iPhone 3GS Launch – What Others Are Saying

18 06 2009

Well, the weather outside may be brutal, but so far me and the rest of the iLife crew have managed to hang in there.


While we’ve braved the elements, a few people have come up to ask us a few questions, including Engadget, CNN, Reuters, the New York Times, and Bloomberg. I’ll be posting links to their coverage of the iPhone 3GS launch, and well, us!

EngadgetiPhone 3G S line begins in NY, weather be damned

UPDATE: 6:30 PM EDT: Reuters: IPhone to hit stores as Apple awaits Jobs’ return Matt Dodd was quoted on the second page of the article, and our plans for camping out were mentioned.

UPDATE: 7:00 PM EDT: Fortune / CNN Money: Lines form for the new iPhone in New York and Tokyo

Reuters (Again): Braving stormy weather for iPhone: well, sorta

Pocket Lint: iPhone 3G S line starts to form in New York

UPDATE: 7:30 PM EDT: The following is a listing of posts and articals after we got home. Take a look!

Fortune / CNN Money: Live from the (relatively sedate) iPhone 3G S launch

Gizmodo: Why In Hell Are People Camping Out For the iPhone 3GS?

Touch Podium: Line Ups Begin Early June 18th, for iPhone 3G S in New York and Tokyo, Most Likely Other Places Too

UPDATE 6/22/09 7:00 AM: Bloomberg: Apple’s IPhone Draws Crowds as Competition Stiffens Talks about us under ‘Camping Out’

If this is your first time at The iLife, Welcome! Be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed, so that you always get the latest, in-depth tech news!

Photo from Engadget. Thanks!

App Store Review: Galaga Remix

1 06 2009

Addictive recreation of an old-time favorite.


Galaga Remix was created by Namco, and it is a brilliant remake of the original arcade game. Galaga Remix includes an updated version as well as the original 1981 Galaga. The old version of the game does allow you to reclaim a captured ship so you can have double the firepower with dual ships like in the old arcade game, however this app really shines with the updated version. The new Galaga’s graphics are much easier on the eyes, and includes new boss battles, multiple upgrades for your ship, and plenty of levels.

The rest of the review is after the break. Read more…

App Store Review: Flight Control

13 04 2009

I know this is a bit late for a review but better late then never!


Flight Control, created by Firemint, is an addictive little game where you draw the flight paths of different aircraft to their landing strips, basically you are an air traffic controller. There are 4 different types of aircraft, a blue helicopter, a yellow Cessna type plane, and two different kinds of red jets, one being faster than the other.


The graphics are simple but clean. There isn’t any in-game music while you are directing things, and you can’t listen to music and the game sounds at the same time. The game sounds are helpful, they warn you when aircraft get close to each other, and ding whenever you land one, but if you are playing a long time it is better to listen to music. Otherwise, the game keeps track of your statistics (most likely aircraft to crash, most planes landed, last game’s planes landed) so you can see how you’ve improved.

This game could use some improvements, like a fast-forward, especially at the beginning. Every time you restart, you have to wait a long time for airplanes to show up, which makes the start of each run very slow. Otherwise, the graphics are a bit simple, a plane or helicopter landing just shows them fade away as opposed to actually landing. When there is a mid-air collision, they just blink to show they have hit each other. It would be more interesting (and a better finale to each game) if they exploded. Lastly, a few more gameplay elements would be good, like if they had clouds float over the airport to make it harder to see what is going on. However, all of these minor faults don’t hurt the game enough to avoid buying it.

Flight Control is addictive and entertaining, and it only costs $0.99, which is a great price for this game! You can pick it up from the App Store here.

App Store Review: WordsWorth from 99 Games

1 04 2009

99 Games was nice enough to give us a review copy of their popular game, WordsWorth. Let’s take a look.


WordsWorth is a fun unique game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Basically, its a combination of a solo player game of Boggle, and a ever changing word search.  Hexagonal tiles are spaced out along the board, and its your job to earn enough points to advance to the next level. It keeps getting harder, level after level, up to level 30. The game as two modes, Timed and Classic. I really preferred the classic mode, as a way to just relax and keep me busy when I had nothing else to do, since I always have my iPod Touch on me.

