iPod nano page update disables Dashboard Mickey Mouse clock

Just about a year ago, shortly after Apple refreshed the iPod nano, Macworld discovered that you could use Safari’s Web Clipping feature to add a working Mickey Mouse clock to your OS X Dashboard. A year later, Apple has updated the iPod line again, taking the Dashboard clock with it.

This little trick worked because the Dashboard was pulling the clock face — generated with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a few images — from the iPod nano web page. The most recent updated removed the clock and pop! So it disappeared from Dashboards everywhere. Now I just see the image above.

So long, little Mickey! It was a fun year.

Thanks to SpotQueue

Big thanks to SpotQueue for sponsoring the site this week. SpotQueue lets you remotely control Spotify between iPads, iPhones and iPad touches via the free SpotQueue Remote app. Connect one iOS device to a stereo or set of powered speakers and use another to manage playlists, playback and more. No more walking across the room!

It’s pretty cool and gives you control over playlists, individual tracks and even entire albums. You can even re-arragnge your queue and create playlists on the fly. AirPlay is supported and my favorite feature lets you place a track inside an existing playlist with just two taps. It’s very convenient to be able to enjoy your work day or guests and manage the music all from the iPhone or iPod in your pocket.

SpotQueue is free and available in the App Store now.

A brief history of click wheel iPod games

Last week, Apple pulled its Texas Hold’em game from the App Store. Ten years after the first iPod game appeared as an Easter Egg on the original 5 GB iPod, Apple has all but stopped producing games for the music devices [2. Note: three games still ship with the iPod Classic: iQuiz, Klondike and Vortex. But none are distributed via iTunes any more.].

As of this writing, Apple has 17 iPod touch/iPhone titles in the App Store, and none of them are games. To think that the App Store we know today started with a nice collection of simple yet fun games for the click wheel iPods. Here’s a look at the history of Apple’s early iPod games, from Brick to Texas Hold’em and everything in between.

Continue reading →

iOS 5 makes a beautiful first impression

Here are a few screenshots from the iOS 5 setup procedure. New customers can initiate the process at home when they’re ready. There’s no indifferent, heavily-piereced carrier clerk to deal with, no Muzak-filled mall or long line.

What’s better is that it’s beautiful. That’s notable because most users will only ever see this once. Since most people don’t reminisce about the day the set up their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, Apple could have made something effective yet forgettable.

But that’s not how Apple does first impressions. That’s not why people record themselves opening boxes that contain Apple products. This attention to detail and respect for its customers is one of the reason I appreciate Apple so much.

The Beatles iPod

In 2008, Bloomingdale’s exclusively offered a classic 120GB iPod with the Beatles logo etched on the front and Abbey Road album art on the back. It came bundled with 13 original Beatles CDs, two masters, the “Love CD” and an engraved guitar pick. The whole lot shipped in a lovely case, and just 2,500 units are made.

Of course, back then you had to rip and sync all of those albums yourself to get their songs on your iPod. That should change today .[1. Change made.]

Shake to shuffle

One of the most annoying aspects of the iPod app on the iPhone and iPod touch is Shake to Shuffle. How it works is self-explanatory: shake your device and it starts playing a random song. The problem is that it’s enabled be default and always waiting for a shake.

There have been many occasions when I’d pick up my iPhone in the car, select a song and plop it down on the seat, only to have it interpret the plop as a shake and abandon the song I just selected.

Here’s how to turn it off. Open the iPod settings and toggle Shake to Shuffle off. Now you can plop your iPhone or iPod touch your heart’s content.