Today’s Nifty Gadet

As my gentle readers  may have noticed, I am a big fan of gadgets, from simple to bright & shiny electronics.

This gadget falls under the simple, yet useful and cool category. It’s a six in one multitool shaped like a key, and this fits very nicely on your key ring.  The small blade is very handy, and the design keeps it safe when it is on your keyring.

This is one of my favorite multitools.  It’s handy, I typically have it with me (the massive Swiss Army Multitool my brother game me years ago did a lot of stuff, but it was too damn big to carry around.  A tool you don’t have is of no use), and the tools on it (screwdrivers, small knife) are useful in everyday life.

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iPhone firmware 3.1 BETA

Firmware version 3.1 has just entered BETA.

Here are some of the highlights.

Bluetooth support for Voice Control.  So finally, my iPhone “smartphone” will be able to do wihat my old Motorola Razr did from day one.  Tap the button on a Bluetooth headset and initiate a call simply by speaking.

MMS may or may not be supported. Depends on AT&T approval.

Small improvements to the video editing.

There are a few other minor features, but I’m expecting there will be a number of bug fixes in the release that won’t make the public annoucements, including anti-jail break features.

iPhone 3GS

I broke down and got a new iPhone. My old one was a 1st gen, I gained a lot of new features. Faster processor, more memory, GPS, and a much better camera. In addition to better stills, the 3GS will take videos as well.

The better camera and videos are really the big feature over the 3G. The older version supports many of the software features. The real bang for the buck comes from upgrading from the first gen model.

What will be interesting is see how the multiple phones running the Android OS will stack up as well as the applications that will be written for it.

Update: Ok, the single most useful feature of the 3GS over the first gen iPhone, not needing a bloody adapter to use a standard set of head phones!

Summer of the Smart Phone

Let’s review what is announced/rumored for this summer.

Palm’s Pre is due out in two days.  Will it be enought to save Palm? Hell, Sprint could use the boost too.

Two days after that,  the new iPhone firmware is release, and probably new iPhone hardware as well.

Later this month, Nokia’s N97 is due out

After that,  Google will release another rev of Android and multiple Android phones will be hitting th streets.

New iPhone hardware

According to Fortune Magazine, Apple is building 5-6 million new iPhones at their Chinese factories.

The rumor is to expect two new models in either June or July.  One will be faster, with more memory and a better camera at least. The other would be a step backwards, a less powerful, but cheaper model.

Another issue facing Apple & iPhone users is AT&T’s 3G network. It seems AT&T is a bit nervous about millions of new 3G phones hitting it’s network this summer and is rushing to upgrade in order to handle the load.

Skype on the iPhone

So that rumor was true.  I downloaded the Skype app from the iTunes store.  It only works over the WiFi connection, so AT&T continues to get its blood money/minutes.

One feature that is missing is support of Bluetooth headsets. I want to talk to my Skype friends hands free using my Jabra headset.  Hopefully the folks at Skype will have that fixed in the next version.

New iPhone hardware rumors

Apple has changed the rules for the Rev 2, 3G iPhone sales. Customers can buy “unlimited quantities” without the AT&T contract that subsides the price.  This is the same tactic Apple used to clear out Rev 1 hardware before they announced the 3G iPhone.

The Apple Developers Conference, June 8-12, would be a good place announce a new rev of the iPhone hardware that will use the new firmware to the best advantage.  Apple could use a new iPhone to offset the Palm Pre and new Android phones.