TextExpander iPhone/iPod Touch Edition


One of my very favorite Mac applications, TextExpander, found its way to the iPhone (iTunes link). This is an indispensable text replacement tool. I was going to write it up in detail but noticed my friend John Chandler already did. One of the most intriguing features is their release of the text expansion engine to other developers. While you can bet money this will never end up in Apple’s Mail app, I can easily see twitter and other text heavy apps embracing it. Nice work SmileOnMyMac.

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iPhone Satisfaction

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Today AppleInsider reports on a 99% satisfaction rate with the iPhone 3gs. I am not surprised. My new phone has been fantastic. The increased speed is great for games and even better for OmniFocus. Likewise there are a lot of other small tweaks that demonstrate Apple is trying to refine and perfect the product.
I know Apple has taken a beating over the App Store lately. I really took offense to the Ninja Words dictionary modifications. However, looking at the above numbers just reminds me that so much of these complaints are merely the ramblings of the digirati. I think even Apple now agrees the App Store needs work but how many “normal” iPhone users even know that Google Voice exists? I simply don’t see a mass exodus of iPhone developers. There are too many devices sold and too much money to make.
Perhaps even more important, Apple needs to rethink its carrier relationship. Never again should it be at the mercy of a carrier with unreasonable demands and inadequate networks. I see the failings of AT&T as the single largest vulnerability to the iPhone. The good news is there are some very smart people at Apple even more intensely aware of this than I.
Regardless, with customer satisfaction of 99%, I don’t think the sky is falling just yet.

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Sena Corsa iPhone Case and Giveaway

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When looking for style and protection for my iPhone, I didn’t need to look far. Sena Cases is a small company that distributes high quality leather cases worldwide through the Apple Store and other retailers. They also just happen to be located about 15 minutes from MacSparky headquarters. Putting local nepotism aside, Sena makes beautiful iPhone and iPod cases.

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I am reviewing the Sena Corsa case designed for the iPhone 3g and 3gs. This case is extremely slim but still affords your phone necessary protection. It is made of Napa leather to the precise dimensions of the iPhone. It is lined on the inside with velvet to protect your phone and has several small holes in the bottom so you can hear the speaker.

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This case provides such a tight fit that getting your phone out could be extremely difficult. Sena solved this problem with a pull system. There is a small leather tab on your case that connects to a ribbon of sorts under your phone. When you pull the tab, your phone pops up. It sort of reminds me of a magic card trick I once saw.
This minimalist case comes in a variety of colors an can be purchased directly from Sena for $40. They have a several other quality leather cases in just about any configuration you could want. Check it out.

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If you would like your very own Corsa case, gratis, you can enter the MacSparky Corsa giveaway. The nice people at Sena gave me a turquoise/black Corsa case to give away. If you would like to enter, send an e-mail to me at david@macsparky.com with the words “Sena Case Giveaway” in the subject line. I will then pick a random winner next week. Please only one entry. If you are outside the United States, I will require you to pay shipping. Good luck!

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Insuring Your iPhone


Because I am weak, I upgraded my iPhone over the weekend. I’ve always insured my laptops but never found good, reasonable policies for the iPhone. Today I discovered Square Trade. I was able to buy a 2 year policy on a 32gb iPhone 3g s for $115. This covers drops and spills, which AppleCare does not. If I upgrade the phone (say NEXT June), I can get a refund for the unused time on the policy. It seems like a good idea considering if I break the phone, It will be $500 to replace.
I’ve never made a claim to Square Trade and can’t vouch for them but if you decide to give it a try and feel generous, list me as a referral (david @ macsparky . com – without spam-busting spaces). I have no idea what referrals do for me but it can’t hurt.
If you’ve got any better ideas about insuring your iPhone (I know some homeowner’s policies cover them – mine doesn’t), sound off in the comments.

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MMS Messaging and Black Eyes

Today AT&T explained there would be no additional charge for MMS on the iPhone (assuming they get around to activating this seven year old technology on the iPhone.) People seem to be happy about this but it is a strange sort of happy. It is similar to the feeling you get when a bully, after taking your lunch money and giving you a black eye, opts not to punch the you in the other eye.

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Documents to Go for iPhone

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Dataviz announced the availability of its mobile applications, Documents to Go for the iPhone with $5 and $10 (to add enterprise friendliness) versions. I’m pleased with the price. I used to buy this for my Palm Pilot for around $50. The current version edits MS Word documents and the promised next version will edit Excel sheets. However, I’m still not sure how useful this is without a portable keyboard. To be honest, I rarely used it in my Palm days and may not bother now. Ultimately, the $5 price point will probably pull me in.

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