21 Mar

Neat iPhone Tripod Mount

My iPhone 4S produces high quality video and I’m finding that I’m completely ignoring point-and-shoot cameras that I would normally use.   It’s all wasted, though, if the video ends up shaky which is the case with a video I recorded at a book launch a few weeks ago.  I leaned my elbow on a table to steady the phone but someone kept bumping and shaking the table.  I decided to get a case for my phone that would mount on a tripod.  I had seen these cases at CES and looked for something similar.  I was a little skeptical when I found the Glif tripod mount and stand on Amazon.  I thought the phone might fall out since the mount doesn’t span the length of the phone but it turned out to be perfect.

I’m able to get better video and photos using the Glif as a tripod mount.  Using my stylus instead of my fingers also improves the stability of the images captured.  In addition, using the Glif as a stand allows me to use Facetime without having to hold the phone or prop it up.  That’s pretty cool.  It’s $20 though.  (There are several cheaper alternatives on Amazon.)

09 Feb

Control Your Hotel TV With Your Phone

I was in my hotel room with the TV on for background noise.  I think it was still on that annoying station that TVs in hotels always come on with.  Then I heard something about an app.  You know I had to check it out.

If you find yourself staying in hotel rooms a lot, this app from LodgeNet may be of interest to you.  You pair the app with the LodgeNet powered TV with a code (similar to pairing Bluetooth devices) and then you are able to control the TV with the app.  In addition, you’re able to order movies and access information about your hotel as well as local services.  I found it useful.

Here’s what pairing looks like:


And this is what the TV control looks like.  It would be awesome if it showed the programs that are on as well as the channel.

At the end of your hotel stay, the connection is automatically closed.

I’m all for controlling things with my phone.  The remote might be on the other side of the room but my phone likely won’t be.  And depending on the hotel, I might not want to touch the remote so much either.  If I traveled as much as I used to I would definitely use this app all the time.

The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android.