Hong Kong Tech Phooey

a tech junkie from Hong Kong

Alternative to Apple In-ear Headphones

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Following my post last week on the Apple In-ear Headphones (US$79), I decided to take a look at what similar products I can source in the local market.  Not looking for those expensive ones like the Shure or Sennheiser, but something more affordable and cheaper than that of the Apple In-ear Headphones.

Finally found the Griffin TuneBuds which works well with the iPhone 3G, 4th generation iPod nano and iPod Classic (120GB).

The external mic also works well with the iPod nano (4th generation) built-in voice Memo feature.  As for the 2nd generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G, and the iPhone, the external mic works with Griffin’s iTalk (available from iTunes App Store.

The TuneBuds comes with 3 pairs of interchangeable ear cushions of three different sizes and a carrying case.  The price tag on it, HK$280 (US36), not bad right?

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December 19, 2008 Posted by | Accessories, Apple, iPhone, iPod | , , , | 3 Comments

Apple In-Ear Headphones for iPod Now Shipping

appleearphones[Update] Turned out I was not totally correct on the Apple In-Ear Headphones not being compatible with the iPhone 3G, according to a review over at Gizmodo,

“As far as remote capabilities go, I tested the Apple In-ear headphones with an iPhone 3G and a first gen iPod touch (neither of which are officially supported. As Apple claims, the audio works fine with both devices. Neither the remote or the mic work with the iPod touch 1G at all, merely reducing it to a pair of headphones. On the iPhone 3G, you can’t use the volume. You can still play/pause a song, answer/end a call, change tracks and make use of the microphone. But all of those work perfectly fine on the iPhone.”

[3 December 2008] Finally Apple starts shipping the In-Ear Headphones announced during the Let’s Rock event back in September.  The In-Ear Headphones features -

  • two separate high-performance drivers in each earpiece  — a woofer to handle bass and mid-range sounds and a tweeter for high-frequency audio;
  • comes with three different sizes of silicone ear tips, also included are a convenient carrying case for the ear tips and a cable-control case for the headphones themselves;
  • the remote and mic are supported only by iPod nano (4th generation), iPod classic (120GB), and iPod touch (2nd generation) and audio is supported by all iPod models; and price at US$79.

More news on Apple’s website.

Source – CNET via QLJ555

December 7, 2008 Posted by | Accessories, Apple, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod | , , | 1 Comment

iPhone Firmware 2.2 Upgrade Available Now

[Update] The firmware is available now. According to Engadget, “Google Street View and over the air Podcast downloads from iTunes. Yup, public transit and walking directions too and the ability to share your location via email. Bug fixes, Safari enhancements, the ability to toggle auto-text completion, and plenty more…”

According to AppleTalk and Gizmodo, the new version 2.2 firmware upgrade for the iPhone will be launched sometime tomorrow, (21 November 2008 for US).  So look out for it and see what the upgrade really do apart from the security patches.

Source – AppleTalk, Gizmodo, Engadget

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod, Software | , , | Leave a comment

The Perfect To-Do App on iPhone

[Updated: 7 October 2008] Been using ToDo and Toodledo for over two weeks and indeed those two works great together.  The best is that I found the ToodledoSync Extension for Microsoft Outlook from Chromatic Dragon.  Now not just having my to-do list on my iPhone but on Microsoft Outlook as well, woot.

[21 September 2008] Ever since I started using my iPhone 3G, I’ve been looking for a to-do applications that allows me to sync my my to-dos/tasks to my PC.  Since I uses Outlook most of the time, I wanted one that can sync up with my Outlook.

KeyTasks from Chapura was the first such application that I came across. The interface is neat, straight sync to Outlook and nothing fancy.  The downside to it is that KeyTasks is subscription-based and it costs US9.99 a year to use the service.

The next application that come close to my requirements is ToDo from Appigo.  It doesn’t sync with Outlook, but it syncs with two online task management services, Toodledo (which is free) and Remember the Milk (free but ToDO only works with their pro accounts, which means $$$).

I signed up with Toodledo, downloaded the Firefox plug-in for Toodledo and the Mac Widget plug-in, tried it out for a week and I’m loving it.  Not only can I track my to-dos/tasks on my iPhone, but on Firefox (both PC and Mac) and my Mac (pops up as my dashboard widget).  What I also like is say when you add a to-do/task such as a phone call to be made or to email someone, you can access the iPhone contacts and dial that person or email straight within the ToDo application.

