I recently signed up for the Square service to accept credit cards on my iPhone. They have two different ways of charging fees: 2.75% per transaction when you swipe the card using their reader or 3.5% + %0.15 per transaction if you enter the card number manually. Since I've already written mobile fee calculators for both PayPal and Etsy, I decided to use the same code and make one for Square. All 3 are designed to fit perfectly on an iPhone screen and since they are very lightweight, they run pretty quick. If you use any of these services, these calculators will come in very handy!
I wanted to hold off writing my review of my new phone because I wanted to spend a week with it and learn all about it. I got the HTC EVO 4G on launch day and I immediately fell in love with it. I'm not the only one either, because I ended up ordering my wife one 2 days later.
So far the phone is amazing. Yes, I will admit that there is a bit of a battery life issue, but with a screen this size and the fact that you're going to spend every extra second playing with the damn thing, you're going to burn through some battery. You can get 2 spare batteries and a charger on eBay for about $11, so it's no big deal to carry an extra in your pocket.
Android and HTC Sense are amazing. With the 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, everything runs like a bat out of hell. In fact, I can't say anything bad about the software on this phone. It's very intuitive to use and you pick things up very quickly. It took me all of 3 days to figure everything out, but I'm an experienced user. When it only took my wife the same time to figure the phone out, I knew it wasn't just me. The phone is that easy to use.
My wife told me "I've never been excited about a cell phone before, but I am out this". I feel the same way. Going from the Treo Pro to this is like going from a Yugo to a Ferrari. It's that good. The camera puts out some excellent pictures and now that Qik is up and running, the video calls are really good. I've also tested video calling on Fring with my friend Jef and it seems to work great too. Everything on this phone is snappy and beautiful. From what I've seen about the specs on the new iPhone 4, the EVO 4G should kick it's ass in everything except resolution.
If you're on the fence about getting an EVO, I'd say go for it. You won't be disappointed.
Short version: Vonage Mobile + iPhone = WIN!
A few weeks back I received an iPhone 2G as a gift. My wife and I had originally bought it for my father-in-law when the iPhone first came out. He lives in Toronto and had the phone jailbroken so he could use it on Rogers' cell network up in Canada. Somehow or another the phone's firmware got updated which killed the jailbreak on the phone and he could no longer use it on the Rogers network. Well, not being a very technical guy, he thought he broke the phone. He went out and got himself a brand new iPhone 3G S and gave the 2G to me.
He knew that I would figure out a way to get it working again and he was right. After I figured out what happened to the phone to begin with, I simply upgraded to the 3.0 firmware and jailbroke the phone. Well, I don't have AT&T. In fact, I'm a Sprint customer, so I can't use it as my cell phone. Once I hacktivated the phone, I went ahead and started using it as another iPod Touch. My 2nd Gen iPod Touch is only 8GB and this one is 16, so I loaded it up with music and put it in the car (my car's radio has an iPod cable). Well, I really like the iPhone and was trying to figure out a way that I can use this thing to make calls. There's tons of VoIP apps out there, but none of them gave me the clarity I was looking for. I even tried using the Skype app and while I sounded great to the person I was calling, they sounded like crap to me. Enter Vonage Mobile.
I've been seeing commercials for Vonage Mobile for a few weeks now. It talks about how low it's international rates are and I got to wondering how it would work for domestic calls. The info in the app store said nothing of domestic calls, so I downloaded it anyway to give it a shot.
Setup was simple. When asked for my iPhone's phone number, I entered my Google Voice number. It called that number to verify and it simply went to my Treo Pro. Once everything was up and running, I made some test calls to my wife and best friend. The sound quality was amazing on both ends and best of all, domestic calls are FREE! Granted, I can't use this thing as a "real" cell phone because Vonage only works over WiFi, but when I want to call someone that I don't want to have my cell number I can use the iPhone so they get my Google Voice number. It'll also come in handy when I'm charging my Treo Pro or something. I'll figure out a way to use it pretty often.
One thing that is cool about this is if you have the cheapest plan that AT&T offers for your iPhone, you can use Vonage to make your phone calls while you're at home or around a hotspot and NOT eat up your minutes! I don't think that Vonage is advertising that you can make free domestic calls from their app, so I just thought I'd pass the info along!
Also, if setting up QoS after you do this, the ports are 5060-5062.
Wow... 2 posts in 1 day. This is almost unheard of for me! This past weekend I picked up a Samsung Instinct. It's a really cool phone with all kinds of cool little gadgets, but if you just go plugging it in, it won't work as a modem. I've figured out a little way around that.
First, you'll notice that when you plug your phone in using the USB cable, it turns off the phone completely and accesses the SD card in the phone. A simple way around this is to just remove the card. Easy, right? Now you're going to need to change a setting in the phone. You're going to type ##DEBUGMENU# on your keypad (##332846368# for those of you that can't spell). You'll need your MSL next. You can normally get this by asking the person at your local Sprint store very nicely. It'll be a 6 digit number that you'll type in and it'll bring you to a menu. Go to "Toggle NAI" and Toggle modem off. Yes, I said turn it off. Trust me, this is the only way it's going to work. Once you've got all of that done, create a new Dial-up Networking Connection using your Samsung modem. Leave the Username and Password blank and use #777 as your dialup number. That's it! Pretty simple, eh?
I'm still working out some bugs with this. The connection doesn't stay up very long, but it will auto-redial, so it doesn't go down for long. I'm getting about 1.5 Megabit down and 256k up, so it's not blindingly fast, but it works. Hell, as I write this, I'm sitting in at the bar drinking a beer. And yes, I'm using my new Samsung Instinct as a modem to do it.
BEWARE! According to Sprint, even though you have an unlimited data plan, you still have to pay for a PAM plan. I'm not doing this currently as I'm only testing out the functionality. I suggest that if you want to use your Instinct as a modem, you buy a plan with Sprint.