Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sync your Facebook Events to your iPhone! [UPDATED!]

Prior to this, all of your facebook events would sync even no matter what you RSVP'd. This updated method will only sync according to what you RSVP! This method also makes it easier to setup.

It's the year everyone turns 21! I've been getting all these invites on Facebook for 21st parties and I was trying to find a nice way to get them to show up on my iPhone calendar without having to add them all manually, since I'm reaching the age where I just can't keep track of my weekly schedule in my head anymore!

That's when it hit me - was there a way to sync my Facebook Events with my iPhone? I actually managed to find a quick solution to this after googling around! Here is a complete 5 minute tutorial, assuming you have no calendar's synced to your iPhone (works on iPod Touch too!)

Warning: This method requires you to have a gmail account. It's free to sign up is so 2000.

Adding your Gmail Calendar

Step 1:

Go to Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account...> Other > Add CalDAV Account

This must be done in this very specific way, otherwise it will not work (believe me, I've tried)

Note! If you already have your gmail calendar synced as part of your Gmail account, or as an Exchange account, delete them after you add this one, or you'll end up with epic double entries!! (WOAHH...DOUBLE ENTRIES!)

Step 2:

Type in the following :

of course, substituting "gmail user" for your own gmail username. Description can be anything.

You should now see the following under Mail, Contacts, Calendars:

Note how your Gmail e-mail is just for mail and notes,while your newly created "Google Calendar" is for calendars (technically we shouldn't have to do this, but for some reason it doesn't work that way =/ )

iPhone prep is done! Now onto Facebook...

Exporting your Facebook Events to Gmail Calendar

Step 3:

Box 1: Choose which events you want to show up on your calendar
Box 2: Click on Google Calendar and you will be redirected to it (log in if needed!)

Step 4:
A link should pop up on your Google Calendar: click "Yes, add this calendar"

A calendar called "FdCal Events" should now be visible!

Step 5:

Now go to on any browser and check the "FdCal Events" Calendar which you just added, so that your iPhone is given the go-ahead to sync the Facebook Calendar to your iPhone (This method works for shared calendars too, if you have any)


Open your Calendar app, give it awhile to sync (you should see a spinning wheel next to your wifi or 3G bar) and hopefully everything syncs up!

Notice how the colours of the dots are the same as the ones on Gmail Calendar. If you're not happy with the colours, then change them on Gmail and it should update on your iPhone!

Let me know if you've had any success with this tutorial!

Hope you can all stay that little bit more organised now =]

Monday, October 11, 2010

Keynote is magical! [Updated Video]

I can't remember the last time I've ever had so much fun with any kind of software related to my education. Enter Keynote - Apple's take on the ever so infamous Microsoft PowerPoint. I had to make a presentation for a design project as part of my undergrad degree and being a Mac user right now kind of makes me feel like I'm cheating!

Using Keynote as my powerpoint presentation was such a breeze and pretty simple to use. I myself have not used MS PowerPoint many times before and yet I was still able to pick up very quickly how to play around with animations and slide transitions. In times when I wanted to find out how to do something, I would simply type it in the search box under help and my problems would be solved straight away through its helpful offline database.

Anyways, without going in-depth, here's what I managed to get going after less than a day of playing around!

[UPDATE] After actually checking the export settings, I realised there was a native option to export it as a video without the need for other screen capturing software! It's much clearer as a result: here it is again with slides advancing every 5 seconds.

As you can see, I was inspired by Apple's own keynotes and used the same theme that Steve Jobs himself uses!

On the day of the presentation I'll also be able to just advance the slides from afar using the IR remote which came with my iMac (which works on any iMac or MacBook!) without needing to tell a friend at my computer to click the trackpad, which is something I see more times than I can bear at many 21st's speeches!

However, using this software was not without its cons...

