Expanding Pastebot Sync

I have grown to like having a clipboard manager on my computer. It’s an application that lives in the background of your system, copying a history of whatever you copy into your clipboard, so you can go back and recall these items later. There are quite a few out, and while I’ve been using PTHPasteboard for a while, I recently started trying out ClipMenu (thanks for the tip Alan!) on my Mac.

Back in December, Tapbots released Pastebot for the iPhone, which does the exact same thing in the mobile space. Though, because you can’t “officially” run background processes on the iPhone, the application grabs whatever is in your clipboard when you launch the app. I’ve been using Pastebot on my iPhone for a little while now, and I love it. TUAW has a great writeup on what Pastebot is.

One of the killer reasons to use Pastebot is that it allows for two-way clipboard synchronization between your iPhone and your Mac when you install Pastebot Sync on your desktop system. When your phone and computer are active on the same network you can move items between your clipboards instantly. This is a GREAT way to move images and notes between systems.

However, I realized that I’m running a clipboard manager on my Mac, a clipboard manager on my iPhone, and a third tool to sync. I wonder if the developers behind Pastebot can turn Pastebot Sync into a full-fledged desktop clipboard history tool. I’d throw another $10 their way if they could deliver the complete solution: clipboard management for the desktop AND mobile phone while providing the integration to move data between the two. I basically have that functionality now, but I also feel like there’s some redundancy in the software I’m running.

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LinkedIn Proximity Linking

LinkedIn recently pushed out version 3.0 of their mobile iPhone/Touch app [iTunes link]. It is a complete rework of the mobile LinkedIn experience. I’ve only had a brief glance, but it already looks more useful.

What I’m really excited about, though, is the inclusion of a new mechanism for connecting accounts with other LinkedIn users. Now if two people are using the iPhone app and want to connect, they can take advantage of the nearfield communication of Bluetooth to provide a handshake between the accounts, instantly connected on LinkedIn after an in-app verification. No more searching for names and e-mail addresses while you try to hunt down the account of the person standing in front of you. Now, standing in front of someone is all the context needed to establish a connection. This is how it should be.

I know that this isn’t the first mobile app to use the context of proximity to exchange information. Bump and Handshake are two notable examples of applications that have done this well already. There was even IR beaming of business cards in the Palm days. However, I believe this may be the first time that a social network as large as LinkedIn has made it so easy to establish a connection with another user.
I wonder how long it will be before the rest of the social media networks integrate this type of connection mechanism into their mobile experiences. I’d love to be able to follow someone on Twitter by launching Tweetie and seeing that they are close to me. If Facebook added this to their app, it would make a friend request that much more intimate and personal. For most instances of my own “social networking” I typically don’t add someone unless I have met them in person. To me, establishing a virtual connection “in real life” makes that connection that much more valuable and pertinent. I’m a fan of anything to ease the transition of an in-person meeting to an online connection.

GriP – Growl for the iPhone

GriPI am very excited about this.

The notification system on the iPhone mostly gets the job done, but it’s intrusive and gets annoying quickly if you have many system notifications going on at once. Users have been pining for a solution like Google Android’s system of a drop down list of notifications that do not interrupt what you’re doing on the device.

GriP moves to solve this problem by emulating the functionality of Growl on the iPhone. System notifications come up in a transparent alert box that does not keep you from interacting with whatever application you’re using. You can expand the alert box to see alert content, or close the alert box. The developer is also providing information for developers to hook in to the system from their own applications.

Here is a video posted by www.iphoneblog.de showing several of the features of GriP.

It hasn’t been out for long. I can’t find any alternative themes besides what comes built in. I’m hoping to look at the documentation and see if I can make a more finger-friendly theme soon.

But as I said, I’m very excited about this. I hope Apple is paying attention. You can find GriP in Cydia if you have Jailbroken your iPhone or Touch.

More info: The iPhone Blog