eskapism.com - personal website of Stefan Kovachev

eskapism Lockinfo theme

I have to admit that even though I love the iPhone in some aspects it is at a disadvantage when compared with other similar devices. In my opinion its killer feature – the OS and its usability – still lack some things that can be found on high-end Nokia or HTC handsets. One such missing feature is a good lock screen. The vanilla iPhone lock screen shows almost no information (only clock). Compared to Nokia handhelds it lacks things like weather, missed calls, new E-mail messages…

Something must be done! And it has! For jailbroken iPhones exists the possibility to buy and install Lockinfo – an extension to the iPhone OS that shows all that information on the Lock screen. As far functionality goes this was just what I (and the iPhone) needed, but.. from a design and usability point of view it was.. well, not optimal. It was possible to customize it a bit by replacing some images and changing some font colors. That, however, didn’t do anything for its usability. Luckily the creator exposed an API for to implement themes using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. As a result one of the more popular themes emerged – the Gruppled Lockinfo theme. It’s design was better than the native Lockinfo, but naturally it consumed more resources due to the fact that it was a HTML-based theme. (more…)

Synchronization: Notes

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Categories: apple, apps, web
April 20, 2010

One of my goals when choosing a handheld device was the ability to have all my information with me at all times. That included my contacts, notes, events and tasks. Also I wanted to be able to edit these lists of data from anywhere I have an internet connection.  I have been searching for apps that provide solutions to my requirements. This is the first of a series of articles which will cover the synchronization of information between my desktop computer, the web and my mobile device.

For notes synchronization I have chosen the most popular tool – Evernote. And not only because of its popularity but of its killer desktop version. It’s best feature is actually the possibility to crop a screenshot directly after using the print screen button. That way you can add page segments directly to your notes with one push of a button.

The desktop client of Evernote syncs directly with their server. The bandwidth provided for the free account is more than enough for the casual user (unless you start uploading massive pictures). Another feature or perk that comes when using Evernote is that there are apps or plugins for almost every platform.

I wanted a way to add notes when I am not at my computer and I have it – Evernote has a very good web interface with all the functionality of its desktop counterpart. Additionally there are a number of browser extensions for e.g. Firefox that enable you to quickly add notes to your account. My personal favorite is the Evernote Web Clipper.

The Evernote app for the iPhone is actually not that good. I organize my data in different notebooks and the app does not provide a way to select one and search / scroll through it. You can search or scroll only through all notes – not very usable. I decided to use the Awesome Note app which does provide this functionality. With it however I cannot add voice notes but that is an option that I hardly ever use. There are some synchronization issues when using Awesome Note with Evernote – the notebooks imported from the app include a prefix in their names. And the ones in on the Evernote server without that prefix are not synced. The solution is to add the prefix to all notebooks.

Should you ever want to share your notes between a number of devices – Evernote is the best way to go. There are a number of other services or applications , but the tools that Evernote provides exist for all major platforms and are perfectly synced between each other.

iPhone OS 4.0

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Categories: apple
April 19, 2010

For almost half an year I have been an iPhone user. This device is so much more than a phone – nowadays there are apps for absolutely everything. As an avid Apple fan I’m opening a new category in my blog, which will handle topics like iPhone, Apple, iPhone OS, iPad etc. This is the opening article for the apple category.

On April 8th Apple revealed the features of the latest iPhone OS installment. To the casual user they were all new, different and cool, but to a group of “hardcore” iPhone users that wanted to squeeze out everything from their phone in terms of functionality and performance they were already available. This group had already jailbroken their devices and had extended their phone with additional functionality. Here I would like to discuss whether the features provided by apple are actually better than that which was already available to jailbroken iPhones. It should be noted that I haven’t tested the new version of the OS myself – everything I know can be seen / read in the hundreds of reviews and tests.

The changes that impact me personally and to which I’m looking forward to are Birthday Calendars, App Folders, Multitasking and Improved E-Mail. (more…)

The Crimeblips project

В този пост споменах за един проект, който изяде бая време през шестия ми семестър в университета. Тогава не споменах, за какво точно става въпрос. Идеята на настоящият пост е да разкажа за самия предмет, изискващ реализирането на такъв проект, самия проект и процеса на неговото създаване.

Част първа – “Bootstraping”

На втория ден от началото на семестъра се състоя първата лекция по Media Concenption and Production. Представени бяха няколко теми за бъдещите проекти. Получихме задачата в рамките на един час да намерим съмишленици измежду присъстващите и да се споразумеем за една от тях. Easier said that done…

(more…)