See more about WordsWorth, after the jump.

Read more…

App Store Review: Time Crisis Strike

30 03 2009

This week I got to play through Time Crisis Strike for the iPhone. This game has a great nostalgia effect on those of us who’ve played the arcade version.


Time Crisis Strike is a rail-shooter, fire-and-duck game just like his arcade brothers. Your goal is to stop the evil Wild Dog from his new (unknown) plot to cause mayhem. It’s a single campaign with 3 stages totaling 23 screens, and you face off against about a half dozen different types of enemies. Controls are simple, touch where you want to shoot, tilt the iPhone forward to duck and reload, then tilt it back to stand up and continue to shoot.


This game is a lot of fun, especially because it’s Time Crisis. Its graphics are good, and the music and sounds are all great. There were no noticeable bugs or gameplay issues, the game was very well polished. They also have five unlockable “Crisis Missions”, which each challenges you to accomplish a specific task, like only shoot the yellow soldiers. Overall the Time Crisis feel of the game is great, although it does lack the light-gun and foot-pedal, it is a great port to the iPhone.


The only drawbacks to this game are that even though you have a tilt-meter for ducking, sometimes it feels like a button would be much more useful. Otherwise, the game can feel short if you only play through the arcade mode once, but honing your skill at this game can be very entertaining, plus the unlockable challenge missions, or you can challenge friend to see who can get the highest score.

Fans of Time Crisis absolutely have to get this game. Otherwise, if you just want a good rail-shooter, Time Crisis Strike is the way to go. You can pick it up from the App Store for $5.99

iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 7A238j Screenshot Gallery

23 03 2009

Below are a number of screenshots leaked from the recent seed of iPhone OS 3.0 to developers.

General Settings iPhone OS 3.0 Beta

After the jump is a huge gallery illustrating some of the most significant changes in the iPhone 3.0 OS. The anonymous tipster who submitted the following images noted that the build is plagued with a few bugs, but nothing too serious.
Read more…

Using Twitter on your iPhone: Tweetie 1.3 Review

22 03 2009

Tweetie is by far the cleanest, most versatile Twitter client I have ever used for the iPhone. Find out what makes Tweetie stand out from the rest below!


Twitter, one of the most pervasive social networking services has grown to encompass over 6 million active monthly users. It seems that everyone from President Obama to Britney Spears is now tweeting everything from breaking news to interesting articles and cool events going on. If you’re new to Twitter, or don’t have an account, you should sign up here. If you’re on a Mac be sure to check out my previous article on “Getting the Most from Twitter on your Mac” to get started from your computer.

Twitter Main View Tweeite 1.3

The iPhone provides one of the greatest interfaces to Twitter seen to date- arguably much nicer than the Twitter web interface or other Twitter (computer based) software- with its integrated camera, GPS (or GPS like capabilities) and multi-touch you can not only stay on top of Twitter but interact with it in new ways. Although there are dozens of Twitter applications for the iPhone platform, there are only a few that really stand out.

Twitter Profile Page Tweetie 1.3

Tweetie implements the full Twitter API- which means all the possibilities Twitter offers to developers is implemented in Tweetie. Upon first glance, Tweetie displays tweets and messages making use of the iChat style bubbles. At the bottom menu you can quickly switch between your Tweets, @Replies, Messages, Favorites and More- which includes “My Profile”, “Go to User”, “Nearby”, “Trends” and “Search”.

Twitter Location Tweetie 1.3

Tweetie is very simple, easy to use and works the way you expect it to. Everything you would want to do is available to you fast- starting with support for multiple Twitter accounts, updating your location, browsing tweets by location and even Twitter searching and trend viewing. You can view links posted in tweets through the built in Safari browser or even re-tweet the link! And all links posted are automatically shrunk with the bit.ly service. Even photo uploading is simple, as Tweetie allows for quick access to your photo library or camera and will compress and upload each photo you tweet to TwitPic.com.

