iComic for the iPhone 3G was released recently, and is available at the App store for 99 cents still. I just downloaded it, and after playing with it for a little while I’m really happy with the improvements. The navigation has completely changed, so when I first popped it open I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work.
First of all, “swipes” are recognized. If you’re viewing a full page, just swipe right or left to turn pages. A double tap will zoom in and out one level, to zoom further you’ll have to pinch. Once zoomed in you can navigate forward and backward by clicking on the left and right bottom corners. To get back to the main menu, just tap the top-left corner.
The reason this is a great update is because with the previous tapping method, I used to turn pages when I’d want to zoom or pan. Now I don’t have this problem, as zooming and panning works when it’s supposed to, and page turning works when it’s supposed to. Very nice.
With the popularity of manga, I thought there’d be tons of manga apps out there, but there isn’t. After searching for quite a while, I finally came across iComic v1.0 at the iTunes App Store by Y. Yamamoto. I guess this app originally was loadable (and probably still is) if you were working on a jailbroken iPhone. I’m not, so I downloaded the app for 99 cents. While the app is pretty simple to use, the English documentation is somewhat lacking, so I thought I’d provide an in-depth review.
I’ve had Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshu on my shelf for quite a while now, and only tried it a couple times. Recently, it’s been the only “game” I’ve been playing. It’s a very simple game, nothing special about the graphics or anything, but if you are looking for a solid DS game to practice studying kanji, this one is a good choice.
The reason I never used this game, was the difficulty for me. When you first set up the game, you input your name and age, and herein lies the catch. The level you start at depends on your age. If you put in your true age, and you are an adult, you get started at level 7, the highest. I have not studied for several years now, it was WAY TOO HARD. Recently I discovered, if you set your age to like 5 or zero in my case, you start off at level one.
Although I’ve only “played” a couple of the many kanji titles, this one would be my recommendation so far, online reviews seem to be pretty good too. At 4-1/2 stars on Amazon Japan, it is one of the highest rated kanji titles offered. For around 3000JPY, it’s a must have title in your kanji library.
After not using my Picturebook for quite a while, I recently learned about Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs, and decided to install it on my old Picturebook. With just the base operating system, and the majority of the Sony drivers uninstalled, the Picturebook is pretty responsive. It is much more usable than a normal XP install, but I have not tried XP Pro minus the extras, either. The only problem I am having currently is my Outlook will not access my work e-mail, I’ll have to troubleshoot that later. My next project will be to check out TinyXP, and if that works better, I’ll make my own “TinyXP” install with nLite.
Update: Outlook finally downloaded my e-mail, it seemed to be something wrong with the server and not my install.
Last week, the company Newsland, my replacement for Avantgo, was sold to eMedia Holding, and has temporarily shut its doors. There will be a new service scheduled for release in November, but I’m not holding my breath. It’ll probably be paid subscription or something, we’ll have to see.
Dear Newsland user!
Newsland team thanks you for using our mobile service. We would like
to inform you about recent developments in our company, which will
influence each of our users.
In September 2006 Newsland was sold to eMedia Holding. New
shareholders conducted global research of Internet and mobile device users and
decided to change the business concept of the company. Thus on
November the 1st 2006 the mobile device service will be closed. We
sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.
The launch of Newsland 2.0 alpha-version is expected on the 1st of
November 2006. Right after the launch we will send all our users a
special invitation to take simplified registration in our new service. We
will be glad to see you among Newsland 2.0 users.
Thank you for pleasant cooperation! Welcome to our news portal!
With kindest regards,
When I got my pda a couple years ago, I really liked using Avantgo to read the news on my bus ride into work. However, the Avantgo browser never supported VGA screens, so I ended up using the pocket IE plugin. This plugin actually worked much better than the normal application, as it was so much faster, light weight, and worked with my VGA screen. When I switched over to Windows Mobile 5, I was forced to use the normal Avantgo application. The fix to get it to work with my screen was to use an app that forced it to work in VGA. While it worked somewhat, some channels still did not display properly. At around the same time I was using Avantgo, I also found a great free RSS application called pRSSReader, which I really liked using. However, try to find a news source that aggregates full text articles, and you’re pretty much out of luck.
Shortly after I started using pRSSReader, I came across Newsland. Newsland functions like Avantgo, providing news sources with full text, including images. I feel that Newsland is almost the perfect solution for offline reading, because it works with WM5 and VGA, the advertising is not annoying, and it has a simple easy to use interface. The site boasts over 800 catagories, with more coming, however I would like to see more local content. I love reading the BBC news sources, but I really miss getting the Seattle Times and PI. The only other annoyance I have is when I’m listening to music, the music freezes for a split second while I click into some channels.
Since I discovered Newsland, I’ve completely forgotten about Avantgo. If you’re still using Avantgo, I would definately recommend switching over to Newsland. If they continue to grow their channel selection, it’ll be the perfect solution to your offline newsreading needs.
I liked using Picasa as a photo suite on my Dell. It was fast, had a lot of functionality, and was free. Since I switched back to my C1 PictureBook I tried to install Picasa on it, but Picasa does not like the PictureBook. For the most part Picasa works fine, however the interface does not display properly; all of the icons and scroll bars display as pixilated blue-ish tint. I’ve posted to a C1 forum, so we’ll see if I get any replies.