Saturday, December 08, 2012

iPhone mini-linkfest


Just a quick post for some iPhone notes.

I finally got around to upgrading the default iPhone calendar app to Agenda Calendar. I liked the interface and layout views and that it was able to pull/sync from the default Reminders app that comes with the iPhone. I tweaked a few of the settings and what isn’t clearly evident from the app page is that there are quite a few alternative themes included if you don’t quite like the black/white look. It took me no-time at all to get up and going with the UI and at just a $0.99 price point, it is hard to go wrong.

I seriously considered both the Fantastical and the Calvetica Calendar apps before settling on Agenda. Fantastical really, really looked good I totally get the to-do view appointment layout. However according to the reviews this version didn’t sync with the iOS Reminders so that was a bit of a drawback. Calvetica is very nice looking and I love the bars-on-calendar visual for appointments but the price point was a bit steeper than I was willing to bite into.

Gmail - free - (Apple Store) - just got bumped to version 2.0 this week. This is a very refreshing update as it now supports multiple Gmail accounts in the same app. That was something I was wishing for. I like the UI and after using it less than a week find that it has become one of the most-used apps on my iPhone. Love it. Now I only wish it had a “unified” Inbox view option so you can see all your incoming messages in one place rather than having to tap a few times to switch between your different accounts. More reviews below:

About the same time, we also have a nice YouTube -free - (Apple Store) app update as well. I didn’t have any complaints about the first version but I see they have made some changes to the category pick and a few other things that might appeal to some.  No biggie either way to me. I enjoy using it pretty well. has a quick review and AddictiveTips blog goes into a more detailed review as well.  Don’t forget Vimeo for iPhone also has a new update (Vimeo - free - Apple Store) that works nicely.

I still haven’t read an iPhone 5 manual at all and I’m sure there are a lot of navigational and usage things that I’m missing out on. So until that time comes, I’m collecting and reading a lot of tips and trick posts from iPhone focus sites such as over at

Likewise, I’m liking the new iTunes 11 release but as ArsTechnica points out, it’s a bit of a handful to take it all in: iTunes 11 review: Simple is as simple does - Ars Technica

Finally, there are bunch of quality iPhone wallpapers out there if you know where to find them.  Because of the standard square icon size of the apps, depending on the number of apps you have you might not get as much of a chance to see the background as much as you wish…unless perhaps on your lock-screen. Accordingly I think subtle goes a longer way than bold and detailed images.  Here are some to pick though if you desire.

iPhone 5 Wallpaper Pack - John Carey is an amazing writer and photographer and his blog is a must-follow read for me. His iPhone wallpaper pack is hands-down the very best (IMHO) of graphical goodness for refined and sophisticated images for iPhone. I selected one from this collection on the same day I brought home my iPhone (and though tempted at times) still haven’t found anything to make me want to change it.

iPhone 5 Wallpapers - Tumblr. This Tumblr blog is filled with iPhone 5 specific wallpapers. It’s a great place to check in daily at for some great high-quality wallpapers.

iPhone 5 Wallpapers HD - Retina ready, stunning wallpapers. This is a great site as it not only has more than a ton of HD iPhone 5 ready wallpapers, but it also has some gadgets to make your own customized wallpapers in a few themes. Nicely categorized for easy navigation and searching. If you notice, each image has two smaller icons underneath, hover over the padlock and you will see a sample of what the image would look like on the “lock” screen. hover over the four-grouped-icons and you will see a sample of the background covered with app icons.  This is a super-nice touch assessing the visual appeal of the wallpaper on an actual phone.

20 Unusual Wallpapers For The iPhone 5 - noupe. Nice roundup of some a bit more non-traditional wallpapers.

The Shelf iPhone Wallpapers - - The standard iOS icon size and grid layout makes “shelf” wallpapers very appealing for some users. It’s not my thing but these are well done it it is yours.

iPhone 5 Internals Wallpaper - iFixit - These are simply brilliant and geeky! Wallpapers are in a perfect to-scale internal view of the iPhone components under the glass and a just-smaller-than-scale version to include a few more of the techy-bits if you want to see them.

Great iPhone 5 Wallpapers - - Nice collection of links to other wallpaper sites for iPhone.

Aperture Logos Modern Style (iPhone) - Damien Erambert - If you are a Portal fan, then you definitely need to consider these. Super fun for the “don’t eat the cake” fans!


--Claus Valca.

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