Is your iPhone Haunted? You might just have cheap headphones!

Siri is HauntedLast evening, while I was sitting at home, using my iPhone 4S, the strangest things started happening…

First, music suddenly started playing, with no prompting from me at all. A few minutes later, Siri activated itself (herself?), even though I hadn’t pushed the home button at all. In the case of this second occurrence, it did happen while I was moving around, so I thought maybe it was because of Siri’s “Raise to Speak” function. Just to be sure, I turned that feature off before going back to what I was doing (I almost never use Siri in that manner, and I have heard that leaving that option turned off will save some battery life anyway). In spite of this, Siri activated again a few minutes later, followed by the music again. Puzzled, I turned to Twitter for answers, but none came. Thinking it over, however, and paying close attention to what was going on when it happened, I finally realized what was the cause.

It was my bargain-store headphones that were to blame!

I was listening to podcasts using a pair of headphones that I had bought at Five Below for five bucks (I can’t hardly stand the Apple earbuds, because they hurt my ears, and I haven’t gotten around to getting a decent substitute). Not being the highest-quality headphones on the market, they have a habit of producing a bit of static when the cable is turned just so. Apparently, this static was occasionally just the right frequency or what have you to be interpreted by the iPhone as the signal that it would “see” from the Apple earbud’s in-line remote. Sometimes a short click, which would start the music playing, and sometimes a longer click, which would activate Siri. In short, if you think your iPhone may be haunted, first make sure you’re not using sub-standard equipment.

I hope you found this helpful, and I hope you will come back again soon.


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iPad to Get a Weather App in iOS 5?


Many speculations have been tossed around as to what features iOS 5 will bringing when it is announced at WWDC next week, but I have one idea that I haven’t heard anywhere else that I think is a possibility, if not a probability.

I believe that apple could be bringing some of the apps that are on the stock iPhone over to the iPad, starting with the Weather app. My reason for this belief? Unbeknownst to me, it appears that the iPhone’s Weather app is a universal app. The graphics are not optimized for the iPad, but it is full-screen on the iPad (not 2x mode like standard iPhone apps). See the screenshot below:


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A Bookshelf for Your Home Screen!

Like the Bookshelf background in iBooks? I did, and I wanted it for my Home Screen. I took a screenshot of the bookshelf while iBooks was loading, played around with it a bit in Photoshop, and this is what I came up with:

The Home Screen icons & their labels neatly fit on each of the shelves, with the dock icons in front of the bottom part. If you use it and like it, be sure to leave a comment!

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iPhone Attitude and Extra Life!

For any of you out there who haven’t heard of it, Extra Life is a fund-raising event sponsored by Sarcastic wherein gamers sign up to play games for 24 hours, with donors sponsoring said gamers for a set amount for each hour played, or donating a given fixed amount no matter what. All proceeds from this event go to benefit the Texas Childrens Hospital and their fight against pediatric cancer. This is my second year to participate in Extra Life, and I plan to participate in a way which is quite different from last year. Last year, I spent 24 hours gaming on my Xbox 360, but this year, I plan to spend the entire 24 hours playing iPhone games, and I plan to stream my gaming session online. (Streaming details to be forthcoming, as I will have to nail down the details.)

If you are the developer of an iPhone game and would like to have your game featured during this marathon, please contact me via email and let me know. In addition, if you would be interested in supplying promo codes for your game to be given away during the stream to those who show up to watch, please contact me regarding that as well.

My personal site for Extra Life is located here, and the iPhone Attitude team site is located here.

This year’s Extra Life takes place on October 17th, 2009, and I look forward to chatting with you all while I play.

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You got GameStop in my App Store!

With the release of iPhone OS 3.0, Apple has issued new iTunes Store Terms & Conditions, and one section in particular has me intrigued:


By pre-ordering Products, you are authorizing the iTunes Store to automatically charge your account and download the product when it becomes available. You may cancel your pre-order prior to the time the item becomes available, by going to your Account page and clicking Manage Pre-Orders on your computer, or in the downloads section on your iPod touch or iPhone. Pre-orders purchased from your computer can only be managed and downloaded on your computer.”

Could it be that we’ll soon have virtual cashiers asking us if we want to pre-order the latest app every time we download something from the App Store?

Seriously, though, with in-app purchasing now available in OS 3.0, could we start seeing pre-order incentives for the latest iPhone games? Pre-order the latest Tower Defense game and receive an exclusive tower or free level? Pre-order the latest racing game and receive an exclusive additional car or track? The possibility is there, and I have to say that I think it could be interesting to see where it goes.

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Google Brings Product Search to Android and iPhone

According to InformationWeek, Google is bringing its Product Search feature to the Android operating system and Apple’s iPhone platform.

Google Product Search allows users to get detailed information about a wide range of consumer products, from ant farms and audio receivers to zebraskin wallpaper and iPhone cases.

According to a post on Google’s mobile blog, “Google Product Search for mobile gives you the same product information that you would get at your computer. And when you click on products like electronics and video games, you’ll see dedicated product pages that include ratings charts and technical specifications.”

Some speculate that the simultaneous release on Android and iPhone could signal a change in Google’s strategy, as previous features had often been released on Apple’s iPhone first, before being rolled out to Android users as well. My take? Google wants to support Android, being their “baby” and all, but in the end, they will go where the money is. As long as the iPhone continues to be a thriving market, Google will continue to support it.

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Apple’s App Store Reaches Over One Billion Downloads in Just Nine Months!

In just nine months, users have downloaded more than one billion apps from Apple’s App Store. The Android and Windows Mobile online stores have quite a legacy to live up to. Congratulations, Apple, and here’s to hitting the ten billion mark in January, 2015! (Assuming the download rate stays the same, of course.)

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