I noticed that O2 are offering mobile broadband for £5/month. It’s only 500MB but the important thing is that you get unlimited access to BT Openzone wifi hotspots as well! A bit of a deal if you ask me. 🙂
Setting up a mobile blog
I wasn’t going to publicly-promote this until later, but Nick Dennis and I have set up a blog about mobile technologies in education over at http://mobilizingeducation.tumblr.com. The URL (and indeed the name of the blog) may change but we felt that there wasn’t enough that blended pedagogy and practice in this area.
Wondering about Ben’s next computer
We bought Ben an Apple eMac for his 3rd birthday in January. He loves using it, but as he’s progressed to more complex games and activities, it’s become a bit too much for the machine. In fact, one Flash-based video he tried to wach recently was reduced to a slideshow! I’m wondering whether his next ‘computer’ should in fact be a tablet of some description or whether, given that schools are likely to stay with traditional computers in the near future, that would put him at a disadvantage?
Playing with Google Apps
JISC infoNet is testing out Google Apps Education Edition on behalf of JISC Advance. It was super-easy to roll out given my past experience. It’s also refreshing to give access to people who ask higher-level questions (e.g. how to switch between Google accounts) than really basic ones. It reflects our team’s immersion in all things digital. 🙂
I’m never happy to leave things be. I like doing things with devices that they’re not ‘supposed’ to do. Happily for my bank balance, there’s other people who feel the same way and are a lot more gung-ho with their devices than I am. My strategy is basically to see how they get on and then copy if they’re successful.
‘Jailbreaking’ your iPhone allows functionality not offered by Apple either via the in-built software or that available through the App. Store. Here’s 5 reasons to jailbreak your iPhone:
1. Apple doesn’t always allow a level playing field
For applications to show up in Apple’s App. Store, they have to be approved by Apple. Unfortunately, Apple don’t allow a level playing field. For example, applications that allow ‘tethering’ (using the iPhone as a broadband modem) aren’t allowed, and those that offer similar functionality (but are better) than Apple’s offerings aren’t allowed through the net. Podcaster, with it’s ability to download podcasts wirelessly is an excellent example of the latter. More on ‘Apple’s capricious app. policy’ can be found here.
2. Bypass silly things
Sometimes, applications that are allowed through into the App. Store have been crippled in some way. Take the applications that allow you iPhone to be used like a torch, for example. Apple’s rules don’t allow for developers of applications to play around the brightness settings, making this particular one of limited use. Jailbreak your iPhone, on the other hand, and no such restrictions apply! :-p
I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say that I like my devices to feel personalised, not just the same as everyone else’s. Jailbreaking enables you to make your iPhone yours. Look at the image to the right, for example. I’ve got rotating Mac backgrounds on there, a subtely different theme, coloured signal bars (which change colour depending on signal strength) and I’ve changed the ‘O2-UK’ carrier name to ‘DAJB’ (my initials). I’ve got lots of applications installed on my phone, but I just have the ones I use most often available at-a-glance. The rest are hidden away in a coverflow-style program for app. launching (see below). Much better! 😀
4. Mobile broadband with iPhoneModem
I bought a mobile broadband modem when we moved house and I was without landline broadband for a few weeks. This week I’ll be selling it on eBay. Why? iPhone Modem allows me to use my iPhone as, guess what? Yep, a wireless broadband modem. It works most straightforwardly in conjunction with Mac OSX, but it’s not impossible to use with Windows or Linux. Result!
Interested in jailbreaking your iPhone 3G now? The best place to start is probably the link below:
A couple of days ago I bought an iPhone 3G. Today I returned it. Although it’s an amazing device and revolutionary, it didn’t really suit me. My Nokia N95 is pretty much exactly what I want at the moment – it’s like comparing a quality family car like our Ford Focus C-MAX with a supercar such as the Koenigsegg CCX:
Whilst it’s great looking at and borrowing someone elses supercar, you wouldn’t want to go to Tesco’s in it, would you? It would be impractical. And so the iPhone proves to be. Here’s the 3 main reasons why I returned the iPhone 3G:
1. It’s difficult to text
With the N95, as with most mobile phones, it’s possible to compose and send text messages with one hand. It’s not straightforward to text on the iPhone – it requires two hands and is fiddly to enter characters using the QWERTY keyboard.
2. Hannah wasn’t happy
Although if I’d really liked it this wouldn’t have been an issue, my wife didn’t like the fact I’d taken out a contract with 02 when I’ve still got a few months remaining on my Orange contract. We get free broadband and VOIP calls with the latter contract, you see… :-p
3. It’s painfully proprietary
Although you can jailbreak it and there are workaround to create your own ringtones on the iPhone, it’s not always straightforward. It makes you feel like you’re using someone else’s device rather than your own. It’s kind of the same reason I bought and then returned a Nintendo Wii earlier this year.
What I’d like to see is a touchscreen tablet, slightly larger than the iPhone, that can connect both to wireless networks and to mobile broadband via HSDPA. I’d carry that around in addition to my N95 (or equivalent). Either that, or something that has a touchscreen and a keyboard… 😀