Category Archives: Software

Automatically Change Desktop Wallpaper to Satellite Images of Your Current Location

Automatically Change Desktop Wallpaper to Satellite Images of Your Current Location:

Satellite Image wallpaper

Satellite Eyes is a neat free app that automatically adjusts your desktops background wallpaper to satellite images of your current location. Commute to work and you’ll see a new background than what you do at home, fly across the country or world and it’ll change with you.

For a simple app there are a fair amount of customization options to change how the wallpapers look. There are four different map styles, which include the generally attractive Bing Aerial satellite imagery, Terrain map which looks like a general map, Toner which looks pretty dreadful, and Watercolor which is exactly what it sounds like. Additionally, there are four different zoom levels, including Street Level, Neighborhood, City, and Region. The City and Region options can look either really great or really awful depending on how good the satellite images are for the area and how much terraforming human lifeforms have conducted in your region of planet Earth. If your setup includes multiple monitors you’ll find Satellite Eyes is smart enough to extend the imagery over each display.

If you don’t want Satellite Eyes to automatically adjust the wallpaper as you change locations, you can open the app once at a select destination and then quit, the background picture stays intact. The app uses Location Services in Mac OS X in order to function, meaning you’ll need to have them enabled for the satellite image to be accurate.

Satellite Eyes preferences
The Preference panel is accessible through the menubar and includes a fair amount of customizations. This is showing regional view.

Satellite eyes neighborhood watercolor view
Seeing Neighborhood view painted in watercolor is abstract and attractive.

Not a fan of pictures of the planet from satellites? That’s ok, we have ten gazillion more wallpapers in our archives.

Heads up to @Daryl and Isiah for the tip

(Via OS X Daily)

Apple’s Let’s talk iPhone Announcement

apple-iphone-event-iphone5Apple has it’s iPhone event tomorrow. It says Let’s talk iPhone, but we all expect them to announce iOS 5 and iCloud, as well as a new iPhone of some kind.

The Times to start listening and following along are:

7:00AM Hawaii

10:00AM Pacific

11:00AM Mountain

12:00PM Central

1:00PM Eastern

6:00PM London

Here are some places you can follow along.

TWiT

GDGT

Engadget

Update To My 5 Things I Want To See In iOS 5 Post

Back in January, I wrote about five things I’d like to see in iOS 5, I thought I would update that, as the beta is out, and it’s been officially announced.

The first thing on my list was wireless syncing, this is now going to be a part of the iOS system. It works in the way that everytime you plug your phone into the wall to charge, it’ll sync with iTunes automatically. It’ll also backup to iCloud if you want it to use that instead of iTunes as a backup system.

Number two on my list was lockscreen improvements. There wasn’t really a good improvement to the lockscreen, as I would have liked to see my calendar and weather, but this also is a part of number four on my list better notifications.

The third thing was SMS enhancements. This didn’t get done, as I also would’ve like them to incorporate some Bite SMS features, like quick reply, but they did come out with a new messaging system called imessage, which is an iOS to iOS device messenger, that bypasses the carriers SMS fees. It’s built into the SMS app on the iphone, and when you add the person it automatically changes to imessage if that person has it activated.

On to number four, better notifications, this got reworked, and now notifications show up on the lockscreen, and you slide the icon to open the app, and there is now a notification center that slides down from the top and all your notification are in one place, it also doesn’t do the popup window by default, it shows the notification across the top of the window.

The last thing was the built in apps and the ability to delete them. Nope, still can’t do that.

So, as I’m looking back at this, my score was 3.5/5, so that’s pretty good for a guess at what Apple will do.

AirVideo: One of the Best iOS Apps

watch video on iphone

I started using this app during the first version, and if you don’t know what it is, I’ll explain that now.

AirVideo comes in two flavors, the free version and the $2.99 paid version. The main difference between the two is that the free version limits the number of items displayed in each folder.

AirVideo: Air

AirVideo Free: Air

Here’s the lowdown:

  • Video Streaming: Watch videos from your computer, over the air via WiFi or 3G, on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. No need to sync with iTunes or transfer files.
  • Live Conversion: Convert video from a non-iPhone friendly container like AVI or MKV, or codecs like XviD or DivX while you’re watching. No need to convert first, watch later.

Continue reading AirVideo: One of the Best iOS Apps

Wunder Radio is Now iOS 4 Ready

Wunder-RadioLarge-300x300.pngMy favorite, and possibly the best streaming radio app Wunder Radio (iTunes Link) is now iOS 4 ready with official background streaming. The app has had background streaming available for a lot of it’s feeds via mobile safari streaming for awhile, but it’s gotten better with official streaming. Wunder Radio offers more radio stations than you can imagine, and they offer Sirius and XM streaming as well as live streams of Air Traffic Control and Police Bands. When TUAW reviewed this app they said that most of the time the signal was actually better on the iPhone then on the car radio, and I agree.

