How-To Geek

From the Tips Box: iPad Interface Emulation for Windows, Easy Access iPhone Flashlight, and Kindle Collection Management

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Once a week we round up some of the great reader tips to share. Today we’re looking at an iPad interface emulator for Windows, a fast-access flashlight app for the iPhone, and a Windows-based way to organize Kindle collections.

iPadian is a Windows-based iPad Interface Emulator

Nick writes in with a tip for an fairly unconventional Windows interface overhaul. He writes:

I recently got an iPad and I’m rather fond of the interface. So fond, in fact, that I sort of started wishing my desktop had an application launcher like the iPad. I did a little digging and turned up iPadian. If it’s too off the wall feel free to disregard this tip, but I really think it’s clever. iPadian is a portable app that launches an alternative desktop which looks a lot like the iPad interface. I say looks like the iPad interface because this isn’t an emulator (alas); you can’t run iPad apps and what not. You can run Windows-based apps from it, however, and there is even an iPadian appstore system so you can quickly add open-source apps to your iPadian launcher. Anyways, thought it was neat and figured I’d send you a link to the site and a demo video! Your site rocks!

Thanks for the tip, Nick. While we’re happy to stick with the nice iOS interface on our actual iPads we’re sure there are more than a few readers out there who would be ready to try it on on their desktops. The portable/no permanent change element is one of iPadian’s better features, for sure.

Easy Flashlight Access for iPhone

Veronica writes in with the following tip for jailbroken iPhone users:

I can’t figure out why this feature isn’t built into iOS from the get go, but hey, that’s why we jailbreak right? WeeFlashlight is a jailbreak-only app (you can find it in the BigBoss repository with all the other goodies) that puts a simple toggle in the notifcation bar. No more digging around for an app to turn the flashlight on and off, you just swipe down and turn it on. It’s awesome! Now if only I could find a jailbreak app that would let me double tap a hardware button to turn the flashlight on and off.

Nice tip, Veronica. We’re mostly Android phone users around here, but you can bet we’d be installing this app on our jailbroken iPhones in a heart beat.

Kindle Collection Manager Brings Easy Kindle Collection Creation to Windows


Bob writes in with the following problem and solution:

Hey guys! So here’s my short problem and solution tip message. Problem: the only official way to put your books into Kindle collections is to use the annoying interface on the Kindle (it’s a huge pain). Solution: Kindle Collection Manager for Windows lets you create collections using your keyboard and monitor instead of the tiny keyboard and rocker switch on the Kindle. It’s so much easier to group your books into collections using the collection manager. The only bad thing I can say about the app is that it’s got a silly little email registration box when you go to download it (I hate stuff like that). Other than the minor annoyance in downloading it though, it’s very handy for manipulating collections without using the Kindle keyboard/interface.

Nice find, Bob. We’d pretty much given up on the Collections feature because it was such a pain to create and manage the collections on the Kindle itself. We’ll definitely be taking this for a test spin.

Have a tip or trick to share? Shoot us an email at and then look for your tip on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/10/11

Comments (4)

  1. Teddy


    Accessing the LED as a flashlight through the hardware buttons has been around way longer than the Notification widget WeeFlashlight…

    SpringFlash + Activator = Instant flashlight

    SpringFlash is free and installs without an icon b/c it’s meant to be paired with Activator (which is installed with Cydia by default). My preference is the Volume Down, then Up. It’s a lot harder to activate accidentally…. double tapping the button in your pocket is very easy!

    Repeat to turn off.

    p.s. – set the activation method for Anywhere and you can use it when your screen is locked as well!

  2. tkrafty

    I think that you can actually create collections on Kindle For PC and they will sync to your device. But the collection manager might still be a bit more sophisticated for that.

  3. roystreet

    This is a great looking tool…Unfortunately, it doesn’t support touch screen at all. This would make it much more like the iPad

  4. Michel Nita

    Calibre for Kindle actually has a nice plugin that allows custom collections which can also be made based on the collections of the books in your Calibre Library. Definitely recommended for Kindle users.

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