The next Apple TV to use iPhone OS?


On May 29, 2010

Engadget has gotten some insight that the next iteration of Apple TV will be using the iPhone OS.  More than that, it will have minimal inputs (power and TV out) and come at a price point of $99.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment before I continue.

The trick with this is that the device will not come with local storage.  Everything you purchase will be stored on a cloud somewhere rather than locally.  The advantages of this approach is that you are no longer limited by your local disk space, and of course extends the ability to Apple for an extra charge for more storage.  It also means of course that you can "share" your cloud account with multiple Apple TV units in different rooms passing data and access to video/games/apps through the cloud.

Imagine buying a game app in the App Store and being able to play it on your television.   If Apple is really doing this, they are essentially creating another game console for the home.  The only question is whether the remote control will use a touchpad or touchscreen.  I’d bet money that it works with your existing iPhone / iPad device and you’ll be able to reuse their screen input for interacting with it.  I wonder when the official announcement is going to come?  June perhaps?

In short, Apple has another major innovation and milestone coming up, and not too soon either, Google TV is right around the corner!  

What do you think of this new Apple TV concept?

Verizon iPhone Inventory Ramp?


On May 28, 2010

TheStreet ran a report from Rodman Renshaw which claimed that Apple appeared to be ramping inventory for a possible November launch for a Verizon version of the iPhone.

The Mac maker has also told its manufacturing partner Asustek to plan on starting full-scale production of a CDMA version of the iPhone to be available at Verizon as early as November, Kumar says. The report is yet another confirmation of Apple’s long-awaited Verizon iPhone, which still awaits final approval from the two companies that have not always seen eye-to-eye.

As continued troubled employee conditions develop at the current partnership with Foxconn/Hon Hai (current Apple manufacturer for GSM-based iPhones), many reports have pin pointed Austek as the possible manufacturer for a Verizon version.

If Verizon did get the iPhone this November, many indications and a recent survey of Verizon customers (17% said they would buy iPhone if it was available today), estimates that would have Apple producing over 40 million phones this year.

Despite the hopes of many users (myself included), that Apple might make a Verizon iPhone announcement at the WWDC conference in June, most will agree that such an announcement is unlikely and that AT&T’s recent iPad pricing for network access ensured that Verizon would not get its hands on the iPhone until 2011.

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Barnes & Nobel Releases Nook for iPad and Friends Can Share Books!


On May 27, 2010

Bookseller Barnes and Noble released the Nook application for the iPad. The free app provides users the ability to change through 8 different fonts, customize their line spaces and margins, change themes, and use different font sizes.

In addition, to getting two book views (covers only, covers & book details), the application also lets users share their books with friends. This feature alone, seems like reason enough to give the Nook a closer look before buying something on the iBook store or Amazons Kindle app for iPad.

iHome i90 Reviewed


On May 26, 2010

Recently, we had a chance to take a close look at the newest updated iHome offering for iPhone/iTouch, the iP90.  This Alarm Clock Radio comes with a number of new upgrades from the iP9 series.

The cosmetic changes are numerous, including a brand new casing, rounded edges, and accented silver border.  The back of the unit has the same buttons including ports, a DST switch, and a new clock adjustment button which quickly grabs the current time and date from your iPhone or iTouch,  The iP90 also has a battery backup in case the power goes out to ensure that the alarm still wakes you when its time.

The iP90 uses the Reson8 stereo speakers, and the treble and bass are adjustable.  The sound that comes out of this unit is truly remarkable, even at higher volumes, we weren’t hearing static or any loss of sound quality.  The bass was full and both the mid and high tones are clean and fill a room very easily.  You can definitely opt to use the iP90 as a stand alone music player for your iPhone in addition to its use as an alarm clock.

The alarm can be set for two different times and can be set to play sound from different sources, iPhone/Touch or AM/FM Radio.  In addition, the dock will charge your iPhone while its playing music.  The radio also allows for 12 presets combined (6 AM / 6 FM), and the in-line jack on the back of the unit allows you to listen to other audio sources such as a CD player or your computer.

The alarm clock display lighting can be dimmed (8 dimming levels) and is easily visible during the day.  It includes the time, day, and date.  In addition, all of the buttons on the unit are backlit so they are easily seen at night, and the large Snooze/Dimmer button is easily accessible at those early mornings when your fumbling around trying to get that extra 5 minutes.

As for the remote, its buttons control volume, EQ, alarm functions, radio, and iPod player controls.

All around, for $99 suggested retail (you can find this a little cheaper if you shop around) this is probably the best iPhone Alarm/Clock radio on the market today.

If your looking for something with quality sound, remote, alarm functions, and a relatively small footprint, the iP90 is your device.

