Obligatory 2009 Weight Loss Post

I was reading a recent article on Gwyneth Paltrow’s post-holiday “cleanse” (don’t judge me) and it got me thinking about how awful a fast/cleanse sounds BUT how much I’d love to eat better/lose weight/work out more/live right.

So I’ve decided to take some action – in fact I’m already on a kick of working out and eating healthier – but I need some help in tracking my intake/outtake.

I’ve narrowed my choices down to a few iPhone apps, since I always have that device on me when I work out. I’d prefer something that synchs with a desktop or web interface because I like charting and planning when I’m not actively on a machine. Plus, data entry on the iPhone can be a chore.

I’m not averse to paying a one-time fee of as much as $10, but I need your help. Comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

Here’s the first-pass list. Help me make my decision:

I’ve used web-based systems for the Atlanta Challenge and I’ll use another for the upcoming Turner Fit Trip, but I’m looking for something personal that I can continue to utilize year-round.

I’m a firm believer that folks who weigh themselves regularly (daily) tend to keep off the pounds and even lose weight. My non-scientific, anecdotal data suggests that when I incorporate a morning scale stop in my routine I do well, when I don’t I gain weight.

So I’m already keeping an analog record of my daily (morning) weight in my moleskine, but I’d like more.

So, have at it. I’m open to any suggestions, up to and including The Biggest Loser Club (my Mom intrigued me enough with her fandom to watch tonight’s premiere) and I dig the show’s Body Buggs, but I wonder if I could get something similar from an iPhone app?

Anyhow, if you’ve got a system or application or site or method, please share it. I’ve got the motivation and the means, I just need a shiny toy to do the recording. 😉

iPhoning it in

So now that I’m deep into month two of the iPhone I thought I’d give you an idea of what I really like and dislike about the device, especially as a gaming platform.

Here’s the clear winner in my hands: reMovem free:

Too much time in my hands

Let it be known that of all the software – especially games – that I’ve downloaded for the iPhone thus far, I’ve spent a grand total of nothing.

That’s right:
Zero.
Zip.
Zilch.
Nada.

What do I have to show for it? By my count, 15 free games and a few, meaningless, goofy, game-like apps.

Obviously, having played (now) over 1,000 games of reMovem, it’s my clear favorite and a good candidate: brief, easy, straight-forward. It’s the ultimate casual game for iPhone: little ventured, less gained or lost (except time).

Here are the other games that are currently eating up my free (and not-so-free) time, all for free:

  • Fuzzle
  • Fantastic, colorful, easy-to-learn/play game. A real puzzler.

  • Tris
  • No longer available, but a great Tetris clone for the iPhone.

  • Brain Tuner
  • Not quite Brain Age, but the iPhone isn’t a DS. Plus, it’s FREE!

  • Puzzloop Free
  • Like Zuma or Bubble Bobble, complete with all the happy sound effects.

  • CannonGame
  • Based on the Discovery Channel show Future Weapons, an iPhone version of their flash website game.

    GREAT Marketing idea!

So there’s my “Top 6” list of the moment.

I may soon drop some cash – just a buck – to buy some nostalgia in the form of an LED Football game.

I’m also waiting on a super-secret game to be released, but I’m bound not to say anything about it. Yet.

Happy iPhone Gaming!

My iPhone gripes

So I’m barely a week into the iPhone 3g and already I’ve got to grouse. It should be expecteed though, given the massive amount of hype I’d been exposed to and the near-total anticipation.

Here’s a list, big and small, of all the things that are less than stellar on the new phone.

  • Speakerphone sucks
  • I’d heard the 3g had an improved speakerphone, which is either clever marketing, an outright lie or both. Since the speaker and microphone are uni-directional and seated at the bottom of the device unless I’m pointing the butt end of the phone at my head you sound to me like you’re trapped in a well.

    I’ll have Timmy send Lassie for help.

  • No save state for games and some third-party apps
  • Hitting home can be a real pain if you were playing a game or doing a specialized task on an app. So far only a few apps (mail and maps, I think) will actually keep connecting or up/downloading after you’ve hit the home button.

    Pity if you thought you were ever getting back to that game of JawBreaker.

  • Cover Flow blows if you don’t have the album art
  • I may be an outlier here but only about 5% of the albums that have album art (and I’m still at only around 85% there) is making it to the iPhone, rendering the Cover Flow feature of the iPod functionality nearly useless.

    I’ve synched (I really want to say “sank” or “sunk” here) thrice and restarted to no avail. Anyone have a tip or two on getting album art into iTunes and then making sure that art synchs with the phone?

  • No batch-uploading Flickr apps
  • Flickr’s mobile interface won’t let me upload via Safari.
    Exposure will view but not post photos.
    Shozu is a Swiss Army knife when all I need is the toothpick.
    iPhlickr won’t upload and, let’s be honest, has a douchey name.

    I can upload via email but I’ve heard there are scaling issues.

    For now I’ve settled on Klick but I’d still like the ability to make a set, manage photos and batch upload all through the phone. Where are you, official Flickr app?

  • All the ringtones, even the ones I’ve made with iRinger, are way too soft
  • I might never actually here this phone ring, just feel the vibration. Pretty terrible considering it’s a phone first.

    Don’t even get me started on the double standard Apple has for Window and Mac users, letting Mac folks create their ringtones gratis and charging $0.99 for PC users.

Lastly, here’s how clueless marketers (and I’m indicting myself here) can be. Below is an email I received over the weekend promising the moon if only I’d switch to AT&T.

Purchasing a list without scrubbing it against current users/subscribers gets you a huge FAIL! Thanks for offering me service to which I already subscribe, AT&T!

Switch to AT&T, get up to $375 cash back

—————————————–

GET THE SERVICES YOU NEED AND UP TO $375 CASH BACK.

Why settle for a second-rate provider when you can have AT&T? We have
the services you already use everyday, at prices that can save you
money.

Plus, it really pays to switch to AT&T—you can get up to $375 cash
back when you sign up. Click on the following link to learn how:

http://www.bellsouth-info.com/winback/welcome4/?14F4G12JBDG

We would love to have you as our customer.

Best regards,

Your friends at AT&T

=========================================

UPDATE: I got my album art to synch but only by deleting ALL music from the iPhone and just starting over. FAIL.

I neglected to mention one other gripe I had: charging the phone. I HATE that Apple decided to use USB mostly because I have a ton of FireWire chargers for the old (3rd gen) iPod.

So I purchased a new USB car charger @ Target AND a new FM transmitter (both from Griffin), the only problem is that the FM transmitter won’t work with iPhone despite being totally compatible with the charger which WILL work with the iPhone.

Argh!

The daisy-chain of devices and accoutrements that accessorize this damn thing are as numerous as the apps.

Oh, and if you’re one of the folks who would like cut-and-paste functionality (another one I missed), see Ironic Sans.