Archive for April, 2011

A Smarter Lock Screen


Over time, Apple has addressed most of the missing features of the iPhone. A major oversite, though, is the lockscreen and its complete lack of information. Related is the fact that notifications must be in a pop-up bubble and only one can be seen. Apple is long overdue for revamping these into something much more useful and intelligent. The whole point of an iPhone, afterall, is to get information to you quickly and easily.

This is a screenshot of my phone this morning, and what I see whenever I wake my iPhone. Beyond the date and time, I see weather, upcoming calendar events, new email, a list of new text messages if any, as well as all notifications that have come in from various sources. Everything here is interactive as well. Tapping the email will preview it, touching the date gives me a full month calendar, and the weather pulls down to a 7-day forecast. You can clear each notification as you’ve read them.

Right now this is only available thanks to a brilliant jailbreak app called Lockinfo. Every part is configurable, from how each component interacts, to plugins that work with additional apps, and even picking other actions besides the swipe to unlock. It’s well worth its price, but my real point here is that Apple needs to start paying attention to this long-ignored blank space that we all see dozens of times per day. Maybe they should just outright buy this and integrate it in the next update!

My iPhone’s been tracking me!

There’s been a lot of news lately about the discovery that the iPhone has kept a location history of its travels. I of course jumped on the opportunity to see where I’ve been.

And what do you know, I spend most of my time around Boston! Nothing unexpected, driving to VT, NH, CT and PA. I spent a few days in New Orleans last summer. It even managed to pick up my flight connections there, in Philly and Charlotte! My trip to France and Germany is well documented as well. And then there are a few random dots around the country (not visible here) when cell towers as misidentified. download the tool and try yourself!

Mystic River Bike Ride

For the first time in three years, I pulled my bike out of the basement and got it running again. I just went on a quick bike ride today to make sure everything was still working OK, heading along the Mystic River. Medford has some nice trails there in Mystic Riverbend Park, and you can continue underneath 16 over to MDC’s reservation and a tower overlooking the Boston skyline. This is all within a mile and a half of my house. I recorded some video clips along the way.