iPhone 2.0.2 Software Update

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Bug fixes

Emergency iPhone 2.0.1 Release

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iPhone 3G

How could 2.0.1 be anything less than an emergency release? The performance of 2.0 may have seemed decent to new iPhone users, but those who had used the prior generation knew better.

What are your early impressions of 2.0.1? What are you hoping for in 2.1?


Pangea Software was one of the companies selected by Apple to present their applications at WWDC. One of the applications demoed by Pangea was a puzzle game named Enigmo. Two days later Pangea received an Apple Design Award for the "Best iPhone Game". You can hardly ask for a better product announcement event.

At the time of writing the $9.99 Enigmo is #4 on the Top Paid Apps list with more than 300 comments and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

From the product page: Enigmo is a 3D puzzle game where you direct animated streams of flowing liquid so that the droplets get to their destination. Water, Oil, and Lava fall from Droppers and bounce around the walls and the puzzle. You move and rotate various types of bumpers, sliders, accelerators, and sponges in order to divert the flow of the falling droplets. The faster you complete each of the 50 levels the more bonus points you receive.

Way back when I used a Windows Mobile phone there were a few games like this that I really enjoyed. There is just something satisfying about completing a puzzle and reaching a goal. I have played through 10 levels and am finding the gameplay to be fairly easy. It does take a little time to figure out how each of the little objects can affect the flow of the droplets. The game would benefit from a practice level that lets you learn how to interact with the objects without the sacrifice of bonus points!

A Mac version of the game is available on the Pangea site for $19.95.

App Store

The New York Times has just reported that the App Store will open Thursday, July 10!

Upon opening the store will offer more than 500 applications, 25% of which will be free. 90% of the commercial software will be sold for $9.99 or less. Also, a third of the first 500 applications will be games.

iTunes 7.7 Released

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iTunes Icon

Documented iTunes 7.7 changes include the ability to sync music, video, and more with iPhone 3G, and download applications from the iTunes Store exclusively designed for iPhone and iPod touch with software version 2.0 or later. Also use the new Remote application for iPhone or iPod touch to control iTunes playback from anywhere in your home -- a free download from the App Store.

Now all we need is the iPhone and iPod touch 2.0 firmware!

Freeverse Sudoku

Freeverse has a couple games ready to go for the iPhone and iPod touch when the App Store goes live.

Wingnuts Moto Racer is a bike racing game that uses the accelerometer to steer. During the WWDC keynote Pangea Software demoed a similar style game named Cro-Mag Rally. For some reason this type of game just doesn't appeal to me. Of course that won't stop me from downloading a demo if one is made available.

The other game, Sudoku, has a much better chance of making it on my iPhone. The only problem for Freeverse (and others) is that Sudoku is such a popular game that there are likely to be many versions of it in the App Store. It's along the same lines as the tip calculator and unit converter applications -- it will be tough to sell them when good free options are available.

Future offerings that Freeverse has in the works include Golf, Bowling, Soccer, and Baseball spots games.

Who said cell phone games had to be mindless? Here is a game named Rolando from handcircus that looks like it could provide many hours of fun for all ages.


The Rolando site doesn't include much information about the game. It appears that you interact with round characters, elevators, trampolines, and other objects to solve puzzles. The only solid information provided on the game site is that the application is coming to the iPhone and iPod touch during the summer of 2008. My guess is that they are going to sell a lot of this one!

Check out the YouTube trailer:

eWallet for iPhone

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eWallet iPhone

Shortly after the iPhone was announced in January 2007 blogs began posting articles critical of Apple's decision to make the iPhone a closed-architecture. The general belief was that this would limit the potential of the device because many users wanted the freedom to load full featured applications like games and task managers. Shortly after the iPhone was released in June 2007 web developers made sites available to fill some of the gaps. While better than nothing, they do not work when disconnected from the Internet and performance cannot match that of native applications even when connected through wi-fi.

At the time a friend was considering an iPhone purchase but was disappointed that his favorite mobile application named eWallet would not be released for the iPhone. His thought at the time was that the application was more important than the phone. Several months after the iPhone was released I was surprised to hear that he had purchased an iPhone. The reason? The overall experience was so much better than Windows Mobile that a single application could no longer be the deciding factor.

Last week Ilium Software announced that an iPhone version of their eWallet application would be made available on the App Store as soon as it goes live and Apple approves it. Pricing has not been announced, though I would expect it to be in the range of their other versions -- $29.95. It is also unknown if discounts will be provided to owners from other platforms. Visit the Ilium Software iPhone blog post for more information, images, and to post a comment to the developers!

The enterprise and App Store features in iPhone 2.0 will transform the iPhone into a new device. Add 3G and GPS in the mix and you are looking at a game changing device (again).

Hide Time Machine Drive

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Time Machine Drive

Since the release of Leopard I have wanted to hide the Time Machine drive that appears on my desktop. About once a week I would see the icon and wish it gone. You know what they say -- wish in one hand and something else in the other and see which one fills up first. So, after washing up, I decided to present my wish to Google instead. A few seconds later I had a link to a simple solution from Macworld titled Hide Time Machine's icon in the Finder.

Here is the quick version for those familiar with AppleScript (replace Time_Machine_drive_name with your drive name):

quit application "Finder"
tell application "System Events" to ¬
    set visible of disk "Time_Machine_drive_name" to false
delay 1
launch application "Finder"
Software Update

I read an interesting Google Groups post today that got me thinking about software release expectations. The post is in the Coda group and is titled . This is a fairly common inquiry in many software support forums. There are several reasons why I think end-users pose this question to software creators.

In the case of purchased software there may be is a sense of entitlement. Money has changed hands and the purchaser feels as though they should have more say in the development process and schedule. The customer may also have a desire to validate their purchase decision.

Response from Cabel Sasser, Panic Inc. to a statement that 5 months is a very long time for a shareware application to go without an update:

"You know, this is an interesting point.

A company like Adobe, which has hundreds of engineers working on Photoshop, releases ONE version every two or three years, and maybe a single bug fix release in the interim. For the most part, we're all cool with that, myself included! :)

But a shareware company that has, say, one or two people working on a product, is somehow expected to do releases every few months -- even free major ones -- or people start getting itchy.

I experience this too -- it's pretty interesting. :)

Anyway, we're all working as hard as we can, and the stuff we're adding is not easy, or quick, to do. For the record, at the risk of breaking some hearts, we do not have a release scheduled for the Apple Design Awards. Naturally, we'll let you guys know the second we have something to talk about. :)"

As a software developer I have a fair amount of experience dealing with end-user expectations. It always amazes me when users expect Apple, Adobe, Google or Microsoft quality and quantity from a small team of developers.

The main difference here is that the end-user can more easily influence the independent developer than the giant corporation. Adobe has created a mature image editing application in Photoshop, and they know it. Pixelmator on the other hand doesn't have the luxury of market dominance. They are the underdog who still has something to prove in their pursuit to compete with the big boys. Many customers know this and take every opportunity to attempt to get Photoshop features at a Pixelmator price.