Here’s a public service announcement that my wife helped put together. It’s for Compeer of Chester County, a nonprofit mental health organization. It’s a great program.
So I finally had to buy an iPhone 3G. I had talked about why I didn’t buy a first generation iPhone in an earlier post, and I’m glad I waited. The iPhone 3G was truly worth the wait.
I had wanted to get one of these phones back in July. After standing in line for two hours at a local Apple store, I gave up. But a little over a week ago, I was lucky enough to find a black 16 GB model in stock at an AT&T store. No line to wait in, and although it took awhile to activate, it was a relatively painless process. Plus by purchasing at an AT&T store, I was able to get my employer’s discount on cell phone service.
I’ve got to say that this is the first cell phone I’ve owned where I can actually use email and web applications. While I’ve tried various “mobile web” enabled cell phones in the past, none of them provided a very usable experience. Even if I limited myself to websites optimized for mobile devices, trying to surf the web on a phone was like trying to watch a movie through a straw.
Of course, the iPhone 3G isn’t perfect. I wish it could handle flash. I wish AT&T’s network was a bit more robust, especially the 3G coverage. And I wish the new pricing plans included unlimited texting (something that was included in the original iPhone plans).
But I’m willing to put up with these minor annoyances for a phone that can let me read my email, surf the web, store my contacts, snap a quick photo and keep my calendar handy. And yes, make an occasional phone call, too. I think I’ve fallen in love.
Another day, another try with blogging on the iPod Touch. One nice feature of the wordpress iPhone blogging tool is the ability to store local drafts of posts. So while it takes longer to type an entry, one can take a break, save the local draft, and return to writing later.
The onscreen keyboard takes some getting used to, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. Still, I’m not as well versed in the “texting” approach to typing. My thumbs seem to big to type accurately while using both of them. Perhaps I’d be better at this if I had pointier thumbs. I seem to do better using one finger.
So I’ve downloaded the WordPress application for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and now I’m giving it a spin. It takes some time to get used to writing with the onscreen keyboard. But it looks like it could be a great tool for microblogging.
If you haven’t already seen it, you should take a few moments to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. The film is initially being distributed on the internet, and can be viewed as streaming video for free through July 20. It’s also available for download from the iTunes store, and will eventually be available on DVD. Dr. Horrible has become a tremendous success in a very short period of time, illustrating a uniquely potent distribution model that is causing many to rethink traditional Hollywood practices. It’s this summer’s “Blair Witch Project,” but way cooler, and a lot catchier.
Dr. Horrible is masterfully played by Neal Patrick Harris (who rose to fame for his portrayal of “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” and more recently, as the character Barney in “How I Met Your Mother”). I won’t give away the plot, but I will say that it grows on you. I almost tuned out after the first minute of Part 1, which starts with a leisurely pace that seems painfully slow at times. But the tentative tempo is a clever way of setting the scene for the bittersweet love story that is both disarmingly cute and decidedly strange. And to top it off, it’s a musical, a genre that apparently still has a lot of life left in it.
Today I installed the excellent WordPress plugin WPTouch to my blog at DrThompsen.com. With this plugin installed, my blog is now optimized for display on the iPhone or iPod Touch. If you have one of these devices, check out how Dr.Thompsen.com looks on it. You’ll notice a very compact, highly readable, clean and “iPhone” like appearance.
The folks at BraveNewCode have really done an excellent job with this plug-in. It was very easy to install and configure. They provide a template for customizing icons, and I was easily able to create my own “badge” that appears if you add my blog to your iPhone’s home screen.
In fact, I like the look of this “mobile edition” of my blog so much, I’m hoping that BraveNewCode releases a full WordPress theme based on the WPTouch plugin. They do offer a minimalist theme called Minimalia, which looks both simple and flexible. They suggest on their website that a 2.0 version of the theme is in development. It would be great if they integrate some of the WPTouch flavor into this theme.