"apps" entries

Mobile developers, integration, and discovery are what count now

Three new battles to watch as the mobile hardware gap closes.

The iPhone 5 may or may not be the most beautiful handheld device, but it barely matters anymore. Competitors have rendered its beauty and craftsmanship irrelevant. Amazon has received the message and responded with its latest set of tablets, and Google has responded with the Motorola Droids and the Nexus 7. These devices now have sufficient quality in their materials, specs, and base operating systems so that they can make any consumer happy. So if hardware is a toss up, where will the next battles be fought?

The answer: developers, integration, and discovery.

First, the very best developers will build apps that tap key trends: improved camera quality is making real-world text and face recognition more possible, geofencing data stores are making proximity–based apps more possible, and despite Steve Jobs’ assertion that God gave us 10 styli, there’s clearly a host of applications that are benefiting from pressure-sensitivity and pens. The level to which Apple and Google embrace these new technologies and extend the current state of the art in voice and gesture recognition will factor heavily into the quality and emergence of new applications. In addition, the extent to which Apple and Google can expose these new technologies — like NFC or always-on Glass cameras in Google’s case — will provide an advantage to developers.

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Four short links: 24 August 2012

Four short links: 24 August 2012

PublicSpeaking App, Wacky Javascript, Open Science in R, and Surviving DDOS

  1. Speak Like a Pro (iTunes) — practice public speaking, and your phone will rate your performance and give you tips to improve. (via Idealog)
  2. If Hemingway Wrote Javascript — glorious. I swear I marked Andre Breton’s assignments at university. (via BoingBoing)
  3. R Open Sciopen source R packages that provide programmatic access to a variety of scientific data, full-text of journal articles, and repositories that provide real-time metrics of scholarly impact.
  4. Keeping Your Site Alive (EFF) — guide to surviving DDOS attacks. (via BoingBoing)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 1 June 2012

Four short links: 1 June 2012

Health App, The Met 3D Scanning, Skinnerian Apps, and Visual Programming

  1. BeWell App (Google Play) — continuously tracks user behaviors along three key health dimensions without requiring any user input — the user simply downloads the app and uses the phone as usual. Finally, someone tracking my behaviour for my own good.
  2. Met 3D — the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts its first 3d printing and scanning hackathon. [O]n June 1 and 2, approximately twenty-five digital artists and programmers will gather at the Met to experiment with the latest 3-D scanning and replicating technologies. Their aim will be to use the Museum’s vast encyclopedic collections as a departure point for the creation of new work. THIS. IS. AWESOME. (via Alison Marigold)
  3. The Perfected Self (The Atlantic) — everything you knew about B. F. Skinner was wrong, and you should know about him because you’re using his techniques to lose weight, stop smoking, and do your homework. (via Erica Lloyd)
  4. Google Blockly — (Google Code) A web-based, graphical programming language. Users can drag blocks together to build an application. No typing required. Open sourced.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 8 May 2012

Four short links: 8 May 2012

Archiving Gmail, Apps vs Web, Historical Fame, and Travel Tips

  1. Gmail Vault — app to backup and restore the contents of your gmail account. (via Hacker News)
  2. Leaving Apps for HTML5 (Technology Review) — We sold 353 subscriptions through the iPad. We never discovered how to avoid the necessity of designing both landscape and portrait versions of the magazine for the app. We wasted $124,000 on outsourced software development. We fought amongst ourselves, and people left the company. There was untold expense of spirit. I hated every moment of our experiment with apps, because it tried to impose something closed, old, and printlike on something open, new, and digital. (via Alex Howard)
  3. Your Two Weeks of Fame, and Your Grandmother’s (PDF) — researchers mined 20C news articles to see whether shrinking news cycles caused briefer fame. Instead they found duration of celebrity is largely steady across the entire century, though depending on how they measured celebrity they could sometimes see changes in the duration with the most famous. (via Google Research)
  4. Dan Pink’s Travel Tips — the author travels a lot and has passed on his tips in these videos.
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What if ebook DRM goes away tomorrow?

Ending DRM is fine, but we also need great buying and reading experiences.

Abandoning DRM won’t change the publishing landscape unless B&N, Kobo and others force the issue through innovative devices and apps. In fact, Joe Wikert says that same innovation can occur with or without DRM — so why wait?

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Apple's iTV and the implications of what Steve said

Apple's iTV and the implications of what Steve said

Why the rumors about Apple building a television are wrong.

Mark Sigal challenges the conventional wisdom about the rumored "iTV" and offers a much different prediction about an Apple-television marriage.

Comments: 4
Four short links: 24 January 2012

Four short links: 24 January 2012

Facebook Apps, Google+ Remover, Mind Hacks Books, and Pirate Bay Adds Physical Objects

  1. fbootstrap (GitHub) — HTML, CSS, and JS toolkit for Facebook apps based on Twitter’s popular Bootstrap library.
  2. Focus on the User — adds a bookmarklet “Don’t Be Evil” which shows your Google search as it would have been before Google+ began artificially inserting itself into Google search results. Written by Facebook engineer and Firefox co-creator Blake Ross, this is a gloriously subtle commentary on the pollution of search results from the privileging of Google+.
  3. Treasure Hunt for Mysteries of Mind and Brain (Mind Hacks) — one of the coauthors of Mind Hacks, Tom Stafford, has written two small self-published books on the cool things you can do with your brain: exploring your blind spot, and lucid dreaming.
  4. Pirate Bay Launches Physical Object CategoryWe believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form. It will be physical objects. Or as we decided to call them: Physibles. Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare parts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years. We at O’Reilly believe this too. (via Annalee Newitz)
Comment: 1
You can't get away with a bad mobile experience anymore

You can't get away with a bad mobile experience anymore

Joshua Bixby on mobile speed, platform optimization and KPIs.

Mobile used to carry built-in caveats around speed and design, but those excuses are now wearing thin. In this interview, Strangeloop's Joshua Bixby discusses the evolution of mobile expectations and how companies should adapt.

Comments: 6
You can’t get away with a bad mobile experience anymore

You can’t get away with a bad mobile experience anymore

Joshua Bixby on mobile speed, platform optimization and KPIs.

Mobile used to carry built-in caveats around speed and design, but those excuses are now wearing thin. In this interview, Strangeloop's Joshua Bixby discusses the evolution of mobile expectations and how companies should adapt.

Comments: 6

A sensible look at HTML5 and publishing

Sanders Kleinfeld on how book publishers can put HTML5 to use.

Everyone in the publishing world seems to be boasting about HTML5, but what does HTML5 actually address and how should it be used? In this interview, "HTML5 for Publishers" author Sanders Kleinfeld discusses the technology's practical application.

Comments: 2