Nuevasync: Over the Air Syncing of Calendar and Contacts for your iPhone or iPod Touch

29 09 2008

Love the cloud? Always accessing your Calendars or Contacts from several places? Tired of having to connect your iPhone or iPod Touch to your computer to sync your contacts or calendar? Updated: NuevaSync has added new features! Learn more about them here.

Well, now you don’t have to. The easiest solution to this problem would be to hook up an exchange server to your iPhone so that it stays in sync, but unless you’re an enterprise user, you probably don’t have access to one. It’s not worth setting one up and, if you’re a Google user, you want your info synced there, not your work place. That is no longer a problem, thanks to a free service called Nuevasync. Nuevasync creates an exchange account running only the mobile protocol, and can sync your contacts and calendar with Google.

I originally found out about Nuevasync from a Lifehacker article offering Nuevasync as a Mobile Me alternative. I use Nuevasync with my iPod Touch, so no matter where I am or how I want to look at my data, I have access to it. It also makes it easier to enter a lot of data onto your calendar, and lets you easily import from web sources. Just add it to your Google Calendar and in about 5 seconds, it will show up on your iPhone (as long as you have service or Wi-Fi). This is especially helpful if you use shared calendars in a group setting, such as a family calendar or a group project calendar, by using Nuevasync you will always know that you have the most up to date version. The only catch is that currently, Nuevasync can only sync calendars that you have edit permissions for (there is a tool to help you figure out which ones those are, the link is after the jump) and they get merged all in to one calendar on your iPhone (they stay separated on Google Calendar).

Nuevasync was started in November 2007. Amazingly its creators David Boreham and Thomas Lackey never expected the high volume of users Nuevasync receives now. The original Nuevasync was designed as a Windows Mobile sync solution using Google Calendar and Plaxo (an online address book and social networking service) as data sources, but now Google Contacts as well as the other two are supported. Once Apple announced that they would be introducing Exchange server support with the 2.0 firmware upgrade, they got a beta copy of the firmware and began testing using an iPod Touch. They only expected a few iPhone users to be trying the service. Two days after the launch of the iPhone upgrade, Nuevasync’s servers were heavily hit, their user count had doubled. After that, Nuevasync began to drastically scale their code to support the new workload. Because of this, most of the planed new features had to be delayed. The two most requested new features are the ability to select which Google calendars are synced (including public calendar syncing) and for multiple calendar support. Both of these features are currently in development and is expected to be ready for testing within the next fe
w weeks. After that, the next feature to be released will be push email support from Gmail.

Probably the biggest reason people don’t currently use Nuevasync is that when you add an exchange server, all of your calendar and contact data on your iPhone gets erased, but the easiest way to avoid this is to sync your iPhone with Google via iTunes. I’ll walk you through the entire process to show you how you can have over the air syncing, without losing any of your data. Take a look after the Jump!

Read more…



How They Compare: Dell Studio 15 vs. 15” MacBook Pro

21 09 2008

My name is Keith Hobin, and I’m the managing editor here at theiLife. I originally joined theiLife back in June, but now I’m making my first post. I grew up in Montclair, NJ with Matt, Sidney, and a few of the other iLife writers. I graduated from Montclair High School this year and will be attending Drexel University as an Information Systems major. I prefer the Microsoft side of computers and plan on adding a little diversification into this blog. You will be hearing from me from time to time with new stories and information about the goings on of the blog. If you want to contact me, you can email me at keith@theilife.com . For my full biography, check out the about page section.

In getting ready for my attendance of Drexel, I have recently purchased one of Dell newest Laptop, the Studio 15. The Studio line is intended to have a mix of features from the XPS and Inspiron line at prices starting around $650 and around $750 for a decent configuration. For my Studio 15, I paid $ 1,839.94 with a 4 year warranty, accidental damage protection, and lojack, before tax and shipping. A PDF of the invoice / configuration will be posted along with this (Here). Just the price difference of $460 alone, a MacBook Pro being $2,300, is a good reason to consider another brand. But let’s delve into the features of each computer.

