Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Google Calendars + CalDAV + iCal + iPhone = WIN!

The number one thing that has confounded me about mobile devices (both my "old" Sprint Mogul / Windows Mobile 6.1 and my current iPhone) has been syncing calendars. My primary calendars are all Google calendars. With the Mogul and Outlook, there was a pretty good tool from Google for Windows that would sync outlook to Google and then you could sync the phone to Outlook with ActiveSync. The big problem with that is that it would consolidate all your calendars into one. The Mac iCal at least handles multiple calendars (and rather painlessly, I might add), syncing between iPhone and iCal is a snap, and you can "subscribe" to Google calendars, but that is read-only, which is pretty poopy imho. Things got a little better today.

Huge thanks to my twitter friend and fellow early-morning-of-the-day-of-iPhone-release-standing-in-line commiserater, Chip, for finding Google CalDAV! With a very few steps, I had iCal set up to automatically sync with my two primary calendars (work and home).

So, syncing between Google and iCal is no problem at all. Between iCal and iPhone is no problem at all. Between iPhone and Google ... not so much. Firstly, I don't think there is any support to automatically sync between the iPhone and Google directly. Secondly, apparently even after all this stuff is synced, you cannot edit the Google calendars from iPhone. So when you go to create a new event on the iPhone it makes a new local calendar and sticks your new events in there.

I am sure that in future there will be support for direct syncing between the iPhone and Google, so for now, this really isn't that bad. I will add events to my iPhone calendar, at the end of the day sync up to iCal, move all the events manually to the correct Google calendar (in iCal), let that sync up and I'm good to go.

The manual step is sort of a bummer, but it is vastly better than the alternatives, which were so klunky that my calendars have been so far out of sync for so long that they have been rendered effectively useless. Time now to sync it all up.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

iPhone Screen Capture

Here's a little trick. Hold down the power button on your iPhone and hit "the button". That takes a screenshot and saves it to your Camera Roll.

Also, if you are using XCode and have your device plugged in, you can get screen captures through the Organizer tool ( [SHIFT] + [COMMAND] + O ).

Found it!

I have been hunting around for ages for a free internet radio player for my iPhone. The AOL Radio thingy is alright, but they are all AOL stations. I am most interested in listening to Frisky Radio and SomaFM. Finally decided that the time I was wasting searching was worth more than the $6 to download Tuner. It works. I am now feelin' Frisky.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

iPhone 3G battery indicator bug

I am pretty sure that I am experiencing a bug with the battery
indicator on my iPhone. A couple days ago, I thought that my phone
wasn't charging because the indicator didn't move. A reboot showed
that it was full. Today, I am getting the opposite. I have been
standing in line for hours talking, surfing and using the iPod, but
the battery showed full. There's no way that's correct. Another
reboot shows the battery at maybe 30%.


p.s. Yup. Here it is.

Friday, July 18, 2008

VNC for iPhone

Found a nice, free VNC tool for iPhone on AppStore. From AppStore, search for Mocha VNC Lite.

iSight always on

Here's the second Apple wierdness I experienced today. I noticed that the little green light next to the camera on my MacBook is always on. After poking around in Activity Monitor a little bit, nothing came to mind as an obvious program that could be using it. I had a thought that a malicious program was watching me. ;) Sorry, not a lot of excitement here unless you get off on dudes reading documentation and writing code. Anyway, that wasn't it. I seemed to fix it by "resetting the SMC". Here's the link from Apple that led me on my merry way.

iPhone won't charge

Here is the first of two wierdnesses I have experienced today. This first one involves my iPhone appearing to not recharge. I plugged it in to a wall jack last night. when I unplugged it, it showed that it was half full. I thought that was a bit odd, so when I got to work I plugged it in again. An hour or so later, it was still half full. So I thought maybe the wall plug thing isn't a good idea so I plugged it into my Mac. A little bit later, still half full. By this point I am getting worried. Oh noes! I have a faulty iPhone. Nah. I just restarted it and it showed that it was full.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jib Jab

Wow, the new Jib Jab cartoon is gorgeous. How amazing that a crudely animated internet cartoon a couple of years ago turns into a very polished and profitable animation that is sort of an expected feature of current politics.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

iPhone Progress

I have had two evenings of great progress on the path to learning iPhone development. After spending several days pouring over a few sample projects from the iPhone Dev Center , particularly NavBar, I decided that I should start writing some code. So, from scratch, I managed to cobble together a little test that builds a TableView with multiple sections.

It's pretty meager; it doesn't really do anything useful. But it did a great deal to help me solidify a lot of concepts. Interface Builder makes a lot more sense, the implementation of MVC is really slick.

After showing this to Ben, he suggested that we put together a SubVersion repository for these little apps. So I downloaded a Mac client called SCPlugin from Tigris' site. It seems to work well. You Fireflies out there can keep up with our learning apps from our SVN server at /projects/iPhone/Playground. Though, after doing that, I poked around a little in XCode and see that the SVN integration isn't too bad there. Here are some pictures of the SVN stuff in XCode:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone Battery Life

Here's a set of hints on how to extend the iPhone battery life. Man, I gotta say that sure does suck down the juice.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New iPhone Purchase

I am standing in line to purchase a new iPhone 3G. This is probably my last email from my Sprint Mogul. It has been a good phone on a great network. I am pretty sure that it knows that it's time has come early. I have never had a problem with it until about a week ago. Now it flakes out several times a day, and kicks off an alarm in the middle of the night that I CANNOT figure out how to turn off. The poor little guy is probably heartbroken. :(

The enthusiasm here is incredible. The line is wrapped nearly around the mall. Every Apple Store employee is here and giving high fives and all that. This feels more like waiting in line for the opening night of Star Wars (Episode I) than waiting in line for a little gadget.