Zach Zupancic

Zach Zupancic

Senior Designer, SolidWorks addict, AutoCAD zealot, Cyclist, Shade Tree Mechanic, & moderately tall. 

Awesome and old news; yet a completely useless post.

So I have just fallen even more in love with the awesomeness that is the iPhone.

I used to be a big supporter of the blackberry, mainly due to the fact that it was the “phone of the workplace.” I wanted a phone that was more than just a phone; check e-mail, browse the Internets, and waste time. I had a BB for a spell while I was working at pursuit; it wasn’t the super fancy Storm, but it was the decent Curve. It was far superior to the enV that I was using before, but it wasn’t that great. Me being who I am, I wanted to do more with it. Yes it browsed the internet, but it was lackluster. The apps for the phone were pretty worthless. And while the e-mail functionality worked great, the ability to view PDFs, and attachments were horrible. I secretly loved all the apps that the iPhone offered, but told myself that I didn’t really need all the silliness of the iPhone

The Storm was a huge contender for my quest to find a new phone. I was able to play with one in real life for awhile in back to back comparison with an iPhone thanks to my girlfriend at the time, and her sister's girlfriend. While I loved the Storm and its click screen, the browser was just like the curve just bigger. And the "new apps" that were available for the Storm was just as worthless as the curve. There is also a major factor that I had to consider; the act of hacking the phone. While there is no "real" reason to hack a phone, it does give you the ability to super-personalize your phone by adding unofficial and unique apps and themes. Thanks to RIM the Blackberries are on lock down, and while apple has a "if you jailbreak it, you die" mentality they really don’t do anything to stop it.

These phones stewed in my mind for a few months, life changed drastically, and I finally had to make a choice as to which phone I would call my own. Since the new BB Storm was yet to be released, and still has yet to be, I was pushed farther and father into the mindset of getting an iPhone. I did even more research as to what I really wanted/needed in a phone, and finally made the decision to get an iPhone. I loved it; actually I loved it a lot more than I thought I would. Some of you may have seen how cracked out I was over the berry, but how I reacted to the iPhone was different. There is of course the natural process of the first day jitters of getting all your contacts in and such, but that is all it was. Instead it took me about a week of standard iPhonery before I took the plunge and started the jailbraking process. There was a lot of minor app adding and a few tweaks to the OS here and there, but instead of dying off after a week or two, I have been in full force ever since. The stock iPhone OS is good, and I understand why people do not jailbreak their phone; but a jailbroken iPhone is soOOoo much better in every way.

The main focus of this post isn’t about why I chose the iPhone, but what the iPhone does that makes me adore it. Let me go over a basic function of super-phones that I had the pleasure of finally doing in real time; the ability to hold a conversation, open an e-mail, view an attachment, and discuss that attachment all while sitting in my car. Yes I know that blackberries have been doing this for awhile, but gah… the zooming on the PDFs was just horrible and took forever. Having the ability to talk to my boss in Florida and discuss the changes without having to be sitting with my laptop open hoping that the location has Wi-Fi is awesome.

On top of that there is also a couple of apps that are pretty neat-o-jet. A couple of these apps require you to have a jailbroken phone; but the coolest of them all doesn’t require it.

One of my biggest peeves of the iPhone is the lack of a light to indicate that you have a missed call, e-mail, SMS, etc. While it does vibrate every now and then to let you know, there is no visual indicator. So in order to tell if you missed anything while you are away from your phone is to hit the home button, slide to unlock, and then see if there is a bubble with a number in it on the various apps. With the "StatusNotifier" app/tweak when you hit the home button while the phone is on lock it gives you a visual icon on anything missed. Here is an example of what it looks like when you miss a SMS message. This app/tweak does require a jailbreak with Cydia installed.

Lock screen

The more items that you miss the more that populate the screen. While it doesn’t draw as little battery life as a small LED light, it does save a bit. While it does sound lame, it does cut down on the time it takes you to actually find out if you missed anything.

the next one is a small tweak that lets you get more applications on one page; called "Five-Column Springboard." it isn’t as functional as the StatusNotifier, but it sure does cut down on how many pages it requires you to flick through to find your app. there is another couple tweaks shown on page1 of my home screen; "Five Icon Dock" is self explanatory, and "Winterboard" with a user background to get the photo behind the apps. These all require a jailbreak.

New home sreen

==You may have noticed that some of the app names and slide-lock words have changed, this was done by modifying some files in the "English.Iproj" folder; this can be accessed may ways but i recommend the use of iFile.==

And now for the one of the few apps that has actually wowed me; RemotePad. There is a very simple idea behind it "lazy." Have you ever been too far away from your keyboard, or mouse, and wanted to respond to your mate, browse the internet, or even let’s say that your lappy is attached to a TV and you really don’t want to get up and change the movie or swap a window? Well there is a good chance that you have Wi-Fi in your house, and if you have that there is even a better chance that both your iPhone and your lappy are connected to it. So why not just link them together and control your lappy from across the room? RemotePad does just that, it can connect to your lappy via a Wi-Fi network, and with this connection you can use your iPhone as both a mouse and a keyboard.

Sure the mouse movement is a bit laggy, but lets face it... this is a really awesome app. It is especially amazing if you have a laptop (or monitor-less desktop) that is forever plugged into your TV and use it as a server for movies and downloadables.

I think this may satisfy my tech talk for long while.