Web Warp Blog has been retired. For new posts please head to dmather.com.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

iPhone 3G & iOS4 Problems

Any iPhone 3G user who has updated to iOS4 has had to spend ages waiting for their phone to update it's firmware and in many cases leaving the user without app data such as contacts or Angry Birds levels. Thankfully these are retrieved with restore from latest backup. For iPhone 3GS users the process was fast, painless and made an improvement to their phones. With iOS 4 the 3GS is more snappy than before, although more susceptible to minor freezes. The extra functionality is great and brings the iPhone 3GS up to date with multitasking.

It seems now that Apple are aware of the problems on the iPhone 3G and iOS4. They are working to improve this in the next update. Until then 3G users will have to struggle with lagging text entry and painfully slow app opening when their phones worked perfectly before! Many websites advise that iPhone 3G users stick with iOS 3.

It's widely rumoured that iOS 4.1 will address these issues on the iPhone 3G so lets hope it's out soon. Many iPhone 3G users feel like they have been forced to upgrade to the 3GS or iPhone 4 from this operating software update.

First Web Warp Blog Twitpic

Web Warp Blog now has a Twitpic account, here's a quick one to start it off. Check it out:
Web Warp Blog on 3 iPhones at once, not to mention the fact t... on Twitpic

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Firefox Home iPhone App Review

Mozilla have released an iPhone app to accompany their popular web browser Firefox. Firefox is so popular in fact that it is fast becoming the default browser for websites minimum requirements, and many companies are encouraging their employees to use Firefox. Due to Apple's App store approval requirements (or so it is cited)...
... Firefox Home is Not a Web Browser.
This leads on to the question, what is Firefox Home?

Firefox Home is an iPhone app that allows you to view the contents of Firefox Sync. Firefox Sync is an Add-on for Firefox which allows you synchronise your bookmarks and open tabs across multiple computers. On your iPhone you can view these bookmarks and open tabs and open them in the in built browser (where they don't seem to open particularly quickly or accurately, but hey it's not a web browser!) or open them in Mobile Safari (which really is the only option).

So this app is for people who are in love with Firefox and would like the ability to see their bookmarks whilst out and about (but not add to them!). For those serious about syncing bookmarks to between their computer(s) and iPhone over the air MobileMe is a better (and more expensive) option.

For those who want this ability between two or more computers Google Chrome offers a far better option. The set up process on Google Chrome is just your Google account details. For Firefox you need to download the Firefox Sync Add-on to each PC and go through a lengthy set up wizard with username, password and a secret phrase. Firefox Sync does allow you to store your bookmarks on your server though, but is this really a worthwhile feature?

Monday, 19 July 2010

Twitter's Evolution

Twitter asks the question: "What are you doing?". And so the age of microblogging and oversharers tweeting about cups of tea etc began. But in my experience Twitter has evolved. There are still users who post messages about themselves to update people who follow there account that they are enjoying the sunshine or sitting on the bus but there are several different types of accounts that have sprung up. There are RSS bots that tweet directly from RSS Feeds (such as Twittefeed). There are integrated services that allow updates to be posted to Twitter from other programs/websites/services. Services like mflow, linkedin and most websites that promote sharing.

So now on Twitter you can follow accounts or lists to bring you news, views and links. Twitter is now a way of absorbing information from the internet. Following different twitter feeds you can keep yourself up to date with news and sporting events. Twitter has moved beyond the brief of "What are you doing?". You can even follow Web Warp Blog on Twitter @webwarpblog.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Online Sync Options Overview

Backing up is VERY important. If your computer broke right now - completely - where would it leave you? Some users would have lost every file they have ever created. They would no longer have their email contacts, documents, photos and music. Just think of all those holiday snaps and memories gone because you failed to backup. Well I don't think this should ever be an issue for webusers again because there are loads of services out there that allow you to store you personal files on the internet in a safe password protected area of a server.

