Entries Tagged 'iPhone' ↓

Fantastic Objective-C Courses

If you are interested in Objective-C programming, or just plain old C programming, you should check out any books written by Stephen Kochan.  I recently took his Objective-C online course (live streaming), an 8-lecture course, with a fantastic forum, for an astounding $75.  If you are new to programming in general, don’t fret.  Stephen walks you through it in an easy to understand way.  Knowing the libraries, on the other hand, will take time.  Nothing but your own ambition to learn those will get you there, though.  You can find Stephen’s courses here: classroomm.com

His accompanying book, necessary for the course, can be found here: Objective-C 2.0

Plus One for Red Laser

I found myself at a Best Buy about three weeks ago, looking around for things to go back home and buy over the internet.  What I was doing was my annual adventure into real world Christmas shopping.  I hate the real world honestly, mostly because of shopping…at a mall.  Anyway, I found this hard drive I’d never seen before, so I pull out my iPhone, and start searching the intrawebz for some reviews.  I don’t see anything favorable, so I move on.

Next item, a flat panel TV.  Samsung.  Nice, so again I go about trying to find the model number and such, type it into Google, find some reviews.  Onto another site to check for prices. Rinse, repeat.  Boring, really, and somewhat embarrassing.  You look like a toolbag standing there hunting items on your iPhone only to walk out of the store an hour later with nothing in hand.  How is Best Buy supposed to keep their brick and mortar operation going?

I’ll tell you how, and they need to thank the folks at Occipital Inc for writing the application Red Laser. This handy application costs at present $1.99, and is worth ten times as much in my opinion. It scans UPC’s of products using your iPhone’s camera.  Then it searches the web for the item, returning web prices, local prices (by GPS if you choose to turn it on), nutritional info, and more.

So if you’re in Best Buy, you can show them that Wal-Mart has the same TV for less, price match it right there and buy it hassle free for the best price. Sweet. I have been using this at places like Borders and Barnes and Noble, where it is tremendously helpful with books and pricing. Try it out, trust me you’ll use it!

Occipital also makes some other apps, which I’m probably going to check out since Red Laser rocks so hard. Keep up the good work guys, truly genius.

Clearing Safari on iPhone

Safari on the iPhone is pretty straightforward.  Open it, and you can search Google.  You can open a new page while keeping your current page, or clear out the url and open another page right in the one you are viewing.  Sometimes, though, that nagging buddy or family member wants to jump on your iPhone because they are stuck with a dumbphone, or worse–they are on Verizon.

You want to show off your technology, so of course you oblige.  However, reliquishing your phone will let them see your browsing history and the last page you had open.  Maybe the last page you had open was the site you ordered their holiday gifts from.  Maybe it was worse, perhaps the site you thought about ordering them something from but then didn’t–you stingy son of a…

Well, fear not, clearing the history is simple enough.  Click the little book icon on the lower toolbar, and it brings up the Bookmarks page.  There you’ll see a link for your History.  Click on that, and your History page opens.  On the lower toolbar, on the left, is the Clear button.  Click that, click confirm, and done.  Simple enough.

If you don’t want them to see the last page you opened, that’s easy enough as well.  Just open Safari, click the new page icon on the lower right, but don’t type in an address or a search.  Click the new page button again, and close the page you don’t want them to see.  This way, when they open Safari, it simply opens a blank page.  This should be done regardless if you expect someone to use your phone or not.  When I am finished browsing the web on my iPhone, I make it a habit to clear my recent pages.  If they would only add this as an option to open blank windows by default, I’d be much happier.

You can also do the following from the Settings application on your home screen:

  • Purge Cookies
  • Choose How to Handle Cookies (Always accept, Accept from Visited, or Never Accept)
  • Turn JavaScript on/off
  • Enable/Disable Pop Up Blocking
  • Clear Your Cache
  • Clear Your History
  • Turn on Autofill

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to clear single items from your history like you can do in big boy Safari.  Hopefully that feature is coming down the line!  The cache is something you may want to clear out once in a while, although there is no definitive way to find out its size on a stock iPhone.  Or, at least they don’t make it obvious.

iPhone Games Suitable For Young Kids (And Adults Alike)

When I got the iPhone 3G, my daughter was just shy of her second birthday.  My friends and family teased me, asking if she had written any programs on it yet.  I replied, “No, she’s not allowed to touch the iPhone. She already insists on using my Macbook Pro!”  They thought I was kidding, but at the time, she really was navigating around the screen on my laptop.  People have been known to call me a techno-geek, and I suppose they might fear for my little girl’s social acceptance (jokingly, of course), wondering about pocket protectors and GPS tracking when she goes to Pre-K.

I made a promise to my wife that we wouldn’t be the parents whose kid has a $500 phone before she hits Kindergarten, but I may have to bend the rules a bit on that one.  She may not need the phone, but I’m seriously considering getting her an iPod touch for sure.  I have been letting her play with my iPhone basically since she was two years old (and she just turned 3.)  She can now unplug it properly, doesn’t try to dial 911 or some other random number, and actually takes pretty good care to leave it on a table or other acceptable place.  There was definitely a progression to the applications that I downloaded for her to try, and I will review them here, in case you are also blessed with a budding little computer geek of your own.

The first one I ever downloaded for her specifically was TappyTunes.  There are many songs in this app, and you can check out the publisher, Utilitouch, here.  This app is basically a bunch of songs, broken into music snippets. When you tap a tempo on the screen, the song plays.  The faster you tap, the faster the song plays.  The idea is to get it to sound like the song you already know by heart, but for a two-year old, the tempo doesn’t matter much. You can, however, play the song as well, from half speed through double speed.  A nice feature.

The Alphabet Song, for instance, is amazing.  The letters come on the screen as you tap, and they can be “plucked” around the screen, too.  There are a bunch of similar children’s songs, and I’d be willing to say she fell in love with music and my phone because of TappyTunes. Here are some screen shots current as of 10/25/2008:




Categories in TappyTunes

Other Songs

Other Songs

Alphabet Song

Alphabet Song

Another application she was quick to learn and fascinated with is a very, very simple one.  It’s called BubbleWrap and it’s published by Orsome.  There is a Pro version as well, where you can win US $250.00. Here’s a screenshot:



All-in-all, a good, fun application for kids, and I’m not ashamed at all to say I play it.  Simple, and lots of fun.

If you remember Etch-A-Sketch this next one is similar in looks.  It’s called Pocket Doodle, and has a few things the big bad original didn’t. You draw on it by selecting a pen or marker shape, and slide your finger around on the screen.  I am a little disappointed you can’t shake it to clean the screen, but the slider mechanism at the bottom works well.  You can slide it partially to clear part of the display, if you like.  Nice and easy to use, my daughter still enjoys it:

Pocket Doodle

Pocket Doodle

Those are a few that I had downloaded when my daughter first showed an interest in using the iPhone, and she still enjoys using them over a year later.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy them as well.