iPod Touch Tips – The Complete Collection

iPod Touch Review: ByLine – An Excellent RSS Reader

OK, so I now have to retract part of what I said in my last article about RSS readers. There is an excellent RSS reader on AppStore called Byline that so far, does exactly what I want in a news reader for my iPod Touch. Byline is like many RSS readers, but this one really does understand how to be effective on an iPod Touch. For example, my iPod Touch is is not always connected online. I purposely turn off networking when I’m not in range to extend my battery. How many online applications have you launched that display an error message telling you that the network is not available? Well, duh, I turned it off. Why tell me something I already know? Byline elegantly ghosts the sync icon when you’re offline and makes it active when connected. It’s just done right. And now, the great part: Byline optionally caches […]

iPod Touch Tip #6: RSS Readers Still Missing The Mark

Having quick and easy access to information is one of the strong points of the iPhone and the iPod Touch. With their online capabilities, the Internet is at your fingertips, and just about any piece of information is just a few taps away. One group of applications that provides news information is the “RSS Reader” category. These programs provide news feeds in a (typically) organized and concise manner, allowing you to catch up news from your favorite sites wherever you are. But what if you are not online? What if an iPhone user is on a subway or in an area that has marginal or no coverage. What about an iPod Touch user who is not within range of a WiFi connection? Providing offline access to RSS feeds is a worthy endeavor, and AppStore has a dozen or so RSS readers that may fit your needs, however they all currently […]

iPod Touch Review: Belkin Silicone Skin Case

I’m always looking for decent cases for the devices I carry, and I have found another case for the iPod Touch that I just love. The Belkin Silicone Skin Case is a molded case made of silicone rubber that stretches to fit snugly around the iPod Touch. It provides cut-outs for the screen, top power button, brightness sensor, Universal Connector, and headphones. There is also a recessed portion over the front Home button giving it a great look and nice tactile feel. The case nicely protects the chrome back from scratches, and it provides the iPod Touch with a great grip. It only adds just a fraction of an inch to the overall size, so your iPod Touch remains slim and sleek. This case is simple, yet elegant in design, but like similar “skin” cases it does not provide any protection for the screen, so a modest screen protector is […]

iPod Touch Tip #5: Quick Keyboard Entry Tips

Text entry on the iPod Touch's on-screen keyboard is surprisingly easy, but sometimes, it can be tedious to enter numbers, symbols, or special characters. But did you know that there are a few "shortcuts" that you can use to make this kind of entry quicker and easier? Read on for some tips on "shifting" letters, inserting numbers, symbols, and International characters, and making a quick entry correction…. Quick Shift While typing on the Alphabetic keyboard, press and hold the Shift key, then slide your finger over to the letter you want to shift then release. The letter will be shifted. Quick Number and Symbol Entry While typing letters on the Alphabetic keyboard, sometimes you want to quickly insert a number or a symbol such as a comma or period. Just press and hold the Symbol/Number key (.?123) then slide your finger over to the symbol or number you want to […]

iPod Touch Review: Wikpedia on your iPod Touch!

Arguably, one of the greatest current contributions to the Internet is Wikipedia, a solid encyclopedic resource for general knowledge of topics spanning literally millions of articles. Though the accuracy of some of its articles is questionable, overall, Wikipedia does an excellent job of presenting generally reliable content. A point of note that any researcher, student, or general Internet user should know, is that because of its susceptibility to error and vandalism, Wikipedia, should not be used as a difinitive research resource, it should be considered a great starting point for researching a topic.) Like searching on Google, Wikipedia is fast and intuitive to use. On the iPod Touch, the Safari Web browser renders Wikipedia pages very well. But accessing Wikipedia from the iPod Touch has one major drawback: you must be online. Recently, however, there have been several sfforts to provide Wikipedia content in an offline format. This article covers […]

iPod Touch Tip #4: Backing Up Web Clips

Web Clips on your iPod Touch's Home Page are very handy, but if you accidentally delete one, how do you get it back? Well, you can't. When you create a Web Clip, consider also creating a corresponding Bookmark in Safari. This way, should you ever accidentally delete your Web Clip, you will have an easy way to get it back. Bookmarks can also be optionally synced through iTunes providing additional backup. To create a Bookmark from a Web Clip, simply launch your Web Clip, tap the "+" button and select "Add Bookmark". To create a Web Clip from a Bookmark, launch Safari, select the Bookmark, let the page load, and then tap the "+" button and select "Save to Home page". An added benefit of maintaining Web Clips as Bookmarks is that you now have access to Web Clip pages right from within Safari instead of having to exit Safari […]

iPod Touch Tip #3: Safari Screen Rotation

Here's a simple, yet not always intuitive tip. Have you ever been using Safari while lying down in bed or on a couch? You get comfortable, and as you tilt your iPod Touch, does the screen auto-rotate the wrong way? You then go through the delecate balancing act of finding that "sweet spot" just before it rotates, then you cock your head uncomfortably, just to view Safari in widescreen mode? Well, the solution is so simple, if you follow Apple's intuitive UD design. Because the iPod Touch only rotates 90° in either direction, once it is rotated, it will not rotate further. So when rotating yout iPod Touch, simply rotate it in direction you are lying. For example, if you lye down on your right side, rotate it clockwise. If you turn over to your left side, rotate it counter-clockwise.

iPod Touch Review: Griffin Elan Convertible Case

Like any PDA or pocket-sized electronic device, the iPod Touch is prone to scratches and dings, so on eof the first accessories you should consider is a case to protect it. Cases come in all sizes and shapes, so what is best for you is a very personal and subjective decision. I found the Griffin Elan Convertible case at my local Circuit City, and I find it to be a solid choice for the money. Read on for a full review…. The Griffin Elan Convertible Case is a sleek leather case that houses the iPod Touch. It has a removable flip-over cover and a removable belt-clip it provides excellent screen and body protection. The inside of the case is lined with what feels like suede, providing soft, scratch-free protection of the screen, while also slightly gripping the device in place. There are cutouts for the Home button, the Universal Connector, […]

iPod Touch Tip #2: Using Google Maps Routes Offline

The Google Maps application included in the "January Update" apps has a very nice offline feature: Routing. While connected to WiFi, Tap the "Directions" button, and enter the starting location and then the ending location of your desired route. Maps will then download the route data and store it for offline use. All route-point information including zoomed-in maps immediately surrounding each route point is downloaded. Once completed (ie: the progress "spinner" stops) you can shut off WiFi, and the route information will be retained to use offline. Read on for more details on how to use this useful feature…. Maps displays the route's Overview of a zoomed-out map showing pins at the starting and ending points and the route drawn between the pins. Here is an example of a generic route from Chicago to Detroit: Tapping the "Start" button in the upper right of the screen will zoom you in […]

iPod Touch News: Software Development Kit (SDK)

Apple announced that in February 2008, they would release a Software Development Kit (SDK) enabling third-party developers to create applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Many people are placing a lot of hope into this tool. As of this writing, it appears that its release will be delayed until March, 2008. Read on to see my take on what the SDK may or may not bring…. On one hand, I am very excited that the availability of the SDK could potentially provide some excellent and useful applications. Opening up application development to third-party developers could potentially rival the literally thousands of applications released for PalmOS PDA's. But on the other hand, I have several concerns or questions: 1. Because the applications will be distributed exclusively through iTunes, it is currently unclear what applications will cost. My guess is that it will probably follow a pattern similar to PalmGear with […]