Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's on iTap?

My cellphone -- hardly the latest model -- knows a lot about my beer-drinking habits.

It usually takes me awhile to adopt new technology, even though I work in a technical field. First CD player: 1995. First laptop: 2005. Maybe by 2015 I'll get my computer's MP3s and my daughter's ipod tunes hooked up to the stereo.

So instead of using a cellphone that has a qwerty keyboard or touchscreen, I still use my 10-digit phone keypad for any text messaging, live-blogging, or twittering I need to do. As a result, the iTap predictive text system on my phone now shares my beer obsession. When you enter a word that's not in its dictionary, it silently remembers it. Now it offers to complete a lot of beer-related words for me after just a few keystrokes:

  • bar: barleywine
  • des : deschutes
  • hopw : hopworks
  • laur : laurelwood
  • nink: ninkasi
  • grow : growler
  • higgi: higgins
  • lupul : lupulin
The phone has a great memory for beer, but never seems to predict the right word for simple things like go vs. in or on vs. no. My phone has become my drinking buddy, but I probably shouldn't count on it to loan me any money or remind me about birthdays or romantic holidays.

Speaking of twittering, Steve Novick's robotic minion is still roaming the internet, even though last year's U.S. Senate primary is long in the past. I accidentally discovered that if I put his name in a blog post, the robot tweets a link to the post (Update: the robot's tweet for this very post beat my own Twitterfeed announcement). Very useful for the 36 diehard followers that haven't given up hope that he may yet defeat that hot-dog chomping Jeff Merkley. Go Steve!


  1. O man, and here I thought, after seeing your tweet, that iTap was going to be that sweet new app for my iPhone that would update me on all the taps at Portland pubs. Curses!

  2. "My phone has become my drinking buddy, but I probably shouldn't count on it to loan me any money or remind me about birthdays or romantic holidays."

    Sounds like I've been replaced...I hope you and your phone are happy together. Just for the record, I never loaned you money or reminded you about birthdays; the only time I brought up a romantic holiday was when we were out drinking on Valentine's Day. We made such a cute couple, too. Good luck taking a cellphone self-portrait of the two of you over a round of beers.

  3. Jeff: the taplister boys are at work on that very app as we speak. I just hope they remember to have a text-message interface for slowpokes like me.

    Aw Dave, I can have more than one drinking buddy. Plus, I'll need you and your phone to take pictures of me and my phone.


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