Nerd Remote

Because your iPhone is happier with friends… here’s what I call my “nerd remote,” my collection of iPhone apps that interact with other devices around my house.

ADT — For arming and disarming my home security system from afar, or just from bed. If I had to do it over (and I may soon) I’d probably go with a homegrown system, but for now ADT’s app is alright.

Google TV — Yes, I actually own one. The surprisingly attractive Sony Internet TV came with a remote control so bad it’s the stuff of legend, but it was available for a steal around the holidays last year and it makes a beautiful monitor for an Apple TV. Their iOS app isn’t much better, but it’s useful when you’ve lost your universal remote and you just want to adjust the volume.

Apple Remote — Just the best way to interact with an Apple TV.

Nest — You don’t believe me now, but owning a Nest will make you say “I love this thermostat.” Adjusting the temperature without getting out of bed: yeah, that sold me, too.

People Power — Monitoring your home energy usage hasn’t turned out to be quite as useful as anyone had hoped (hence Google and Microsoft both abandoning their efforts last year), but for those nerds who installed a device like the PowerCost Monitor, People Power lets you see your energy usage in real time, as well as historical graphs and future projections based on your current use. Still for the über-geeky, for now.

Dropcam — I installed this app when I ordered my Dropcam from in April. I’ll let you know how it works if I ever get it.

Tagg — The companion app for the pet tracker of the same name. Snap Tagg onto your dog’s collar and it keeps track of your pet via multiple methods: a low-power wireless connection with the tracker’s base station when at home, and Assisted GPS (GPS + Verizon Wireless) when away. The tracker’s location is updated every 3 minutes or so, so while it’s not real time, it is some serious peace of mind for those who get a little bit too worried about our pets when they wander.

iGrill — Possibly the strangest-sounding thing to connect to an iPhone, the Bluetooth iGrill thermometer lets you monitor the temperature of two different cuts of meat in an oven, in a smoker, on a grill or on the stove. They also sell an ambient temperature probe for your smoker. If you’re not yet enough of a pro to divine your meat’s doneness by chef’s intuition, the iGrill is incredibly handy in ensuring your stuff’s never dried out and overcooked again.

I’ve heard that the Model S will have an iOS app soon. Wonder how long I’ll be able to resist getting that one?

Another Friendly Speed Test

I’ve been looking forward to doing this for a while. Today, I got an iPhone on the Verizon network. Obviously all comparisons between Verizon and AT&T depend entirely upon where you live. And there are some advantages to AT&T’s 3G network. But if you live in the majority of the country where AT&T has no 3G service at all, this is what the comparison looks like. Needless to say, I’ll be canceling my AT&T account as soon as everyone’s aware of my new number.

A Flash Fan’s Review of Flash for Android

Avram Piltch reviews Flash 10.1 for Android:

During these Flash lockups, it was nearly impossible to scroll around the screen and most taps were ignored or followed many seconds later. The only way I found to get your phone back to normal when it’s having a Flash meltdown like this is to hit the back button or the home button to get out of the program and even then the phone takes a second to become responsive again.

Can’t imagine why Apple doesn’t want this on the iPhone.

The Little Things

Once design has jumped from what you do for fun to what you do to keep yourself fed and housed, all the little ways in which we can improve life become annoyingly clear. My obsessive tendencies compel me to keep iPhone cables neatly wrapped and tucked away in drawers, which is massively inconvenient for actually ever connecting it to my computer. But I couldn’t stand the clutter of a loose cable dangling on my desk when it wasn’t in use. This kind of thing usually leads me to say “someone should really make this product,” at which point I usually find out that someone already has.

This particular product is a RadTech ProCable Shortz, one of a line of tiny iPhone & iPod cables that are short, strong, and look like they could’ve (and should’ve) come with the iPhone itself. The 20cm length is exactly enough slack to let me stow my phone on the iMac’s foot, so it doesn’t get whipped around during one of the 50 or so times a day I readjust the position or angle of the computer. It’s exactly as much as you need, and nothing more. Sweet words to a graphic designer.

WordPress for iPhone 1.21

Update: Because this got mistakenly posted to Twitter when I moved my blog over to, I should mention that this is an old post, and WordPress for iPhone 2.1 is the most recent version available. :)

Original: After a slight hiccup with 1.2, I’m proud to point you toward WordPress for iPhone 1.21, a pretty substantial update to our mobile app. I wont run down all the features here, but theres lots of new stuff and we’ve already started planning the next version. Download and enjoy! (Composing a post — like I’m doing now — is about a hundred times easier with the landscape keyboard!)

iPhone OS 3.0

As anyone interested probably knows by now, Apple gave a preview of the new iPhone OS and SDK today, addressing quite a few of the biggest omissions in current iPhone software. From Apple’s annoucement:

With a rich set of over 1,000 new APIs, iPhone SDK for iPhone OS 3.0 beta provides you with an amazing range of technologies to enhance the functionality of your iPhone and iPod touch applications. New APIs also provide support for applications to communicate with hardware accessories attached to iPhone or iPod touch.

The nice part about this, for me, is that I just copied and pasted that quote from Apple’s web site into this post, which I composed using WordPress for iPhone. The future’s gonna be great.