Being back in San Francisco means internet is fast again. Farewell #sxsw

The wifi at SXSW was so slow it made you want to pull your hair out. And AT&T completely failed when tons of iPhones entered Austin, they had to tweak their towers to get more throughput. The only thing that saved us was having Sprint 3G cards to fall back on.

 Now back in San Francisco, this is what I’m getting at home. It’s niiiice šŸ™‚


Use APXML in your iPhone app to parse XML

For some strange reason, the iPhone SDK left out NSXMLDocument. This forces you to use NSXMLParser to process an XML document manually. It’s all event driven, and not the friendliest class to use.

A few weeks ago I was put in touch with Arash Payan after I purchased his great iPhone application, Jabeh. I actually worked with Arash many years ago when he was an intern on Final Cut Pro. (Though I feel terrible about that because we made him work on some pretty terrible stuff).

While developing Jabeh, Arash created APXML, a great library to read and write XML. It simply does what you need it to do. I would have been forced into many hours of mundane coding without it.

Overall I’ve been really impressed by the entire process of writing an iPhone application. I thought the networking part of it would be hard, but it’s actually been the easiest piece:

1. In Ruby on Rails, use ActiveRecord to do the Object-relational mapping and pull data out of your database
2. Use Rails RXML templates to write XML with this data incredibly fast
3. Use APXML on the iPhone end to parse it out into objects you can use

You get a bunch of data on the phone coming from the internet, and the you can design the interface and views to your heart’s content. Since developing an iPhone app focuses on the views, you get a beautiful application to show off your stuff.

Great developer tools + a great developer community = super fast development :). Thanks, Arash.

Totally free iPhone ringtones at audiko.net

The site is a little ugly, but it’s otherwise pretty well executed. There are two ways to get a ringtone:
1. Create your own ringtone from an mp3


  • Select an mp3 from your computer and it uploads to their servers 
  • They present a really great UI showing the entire song with the waveform. You can select any part of the song you want by dragging the selection window, change the length of that selection, and add fades. Just like in iTunes and Garage Band. 
  • Click “Create” and it downloads an iphone ready ringtone instantly, already tagged with all the right id3 info (as found in your original mp3)


2. Or just do a search


They have a huge library of ringtones all ready to go. It’s a really easy way to get a bunch of ringtones in just seconds. Not sure how this is legal though šŸ™‚

Check it out at http://audiko.net.

iPhone headphones, straight from China

I lost my iPhone headphones a while back due to all the traveling, so I had Sean order me some new ones with his discount. $22 shipped. Nice.

Except they shipped to me directly from China via DHL! I know Apple does this a lot for computers, and that makes sense since they are high ticket items, but why for $22 headphones?

They came in the giant cardboard box on the left of this pic. Inside that box was the iPhone headphones box. And inside of that was the actual item. Such a waste of packaging and space.

Apple has been really good about reducing packaging size and being environmentally friendly, but they totally failed here. I should have just walked to the Apple Store.


I love Apple’s product integration

Earlier today I was listening to music on my Apple Hifi in the living room. The music was streaming wirelessly from my Macbook Pro in my bedroom via Airtunes to my Airport Express which is connected to the HiFi. I purchased the music from the iTunes music store. And I was controlling it from my couch on my iPhone using the Remote application that my friend Al wrote. And it all works flawlessly.

And from Engadget, “According to Jason Snell from Macworld, you can use your iPhone earbud button to control iTunes (pause / play, back and forward), and the microphone can be used as a… microphone.” (on the new macbook pro/macbook)

Amazing. I love Apple. They are so smart!

Something is wrong with my iPhone 3G

The battery on my iPhone sucks. It barely lasts a day. But I assumed it was because I’m using it a lot. Lots of web surfing on 3G, push email and calendars to my phone, games, iPod…I’m using the device constantly.

But something still didn’t add up. And now I have proof. Last “night” I went to bed at 6:30am with my phone fully charged. I checked the usage on my phone at 2pm this afternoon and saw this:


7.5 hours of standby…Makes sense. But nearly 6 hours of use? I was sleeping nearly that entire time! And later in the day:


So something is running on my phone that is causing the usage time to go up and the battery to drain. With very little use today it still didn’t last the day. That’s terrible. Oh, and this is with push email off. The phone also feels a little warm even when off so maybe something is running.

I guess I need to go to an Apple store and see about getting a replacement.

The iTunes app store

Such amazing execution of a phone SDK. Great development tools, an easy distribution system, good for developers, consumers, and Apple. I already have 20 applications, lots of great stuff. Pandora, NYC transmit, loopt, Remote, some cool games. Shazam is amazing. It listens to music being played and tells you the song info. Takes 20 seconds and has been 100% for me so far!

David Pogue describes:

The App Store–oh, man, the App Store. It’s a candy store, dude. It’s 550 free or cheap add-on programs that make the iPhone (or the iPod Touch) do absolutely amazing things…stunts a cellphone has no right to perform.