MonthJuly 2009

I should’ve predicted world peace

On a recent MacJury, during a discussion on the new ability for iPhone applications to send “push” notifications, I joked about a Twitter client with that capability and what a nightmare it would be. We all had a good laugh at the ridiculousness of the suggestion and moved on to more serious topics.

I was surprised then to hear about Twitbit, a new Twitter client for the iPhone that features — you guessed it — push notifications. I’m struggling to comprehend the benefit of this. Unless you’re following very few people (and if you are I’d argue you’re not a good candidate for a for-pay Twitter client for the iPhone) it seems like the near-constant notifications of new Tweets would quickly drive you crazy — not to mention kill your battery.

Twitbit’s developers say the app will be configurable in future versions, so you can turn notification off for regular Tweets, but on for Direct Messages. Since you can already set that to happen via email, I still don’t see a big benefit. It will be interesting to see how Twitbit does (or evolves).

Had I known my predictions carried such power, I surely would have gone with something other than a Twitter client with push notifications.

Twitbit is available in the iTunes store for $4.99. More information is available on the app’s website.

‘Pick Your Topic’ on Your Mac Life

I’ve appeared on Shawn King’s excellent “Your Mac Life” podcast several times over the last few weeks, but have neglected to mention it here. So before I forget again: I’m on tonight’s show, in a pre-recorded segment called “Pick Your Topic.” It’s a clever idea: Shawn presents three current Mac or Apple-related stories in the news, and the guest picks one of them to talk about. It’s also a little unnerving; the guest is not told what the choices will be, so he or she can’t prepare in advance. “Winging it” like this is way outside my comfort zone, but it makes it all the more exciting and I usually wind up really enjoying these segments.

Another Your Mac Life development I meant to talk about but didn’t: YML is now available from iTunes as a free podcast. Previously, you could either listen to (or watch) the show live or stream the previous week’s show from the yourmaclifeshow.com website. If you wanted to listen to it on the go, you had to subscribe to the show via Audible.com. I’ve been pushing for the show to go the free podcast route for a while now, so I’m tremendously glad to see it happen. I think it will open the show up to a much bigger audience–one it richly deserves. Shawn has been broadcasting Your Mac Life (and its predecessor, The Mac Show) for years now–way before the word “podcasting” was even coined. He is, in my view, the Johnny Carson of tech broadcasting and a genuine pro in the medium.

So–what was my topic for tonight’s show? You’ll have to tune in to find out: the show runs from 8:30-11:00 p.m. and is available from the show’s website.

iPhone tips and recommendations on MacJury

macjuryI took part in another session of The MacJury, Chuck Joiner’s excellent panel-based podcast. This time out, we talked about our favorite tips, features and accessories for the iPhone — particularly for the new iPhone 3GS and 3.0 software. These are always lots of fun to do, and entertaining to listen to (I hope.) On this session were Steve Sande from The Unauthorized Apple Weblog, Pat Fauquet of MacMouseCalls, author Tom Negrino and my Mac Observer compatriot Jeff Gamet. If you’re a reader of this site, I hope you’re also a subscriber to this podcast — it’s always a good discussion, whether I’m a participant or not.

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