Pure Bluetooth magic

MOBILE | Want to pace around during your Powerpoint presentation or be a couch potato when watching a DVD on your laptop. Ahmad Humeid finds a Mac application that can do both and more.

Being an owner of a Bluetooth enabled phone for almost a year now has left me a bit underwhelmed. Until last week that is. It’s not that I didn’t like and use the technology. When I snap the occasional picture with my phone, I always use Bluetooth to transfer it to my Mac.

On the negative side, there’s the mindless ‘bluejacking’ that goes on in crowded places (like shopping malls), which, if you haven’t experienced it, is the ‘fun’ some people have looking for other Bluetooth equipped phones in their vicinity and sending them all sorts of harmless, or not-so-harmless junk messages. The last time I experienced this was, believe it or not, in a hospital (bored patient, doctor or visitor?!).

But my whole Bluetooth experience was turned upside down last week when I discovered a pieces of software caked Salling Clicker, a truly remarkable Bluetooth application that just shows how powerful this technology can be.

Simply described, Salling Clicker is a remote control application that turns a variety of phones (check out www.salling.com ) into Bluetooth based remote conrols for the Apple Mac. I downloaded the trial and was so impressed that I immediately dished out US$ 20 and bought it online.

At work, I give a lot of presentations. I always wanted an application that would turn my phone into a remote that controls my Mac, allowing me to click through my slides while standing (or walking) away from the computer. Salling Clicker does that for me (for both PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote presentation software).

But there’s more. Much more. I can control slide shows in iPhoto. I can fully control iTunes by playing and pausing songs, jumping to the next song and even searching for songs by title, album or artist name. I can control iTunes volume, see the next upcoming song and even see a song’s album cover (if available).

When using my Mac’s DVD player (or other media player like Quicktime and VLC) I can search for available movies on my hard disk, play, pause and control the volume of the sound, all from the comfort of my couch.

But the true power of Bluetooth shines when you realize that your phone is not just a ‘dumb’ remote control. This is two-way my friends. And it has a brain. The iTunes album search is an excellent example of what I mean by ‘two-way’: you enter your search term into your phone and the computer answers back with search results, displayed on your phone’s screen. And the intelligence of Salling Clicker is evident when you find out that iTunes can be paused automatically when you receive or make a phone call or move out of the of the computer’s vicinity.

This cool software is the brainchild of Swedish programmer Jonas Salling, who picked up two Apple Design awards in 2003 for his Clicker.

It is just another example that Jordanian programmers should learn from. Find a need, fill a need. Create a little program and sell it online. Not only is there potential to make a good living out of developing your own software, but the chance to get recognized for your work as well.


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One Response to “Pure Bluetooth magic”

  1. omar Says:

    i’ve found your website thru your podcast at itunes 4.9, searched for the word Arab and your podcast was the only thing i found. as a mac user USA based MD born and raised in jordan i really like your site. like the fact that you have a podcast and you are a mac user. i didn’t think it had a market in jordan. i liked this article about bluetooth, i’ll actually check the site write now.

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