Two iPhone App Requests for the Lazyweb
After using my iPhone for over two months now, I really have only three lingering annoyances with it. Two, which can hopefully be solved quickly via the magic of the lazyweb:
No way to simply give a URL its own button in the main menu (like, for instance, your favorite humor site).
- No way to either increase the duration or recurrence of vibration when you receive an SMS message (currently, it lasts about a half second and never buzzes again, causing me to miss it the great majority of the time).
- No over-the-air or wifi syncing capabilities (probably not solvable without Apple’s help).
Numbers one and two seem imminently solvable given the groundswell of development activity within the iPhone community lately, and number two would be of benefit to nearly everyone who uses vibrate mode.
I was hesitant to hack my iPhone at all until last night when Newsvine Lance showed me how easy and clean it has become to install apps. In case you’re curious, just download the AppTap Installer to your Mac, sync up, and you can begin testing out new apps and customizations without any dirtywork or scary command line stuff. After the Installer is installed, launch it and install “Community Sources” to get the full array of applications available for your iPhone. The first ones I recommend installing are Summerboard, BSD Subsystem, MobileFinder, Mobile Terminal, and NES (in that order). It’s important to install Summerboard first so your list of applications is infinitely scrollable.
Anyway, back to the lazyweb stuff.
For number one, it would be nice to simply be able to add an application called, say, “Bookmark Launcher”, and have the app prompt you for a URL and the name of the Bookmark. After you type the URL and name in, an icon would be created in the main menu that takes you straight to the site. Quick and simple.
For number two, either of two things would solve the problem of missed SMS vibrations: tack on an extra second or two of vibration when an SMS (or any alert) comes in or keep vibrating every 5 or 10 minutes for up to an hour until the alert is dismissed. I was skeptical that this pet peeve of mine could ever be hacked around until I saw the, uhhh, “interesting” app iBrate. Say what you want about the app, but it’s a nice proof of concept for modifying iPhone’s weak vibration alerts.
Before I was a crotchety old man, I’d have tried to tackle these two potential features myself, but alas, I don’t have the expertise. Anybody have any ideas? I’ll sport a brand new Samsung Upstage music phone to whoever solves number two. It’s the worst phone ever invented — I know — but it’s new and it’s free, and it goes for over $200 on eBay.