One of my favorite iPhone applications is MyWebClip from forYou inc. It’s a bookmarklet aggregator as well as a quick dial application. It’s a very nice way to link to frequently used web applications and I find it a lot easier having them all categorized in one place without having to dig through my screens for a specific icon. It’s nice knowing all web applications are in one place. I find it fast and very well written to act just like another screen of icons on your iPhone. It gives me quick access to my home automation whic his web based, full screen weather maps from weather underground, google reader etc… You manage it just like the regular iPhone application icons by touching and hold to bring up the X to delete items and you can add items by URL or by browsing and then adding like a bookmark to create an icon. I have very few applications I use multiple times a day and this is one that I wouldn’t want to live without.
I got an upgrade today that had a few nice new features:
While I haven’t had much trouble with any bugs or crashes it’s nice to see them keeping up with some updates. I was happy to get the update but I was disappointed to see a 17+ rating on this application when I installed it. I would guess this is due to the application being able to access the web from inside of it but this is no different than safari which ships with every iPhone. Should we restrict iTouch and iPhones to anyone over 17 due to them shipping with Safari? There have been countless articles about the idiotic and inconsistent ratings of the AppStore but this is the first one I had personally experienced vs just reading about it so I thought it was worth a mention. This application should be rated general for everyone and I feel like it got a bum rap with an adult rating.
I love my Griffin Clarifi, I’ve got about 8 iPhone cases and it’s by far my favorite one but I’ve recently acquired an inCase Power Slider so I removed my Clarifi for the first time in several months to put my iPhone into the Power Slider and I was disappointed to see that the Clarifi and given my iPhone a nice set of scratches.
You can see to the left of the lens in this picture (click for a bigger size) that the macro lens on the Clarifi sliding back and forth has put a nice set of scratches on my iPhone. I’m sure that the Clarifi on a clean phone is fine and doesn’t lead to scratches but after a bit of time in and out of your pocket/purse your phone picks up some dust. Since there is nothing between the sliding lens and the phone dust builds up in there and the sliding action plus the dust creates an ideal environment for scratches. I’d like to see a future iteration of the Clarifi put a plastic shield between the sliding lens and the phone body to prevent the lens from sliding on the phone body.
Below is a picture of the inside of the case where you can see the sliding lens back exposed to the phone body. As you move the lens back and forth that slides on or very near your iPhone body and small dust or dirt particles between it and your phone will create the scratches. As I said above a thin layer of plastic and push the lens out slightly further from the phone would solve this.
At any rate I still love my Clarifi and have and will continue to recommend it to many people with this one caveat.
I got a response from Griffin via twitter which was a bit disappointing. My other 8 cases haven’t scratched my phone after using them for a few months. Anyway, I just wanted to include it here for reference sake.
The application launches very fast and that is a welcome change from several other frequently used applications I use that don’t launch very quickly so it was refreshing to see this application launch so fast. The initial view is a list of elements used in developing Cascading Style Sheets or CSS.
Scrolling up and down through the list is straightforward and selecting an individual element takes you into a detail view for that item which lists a description of the item as well as example usage.
The detail view lists each value associated with the particular element and a detailed example of it’s use. I like that Concentric Sky cheat sheets are self contained applications. What I mean by that is that they don’t have to have an Internet connection. All of the information is stored internal to the application so it’s nice to be able to pull it up on the bus and browse a little if you pickup a cheat sheet on a topic that your just getting into.
There is a search bar at the top that lets you quickly locate items in the list to save you some scrolling. The search seems to only search the main list Category name or list item with the search term matching from the start of the category or term. For instance I searched for “color” and it didn’t locate “background-color” but found all items in the “Color” category and also the “color” entry under the text category. This isn’t really limiting but I found it interesting enough to note.
Concentric Sky has a number of other cheat sheets you can checkout here at their web site: [Cheat Sheet Products] If you find a Cheat Sheet for a topic your interested in or learning it’s an easy decision to pick up these great little references for 99 cents each.
EventBox is a nice new piece of software for OS X from Cosmic Machine LLP that allows aggregation of several social networks into a single “box” or window.
It’s a native piece of software so it is fast and really well integrated into OS X. It supports spell checking, grammar checking, copy/paste undo etc… All of the things you would expect in a normal OS X application. It supports Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Flickr, and Rss for now. I’m primarily using it for Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. I configured Reddit but the fact that Reddit shows in the overall unread count makes the unread items pretty useless on the dock icon so I had to unconfigure Reddit for now.
The Twitter container offers a good bit of functionality with ad hoc searches and profile viewing. You can enter an arbitrary user name to check on their timeline and then follow them or just read the past timeline. I like to keep a search for @vkoser going as well as a few other searches that allow me to keep up with specific things on twitter that I’m interested in and these stay persistent in the sidebar as individual containers under twitter that allow them to refresh periodically. All of the standard things are supported, direct messages, replies, retweets, a built in url shorten-er with several service choices and more.
