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Introducing iWebSaver

February 6th, 2008

Save your favorite websites, apps and widgets to your iPhone or iPod touch through the magic of “data: URLs”. You can view webpages and use many great WebApps even in Airplane Mode. Best of all, it’s free!Try iWebSaver

iPhone apple-touch-icon Favelet

January 17th, 2008

Don’t get me wrong. I love my iPhone and I love that Apple keeps coming with the updates, but getting new updates is usually a two-step process for me.

  1. Enjoy what the update does.
  2. Start complaining about what it doesn’t do.

The updates with firmware 1.1.3 were no exception. But for at least one of the updates I was able to do something about it this time.

The problem: WebClips are great, but a 57×57 picture of a webpage is useless for identifying the page at a glance. Of course iPhone web apps will have their apple-touch-icon images added in no time, but what about your other favorite webpages?

The Wish: What if the iPhone would let you specify your own custom icons for websites that don’t provide an apple-touch-icon?

The Solution: Once again a favelet (or bookmarklet) comes to the rescue where iPhone functionality is lacking. By dragging the below favelet link to your browser’s bookmarks, and syncing up with the iPhone, you’ll be ready the next time you hit that ‘Plus’ to add a WebClip to your Home Screen and are met with a useless icon that looks like a website across the room.

The Favelet:  Add apple-touch-icon

The Instructions: If you’ve just entered the ‘Plus’ menu on your favorite site and chosen ‘Add to Home Screen’ only to find that the website has no apple-touch-icon, just follow these steps:

  1. Cancel the ‘Add to Home’ action.
  2. Back in the normal page view, hit the bookmark icon at the bottom.
  3. Find the ‘Add apple-touch-icon’ favelet in your bookmarks and tap it.
  4. By default it will try to use the website’s favicon.ico for the icon, or you can specify any URL on the site, on your own site, or anywhere else that points to an image you think would make a good icon for this WebClip.
  5. Tap OK when you’re happy with the URL for the icon to use.
  6. The page will look exactly the same but if you return to the ‘Add to Home Screen’ option, it will create an icon based on the image found at the url you specified.
  7. If the site doesn’t provide a favicon.ico either, or you don’t like the way your icon turned out, try a different image. Be creative.

iPhone in the Car

August 18th, 2007

Some people wanted to know about the iPhone car dock project referenced in the previous blog entry so here’s a quick breakdown:This installation was mostly just some inspired butchery. The hardest part was taking apart the dock to paint it without completely destroying it. I don’t recommend trying it unless you’re prepared to shell out for a new dock. It was not constructed in a way that makes it easy to disassemble and re-assemble. It took a lot of prying and breaking and is not for the faint of heart. I’d suggest either leaving it white or finding a way to paint around the electronics without taking it apart. That said, taking it apart and spraying it with Fusion spray paint to match my car’s interior and then hitting it with some clear coats provided a great result.In my car I mounted the dock on a standard corner bracket available at the hardware store. I have a mustang and was able to put both the bracket mounting screws and the holes for the wiring in a separate dash trim piece that just surrounds the guage cluster. I’d much rather do that than cutting up the large main dashboard section that can’t be so easily replaced (or removed from the car to work on).The switch I use to control whether the dock has charging power is nothing special either. You can get 12V switches at any auto parts store and many other places. These have LEDs in them so they have an extra connection to ground the switch itself. I connected the switch to direct battery power so I can charge the phone without having the keys in the car if I need to (don’t leave your iPhone in a hot car!). To connect the dock to the switch, I used a standard iPhone car charger and plugged it into an extra lighter socket (the lighter socket is also available at the auto parts store) that I installed behind the dash. It’s not the most elegant solution (vs. hard-wiring everything) but it doesn’t destroy the car charger either, so it can still be taken out and plugged into any lighter socket. Plus, this approach lets me use the car charger’s built-in fuse holder to protect the docked phone from power surges.I took advantage of my car stereo’s line-in and the iPhone dock’s line out to handle the audio. This whole solution would be even nicer if I had a stereo with iPod controls because then I could leave the iPhone off and change the song from the head unit. Although, it’s charging in the dock anyway so it’s nice to have the album art visual and everything. Also, I’ve read that some people have indeed been successful using certain car stereos (such as alpine) to control their iPhones, but that you have to put up with the “this accessory is not made to work with iPhone” message every time you plug it in. My line-out solution using the factory iPhone dock avoids that issue. If this project wasn’t such a hack it would have been nice to mold the dock into the interior using some sort of compound (like the “kitty hair” stuff that custom shops use). The bracket I have it sitting on is not too attractive but blends in with the interior pretty well after I painted it to match.I’m sure there are a lot of ways to do a better job of docking your phone in a car but this was just fine for me and it’s been great so far. I’d love to see any other methods anyone has used.-Josh

Launch Day

August 7th, 2007

Ever have trouble deciding what to do for dinner, or which movie to see? Well today is your lucky day because today is the initial launch of iDecisive.Don’t be indecisive. Be iDecisive.Features include the ability to flip a coin when you don’t have one handy (which I never do because I had to stop carrying them in my pocket when the iPhone arrived), quickly get a random number in any range of numbers, or randomly choose an option from a set of 2 or more options. Please use the comments here or the contact button on the app itself to report any bugs.Want more iPhone? How about iPhone in the car?