I Didn’t Last Very Long …

Over the weekend, I lost my beloved iPhone to an inopportune 4 foot drop onto hard concrete. The case I had the phone in protected the outside of the phone reasonably well, as there’s not an external dent, nick or scratch anywhere on phone. However, the impact shook something up, because now the LCD display isn’t working at all.

Because of the accident, I decided to see just how long I could last without my little portable computer substitute.

I lasted 3 days.

Yes, I upgraded to a shiny new 32GB iPhone 3GS. Only this time, I made sure to purchase it through Best Buy so that I could get accidental damage coverage to prevent another long, dark weekend of iPhone withdrawal.

Panoramic Photos on the iPhone

I found a great little app called AutoStitch for the iPhone that came in very handy this week when I wanted to create panoramic views of the displays at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

Click for full size:
Air Force Museum Panorama

Air Force Museum Panorama

The program works by allowing you to take a series of overlapping photos using the iPhone camera and “stitching” them together in one long, panoramic image. While you can find software to accomplish the same effect with more features for your desktop or laptop, I love the fact that you can create and save the panorama directly on the phone.

The only thing holding this $1.99 program back is the limited image quality available to my iPhone 3G camera. However, as you can see from the above examples, impressive results are still available despite the hardware issue.

Augmented Reality on the Apple iPhone

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This video, showing the use of the new Nearest Tube app for the Apple iPhone 3GS, really brings home the point that augmented reality applications are starting to make their way into every day life.

“Augmented reality” is a term you’ll hear for technology that adds extra information into your view of an area around you. In the example above, the app uses the GPS and magnetic compass in the iPhone 3GS to determine where you’re at and what you’re looking at to lookup useful information about the London subway system, then takes the current image from the camera and adds the relevant information on top of it.

Yet again, a little bit of “science fiction” that has become “science now”.

Should Apple Continue to Advertise Apps?

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There seems to be some debate going on over Apple’s iPhone more recent commercials. Some critics, such as Macworld’s David Chartier believe that Apple should go back to advertising the core iPhone features, while Dan Moren believes that apps are what generate the most iPhone buzz.

Personally, I agree with Dan Moren. While the iPhone is a great piece of hardware with a slick interface, I’ve found that the user experience is most served with the rich supply of apps available. The tag line of “There’s an app for that” is simple, but also effective because it’s true.

Sure, the competition are putting in place their own app stores, but I think that the rich world of iPhone apps will always be the biggest draw to the platform for consumers.