A Guide to the Best Five Free iPhone 2.0 Applications in the App Store

15 07 2008

The iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 firmware have been out in the wild for over four days now. Since the App Store has opened up its doors, there are over 550 applications available for download.

AppStore, apart of the iPhone OS 2.0

AppStore, apart of the iPhone OS 2.0

At the center of the iPhone OS 2.0 is the App Store. This is a guide of some of the best free Applications currently available on the App Store, which you can access through iTunes 7.7 or iPhone/ iPod Touch running the 2.0 firmware. Here are 5 free applications that if you should consider:




Developed by Apple Inc, Remote allows you to remotely control your iTunes library on your computer or Apple TV. The interface is almost identical to the standard iPod interface found on the iPhone or iPod Touch however, Remote is controlling another library over Wi-Fi. The application is simple and the execution is great- it proves to be a very handy utility for DJ’ing or for being in control of whatever your home setup may be. A highly recommended download.

4 more after the jump! Read more…

Our 3G iPhone Activation Experience Video and Pictures

14 07 2008

This weekend, members of theiLife.com crew successfully activated one 3G iPhone. Below is our experience.

When we walked into the store, we were greeted with a bunch of friendly Apple employees cheering and giving us high fives. As we walked down the glass stairs, there were even more Apple employees cheering and clapping for us ventured into the store. Once we got to the bottom, we were escorted to the Genius Bar in the back. There, an Apple Employee introduced herself and said that she would get our phone activated for us.

This process took about 20 minutes total, which is on the longer end of a typical activation- Apple estimates each activation to take 15-20 minutes. Our “activator” repeatedly told us that she was a new employee and was still getting used to things, so it might take her a little longer. Luckily we weren’t plagued by the activation issues many began to see shortly after we left the store. After we were approved by AT&T and paid for the iPhone, an Apple Genius helped us un-brick our iPhone and setup an email account and then we were officially 3G’ed.

We then left the store and were greeted by press and lots of other people outside. After doing a couple of brief interviews, we got some breakfast and enjoyed the new 3G iPhone. Then it was back to home base of Montclair, NJ for theiLife.com crew. Videos of the experience are coming soon and will appear below.

You can view us entering the store here:

You can view the entire video of our activation below:

You can view us exiting the store here:

Gallery after the jump! Read more…

We’re In The News!!

10 07 2008

So while the writers at theiLife.com have been patiently waiting for the release of the 3G iPhone outside the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City; we have had the pleasure of being interviewed by many other blogs, papers, radio stations, as well as various other media outlets. Here is an up to the minute list of all the published interviews with various publications:

Kyle Being Interviewed By WCBS 880 Radio!

Interview by Fortune!

Store Line Check by Racked. We’re the site that’s liveblogging!

Matt R. and Geoff K., were quoted by the New York Sun.

Matt Dodd was featured in an interview with NBC 4.

NYPost.com video featured a number of iLife writers!

We are seen a number of times in this Fox 5 video!

Matt Dodd was featured in an article in Information Week.

Geoff K. was quoted in Bloomberg News.

We’ve on CNN Money.

We’ve been video posted on NPR.

The article on MacLife about waiting on the line is up here.

Matt Dodd and various other bloggers were featured on the 10 o’clock Channel 11 news here.

CBS used Matt Dodd’s new iPhone in this segment.

Apple has posted an image of theiLife crew activating their new phone in the store!

We were told we have appeared on multiple TV news channels such as CW11, CBS, NBC, and more as well as WCBS 880 Radio and Fox News Radio.

In Line at the Fifth Avenue NYC Apple Store – Live Coverage of the iPhone 3G Launch [Liveblog]

10 07 2008

Three members from theiLife.com crew have taken position at the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City. We are the third group in line for the iPhone 3G, which goes on sale tomorrow morning.

Other groups represented in the line as of now include a organic farming activist group, and another man holding a spot for a friend. The number of media outlets attending the event is more than a little disproportionate in comparison to the number of people on line. So far MacLife, NY 1, Reuters and a Japanese national station have covered the event, with varying levels in interest. The unknown Japanese seemed most interested in whether we had ever heard of the term “iPhoner”, while Reuters wanted to know why we were waiting in line for an iPhone rather than a Blackberry.

Things here have been fairly calm so far, except for the random pedestrians who stop and ask questions. The first group has however been approached by what appeared to be a combination of Apple security and NYPD reps who asked them to take some of their signs down. Naturally, that request was denied pending a written order.

