The maddening inconsistency of Mobile Safari’s URL autocomplete


If there’s one thing people want from a computer, it’s capriciousness. Let’s say I have a favorite site I visit every day that starts with a T. And so I begin typing its address into the URL field of mobile Safari. Tee…

What is this? T brings up a site that starts with W? Only the third word even has a T in it. And after that, ‘The’? ‘The’ ranks higher than a website that has two T’s in the name over a website that doesn’t even have a T in the URL? Keep in mind this is in a form field where URLs are entered. And the only website on this list that starts with a T is the fourth one down. Try that in landscape mode and you wouldn’t even know it’s there.

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How much bandwidth can an iPhone use?


Predicting that mobile video will only become more widespread in the future, I decided to keep my unlimited iPhone data plan, but how much data can I reasonably use in a month beyond the new AT&T data plans of 200MB and 2GB per month?

While reading Apple’s new app guidelines, I came across this gem:


  • Audio streaming content over a cellular network may not use more than 5MB over 5 minutes
  • Video streaming content over a cellular network longer than 10 minutes must use HTTP Live Streaming and include a baseline 64 kbps audio-only HTTP Live stream

So if listening to streaming audio, I have (1024MB x 2 per month used at 1MB per minute) a total of 34 hours of audio streaming, or over an hour a day just listening to the radio.

Video streaming at 64kbps (3.75MB/minute) yields nine hours of on-demand video a month, enough for four average-length films, or nearly all of Max Headroom.

Suddenly 2GB is starting to feel like a lot.

CORRECTION: Todd points out 64kbps is just the baseline audio-only stream, and doesn’t include video, which should be obvious to anyone who actually read the spec. That and Max Headroom isn’t available for Netflix streaming. Still, in a month, I was only able to use 1087MB, so 2GB isn’t what I thought it was, but it’s still quite a bit.

They’ve lost ‘Control’


I was glad to ditch PhoneFlixFlicks from my iPhone because of its crappy UI. Say I want to add Control, Anton Corbijn’s 2009 biopic of Ian Curtis. Well, PhoneFlicks gives me one result: it’s Control all right — a 2001 thriller with Sean Young.

Did you leave enough room for the ad, the header, and the keyboard? Oh shoot. We forgot to leave space for the search results! So I was excited to download the new Netflix app and finally get some Control. Only I get this:

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We’re gonna need a bigger phone


Nothing wrong with the Windows Phone 7 Phone Something Something OS, but I think they may have designed the titles for a bigger device.

Windows Phone 7

iPhone stop interrupting me when I’m on you


Dear iPhone & iPhone developers,

When I am talking on the iPhone — with the device pressed against my ear — I do not want to be disturbed, jolted, vibrated or alerted due the following:

  • newly arrived email
  • a timer finishing
  • calendar alerts

The biggest irritant is the timer — it will keep BLARING IN YOUR EAR until you tell the other person, “hold on, it’s my goddamn iPhone making that horrible racket” and click Cancel on the timer. But all the apps are guilty of this. Regardless of whether I’m across the room or with the iPhone held against my ear, Mail, Clock, and Calendar will alert me AT THE SAME VOLUME. If only there were some sort of sensor that was positioned directly on the iPhone itself that could detect that the device was pressed against an ear, and to — oh, I don’t know — HOLD OFF ITS SUPER-IMPORTANT ALERTS until such time as I’m not on the phone?

What, there already is? Has anyone told the developers at Apple yet?