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Read It Later and Xmarks Firefox extensions plus RIL iPhone App

June 8th, 2009 2 comments

One of my friends introduced me to the Read It Later firefox extension and iPhone application.  I really love the concept but had some trouble getting it going while also using the Xmarks bookmarks synchronization tool on Firefox. I’ve got multiple Firefox browsers running on different PCs that are all in sync via Xmarks.

Here’s what I ultimately did and I think it’s all working now.

Starting on my desktop, I did the following:

1) Turned off syncing on Read It Later entirely (just to be safe)

2) Force synced Xmarks

3) Went to xmarks.com and deleted all Read It Later folders, just to be sure

4) In Firefox bookmarks organizer, created my own folder called Read It Later – Computer Name (in my case, Dash)

5) Force synced Xmarks

6) Went into Read It Later, on the General tab, picked  the Read It Later folder as “Read It Later – Dash”

7) Enabled Syncing on the RSS / syncing tab.

8) Force synced Read It Later

9) Force synced Xmarks

10) Logged into Xmarks.com and even though I picked “Read It Later – Dash”, RIL had still created a separate RIL folder.

11) Deleted the RIL folder in FIREFOX bookmarks manager.

12) Double checked settings on Read It Later, to make sure “Read It Later – Dash” was selected.

13) Force synced Xmarks, since now the second RIL folder is deleted.

14) Now everything was working fine on a single desktop and iPhone, I could add or subtract Items and no trouble at all.  No more duplicate folders and such.

On my laptop:

1) BTW, left out that I had disabled RIL on the laptop before I started on my desktop!

2) Force synced Xmarks

3) Now I had an RIL-Dash folder on the laptop

4) Followed the directions above, basically went into RIL settings, picked the RIL-Dash folder, enabled syncing

5) Force synced RIL on the laptop

6) Force synced Xmarks

7) Again there was an extra RIL folder that RIL on my laptop created even though I picked RIL-Dash

8) Double checked settings in RIL

9) Deleted the extra RIL folder in Firefox / Organize Bookmarks

10) Force synced Xmarks

Categories: iPhone, PC, Software, Technology Tags:

iPhone post 2.1 upgrade

September 15th, 2008 1 comment

I was excited about how the 2.1 upgrade made my phone more stable, fewer app crashes, faster installs, faster backups and syncing and then it all went downhill today.  I got a call from a friend in Chicago (he was on his cell) and I was in San Jose and within 10 minutes, I got 6 dropped calls (“call failed”).  I had 5 bars of 3G and he said he had full reception.  I forced the phone to Edge and then my buddy couldn’t hear me at all and we had to give up.  iPhone as a Phone = 1 star out of 5 🙁

Iliumsoft finally released the sync version of eWallet which I installed a week ago.  Works really well and I’m happy.  Will try to post a longer review when possible.

Categories: iPhone, Technology Tags:

iPhone 3G: Day 9

July 22nd, 2008 Comments off

iphone My iPhone switcher experiment is in Day 9 and I’m still not quite ready to give up on my old Windows Mobile phone.  I’ve definitely warmed up to the iPhone but still find it lacking in some areas that important to me (and I’m probably in the minority of users here).  Without further ado . . .

