for example the person's name and their phone number) requires tedious switching back and forth between the Messages app and the Address book.
Enter PassAlong: the easiest way to share contact information via SMS, e-mail and Twitter. Select whichever information you like from as many contacts as you like. All the selected contact information is formatted as plain text and copied to the clipboard so that you can insert it into any application (most notably Messages, Mail or the Twitter client of your choice).
If you have ever been frustrated by this common annoyance, give PassAlong a try - it's only $0.99.
PassAlong on the App Store
iPhone Developers Only: The iPhone Developer News page now displays the current average approval time for Apps submitted to the app store.
Finally, a decent excuse to use Web Clips.
iPhone Developer News on Apple Developer Docs
Having recently been welcomed into the fold of the iPhone collective, I have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the user experience.
That being said, I have hit a few walls while trying to figure out where some elusive features are tucked away. Apple had to enlighten me on how to get google maps to orient itself using the compass for example.
I was also left wondering how to enable Caps-lock on the iPhone keyboard. iPodObserver writes that the feature is strangely disabled by default but once enabled, double tapping the shift key toggles caps-lock.
To enable the feature, Tap Settings > Tap General > Tap Keyboard > Tap the Enable Caps Lock slider.
I just remembered this interesting tidbit regarding the use of the microphone on my shiny new iPhone headphones with my shiny new MacBook Pro:
Yes, it's true—these new MacBooks work with your iPhone headphones. If you click the button on your iPhone headphones, iTunes pauses. Click again, and the music resumes. A double-click advances one track, and a triple-click moves back a track—just like on the iPhone. What’s more, the headphones’ built-in microphone appears as the input device “Microphone port” in the Sound preference pane.
At the time this was published, I didn't have an iPhone or a compatible Intel Mac so I didn't pay much attention. Now that I do, this is pretty nifty.
Macworld October 2008