If It Worked For the iPod…

I came across an old post regarding the iPhone that I thought was pretty interesting.

So here’s how I see Apple applying its iPod strategy to the iPhone. At some point the iPhone will expand to two form factors:

  1. A high-end iPhone with the same basic size and price as previous iPhones, but with significant new features. Obvious potential new features would be things like more storage space, more RAM, a faster CPU, an improved (and eventually video-capable) camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and superior battery technology.
  2. A new, lower-priced, smaller, and more adorable iPhone, with more or less the same technical specs as the original iPhone. Given that those specs include the 320 × 480 display, I wouldn’t expect something tiny, but remember that the original iPod Mini was “just” 35 percent smaller by volume than the then-current full-sized iPod. Shrink the iPhone’s forehead and chin and make it thinner — maybe a lot thinner — is what I’m thinking. Existing iPhone apps would run just fine on the new device, as it’d have similar, if not identical, CPU performance and RAM to previous full-sized iPhones. Such an iPhone sounds much like the “iPhone Lite” that BusinessWeek reported its source saw.

This is something John Gruber posted in May of 2009 with regard to rumors of a Verizon iPhone. Why it caught my eye is because of the thinking that the iPhone would go the way of the iPod. Except, it wasn’t until 4 years after this post that we were introduced to two iPhone models in one year: the 5s and 5c.

Apple originally introduced just one iPod model. But after a couple of years, it started to get different companions. Now, we look back at the history of the iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod touch, and the iPod mini. As the device market matured, Apple was able to create a couple of different devices that, while still being ahead of the competition, offered a larger selection for users to choose from.

I think that’s the direction Apple might be going with the 2 lines. You have one line, the higher-spec, top-of-the-line model. The other, the new c-line, will be more colorful or, as John Gruber said, “more adorable”. Does that mean the c-line is not the best?

Would we say that the iPad mini is less of a device than its larger iPad cousin? Of course not. With the latest updates to the iPad mini and the new iPad Air, both devices are virtually identical except for the screen size. I think the iPhone is just about at a similar level, especially given that the power of the 5c is still mind-blowing compared to phones from just a year or two ago. But it’s still be a great phone, and for some, having a colorful, fun option is more important than having the latest and the greatest.

For years, the iPod was dominant as a music player. While still a popular (and in a way, still the dominant) MP3 player, smartphones have come up and taken a bit of steam out of the iPod’s sails. But when it comes to the iPhone, I think Apple will undoubtedly diversify it’s offerings. It will never be the same way Nokia or Samsung offer a plethora of devices. But Apple has never had to do that, either. And when it comes to the iPhone, like the iPad, having two or three offerings still gives people options when it comes to a new phone.

Review: GeoRing for iPhone

Sometimes, the built in functions and options in a device are not enough. Choosing a ringtone on your iPhone is one thing. But what about having a random ringtone?

Well, there is an app for that. (Go figure!) It’s called GeoRing by XVision.

GeoRing allows you to use your entire music library as potential ringtones. Want to hear your favorite tunes when someone calls? You can! And best of all, you can add as many songs as you want to your ringtone playlist!

You can also customize at what part of the song the ringtone will begin at. Don’t like the opening to a song? Have it start ringing at a particular section. It can make it easy to find those catchy riffs in a song that you think would make for a great ringtone!

While the ringtone option is seemingly the main feature, GeoRing also allows you to map where you receive your phone calls. Ever been on a call with someone and you wish you could remember where you were at the time, perhaps because of that awesome coffee shop you were walking by at the time? Well, you won’t need to worry about that anymore! GeoRing gives you the ability to see where you were.

The app is very easy to navigate. In fact, you’ll quickly explore every page of options in the app within the first minute of playing with it! There are just two things to keep in mind when using this app:

  1. You need to have a silent ringtone (which you can download from their site) for your iPhone, or else your default iPhone ringtone will also go off along with your GeoRing set songs.
  2. The GeoRing app needs to be running in the background for it to operate. Do not remove it from your background processes.

I think many people that are interested in custom ringtones might find this app to suit their needs, especially those with a large music library on their iPhones.

Sometimes you’ll find apps that will not do all that they say they do. This one is definitely not one of those. Everything this app says it does, it does! I definitely recommend this app.

For more information about GeoRing, you can find it on iTunes or check out the XVision website. Or follow @XVisionNow and @GeoRingApp on Twitter.

Making an iPhone Ringtone in iTunes

So, you’re the owner of an iPhone and you want a nice ringtone. All you see, though, are ones you have to pay for. What about making your own? After all, you have all of your music to choose from!

Well, it’s actually a fairly simple process. All you need is iTunes.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, we need our audio clip. Presumably, you have an audio track in iTunes already that you would like to use. I’ll be using a song by Chameleon Circuit for my example.
  2. Now, you can use a whole song as a ringtone. Likely, though, you will only hear a few seconds of it. For this song, I only want to hear the first few seconds before it repeats. So, I go into the song’s info window and choose the “Options” tab. There, I’m able to set when the song stops playing.
  3. Once you’ve made those changes, right click on the song and choose “Create AAC Version”. This will create a duplicate listing in your iTunes library. However, you’ll notice that the new item will only be as long as the selection you had made.
  4. Take this new item and export it from iTunes. The easiest way to do this is to simply drag the song from iTunes onto your desktop.
  5. Now navigate to the file on your desktop. You’ll notice that it has a file extension of .m4a. Rename your file so that it now uses a .m4r extension.
  6. Once you have changed the extension, simply drag the newly renamed file from its current location into iTunes. iTunes will import the ringtone into your library, where you can now sync it with your iPhone.

Simple enough? I think so! Feel free to try it yourself and leave some comments and feedback about this post.

Review: Baseball Superstars 11

The latest in the Gamevil baseball series, Baseball Superstars ’11, delivers a good strike to the classic ballgame. Having played both of the previous titles, I can say that this one truly is an improvement.

Months ago, I did a small post regarding a classic NES baseball game: RBI Baseball. Playing Baseball Superstars ’11 reminds me of RBI baseball. The game is easy to play, allows for you to just pick up where you left off, and overall is a very enjoyable experience.

You’re able to play multiple game modes, from single exhibition games to full careers with a character. As before, RPG elements are included, allowing for you to improve your player’s skills and abilities as the game progresses.

With some humorous elements thrown in via a subtly laid story, simple baseball gameplay, and the ability to stop and resume playing a game at any point, Baseball Superstars ’11 is definitely worth checking out.