Breastfeeding gets boring fast. iPhone to the rescue! Bet I’ve played with more apps than you have. Here are my picks so far:
Blogging: Tumblrette, iBlogger
Language dictionary: Japanese(codefromtokyo)
Music: Beatmaker, Loopy, Bebot
Vector drawing: Zeptopad
Photo editing: Photogene
Photo uploading: Pixelpipe
Remote desktop: Jaadu VNC
Remote mouse/keyboard: AirMouse, iTap
“wow” app: iTracer(3D modeling)
I’ve also loaded plenty of games, but they’re such a matter of taste. Personally keep returning to Touchgrind, but also really liked(in no particular order):
Tumblr always seemed interesting but still essentially pointless. Twitter had miniblogging covered, especially since you could get instant feedback for whatever you posted (since Tumblr lacks comments unless you add Disqus) and for anything more involved, there were blogs.
However, since the advent of the iPhone and a fantastic app called Tumblrette, tumblogging is appealing again because now (with the exception of video from the iPhone) it’s truly mobile. I mean you don’t have to fight with it. Tumblrette makes it fast and simple. It’s lifeblogging, scrapbook-style, not necessarily to inundate your friends with or to cover absolutely everything, but just the choicest bits, a kind of stream-of-consciousness flow of the best scraps of your ideas and inspirations without demanding or expecting a response from anyone, that may make sense as a whole only to yourself.
Of course you can assemble your tumblog for an audience as well, and turn it into “blogging lite” by adding all sorts of categories, feeds, and hacks. But that seems to make its purpose somewhat moot again, and the question arises, if you’re filling your tumblog with all your feeds from everywhere, aren’t you just fluffing up your meager content, the online equivalent of padding an essay with fat margins and triple spacing? I say keep tumblogs lean and meaty in order to retain their potential use and impact. This also allows you to feed them into other services without annoying repeats of other feeds.
In any case, I’ll be trying this for a while. We’ll see how it goes.
Of all the computer games I’ve ever played, only three really stand out: Barrack, Myst and Myth. Barrack is dead, and Myst was really exciting when it first came out but there’s not much to replay there. Myth was the only one that did what really good classic boardgames do: it combined a simple interface with endless options for strategy.
Yesterday I was idly browsing through some new real-time strategy titles (finding them all somehow lacking) while fondly remembering the endless hours wrapped up in troop formations and explosions that Myth provided. I googled “Myth-like game”, only to find that the game I loved, which I thought had died after Microsoft bought Bungie in 2000, is still very much alive, with a multiplayer game server, maps, plugins and updates lovingly produced by dedicated developers working for free. Runs perfectly on my Intel MacBook running Leopard. A computer game that still has staying power like this after 10 years is really something you shouldn’t miss–go download it now.
Ever since I got the iPod Touch I find myself mapping the city in terms of WiFi-happy areas. I don’t mean which cafes have unlocked wifi, but which street corners, which tram stops, which apartment doorways. It’s also been fun to follow what the various hotspots are called in different areas, where I find large concentrations, and which areas are dominated by a handful of pay-per hour corporate hotspots. (The hotspots causing the most rage are the ones that show up as unlocked, but then open a webpage requiring you to log in.)
But the interesting part is that I feel like I’ve been literally surfing in this extra ocean-like dimension of the city, looking for good, strong waves. I mean literal surfing, not “browsing”. Kind of a neat feeling, though not particularly practical, and I assume it will wear off once my signal-map gets more familiar.
It gets me thinking about wifi-enabled jewelry again. What would it be like to feel the signals around you, instead of reading them off a list? How could one translate a locked signal vs. an unlocked one (into, say, vibration), or a favorite, trusted signal vs. an uncertain one? And what about those names? Could corporate/Wippies/FON/private signals also have a different “flavor”? I’d love to just be able to “feel” that I just walked into a happy grade-A wifi zone.
Stocks widget on the iPod Touch? Oh la la how 90’s! What will those of us not addicted to the stock ticker to do with this app, then?
Enter magic Yahoo Finance codes to turn Stocks into Currency Exchange watch.
Type “EURUSD=X” as a stock code to get the neatly updated EUR to USD exchange rate. You can guess the rest from there. Travelers rejoice!
Even if you’re not hooked into the ADD world of Twitter/Pownce/Jaiku, you’ve got email, web, and probably a dozen open windows and applications all screaming for your attention while you’re trying to get work done. Here are some apps that will tell them all to shut up and try talking one at a time:
Think by Freeverse: Hides everything except your one chosen app behind a dark translucent backdrop. Free.
Spirited away by drinkin.com: Hides windows if they’ve been unused for a certain period of time.
Writeroom by HogBaySoftware: A text editor that fills your entire screen, including the menu, black, and leaves you with nothing but a blinking cursor. Criticized by Niko for cashing in on retro nostalgia, but, well, it twangs the right heartstrings for me.
The web is filled with more tools than anyone can bear to shuffle through. Unless you’re glued to the web like me. So for all of my friends out there who keep asking me what’s good, this is what I suggest right now:
- Photos: Store and share them on www.flickr.com
- Your desktop on the web: www.netvibes.com
- Organizing your life, simple project management: www.backpackit.com
- IM/Presence: Adium(OSX) / www.jaiku.com
- Blogging: www.wordpress.com
- Mini-blogging: www.tumblr.com
- Commercial blogging: www.squarespace.com
- Music: www.last.fm
- Recipe inspiration: www.opensourcefood.com
- Shopping inspiration: www.productdose.com
- Simple online strategy gaming: www.weewar.com
If I missed something, or if there’s something you’re looking for, let me know–I’ve probably already found it. Now go play outside.