Until Tweetie came around in November 2008, Twitterific and Twinkle respectively held the titles of the best paid and unpaid Twitter clients for the iPhone. Although Tweetie costs $2.99, it clearly provides quite simply the best Twitter experience on the iPhone OS platform. If you are on Twitter, this application is a must have.

iStat for iPhone Review: Hardware Statistics, Information, Remote Computer Monitoring and RAM Management

20 03 2009

The iStat application is quite easily the best hardware monitoring application available on the App Store today.

iStat for iPhone Icon

Bjango, an exclusive iPhone developer team is a new venture of iSlayer who developed iStat Pro, iStat Menus and Organized. The team has also published a number of high quality applications prior to iStat including Darkness, Jobs, Cities and Phases.

iStat Pro Widget Display

For those familiar with the iSlayer team and use iStat Pro or iStat Menus already know why iStat makes for a killer iPhone application. Keeping on top of your hardware is a crucial- not only will it allow your iPhone to preform better but extend your battery life. While there are a handful of other applications that promise to do the same in the App Store and even Cydia or Installer.app, iStat does it the best and with more features without question.


From first launching the application, you are presented with a well laid out screen with all of your vital statistics in a number of panes laid out before you. The first group is information pertaining to the iPhone’s memory. A pie chart of the iPhone’s RAM displays the Wired, Active, Inactive and Free number of megabytes combined with a display of Page Ins and Page Outs. You can also free up RAM by pressing the Free Memory button.

The second pane has a small graph of the disk usage on the iPhone and displays the space available.

The third pane contains the IP addresses on the Wi-Fi and Cellular network.

The forth pane contains the iPhone’s uptime, along with the past load averages for 1 minute, 5 minutes and 15 minutes.

Finally, the last pane contains the Unique Identifier and the Wi-Fi MAC Address along with three buttons “Email ID”, “Email Both” and “Email MAC”. These pieces of information are handy when registering the Wireless MAC address to a new network, or sending the iPhone’s UID to get an Ad-Hoc distribution.

While iStat organizes a great deal of information about your iPhone, it isn’t where the functionality ends. iStat can give you remote statistics on any Mac running OS X Tiger (or later) and connected to the internet. By simply downloading the iStat server and installing it on your computer you can start looking at statistics from computers thousands of miles on your iPhone or iPod touch.


The installation of the server is simple and can be found on Bjango’s website here. Once running, you simply enter a four digit number randomly generated on the server side into your iPhone, assuming all of your routing is in place. Once this is done you can now start viewing statistics of your Mac! The statistics are laid out in the same format as the stats for your iPhone, but depending on the age of your Mac, will most likely contain more information (such as the different network interfaces, battery or fan status and more).

iStat for the iPhone is an excellent application for monitoring both your iPhone and your Macs from on the go. Check out iStat in the App Store here, on sale for $1.99 (limited time only)! We would also like to thank Marc Edwards at Bjango for giving us the opportunity to review iStat.

With a fresh Mac lineup and rumors building, the new Third Generation iPhone 2,1 is on the way

19 03 2009

With the entire Mac line finally brought up to date, the iPhone 3G begins to show age in the Apple lineup.

iPhone case back full

On the first Tuesday of this month, Apple updated the Mac Pro, Mac mini and iMac desktop models, outfitting them with the latest Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics. Finally killing off Firewire 400, including mini Display Port connectors; the changes finally unified Apple’s desktop offerings with the unibody MacBook family, unveiled in October 2008. Since that “Spotlight on Notebooks” event, every Mac has seen an update. The iPod line was updated in September 2008, including the third generation iPod shuffle introduction last week. Even the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule Wi-Fi router and NAS devices saw updates recently. This leaves the iPhone 3G as one of the oldest major offering of Apple hardware on the market- if you can even believe that.