  • Battery Life – I think I’ve gotten to a middle ground that works for me.  I’m leaving 3G on all the time though AT&T’s 3G network leaves much to be desired in the SF Bay Area.  I only turn WiFi on when I need it and I’ve turned location based services (GPS) off entirely.  Bluetooth is on all the time (otherwise I’ll forget to turn it on when I get in my car).  The big one is that I’ve set Exchange ActiveSync to check every 30 minutes instead of direct push.  I was quite used to have push email on all the time on my HTC Touch Dual so it’s an adjustment but I guess I don’t really need push email when I’ve got a laptop handy.  It’s going to be interesting to see what happens on my first multi-day trip with the battery life.
  • Mail application – Still a lot wrong with this application.  I can’t search for email.  I can’t sort email by person or size or anything besides data (and in most recent order at that).  The mail application doesn’t let you download attachments and keep them on the phone (not even talking about the file system).  Every time I want to open an attachment, say a powerpoint file, it has to download it all over again.  Moving between email accounts involves waaaaaaaaaay too many swipes and touches.  Come on Apple, simplify this a little bit.  I know of a great design firm that will tell you what your users think ;-), go talk to them.
  • ewallet App Store – I like the intent of a lot of the applications (both paid and free) that are available in the app store.  However, most of them feel like beta code and need some polish.  I know the ecosystem here is just getting started but early indications are really good.  The Windows Mobile apps I use are rock solid, but don’t have anywhere near the user experience possible on the iPhone so I’m holding out hope.  I like the apps that let you interact with your social networks.  Would love to see a dedicated amazon.com app.  And of course, eWallet is going to be my favorite once they actually let me sync my current data!
  • Responsiveness – I’m on the fence about the responsiveness of the UI.  Sometimes it works really really well, and other times it feels like I’m touching the same button multiple times to have the phone recognize what I’m trying to do.  Since it works really well sometimes, I’m going to chalk this up to the firmware in the phone.  Contacts is a great example:  I have about 300 contacts synced (via Exchange) and it’s a good 7 to 8 seconds (!) before I can use the app after launch.
  • Bluetooth – totally unimpressive.  Bad implementation, lots of echo in my car bluetooth kit (had no trouble before with multiple phones).  No profiles beyond handsfree.  Fail.
  • Mobile Safari – I like it.  Well done, much easier to use than any other mobile browser I’ve used before.  Big screen makes a huge difference.  3G speeds not bad for casual surfing.
  • Call Quality – seems fine.  Speakerphone is not very loud.  But otherwise, people hear me clearly, I can’t turn up the earpiece volume as much as I’d like.  Not sure what that’s about.
Categories: iPhone, Review Tags:

iPhone: I can toggle read / unread messages :-)

July 14th, 2008 Comments off

I was reading an e-mail just now and clicked on the “details” button and there was an option to mark email as unread, so at least that functionality is there.  Seems a little buried and I’d rather see it in the list view.

Anyone know how to sort by name instead of date?

Categories: iPhone Tags:

iPhone 3G vs. Windows Mobile (HTC Touch Dual)

July 14th, 2008 2 comments

photo I bought an iPhone 3G yesterday and it’s been an interesting experience.  My last several phones have been Windows Mobile (of the touchscreen variety) and I’ve gotten quite used to that Phone OS warts and all.  I’ve only been using the iPhone for a day and am still learning how to use it but will start sharing some of what I like and don’t like about the phone.  These are not in any sort of priority order.

One thing I’ve noticed for sure is that AT&T’s 3G coverage is not great.  I get 2 bars of 3G reception in my office at work, if I turn the 3G radio off I get 5 bars of normal/EDGE reception.

Also, the bluetooth handsfree with my car doesn’t seem to implemented well.  I have a terrible echo that makes it hard to have a conversation and can’t control the gain on the microphone.

Like Don’t Like
Innovative use of the accelerometer – I’ll get used to the phone turning itself off when near my ear real fast, love that No copy and paste
Screen quality is nice, easy to read in all types of light You can’t toggle email messages as read/unread in the mail client.
Exchange integration is ok and a start.  Not enterprise ready though. I could be wrong but I can’t sort email by sender or size, or anything besides date received
App Store integration is really nice, fluid and easy to use. I want the home screen to actually have some data (like my next appointment, the actual weather) instead of just a launcher for applications
Integration of different apps on the phone is nice, like saving a picture from the web and then making it your wallpaper Battery life is so so (as expected)
Eye candy.  What a pleasing user interface to look at, easy to use with a finger and easy on the eyes. Keyboard is hard to use when typing URLs or email addresses because the fancy auto correct can’t help in those situations
  Can’t search the the whole device – consolidated search on email, contacts, notes
  Can’t send outgoing meeting invites
  Quality of applications on App Store are still early beta type software (as expected, this can only get better)
  Can’t click on the conference call dial-in # in a calendar invite to initiate a call.  Have to memorize the number and the meeting id!

Yes, the don’t like list is longer right now mostly because I’m comparing the phone to my Windows Mobile experience.  We’ll see how this goes with greater usage.  My favorite Windows Mobile application (Iliumsoft’s eWallet) is still not out for the iPhone and they won’t allow syncing of my existing data till August!  How will I survive?! 🙂

Categories: iPhone, Mobile, Review, Technology Tags: