Tuesday 25 June 2013, 14:18 | By Greg Wilford
Greg Says: All over the place with my iPhone
How are you today? Uh huh…fascinating. I’m ill. Still. I’ve had this casual on-and-off thing going on with what I have deduced is a bugger of the viral variety. I’ve got a scratchy throat which cuts like I’m swallowing wire wool every time I breathe; which aggravates my chest; making it throw spluttered coughing tantrums. I have a pathetic cough. A really wheezy number – my guinea pig has a more powerful cough than I do. All sound and sod all fury.
So, you’ll have to excuse me if this edition comes off as somewhat scattered! Still, I’ve managed to cobble together some thoughts about trying to make my iPhone work for me.
I’m kind of getting the interface results I wanted from this beast; but I’ve reached a dilemma. You see, to get the best setup for me out of the device I need two things to happen:
1. I need an app or software of some sort that will let me link the phone to my laptop creating an interface between the two. Then I’ll be able to use my mouse to work the phone myself – send texts, make calls, programme Siri. Looking at the…hmm ‘legitimate options’, there was an app called ‘Reflection’ I tired. It’s a free trial for ten minutes with the full package coming to $12.99. Personal opinion? If you use your iPhone for presentations, you will find this a really useful bit of kit. Install Reflection, quickly and easily, onto any piece of hardware – use wireless to sync it up to your iDevice and stream your slideshow onto a big screen.
The only flaw it has (for what I need anyway) is that you can only work the device on the phone itself rather than the PC being an input source. I need the latter setup – which sadly ‘Reflection’ doesn’t provide. In fact no ‘official’ apps are currently out there that do the job. Except Cydia –
For the uninitiated, Cydia is the ‘other’ App Store – offering all sorts of neat little tinkers and gizmos Apple doesn’t approve of and therefore doesn’t let people download these Apps onto the iDevice. To use Cydia on an iPhone, it needs to be ‘jailbroken’. Jailbreaking, to put as simply as I can, is questionably legal. Any phone ‘jailbroken’ immediately invalidates the Apple Care warranty meaning if any problems occur, I’ll have to pay for repairs. Fair enough.
Cydia has a little programme called ‘Veency’; this is an app that allows a remote viewer like VNC, to access your iPhone from a compatible PC/Laptop and uses your mouse as a cursor to work your hardware. It’s easy to load up, there are plenty of guides online to walk you through the installation step-by-step and, best of all, it’s free.
2. Default activation for Siri – Apple’s built-in voice software – needs the ‘Menu Button’ held down to start the magic. So for someone who aspires to integrate the iPhone into his ‘hands-free’ agenda…it is shit. Scanning through the World-Wide-Whaterville; I found there is an app called…ah…’Hands-Free Control’. Pretty self-explanatory. You can activate ‘Siri’ by shouting a designated phrase at your iPhone. Ideal? Hell yeah. Problem? You got to hack the fu…the fuc…the ‘thing’.
See this is what makes me ang-, pis-, grrr (I’m so irked I c-c-can’t find the right word to describe how outraged I am), I’ve bought the phone legitimately. It’s my property, okay? To use all the services and functions I’m entitled to (remember, I bought the phone. It’s mine.) – I have to hack it. There is no reason I can see why Apple can’t provide these services themselves – especially when you consider the benefits of these Apps for people with mobility difficulties.
So I’m weighing up the options…
Many people have been instrumental in the development of Creative Skills For Life, but there is one very special young man who shared our vision and passion from the outset. Greg Wilford described himself as “a writer who will put pen to paper for ANY reason” adding that “the key to good writing is crude humour and the excessive use of bad language”. Sadly Greg has now passed, but his spirit is part of CSL’s DNA and he remains an inspirational driving force for the CSL team.