Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

AIM Push Notification and Multiple Sessions, Who Wins?

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

A question was recently posed by a friend. He noticed that as long as his AIM client was signed in on the iPhone, actively or just for Push Notification, that messages would no longer be sent to his desktop client anymore. This sort of behavior could render the “always signed in” Push Notification useless if the desktop client can no longer receive messages while the iPhone application is considered to be signed in.

It turns out that AOL uses a precedence order in deciding which client should get the message, or in some cases both. Here is the precedence order:

Available (1)
Away (0)
Idle (-1)
Invisible (*)

AIM clients with the same precedence “score,” the number in parenthesis, will get the same message. If one client has a higher score, no other clients will get the message. Idle time will subtract one from the score. Available + Idle is the same thing as Away + Active.

For example if both clients are Available and not Idle, both will get the message. If one is Available and the other Away, the Available client will only get the message. Here is where things get interesting, if a client is Available and Idle, and the other is Away but Active both get the message.

The most effective way to use both the iPhone AIM client and a desktop client like Adium, iChat, or AIM, you need to have the desktop client set to Available and the iPhone client set to Away. The desktop client shouldn’t be set to artificially Idle, or both will get the message.

This is a little annoying because I tend to set Adium to Away all the time. Going forward to utilize AIM for the iPhone I’ll have to keep available and not idle, otherwise messages are going to start appearing on my phone. I guess this promotes some additional honesty about my actual status.

I hope this solves the mystery for someone. I couldn’t find anything too definitive elsewhere on the web.

*Note: Setting Invisible in one client changes your status in all logged in clients. It’s not possible to be Away in one, and invisible in another. I was hoping I could leverage this somehow by setting the iPhone to invisible so that it would only get messages if the desktop client went offline.

The iPhone and HTTP Auth – How to save your password

Monday, August 4th, 2008

So you have an iPhone, but by now you’ve realized it doesn’t have a Keychain or any other sort of password management for web sites. While I can’t help with form based logins, there is hope when it comes to HTTP Authentication.

On the iPhone HTTP Auth login screens look like this:

The easiest way to get past those login prompts and store your password is to add it to the URL. I recognize this isn’t a new concept, but applying it to the iPhone might be to some. The format goes like this:


If your username or password contains any non alphanumeric characters, in other words anything that isn’t A-Z and 0-9, then you must URL encode those characters. A common place this may occur is with cPanel based webmail where you have to use your full e-mail address as your login. In those cases enter in a + instead of an @. For example [email protected] becomes as your login.

Once you’ve assembled the URL, bookmark it. I’ve found it to be the easiest to do this on the computer, then syncing it the iPhone. When on the iPhone you can go to the page and even add it to your home screen if you desire. While this doesn’t make up for true password storage, it does make it much easier to access sites protected by HTTP Auth.

In some instances this is the only way I can access some sites without being endlessly prompted for my login and password on the iPhone, no matter how accurate. This phenomenon has been observed by others as well.

The Disclaimer
Please recognize that you are storing your password in plain text, fully unencrypted. Your password is now as only safe as your bookmarks, and your iPhone. Normally in OS X your passwords are kept in a heavily encrypted database if you save them.

I can only hope that a full fledged Keychain will come to the iPhone, but for now this isn’t that bad of an alternative for sites that use HTTP auth.

NYC Subway Map on the iPhone

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Here’s a quick and dirty way of accessing the subway map on your iPhone.

Safari to the MTA’s Subway Map:

Save as a bookmark, and you’re done.

Remember that you’ll have to load it up prior to using the subway as you’ll lose connectivity. Just load up the page, then open a new browser window so you can keep the map cached.

I’ve found that browsing the map was even easier by stripping out the the MTA’s top banner and navigation bar on the left. So I saved the map (which are 2 gif files), and created a webpage that loaded just the gifs. I then placed it on my server which I can use whenever I want. I’d make the link public, but the map is probably copyrighted, so you should make one for yourself.

Say goodbye to paper subway maps forever!


Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007