I want to tell you about a handy free tool that developers can use to make their app demos more realistic and interesting. It’s called PhoneFinger by Wonder Warp Software. Simply what is does is turn your mouse cursor into a human finger. Not only does PhoneFinger make your demos look better but it also serves as a good usability test. Another really cool feature of PhoneFinger is the ability to create your own custom hands. Maybe you don’t like the default finger or you just don’t want your demos to look like everyone elses, no problem. The author provides detailed instructions on making the customizations (See Below.)
Download the latest version from HERE
From the authors website:
Test and demo your iPhone apps the way they’ll actually be used!
Because of the iPhone’s high-resolution screen, Apple’s iPhone Simulator may use an area on your Mac’s display that’s physically far larger than an actual iPhone. This makes designing and testing user interfaces troublesome. Software that’s easy to use with a magnified screen and the precision of a mouse can be difficult on the actual device. PhoneFinger puts things in perspective and reveals hidden usability problems.
How to create custom hands for PhoneFinger:
PhoneFinger uses its own
.hand format to bundle hand graphics and related information. In addition to those that are built-in, PhoneFinger will use .hands from
A .hand file is actually a folder — you can right-click on it and choose “Show Package Contents” to look inside. Inside of a .hand package are the images the hand uses as well as an Info.plist file.
So, to make a hand, just drop all the images and a customized Info.plist into a folder whose name ends with .hand, and drag it into the Hands folder. You’ll have to restart PhoneFinger for the hand to show up.
If you make anything particularly cool, let us know and we’ll put it on the PhoneFinger site for others to use!
In the Info.plist file, you can specify the following values:
- The readable name of your hand. Displayed in the hand model menu in the app.
- The person or company responsible for the hand. Not displayed currently.
- The URL or email associated with the above. Not displayed currently.
- A description of the hand. Not displayed currently.
- A version number for your hand to distinguish newer versions from older ones.
- The filename of the image that is displayed when no mouse button is pressed.
- The filename of the image that is displayed when at least one mouse button is pressed.
- The location of the active part of the image (where a click will actually happen) expressed as a number of pixels from the left of the image
- The location of the active part of the image (where a click will actually happen) expressed as a number of pixels from the top of the image
- A number from 0 to 1.0 expressing the ratio to which your image will be scaled when the user selects the smallest size. You must also specify
PFHandMaxScaleFactorif you specify this property.
- A number from 0 to 1.0 expressing the ratio to which your image will be scaled when the user selects the largest size.