Laptop in the shop

Over the last few days the Bluetooth on my laptop has become progressively less reliable, to the point where, this morning the keyboard and mouse would work for two minutes before needing to be reset. So I got an appointment at the "Genius" bar at the Apple Store at lunchtime and had my worst fears confirmed. It's a hardware failure so they kept hold of it to replace the radio and the antenna.

I've not had the best of luck with the reliability of my main laptop with the last one needing to be repaired twice before I replaced it. Maybe I just use them too much but it does annoy me slightly that what is meant to be premium kit is quite so flakey.

Anyway, I have learned from previous experience and have a backup machine to use so it's not the end of the world. Things just take a little longer to do now. Roll on Friday when I can (hopefully) pick up the fixed computer.

New iPhone Finally

I got a call from a contact at the Carphone Warehouse today saying that they had a batch of phones in so I dashed up to Oxford Street to pick up one while they were still there. The process of the upgrade is still pretty slow, a huge form which takes (if my experience is anything to go by) over 15 minutes to get approved. No wonder there were serious queues last week. Anyway it all went through fine and I got my nice and shiny new iPhone.

The software of course is old news now that I've been using it for a week but the GPS and 3g speeds really make it come alive even more. I'm not sure how much this is rose tinted glasses but the new phone also seems slightly faster to respond for me as well.

I also picked up a set of the BodyGuardz protective film to go over the case of the phone. It works really well to protect what looks like a fairly easily scratched plastic backing to the phone, well worth the 30 minutes effort to get it stuck on neatly and without bubbles.

I already knew that the new phone didn't come with a dock unlike the first gen version, but I had assumed that the old dock would work with the new phone, not so, and I really used my dock a lot so I picked up a new version of that as well, which is a tad annoying. But so far that is the only annoyance, I'll be able to test the battery life over the next few days, but I don't anticipate that being a problem as I plugged in the phone every night anyway to pick up new podcasts for the next day.

Oh, and for all of the people who asked, the old phone has already been reserved by a friend so no hand me downs available here sorry!

iPhone updated

Tomorrow was always going to be fun with the new iPhone being released. Of course I'm going to get one (assuming the O2 store has any in stock after the debacle of earlier in the week), but to whet the whistle I've upgraded the firmware of my current phone to the 2.0 software (using Volkers tip to jump the download queue).

Boy is it good, the app store is very easy to use and there is already an amazing selection of apps to download. So far I've got the iPhone version of Evernote, the AIM client, Twitterific and of course Super Monkey Ball installed and they really do feel very professional.

I'm not convinced that the v2 hardware will actually be that much of an improvement, but you know me, I have to have the latest and greatest Apple hardware so I'll be queuing in the morning at the Surrey Quays shopping centre, there'll be more impressions then (or a couple of hours later once I've got activated).

Update: And I've just found out that if you hold down the Home Key and the Power button then it will take a screenshot of your iPhone. :-) Updated iPhone screenshot

BBC Shows on iTunes Music Store

Well this is interesting. The BBC have put some of their more popular shows onto the UK iTunes Music Store for paid download. Oddly I don't have any philosophical objections to paying to download shows I've missed, even if I have already paid my license fee. If it makes my life easier then that's fine. But there are a few problems with the current set up.

Firstly, at £1.89 per episode it is *way* too expensive. The equivalent shows in the US cost $1.99. With the current exchange rate that works out at £1.00. I could live with a pound a go, but almost two pounds takes it out of my price range.

The selection of shows on the ITMS (in the UK at least) is woefully small. If I'm going to get into this then I'd like there to be a fair chance that the show I want will be there, otherwise I'll continue with my current set up for catching up with missed programmes.

Finally, I believe that in the US, you can subscribe to a season rather than buying individual episodes of a programme. If, for example, I wanted to get season 3 of Lost, then I would much prefer it came down to me automatically after it got released rather than me having to go and actively buy it.

So what do you think? If you're in the UK will you be using the new service? And if you're across the pond, do you already use iTunes, or do you have some other route for getting your TV?

MacWorld

Steve Jobs keynote at MacWorld was as entertaining as ever (although I have to admit I was at the pub for the majority of it) the main announcement seems to have been the Macbook Air which is all very cool but costs an absolute fortune. I will be able to hold back and survive with my meaty Macbook Pro 17". In other announcements I have been able to "upgrade" from my jailbroken iPod Touch to the newly released and officially supported iPod Touch with mail, maps stocks etc. It costs £12 but in terms of being officially supported I would say it's a move well worth making. The upgrade even kept all of my old settings for mail which is pretty cool.

The rest of the announcements seem to be pretty minor. As Volker says the Apple TV changes are good for Americans but don't affect us Europeans and the iPhone updates make no difference to me as I am tied into a contract with a Nokia phone for quite some time yet.

All in all an interesting set of announcements but nothing earth shattering. But then we weren't expecting much more.