iPhone, iTunes, iShed

So the last one doesn’t exist (although perhaps it should – hmm Stu’s virtual shed……)

I have been playing around with the other two.  The iPhone is a new toy, and is very interesting. Not that much of a leap from the iPod Touch that I have been using for a while, although having built-in speakers makes watching the latest podcasts even easier.

Speaking of podcasts, Stu’s Shed is currently one of the “Featured” podcasts in the hobby section of iTunes, and we are in the top 4 of hobby podcasts 🙂

Amalgamating the two, I do keep an eye out for apps that have a use for woodworking, and although the level was pretty good (and has been improved even further since, now with a digital as well as a spirit level readout), a few other apps seem very pointless (using the phone as a ruler!?).

One that does look to have some promise is a ShopCalc, able to handle fractions, imperial and decimal. It also has a special division button useful for fractions, so a length can be divided by a length or into equal portions.

Not sure if I understand it yet myself, but from their site,

13 divided by 3 =  4.33333

13 foot divided by 3 inches = 52 pieces

13 foot divided into 3 equal portions = 4 feet 4 inches.



In future they are planning extra calcs for volume, and board feet.

The other benefit this calc has, is you can do the calculations in whichever unit you want, and convert the answer to whichever system (eg get imperial decimal from your plan, and convert the answer to mm).  You can also combine measurement systems easily, so adding 2 63/64″ + 2.756″ – 3mm is easy.  There is even a tickertape display so you can double check that you entered all the units correctly.

(and the answer is 142.8mm or 5 5/8″ or 5.622″) – see, even I can handle the different unit types now (having grown up in a metric education system).

iPhone / iPod Touch as a Woodworking Tool

The iPhone 2.0 software upgrade allows applications to be downloaded and run on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Quite a number of these use the device’s accelerometer to varying degrees of success. They certainly provide a new twist on interactions with the device (he he – sorry).

There are a couple of programs out already allowing the device to be used as a spirit level, and hopefully soon there will be one that acts as a digital one, and the device then could be as useful as the Wixey Digital Angle Gauge. The programs that provide this functionality are free, and actually work surprisingly well.

(Update – another one I downloaded (free) since has just that – a digital reading as well as the spirit level.)

Although I’ve mocked this image up, the screen shot of the program is the actual one provided by the programmers, and this isn’t April 1.

(It’s obviously a mock, as on my device, the lower bubble is at the top of the gauge when it is in that orientation.  It is surprisingly responsive, but perhaps these days not so surprising – technology is just a little mind blowing!)

iPhone & Spirit Level Program

iPhone & Spirit Level Program

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