Handy iPhone Apps For Staying Connected

If you are like me, you’ve got to live in a mixed OS environment, at home is Mac and at work is Windows. And, you’ve got an iPhone or iPad which works great with Mac, but doesn’t play quite so nice in a corporate environment. Here are some great apps for your iPhone that will help you bridge the gap between those worlds.

DropBox: FREE — sync files — with this iPhone app, you have access to your files on the go. And since the storage is cloud-based, and dropbox works on both Mac/Win you can have your files synced effortlessly. See my previous Dropbox article about the software versions and how to download and install on both platforms with FREE 2GB + 250MB of storage.

Evernote: FREE — sync notes — while the iPhone app isn’t as robust as some other Note applications, it will sync with their incredibly handy Mac and Windows application. So, if you’ve made notes or clipped screenshots at home for your big presentation at work, you can edit it on the way with the app, and then have it synced and ready on your work PC. See my previous Evernote articles for more details.

LastPass: FREE (requires $12/year subscription) — sync passwords — there you are visiting a favorite website at home or on your iPhone, but you can’t remember what password you used. Not any more with LastPass. LastPass works as a browser add-on that will store and sync your login information. Plus, anywhere you travel, you can log into the LastPass.com site to find those passwords. Find out more about LastPass with my previous article on it.

Skype: FREE — cheap talk — sure iChat is great on the Mac, but it’s limited to the Mac. Skype works on both platforms and even on your iPhone. With Skype, if you subscribe to one of their unlimited talk plans (US = $3, Japan = $6), you can not only talk all you want at home, at work, and on your phone. (NOTE: Skype currently requires you to use WiFi to make calls on your iPhone. To get around this limitation, you can use the FREE Fring application, which allows you to make Skype Out calls over the 3G network.)

Pandora: FREE — cheap music — if you love music, this is one app you need to have. Set up “stations” of your favorite music and let Pandora stream that music to you via this iPhone app. Pandora.com works great in Firefox and Safari also, so you can listen to those stations at work or home too.

Toodledo: ($3) — sync to-do’s — with this iPhone app you can edit/add/delete your To-dos. Toodledo’s website offers links to sync your account with both Mac and Windows, so those changes you made will be reflected wherever you go.

Photo apps: — see your photos — there are several good apps to show and upload your photos to a photo site, including Shutterfly (FREE), Flickr (FREE), Eye-fi (FREE), and Picasafoto ($.99, for Picasa) . If you take a lot of photos and want to see them on the road, these apps will help you stay connected to those images.

Yelp: FREE — great tips — Yelp’s iPhone app can help you find local businesses quickly. The “bookmark” feature is really great for keeping your favorite places’ phone numbers handy. So, you can order your favorite Thai dish in advance for quick pickup. User reviews can also give you tips what to order or avoid.


AirMouse: ($2) — control your Mac with your iPhone. This app will work with your local WiFi network to become a trackpad to control your Mac wirelessly. Much more robust than Apple’s free Remote app, and cheaper than a Magic Mouse.

Prowl: ($3) — get PUSH notification on your iPhone from any Growl messages on your Mac. If you have Growl installed to display notifications on your Mac, Prowl allows you to send those notifications to your iPhone. You can be notified of things like disk errors, completed downloads, or whatever you want.

Well, I hope that’s helped you with some cool apps for you iPhone.

[Note: originally published on HMAUS.org ]

Send large files in 5 easy steps: YouSendIt.com

When I’ve shown some people just how simple Yousendit.com is and they’ve been really impressed. For fast, free emailing of a LARGE document, Yousendit.com is pretty great!

(click image to view larger with steps highlighted)

Step 1: go to www.yousendit.com

Step 2: fill out the To: and From: email addresses,

Step 3: browse to find your document, and hit uploadIf the file is really large (but under 100MB) you might be asked to create a free account by entering in a password.

Step 4 (optional, but recommended): add a subject and message into the email — like, “here’s that file you requested from our conversation yesterday.”

Step 5: Then click SEND and away your file goes.

Your recipient will get an email notification about the file to download. Fast and free, check it out: Yousendit.com

Using Box.net for file sharing in 10 simple steps

Now that drop.io is dieing, you’ll want to find another way to share your files with others.  Of course you can email them, but often these files are large.  Plus you may want to share a collection of files, rather than just one or two.   That’s where box.net comes in so handy.  You can create a box.net account and be sharing with others in minutes!
Here are the 10 steps you’ll need to do to upload and share files with others:

1 Go to www.box.net

2) Choose the FREE, Personal account, and you get the following:
* 5 GB + of web-storage
* 25 MB file size limit
* Simple sharing and collaboration

3) fill out the form with email, password, etc.

4) You’ll receive an email to validate your email address.  Click on that link from box.net and log in

5) choose the icon to Create New Folder. Type in the name of your new folder. Choose “JUST ME (keep private for now)” to keeping it hidden until you are ready.