Continue reading Wunder Radio is Now iOS 4 Ready

Jailbreaking the iPhone

blackra1n When I had the 1st iPhone, as soon as the jailbreaking software became available I decided to take the plunge and jailbreak the phone, not only for the added features, but for making the phone completely my own. During my time with the iPhone 3G, I had no need to jailbreak as most of the apps and usability of the jailbreak became irrelevant, as I wasn’t all that excited about custom themes or anything else of the sort.

A few days ago I noticed that the now pulled Google voice apps I had been using stopped working, so I once again decided to take the plunge and perform a jailbreak using the blackra1n version. I hooked up my iPhone 3GS to iTunes and performed a full sync including backup, then opened the blackra1n app and clicked on the make it ra1n button, and a minute or so later I had a jailbroken iPhone. I then proceeded to install the Cydia and Rock installer apps, and then installed the GV Mobile app, which worked great.

I hate to say that the only reason I jailbroke was for the one app, but that is the only reason, and now by looking around the other app stores, I have been reminded why I jailbroke in the first place. I have my calendar on my lock screen, the temp in the status bar and you can add a lot of left out functionality.

So if you are looking to add features and functionality to your iPhone, go ahead and jailbreak, it’s gotten so easy to do, and there are virtually no risks.

iPhone Software Update 3.1.2 Out

iphone-os-3-1-2-updateIn just a little under a month after iPhone OS 3.1 was released, Apple has just released an update for the iPhone OS, upgrading it to 3.1.2. This update fixes the widely reported issue where the iPhone would not wake from sleep, and also fixes an issue involving video playback and cellular service. This update is available for the original iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, and the iPod touch.

[via TUAW]

Dropbox for iPhone App Released

Dropbox has finally released its full featured iPhone app (iTunes Link). It works just like it should, you can access all your files on your iPhone, and you can take photos, video or use existing media and upload them directly to the Dropbox.

On first login, You are presented with a brief welcome document that highlights some of the features of the app. Backing out of the document will take you to your Dropbox, which quickly lists any of the files and folders you may have in there. You can also tag stuff as favorites so you can quickly see the stuff you access the most.

I should also note that if you want to watch video you can, you can upload any media file that quicktime will play and you can stream it to your iPhone.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account, get one. It’s a very handy service, and I guarantee you will love it once you start using it.


iTunes 9: The Best New Feature You May Not Know About

B9A76002-5F8C-41F4-99D3-E4F71D020B49.jpgI downloaded iTunes 9 as soon as it was released, and am truly enjoying all the changes. I don’t care that it’s not a true cocoa app, or 64 bit, I am enjoying the new syncing options, and the little changes that Apple finally gave us.

I keep my iTunes library on an external drive because of the size, and I have always had iTunes keep it somewhat organized, however, when looking through the folder, it was a  mess of artist folders. iTunes 9 solves this problem by keeping your music folder neatly organized with a more logical folder structure. To get this new organization, you have to upgrade to the new style by going to the menu under library and organize.

This makes it much easier to find things, and the best change is that you’ll notice a folder names Automatically add to iTunes, if you drag files into that folder they will get added automatically into your library, and for those of you who torrent, most clients will move completed downloads, so if you move music and video files to that folder, they will then be added to your library as well.

Let me know in the comments what you like or dislike about the new iTunes.

My Daunting Snow Leopard Upgrade

thumb160x_snowleopardbox.png I am a somewhat new Mac user, and my MacBook Pro is just a month old, has been replace once a week after I got it for hard drive issues, so my second machine was starting to act funny, I got my copy of Snow Leopard and started the upgrade process (I had everything backed up to externals just in case I ran into issues). So the upgrade seemed to be going fine, until I got the message that said the operating system couldn’t be installed.

Next on my list was to boot from the disk, and use disk tools to format and repartition the drive and start from scratch, again no go. So, still not convinced that something was wrong, I tried to reinstall leopard on the frehshly formatted drive, and it installed fine, I then attempted to do the snow leopard upgrade again, and again I got an epic fail.

My hard drive was a little louder than usual, even before the upgrade, and I had been having issues of the spinning beach ball spinning for awhile, then the drive would catch up and it would run fine, but after three attempts I decided to go to the Genius Bar and see what they thought.

He took the machine in the back, and after about 10 minutes, came back and said they were going to replace the drive and that it would be ready on Tuesday, this was a Friday, and I needed my machine over the weekend. With a barely working machine, I headed home with my tail between my legs, but I remembered I had an old 80 gig drive that would work, so I formatted the drive and installed snow leopard on the external, swapped the drives in the machine, and limped along until Tuesday when my new drive was ready. I am now fully up and going, but I went through the most difficult upgrade process I have ever gone through.

The one thing I am happy about is that I could migrate everything from the external to the new internal, and all my settings, programs and documents were just the way I left them, I still had to reinstall a bunch of apps, but that’s not as big a deal on a mac as it is on a windows machine, so if you had similar or other issues with the Snow Leopard upgrade, let me know in the comments.