We will be doing a liveblog of events below from the line:

7:55AM EST: We have taken the third group position in line on 5th Avenue.
1:31PM EST: Still holding the last position in the line; we have seen more media interviews than people on this entire line. We are going out to eat lunch soon!
2:33PM EST: After leaving the bathroom of the Apple Store, we ran into a pallet jack carting in a shipment of boxes labeled 3G iPhone. See gallery after the jump for picture.
4:14PM EST: Apple has just given us all black umbrellas with a white Apple logo on them! They have been going around the line insuring that we are all iReady. Greg Packard, the guy who was first online last year stopped by to say hello, and we are currently uploading the interview with him. More coming soon!
4:34PM EST: Just posted the Greg Packard Interview below.
5:45PM EST: Matt Dodd just had an interview with Leo Laporte from TWiT and the servers are seeing heavy traffic. Foot traffic on the street is heavily increasing as the day is ending here in New York City. More media coming soon!!
8:05PM EST: The sun is setting on a beautiful day here in New York. We are working on finding a spot to eat dinner!
10:05PM EST: Scaffolding is going up by the cube, it looks like it is getting a bath!
10:35PM EST: Workers are downstairs (in the Apple Store) grouting the cracks between the tiles.

Photo gallery and videos after the jump! Read more…

The Phone To Beat The iPhone: Meet Google’s Android

8 07 2008

With the new iPhone 3G coming out later this week, take a look at what some other companies are doing to compete with the iPhone.

The iPhone is considered by many, to be the most revolutionary phone to ever be released. It is a totally new experience for may users, with it’s 3.5 inch touch screen; mobile web browsing with Safari (Apple’s web browser), using either WiFi or the AT&T mobile internet services; a full built in iPod for music listening and more. On top of all these amazing features, it also functions as a phone! The iPhone was the first “smartphone” that slickly combined many features in a manor that only Apple could pull off. However with every revolutionary product, competitors come out of the woodwork, most of them are clearly cheap knockoffs, and some of them are somewhat acceptable replicas, however, every once in a while someone comes out with a product that clearly out does the original. As of yet, however, no one seems to have come out with a real “iPhone Killer”. So far, the most notable iPhone doppelgänger is LG’s VX10000 a.k.a. “the Verizon Voyager”, which is available on the Verizon Wireless network. While the Voyager is an okay competitor, the iPhone still tops it for many reasons, not the least of which is that the Voyager runs on a poorly designed Verizon platform, which is somewhat lacking, while the iPhone runs on a derivative of Apple’s powerful OS X.

Clearly something is missing here, really one of the most significant things keeping all iPhone competitors down is the lack of a solid grounding in the OS and UI department. Apple has years of experience, as well as a solid OS to work with, while every other manufacturer has to start from the ground up and basically reinvent the wheel. But what if there was a company with a solid background in designing intuitive interfaces, that could design an OS as elegant as Apple’s OS X. Then perhaps the major phone manufacturers could concentrate on what they do best and build phones. Perhaps from this marriage of elegant software, with efficient hardware, would come a phone that could truly rival the iPhone. Well one of the most well known technology companies is working on just that, an elegant open source operating system. You know this company as one with a history of recognizing the potential in small projects with sufficient funding, as well as being the company that reinvented search. Google has stepped into the mobile phone ring, and for real this time, not just integrating services with other mobile operating systems, but with a whole new mobile operating system, called Android.

Google, the worlds biggest and most well known search company, has recently teamed up with Andy Rubin, the creator of the Sidekick, to create an operating system for many mobile platforms, called Project Android. While many people have been talking about a “Google Phone” for as long as they have been talking about an “Apple Phone”, Google is not expected to release any specific hardware to run Android. One might make the comparison to the so-called OS wars between Apple and Microsoft: on one hand you have Apple with their tightly controlled hardware, which depending on your viewpoint, is either a Pro or a Con; while on the other hand you have Microsoft which currently dominates the OS usage rates, (though not for long) because of it’s “open” Operating System, meaning it isn’t tied to any specific hardware, the only requirement is that the machine has to be capable of running it. Google has taken the more open road here as well, opting to not make the limiting factor the hardware, but the ingenuity of the person attempting to install it.

Android also has a SDK that has already been released for developers to play with. Using Java, developers can make applications from scratch that do anything from enable you to check your email, to playing the hottest new game. Along with its operating system, Android relies on Linux 2.6 to run its core services such a security, memory, and any other behind the scenes work a computers operating system would normally do.

So while many companies have tried to accomplish the task of making a phone that is sleeker, faster, and just better than the iPhone, Google has come at it from a different perspective. Instead of spending all their money on building a sleek phone, Google has spent their time on making an operating system and letting the companies and people install on the phones they like. And by allowing developers to make applications for Android before it has been released, they have allowed the people to make the operating system they would like instead of letting Google’s development team spend many tireless hours guessing how to make it perfect. So with Android’s expected release to be sometime later this year, many wonder if the iPhone will be able to stand supreme among its competitors. Or will phones running Android become the Phones to beat the iPhone? We will soon find out.