Apps in the Line of Duty


On May 25, 2010

Before I get into the meat of the article, I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Nathan and I have been a Mac user since the Apple ][ days. Besides blogging about the iPhone and reviewing apps for the great guys at, I also work as a paramedic for a Southern California ambulance company. Today I thought I would highlight some of the ways the iPhone has enhanced and assisted my work as a paramedic.

I knew the moment I saw the iPhone back in 2006 that it had the potential to become a valuable tool for the medical field at large, particularly my work in the prehospital setting. Computers are already a large part of our daily workflow, and as mobile computers become more common we see them being used more and more as tools in the medical field. Today we will look at six apps that assist in the various aspects of my work in the field, and back at station.

Safari – Built in
Before third party apps were even announced the fact that the iPhone brought the Internet to your hand in such a functional way opened up a lot of possibilities. The Internet is a valuable research tool with a wealth of knowledge on medical conditions and procedures. I am constantly expanding my knowledge of not only my field of emergency medicine, but also in the hospital setting at large so I can know what to expect for treatment of my patients when we arrive at the emergency room. Having the Internet at my hands allows me to follow many great EMS related blogs by individuals that are shaping and challenging the EMS industry. Web based RSS reader apps like Google Reader have been a useful tool for tracking site updates before apps like netnewswire and others were ever written for the iPhone. Even today I use Google Reader to keep up to date on the latest medical news and discussions.

Google Maps – Built in
While using the browser to assist me in my work may be obvious, one app that most would overlook has been available on the iPhone from day one, and has served as one of the most valuable tools. That app is Google Maps. Trust me when I say that we have no lack of mapping tools on our ambulances to help us reach a call as quickly as possible. We have quick reference books that show a few blocks at a time as well as traditional map books for looking up streets from larger view. All of these tools are good at what they do, and are good to fall back on when a technological solution fail, but I have found that for most circumstances google maps excels in giving a dynamic view of our call location. I am able to view the location from multiple zoom levels as well as scroll around when we must detour around a normal route and take roads less traveled. Google maps also shows actual property lines which can make locating houses at night much easier. If time permits, street view can even give us an actual view of the building we are looking for, as well as the neighborhood we are entering. I would never throw out my map books, but when time matters I grab my iPhone to quickly locate our call location.

EpocratesiTunes Link
Once Apple announced the App Store, the floodgates of possibilities opened. One very early contender that was even at the announcement keynote was Epocrates. This app is a must have for anyone in the medical field of any level. At its most basic, Epocrates is a drug reference guide that is constantly being updated with new medications. The guide gives all the important information about a drug including indications (what the drug is given for), contraindications (when a drug should not be given), side effects, and even the pharmacology of the medication. There are so many medications being used today that it is almost impossible to learn all of them. Being able to quickly look up a medication and see critical information can help shed light on a patient’s medical situation. This becomes particularly helpful when dealing with patients that don’t know why they take their medication. Epocrates also has images of pills to help with identification. One tool in epocrates that has been an invaluable tool is the pill finder. This allows the user to put in the description of a pill, and to find out what medication it is based on its size, shape, and imprint. I have had situations where patients did not keep medications in their labeled pill bottles. Being able to assess what medications a patient takes helps to determine a patients current medical history. Epocrates is a free app that also has a premium account giving you access to disease databases as well as clinical reports and studies. For my use and budget the free app does the job as the one drug reference guide that is never out of date.

Emergency Medical SpanishiTunes Link
Working in Southern California provides many challenges that are specific to this region. One particular challenge is patients that are Spanish speaking only. We have a sizable population that speak little or no English. My Spanish is very limited and sometimes there are no bilingual people on scene to assist. That is when I reach for Mavro’s Emergency Medical Spanish app. The questions are phrased in "yes or no" or number format to ease the difficulty in understanding the patients responses. The interface looks just like the real life flip books that Mavro sells. You select a subject like Cardiac, Stroke, or OPQRST,and it brings you to a list of questions to ask. Here is where the iPhone app really shines. When you press on the phrase, a prerecorded audio is played speaking the phrase for you. It takes away all the hassle over butchering the Spanish and improves the likelihood that you will obtain required information accurately. As you use the app you find yourself going to certain phrases more than others. You can select any phrase and add it to a favorites tab for quick access. This app will never be as good as learning Spanish or having a translator on scene, but in a pinch it is an invaluable tool.

