Google Maps For iOS Is Amazing

The new Google Maps app is simply amazing, by far the best mobile map app that I’ve used even if you take accuracy off the table. I used it this morning and its vocal driving directions are actually better than Apple’s app. They give more detail in road names and things like that and honestly I think the voice is better and more natural too. If you have an iPhone and haven’t tried it out, you really need to. The Verge has a good write-up about what’s new.

How To Install An iPod Adapter Kit In A Dodge Viper

Disclaimer: This post is going to be useful to very, very few people but I suspect for those people it will be super helpful, so here we go.

When I bought my 2008 Dodge Viper, it came with the standard type of radio for that time period — a simple radio and CD player. However who the hell listens to CDs anymore? I certainly don’t so I set out to be able to hook my iPhone up to my car.

While I easily found a kit to do this for my Mustang, Vipers are a much rarer car so there are way fewer solutions. That said this same radio is used throughout many different Chrysler Group cars so it may be worth seeing if you can find a kit meant for a different car but the same radio.

I decided to go the official route by using the Mopar iPod Interface Kit (82209616). It was designed for iPods rather than iPhones so it’s not perfect, but we’ll get to that later.

Read the rest of this guide »

Calling iPhone App “Gas Cubby” Users — I Need Your Help!

Do you use Gas Cubby on your iPhone? If so, would you mind helping me out by sending me an export of your data?

I’m writing a new WordPress plugin that will allow you display data similar to Gas Cubby’s data on your website. You’ll have the option to manually enter gas fillups and such, but you’ll also be able to import from the Gas Cubby app. I’ve been using my data as a test and it’s working great but I’d appreciate being able to use a larger sample size.

If you’d like to help me out, here’s how:

  1. Open up Gas Cubby and press the left arrow until you get to “All Vehicles” shown at the bottom.
  2. Tab the magnifying glass in the upper-left so that it says “Search” at the top.
  3. An “Export” button will now be shown in the upper-right. Press it.
  4. An e-mail prompt will show up. Send the e-mail to “gascubby” at this domain (

While there isn’t really any personal data in the export file other than perhaps your gas station location if you fill that in, I still promise not to share this information with anyone. I’ll only be using it for testing in my local machine’s WordPress installation.


I Can’t Believe I Paid $30 For This

I am such a sucker and (unsubsidized) Apple products are so overpriced. Oh well, it was worth it to not have to grab the end of the cable anymore. 🙂

YOURLS + Twitter for iPhone (UPDATE: TweetDeck Too!)

UPDATE: These instructions now apply to TweetDeck as well! You can find the field at Settings -> Services and pick “Other” for the shortening service.

Do you run YOURLS? Do you use Twitter for iPhone (aka Tweetie)? If so, this post will be of interest to you.

Twitter for iPhone supports using a custom shortening service. Thankfully the YOURLS API will output a format that Twitter for iPhone will accept.

So how do you go about setting it up you ask? Start by going to your YOURLS admin area and clicking the “Tools” link at the top. About half way down the page will be your signature (it’s like a password). It will be a 10 character string. Hang onto this, you’ll need it soon.

Now open up Twitter for iPhone and go to the “Accounts & Settings” screen. You can get there by pressing the three dots in the bottom right and then scrolling to the very bottom of the screen that comes up and pressing the “Accounts & Settings” button. There will then be a “Settings” button in the bottom left. There in the Settings, select “Services” and then “URL Shortening”. Lastly pick the “Custom…” option.

Now to enter the URL to your YOURLS API script. I found it easiest to craft this URL on my computer and then e-mail myself the URL which I could then copy/paste on my iPod Touch. It was a lot easier than typing it all out on the little keyboard.

This is the URL you will need to use:

Replace “YOURSIGNATURE” with your signature that you located earlier in this post and leave the rest alone (the “%@” is the placeholder that Twitter for iPhone will look for). If you e-mail yourself the URL, make sure that you still have “%@” at the end of the URL and not “%25@” or something.

Now when writing a tweet, press the character count button and the keyboard will disappear. There in the bottom right will be a button to shorten all URLs in your tweet. They’ll be shortened using your custom domain!

Cool, huh? 🙂