T-Mobile has finally unveiled its second Android phone, but how does it stack up with the carrier's first release? If you purchased a G1 back in October, is it time to upgrade? How were the major concerns of the first phone addressed?
The MyTouch 3G won't launch in the United States until August, but the phone has been available in other parts of the world for months. The Google Ion, which made the rounds at the Google I/O conference last month, is a limited edition version of the HTC Magic, and shares the same hardware and many features with the MyTouch 3G.
Battery life One of the biggest complaints of the G1 concerned its limited battery life. Users were forced to disable many features in order to prolong use. Indeed, on my G1, I routinely had to disable Wi-Fi, GPS, and other features that I wasn't using. Normally, my phone would normally survive the day, but it was near dead when I placed it on the charger at night.
Luckily, the battery life is no longer an issue on the second Android phone. The Ion's 1300mAh battery offers increased capacity over its predecessor. Though it's only 13 percent larger than the G1's 1150mAh battery, it feels as if it has twice the capacity. Even if I leave all features turned on, my phone is still going strong at night. There have even been a few nights where I skipped charging the Ion, which is something that I could never do with the G1.… Read more
Of all the great enhancements, fixes, and goodies in iPhone OS 3.0 (video overview here), I quickly realized there was one glaring omission. With the useful addition of a Voice Memos app, an old problem reared its ugly head. The update put the Voice Memos app icon on the home page, pushing whatever lone app icon that sat in the lower right of the homepage onto its own screen on the next page. This meant that in order to maximize my use of page space (I have a lot of apps!), I now had to rearrange my apps on … Read more
I won't spend $50 to $60 on a video game. Just can't do it. Even $40 feels like too much. But $20? That definitely satisfies my cheapskate tendencies. So imagine my delight at learning that Walmart currently has nearly 1,500 video games priced at $20 or less.
As you might expect, these aren't the latest and greatest titles, but they're not all bargain-bin rejects, either. For example, you can get the Wii versions of Lego Indiana Jones and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for $19.82 apiece.
Have you played Peggle? This iPhone game came out some time ago and was an immediate hit at the app store for its strange and extremely addictive gameplay. The game just went on sale for 99 cents, but it will only last until midnight Sunday, June 14.
The object of Peggle is to shoot balls from the top of the screen and hit all the orange pegs before you run out of balls. You can use the touch screen or the scroll wheel to aim your shot, but make sure that the shot ricochets in a direction that will hit … Read more
Puzzle games and the iPhone and iPod Touch go together like peas and carrots (and they're nearly as good for you). They fit beautifully on the small screen, they have no awkward controls to master, and they're ideal when you have 5 minutes or 10 minutes to kill (and don't feel like killing things).
Here's a list of my five favorite puzzle games (so far):Hanoi A beautiful rendition of the classic Towers of Hanoi game. The object is simple: move a stack of disks from one side of the board to the other. There's … Read more
Apple had its own E3 press conference at the beginning of the week, with its newest model in the iPhone line finally being unveiled to the world. The iPhone 3G S, while in some ways a modest upgrade, introduces significant improvements for gamers--some obvious, others not so much. Will it help even further cement their growing position in a handheld games market previously dominated by Nintendo and Sony? Read on.
Faster processor speed, more RAM. T-Mobile leaked the hard 3G S specs, and they're all-around zippier than the old 3G--which Apple confirmed when it promised overall speeds up to 2x faster. This will matter in particular with game load times and game crashes, both of which can tend to plague an overstuffed iPhone. While the spec bumps are relatively modest, the iPhone's game-playing prowess has already been more impressive than early pundits predicted, especially on recent releases like The Sims 3 and a PC-perfect port of Myst. The only thing missing now is...
Proper controller support. Sneaked in under the radar amid the iPhone 3G S news is the fact that the 3.0 software update allows third-party app interfacing with peripherals. While a larger focus on this functionality has been on medical devices, it's now possible for someone to make a clip-on control pad case and to have that controller be usable in any game. What should happen is that publishers gather to designate one universal controller that then gets adopted as the iPhone's "gamepad." The question is, who will make that accessory? For a while last year it was rumored to be Belkin, although it was unclear who would support the device. On consoles, the manufacturer usually settles these issues by making the controller themselves (except in the case of peripheral-driven games like Rock Band).
While it would be easiest if Apple made a gamepad, it's entirely unlikely. The whole appeal of the iPhone is its interface simplicity--too many plug-ins kill the minimalist chic. If a third party makes a controller, there's a likelihood that some publishers would support it, while others splinter off under some other controller accessory. Either way, someone should make sure there's a good consensus. Otherwise, soon enough we'll be buried in plastic miniperipherals, not unlike what's currently happening to (or plaguing) game consoles.… Read more
I couldn't pick just one deal today, so here are five to jump-start your weekend:
Much as I'm loving the iPhone version of Peggle, I think it's a little pricey at $4.99. Good news: Right now it's on sale for just 99 cents [iTunes link]. No-brainer. Buy it. Thanks to reader Harold for the tip!
I'm not loving Amazon MP3's current selection of $5 albums, but there's one standout: Holst's The Planets, one of my all-time classical favorites. ("Mars" gets all the attention, but "Jupiter" is really … Read more
In addition to the big Apple announcements of new laptops and the iPhone 3G S at this weeks WWDC, other well-known developers used the conference as an opportunity to release some big name iPhone applications. I usually try to balance my coverage of iPhone apps by talking about one game and one useful utility, but with this week's big releases, I'm going to talk about two games. These games are both $9.99, so with the higher price point, I think it's worth it to give you the rundown of both so you can decide if you … Read more
If you haven't figured this out already, I'm a serious airline geek. Yes, I'm the kind of person who keeps track of all his flights and I can identify planes as they taxi by at the airport. Want to know which airlines flies nonstop between San Francisco and Sydney? Well, I can tell you (United and Qantas). Some would call it an obsession, but I think that it's just an interest.
If you're like me, you'll be delighted to know that the iPhone App store has quite a few options to indulge your passion. Without ever leaving your iPhone, you can check for delays, find the best seat on your flight, learn facts about your aircraft, and find your departure gate at the airport.
The following is a list of apps that I've used on CNET's iPhone. When I'm not using them just for fun--like I said, it's an interest--they have come in handy quite a few times. The titles that I've highlighted below aren't the only such apps available, but they are the ones that I've used. If you have other picks, be sure to tell me about them below.
Airport Status 99 cents
This app won't show delays for specific flights, but it will show general delays affecting U.S. airports. This is especially useful when your home airport is San Francisco International--due to low clouds it often suffers from "ground stops" where flights are held at their departure airport until the weather improves. Newark Liberty is another airport that's constantly on here. New Yorkers and Jerseyites, take note.… Read more