NOTE: All Comparisons made will be between MY Dell Studio 15 and the 15″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro. However, I will note the optional features I selected for my dell and will note higher features that I opted not to get. When I discuss option prices, the price increase will be from the cheapest configuration available to the general public at the time of writing. To be fair, both of the base prices of the computers are with educational discounts and I received an extra discount for taking the 4 year warranty.

Read more…



The First Android Phone Appears

20 09 2008

The first “Google phone” is rumored to be introduced into the market early next week.

An article in the Wall Street Journal on thursday announced Google’s plans for their first Android based phone. It is the first commercially available phone to run Google’s Android operating system since the announcement of the project in November of 2007, almost a year ago.

The phone is said to be priced at $199 to directly compete with the iPhone 3G. Service and data is rumored to be through T-Mobile USA. At this price point the hopes are to make it more appealing to those considering the iPhone. The phone is said to be released on September 23.



Apple Store Willowbrook Mall Wayne NJ Grand Opening Report

13 09 2008

Reporters Sidney San Martin and Jacob Dodd went down to the Grand Opening of the Willowbrook Mall today to check out the scene.

Today marked the grand opening of the widely anticipated Willowbrook Mall Apple Store in Wayne New Jersey. Rumored to be coming to the complex since March of this year, this Apple retail store marks the 11th to be opened in the New Jersey area. A line of perhaps 200 people formed outside of the store ahead of it’s official launch at 10AM. The store employees energetically participated in the event, dancing behind the glass facade of the store before the opening, high fiving customers as they entered the store and starting a chant of “Let’s go Apple!”.

As per custom, 1,000 T-shirts were given out to the stores first vistors. Several iLife staff members got a chance to test out some of the new iPod models, coming away particularly impressed by the new Nano, as has been reported by other sources it is quote “very sleek and and fits in your hand great!”. Many wonder if it will be possible to make the next generation of Nano’s any smaller without making a significant redesign to the dock connector, which has now become the bottleneck for the device’s dimensions. The Willowbrook Mall Apple Store is now the most conveniently located Apple retail store for most of the iLife staff, making this event particularly special.

Videos of the interviews conducted are coming soon! Stay posted to theiLife.com for the latest.

Photo gallery after the jump! Read more…



Apple Rocks Out with Updates to the iPod Nano and Touch Lines (and colors for the iPod Shuffle)

9 09 2008

At an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts today, Apple announced revisions to both its iPod Nano and Touch lines. Both updates were in line with what many analysts and journalists had predicted, including Digg founder Kevin Rose’s predictions for the new widescreen Nano. Additionally, prices across both lines were dropped substantially.

The all new iPod Nano 4G

The all new iPod Nano 4G

The new Nano has returned to the taller and narrower shape of its 1st and 2nd gen predecessors. Taking design cues from both the iPhone and the current gen Aluminum iMacs, the Nano is aluminum and glass, and features a new widescreen display that pushes the click wheel to the bottom of the device. In addition to the new display and design, Apple has dramatically improved the UI, which mimics the look and feel of the iPod Touch and iPhone interface. In line with these changes, an accelerometer has been added that switches the display from landscape to portrait, from song list view to coverflow, and allows the iPod to be “shaken” to shuffle. Finally, the new Nano’s come in the widest array of colors ever offered, a total of nine, including newcomers to the Apple line yellow and orange.

The new iPod Touch G2

The new iPod Touch G2

Updates to the iPod touch were not as drastic, but did include a few new features. The look of the device has been changed slightly, tapering off the ends and thinning down the body in general. It is also has a new contoured stainless steel body, possibly made to differentiate itself from the more plastic based body of the iPhone. New features include a built in receiver for the iPod + Nike software that has been touted at many a Jobs keynote, integrated hard button volume controls and a built in speaker.

Both of these new models include Apple’s new “Genius” playlist system that automatically creates a playlist based on your personal music tastes. The iPod Nano 4g will sell for $149 and $199 for the 8 GB and 16 GB models respectively. The iPod touch will now sell for $229, $299 and $399 for the 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB models respectively.

Finally, while not announced, Apple has added four new colors to the iPod Shuffle lineup. The price still remains unchanged, however, at 1GB and 2GB for $49 and $69 respectively. Stick with theiLife.com for continuing coverage!



