2:48AM iPhone App update

Posted by Mark

An update for the 2:48AM iPhone App is now available in the app store. In this version I added the Bazaar Magazine category to the app so now you can read the magazine on your iPhone. Bazaar have also added a full RSS feed to their site so you can now add them to your feeds. I think I like the direction this app is going where I’m trying to get a variety of local entertainment in one app. If you have a suggestion that would fit leave a comment below. Next update will be for the Kuwait Blogs app. [Link]

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Alice in Wonderland for the iPad

Posted by Mark

Goodbye Kindle, goodbye Nook and goodbye Sony Readers. [YouTube]

It’s available now in the App Store for $8.99 [Link]

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iMaxi iPad Case

Posted by Mark

And the award for the worst designed iPad case goes to [Link]

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Are you getting an iPad?

Posted by Mark

Now that the initial hype of the iPad has died down a bit I’ve been trying to figure out where and how I would use the iPad and I haven’t really come up with an answer. The iPad works with WiFi meaning for me I can only use it at home or at work. I don’t go and hangout at coffee shops so it wouldn’t matter if I can get WiFi elsewhere.

At the office I barely have time to scratch my head and I’m sitting in front of a pretty 15″ MacBook Pro so the iPad wouldn’t serve a purpose there. I also don’t want to carry the iPad along with my Blackberry and iPhone to work everyday.

At home I’ve got access to three computers, my MacBook, my G5 PowerMac and my MSI Wind (also running OS X). Where would I fit the iPad? The minute I get home from work I get on my MacBook and start work on my blog until I’m tired and go to sleep.

The only place I thought the iPad fit nicely was in bed. Its lighter than a laptop, easier to hold and felt cozier in bed. But again what would I use it for? By the time I get to bed I would have already spent around 15 hours of my day online on a computer so what reason would I have to get on my iPad at the end of that?

What about traveling? I continue to blog when I travel and so I would need a laptop with me. An iPad wouldn’t work for me, I need an Ethernet port for hotels that don’t have wifi, I need a USB port to connect my camera to and I need Photoshop to be able to resize, retouch and compress images so I could post them. I can’t trust the iPad for all of that, its like trying to go off-roading in a Corolla. For in-flight entertainment I’ve got my amazing Archos 7 which has a 160GB hard drive and can play practically any video format you throw at it. It also has an amazing battery life that lasts over 10 hours AND I can get an extra battery for extra long trips. So really the iPad doesn’t fit in my travel plans as well. Even if I wanted to travel light I could always take my tiny MSI Wind.

So will I get an iPad? Yeah of course, even though I don’t have a use for one its still an incredible need to have device and I need to have everything thats this cool. I’m sure as the iPad matures and more people develop applications for it I’ll find a use for it in my life.

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Poor Macs

Posted by Mark

I was on my way to lunch when I spotted a bunch of Macs in the trash. If I had extra space at home I would have taken them all home with me but alas, they’re destined to the trash.

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Info for iPad users in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

For those of you considering getting an iPad here in Kuwait here is a helpful tip. The App Store, one of the most crucial parts of the iPad experience doesn’t work with your Kuwaiti credit card. There isn’t a Kuwait iPad store yet just a US one and you won’t be able to access the US one from your iPad unless you have a US account.

If you’re like me and don’t have a US based credit card then you need to do the following:

Open iTunes on your computer. By default it should load the Kuwait store. Scroll down to the bottom of the store and click the Kuwait flag on the right. Then choose the US flag on the next screen, that will take you to the US store. Now you need to create a new US iTunes account. For your address enter a US mailing address like your Shop&Ship address. When they ask you for credit card choose none. This will allow you to download free apps from the US app store without a problem. If you want to purchase apps from the US app store then you need to purchase an iTunes gift card from [Here]. They will mail you the code instantly. Once you get the code go to the US iTunes store and choose to redeem your gift card. Again for credit card choose none. You will now end up creating a US iTunes account with some cash in it. (Check step by step instructions below)

On your iPad when you launch the App Store it will automatically take you to the Kuwait store and then quit giving you an error that the Kuwait store doesn’t exist. What you need to do is log in to your US iTunes account which you just created above. To do that go to Settings and then Store and log in from there. Once logged in you will get a message saying you can only use this account to purchase apps from the US store. Click ok, then exit to the main screen and click on App Store and it should launch now without any issue and log you in directly to the US store.

With the above trick I was able to purchase and download apps and books from the App Store including for example the My Blackboard app pictured above.

The only thing I wasn’t able to do was stream TV shows from the ABC App but that can easily be solved with a VPN (completely different story). If you have any questions post it below and I’ll try my best to answer it.

Update: Here is a step by step walk-through…

1) Go to maximuscards.com and purchase an iTunes card
2) Open up iTunes and go to the iTunes store
3) Make sure you’re not signed in to your Kuwait account
4) Scroll to the bottom of the store and make sure the US flag is showing on the bottom right. If its not click the flag and choose US.
5) On the bottom of the iTunes store you will find a bunch of text links
6) Click on “Redeem”
7) Copy and paste the code Maximus Cards emailed you
8) Then choose create new account and follow the instructions (enter a US address)
9) When it comes to payment options there should now be an option called “none”, click that
10) Continue till the end and you should end up with a US account without having to use a credit card

When you run out of credits in your account you need to follow steps 1 to 7 and then for step 8 sign in the account you previously created. Below are screenshots showing the steps above.

