Macros for cell phones

I was taking a bunch of pictures of sex shop and bong shop windows in the West Village yesterday. My companion asked if I was uploading them to the server, and I said God no, I’ll have to do that later. Too many steps. Way too many steps.

But then, this evening, I realized that it could be made much simpler, that the problem is easily solved, by adding the ability to program a few function keys in the camera app. Really just one would do.

You’d program the key to mail the photo that you’re currently viewing to a specified mail address with a title that’s determined algorithmically — perhaps a function of the location (West Village, New York) or the date and time. I don’t really care that much about the title. I can patch that later when I’m back at my desktop.

It would work like the old PC products ProKey and Superkey worked. Or the Mac produvct QuicKeys. Okay they won’t let us have scripting languages for these things, at least give us simple hacks to customize these tools to make them work exactly the way we want so you can shoot pics up to the net without stopping and typing a bunch of stuff at the computer.

It’s exactly like the problem I outlined in 1999 in Edit This Page. Writing for the web, back then, forced you to be a book keeper. Now it’s the same with outdoor photography. And you really feel it walking around when it’s 18 degrees outside with a windchill fo minus 80 million. :-)

Posted in Droid. 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Macros for cell phones”

  1. Nonproductive Says:

    I don’t know that it can do exactly what you want – but have you seen Android Scripting Engine (ASE)?
    http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/

    It lets you write scripts in Python, Lua, JRuby, Pearl – and I think a couple other languages – right on the device itself. The API appears to cover a good amount of the phone’s abilities.

  2. BPA Says:

    The SenseUI 2.5 interface from HTC on their HD2 and other WinMo devices does this. When you take a picture it shows you the picture you took and gives you several menu buttons. One is a circle with arrows coming out of it that lets you post to Facebook or other social network sites. Theres another that lets you “send” it and will then pop up the standard messaging dialog allowing you to send it via any email acocunt you have set up or through MMS. It even asks if you would like to resize it first. It’s not necessarily a customizable macro type thing, but I’ve found it to offer every option I want/need for sharing photos.

    • Shane Says:

      I think he’s referring to something that works more automatically. e.g. “One-click share” sort of thing.

      I’m sure there are apps that can do that quickly and better than the built-in one. There are apps for such things on other phones, such as Shozu on the N95, etc.

      The easiest would be a canned “share” supporting app. That is, you press the share button (an Android camera app feature), then choose the “just share it” one, and then it does the rest automatically. Some apps may already do this, too. There are quite a lot of photo apps to sift through, though.

  3. Nonproductive Says:

    I know Pixel Pipe can automate (well, 1 click) uploads, but I’m not sure if it will rename the file for you.

    Through ASE and some code – you could write a script that goes through your pictures from the last X hours, and then renames each file based on GPS coordinates or date/time taken from EXIF data or file time stamp as it uploads them to a server of your choice. This can be assigned to a home screen shortcut and executed once you were within WiFi range. or it could be written to only run against the last pic taken if you felt like that one was a keeper.

    Since an ASE script can watch for system events, it would seem that you could hotkey the script as well.

    I am certain ASE can read the GPS for current location, but not sure if it can read EXIF data from the images… based on this link though, there appears to be a class to read the data available.
    http://android-er.blogspot.com/2009/12/read-exif-information-in-jpeg-file.html

    All of that said, I am no programmer – I have just toyed around with ASE. So I could be completely off base. But just having the ability to write scripts on my phone is one of the reasons I love Android OS over iPhone.


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