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HippoRemote Tip #8 – Writing In Chinese

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Today’s tip comes from Andy Lee, who combines the iPhone’s Chinese handwriting recognition with HippoRemote to make a really handy tool for entering Chinese text on your computer.

I’ll let you read Andy’s blog post for all the details. He’s connecting HippoRemote to a Mac, but this works with PCs as well.

With HippoRemote, who needs WriteThere?

October 8th, 2009 at 4:37 am

HippoRemote Tip #7 – Pin the Keyboard

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One of the most common questions we get is “How do I keep the keyboard from disappearing when I hit return?” With all the people asking, we obviously didn’t get the interface quite right. So expect us to revisit things in the future. =)

That said, currently, to keep the keyboard around, tap on the Pin button in the upper right hand corner. While it’s highlighted, the Return key will only behave as a carriage return and will not return you to the trackpad.

October 7th, 2009 at 2:54 am

Cult of Mac Favorite: HippoRemote·

We really appreciate the review, but it’s a little weird seeing our Windows Media Center profile on a Mac site. [Link]

HippoRemote Tip #6 – Swipe to Delete History

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Following up on yesterday’s tip…sometimes you have something in your keyboard history that you would prefer not to be there — a “sensitive” URL, a password, a typo, etc.

There’s the Clear History option, but that wipes out your entire keyboard history. A bit drastic if you only want to delete one or two items. Here’s a better solution — Simply swipe your index finger left-to-right across the row you wish to delete!

Power users will know that in most of Apple’s iPhone apps (like Mail), you can delete a single item from a list by using this swiping left-to-right gesture. HippoRemote supports this shortcut extensively. You can swipe to delete Connections, Logins, Macros, and yes, individual items in your Keyboard History.

October 6th, 2009 at 3:50 am

HippoRemote Tip #5 – Password-Only Logins

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Hopefully you all are using HippoRemote’s built-in Login Manager to store your usernames and passwords. It will save you a bunch of typing — a big productivity boost, particularly if you don’t really like the iPhone’s virtual keyboard.

In HippoRemote 1.2, we added support for password-only logins. Out of habit, we generally configure our computers to require a password when waking from sleep. And while HippoRemote’s Keyboard History makes it easy to enter the password, seeing our password in plain text always makes us cringe. So in 1.2, you can now create a Login with a blank username and HippoRemote will handle it properly.

Note: Prior to 1.2, if you tried to create a password-only login, a number of bad things could happen, including HippoRemote being unable to delete that login. Basically, we had a bug that would store the password incorrectly. This bug has been fixed, but in order to clear out pre-existing bad logins, you must delete and reinstall HippoRemote. We’re really sorry for letting that one slip through the cracks. Hopefully it hasn’t caused you much grief.

October 5th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Apple TV Still A Dud After Price Cut·

Price is important, but any breakthrough next-gen set top box will need to run a real web browser. [Link]

New Apple Bluetooth keyboard and mouse arrive at the FCC·

Hope the multi-touch mouse rumor is true. Can’t stand constantly cleaning the scroll ball in the current Mighty Mouse. [Link]

HippoRemote Tip #4 – No Look Circular Scrolling

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Circular Scrolling is a really handy feature. The obvious use is to scroll through documents and web pages. But did you know you can scroll to zoom in/out of Google (and Yahoo) maps? Or flip through CoverFlow in iTunes?

But benefits aside, it was always a bit annoying to have to take our eyes off the TV and hunt for the scroll button on the iPhone screen. With version 1.2, we’ve made Circular Scrolling even easier to use. Just start dragging your thumb across the bottom of the screen to activate scrolling. We’ve enlarged the detection zone to include the entire tab bar at the bottom of the trackpad — instant no-look scrolling.

In fact, for those of you who like really minimal interfaces, you can go into the settings and hide the scroll button, but still have access to Circular Scrolling via the trackpad’s tab bar.

October 2nd, 2009 at 12:44 pm

HippoRemote Tip #3 – App Switching with 3 Fingers

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If you’re on the computer a lot, the ALT+TAB or COMMAND+TAB shortcuts for switching apps are probably second nature. Unfortunately, these keyboard shortcuts don’t translate well to the iPhone, partly because it’s awkward to do multi-finger press and hold on such a small keyboard, and partly because the iPhone keyboard itself doesn’t readily support held keys.

In HippoRemote, we created a really simple trackpad gesture for app switching that works just like the keyboard shortcut. Put three fingers on the trackpad and swipe down. This will bring up the familiar app switching UI on your computer. Keep swiping down with three fingers to advance to the next app. Or swipe up to go to the previous app. When you’ve reached the desired application, simply do nothing for a second and Presto! – app switched.

Alternatively, you can use the three finger gesture to start app switching, then drag the mouse pointer over the desired application and tap the screen once to select. This is great for those multi-taskers who keep a whole lot of apps open all the time. Yes, you know who you are. =)

October 1st, 2009 at 11:26 am

Google Reader As Magazine With Media Center PC·

The tip about using the Wii-optimized site is pure gold. [Link]

HippoRemote Tip #2 – Faster Access with Auto-Connect

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If you use HippoRemote to control multiple computers, then this tip is not for you.

However, if you primarily connect to one computer, then you’ll want to enable Auto-Connect. It’s easy to do. The next time you’re in HippoRemote, go to the Settings page, scroll down a little, and flip the Auto-Connect switch. This will tell HippoRemote to automatically connect to the current computer on startup.

As an added bonus, if you configured HippoRemote for Wake-On-LAN (see our FAQ for details), HippoRemote will also automatically power up your computer during the auto-connect process. This means waking up your media center from sleep or even booting from a complete shutdown (if your hardware supports it)!

(*) Note: We don’t have much control over how long it takes your computer to boot or wake from sleep, so Auto-Connect might time out before your computer is ready. If it seems like HippoRemote is timing out just a hair too soon, please send us a support email and maybe we can help you tweak a few things…

September 30th, 2009 at 10:50 am

Building A Boxee Remote Control·

Not for everyone, but an impressive hack. [Link]

HippoRemote Tip #1 – Save Battery with Proximity Sensor

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One of our favorite new features in HippoRemote is support for the built-in Proximity Sensor.

If you don’t touch your iPhone for a while, it automatically goes to sleep. While this is great for saving energy, it’s annoying when you’re watching TV. You’re engrossed in a show and then it’s commercial time. You reach for HippoRemote to fast forward, but the iPhone has gone to sleep. Now you have to unlock and wait for the WiFi to reconnect. This is generally pretty fast, but it’s still annoying to have to do it at every commercial break. Well, now there’s an app for that! =)

HippoRemote has always had a setting to force the iPhone to stay on. But us OCD types would fret endlessly about draining the battery. With the new Proximity Sensor setting, we can have our cake and eat it too! Enable both Stay Awake and Proximity Sensor in the settings. Then, when you’re not actively using HippoRemote, simply flip the iPhone on its face. HippoRemote will continue to run with the screen off, greatly reducing the drain on your battery.

(*) Note that this only works for the iPhone. The iPod Touch sadly doesn’t have a proximity sensor.

September 29th, 2009 at 11:54 am