Medical CalculatoriTunes Link
Calculating dosages isn’t very hard for me. I know some people find it challenging, especially when dealing with drip rates and medications mixed in saline bags. Even though I can calculate dosages in my head without much trouble, I still prefer to double check my numbers with a calculator or paper before administration. Medical Calculator provides me with every possible score, calculation, and converter that I would ever need. Like most apps, it lets me mark my favorites to show up in a special list for easy access. Medical calculator not only calculates IV dosages and infusions, but it also converts pounds to kilograms, quickly calculates ages based on birthdays, and even has scores like APGAR for newborns. The interface is very basic but having a quick utility to double check myself is always a good idea.

EponymsiTunes Link
Most people have never heard of the word eponym. An eponym in the medical field is a disease that is named after a person. A very common example of eponyms is Alzheimer’s disease, named after the neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer who first described the disease. There are literally thousands of these diseases, and most of them are quite rare. Having to care for a patient with a disease you have not heard of can be difficult. Eponyms iPhone app helps by providing pertinent information about these diseases, as well as the system of the body that they effect. I haven’t personally had to use this app, but I have it just in case I do run into someone who has Dacie’s syndrome or Batten’s disease.

This only scratches the surface when it comes to iPhone app for the medical field. Most applications either try and improve on the pen and paper with specially designed tracking form (like in the case of triaging large number of patients), or are reference material (such as county protocols). I always try and stay open to new tools in hopes of enhancing my ability to provide patient care. In my field it is important to diversify your tools because the situations we face everyday change constantly and we have to be able to come up with unconventional solutions. If you know about a new app that you think might be of interest, let me know in the comments.


Twitter for iPhone Launched


On May 19, 2010

Tweetie 2 for the iPhone was pulled from the App Store yesterday and has just re-appeared as Twitter for the iPhone.  And it seems that they didn’t just do a name change, they’ve added a few things…

Here’s what the Developer has posted in the new version;


  • Search has been reorganized, now you can search all tweets and find users in the same spot, view Top Tweets and Browse Suggested users.
  • Search results now include Top Tweets, try it with Trends…winner combo!
  • You can now use Twitter without an account! Search, Browse uses, view trends and top tweets.
  • Sign-up is now available within the application as well, complete with Suggested user list.
  • More tab has been reorganized to accomplish all this. Users with one account can add a second account under the Accounts and Settings button here.
  • Actions we’ve found people use most, like Retweet have been moved to the main actions bar.
  • Minor tweaks were made to tweet rendering so they match tweets.


24 Million iPhone 4GS Units Ready


On May 17, 2010

Foxconn, manufacturers of the new iPhone, expects to ship around 4.5 million next-generation phones in the first 3 months of its release.  An additional 19.5 million unites are expected to ship the following 6 months of this year.  No one knows if this estimate is for US only sales or if its on an international scale.

New iPhone 4 Screen Resolution Reported



A report from DigiTimes today claimed that the next-generation of iPhone will include a resolution of 960×640 (up from the current 480×320).  Even though there have been a number of iPhone prototypes found recently, it hasn’t been confirmed that they carried the higher resolution.

In addition, the next-generation of display will also use fringe-field switching (FFS).  This technology improves viewing angles and performance in outdoor light.  This type of display technology would be vital if Apple wants to be able to launch the iBook Store on the iPhone device when they release the phones.

The report also makes comment that the new iPhone will be able to carry a larger battery size due to the fact that these screens are 33% thinner than the current model screen and that would provide the space needed to extend the battery life.  With the addition of processor and memory upgrades (something that would almost be mandatory for the new multitasking features coming), the new iPhone will be caught up with its closest Android competition in terms of processor speed and screen resolution.

The new iPhone is expected to be introduced on June 7th at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

AT&T starts rolling back upgrade eligibility dates for the next iPhone


On May 12, 2010

Since everything is starting to point to a new iPhone release next month (or at least announcement at WWDC), AT&T it seems has already started to quietly make changes to upgrade eligibility for some of its customers.

AT&T customers across the web are starting to report that the upgrade eligibility date on their AT&T accounts have switched from the original dates to June 21st, 2010.  Interestingly, if you bought a 3GS on launch day last year, your normal upgrade eligibility date would have been in November, but it seems that changes are being made to customers accounts to allow them to upgrade early and gain the AT&T subsidy on the new iPhone.

Everyone is reporting the same June 21st day, so I guess that means we have an idea of when we will be able to get our hands on our new iphones.

This hasn’t happened for everyone though, so your going to want to check your own accounts to see if your date has been moved up.

Of course, AT&T may not have intended for anyone to notice this either, and June 21st this year is a Monday, not the usual Friday / Weekend time line AT&T likes to launch new products.  I guess we won’t know for sure until then, but I think I can guess where your going to log in after reading this post.  If you see a June 21st date in your account, come back and answer our poll (lets find out how many of us are really getting that ‘update’).