Archive for June, 2010
HippoRemote Pro 2.3 has been approved by Apple and should be available on the App Store shortly (if it’s not already there)! There are a ton of significant changes, particularly under-the-hood speed and performance improvements. But there are a number of noteworthy new features as well. Let’s go over them!
FAST APP SWITCHING & FAST RECONNECT:
The biggest new feature is support for iOS 4 multitasking. How multitasking works on the iPhone has been covered extensively by other sites, but the key point is that it’s a bit different than what you and I are used to on Macs and PCs.
You still can’t quite run multiple apps simultaneously on an iPhone. But with a feature called Fast App Switching, Apple has provided a means to greatly reduce the delay when switching between apps. Prior to iOS 4, switching apps meant quitting the current app, launching a new app, and waiting for it to load. Switching frequently meant you spent an inordinate amount of time waiting for apps to finish launching. In iOS 4, Apple has eliminated the wait. Instead of quitting and relaunching, apps are frozen when you leave them and “reheated” when you return. Since you don’t have to relaunch the app, you can pick up exactly where you left off with minimal delay.
Fast App Switching is relatively straightforward to implement for basic apps, but it’s a bit trickier for HippoRemote since it has to maintain a connection to your computer. Keeping the connection open while frozen is disallowed by Apple and unnecessarily drains your battery. But having to choose a connection every time you return to HippoRemote is annoying. To solve this, we created a feature called Fast Reconnect. HippoRemote detects that you’re switching back and forth between apps and saves off connection information so that it can automatically reconnect you super quickly.
Fast Reconnect is extremely fast and extremely convenient. So convenient, in fact, that we brought it to non-iOS 4 devices. Even if you’re using an older iPhone or iPod touch that doesn’t have multitasking, you’ll still be able to switch in & out of HippoRemote quickly.
Fast App Switching and Fast Reconnect is great, but they do introduce one piece of complexity for people who control multiple computers. Previously, to connect to a different computer, you simply restarted HippoRemote and picked another connection. But with Fast Reconnect, you won’t always get that option. So we’ve added a disconnect button. Two, in fact. One in the settings screen, and one on the Shake Menu.
The HippoRemote keyboard has been overhauled under-the-hood. We’ve both simplified and improved the keyboard. Previously, there were two modes – live and buffered – and auto-correction and certain international keyboards would only work in one mode and not the other.
Now, we’ve eliminated modes. You just type. If you turn on auto-correction and international keyboard support, they just work. You can cut & paste. You can edit the beginning, middle or end of the text and HippoRemote automatically mirrors the changes to your computer.
An additional bonus of our improved keyboard is TextExpander support. If you haven’t heard of TextExpander, it’s a wonderful utility that lets you save and quickly retype snippets of text. It’s a must have for heavy typists on the Mac. TextExpander touch for iPhone brings your snippets to the phone, letting you quickly enter your text in a variety of apps. And now with TextExpander support built into HippoRemote, you can take your snippets with you to ANY computer. Including Windows and Linux PCs.
The promise of software keyboards is to be smarter and more efficient than their physical counterparts. With built-in keyboard history and now TextExpander support, the HippoRemote keyboard is the most productive and efficient keyboard available.
Thanks for making it all the way to the end! It’s a long post for a 0.1 update, but we packed a bunch of stuff into it. We hope you find them useful! And as always, we’d love to hear your feedback, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, suggestions, and ideas!
A user wrote in to tell us that the volume up button was no longer working in the Pandora profile. We’ve updated the profile to address this issue. Grab it here.
Unfortunately, it’s not a 100% fix. Seems like the folks at Pandora made some changes to their audio player that make it less responsive to the up arrow key (which increases audio volume). Even on a physical keyboard, tapping the up arrow key does nothing. I have to hold down the key for a while before the volume increases. The same is true for the profile.