Apple Introduces iPhone OS firmware 2.1 and iTunes 8!

9 09 2008

Today, at the Let’s Rock iPod event held at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, Apple has released two major upgrades to it’s current software offerings.

True to the rumors, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off of iTunes 8 today. iTunes 8 contains a number of new features including Accessibility (through VoiceOver), New “Grid” Browsing, and Genius. The Grid browsing is similar to the iPhoto layout where you can browse albums by cover and switch between viewing by Albums, Artists, Genres and Composers in respective tabs above. For any given artist, you can mouse over and see the different album artworks, like you would an event in iPhoto. The Genius feature in iTunes 8 Automatically makes playlists from songs in your library that go great together with just one click. Additionally, the Genius sidebar will make recommendations from the iTunes Store based on the music you already have. Genius information is sent to iTunes servers anonymously (which is optional) and will be used to generate better results for you every week. iTunes 8 is a free download and will be available today for both Mac and PC from apple.com/itunes.

Apple also introduced a new version of it’s iPhone OS, version 2.1 at it’s media event today. iPhone firmware 2.1 is said to contain much better battery life, fewer dropped calls, bug fixes, faster backups to iTunes and no more App crashes. However, it is unclear if the Push Notification made it’s way into the 2.1 version of the firmware. The iPhone OS version 2.1 software will be available as a free download to iPhone users and free to all iPod touch owners who already have the 2.0 firmware (paid for) and installed and will be available for download this Friday, September 12th.

Stay tuned for the latest information regarding Apple’s latest hardware and software announcements here at theiLife.com.



Apple says “Lets Rock”: iPod Event Live Coverage – Liveblog

9 09 2008

Although a writer from theiLife.com will not be present at the Let’s Rock event, theiLife will be providing a liveblog for readers to watch the events unfold live.

Information coming in from a collaboration of sources will be compiled and continuously updated on this page as the event unfolds. You can bookmark this page now, and at 10AM PST or 1PM EST, start your refreshing! For now, read up on the rumors!






1:25AM EST The liveblog page is up! Only about 12 more hours!!
9:58AM EST The rumor mill is heating up. There have been swirls of new rumors in these last remaining hours. The event is only about 3 hours away!
11:00AM EST Apple Online Store is down! It is getting closer!!
11:44AM EST Several people in Barbarian Group t-shirts have been spotted outside the event. Hmm.. that would corroborate with the Magnetosphere iTunes visualizer rumor.
12:40PM EST T-minus 20 minutes to the start of the event.
12:55PM EST Reporters are filing into the hall with rock tunes bumping!
1:01PM EST Steve Jobs just took the stage. Energetic and skinny, we hear.
1:02PM EST Over 8.5 million songs are available on iTunes. 125,000 podcasts, 30,000 TV shows, 2,600 movies, and 3,000 applications for iPhone and iPod Touch. 65 million user accounts on iTunes.
1:06PM EST“iTunes is getting some new content”. First is High Definition TV shows. HD shows will be $2.99 for computer or Apple TV.
1:07PM EST iTunes 8. The rumored grid view is true. Genius playlists can be made with just one click.
1:08PM EST NBC is back!
1:09PM EST iTunes 8 will be available for download today.
1:10PM ESTGenius information gets sent to iTunes to give them your musical tastes. It’s sent anonymously, and is completely optional.
1:13PM EST Steve just played a John Mayer song. The internet l0lz.
1:15PM EST iPod has a 73.4% marketshare. Followed by 8.6% for SanDisk, Microsoft with 2.6 and other for 15.4%.
1:17PM EST The 80GB is being upgraded to 120GB, and the 160GB is being discontinued.
1:19PM EST New skinny nanos are true. Skinny, rounded, and a lot like the 2nd gen Nano. Portrait aspect ratio plus the exact same resolution display.
1:21PM EST They have added curved glass over the screen, new user interface, and an accelerometer!
1:23PM EST Shake to shuffle is true. Shake the iPod nano, and it will shuffle.
1:25PM EST 24 hours music, 4 hours video. Jobs says that it’s the thinnest iPod ever.
1:26PM EST Purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and silver. $149 for 8GB; $199 for 16GB. Both are shipping today; 8GB’s shipping today, 16GB should be in stock by the weekend.
1:30PM EST New accessories including headphones and armbands. The headphone, actually, has an in-band control feature to have volume control, playback control (next, prev, play pause) from the button. There’s also a microphone on the back that works with the voice recording app. These will be $29 next month.
1:35PM EST Over 100 million apps downloaded from the App Store.
1:36PM EST New iPod touch has built in Nike+ support.
1:38PM EST Phil Schiller coming on stage to introduce some unannounced games.
1:39PM EST Demoing Spore. Moving to Real Soccer 2009.
1:45PM EST Now moving to Need for Speed Undercover.
1:48PM EST Both the nano and touch are arsenic-free, BFR-free, Mercury-free, PVC-free, and highly recyclable. Steve is back on the stage and calls the touch the “funnest iPod ever”.
1:50PM EST Touch battery life is 36 hours of music, 6 hours of video.
1:51PM EST The 8GB is $229, 16GB is $299 and 32GB is $399. All available starting today.
1:53PM EST iPhone OS 2.1 available for free for all iPhone and iPod touch users who are already on 2.0. Lots of performance and bug fixes within.
1:54PM EST Steve says: “Back to iTunes and iPod. We’ve got the best lineup we’ve ever had. We’ve sold over 160 million iPods. We’re ready for this coming season. And we really appreciate the chance to share that.”
2:03PM EST Looks like “Let’s Rock” is over with. Thanks for joining us!


