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rjbs (4671)

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I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Sunday March 02, 2008
08:15 AM

sdk hopes for iphone

[ #35818 ]

I haven't made up my mind that I want an iPhone yet, but it really has a lot of the features that I want. It even has the bonus feature of replacing my iPod. Sure, it won't hold as much as my 40 gig (third generation) iPod, but it will be one less thing to put in my pocket, and I was pretty happy using my 1 gig shuffle for most things, before I lost it.

Since I wrote that entry, though, I've had a few changes in what I want. Over and over, I've found myself making notes on the backs of receipts or my hand. Hours later, they're incomprehensible, or I've thrown away the receipt. (I have not yet thrown away either of my hands.) I realized that my (awful) phone has a voice memo recorder, and it's pretty useful. Why the heck doesn't the iPhone?

Also, now that I'm using Hiveminder, I'd really like to have AIM from my phone so I can talk to the AIM Hiveminder interface. I can do some nonsense to use SMS to use Twitter to send messages to Hiveminder, but it's stupid and annoying. I'd rather have AIM on my phone. Heck, my RAZR had it. Why doesn't the iPhone?

My current schedule for a next phone is "once my T-Mobile contract is up." I forget just when that is, but it's June or July or so. By then, I'm hoping that the SDK will have been out for several months, and there will be a wide variety of third party applications for the iPhone, some available for free.

I'm hoping to see an AIM client (Adium would be nice!) and a memo recorder, of course. I'd also really like to see a ssh client, although I'm not sure how useful it will be. The iPhone keyboard sucks, and I don't really want to have to use the iPhone to enter passwords or ssh key passphrases. Still, being able to fix a busted MX remotely from a movie theater lobby would be great.

I'd like a good RSS reader, but it will need to sync with my laptop. I use NetNewsWire for reading RSS now, which can sync to the NewsGator service. When that feature first started, it seemed to be buggy. I'm hoping it will be better now. Even if it's still a little twitchy, I won't mind a few little glitches once in a while, if it mostly works.

Having to use some weird app to put text files on iPhone seems annoying, but I think I effectively need to do that now, if I can get arbitrary text on there at all. I'd like a way to get random.txt onto my iPhone for viewing on the road.

I'm not sure what else I want to see come out of the SDK. I wouldn't mind my long-desired ability to write procmail for incoming calls. (Work is calling? at 03:00? Don't ring!) I'd love the ability for third parties to write better input methods, because the iPhone virtual keyboard stinks. I hate to say it, but Flash would be nice for mobile Safari, especially if we get 3G in the next rev. Mostly, I want to run Pandora.

I'll be astounded if iPhone Safari gets a 1Password plugin, but that would be great. Getting iStumbler would be amusing, but not really useful for me.

I think that the things I'm looking for are pretty simple. It will probably come down to the ability of free software developers to get the SDK and distribute applications built with it. I guess we'll know more about that on Thursday.

When will we find out about buying an Android phone?

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  • There is already a considerable amount of third party software available for the iPhone. I too have been considering getting one. You can find AIM, SSH, RSS readers and I haven't looked but I'd also guess voice recorder software. There are rumors of a version of Adium for iPhone.
    • I don't want to have to jailbreak my phone.
      • I must have missed that in the original post. Well, there are web apps that give you AIM and SSH although I don't know if I'd trust them.
        • I might trust a web AIM, but definitely not a web SSH. I'll wait for the SDK!
          • It sounds like they’ll tie 3rd party apps to the iTMS with an approval process. They probably won’t allow anything that would subvert any of the their or their telco partners’ income sources.

            (Hey, slowly turning from a technology company into a content distributor was a huge boon for Sony… cough.)

            • There are a lot of conflicting rumors right now. I am content to wait a week and find out.
  • I use Jott to create Hiveminder tasks when I'm away from a computer ( It's not perfect, but it works well enough that I know what I was trying to remember.
    • That looks like a good idea. I'd heard about Jott before but I didn't have a use case at the time. I'll give it a spin. Thanks!