The past few days I’ve been getting some random hits on my design portfolio from Mobile Safari, the browser on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Unfortunately, the content of my portfolio is displayed through a flash slideshow, which doesn’t work at all in Mobile Safari, so visitors would just be getting a blank white page.
The last couple nights I threw together an iPhone/Touch optimized version of my portfolio. It will automatically load if you go to design.ocell.net on an iPhone or iPod Touch. There are some tweaks I’m going to keep making, but I’m pretty happy with it so far. At least I have a mobile copy of my portfolio with me at all times now and I don’t have to worry about syncing changes manually.
If you’re using Firefox or Safari, you can manually invoke the interface on your desktop by going to http://design.ocell.net/iphone/, and you’ll at least get a rough idea of how it works.
This is all thanks to SlideshowPro Director and iShowPro.
If you know me, you may know how much I love www.mint.com, the financial tracking and organization site. It can automatically import your financial activity from a ton of banks, and does categorization, trending, budgeting, and spending comparisons with users in your area. The downfall, though, has been that Mint has lacked mobile device access. Some of the site could be access, but it was pretty heavy and formatted for a large screen. Also, features like trending are flash based, and wouldn’t work at all.
Mint has launched an iPhone/Touch App [iTunes Link] that fills this need, at least for Mobile Safari users. I still hope they launch a more generic mobile site for other device users, or at least native apps for Blackberry and Windows Mobile. As an iPhone user, though, I’m completely elated, as I now have a mobile glimpse at my financial situation.
The app is a bit limited right now, it’s focused purely on viewing data. I’d like to see the ability to edit the categories of transactions instead of just viewing what’s already set. I’d also LOVE to see the ability to add cash transactions from within the app, since that would let you track cash spending in addition to the check/debit/credit transactions that are already tracked. Overall though, the app is a great start, and the limited features it has right now keep the app simple, fast, and easy to use.
Check out the Mint App features page at mint.com
There has been a Mobile Safari optimized version of Amazon.com for a long time now, and it’s a site I use a lot. I was extremely exicted to find out that Amazon has realesed a native application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. TUAW has a good write up about the app. One of the most interesting features is the “Remembers” feature. You can apparently take a photo of an object and upload it to Amazon. A couple mintues later you will be sent a link to the product. I’m not sure how they’re doing this, whether they’re licensing technology like TinEye or running the image to a bank of humans… but if it works as advertised, it will become an indespensible part of my shopping habits.
I was very glad to see that Amazon has made it easy to add items to your wishlist. I use the wishlist a lot to keep track of items I’m interested in but I’m not ready to buy.
Get the Amazon app from the iTunes Store: iTunes Link
I tried out the Remembers feature, and it really surprised me! It recgonized my new 15″ Macbook Pro from a really poor photo I snapped. And it did it quickly.
As Nathan mentioned in the comments, the Remembers system isn’t working off of any image recognition software or anything like that. Instead, it’s leveraging the Mechanical Turk system that Amazon launched not too long ago. Anyone can sign up to complete short tasks, such as looking at a picture submitted by the Amazon iPhone app, and returning the Amazon store URL. Check out more information at www.mturk.com.
Sam Steele is at it again. He has just updated his MobileScrobbler iPhone/Touch app (that I talked about earlier) to version 1.1.0 in his http://dev.c99.org/iphone/ installer source, while the Community installer source still shows version 1.0.4. Version 1.1.0 now includes streaming music from last.fm! You can search based on artist name or tag, as well as play your last.fm recommendations.
The app still logs any music you play in the iPod app. If you open MobileScrobbler while playing music stored on your device, the app will load all of the last.fm info for the current track, also giving you the option to “Love” or “Ban” the track, helping Last.fm learn your listening habits even more. Hitting “Skip” will move to the next song in your iPod playlist, without having to bring up the iPod controls or go to the iPod app. As far as logging options, you can now select whether you want tracks to be submitted over Edge (handy for anyone without a data plan).
My only issue with the app so far is that streaming music has a very low volume, but I’m sure that will get fixed in no time. Sam has added a Donate button on the Mobilescrobbler website, so be sure to throw a little love his way.
Mobile OS X software development continues to impress me. These developers are doing some really amazing things with absolutely no support from Apple. iPhoneDave posted on Hackint0sh.com about the Lyrics application, a Japanese developed app that searches for lyrics to songs playing on the iPhone/Touch in real time. If it finds lyrics it displays them in real time, and saves them to a local library on the device. The application current pulls from three sites: KashiGet, Utamap, and Sing365.com. I’m not sure how difficult it is to expand the search to more sites, but hopefully the list will grow.
The application also has the ability to tie into a Mac Desktop Dashboard widget, but I haven’t investigated that functionality at all. I’m happy with using the application over-the-air on my iPhone. Check out the Google Code Project Page and the Hackint0sh thread for more information and installation instructions (some terminal commands need to be run before the application will run).