Oct 052009

Geocaching.comThose who follow me on Twitter will already be aware of my antics this past Saturday afternoon. Me and Mini-MaFt went geocaching – now if you don’t know what it is then check out the geocaching website but, put simply, it is a GPS/SatNav-based treasure hunt. You get a set of coordinates from the website along with a title and a clue and you have to find the ‘treasure’. Groundspeak, the company behind the geocaching website, recently released an iPhone app which links to the geocaching website allowing you to find local caches, see the hints and read other peoples reports on how they got on.

Armed with my iPhone, a couple of goodies (you can leave items for other geocachers in some of the larger caches or do swaps for items already in the box) and a thick coat (it was blowing a gale, but at least the rain had stopped); me and Mini-MaFt headed out across the field towards our local alpacca farm for our first ever cache. Continue reading »

Aug 182009

Working for/with PocketGPSWorld.com has it’s perks: various satnav’s, navigation software, new devices & gadgets, best speed camera database and, erm, ahem, random days off to go to theme parks….! I’ve got a few navigation apps on my iPhone and thought a trip to Pleasure Island, Cleethorpes would be a good time to give them a proper road test. To be honest I’m still not fully convinced that the iPhone is the right platform for navigation software (I much prefer Windows Mobile or (my limited use of) Google Android for these types of things) and so I took my ‘normal’ TomTom with me too.

We were running a bit late yesterday morning so I used the TomTom on the way down as it was easier to set up quickly – I couldn’t find my iPhone holder and charger right there and then! For the return journey, however, I planned on using a mixture of Sygic, CoPilot and iGO to get us home safely. First up was CoPilot which loaded nice and quickly but then seemed to crash on the main menu along with a bit of a graphical glitch. No problems I thought, kill the app and start it up again! Then the fun began, CoPilot decided to hang on the splash screen and just would not load. Next up I tried iGO which, too, hung on the splash screen – not the best of starts… Finally I gave Sygic a shot, fearing the worst and preparing the TomTom for a return trip. My fears were not compounded as Sygic started up and ran with no issues. Later on I gave iGO another shot and it was fine but then when I tried CoPilot it still hung on the splash screen. I actually think the initial problem with iGO was due to memory issues as I tried loading it as soon as CoPilot had crashed out on me.

Anyway, my point being, had I only had CoPilot with me I would have been rather stuck. The only way to reinstall it is to remove it from the iPhone then reinstall it via iTunes on the PC – now, if I had been away for a week or two and that happened…! Thankfully today I had a back up (I actually considered taking only the iPhone). I find I have started to rely on technology a little too much and I may have to dig out my old paper map as a contingency plan – if one of my actual satnav’s packed in while dodging camper vans through the hills around St Ives I doubt my homing instinct would serve us particularly well!

Jun 082009

The new iPhone software has been officially announced and is being released to the public on 19th June. I’ve been using the beta for a while now and yes, there are some very good new features – perhaps features that should have been included from the outset?

One of the new features that’s not actually available easily yet in the beta (without some hacking) is tethering – use your iPhone as a 3G modem for your laptop. Great I thought! Until I read on the o2 site that you need to get a tethering bolt on at £14.68 for 3GB/month or £29.36 for 10GB/month. OK, that also includes unlimited WiFi at the Cloud (and soon BT Openzone) but when you can get 5GB/month on a Three USB dongle it makes you wonder if it’s actually such a good deal… I know that I’ll be just using my £5, 1GB/month Virgin dongle – at least until the prices drop or they let you use the standard Web bolt-on!

Dec 122007

This morning I took the plunge and updated my phone to Windows Mobile 6! No major issues to report and it actually seems to run a bit faster too but that could just be cos it’s nice and fresh!

One other advantage was that because it’s a new ROM and therefore essentially a nice, clean registry then I can reinstall Opera Mobile for another 30 days! I’m holding off buying this as a new version is due out soon. I emailed them to ask if I bought it now would I get version 9 for free when it was released and was told no, I couldn’t… No chance I’m paying twice for it so they can wait for now!