Tag Archives: iPhone

It’s About Making Driving Better, Not Doing It For Me

This company has just released an AR iphone app that you see above. And the first thing I thought was that with all of the DARPA (MIT, etc.) focus on robotic driving in recent years, where has the innovation been around making your driving experience better/safer etc.? This whole AR overlay on your driving experience has so much “legs” to it, I can’t wait to see what’s next…

Some Summer Vacation Photos

Here’s my summer vacation photo album. All shot with an iPhone 3GS using Hipstamatic (horrible name, great app). My only gripe about the application is that you retroactively apply photo effects and filters. Why can’t you change lenses after the fact? Use different film post-shot? I mean, it’s all a programmatic effect applied to the raw data coming in from the camera lens in the first place right? The “flash” isn’t actually a flash at all…

This reminds me of a quote I read recently that even lenses will become obsolete – the digital image sensors will be so powerful that they’ll just capture EVERYTHING and using Photoshop (or whatever) you’ll be able to apply different effects, focal depths, etc. after the fact. I’m all for it, but for now having the ability to take images with different filters and effects on the iPhone is keeping me occupied (but is making me want the newer model with the better resolution camera).

Cookie Cutter Apps = Bad

Last week Mulvey and I were talking about the mental fork created by Apple’s app strategy. Specifically, I mentioned I sometimes get confused when I want to “switch” my context from one thing on my iPhone to another – I’ll hit the home button and search for an app if I’m looking for a web page or vice versa. This usually results in me leaving mobile Safari by hitting the home button, only to quickly realize my mistake and relaunch mobile Safari. A mental hiccup that isn’t a big deal, but is annoying nonetheless.

I just read a report on macRumors that states:

Between the developers I spoke to, the consensus was this: Apple doesn’t appear to be opposed to ‘app generators’ and templates per se, but in the last month or so it has started cracking down on basic applications that are little more than RSS feeds or glorified business cards. In short, Apple doesn’t want people using native applications for things that a basic web app could accomplish.

Good! Of course I would never sacrifice the amazing interactive experiences that native apps provide, but do the Huffington Post and NYT really need the speed and power of a native app to accomplish what their apps really do vs a full-web experience?

I have no problem with Apple guiding app builders and leading the strategic direction apps should take. Especially if they’re able to clean up the little mental hiccups that occur along the way.

iPhone NFC Concept Video

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what we all know is just around the corner when it comes to Near Field Communication. Especially in light of the talk I was fortunate to attend at Adobe Max. Given the following video, I think we’re about to think of things a little bit differently. Let me explain. Essentially we think of the world around us as static and the information we’re able to access about it as dynamic. So I can look things up on Wikipedia. Through GPS and the mobile web I can find things that are relevant to my physical location to help me navigate interact with the world around me in a meaningful way. Through Augmented Reality I can even alter my perception and overlay information to gain even deeper insights into the physical world. But what about using the world around me as an interface for the digital world? Enter NFC and the whole array of possibilities it brings to the table:

iPhone RFID: object-based media from timo on Vimeo.

Standing on a subway platform and want to know service alerts for the line you’re on? Tap your device on the platform sign. Installing a window and need to know instructions for your particular model? Tap your device on the frame. Same with any mechanical task really. Walking down a supermarket aisle and want to build a whole meal around one key ingredient? Tap your device… You get the point. NFC can really open a new door into our relationship between the physical and digital worlds and the kinds of emotional connections we form with them both. Can’t wait.

A Sunday Panorama

IMG_0151

Inspired by a recent post on Mulvey’s Blog, I plunked down $2.99 for the iPhone Pano App. My biggest complaint with the app isn’t the “cancel” button verbiage (as Michael points out) – though that is hella-confusing – it’s with how Apple handles images in your phone’s library that are bigger than the resoluiton offered by the built-in camera. Evidently after taking a large panorama shot, the phone will down-sample that image to match the resolution of the camera. The only way to see the original shot in it’s original fidelity is to copy/paste the image out of your library into an email (big ups to Mulv for pointing that out). Simply hitting “Email this Image” will continue to pass along the downsampled image. What’s up with that Apple?

New Google Mobile Reader

Update:

This seems to be a sniffer issue that they have now resolved for the iPhone. Wheew!

This morning I noticed Google changed there iPhone reader to something that looks like it was designed for a clam-shell ca. 1999. WTF?

photo

Google’s Old Mobile Reader (Left) and Google’s New Mobile Reader (Right)

I really loved the sophistication of their old mobile reader – you could browse folders and really do anything that the full-featured version could do. It also used consistent UI paradigms between the mobile and full versions. I also appreciated the integration of that top blue bar (not shown in demo shot, but trust me, it was there) with the rest of their mobile offering. I can’t stress enough how disappointing this revision is.

Maybe their going to save the good version for their android phones, which would be a shame because I’d then have to choose between tight music integration (iPhone) and fantastic & integrated mobile web content delivery.

Someone bring the old mobile reader back!