Popular Posts

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Top 5 Webapps for the iPhone/iPod Touch

I've had my iPod Touch for several months now, and I'm happy to say that I really, really love it. I use it not only to watch videos, podcasts and listening to music, but I use it primarily to surf the internet. Somehow, Apple got the formula right for an internet device - and the Safari browser on the iPhone/iPod Touch is the best mobile browser I've ever used (pity it doesn't have Flash!) So without further ado, let me tell you about my top 5 webapps for the iPhone/iPod Touch. This is my personal opinion only, so disagreement is very welcome!

1. Google Reader - This is my top webapp. Since the iPhone doesn't have a built-in RSS reader, and I didn't want to jailbreak mine just to install one, I use Google's web-based RSS reader for my daily news fix. They've optimized the display just for the iPhone so it's very easy to use.

2. Digg - My day isn't complete without reading up on one of the best news sites on the internet. Although the news isn't exactly the most relevant, they've divided the news articles by Topics which make it easier to read through. Props to Kevin and team!

3. Facebook - What can I say? I'm extremely attached to my Facebook, and it's iPhone webapp just shows me the right amount of information with a great, easy to navigate interface. I only wish though that it also supports Facebook applications. How about it Superpoke?

4. Flickr - I don't have a lot of pictures in Flickr, but if I did, I'd fully recommend using the iPhone interface. It shows interesting photos on the top screen, with a search bar at the bottom for searching through public photos. Once you're logged in, it shows your photos in a 3x2 grid, and clicking on the photo zooms in. The page then shows the image with navigation arrows for the next and previous photo. Very simple and slick!

5. Twitter - Admittedly, I'm not a Twitter addict yet. However, with a very simple interface that gets right to the point, I give 5 stars to the Twitter iPhone webapp. The homepage just shows the ever familiar What are you doing? field, and a list of posts by people you follow. What's else do you need?

And that's it folks. What's your favorite webapp? I'd like to hear your comments!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Mac

I made the switch to a Mac about 2 years ago, and I'm actually trying to remember why I did it. I think my primary reason was that it took less space on my desk. I don't have a big bedroom, so everything I buy should fit snugly. Couldn't do that if I had a typical PC CPU.

Now if you're thinking of switching to the Mac, I have noted down a few reasons why you really should.

1. It looks great. Ok, you're probably saying - what the hell do I care about how it looks like? It's supposed to look ugly - it's a computer! Well, it shouldn't! Computers should look good - they're normally found at some easily-accessible location in your house, so it better look nice! The iMac is really beautiful - with it, you can really show off a computer to your guests. It doesn't take up too much space, and the cord clutter is minimal.

2. It runs Windows. Yes, I made this my #2 since this running Windows is something very important to a lot of people. Maybe you still have some antiquated software that you absolutely need to use. Or maybe you don't want to get limited by the few games you can play on the Mac. Then no need to worry - you can run Windows on the Mac perfectly, either virtualized or natively through Apple's Bootcamp. I think this was also one of the main reasons why I switched.

3. Everything just works. Plug in your digital camera, and the pictures get instantly imported into Apple's built-in photo management software, iPhoto. No installation discs needed; No patches to be downloaded. It's really that simple. Oh, that also goes with your printer and your video camera. Absolutely painless. How about connecting your phone via Bluetooth? Same thing. It just works. Syncing your phone with Entourage/iCal? No problem at all. I tell you, you'll almost always never have to scour the internet for another driver again.

4. No viruses. Well, not really. There are some viruses out that affect the Mac, but not enough for you to urgently install anti-virus software. Gives me a lot of peace of mind though!

5. Photobooth. Nope, I don't mean the photo management software, but the software that takes your picture using the built-in iSight camera and gives you the power to distort your face or change the background. This software along gave me almost an hour of fun when I first set up the Mac. And my kid absolutely loves it! The picture below is one of her moments.

6. It runs Microsoft Office. Yes, really, it does. It has Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Entourage (Outlook), all created by Microsoft. I am still looking for a Visio replacement though.

7. You never need to reboot. I don't even remember the last time I had to reboot. The reason for this is that Mac OS X uses the Unix platform, where every application really runs on its own independently of everything else. So, if a program is causing a problem, just Quit it (or Force Quit it), and it won't affect the rest of your system.

8. It's not that expensive. Honestly it isn't. Of course, a clone PC costs less, but not by a large margin. For example, the lower-end Macbook costs around $1,099, which converts to roughly only P46,000. That's not too bad for a 2.1 Ghz Intel Core Duo machine with 1GB of RAM and 120GB of hard drive space. It also has a built-in camera and the fantastic set of iLife software.

9. The display is f******* great. The display that is built in into iMacs and the Macbooks are really spectacular, bright and crisp. I was looking at a picture on my Windows machine, but when I saw it on a Mac, it was literally blown away. I said to myself - that's how a computer should display a picture that you took with your 4-megapixel digital camera.

10. Most software you need is available. Despite what you might think, there are a lot of freeware and commercial software available for the Mac. Here are a few of my recommendations - Firefox for internet browsing, Transmission for torrents, iSquint to convert video files, and VLC, to view any video. Mac versions of Google Earth, Yahoo! Messenger, and Skype are also available.

So there you have it. If you're thinking about buying the Mac, I highly recommend you go ahead and buy one. I have one, and I'm never going back to Windows. (Except for games!)