iPhone/iPod Touch

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ralphsbiz
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Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:48 pm Post

Care to take the market by surprise? Develop an "app" for the iPhone that syncs up with Scrivener, and a portable keyboard to go along with it. I personally would be willing to pay a small chunk of change for this. I don't carry a laptop around with me anymore, there really is very little need to, and what need there is would easily be met with the above combination. Here's some starting thoughts:
- Do not strive to make the keyboard wireless. I do not understand why the little bit of conversation on this subject that is going around is always in the context of a blu-tooth keyboard. Why would any end-user want that? It's another wireless technology that, while very cool and sometimes useful, nonetheless eats up battery time.
- Make a keyboard that is dockable and compatible with all generations of iPhones and iPod Touches.
- Make an app that easily syncs up with the desktop application on a project by project basis.
- Allow the app to create new documents, even they can only be rudimentary.
- Perhaps an existing iPhone app could be partnered with to accomplish syncing... Maybe "Shovebox"? For document portability Shovebox just works.

I can't tell you the number of times I go out and about on a weekly basis and get great article starts and story ideas in my mind and have to plod through the iPhone keyboard in order to get the gist of the idea down so I can develop it later. How often I wish I could just sit down right then and there and whip out a first draft.

Hey, why do I hear my voice echoing back at me... Am I the only one in this room, this big, empty, cold, concrete room? No one else on the planet wants portable document creation on their iPhones and iPod Touches? Hard to believe.

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Jaysen
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Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:02 pm Post

Maybe this isn't as simple as you think it is.

Let me be clear. It is not simple. If it was it would have been done several times already.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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kewms
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Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:35 pm Post

ralphsbiz wrote:I can't tell you the number of times I go out and about on a weekly basis and get great article starts and story ideas in my mind and have to plod through the iPhone keyboard in order to get the gist of the idea down so I can develop it later. How often I wish I could just sit down right then and there and whip out a first draft.


FWIW, this is why I still use paper for many writing tasks.

Katherine
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Jowibou
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Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:09 pm Post

Have you given Shapewriter a try on the Iphone/Ipod touch? It's a surprisingly fast keyboard replacement/notetaker that allows you to type without actually taking your finger off the keyboard, you just "draw" from letter to letter on the virtual kb and the app's dictionary does an excellent job interpreting the resulting "shapes" as words. It actually makes writing on the Iphone possible and should be the default input mechanism for portables. Well worth the $4.
btw I'm not affiliated to shapewriter in any way, just a genuinely impressed fan.

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Jot
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Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:44 pm Post

Oh yes, I'd buy one as well. Sadly, it doesn't look like Apple are going to allow the use of a bluetooth keyboard any time soon. I've pretty much caved in and bought myself a 9" netbook that is as light as a feather (okay, a big feather) and fits into my handbag (my beloved MacBook was killing my back) and I'm using yWriter. Once I got passed the negative "I hate windows...this isn't like Scrivener...now I remember why I got a mac...I hate windows...I wonder if I could get MacOS to run on this..." thoughts, I'm finding it...not so bad.

One thing I'm sure of though - the iPhone is a very, very pale imitation of the palm pilot </soapbox>
J

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nom
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Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:36 am Post

Not alone in this big, cold, concrete room. I would *love* an external keyboard to go with my iPhone. For many years I had a near full-size infra-red keyboard that I used with my Palm. Loved it. I took notes in lectures on it, wrote stories with it, typed on planes, took minutes in meetings and notes at conferences (with it balancing on my lap). If it wasn't that synchronising with my Palm was becoming increasingly erratic and unreliable I'd probably still be using it.

I don't care if wireless or wired, I'd just love a large keyboard. It is the only thing stopping me from using my iPhone for document creation and text editing. Maybe, just maybe, the long-rumoured Mac tablet will breach the gap. I'm not going to hold my breath.

