Zillow Real Estate – Review


On July 1, 2009

Zillow Real Estate

By: Zillow, Inc.

Version: 2.0 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)

Category: Blogs

Date: 2009-04-29

Price: 0.00


Does the iPhone really have any competition?


On June 29, 2009

Apple puts out a good product, no question about it.  While it may never be the low-cost champion, the company does incredible things with design.  But one of the things that most distinguishes Apple the most from its competitors is its ability to market itself.  Recently, however, the competition has spawned some smart marketing campaigns of their own.

Microsoft has it’s "shopper" ads, and now the Palm Pre seems to be entering the arena.  Palm seems to be adapting Microsoft’s tactic of mentioning the weaknesses of Apple products (focusing on price).  In Palm’s case, they are targeting price along with the iPhone’s inability to simultaneously run mutliple processes.  Apple struck back at Microsoft with their Mac vs. PC ads.  I wonder how Apple will react to Palm’s marketing campaign, if at all.

It seems to me that Palm is entering the game a little too late.  In my opinion, the biggest appeal of the iPhone is the App Store and it’s choice of myriad applications.  Unless Palm can create one of its own (or use Apple’s … sh’yeah right), then they won’t be able to get that (high) percentage of users who prefer functionality over cost.  Sprint has plans that are cheaper than AT&T’s, but that’s not Apple’s problem.

The only company that could possibly make a viable competitor to the iPhone is Microsoft.  They’re already trying to create their own version of the App Store.  At the very least, if such a thing should come to fruition, it will allow for more fodder in the Mac vs. PC ads.


3GS Design Flaw?!



You may have already heard from numerous reports ciculating around the Internet that after heavy usage of the white iPhone 3GS, the color on the back of the iPhone changes from a nice pearl white to a burnt brown color.  It seems that in addition to color changes the heat is also causing some covers to warp!

Some of the reports are saying that it only happens when users try to use the GPS, 3G, and Edge networks at the same time or some combination of WiFi, GPS, and 3G, but if this is really an engineering mistake, it could lead to a mass recall or phones.  Apple hasn’t commented yet on the cause, or even aknowledged yet that there is a problem.  So the question becomes, if the new 3GS really does have a design flaw, what is Apple going to do about it?  And more importantly, how many people are going to have to experience this problem before it gets addressed.

Its still too early to tell how many people are affected, but i’m guessing that if this gets into the mainstream media, Apple will have to respond very quickly, as it would definately affect whether I bought the new white GS or choose to stick with the black colored iPhone (which it seems hasn’t been reported to have this problem yet).  Maybe the black colored one has it too, but the color change can’t be seen as well on the black case.  It will be sad if Apple pushed something out without their usual quality controls due to some other outside pressures (like some new competition from the last king of PDA’s)?!

Commodore 64 on the iPhone? Not quite.


On June 26, 2009


Technologizer has an interesting article about an attempt by an iPhone developer to market a Commodore 64 emulator via the App Store on iTunes.  Now, to old fogies like me who actually remember the Commodore 64 when it was originally released, this is a pretty cool concept.

The application was rejected because Apple does not permit emulator programs on the iPhone.  It is the same reasoning Apple uses to justify the lack of Flash support on the device.

It says a lot about how far we’ve come technically when a big, clunky device that required a hook up to a television or monitor can now be emulated using software only on the iPhone that even comes with its own screen.  I’m sorry they don’t allow for emulator programs because I for one would appreciate a good Atari 2600 emulator on my iPhone.

I see where Apple is going with this one.  If they permit an emulator program, then someone else can sell applications (or at least games) for that program and circumvent iTunes entirely.  Not entirely a bad thing, but certainly not within the goals of the company.

The App Store already sells a lot of classic video games anyway.  It has Space Ace, Pac Man and Pong, among others.  I confess to some curiousity as to why nobody has yet released Donkey Kong.  There is probably some rights issue that I’m unaware of.

Still, it would have been nostalgic to see the Commodore 64 or the Atari 2600 or any of them on the iPhone.  If you had your druthers, what sort of old school emulators would you like on your iPhone?

3GS Creates a 400% Increase for YouTube Mobile Video Uploads



Google reported today that YouTube has seen a 400% increase in mobile video uploads since the iPhone 3GS went on sale.  Seeing as how they have sold over 1 million 3GS’s in such a short amount of time, I expect that google is going to see a much larger increase soon.

