Tag Archive: iPhone

Find my iPhone

I was listening to a comedy podcast and one of the guys told this awesome story about how he got his iPad back from someone who stole it at a super market.  One of the OTHER guys on the show had just lost his iPhone a couple of weeks before that and lamented about how he wished he had set up a program to track it’s location.  Luckily, after that event, everyone else on the show enabled Apple’s free app “Find my iPhone”.  Find my iPhone works on any newer iDevices such as ipads, 4th gen iPod Touches and 3g+ iPhones.

Enabling it is simple.  You go and download the free app from the app store.  Then you enable a mobile me account which seems partially deprecated but is still used for this service.  To enable it, you go into settings -> mail, contacts -> add account -> mobile me.  You then sign in with you Apple ID.  At that point, you may or may not be required to confirm your email address.  After all that, you slide a switch to enable find my iphone.

When all that is done, you can sign into the app and track the device you are on, which is pretty useless or you can track any other devices that you have access to track.  If you only have one device, you can sign into the Find my iPhone web app here:


So for all of the collective bitching about how iPhones track your location, this seems like a pretty fair trade to me overall.  This does bring up points though of subpoenas and forensics where it’s conceivable that you could be arrested for something, the police can confiscate and search your iPhone without a warrant and then potentially see that you have this app installed and contact Apple to retrieve records beyond what the phone itself stores.  If your story doesn’t match what the records say, you could be in deep shit really quick.  This reminds me of an EXCELLENT video I saw on YouTube the other day about how you should never talk to the police under any circumstances since you can nearly never help your case.  It was a presentation give by a lawyer and a police officer:


Worms on the iPod/iPhone

Worms is one of the most original console games around.  If you haven’t played it before, skip the 3D versions and try out any of the large number of other 2D Worms ports from the Commodore 64 version all the way to the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo DS and beyond.

Anyhow, I was surfing in the app store not finding Worms.  Then I looked around a bit on the web wondering if Worms would be ported soon.  I found a few shreds of hope.  Unfortunately one of the “shreds” of hope is over 2 years old already.  It’s a post here stating iPhone gaming – Worms on the way.  I’m not sure if that video up above is a fake or not but it sure looks like fun.  I’d love to see any updates on this subject.  Post some comments if you know anything or if you would also like to see Worms on the iPod/iPhone/iPad/iDevice.

My favorite iPod apps

I’ve owned an iPod touch for about four months now.  Already it is an indispensable piece of equipment that I use many, many times every day.  For years I resisted the lure of an iPod because I thought of it as a glorified mp3 player.  100% not true.  In fact I don’t have any mp3’s on mine at all.  Just some podcasts and a few awesome apps.  I have not bothered to jailbreak my device because I don’t think it is necessary.  I plan to get an Android phone this summer when the Supersonic comes out and I plan to root that for my extra-functional fix.  Here are a few of the apps that I use all the time and couldn’t live without now:

Logmein Ignition – The ultimate app for the iPhone/iPod.  This allows you to remotely log in to your desktop or laptop computer and control anything on the screen possible.  If you have multiple monitors, shake it to switch screens.  Your mouse pointer stays in the middle of the screen and you move your desktop behind it.  Use gestures to zoom in, zoom out, scroll and more.  Best part is that it caches your login and password so you can jump right into your desktop quickly.  Control your Mac or Windows machine with this app.  It’s $30 but worth every penny and it works with the free version of logmein.

WordPress – This app allows you to blog right from your iPhone or iPod.  It ties straight into your admin panel and lets you skip the login if you like.  Great for when an idea strikes you and you are nowhere near your computer.  You have to toggle a setting in the admin panel to set it up but that’s easy.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars –  This game is a surprisingly good milepost in the series.  For a long time I judged it by the screen shots but it actually plays much better than you would think.  It has a good story and is well tweaked for the mobile platform.  Autosaves occur after every mission and you can put your iDevice to sleep in the middle of anything and when you come back, things will be as you left them.  It’s not nearly as involved as a ps2 or ps3 version but it’s a good little time killer when you have a few minutes.

Katamari Damacy – This game seems like a natural for this platform.  If you haven’t played it before, I strongly urge you to try it out.  If you have a ps2, do yourself a favor and grab the very first version of Katamari Damacy.  This game is simple in concept.  You roll a ball around an area and it gets larger as you roll over things.  The cubist art style makes the game more interesting and amusing.  I do wish you could switch between tilt controls and on-screen but other than that, this is one of my favorite console games so it’s nice to have it on the go.

O’Reilly books – The same O’Reilly books that are down at the bookstore for $20-$60/ea are available from the app store for $3-$5/ea.  I think that’s fair.  I’ve bought 3 of them so far and they are great.  For something like a programming language reference book these are especially nice since they are searchable and bookmarkable.  My only complaint is that in some of the books, the comments in the code samples get cut off for some reason.  Still, for $5 I’m not complaining at all.  It’s also nice to be able to fit a respectable O’Reilly library right in your pocket and always have it at your fingertips.

Speed Test – I use this app all the time.  It allows you to see how good (or bad) your internet connection is.  It also logs it along with a GPS coordinate.

FlowChat – IRC in my pocket.  If you thought IRC was dead and that twitter has taken it’s place, think again.  It’s live and kicking.  Most of the IRC networks I used to use in the 90’s are still there but irrelevant now in my opinion.  The server that seems to have the topics most interesting to me is Freenode.  If you jump on there, you’ll probably find me in #zipit.  I have not tried the competitor to Flowchat, Colloquy but I use Colloquy on my MacBook Pro and it works well on there so that might also be worth a look.

This list is by no means exhaustive but those are my top choices.  Honorable mentions go out to Twitteriffic, Kindle, Amazon, RingCentral, pTerm & Skype.  Please post in the comments if you have any cool apps that you can’t live without.

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