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What’s New in HippoRemote 2.0?

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HippoRemote Pro 2.0

It was a rather long and winding development process, but HippoRemote Pro 2.0 is finally done and available in the App Store. So what’s new? What changes did we make that deserve the 2.0 label?

User-Created Profiles

For anyone tracking our blog, this one is pretty obvious. We’ve been beta testing user-created profiles since our last update. Beta users have created and shared profiles for EyeTV, SageTV, SlingPlayer, Spotify, TotalMedia Theatre, and more. And with 2.0, these profiles are now available to all. You can download them directly into HippoRemote from our web repository.

Browser Plugin

Wait, did I say download from the web inside of HippoRemote? Yes I did. We’ve integrated a web browser into HippoRemote. This makes it super easy to access our profile repository. But it can do so much more. How many times when watching a show, do you see an actor and instantly wonder “where have I seen him before?” And you’d either have to pull out your laptop or exit HippoRemote and start up the iPhone browser to do your search. With our browser plugin, you can access IMDb and Google directly inside of HippoRemote. No laptops, no switching back and forth between apps.

Furthermore, actor searches are just the tip of the iceberg. You can also read your email, update Facebook, check sports scores and even chat with friends via web-based instant messaging sites like Meebo. It’s total access to the web with total convenience.

And what if you’re browsing and come across a video or photo you’d like to see on your TV? We’ve created a solution for that too! We call it Link Launching. It lets you send links from your iPhone to your media PC, so you can pick the screen that’s more appropriate and comfortable for the content at hand.

Twitter Plugin

Speaking of links, I get most of them through Twitter. And while Twitter’s mobile web site is quite nice, I’ve been spoiled by the performance and capabilities of the iPhone’s native Twitter clients. Scanning my timeline via the web interface feels slow in comparison.

Lots of web pages, however, are just plain hard to read on the iPhone’s small screen. I’m constantly zooming in and out and panning left and right. And since the iPhone doesn’t support Flash, tons of video links don’t do anything at all. Wouldn’t it be great if I could send the links in my Twitter feeds to my computer for viewing on my HDTV? Sort of sounds like Link Launching…

So to make this all just work, we’ve also added a native Twitter client to HippoRemote. It’s not meant to be a full-featured Twitter client, but we do support a number of convenience features that most dedicated apps lack. Auto-expanding shortened URLs so you can tell where a link is taking you BEFORE you click on it. Thumbnail previews of TwitPic and YFrog image links. And of course, Link Launching for letting you view the content you want on the screen that you want.

Boxee Plugin

You might be sensing an Internet theme to all our new features. There’s just so much cool stuff happening with the convergence of Movies, TV, and Music with the Internet. And Boxee is one company that’s really leading the way. We love the philosophy behind Boxee and we love their media center software (minus some of the bugs). And so we wanted to show our love with something special.

If you run Boxee, you’ve probably tried their iPhone app for navigating the interface. It’s gesture based and quite slick. What we’ve done is tried to take it to the next level by adding multi-touch and a number of usability tweaks. Like momentum. So you can scroll long lists with a single flick. We also pull cover art from Boxee so you can tell at a glance what’s playing.

Quick Macros

We’ve added all this stuff, but how do you access it? The Browser and Twitter Plugins don’t really belong to any particular profile. They should really be available at any time. And so we created Quick Macros. These are five customizable macros that you can access from any profile with a quick shake of your iPhone. We’ve pre-programmed them with the Web and Twitter Plugins, as well as some other useful macros, but you can edit them to suit your own needs.

Aside from big new features, we’ve also gone through and refined every existing feature as well. I can’t really remember every change, but off the top of my head:

  • Improved trackpad multi-touch recognition.
  • New 3 & 4 finger multi-touch gestures.
  • Landscape trackpad option.
  • Customizable long-tap gesture.
  • Scrolling momentum option, like the Apple Magic Mouse.
  • Tracking momentum option.
  • Option for auto-pausing playback on an incoming phone call.
  • Larger button targets for all existing profiles.
  • New profiles: Movist, Opera, Pandora, The Sixty One, Zune. (Yes, we work with web apps too!)
  • Speed optimizations.
  • Network optimizations.

I hope you’ll agree that Hippo Pro 2.0 is a massive update. Most other developers add one new thing and call it a major release. That’s just not our style. But more importantly, we want to let you take advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities and open up new ways of interacting with your computer. I hope you enjoy it! And as always, please send us feedback, both good and bad. We’d love to hear about what’s working for you and what isn’t.



***** IMPORTANT! *****

If you are using our HippoVNC server you MUST update to the newest version.

See our previous post for notes on potential gotchas.

February 16th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

8 Responses to 'What’s New in HippoRemote 2.0?'

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  1. Great additions I can’t wait to try them tonight.

    brian S

    16 Feb 10 at 2:54 pm

  2. May be an obvious answer, but I can’t see any clear way of activating the browser/twitter plugins… I’m probably doing something very stupid, but can’t see anything…

    Ben

    16 Feb 10 at 3:44 pm

  3. having an issue whenever I change profiles the connection drops

    skube

    16 Feb 10 at 3:48 pm

  4. Ben: u need to enable it in settings then shake your phone

    skube

    16 Feb 10 at 3:49 pm

  5. update: though I downloaded the hipporemote vnc 3.0 and ran it – I had to also redo the setting up as a service thing. I don’t seem to have dropped connections any more!

    thanks!

    (still would have liked to see landscape texting improved tho)

    skube

    16 Feb 10 at 4:03 pm

  6. sorry to keep commenting but I just thought you would like feedback.

    I think the screen zoom has changed in that if I’m in firefox and pinch to zoom it scales only the webpage. while this is desired most of the time I think it should be optional. I often find the zoom very useful and I don’t want to have to switch to the mac profile simply to zoom into a portion of the screen.

    skube

    16 Feb 10 at 4:29 pm

  7. Having the same problem with the dropped connection when switching profiles.

    Matt

    19 Feb 10 at 6:32 pm

  8. I have a problem with the link launching i hold down on the link and then select copy but than it doesnt come up with the screen that says would you like to open this on your computer. Im i doing something wrong, any comments would greatly be appreciated 🙂

    hammerhawk

    12 Jan 13 at 5:58 pm

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