Saturday, October 17, 2009

Download, Install, Use iphome

Try it out:

I’ve posted a temporary iphome page in case you want to try out iphome before installing(for download and installation see below). This is not a permanent site, and I make no promises that this will stay up longer than a month… we’ll see.
Until then, check out iphome maybe (only renders properly on an iPhone/iPod touch).

Something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while and keep putting off. This post might not cover it all, but to get the ball rolling… Using Dropbox to host your own web pages and how the iPhone needs a home page… In my dropbox public folder is a folder called sites. In that folder is one file of text and one jpg, takes up 57kb. Produces this:

Which is my iPod’s home page, a search engine, shortcuts page, lets me easily search 16 search engines and websites. Includes quickly accessing twitter and gmail. And as my browsing habits change, it is easily modifiable to suit my needs. If all you want is this exact page, skip to the bottom of this post to “Download, Install, Use iphome”. (NOTE: For now I’m just going to write that and stop. But I’ll add more about the technical details, modifying it, using yubnub, which the page is based on, etc, in the future right here).

Download, Install, Use iphome:

This requires either Dropbox or having a webserver. If you have webserver I’m assuming all you need is the code itself. If you already have Dropbox, skip to the download link. If this is all new to you, go here, and follow the instructions to download and install Dropbox.

Download iphome here.


In your Dropbox folder is a Public folder, I recommend creating a folder called “sites” inside of that. However you prefer, move the iphome folder to somewhere inside your Dropbox/Public folder.

After moving it, open up your iphome folder find “index.html” and right click on it, go to the Dropbox submenu in your contextual menu and “Copy Public Link”. If, for some reason, you are having trouble with that, you can always go to “” and sign in, and navigate to “index.html”, click on it and your browser will take you to the public URL of your new home page.

Everyone who has an iphone or ipod has a way of transfering information from their computer to it. Maybe you use dropbox, or evernote. Maybe you email yourself.

However you do it, copy that public URL (should be something like this: “”) to your ipod touch. Open that url in Mobile Safari on your ipod touch and bookmark it. For true “home page” type behavior, add it to your homescreen.

Now you have it installed.

How to use iphome:

iphome is essentially a tricked out iPod Touch/iPhone interface for YubNub.
For more info on YubNub, I’d read this. or go

If you just want to dive right in, there’s only a few things you need to know:

1. YubNub uses prefixes to tell it where on the internet to search. iphome’s default is “g” for Google. So when using iphone you’ll see these prefixes. Leave them alone, and type your search after them. “g poodles” will send you here and “wkm poodles” will send you here, “wkm” being the prefix for wikipedia’s iphone optimized search.

2. The bottom three buttons are bookmarks, not searches. Tapping “twitter” will take you to

3. Notice the checkbox on the left, below the search field. If it is checked, anything you do will open in a new page. If unchecked it will open in the current page.

iphome 49

4. Notice the drop down menu at the top, with Google preselected. Everthing here is a potential search. Tap it, scroll down and pick a search. Select the search and tap the “pick” button. Notice that after doing this the prefix in the search field changes appropriately and your keyboard pops up. Type in your search and go.

iphome 50

for example takes you here:
iphome 51

5. The first 2 rows of buttons beneath the blue line are for searches. They’re just buttons for easy access.

6. You are not limited to the searches in the drop down menu or the quick search buttons. YubNub has an enourmous, extensive, amazing diversity of existing uses. It is a command line for the web. You can even make your own. And any Yubnub command can be used from iphome. Just tap the “clear” button and it will erase any prefix and take you to the search field.

7. You can also just type a url into the search field, if the location bar seems too far to reach…



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