5 of the Now


iPhone Remote Review

iPhone 2.0 software is out and that means your iPhone can now be a remote. Yes, with Apple's Remote application, you can use the iPhone to control iTunes on your computer, and better yet, your Apple TV.

I'm loving this app so far. Setup is very easy. You use the same PIN entry that you use to create a relationship between your Apple TV and the computers in your network. Once you are setup, you get a familiar iPod-like set of menus on the iPhone. The only difference is that when you pick something to play, sound and video start on the Apple TV, rather than the iPhone.

It is interesting that the playlist interface is a bit different from the one you get with the traditional iPod controls.

Other things to note

  • No, you can't stream from your library to your phone using this app.

  • You can view ratings of your library content, but you can't set new ratings with the Remote app.

  • Coverart and track info is displayed so this is the perfect party controller. You never have to leave the poker table to figure out which song is playing or start something else on request. If you are progressing through a playlist, the coverart will just update for you. Turn off power savings and hang your phone on the wall next to the stereo so your guests know what is playing.

  • Elapsed track time does display. Very nice.

  • It has search!

  • Regular remotes still work. Get in a remote battle with your family members.

  • Coverflow does not work in Remote

  • You can spend as long as you like selecting something new from the Remote interface without stopping what is playing on the Apple TV. This is especially valuable when viewing movies because normally the Apple TV will stop playing the movie completely when you jump into the menu system.

  • Sadly, you can crash the Apple TV using the Remote program. It doesn't happen often, but I have done it.

  • Best of all, it is free


Hooray for Trism

iPhone 2.0 software is out and somehow I managed to get upgraded this morning amongst the melting Apple servers. I'm a little underwhelmed with the selection of apps in the app store so far. I figured there would be dozens I would want to try and buy. There aren't, yet.

I was looking for a good puzzle game though. I came across Trism. Looked like something I'd enjoy. Match up tiles. Things slide around. Bonuses for large matches. Hold on, what's this. Color blind mode!. I was already leaning towards buying this game and color blind mode, with letters along with the color, put me right over the top.

Huge thanks to the developer, Demiforce, for including a color blind mode. It is much appreciated and resulted in a sale of your game.

One final thanks to Apple for building in a screenshot function in the 2.0 software. Hold home and hit sleep/wake. I love it.

BTW, the game is lots of fun too.