Today’s shiny toy is BluePhoneElite, which sits on the lappy and talks to the phone via bluetooth. It does the usual proximity stuff – lock the screen when the phone goes out of range, pause iTunes and display bezels when there’s an incoming call (which is great when the phone is set to silent mode and I don’t notice it ringing..), and random other stuff (yay applescript). It’ll talk to your address book locally, and let you add unknown numbers to in from your incoming call list. I can use it to send SMSes using my nice big keyboard instead of fumbling around on a tiny phone keyboard. All this stuff is boring – Romeo will do the proximity stuff nicely, for instance, and is free, no less, and the SMS-writing stuff is handled perfectly well by the Apple Address Book. For me, the killer feature of BPE is that I can read past SMSes on the phone using it. This isn’t new technology – by far my favourite program in my ancient Psion was an app that would sync my SMS inbox/outbox with the phone, so I could read and write them on a device with a real keyboard. But that was 6 years ago! I’ve been looking for this app for ages.
Of course, there’s a downside. Given the amount of time I spend within bluetooth range of this machine, being bluetooth paired to it at all times is killing the battery life of the phone – it’s gone from easily >1 week to about 2 days. That’s quite a drop. I still haven’t decided if it’s worth it to me. Hopefully I’ll decide before the software trial period runs out and I have to pay for it..