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Found Footage: iPhone/Mouse integration



What happens when you combine two amazing jailbreak utilities on the iPhone? You achieve remote mouse based support! iPhone developer Lance "ashikase" Fetters, author of the amazing Backgrounder jailbreak app, wrote a VNC style extension for the iPhone called MouseSupport. It provides a floating window with a virtual cursor that can be controlled with synthesized pointer events.

A second utility, developed by Matthias Ringwald, is called BTstack Mouse. It integrates with ashikase's MouseSupport and Ringwald's open source BTstack implementation to provide iPhone/mouse integration. The video shown here uses Apple's Magic Mouse to demonstrate the BTstack Mouse extension. BTstack Mouse will shortly be available on Cydia and will retail for free.

So why does this all matter? Who cares about using a mouse with an iPhone when most people have perfectly usable fingers? Where does a mouse fit into the iPhone world? This effort is part of a larger project to create a nomadic computing environment on the iPhone. To put yourself into the right mindset, try thinking of an iPhone as a portable pocket-sized Unix system instead of as a mobile cell phone.

Practical work-ready peripherals that can move as you move, without need for carrying along a laptop, act as an important part of that vision. You can be on the go with just the phone itself -- as you know, a naked iPhone offers a perfectly usable mobile solution for light computing needs -- or you can start accessorizing to upgrade your computing efficiency.

By providing hooks for these accessories, the iPhone opens itself up to better desktop-style computing in addition to its existing mobile tools. In the end, when the vision of this project is fulfilled, you'll be able to move the iPhone between desktop set-ups where it can connect itself into a "dockable" Bluetooth-enabled work system, to your pocket on the go, to a lightly-accessorized system for coffee house use.

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