Cost is US$9.99.  Check out the overview video below from Appigo.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Applications, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod, Review, Software, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

iPhone 2.1 Software Update

Finally have time to install the new iPhone 2.1 update on my iPhone.  Took me a little bit over 40 minutes for the whole update and install process (237.8MB altogether this time).  Really like the new functions, such as more info on tracks/podcast played on the iPod and time remaining from last played; the 3G/EDGE signal upgrade (reception seemed a lot better at least for me); shorter backup time (gee, thanks Apple, finally) and installation for new apps; and the Genius playlist which I don’t have time to play around yet.  As for the rumored better/longer battery life, still need couple days to tell.

However, been getting a lot of mixed reviews all across the wire.  Engadget ran an article saying that some users been experiencing degradation to their 3G signals and been having problem with their email.  Guess we’ll find out how all that pans out in a few days.

How’s your upgrade working?

September 15, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Applications, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, My Gears, Software | , | 1 Comment

Minibus Hong Kong for iPhone

When I first heard of this application in beta, I was really excited as I believed an application like this would be very useful especially where minibus routes in Hong Kong are so complicated.  The database is stored on the iPhone and no internet connection is needed.

As for the downside, the application is in Chinese and it’s a bit expensive for US$9.99.  It would also be neat if the developers can incorporate the GPS locator into the application.

September 9, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Applications, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod | | Leave a comment

PwnageTool 2.0.3 Out, But Wait

The new version is out but according to the latest blog post from the iPhone-dev.org,

Source – blog.iPhone-dev.org

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Beyond Geekiness, iPhone, iPod, Software | , , | Leave a comment

Apple Released iPhone Software 2.0.2

[Update: 21 August 2008] Finally found the time to perform the update and thank God, this time around it was much more smoother and faster and no hiccups whatsoever, unlike the last update (see previous post – CNET Asia Community Blog Entry – More Woes in Updating iPhone 3G to V.2.0.1. The whole process took less than half an hour.  Woot, all happy now.

[19 August 2008] Apple just released another iPhone software update to version 2.0.2 and no it doesn’t fix the 3G reception problem, at least not yet.  Reports on forum indicated that some users actually have WORSE 3G reception after the update.  So what does it fix? well, according to iPhone Atlas, “typing and scrolling, which were plagued by extreme lag and slowness prior this update, are now operating at acceptable speeds for many users, but not all”.  The update weighs in at around 249MB.  With the last update, I would advise users the following -

  • DO NOT perform the update while you’re in the office (God knows how long it would take or how many times you need to do it over again if it turned into a brick), best to do it when you get home tonight;
  • remember to set your call forward on to your house phone or other land lines or alternatively if you have another 3G phone with another 3G card, swap them (the swap only works with unlock iPhones here in Hong Kong).  By doing so, you won’t miss any of your calls;
  • turn airplane mode off;

If the update fails, try the following work-arounds from iPhone Atlas on the last firmware updates -

  • The first thing to try is simply multiple attempts. The iPhone may fail to update on the first attempt, but succeed in restoring on the second or third attempt. Failing that, your copy of the update may be corrupt. Try deleting it and re-downloading it.  Delete the update that resides in the following directories:
  • under Mac OS X: ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates
  • under Windows XP: C:/documents and settings/[yourusername]/Application Data/Apple Computer/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates
  • under Windows Vista: C:/users/[yourusername]/AppData/Roaming/Apple Computer/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates
  • The fix in other cases is to reinstall iTunes. Simply download the package, run the installer and restart.

Failing that, under Mac OS X, try deleting the following files:

  • /System/Library/Extensions/AppleMobileDevice.kext
  • /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DeviceLink.framework
  • /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/MobileDevice.framework
  • /Library/Receipts/AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg

then reinstall iTunes.

Another potential fix is to put the iPhone in recovery mode then restore it.

Good luck updating all, you’ll probably need it.

