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30 November 2009 @ 09:48 am
"Bump" iPhone app is cool  
At Orycon I used the Bump iPhone app to exchange contact information and photos with people. It is an excellent app and I recommend that every iPhone user install it (it's free, and also available for Android and iPod Touch) because the more people who have it the more useful it is for everyone. It is a semi-replacement for the ability to "beam" information from one Palm PDA to another via infrared, which the iPhone lacks, and it's fun! To exchange info, you both run the Bump app on your phones and then you just bump your phones together.

The way it works behind the scenes is that when you are running the Bump app, whenever the phone's accelerometer detects a bump (a sudden change in acceleration) it timestamps the event and sends it to the Bump server. If two phones both send in bump events at the same time, the server notifies each one that the other is ready to send data. If both users confirm, the data is transmitted over the Internet via the Bump server.

brendacooper and I, being geeks, played with this and discovered that you don't actually have to bump the phones together for it to work. As long as you are able to coordinate it -- for example, down the length of a table at dinner -- if you bump your phones on the table at the same time the bump will still work. But because the Bump server uses the phones' location information to determine proximity, it might not work if you are too far apart.
Amy Sissonamysisson on November 30th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
That is wicked clever.
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scarlettinascarlettina on November 30th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
::wants:: Someday, when I have an income again, I'll have one of these. We'll bump and all will be well and fun. ::sigh::
thecrimsonythecrimsony on November 30th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me to look for it on my new Droid.
VanderVeckenxthread on December 1st, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
There's a very pretty privacy attack in there somewhere, and possibly a story idea, around feeding bogus events to Bump server to monitor other peoples' locations.
Nancynancymcc on December 2nd, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
I am eyeing an iPod touch, and it's not obvious to me which iPhone apps will work on it while it has a wifi connection (as opposed to only working on iPhones using the cell system). Do you know about Bump, or generally?

Speaking of apps, you mentioned your Twitter client which was ______? I need a desktop app first and an iPhone app (with above uncertainty) after that.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 2nd, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Re: apps
Bump does work on the iPod Touch, according to its FAQ. The apps that don't work on the Touch include those that require a microphone, such as Shazam, and those that require a camera, such as Red Laser, Peak.ar, and Yelp's "Monocle" feature. It also lacks external speakers and the iPhone 3GS's compass. But for general internetty purposes it should probably do you fine, as long as you stay where you have wi-fi. (Be aware that in many places that claim to have wi-fi -- especially hotels -- you won't get a decent signal, or can't connect, or there's a charge for it.)

I am using Echofon as a Twitter client on both phone and Mac. My previous client was Nambu, which I liked a lot at first, but the phone client isn't as good as the desktop, the released version of the desktop doesn't work on Snow Leopard, and the beta that works on SL lacks some important features. So then I tried Echofon (it was just released in beta) and found I liked it much better.
Nancynancymcc on December 3rd, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
Re: apps
Thanks for the details. The wifi may be all I can afford, and I've been carting around my laptop enough to know not to trust promises of it :-(