Unfortunately for users these services are a little complicated to compare. They typically provide multiple services which make each seem unique, however they are all essentially the same. They are online storage for you to store information. The main differences are:

  • The applications/methods used to move your data to and from these services.
  • The encouraged use of the storage in terms of data type (i.e. photos / contacts etc).
  • Collaboration and sharing options.
  • Price.
Well Web Warp Blog is here to help enlighten you as to whats available out there and few pros and cons for your consideration. There are so many services that this post is limited to only a few examples as I would probably online trust well establishes companies to look after my data which I share with their servers. And after all, I'm trying to be concise!

In previous analysis of these services Web Warp Blog looked at them for their life organising skills which synchronising web bookmarks (favorites to IE users), contacts, calendars etc. To have a quick read: Google Sync vs Apple's MobileMe.

So a quick summary of the services of note are:
  • Windows Live Sync - Allows syncing of files across computers on the same network.
  • MobileMe - Focused on syncing personal data such as contacts & calendars.
  • Google - Focuses on online editing of office type documents.
  • Flickr - Purely based on Photo uploads and public sharing.
  • Dropbox - Allows syncing of files and version backup.
  • Box - Focused on business customers and large storage amounts.
  • Humyo - Emphasises trust. 
So Web Warp Blog will look some of these services in more detail in a series of blog posts.

News Websites Redesigned

The BBC News website and Microsoft's MSN homepage have both recently been redesigned. Both websites have moved to a cleaner looking page with larger text and multimedia content. The BBC News website in particular pushes video content utilising higher quality video using it's iPlayer technology. Another similarity is the menu system. Both websites use a clean horizontal menu system to help users navigate their sites. MSN have moved to a default white background which users of Microsoft's Hotmail and Windows Live services will be very familiar with.

MSN have toned down their use of advertising too, which was used far too much screen space before.

For more information on the redesign from the BBC, click here.
Check out the news designs for yourself:
BBC News

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

TV's World Cup Final: BBC vs ITV

With the FIFA World Cup Final in South Africa the world was watching, but the question is how? In the UK viewers could choose from two terrestrial channels, two HD channels and several online streaming services. Both the BBC and ITV showed the World Cup Final on their flagship and HD channels: BBC One, BBC HD, ITV1 & ITV1HD respectively.
Both offered live streaming online through BBC iPlayer and ITV Player services. Other streaming sites such as Catchup TV also played out the final live.

The BBC reports that the BBC One coverage was the most popular from the viewing figures. The BBC attracted 17.9 million viewers compared to ITV's peak of 3.8 million. The BBC showed that throughout the tournament that viewers wanted analysis at half time, not endless adverts. And they certainly didn't want to risk another mishap on ITV1HD which lead to many viewers missing a crucial moment of the first England match.

It is also wide spread opinion that the commentary was of a better quality on the BBC; again throughout the tournament.

With this world cup being broadcast for the first time in HD for every match, what can we expect in four years time? The rate of the development of technology is so fast that it is likely that the young market of 3D TV will be widespread by the 2014 World Cup. Although many people will resist the change to 3D because you have to where 3D glasses.

Online streams will also improve in quality and by 2014 it is likely that matches will be broadcast online in high quality over fast fibre optic networks to homes in cities and large towns in very high (if not HD) quality.

RT @punctualwaffle Proof that nobody likes watching live sport on #ITV http://bit.ly/a8kLJu #itvfailless than a minute ago via web

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Future Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers out there. It is highly customizable and feature packed. In fact a quarter of all visits to Web Warp Blog come through Firefox. Now you can test the latest Beta release, version 4 Beta 1. To download it click here.

But please note that by default it will overwrite your existing Firefox 3 install and you will be unable to use the majority of your add-ons. It is not advisable for individuals who rely on Firefox as there may (probably will) be bugs in the Beta version. If you select Advanced Options in the set up process you can install it in a separate location on your hard drive. This allows you to run both versions on your system.

Data collected through the Mozilla test pilot program helps Firefox improve the software so that the finished product is as good as it can be and free of bugs and problems.

@webwarpblog Firefox 4.0 beta 1 can in fact be installed and used alongside Firefox 3.6. So no need to ditch add-ons to test the beta. :)less than a minute ago via web