Source – iPhone Atlas

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, Software | , , , | 2 Comments

iPhone 3G is Great As Long As:

Came across this great comment while reading my RSS feeds today.  This from maxonly on Macworld‘s article, “Looking for a fix for Apple’s iPhone fix”,

iPhone 3G is great as long as:

1. you are always close to a power supply (poor battery life)

2. never want to copy a photo, song, contact, ringtone or application from other than ONE Mac or PC

3. never want to copy anything from the iphone to anything else (unless you email it)

3. don’t want to customize how your text messages are saved

4. don’t want to customize alarm volume compared to ringer volume (it’s all the same)

5. never need to forward a text message!

6. never need to copy and paste anything.

7. want to ALWAYS be discoverable by bluetooth devices

8. want to search endlessly for other bluetooth devices

9. never want to add any words to the predictive text dictionary

10. don’t mind dropped calls!

other than those things, it’s really great

Source – Macworld

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod, Mobile Phone, Software | , | Leave a comment

CNET Asia Community Blog Entry – More Woes in Updating iPhone 3G to V.2.0.1

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My new entry over at CNET Asia Community Blog is up. This week’s entry, “More Woes in Updating iPhone 3G to V.2.0.1″. Click here for the read.

August 6, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Blogroll, CNET, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, Software | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infinxx icombi AP23 is Out in Hong Kong

Somehow just forgot to do an update on the Infinxx icombi AP23 when I saw it at Tomato Mobile a week or so ago.  Remember that I always mention the icombi AP21 which I used with my iPhone, iPod Touch & iPhone 3G as a Bluetooth dongle for A2DP (see old post, Finally Got My iPhone setup with Bluetooth Stereo Headphones (for both music and call)), well, the updated AP23 is now available in Hong Kong for HK$380 (US$49).  The new version, according to other users pairs up with Bluetooth headsets more swiftly and less dropping in connections were noticed.  Check it out, should be in most of the stores around town if you want the perfect Bluetooth dongle for your iPhone or iPod.

August 3, 2008 Posted by | Accessories, Bluetooth, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod, Mobility | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Must-Have Accessory for iPhone 3G – iPhone Power Station

If you read my post, CNET Asia Community Blog Entry – Must-have iPhone 3G Accessories yesterday, you’ll noticed that I included the battery charger as a must have iPhone 3G accessory. For those who own an iPhone 3G, you all must agree that the battery remains the biggest issue and there’s no way in terms of normal usage (bit twittering and Facebook surfing here and there, forget about Bluetooth and push-email) for the iPhone to last a 12-hour work day and that’s why I regarded the battery charger as the number one must-have accessory

Well, while shopping for a MacBook Pro keyboard skin today (got one for US$5.5, HK$43, good deal), I saw the iPhone power station (1000 mAh battery charger, works great with iPod Touch too) from Brando Mobile which I mentioned in my CNET post.  It was listed for US$24 [HK$188] but I managed to bargain it down to US$22.  Below are some pics of it.  I particularly likes the look 9comes in black or white to match the color of your iPhone 3G) on this one better than my PowerMonkey Mobile Charger (see previous review here) which works equally great.  Another great thing about it is the weight of this power station, it weighs only 48g and fits great in ANY pcoket.  The power station takes 2 hour to fully charged and you can find it at shops on the 2nd floor of Sim City, 47-51 Shantung Street, Mongkok.  Pretty sure you can find them in Wanchai and other computer shopping arcades around Hong Kong.  For rest of you folks in places other than Hong Kong, check them out on Brando Mobile (see my CNET post for the link).

The sleek looking iPhone Power Station

The sleek looking iPhone Power Station

Click to see more pics.

Continue reading

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Accessories, Apple, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod, My Gears | , , | 8 Comments

CNET Asia Community Blog Entry – Must-have iPhone 3G Accessories

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My new entry over at CNET Asia Community Blog is up. This week’s entry, “Must-have iPhone 3G Accessories”. Click here for the read.

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Accessories, Apple, Blogroll, Gadgets n Gizmos, iPhone, iPod | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Instant Messenger for iPhone/iPod

Palringo Instant Messenger

Palringo Instant Messenger

Ever since the App Store launched, ppl been wanting an instant messenger (IM) app that allows them to link up with all the major IMs out in the market.  Well, look no further as Palringo Limited launched the Palringo Instant Messenger for iPhone/iPod.  It integrates with AOL’s AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu Gadu, ICQ, Jabber and Windows Live Messenger.  What’s more is that one can use Palringo to contact their friends on iChat.  Awesome for a free app.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Applications, iPhone, iPod | , , , | Leave a comment

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