Daring Fireball: Foot, Meet Bullet

I’ve not commented on iPhone related stuff before: mainly because I don’t have an iPhone, and won’t be getting one any time soon. It’s not that I don’t want one, but they aren’t coming out in Australia, and my new phone has still got a long way to go before it is out of contract.

The latest post, however, piqued my interest. Because it doesn’t just apply to iPhone, or any handheld device, but any computing device in general:

How are they even going to know which apps do continue to run in the background? They won’t. A likely reaction would simply be to regret ever having junked up their iPhone with any third-party apps at all.

From Daring Fireball: Foot, Meet Bullet

I have a Nokia E65, and one of the “great” features is true multi-tasking. I say “great”, because this feature burned me not too long ago.

I use Salling Clicker - mainly as an automated syncing system, but also for interaction between the phone and Mac in other ways - from a Growl message when I receive a phone call, and my iTunes pausing, to sending SMS via bluetooth. Typing is much faster on a normal keyboard! (Granted, this is using emitSMS, not Salling Clicker, but, meh).

Recently, I installed a bit of software that allowed me to download call and SMS lists, so I could access them and interpret my data usage patterns. It installed a background helper agent, which I didn’t even realise. Some time later I noticed I wasn’t receiving as many phone calls as before. It wasn’t a big difference since I mainly use the phone for calling, rather than receiving calls, but nonetheless it was a difference. When out at dinner with family, it came to a head. It turned out that every time someone tried to call me, the call was rejected, but not to voicemail. A second call immediately worked.

When a call came in, the phone displayed a (very short) out of memory error, and then this immediately disappeared. The light came on, which made me realise just how often it had occurred. I had seen the phone light turn on sometimes while my phone was next to me, but because the message was so short-lived, it had vanished by the time I looked at the screen. I’m talking less than a second here.

It turned out the faceless background app was using up all of the phone’s memory. Receiving a call initially failed, but if another call came immediately after, then it would work. I guess some memory was being freed, but being used again a short time later.

Long story short - I didn’t use the software I had installed, so junking it (and removing the installed helper, which wasn’t real easy) fixed the problem. But because the problem was intermittent, it was pretty hard to nail down.

I don’t even remember what the software was called. But I’m much more cautious about what I install onto my phone now.

Nokia E65 Issues

There are just a few things I don’t like so much about the Nokia E65.

Firstly, and foremostly, there is a noticeable delay when doing particular actions. For instance, pressing the Address Book key and then typing a name in means you invariably miss the first couple of letters. And it only sorts by the start of the name, not text within the name.

Secondly, and at times more annoyingly, if I happen to close the slide at the same time as another action happens, like someone hanging up on the other end of the phone, it turns off.

That’s right, the phone goes dead. I then need to wait (minutes, it feels like) for the phone to finish starting up again.

The camera is badly placed, too. Not that I want to do video calls, but I can’t see the caller and them see me at the same time. because there is only one camera, and it is on the back.

Another annoyance is that address book entries don’t have a default number by default. And it takes ages to go through (delays each time) to setup the defaults. And these don’t sync properly with Apple’s Address Book, so if you reset your phone (for instance, to see if you can fix the shutdown bug), you lose all of the defaults you have carefully set up.

There is no autolock. It prompts you to lock when you close the slide. You can install software to automatically lock after a period of time, but if you close the slide at the same time as when the autolock kicks in, the phone turns off.

Bluetooth appears a bit dodgy at times. Sometimes it no longer connects to my computer, and I need to restart my phone. I think it is more to do with the phone than the computer, but I’m not sure.

Battery life is crap. I didn’t want to have to charge my phone every night, but if I use WiFi, then I do. If I just use Bluetooth, which I need to have for synching, then it’s every second day.

Salling Clicker is awesome. I have an addon script that synchs my phone every day, and it displays incoming and outgoing caller information via Growl. It also fades my system volume, and pauses iTunes when I am on the phone. This is the sort of thing that computers should do. All of the time.

Nokia E65

I’m loving my new Nokia E65. It works with Salling Clicker (which I will register, it is just great!), as well as the Nokia-downloadable iSync plugin. I’ve also bought nova media’s program for installing support for a wide range of phones SMS from Address Book. This too is very cool. I can now send (but not, unfortunately, read) text messages from the comfort of my keyboard. I may write some scripts to automatically send the same SMS to a whole Address Book group. That would be fairly neat. In terms of Salling Clicker and phone events, I’ve fallen in love with call notification (although, that may be also provided with the nova media plugin I’ve installed, I’ll find out when someone calls me), and proximity notifications. Such as being able to have Adium put me Away when I walk away from my machine. Autolock is also pretty cool.