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RTM Push Notifications

I don’t have a real solid task management system in place right now, but I’m still a big fan of Remember the Milk (RTM) and still use it pretty frequently. The RTM iPhone/Touch app [iTunes Link] recently got an update that added push notifications, so now you can have task reminders sent directly to your mobile device. For me, this is killer. You could have RTM remind you of things through e-mail before, but with push notifications your todo reminders can live in their own space without invading your e-mail inbox. Notice that I can now select my iPhone as my notification destination in the RTM Reminders settings.

RTM Reminders Settings

Push AIM hits the App Store

Thanks for the heads up from zzztimbo on Twitter, who linked to this story at TechCrunch. The first useful application of push notifications in an iPhone app hit the store today, as AIM with push is now live. I haven’t messed with it much, but I think a lot of people have been waiting for this. Hit the update link in the App Store to grab it, or click here to install it for the first time [iTunes link].

I’m especially happy to see that the notification sound can be disabled. I hate that patented AIM Soundâ„¢.

AIM Push Settings

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Amazon Kindle iPhone Application

When Amazon announced the Kindle 2, they showed off a new synchronization feature that would sync your position in all of your books between Kindle devices. At the time, “Kindle devices” meant the first and second generation Kindles. The intent was clear though, and Amazon soon elaborated that they were going to be bringing Kindle content to mobile devices. What an exciting idea, but I never expected it to happen so quickly.

Kindle iPhone IndexKindle for iPhone [iTunes link] (The name bugs me, as it works fine on an iPod Touch) is an app from Amazon that lets you retrieve your Kindle purchases from Amazon’s servers and load them onto your device. Along with the content comes your bookmarks and notes generated on the Kindle. Unfortunately,  you can’t create notes on the mobile device. Other things you can’t do: search, look up word definitions, highlight, and text to speech. Of course Amazon wants to keep the Kindle at the forefront of the Kindle experience. If the iPhone app performed every function the Kindle performed (short of the e-ink display obviously) then I think people would have a much more difficult time justifying the purchase of a nearly $400 Kindle reader. Continue Reading

Displaperture

In Mac OS 10.4 Tiger, Apple had a nice detail in the GUI, rounded corners on the screen. The rounds were small, but simulated the rounded corners of older CRT monitors on modern LCD displays. To me, though, the rounded corners meshed well with the precise radiuses that adorn the corners of Apple hardware. Apple got rid of this detail in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard and left a hard 90º corner with no artificial radius.

Displaperture

Tonight I came across a small application by Many Tricks (you may know them from their popular application launcher Butler) called Displaperture that adds radiused corners back to Leopard. An added bonus, you even get control over the size of the radius, and you can scale it from barely visible to impractically intrusive.

Considering that every Apple device sold today runs a LCD display, using this application may seem like a step backward. However, the effect looks GREAT on the new Macbook screen with it’s borderless black bezel. Setting a tight radius on the corners of the screen gives the bezel a consistant and polished look. Below you can see a picture of the effect on my Macbook Pro. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great to see such a simple free tool to set the effect.

Displaperture on my unibody Macbook Pro

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Netatalk for AFP on your iPhone/Touch (and toggle switch)

AFPd in ActionA year and a half ago I wrote a blog post about using AFPd on my hacked iPhone to get access to my phone’s file system through Finder using Apple’s AFP system. When firmware 2.0 came out I went legit with my phone and lost touch with jailbreak app updates. I recently re-jailbroke my iPhone and now I’m having to relearn how to accomplish the things I used to have set up. A lot has changed in a year and a half!

AFPd apparently broke with firmware 2.0, and Netatalk was developed to take its place. You’ll find Netatalk in Cydia. If it’s not showing up under default repositories, do a web search to find out where it’s living. Once installed, you’ll see your device as a shared computer in the left sidebar of Finder. When you select the device, you’ll need to hit “Connect As…” and log in as either root or mobile. If you haven’t changed the password for these accounts, it will be alpine, but you really should change this password. Until you do, anyone who knows anything about Mobile OSX defaults will be able to access your file system.

That point about security brings up another issue… anyone on a Mac on the same WiFi network as your device will see your name in their finder sidebar. It’s not a huge deal, I’m a pretty public person, but I’d still like better control over my name being thrown around in places like coffee shops and other public connections. This is where RupertGee’s Boss Prefs toggle comes in. With it installed, you can turn AFP on and off instantly, letting you control the broadcasting of your name as you roam around networks.

I really think having manual control over this service is a must-have. Instructions on installing the Boss Prefs toggle for AFP are located at RupertGee’s blog here: http://redwolfberry.com/rupertgee/iBlog/2008/11/08/netatalk-toggle-v100/