Its pretty amazing that a product which was released just a short time ago (less than 2 weeks) has already made such a huge impact on mobile video uploads.  I wonder if smaller sites like www.Vindie.com (an online video channel organizer) or www.Qik.com (a social network for mobile video reporting) has seen any such increases?

Maybe YouTube is the only one who will see a significant increase since the iPhone 3GS includes the ability to easily upload directly to YouTube from within the Camera Roll section of the Photos application.

If you have a 3GS already, have you made lots of use of the camera?  Did you upload it to YouTube for others to see?

iPhone 3GS – How Much Does It Cost to Produce?


On June 24, 2009

How much do you think it costs Apple to manufacture the new iPhone 3GS?  $199?   $300?  More? 

iSuppli, a market research firm that dismantles new gadgets identifying the components and assembly costs, took apart the new 3GS, and based on what it found, the 16GB iPhone costs

Did you get your $30?



In what is unquestionably another sign of friction between Apple and AT&T, purchasers of the new iPhone GS experienced delays in the activation of their service.  To compensate them for their difficulty, Apple offer the users a $30 iTunes store credit.  It certain keeps things exciting regarding the fate of the contract between the two come next year. 

The e-mail sent to each customer reads:

Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation.

We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete.

On Monday, you’ll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused.

Thank you for choosing Apple.

Apple Online Store Team

I can’t wait for Apple to get out from under AT&T’s thumb and simply sell the phone.  Granted, the price would go up by about $400 or so.  Alternatively, allow every cellular service provider to offer their own subsidized version of the iPhone.

While I’m dreaming out loud, I want Verizon to offer service via SIM card.  In short, I’m still waiting for my Verizon iPhone.

So what did you purchase with your $30 credit?

Flash Player For iPhone…


On June 22, 2009

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen confirmed that Adobe will release a beta version of Flash Player 10 for a number of smartphone browsers, including Windows Mobile, Android, Palm WebOS, and Symbian devices.

Guess who isn’t on the list?!  I’m starting to think that the iPhone is simply never going to get Flash allowed by Apple.  I would think that at this point, Apple would be less worried about people developing flash applications since they have over 50,000 native ones already on the phone, but then again, I’m not the one running Apple.

I guess its less of a big deal today then it might be in the future in terms of competition to the native development environment, but right now, its really annoying to miss out on a lot of web sites which won’t function properly without that Flash plug in.

I’m guessing that the rumored tablet or any other iPhone OS devlce wont support it either, but it sure does look nice on other devices…


What about the iPod Touch?



Dimitri has already written about the features he would have liked to see in the iPhone 3GS.  I have a follow-up question: what about having a new iPod Touch with additional features?

It seems like the right time to do so, what with the OS upgrade.  I upgraded the OS on my iTouch once it was available for release and am still playing around with the new features.  It wouldn’t surprise me if there actually is a new version of the iPod Touch released in the coming months.  However, if I may have a moment, let me compose a wish list of currently unavailable iPod Touch features (keep in mind I own a first generation iTouch).

It bothers me that the iTouch still doesn’t have certain multimedia functions of the iPhone such as a microphone or a camera.  Granted, it is intended as a multimedia device rather than an actual phone, but those features are multimedia-based as well.  To start, how about having more memory than the iPhone?  The iTouch should start at least one "level" above the starting memory of the iPhone (32 GB if the iPhone is 16.  16 GB if the iPhone is 8, etc.) yet be the same starting price (I’m referring to the subsidized AT&T price).

Dimitri’s suggestion of mass storage is a good one.  Also a camera.  And a microphone.  And a GPS.  Actually, why not allow for cellular data plans on the device?

If I had my way the iPod Touch would simply be the iPhone without the calling capability.  But if that happened, who would buy the iPhone?


iPhone 3GS – Whats Missing?!


On June 20, 2009

What could possibly be missing from the newest iPhone 3GS?  It has GPS, a Compass, Video Recording, and of course all of the things that the 3G had, but I can’t help wonder what Apple could do to make it even better, since they are going to have to do that for the next version right?  Well here is what we think would push the iPhone way ahead of the competition…