Gallery after the jump! Read more…



Willowbrook Mall New Jersey Apple Store Grand Opening!

8 09 2008

Apple has sent out emails to customers in the area of the new Willowbrook Mall Apple Store with the Grand Opening date.

Apple just sent out an email officially announcing the opening of the Willowbrook Apple Store:

“Come to the new Apple Store, Willowbrook, and bring your curiosity. It’s the place to test-drive any Mac or iPod, experience iPhone, and catch free workshops to learn all the latest tips and tricks. When you get there, find our Concierge in the orange shirt. The Concierge is your guide to everything from checking in for an appointment to instant checkout. And if you’re one of the first 1000 visitors, you’ll get a free Apple T-Shirt.”

Stay with theiLife for continuing coverage of the opening of the new Apple Store.



Apple set to “Rock On” Tomorrow – New iPods, iPhone OS 2.1 and iTunes 8?

8 09 2008

Apple last week has sent out invitations to its latest special event entitled “Rock On” which is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Tuesday, September 9th.

Tomorrow, at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, Apple is expected to reveal the latest line of iPods, in time for the holiday season. This years event seems to have more hype with the iPhone 3G starting at a price smaller than the majority of the iPod line. Tomorrows announcements could potentially be apart of the product transition mentioned by CFO Peter Oppenheimer.

iPod nano

Rumors are pointing to a redesign of the iPod nano, possibly back to the slim factor, away from the fat, which was introduced last year. Some new “fourth generation cases” and supposed leaked shots have found their way to the internet, and it is believed that they are for the most part legitimate.

iPod Touch

The iPod touch is also rumored to get some small cosmetic changes. It is not clear what they are at this time, other than the above spec sheet, but there isn’t much compelling evidence as to what might change. Other rumors point to new buttons (such as a volume rocker on the side) or GPS being added.

iPhone OS 2.1

Many sources believe the upcoming iPhone OS 2.1 is going to be being dropped tomorrow. While Apple did promise it’s release in September, like the 2.0 version of the OS, it could end up being delayed. Some possible features include turn-by-turn directions along with the promised Push Notification system could make the update truly worthwhile to iPhone 3G or possible second generation iPod touch (GPS?) users.

iTunes 8

A number of sources have also mentioned the possible release of iTunes 8 tomorrow. Some rumored new features include a new visualizer, a grid view and a Genius playlist that would act like Pandora by suggesting related songs and artists.

While it is unknown what exactly will happen, like all Apple events, the rumors generally have a good idea what might happen. Stay tuned to theiLife.com for the latest coverage regarding the Rock On event!