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!)Â 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.
So the Palm Pre came out today, and I’m mainly jealous of one feature on the handset… Synergy. This is the system that takes in contact information from several sources (Google, Facebook, etc.) and merges it all into one comprehensive address book. The iPhone doesn’t handle contact information quite as gracefully, but today I set out to give myself some illusion of the functionality by finding a way to easily import Facebook profile pictures into my Address Book.
A quick Google search later I came across this DownloadSquad article pointing to the free application AddressBookSync. As DownloadSquad notes, there used to be an app called Facebook Sync that would import all information from Facebook contacts into the OS X Address Book, but it was pulled when Facebook cited Terms of Service violations. AddressBookSync doesn’t pull in much contact information, but it will import profile pictures, birthdays, and location from Facebook into matching names in your Address Book.
I installed the app and ran it and quickly synced 71 photos, birthdays, and locations to my Address Book, and subsequently, to my iPhone. I really love having images that my contacts personally picked to represent themselves pop up when I get a phone call from them. I hope that some day this type of functionality will be an over the air sync option inside of the iPhone itself. Until then, AddressBookSync is a fast manual way to make sure that Palm Pre users aren’t having ALL the fun.
I’m a HUGE fan of Dropbox, the file syncing/sharing/versioning service that does an amazing job while completely getting out of the way. One annoyance, though, is that in order for Dropbox to put status icons on top of file thumbnails, the thumbnail previews in OS X were disabled. This made it frustrating to work on files stored inside of a Dropbox synced folder. A while ago, I wrote about some manual tweaks I had found that could get your icon previews back.
Today the official Dropbox Twitter account posted a tweet linking to this post on the Dropbox forums, announcing a new beta build that brings official support for Quicklook preview icons in OS X while retaining Dropbox status badges. I loaded it up and in the few seconds I’ve clicked around my Dropbox files everything seems to be working perfectly.
This change makes it so much easier to work within my Dropbox synced folders, and I can’t express how happy I am that the Dropbox team pulled it off. If you haven’t checked out their service before, please head to their website and watch their video ASAP.