Now if you aren’t interested in purchasing anything from the US app store but instead just want to download free apps that aren’t available in the Kuwait store (like CNN, Amazon and eBay) you can follow the steps below:

1) Make sure you’re not signed in to your Kuwait account
2) Scroll to the bottom of the store and make sure the US flag is showing on the bottom right. If its not click the flag and choose US.
3) Buy any free iPhone or iPad app from the US store
4) When you are asked to login create a new account
5) Enter a US address and choose “None” for payment method

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First iPad in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Just got hold of an iPad from X-Cite to review and check out. It just arrived from the States and it’s one of the first iPads in Kuwait. So far my first impression is that the iPad looks even cooler than the pictures, it’s really an incredible device I love it, the screen is amazing, better than the screen of my MacBook which I’m currently typing on. X-Cite just got a small batch of iPads today and they’re on display at their Avenues X-Cite branch so you can go and try them out.

I’m going to play around with my review unit for a bit more and post some more details later today. I’m curious to see if I’ll be able to buy books from the iTunes store.

X-Cite are getting the 16GB iPad with WiFi and the price is KD299. If you want to pre-order an iPad you need to leave a KD50 deposit and you can only book one unit since quantities are limited. It’s first come first served. You can only pre-order the iPad from the Avenues X-Cite branch starting at 7PM today. The earlier you book, the higher the chance you get your iPad in one of their next shipments. As an added bonus, if you mention my blog when booking you will get a free flash drive. If you want to play with an iPad pass by the Avenues X-Cite branch after 7PM today since that’s when they will go on display.

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Kuwait Blogs Top Free iPhone App

Posted by Mark

A reader emailed me to tell me that he spotted the Kuwait Blogs app ranked as #1 today in the top free app list in the Kuwait iTunes store. So I checked it from my iPhone and there it was right at the top. I thought that was pretty cool specially with strong competition like the newly released Marina FM app.

Some of you have also emailed me regarding a bug in the app when checking the Some Contrast blog, it crashes the app. It seems there is a post on the Some Contrast blog that is causing the crash so its just a temporary issue that should get solved once his post leaves his RSS feed. Other than that a few of you mentioned that fact that some images aren’t loading. The reason for that I am guessing is that you’re on a 3G or Edge connection and the blog you’re checking hasn’t resized or compressed their picture properly so the app is taking time downloading the image to display it. Again there is very little I can do about that since the app will just load whatever image the blogger has on his blog no matter the size.

Finally, I should be updating the app sometime next week with a couple of new blogs and a few minor graphical glitches which I will be fixing. Will post another update once I do. If you haven’t already downloaded the app here is the [Link]

Update: The SomeContrast bug is now fixed since the post causing the crash has left his RSS feed.

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The Kuwait Blogs iPhone App

Posted by Mark

This is the second app that I’m releasing for the iPhone and one that should be very useful to many, its the Kuwait Blogs app. I’ve taken all of my favorite blogs and placed them in one app which is very convenient and practical. I will still be adding more blogs in the next update but for now these are the blogs that are included in the app:

360 Dewan
4th Ring Road
Some Contrast
Tidbit du Jour

I would have added more blogs but it was very time consuming trying to create an icon, header, footer and color scheme for every blog so that it matches their actual blog theme. So if you’re not in this first release I’m sorry but you might be in the next update.

For the Kuwait Blogs icon and launch screen I wanted to use a picture that represented Kuwait but didn’t want anything cliche like the Kuwait Towers or flag so I ended up going with an abstract shot of the Ice Skating Rink which I had taken a few years ago for Miskan. I love the design of the Ice Skating Rink and thought it would represent Kuwait very nicely.

To install the app search for Kuwait Blogs in the App Store on your iPhone or install it into iTunes by click this [Link]

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The 2:48AM iPhone App

Posted by Mark

It took a lot of my time but I finally finished my very own iPhone app. I actually launched it last week on my twitter page but I didn’t officially announce it since I wanted to get some feedback and fix any bugs that I might have missed first. Good thing I did since I spotted a silly bug the first day it got released and quickly released a version 1.1 update a couple of days later. Now the version has gone up to 1.2 and I’ve been able to introduce a few nifty features which I felt helped round off the app and make it launch worthy.

Originally when I went about creating the app I didn’t know what the use would be. Already the blog was very viewable on the iPhone because of a plug-in I had installed that formatted the site to work perfectly on the iPhone so if my app did the same thing it would be useless. I kept thinking about what else I could do and bit by bit I started adding stuff to it that made it more useful. Here are the things you can currently do with my iPhone app:

- Check my latest posts
- Check the latest comments on my blog
- Check the latest posts in the forum
- Check my twitter
- Check my YouTube channel
- Check latest posts on Safat
- Check latest Kuwait news from Arab Times
- Check the weather via the Kuwait Meteorological Center (contains more details than the default iPhone weather app)
and my favorite…
- Get the latest traffic updates via #q8traffic on Twitter

These are just the features I have currently but hopefully will be adding more stuff down the line. If you want to download the iPhone app search for 248AM in the app store or click the following [Link]

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