Enabling Chrome to Mobile for your iPhone and iPad

For those who have installed the new Chrome app on your iDevices, you now have access to one of the features I really loved when I had an Android phone: Chrome to Mobile. Of course, before Google made Chrome available to users in the iOS universe, the feature was called Chrome to Phone, as was the extension that needed to be installed in your desktop Chrome browser.

If you’ve been clicking the Chrome to Phone button and wondering why your Web pages aren’t popping up on your iPhone or iPad, I’ll save you a little bit of trouble: uninstall the Chrome to Phone extension.

Google decided to (wisely) change the way the extension works and, in the process, also renamed it; a nod to the fact that it also works with devices that aren’t phones. It seems they didn’t really make a point to tell anyone, though. So you’ll have to download the new extension.

Click here to visit the Chrome app store and install the new Chrome to Mobile extension.

After you install the new extension and sync it up with your Google account, you’re pretty much set. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign into mobile Chrome using your Google account, and the Chrome to Mobile feature will be enabled automatically. Now, when you visit a site on your desktop and you want to send it to your iPhone or iPad, you can click the tiny mobile phone icon on the right side of Chrome’s address/search box. You’ll be asked which device you’d like to send the page to, and then it’ll be zapped over instantly. See my demo video below for an example.

Back to the drawing board

I launched Abuzz last Thursday and heard lots of nice things from those who downloaded it.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you. :)  The app was born out of my own need for it.  I actually went into the App Store one day looking for something like it and was astonished that it didn’t exist.  So I got to work – mapping out the app and its various features.  I brought someone in to put it together and, in three months, I had a finished product.

But I failed to get Abuzz significant coverage, and that is my fault and my fault alone.

Other than Louis Gray’s great write-up, I couldn’t get a single other blog to run with it.  That tells me more than anything that the app isn’t as polished as it should be.  I had considered pushing out incremental updates, adding features every few weeks, but it’s clear to me now that those would only be bandages on a much bigger wound.  So the next iteration of Abuzz to see the light of day will be 2.0 (it will, of course, be released as an update, not as a separate app – I’m not pulling any Tweetie stuff, here).

I’ve listened to feedback and had a lot of great ideas come my way.  The interface will get an enormous facelift.  The user experience will be vastly improved.  The app will stand on its own both as a social media search tool and as a Twitter client.  I don’t want to let too much slip, but I’ll say this – I’m going to make sure the app is everything it should be.

Be sure to follow @abuzzapp for updates.

Abuzz has arrived!

For the past three months, there has been one constant in my life: my Abuzz project.

I played with what I felt was the final version about two weeks ago and ultimately decided to hold off until a few more things were added.  The features in question were features I had planned to issue in a later update but instead found vital to what became Abuzz 1.0.  I’m thrilled to say that Abuzz is now in the App Store.

If you plan on downloading the app, I would love to get your thoughts on it.  Be sure to shoot me an email – shawnfarner [at] gmail [dot] com.  Also, check out the official Abuzz web site over at AbuzzApp.com.

Finally, I’d like to thank Louis Gray for this great writeup.

I’m hoping to develop Abuzz past what everyone has seen so far – I won’t be satisfied until it’s a must-have for iPhone owners.  I encourage you to ping me with ideas for features you’d like to see in updates.  Email, call, text (717-884-9763) – it’s all good. :)

Thank you all so much,

Shawn

Making tough decisions

I thought I had a finished version of Abuzz, the iPhone app I’ve been diligently working on since the beginning of October.  However, I suddenly realized that I’d be putting something out that I wasn’t totally satisfied with.  There were a few features I was going to have pushed out in an update later, but why go that route?  Why not wait a bit longer and include it all?

So I pushed it back.  I’d rather have the app include all the functions I want on day one.  It really kills me to do it – I’d love to get Abuzz out there – but I know it’s the right thing to do.

First tough decision of the year.  What else will 2010 bring?

Why I’ll skip the iPhone and keep my BlackBerry

There’s a lot of hoopla around the web now that Apple’s iPhone firmware 2.0 is out.  The 3G iPhone also drops tomorrow, which ensures the madness will go on for at least another day or two.  Despite all the hype, though, I find that I’m not feeling tempted to jump to AT&T for the iPhone.  Why?

BlackBerry.

I recently became the owner of a BlackBerry Pearl.  In just a short period of time, the way I stay connected has changed dramatically.  No longer am I tethered to a laptop or desktop computer.  I can talk on AIM, Yahoo or MSN.  I can receive email.  I can be notified of new wall posts or messages on Facebook.  And the most beautiful thing is that all of these apps can run in the background and will push notifications to me.  Only being able to run one application at a time is a real detriment to the iPhone.

To me, true connectivity shouldn’t mean constantly checking all your lines of communication manually.  It shouldn’t mean having to ask every five minutes, “Do I have new email?”  It should be the equivalent of having a personal assistant tap you on the shoulder and say, “Your email is here.”

Why else will I stick with the BlackBerry?  Verizon Wireless.  In my opinion, they are the carrier to beat as far as coverage goes.  I can’t recall a time when I did not have coverage on the Verizon network.  I can recall plenty of times when friends on AT&T Wireless had to borrow my phone.

I’ll probably be alone on this one, but I’m also not a fan of device convergence, at least not between phones and media players.  I don’t really use the media player on the BlackBerry at all.  I would rather carry two devices than kill my phone battery listening to music.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fanboy by any stretch.  The iPhone’s operating system is way more user friendly and is much more polished.  The iPhone web browser is also worlds above the BlackBerry browser.  As far as connectivity goes, though, the BlackBerry is more of a web-friendly device.  Since I’m a web-friendly guy, why should I get an iPhone?