Run Mate – great little iPhone application

Code APlus: iPhone Run Mate applicationPersonally, I am not too big fan of iPhone, especially regarding earlier versions.

Than again, as a honest technology geek, I also must admit that iPhone 3GS set high standards both in arena of mobile devices as well as in arena of PDA and general mobile platforms; operating system is way better, development support (SDK, tools) gives you opportunity to create stunning applications, and on top of that, iPhone store can give necessary head start and much needed customer and community support.

I am not talking this “from thin air” but from second hand experience, closely watching development of one great little iPhone application – Run Mate, by my friend and colleague, Aleksandar Vacić.

Beautifully crafted, both from technical and design side, small, fast and (on top of everything else) very useful – Run Mate is real example how one mobile application should look like: it should follow all the standards of the underlying ecosystem (operating system), giving to end user maximum benefit for really, really affordable price.

If you are into any kind of walk recreation – running, jogging or just walk in different paces – this is the right application for you. Head to iPhone store, and follow updates on @runmate at Twitter; for any other details / support, here is main site:

IPhone close encounter – don’t like it

IPhone - Good, Bad and UglyI do not like Apple – consider them elitist company, with way too much hype about design and superiority of their products over any other similar products (implied: Microsoft ones) on the market.

However, geek in me have respect for any well crafted gadget / electronic device / software product, no matter who is manufacturer.

In the series of events (primarily caused by my friend Aleck 😉 ) I promised to my wife Maja nice present for her birthday: IPhone.

IPhone arrived couple hours ago; I tried to approach it completely open-minded.

Good – Look and Feel

This symbiotic phone / PDA is beautifully designed – simplicity and combination of materials has stunning effect on anyone who sees it / holds it. Screen is bright and clear; famous multi-touch navigation is intuitive and fast.

Default applications are good, and pleasant to use.

However, IPhone has a long, long way to go in order to be considered (in my opinion) as good business phone for daily usage:

Bad (ITunes)

Primary interface between IPhone and rest of your (mine) Windows based computer is ITunes: multi-mega (57 Mb) bloatware (with nice look of course):

  • It tries to hijack anything remotely close to multimedia on your computer
  • Synchronisation with Outlook (done with bloatware above) is seriously crippled: no Notes synchronisation and no To-Do list synchronisation
  • There is no way to directly access various elements in IPhone (Notes) if needed

Of course, you can find ways around Net to “overcome” obstacles: sending notes as mail to yourself, and reading/copy/paste on IPhone Notes, creating dummy contacts and passing notes in Note field in contacts etc. Would you do that with 50+ notes?

Data entry over screen can be a pain, especially if you have thick fingers; I believe that practice will do, but got annoyed in half hour of trying to enter some Notes.

Ugly – Missing Features

IPhone has NO To-Do lists; To-Do lists are crucial part of my daily GTD process; so, this alone would disqualify IPhone in my eyes; phone is item which is with you most of the time; being unable to enter tasks is big minus.

International support is lousy:

I was unable to enter some Serbian characters (less important) and IPhone itself is unable to recognize phone numbers in international format with country prefix; if you have number in contacts like:

+381 11 1111 1111 ( local format would be 011 1111 1111)

and if that number calls you, you will get just 011 1111 1111 on screen and no name recognised. Suggestions on Net (enter double record for each mobile: one with and one without prefix) are just suggestions 🙂 if you have 500+ contacts; my Nokia E61 does both things perfectly.

I understand that Apple just entered phone business and it is primarily oriented toward biggest, western speaking markets (USA) first; that time passed from launch is short; I also understand that if you want genuine well crafted and designed item and do not care too much for problems mentioned (which most of users don’t), IPhone is your best choice.

I am pretty sure that IPhone on phone market will surpass success of IPod at mp3 player market and that will be (pretty justified) most selling phone in history.

However, if you are like me, and you care about functionality as much (or even more) as for design, just wait; I believe that in year time, IPhone will be unbeatable tool for communication and business, and I am ready to wait that; for now, simply skip it – no good.