Firstly, I can't share its goodness in PPT form to anyone on a PC, due to epic fail exporting. It would be analogous to squeezing a square peg through a smaller round hole. In fact, the main reason I made this video was so my partner, a Windows user, could see how the presentation looked!

Secondly, I had to buy a $45 Mini-DisplayPort to VGA adapter for my MacBook Pro to be able to hook up to a projector!

Another weird thing is that animated GIFs aren't supported. See that Knight Rider car there? That was originally a GIF, but I had to screen capture it as a video, and put that in instead. Apple fail!

And another strange thing I noticed is that keynotes with heavy formatting (which will be pretty much all of them) that are imported to an iPad will show up with lots of things missing, which is unfortunate, and has been an unnecessarily big compatibility problem for Apple thus far.

But in the end, I was still completely blown away at how easily I was able to make such a flashy keynote presentation. I daresay it will be very hard to make a keynote presentation of similar quality using Microsoft Powerpoint in a similar amount of time. If you can, then please show me!

The NEW Jailbreak 4.1 explained!

Ok so the new jailbreak for iOS 4.1 is out! This one is a doozy because unlike for 4.0.1, it actually uses an exploit which makes it impossible to patch with a firmware update. This means ALL OF THESE DEVICES ARE JAILBREAKABLE FOR LIFE! The list is as follows:

>iPhone 3GS (any 3GS, old or new bootrom!)
>iPod Touch 3G
>iPhone 4
>iPod Touch 4G

The only way Apple can fix this exploit is by making the devices with new chips inside! So...what does this mean?

If you plan to get an iPhone 4/iPod Touch 4G and want to jailbreak, NOW IS THE BEST TIME !!!

Soon Apple will release all new stock of iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G with new bootroms (like the 3GS) and jailbreaking will once again become a long and arduous wait after each update is released.

I'm not going to bother with a tutorial, as redmondpie has already done a bang up job of it, click here

Tested by a friend on the iPhone 4 and deemed successful!

As a reminder, once you successfully jailbreak and want to get apps for free, go to my tutorial posted here

Monday, October 4, 2010

[APP REVIEW] TripView - Getting home late at night made easy!

So you're out at a party in the city and you've caught public transport out and intend to take the same method to get back home. Most people probably wouldn't plan ahead this much so how do they know when is a good time to leave? If you leave at a bad time you may be waiting at a station for 20 minutes or you could have even missed the last train home and be stuck until the early morning!

tap on your saved trips to view a list of trains which take you from A to B

This is where the convenience of TripView Sydney comes in. It's like having a mini in your pocket but all timetable data is stored in your iPhone so you don't need internet to access it. What about timetable changes you ask? There is an option for you to download the latest timetables straight onto your phone and you will be notified whenever the timetables are updated or even when there is trackwork!

The free version has full functionality but does not let you save your trips once you exit the app. It's definitely one of my most used apps and has saved me a great deal of worry and frustration of missing the last train home or knowing how much time I have until the next train arrives. For only $2.49, it's definitely worth every cent!

Using the app is extremely intuitive and very simple to use. For bus routes it even offers a map showing every single bus stop that the bus stops at! Just for kicks they've even thrown in the blue screens scrolling view of the train station stops for any particular train at a train station.

With the tap of the top right icon, the list view switches to a view we're all familiar with!

Unlike 131500 though, it cannot tell you how to get from A to B. You have to know this information to use TripView's simple interface to find out all the information you want. E.g. there is no way of typing "get from my house to this venue" In that sense, it is slightly limited, but I find that I have no need to do this for public transport (I use the "maps" app for driving if I want this functionality)

Also, a side effect of knowing all the public transport times is being disappointed by late buses. If only TripView could make Sydney buses come on time, then this app would be perfect!

(As far as I know, there is no android equivalent, and if there is, please correct me!)

In short, if you're an iPhone/iPod Touch user who uses public transport, then this is definitely a must have app!

Let me know in the comments section what you guys use TripView for =]