How to switch your data from an existing iPhone to iPhone 3G

7 07 2008

Guest poster Dave Merten from Macsimum News gives us a tutorial of migrating from the current iPhone to the new iPhone 3G. You can read his original post here on Macsiumum News!

Getting ready to replace your iPhone this Friday with a new 3G model? Well, this article explains how to replace an original iPhone with an iPhone 3G using the same carrier. If you follow these steps to backup your original iPhone first, and then restore the backup to your iPhone 3G, your saved SMS messages, email accounts, photos, notes, and other personal settings will be present on your iPhone 3G.

To replace an original iPhone with an iPhone 3G, follow these steps:

1. Purchase iPhone 3G from an Apple Store or from a carrier. In the US, iPhone 3G includes a SIM and your original iPhone’s SIM is not needed. Your original iPhone account information will be transferred to iPhone 3G’s included SIM when you purchase iPhone 3G. To dispose of your original iPhone SIM, contact your carrier. In other countries where the original iPhone was sold, you can use your original iPhone’s SIM with iPhone 3G. Contact your carrier for additional information.

2. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes and iPhone OS. Click to download the latest version of iTunes. Note that when you start using iPhone 3G, you will need iTunes 7.7 or later.

3. Connect your original iPhone to iTunes and sync it. Verify that your original iPhone is backed up. For more information on how to do this, see iPhone: About backups.

4. Connect iPhone 3G to iTunes (on the same computer you used to back up your original iPhone), and then iTunes will ask you if you want to restore from a backup or set up iPhone 3G as a new phone. When prompted, select the backup of your original iPhone.

5. After iTunes finishes restoring the backup you selected to iPhone 3G, iPhone 3G will restart. When iPhone 3G appears again in the iTunes window, select it. Then click the tabs (Music, Photos, and so on) and verify or change the items you want to sync. Then click Apply to sync iPhone 3G with iTunes.

6. Verify that your saved SMS messages, email accounts and passwords, photos, notes, and other personal settings are present on your iPhone 3G.

If saved SMS messages, email accounts and passwords, photos, notes, or other personal settings are not present on your new iPhone 3G, the restore from backup may not have been successful. In that case, verify your original iPhone is properly backed up (see step 3), then use iTunes to restore iPhone OS on iPhone 3G and continue following these instructions at step 4.
To erase your original iPhone so someone else can use it, tap Settings > General > Reset > Erase all contents and settings on your original iPhone.

iPhone 3G launch approaching – Madness Begins T-5 Days

7 07 2008

The site has been in a dormant state for the past couple of weeks. This is about to change. Behold July 11th!

Its been almost a month since WWDC 2008 and it is finally come time for Apple to deliver its goodies. All three major announcements from WWDC- Mobile Me, the iPhone 3G and the iPhone OS 2.0 firmware update are expected to be delivered this coming Friday. You can rest assured theiLife will have continuing coverage of all three events. We be in line at the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City later this week and will bring you the latest coverage (live, of course) of not only the iPhone 3G launch but MobileMe and the new iPhone OS firmware 2.0. Keep posted for more details coming soon!

To 3G or not to 3G? That is the question.

26 06 2008

With over half of the time between the iPhone 3G product announcement and for sale date of July 11 behind us, I have made up my mind on whether I’ll be upgrading my original iPhone to an iPhone 3G. I actually made my decision almost immediately, then I changed it, then changed it again, and probably a few more times.

As usual, Steve Jobs and Apple made me want the latest and greatest, in this case the iPhone 3G. The product was long rumored, and it was practically a forgone conclusion that the announcement would come at WWDC. In typical fashion, Jobs introduced the product touting all of the great improvements and neglecting to mention any possible downsides.

There were a number of factors I considered:

  • The brand new factor: Since I have had my iPhone in September, I have never felt that there was another device out there that I would prefer to have. What a great feeling! Once the iPhone 3G is on the market, that may not be the case. But since it’s still an iPhone, it won’t be so bad.
  • 3G: One of most anticipated features of the iPhone 3G was of course the 3G capability. Sure that will make data transfer, downloading, using certain applications, and other functionalities faster, but at what sacrifice? Battery life? Apple says no, but that is yet to be seen for sure. Price? Yes, the data plan will cost $10 more per month. That’s easily covered by skipping other things if it is that important.

    The speed difference is not important to me. Sure, some things take longer to do than I’d like, but as more and more Web sites are optimized for mobile devices, and specifically the iPhone, that speed won’t be as important. I’m not a heavy mobile surfer, and I use the data more for e-mail than anything else.

