Archive for July, 2007

Impressive iPhone applications appearing

Friday, July 6th, 2007

It’s only been a week since release, and already a slew of impressive applications are available for the iPhone. One in particular caught my attention, Telekinesis. Here are the steps I used to test it out:

Open a terminal window, cd into your Desktop and type:

svn checkout telekinesis

assuming you have svn installed… if not, first go get the subversion
package here and install:

Now, you need to get the Sparkle framework… an open source package
that applications can use to manage checking for updates to their programs:

Unzip the contents into a folder named “external” on your Desktop.

Make sure you have xcode installed (free download from apple developer
connection), then with the Finder go into Desktop/telekinesis/Mac and
launch the xcode project. Choose Build and Go from the toolbar. It
should compile and run with no problems.

You’re done! It will ask you for a username and password that you
want to use, and to trust a self-signed certificate.

Now, connect to you Mac from Safari on your iPhone, or test it using
Safari on your Mac:


You can now browse the file system on your mac, view .pdfs, grab a
snapshot from the iSight camera, grab a screen shot of what is
currently on your screen, etc.

This is so cool! Congrats and thanks to the authors!

We are going to see some very impressive applications, heck it’s only
been a week since release. If enough momentum builds, the iPhone could
quickly become the defacto standard for mobile web applications, just like the iPod has for digital music.

Top 8 Things to setup on your new iPhone

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Just got that shiney new iPhone? Here are the top 8 things you should do to get things rolling:

  1. Subscribe to Plaxo. For me, I live in Mac OS X, but I have to work in Windows / Office. To do this, I utilize a virtualized instance of Windows / Office running in VMware on my Macbook Pro. Unfortunately, virtualized instances of operating systems usually have problems syncing phones using USB, and I already have iTunes installed is OS X; I really don’t want another instance installed on Windows.With Plaxo, you simply setup a sync points for places you want to synchronize. For example, I’ve installed the Plaxo client on Mac OS X, and on the virtualize Windows instance. Now, in Mac OS X whenever I add a contact in Address Book or an event in iCal, it automatically appears in Outlook running in Windows. Nice! You can also add sync points for other places, such as LinkedIn. Don’t forget to add to your Safari favorites for easy access to your information.
  2. Setup Google’s 411 service as a Phone Favorite. Google offers a FREE 411 service that can save you a lot of money. It utilizes advanced speech recognition which is especially useful while driving. Simply dial 1-800-GOOG-411, speak the name of the town, state, and business name. A list of possible matches will be read back to you. Say the number of the match that is correct, and they will automatically dial and connect you to that business! Sweet!Even better, say “Map It!” and you will receive an SMS messages with a Google Maps link that works with the Google Maps application on the iPhone. From there it’s easy to get turn by turn directions to the location and you can even check for current traffic conditions.
  3. Use Safari to manage your bookmarks. If like most users, even though Safari is an excellent browser, it still pales in comparison to Firefox. I now use Safari primarily to manage and organize my bookmarks for the iPhone as I would much rather type on a real keyboard instead of on the iPhone. For this to work, make sure in iTunes you have enabled synchronization of bookmarks under the Info tab.
  4. Synchronize using multiple computers. Many users have a home desktop machine where they store their iTunes music and videos, and a notebook computer that they use for work that stores their contacts, bookmarks, calendar, etc. With iTunes installed on each machine, it’s easy to pick the data each machine is responsible for keeping synced with the iPhone. On the desktop, pick the playlists and videos you want to sync, and on the notebook, pick the address book, calendar, and bookmarks you want synced. Problem solved!
  5. Keep two sets of bookmarks. As with any new device, the iPhone has some flaws. One of them being the choice of EDGE which is notably slower then newer 3G offerings. But, you can make your life using EDGE a bit snappier by being smart about how you browse the web. RSS feeds typically use less bandwidth then their full page counterparts. So, use the Safari bookmark manager to setup two sets of bookmarks: one for regular websites, and another for RSS feeds. Just like the Safari browser for Mac OS X and Windows, the iPhone Safari browser has a built-in RSS feed reader that pulls down feeds at lightening speeds. Plus, it’s sometimes easier to read the RSS feed on a small screen.
  6. Create a Wallpaper and iPhone album in iPhoto. If you have some pictures that you always want to have synchronized to the iPhone, setup dedicated albums for use with the iPhone. After adding your pictures to the album, use iTunes to select the album to synchronize with the iPhone.
  7. Setup an ebook email account. The iPhone doesn’t allow you to store files directly on the device except for those managed with iTunes. While you can drag and drop PDF files into iTunes, the files unfortunately won’t get synced to the iPhone.So, the next best thing is to email your ebook PDFs and Word documents as attachments to an email account that can be used with the iPhone. Free email accounts from Google and Yahoo offer lots of free space that will help you keep your library with you while on the go.
  8. Leverage free WiFi hotspots when possible. For places that you visit often, make sure to add any free WiFi hotspots that are available to your iPhone. With both EDGE and WiFi enabled, the iPhone will seamlessly utilize the faster WiFi signal when present and will default to EDGE when none are detected.