Launching My First iOS App

I’ve been working on my first mobile app (download Pool Wise for iOS today!) in my spare time for the past 18 months or so. Being a web developer, I decided to use Cordova and stick with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript rather than learn to code native iOS and Android apps. Getting a prototype up and running […]

Rotate Videos that were Recorded Sideways

Screenshot of HandBrake video tab.

Ever since smartphones started adding video recording capabilities, I’ve seen a lot more videos recorded in “portrait” mode. This happens when you record a video while holding your phone upright instead of sideways. Depending on the phone, the video recording app you used, and how you are playing it back, the video may end up […]

Auto-dial Teleconference Codes using iPhone

So I just discovered this handy tip and thought I’d pass it along. iPhone will auto-dial conference codes for you if the number is written in a particular format in the location or description fields of a calendar event. The phone number and conference code will be colored to show they are a telephone hyperlink. […]

A Great Example of Integrating Mobile Apps with Video Games: Galaxy at War in Mass Effect 3

I’m a huge Mass Effect fan, and I was excited to learn that the final installment in the  Mass Effect trilogy was going to include a meta-game system that would influence the outcome of the game. I’ve always thought it would be cool to be able to somehow interact with a game even when I wasn’t actually playing it. This has already been done to some degree with other games, but with Mass Effect 3 I think Bioware and EA have set a new standard.

Mass Effect 3 screenshot
Screenshot of Mass Effect 3

The meta-game system is called “Galaxy at War” and includes the multiplayer co-operative mode in Mass Effect 3 (included with the game), the Mass Effect Infiltrator iOS game (paid app), and the Mass Effect 3 Datapad iOS app (free). Each allows a player to add to his/her “galactic readiness” in the single player game. By increasing the readiness level, the player can achieve a more favorable outcome in the game. (more…)

Why I Don’t Miss my Android Phone after Switching to the iPhone 4s

I’ve never been an early adopter of cell phones; I don’t want to be a beta-tester and I really can’t afford to get the latest and greatest phone every few months. It took me a long time to make the decision to get my first Android smartphone, and I spent several months considering my latest smartphone purchase—the iPhone 4s.

My first mobile phone was a prepaid Nokia TracFone back in 2002. It was a solid phone that had good battery life and excellent signal. I mainly used it for impulse plan-making while I was out with friends. At the time it was pretty cool. I swapped out the front cover and even the buttons with different colors to personalize it, and it had the game where you “steer” a snake to eat numbers and it keeps getting longer and moving faster until you run into the edge of the screen.

Eventually, I broke the TracFone and upgraded to a “real” cell phone plan and a basic Motorola flip-phone about a year later. This was another great phone with solid build quality, good battery life, and great signal. I kept it for about another year, until I switched over to a family plan when my mom and sister got cell phones; in the process I upgraded to a new Audiovox flip-phone.

The Audiovox phone was a pretty nice upgrade. It had a color LCD screen on the outside of the phone! Battery life was around 5 or 6 days if I didn’t use it much, and signal strength was excellent. I kept that phone until it was barely usable after a trip through the washing machine in 2007.

For my next phone, I went with the Motorola Razr. The original Razr had been out for a while, so it was relatively inexpensive by the time I got one. Even so, that was a cool phone! It was super-thin, had good signal strength, and I could put mp3s on a micro-SD card and listen to them on my phone! The battery life wasn’t as great as my previous phones, and I could only get a couple of days out of a full charge (remember when standby time was measure in weeks, not hours?). I kept that phone until 2010, when I finally made the leap to a smartphone. (more…)

Android + Dropbox + KeePass + LogMeIn + Carbonite = Mobile Sync Awesomeness

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while, but I kept putting it off to focus on SharePoint stuff and my updated WordPress theme (I’ll be posting about my updated theme soon). I was a little late to the smartphone party, but last year I finally picked up my first smartphone—a Droid Incredible. Because I’ve had such a great experience using it with these programs, I wanted to share it with others. This is geared toward Android™ users, but most of this stuff will work on iPhone® too (Windows® Phone 7 and Blackberry® users are on your own—and if you own a Blackberry, I’m sorry…).

Android + Dropbox + KeePass + LogMeIn + Carbonite
Android + Dropbox + KeePass + LogMeIn + Carbonite = Mobile Sync Awesomeness!

Most of these programs and apps are free, but there are a couple that you’ll need to pay for. If you want a totally free solution, you can still get a lot of value out of this solution even without the paid apps/software. (more…)

WordPress for Android

I just installed the WordPress for Android app on my phone and thought I’d test it out by making a quick post. For all you other bloggers out there who want to post from your phone, be sure to enable XML-RPC protocols in your Settings > Writing page. Then go to to learn more […]