  • GPS: GPS is very cool, I have to admit. Every time I use a unit, it boggles my mind that it knows exactly where I am. That accuracy is great, but it is also a little bit weird. GPS on the iPhone makes little sense for me since the times I find myself in unfamiliar surroundings, I already have a GPS unit in the (rental) car. No way am I going to substitute the handheld iPhone for a GPS unit and try to drive simultaneously.

    The buzz surrounding the built in GPS sure are the location aware features. Twitter can know exactly where I am, Facebook can know exactly where I am, the photos I take can be tagged with location, I can find people near me using my phone… who even knows what else will come out of this? There’s a cool factor there. There’s also a scary factor there. I don’t think I want or need the world to know exactly where I am at any or every moment. For those times I do want that added information transmitted, the original iPhone’s location finding will work just fine.

  • Price and capacity: It is inevitable that the price will go down and the capacity will go up on a device like this. I didn’t expect, however, that the price would go down to the level it has! That’s still at least $199 plus a new contract plus a higher monthly rate that I would be paying. Sure I could sell my current iPhone, but it’s not in perfect condition. I could work the warranty to get a new one, but I’m still at the mercy of what the market will offer for it.

    It’s pretty easy to predict, given Apple’s history and the history already of the iPhone, that there will be a higher capacity model within the next year and probably an even further updated phone in that time frame or one not too much longer than that.

  • Software: Software is the key piece. The iPhone 2.0 software is on its way, and its new features are going to be great for me. Specifically, the Exchange support will be awesome. The app store will be great too. Since the 2.0 software will be available to all iPhone owners, I’ll get it on my original iPhone. If Apple had limited 2.0 to the iPhone 3G, that would have been a big factor.

So, if you haven’t already figured it out, I am not going to upgrade. At least not yet. By all means, if you are not already an iPhone owner, you should get the iPhone 3G! If you are an iPhone owner, weigh your options, but keep in mind that there will be something bigger and better right around the corner and you aren’t lagging too far behind as it is.

iPhone owners: are you planning to upgrade?

Thoughts about the 3G iPhone

19 06 2008

Since the release of the 3G iPhone at WWDC last week, there are still many questions unanswered and speculation regarding the new iPhone.

This years WWDC keynote brought us the hotly anticipated 3G iPhone. Aggressively priced at $199, it is clear that Apple wants to take on the smartphone market and get iPhones in more hands this year. True to some rumors, the new iPhone is launching for $199 in 22 countries later next month. Thanks to subsidization by AT&T and the other official iPhone carriers in other countries, Apple was able to cut the price of the iPhone in half.

While this is ultimately a win-win situation for both AT&T and Apple, it could cause some consumers headaches. One of the greatest parts of the iPhone started with the privilege to activate at home through iTunes. This slick implementation of Apple’s existing software allowed for consumers to avoid the hassle of activating your phone in the store- and for Apple employees to quickly sell more iPhones, Macs or iPods.

Although it is still preliminary speculation at this point, it seems that because of the subsidization, In-Store activation is going to be required. This means that if you want to buy an iPhone, you must purchase the phone and activate in the store regardless if you’re in an AT&T store or an Apple Store. During busy times, such as the holiday season or during launch day, July 11th, this could mean many Apple Store employees being tied up with activating iPhones instead of helping other customers with Mac or iPod sales- which just leaves both sides aggravated.

It also means that the unlocked market is going to suffer. Because Apple gave consumers the liberty to purchase the hardware without any binding contract, many people took their iPhones onto other GSM networks such as T-Mobile. It is believed that over 500,000 iPhones have been unlocked and brought onto other networks around the world. This time around, because AT&T is paying for a portion of the iPhone hardware, requiring immediate, ins-store activation would make sense to further deter these people from bringing the iPhone to other networks.

However, some theorize that since Apple already requires a credit card for an iPhone purchase, they could charge AT&T’s subsidization amount back to their card if the phone wasn’t activated within a certain period of time. This could allow Apple to continue to activate phones through iTunes, but keep AT&T from loosing money.

Because there hasn’t been any official announcement, theoretically, we won’t know for certain until there is. The iPhone 3G is set to launch on July 11th. If you can’t wait, check out our new dashboard widget. Stay tuned for more information regarding the launch and launch coverage of the new 3G iPhone here at theiLife.com.

July 11th 3G iPhone Countdown Widget

18 06 2008

For those of us who are counting down every last second until the 3G iPhone launch, we have got a new Dashboard widget for you! This widget is styled after the new iPhone 3G, and comes in two colors- Black and White. More details of the coverage from the iPhone 3G launch coming soon, but for now- get yours today!

Download iPhone 3G Countdown Widget (Black) [332KB]
Download iPhone 3G Countdown Widget (White) [332KB]