Beautiful Modeler: Multitouch Editor

While it’s not completely practical in its current form, Beautiful Modeler is an interesting study of manipulating 3D data. Personally, I use a Space Navigator, mouse, and keyboard while crunching CAD. Throwing accelerometers and multiple points of input into the mix is enticing. I’m always excited at any chance to move further away from the mouse for analog input.

I saw it on

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 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


iPhone OS 3.0 Event: March 17th

iPhone OS 3.0Engadget is reporting that Apple will be unveiling details about the next major release of the iPhone/Touch operating system, iPhone OS 3.0 on March 17th at 10am PST (1pm EST). The presentation will surely be targeted at developers in an effort to guide them in updating current and future applications for the new OS.

Personally, I’m fairly impressed with the speed at which Apple is releasing major updates to thier new mobile platform. The iPhone and Touch aren’t even 2 years old yet, and we’re looking at version 3 of the operating system coming out soon.

It will be interesting to see what major changes make their way into version 3.0 of the system firmware. I expect/hope we’ll see the ability to run applications in the background, as rumored in the past. If we don’t see features like copy/paste and MMS support… well I just don’t like to think about it, even though I’m expecting we’ll be disappointed again. (Apple, just look at hClipboard. It’s already been done for you!) My own feature-wish-list contains a few more things, like standard Bluetooth profiles for file transfer, keyboards, proximity detection, and stereo audio.

I wonder if we’ll see any features that will hint at new hardware. I’d love to see real-time video chat and the forward facing camera it’d require. Also, it seems reasonable that iPhone OS 3.0 may be set up for a new Netbook/Tablet device, so I wonder if we’ll see any features related to UI scaling.

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


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: