Apps are not enough, however. First of all, some online services I use (like Gruvr or My511, nudge nudge) don’t yet offer iPhone apps. (This is especially annoying if they also don’t default to mobile-friendly site layout upon mobile access, grumble…)
But also, several very cool and useful online services are meant to play nice with the rest of the web.
For instance, I get value from my preferred social bookmarking service Delicious because I can use it to bookmark, tag, and comment on any page I happen to be browsing. And on Twitter I often tweet links to pages I find online. For these services, I want their functionality integrated with my iPhone’s Safari browser (since you can’t run two apps at once on the iPhone, and since the iPhone also doesn’t yet allow cut and past, grumble…)
Since I’m an utterly compulsive user of Twitter and Delicious, I’ve installed a couple of bookmarklets in my iPhone’s browser to allow me to integrate my mobile web surfing with those services pretty easily.
My preferred Twitter iPhone app is Twittelator Pro (which costs $4.99 and just this week debuted a very, very slick and handy 2.0 update). It used to frustrate me that if I found a cool page in my iPhone browser, I couldn’t easily tweet it because of the lack of iPhone cut-and-paste. But recently I installed the Twittelator iPhone bookmarklet in mobile Safari.
This bookmarklet solves that problem perfectly for me. Here’s an example of how I used this bookmarklet on my iPhone to create this link tweet.
Here’s how I made it happen:
1. I opened the article page in mobile Safari. Then I clicked the bookmarks icon.
2. I selected the Post with Twittelator bookmark, which I’ve saved in Safari on my iPhone:
3. Twittelator then launches and puts the full URL into a new tweet.
4. I add some explanatory text for that link. But when I do that, I end up with a tweet that’s 30 characters too long. No worries. I hit “send,” and…
5. Twittelator allows me to shorten the link. When I do that…
6. My tweet now has 39 characters to spare. Perfect for posting! I click “send” again, and it posts to Twitter.
THE BAD NEWS IS…
This gymnastic routine currently is the norm for implementing a useful bookmarklet into mobile Safari. Yes, it’s clunky. But it only has to be done once per bookmarklet, and then you have the functionality. I think that, for now, that’s an acceptable tradeoff.
I hope that in the future that Apple will make this process less cumbersome — or even better, start allowing cut and past in the iPhone OS so I don’t even need the bookmarklet to make the two apps work together.
But for now, this is a big help.
Oh, and: Here’s the post to Delicious iphone bookmarklet. Just install and edit it the same way. The drawback is that the form for entering information about your bookmark is not mobile-optimized — but if you flip your iPhone sideways for a horizontal display, it’s easier to use.