Good external microphones for the iPhone/iPad are expensive – not the kind of thing you want to buy and find out they are no good! Here’s a comparison of three external iPhone microphones: The Apogee MiC, Fostex AR-4i and Tascam iM2.
They were all tested on my iPhone 4s by recording into the FiRE iPhone recording app at full quality. On the microphones that had a volume adjustment, I adjusted it to be at the top of the green range in FiRE, quite conservative, no chance of clipping. I had the mic placed approx 20cm in front of my guitar sound-hole at the same height in all the tests. The Tascam doesn’t give any indication of levels, the Fostex has 4 LEDs on top to show the levels and the Apogee has a single LED on the front. The single LED on the Apogee seemed to give a better indication of input level than the three LED’s on the FOSTEX because the difference in brightness was easier to discern on the Apogee LED.
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If you’ve smashed your iPhone and you need a quick reliable place to repair it, I recommend fixpod. They have the simplest system I’ve seen, you just select your phone model, click on the problem, it gives you a price. You book in your phone for repair, and they guarantee to repair it within 24 hours! You can either drop it in in person, or post it in. If you want some more views on fixpod check out this forum where there are lots of happy users! Here’s where to find them.
Quite often I want to SMS 10 or 20 people at once to let them know something, but it’s painful on the iPhone – you need to select each contact one by one each time. This great little app called ‘Peepo‘ lets you create a group (it calls them ‘peepo circles’) and then easily email OR SMS everyone in the group.
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I’ve been using 1Password for about 3 years now, it’s great. A password manager remembers all your web login usernames and passwords on every blog and website you visit. It can generate a random password for you, giving you a different password for every site you need to login to. Continue reading »
The Apple Computer Co. Philosophy – 1977
In 1977 when the Apple Computer company was created they put their principles down in a one-page paper called “The Apple Marketing Philosophy”. It had 3 points. Empathy, Focus, Impute.
Empathy was about empathy with the customer: Truly understanding the needs of the end user better than any other company.
Focus was about eliminating the lots of unimportant things so as to do a good job of the important.
Impute is about having the packaging impute a sense of quality into the product when the person opens the box, because people do judge a book by the cover. Steve Jobs later said ” When you open the box of an iPhone or iPad, we want that tactile experience to set the tone for how you perceive the product” (Steve Jobs p78)
Empathy is about understanding people. Focus is about doing a few things well. Impute is about good marketing. I think Apple still do all these things exceptionally well. The iPhone 34 years later embodies this philosophy.
Apple have built in website filtering into OS X under the ‘System Preferences’ – ‘Parental Controls’ but Parental Control cannot be enabled for administrator accounts (which is probably the account you are running from) and Parental Controls also becomes hard to manage if you have multiple users because you need to set it up for each one. Here’s how to set up internet filtering on your whole home network at once using a free service called OpenDNS. Once it’s set up this can help block unsuitable content from reaching any computer, iphone, ipad etc connected to your internet. This approach can be used at home, school, or the workplace. Continue reading »
This is a strange ‘how to’ but these things are so cool I couldn’t help writing something about them – the ardrone – a helicopter controlled by your iPhone with a camera on the front that transmits the image to your iPhone screen! Continue reading »