6) Click on the Folder name that you just created, and click the text that says “Or browse for files” to upload all your files to that folder

7) When you’re finished uploading, click “All Files” to go back to the home listing that shows that folder

8) Click the “SHARE” text that’s near your folder, to allow you to share the entire folder.
9) A link will appear that you can COPY (Control+C)
10) EMAIL that link to anyone you want to be able to get all those files within that folder

That’s it, you’re done!  Simple, right?!

If you have another conference or group you want to share with, just repeat steps 5-10 again with a new folder name.  If you just want to share a couple of files instead of ALL of them in the folder, find the file and click the “SHARE” text next to it.  Then copy and paste that link to whomever you want.

Journalism schools using and teaching social media

Back when I went to j-school, the Internet wasn’t considered a form of “mass media” yet. It was still pretty well limited to email and clunky browsers with limited information. Well, obviously that’s all changed. Journalism schools are teaching about how social media (things like blogs, twitter, facebook, etc.) are changing the way information is communicated, often making it into the “traditional mass media” (newspaper, television, radio).

Mashable has an interesting article 10 Ways Journalism Schools Are Teaching Social Media. This includes News Gathering and Reporting, something that shouldn’t be much of a surprise to those watching CNN recently. Here’s a funny clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on just how much CNN is relying on these new social media feeds:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
“i” on News
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Jason Jones in Iran

Evernote: Syncing Your Notes (and Files) Wherever

Evernote Man, I like this product! Evernote is like Yojimbo with tentacles, “Tako Yojimbo”. Let me explain. Evernote is like a journal that you can type in, paste in, add screen shots, even drop files into, and it will sync those across multiple platforms. Evernote is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Windows Mobile. Plus you can log into their site and add/edit/delete notes there. Or, send an email to your Evernote account and that will get synced.

In other words, you can write up your ideas from work, edit them in the car, tweak it some on your friend’s browser, and have it complete to print out when you get home! You can tag your ideas, like Yojimbo, to make it easy to organize and find. Evernote will even search within your PHOTOS for text to add as tags!

So, let’s say you want to write a journal of your life and work on it wherever you go. Or, a blog article (yep, this one was an Evernote). Or, you find a cool product on the web — take a screen shot and save it for later. Or, for researchers, it’s perfect for keeping track of those “finds”!

Sounds good so far, right?! Well for FREE, it is good! But for $5/month you can also sync any type of FILE, not just photos, pdfs, and text with the free account. Wow! You could even skip Dropbox if you upgrade!

Evernote is a great way to keep your thoughts in sync: a notepad in the clouds…

[Note: originally published on HMAUS.org]

Sync Files Between Computers, Even PC/Mac: Dropbox

DropboxIf you are like most people, you have a work and home computer. They may even be on different platforms — like a Mac at home and PC at work. There are several solutions out there, but the one I want to discuss is Dropbox. Dropbox allows you to easily set up a “cloud” storage space that can sync between your computers. That’s 2GB of FREE storage that you can share, backup, or sync files with.

You can set up hidden or public folders, even share your photos with others through Dropbox. And, best, it just seems to work. I’ve used it since it was beta, and I’ve only had 1 problem with it. And that just was because I was running an older version on one of my computers. Upgraded and all worked fine again!

How does it compare to some other solutions? It’s similar to both Syncplicity and Microsoft’s livemesh, though for me, both of those solutions were more difficult to get set up (and for livemesh, a pain on updates).

If you are looking for a fast, free solution to file storage and syncing, check out Dropbox.

Small businesses to use more social networking tools

An article today from eMarketer finds that small business plan to spend more online using social networking tools.  These tools might include things like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, even YouTube:

More small businesses said they would increase their spending on social networking than on any other format.

Change in Online Marketing: eMarketing.com

via Small Businesses’ Online Plans – eMarketer

MacHeist: new “loot” for those that can solve puzzles

If you own a Mac and love solving puzzles, then you should check out MacHeist. Through solving a series of intricately designed puzzles, riddles, visual clues, and cryptograms, you can get several free programs, including Process. Sign up for an account, and off you go solving clues found in the Briefings.

I tried my first one this week, after learning about MacHeist from their holiday giveaway called, Mac Giving Tree. Reading the briefings, following some of the hints others had left in the forums, visiting the various web sites they had set up, and checking my “Loot” area, I found I had solved one puzzle to get Process.

Be forewarned that if you aren’t familiar with these kinds of puzzles, it will be confusing to begin with. Hang with it, get help from others, and have some fun! Learn more at: MacHeist [This is a great idea for building a community, generating lots of “buzz” (including tons of tweets), and keeping membership high.]

Upcoming Unconferenz: February 7th

An upcoming event that sounds very interesting: Unconferenz. Using Pecha Kucha which is basically a open discussion with limitations on each speaker of 20 slides and 20 seconds each slide.

Date: February 7, 2009, Saturday
Time: 8:00am to 4:00pm
Place: JAIMS (in Hawaii Kai)
6660 Hawaii Kai Dr
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

Attendance: 50 – 100 Limited

Cost: $25 – This will include a t-shirt and lunch

Check out their site to register and get more information!