There is an overall unread container at the top of the left pane that will display unread items in all of your configured services in chronological order. The development build I’m using right now has a HUD also that will pop up displaying new items. The HUD overall seems good but I think it needs some further tweaking to be great. Below is a screenshot of the HUD as it exists now in the development build I’m running.
EventBox is still in beta and there is a lot of work being done to it every day as they enhance it. They are working on RSS syncing and support for del.icio.us, Last.fm and Orkut and many other things.
I listed a few dislikes below that I’ve been seeing after using EventBox heavily for a week and I have gotten some feedback from the developers that they are looking into them. The development build I’m using now has solved a few issues that I was having. Overall I love it and can’t imagine not using it now that It’s become part of my regular routine. EventBox is currently on sale for $15.00 until the stable release comes out. If your an OS X user I’d suggesting picking up a copy while It’s on sale.
I read a nice post from Alex Payne [link] on software he purchased but no longer uses and was inspired to highlight the software that I’ve used the most this year. I think it might be interesting to some as I’ve made the leap from windows to OS X this year and am also currently using an iPhone as my full time phone. I use software outside of this list but these are my heavy hitters that I am using on a daily basis.
The iPhone comes with a YouTube player. On the surface I think that’s pretty great. It does allow searching and playing YouTube videos and emailing someone a link to a video. The part I dislike is that that’s pretty much where the functionality ends. It has no association with your account or other things that actually make YouTube awesome.
I’m really missing the ability to share a video or mark a video as a favorite or play through my play lists. I would also like to see a change to all video applications on the iPhone that allow you to play video’s in portrait mode. It seems podcast videos can do this but iTunes synced movies and YouTube can’t play in portrait mode which is a drag since I want to watch them in a cradle sometimes.
I think a refresh on the YouTube player is needed and adding the following features would make it amazing instead of just a token feature to say the iPhone has YouTube support.
These initial changes would go a long way to improving the iPhone YouTube experience. I’m hoping for an update in future releases.
I’ve been using eReader on and off for a few weeks and thought I’d post some thoughts. I was looking for a simple application that was free and also let me upload my own books that I already had collected. eReader can read eReader PDB format. There are tools to convert most formats into PDB so it’s not to big of a hassle to get your own text into a PDB format. You can also find pre-formatted free PDB files at places like http://manybooks.net/
When you open eReader it will present you with a list of your installed ebooks. They can be sorted by Title/Author/Date. Once you tap a book it takes you to the reading view directly to your last page. There is no need to make a bookmark or other action to remember your place it automatically remembers your place in each book your reading.
The reading view can be full text, display graphics and a tap bring up the menu to return back to your library or access settings/zoom and other options.
One of the features I’ve found most useful is being able to load your own books that you may already own from having a palm, or have converted from other sources. From the library menu select the “+” in the upper right corner and choose “Another site” to type in the url of a website where you may be storing some books. The web page you type in will display inside eReader and if you select a PDB file it will be downloaded and added into your library.
I’ve gotten some good use out of eReader and it’s earned a permanent spot on my iPhone.
You can read allot more about eReader [here] at ereader.com eReader iPhone faq
I’ve been playing around with the WordPress app on the iPhone and it’s very nice. The application is very simple but allows for quite a good bit of functionality. If your not familiar with WordPress its one of the more popular pieces of blogging software that runs on web servers to allow publishing blogs.
Initially you configure your blog or blogs by entering their web address and your username/password for access. The application will go out and attach to your blog and if you got your settings correctly entered it will set up your site. This will setup the blog as an item on the application start page. Each time you launch the WordPress application you will be presented with the main page that contains links into manage each of your configured blogs.
If you enter into the link to manage a particular blog you will be presented with a listing of posts that are on the blog as well as a folder that links into any local drafts. Local drafts are posts that you have been working on that you have saved only on your iPhone. These are not published to your blog in any form. To begin writing a post you can select the edit box which is the small square with the pencil in it in the lower right corner of the posts list. Once you select this you’ll be presented with the “write” window that will allow you to title your post as well as add tags/categories and display its current status which indicates if its saved locally or has been published to the server as a draft or live post.
The editing is pretty basic but you can upload pictures into your post from within the application which is nice. For this post I wrote the whole thing on the iPhone and then published it as a draft to the blog and did the final formatting on the site. All of the pictures I took as screenshots on the phone and uploaded them through the WordPress app along with the post so when I went online I went directly into the draft and all of my resources for the post were here to work with.
One thing I did notice is once I posted a draft if I tried to edit it again on the iPhone it was raw html instead of a rich text mode so thats something to keep in mind it may be better to keep a draft saved locally until your mostly done with it because it gets messier if you post it as an online draft then try to edit it again on the iPhone.
All in all it’s a nice application and you cant beat the price “Free”!