Announced at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2008, the iPhone 3G replaced the original iPhone with a lower price tag (subsidized by the carriers), 3G and 2.5G cellular capability, built in GPS functionality and a refined case and audio components. Since the July 11th launch, over 15 million units have been shipped worldwide giving Apple a surge in marketshare to 8 percent of all smartphones, using the latest numbers from Gartner.

Apple has indicated in the past that early summer is the iPhone refresh period alike early fall for iPods. While the original iPhone was introduced at Macworld 2007, it launched June 29th that year. The iPhone 3G was announced at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 9th 2008 but didn’t launch until July 11th later that year.

In April of 2008, iPodObserver leaked an image of the back of what turned out to be the iPhone 3G. Again in February 2009, iPodObserver published the image (shown, above and a closer up, below) of an iPhone with a curved matte finish back. While leaked images rarely turn out to be accurate, the images do look legitimate and sport a unseen iPhone model number, “A1303”.

iPhone case back bottom

Additionally in late January, MacRumors reported seeing server logs populated with a mysterious iPhone device labeled iPhone 2,1. Apple uses these hardware identity strings to distinguish different hardware models- the original iPhone is designated hardware string iPhone 1,1 while the iPhone 3G was labeled iPhone 1,2. Interestingly, the first generation iPod Touch was introduced with the iPod 1,1 and the second generation iPod 2,1. The second generation iPod Touch added a internal speaker, hardware volume controls, microphone support and a updated processor.

Thus, the 2 in the iPhone 2,1 might reveal that there will most likely be more significant changes in the hardware of the new iPhone than seen with the first generation iPhone and second generation iPhone (iPhone 3G). While it remains unclear at this point what the changes will be, there have been a number of rumors about updated, multi-core processors manufactured by Imagination Technologies. The company is known as the firm behind the PowerVR graphics core used in the iPhone today.

Just yesterday, the company announced new highly efficient PowerVR multi-processor chips that might find their way into the next generation iPhone. Other rumors, left over from the buildup to the iPhone 3G announcement have pointed towards the addition of a second forward facing camera and or video capabilities.

iPhone case back

Whatever the new iPhone will bring us, both from the growing number of rumors and 3.0 firmware and SDK preview, it appears we are all in for a significant revision. As we get closer to WWDC 2009, we will most likely know more about the upcoming iPhone. Stick with The iLife for continuing development and analysis of rumors. But for now check out the following links if you want to learn more about upcoming the iPhone.

PinchMedia iPhone 2,1
New Imagination Technologies chip analysis
Major architectural changes suggested by iPhone 2,1

iPhone 3.0 firmware and SDK previewed and released!

17 03 2009

It’s finally here! Today, Apple released in specific detail the new iPhone 3.0 firmware and new iPhone SDK! Rumors have been flying for weeks about what is to be released this morning and we have all the answers.


The waiting is finally over! After weeks of anticipation, apple has previewed the iPhone 3.0 firmware to the public. The new 3.0 firmware has many features that we have been dreaming about since January 9, 2007. They include:

  • Copy and Paste
  • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
  • Landscape view in SMS, Mail and Notes (was already in Safari)
  • In-application  purchasing, like extra content
  • Access iPod library from your application
  • Spotlight to search your iPhone
  • A2DP (Stereo Bluetooth) Capability
  • And more

The Firmware will be free to all iPhone users but will cost $9.95 for iPod touch users.

New iPhone SDK

The new iPhone SDK has many exciting features that Apple Developers are excited about. The most notable of these is the ability to test your developed apps before releasing them into the open market of iTunes. It also includes over 1,000 new API’s!

All in all, today we witnessed the next generation in mobile devices. Many people were worried that the new Palm Pre would contain many apps that the iPhone did not and become the leader in the smartphone market, but Apple took care of these worries. The new SDK is currently available to registered Apple developers and the 3.0 firmware will be available to the public sometime in June.