New iPhone App Provides Accelerometer Control

13 November, 2008 | Posted by Marvyn

Bertrand Leroy has released this free nifty little app to control your WowWee Rovio from your iPhone. While it is a little barebones in features, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Using the default web interface on Mobile Safari can be quite frustrating with the unresponsive buttons and start/stop type operation. Rovio Driver utilizes the iPhone’s accelerometer to control forward/backward movement, while a swipe across the screen rotates the Rovio on its axis. And double tapping the screen will adjust the camera head position. It’s honestly a very intuitive use of the iPhone’s UI. 

There are a few little quirks and hopefully Leroy will tend to them in future releases.

  • The video only works when you are in play mode. That also means that the accelerometer is functional. So if you want to watch from a stopped position, forget it. 
  • Currently there is no way to adjust the video quality. Set at best quality, there is a considerable amount of lag, even when operating within my LAN. There is a slider control for speed on the settings page, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.
  • The settings screen comes up every time you access the app. It’s a bit of a nuisance as I don’t think many people need to adjust this at every launch. Also there doesn’t seem to be a way to get back to this screen without closing/relaunching the app.
  • Over the edge network, the lag is so great that it’s unusable. Perhaps 3G iPhone owners have better luck. 

All in all, I say it’s the start of a great app. Keep it up Leroy!

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