Hover Zoom Chrome Extension

Hover Zoom Chrome Extension

I’ve been using the Hover Zoom Chrome extension for a couple weeks now. I am completely hooked. The most obvious benefit is for image searches. I’m constantly putting together reference boards for new designs, so this has been a big benefit. However, as you use it you start to get hooked onto other elements of functionality. For instance, on Facebook I can hover over someone’s tiny profile thumbnail image and see their full profile picture. It’s very handy for comments and posts, so I can get a refresher on who the person is without having to click through to a profile page.

If you’re running Chrome, check it out at the Google Extensions site.

ocell.net Mobile

ocell.net Mobile

Lately I’ve been working on making my websites more accessible for advanced mobile devices. I started with an iPhone theme for my blog, then got my industrial design portfolio mobile. Last weekend I sat down and tried to tie it all together.

Now my main www.ocell.net landing page is very mobile friendly thanks to the iWebKit development package. This links to my design and photography portfolios which are mobile thanks to iShowPro. I used to use iWPhone to format my WordPress blog (what you’re reading now) for the iPhone, but when I realized it wasn’t testing for the Palm Pre and Android browser user agents I went out in search of an alternative. Now I am finally on the WPtouch bandwagon, and I have to say, I’m extremely impressed. In fact, the WPtouch version of this blog has more functionality than the desktop version… something I hope to address in the future.

ocell.net mobile on a Palm Pre

Also, thanks to @vara411 for confirming that the mobile version of www.ocell.net does load properly on a Palm Pre. The phone call link even launches the Pre’s phone app. You have to love when standards are honored across platforms.

Part of my focus on getting the loose ends tied on my mobile interface is because of the 2009 IDSA National Conference in Miami next week. I’m hoping that having a viable mobile site will give people an easy way to see my work and interests from their mobile devices, on location.


Instapaper on the Kindle

Instapaper on KindleI was extremely fortunate and surprised to get an Amazon Kindle as a graduation gift. Apparently after you’ve earned an undergraduate degree, people assume you can read!

I have also been a big fan of Instapaper for a while. Instapaper is a web service that lets you bookmark websites for reading later. What makes it unique, though, is that it will format the pages into text-only pages, perfect for mobile devices and clean reading. Saving pages is accomplished through a javascript bookmarklet that works in your desktop web browsers as well as mobile browsers that support javascript. To make things even better, there is now an Instapaper iPhone/Touch native application (free and pro versions [iTunes links]) that will cache unread webpages onto the device’s internal memory. I made great use of this feature while traveling in Boston’s subways over the summer. I’d often lose my cell signal, but I still had plenty of content to catch up on.

It dawned on me that Instapaper would be a perfect application for the Kindle. The Kindle’s screen is a complete pleasure to read on for extended periods of time, unlike the small iPhone screen. Also, the free EVDO data connection lets it take advantage of web services anywhere you can get a Sprint signal. I did a quick Google search to see what I could find about Instapaper on the Kindle and came across a great blog post on spontaneousderivation.com. If you leave the Kindle’s browser in standard mode, you can take advantage of Instapaper’s great mobile device interface, with simple text formatting and quick loading. However, if you set the Kindle browser into the advanced mode, you get an extremely nicely formatted Instapaper index page. Clicking on the “text” link in Instapaper for an article delivers a fast and clean copy of the web article. It really is a perfect match.

Even more exciting, the developer of Instapaper, Marco Arment, has plans to further optimize Instapaper for the Kindle once he can get his hands on one himself. I’m looking forward to it.

I hope this helps any Kindle owners wondering how to best read web content through the Kindle’s slow and limited web browser.

Full Wii Browser in April


IGN is reporting that the full version of the Wii browser will be up for download in April, and will be free until June! After June, it can be downloaded for 500 points (or 5 bucks in real-world talk). Some of the changes:

– Improved zooming and scrolling
– An improved zoomed font
– Shortened startup times
– Quicker access to ‘favourites’
– An ability to erase the toolbar
– Buttons that instantly type common preset letters, such as ‘www’ or ‘.com’

That’s right, we can hide that friggin’ toolbar! Flash applications will be completely seamless now. It will be a great day for the Wii.