BTW, I have used Shapewriter on and off since it was free. It's "OK", but that's hardly a ringing endorsement. :roll: Although it is kind of fun to use every now and again, I don't think it is dramatically superior to the built-in keyboard.
Complete and utter NOMsense.
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Jowibou
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Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:16 pm Post

Clearly the mileage varies and my enthusiasm for Shapewriter might just be a reflection of my allthumbsiness with the built in keyboard. That said, I would probably fork down cash for a usable external keyboard that wasn't too bulky and also worked with my future first generation, bought on the first day, slightly buggy MacTablet.

In
InklingBooks
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Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:29 pm Post

It's not the same thing as having a Bluetooth keyboard linked to an iPhone/touch, but if you're interested in doing either of these:

1. Getting some pre-existing or lengthy new text into a note application on an iPhone/touch without typing it on that tiny screen.

2. Cleaning up or rearranging the text in an existing iPhone/touch document for further editing there but by using the full keyboard and mouse of a Mac.

Then you might want to look into WriteRoom for the iPhone. It can synch what's on an iPhone/touch with a simple personalized website that the WriteRoom developer provides. Synch from your iPhone/touch and what you've done is available from any web browser, Mac or PC. You can edit it using your browser and type any additional material, including new documents, on a real keyboard. Once you save the changes, what you'd added or changed will be transferred down to your iPhone/touch at your next synch on it.

This is the most important thing: WriteRoom for the iPhone and Scrivener know how to work together. The next (1.54) version of Scrivener (out soon) will support importing directly from that web page, even keeping the basic document structure intact. Roughly draft your next great novel on your iPhone/touch, synch it to that website in a few seconds, and you can import it into Scrivener as documents and text.

That's what I've been doing for several weeks and I love it. I discuss the how-to in more detail here:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=6776

--Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books, Seattle

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Skallegrim
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Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:07 am Post

Jaysen wrote:Maybe this isn't as simple as you think it is.

Let me be clear. It is not simple. If it was it would have been done several times already.

Surely the only reason this isn't simple is because Apple have chosen to make it that way? Something they easily 'un-choose' should they so desire?
Write Your Novel in 30 Days—A 10-Step Guide:
9) Don't stop to research

why, oh why, didn't I listen to Garda?

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Thequietone
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Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:18 pm Post

We need a Mac Netbook impervious (good word) to drink, crumbs and stray kebabs,
We need Keith to design complex programs on our whim.

We need.................................More.

Just bought a low end Macbook. Its OK you but can tell the difference between an old Powerbook G4 and this machine. I will go back to high end Mac's unless they offer a £30 Netbook.

Paul

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Jaysen
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Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:40 pm Post

Skallegrim wrote:
Jaysen wrote:Maybe this isn't as simple as you think it is.

Let me be clear. It is not simple. If it was it would have been done several times already.

Surely the only reason this isn't simple is because Apple have chosen to make it that way? Something they easily 'un-choose' should they so desire?

That is an easy assumption to make and there are some facts to back it up. Apple chose to use a feature disabled bluetooth chipset. Apple chose to provide more iPod style external controls via their dock connector than system interface controls. Apple chose to disable the iPhone/iPod OS HID interfaces other than the on screen controls.

It might be that apple made these choices because they had folks like my wife in mind. Folks who want to "play" with games when they are waiting for tennis lessons to wrap up, folks who only type short emails like "She just beat the #1 seed 7-5,7-6. All you cheerleaders be here at 12:15 tomorrow", folks who want to listen to music more than type words.

If that was the case (which it clearly was) then the choices made were necessary to ensure that sufficient systems resources are available to please this demographic. A demographic that demands smooth, easy operations, and a look polished high end look.

If I need to take extensive notes on something I grab the little pulse flip note pad, the silly pen, turn the pen to record and jot a little mark on the page and talk away.

Which my may slightly irritating way of saying that the iPhone is a toy/low feature PDA, not a computer. Let's not expect to much from it.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Tr
Tripper
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Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:10 pm Post

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The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

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Jaysen
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Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:43 pm Post

Jail broken?
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Hu
Hugh
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Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:44 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:Jail broken?


No, hacked via the headphone port -- though the difference is probably academic.
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that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Jaysen
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Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:52 pm Post

Yes. Well outside intended use. Hence my "not easy". I have been told that you can accomplish this on a jail break too.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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