Showing posts with label iphone 5 app. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iphone 5 app. Show all posts

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

iPhone Killer apps - Silent Island relaxation

Silent Island Relaxation (and others)
"Hello.. My name is Christian and I am an insomniac", sometimes its awful, before going to sleep, a couple of hours before your alarm or just the middle of the night... triathlon training helps (exhaustion!), and a good meal (and drink) can randomly help but every so often, just plug this in and chill out... it works, even if you do end up with ear ache from the headphones... It also works with little things, though your mileage may vary there...the graphics and UE are, well they are what they are... its more function than form.


originally posted by Christian Borrman 22:19pm 20/12/08, updated 22:37pm 18/11/10

Its quite interesting that two things ocurr when you move a bog over and revisit old content, you notice

  1. that something that was a hit in 2008 on iPhone, is still relevant on other platforms and other audiences on iPhone, I still see the social network comments coming through for doodlejump. Even where doodlejump may be old news, there is a new casual game in its place, called angry birds, cut the rope, insert new one here... As I commented here, once a hit, always a hit
  2. by keeping these categories fresh, you can have a solid app store strategy

iPhone Killer Apps - Flipboard

Flipboard

Flipboard has finally made it from the ipad to iPhone. I must say, I have tried to do this a few times, not to iPhone, but to other big screen and other screen formats I have worked on for clients (content discovery, 3D screens, etc) but the budget has never seen fit or it has fallen into the two "generic" bin.

So finally it is here. Pulse, was the closest we had to flipboard, and arguably pinterest (below) is / has eaten into the appeal of Flipboard for the smartphone screen, but I think it still has a lot to offer and could go further in terms of enhancements for different smartphone formats leveraging the UI differences now the major platforms all have style guides and distinct IUs (Apple, Android, windows phone and even meego with the N9). So what's to like? crucially, like any quality app, it understands engagement and has a wonderful sign-up process, the kind I have only seen in Path, Pinterest, Pulse, and maybe a handful of other apps begginning with "p", what is that about??? It first has an almost fluttering, teasing sign up screen, and then it does not let you just add facebook and twitter, like the sony ericsson, now sony mobile Android homescreen app 9which you then quickly tire of) but first both preselects three of 9 major categories, meaning that from the off you have an engagement and the app stands a stronger chance of impressing / engaging you to add more feeds. This is very important, as news is easily accessible everywhere, if you are selling quality you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find and engage you to make the sale. Flipboard does this very swiftly, quickly and without fuss or frustration. Nice.
Flipboard for iPhone - benchmark app for OS?
Like Facebook, and pinterest below, its implementations will become almost benchmarks of how well an app is integrated into a handset manufacturer / OS provider or Operator's ecosystem.

iPhone Killer Apps - Warhol


Its been a while since the Carnegie Museum released the original Warhol DIY app. As a fan of the digitalisation of modern art I immediately downloaded it and... well, found It was harder than expected. having developed my own film and photos back in the day, and decided it hard work, I also did silkscreening, and found that even harder work, so I do not know why I was expecting the app that does the even more difficult Warhol silkscreen process to be easy, but I did, like we all expect to buy an iPad and do a Hockney by downloading brushes app....  The truth is, its not all that hard, after a think you remember that, like all good photography and art, it all starts with understanding light... to get a good digital silkscreen print you need to shoot the right image to start with, and this is hard, if not impossible on a mobile with no exposure control. So you search through your images for the right exposure, there are not that many, and the ones that are do not have the right subject...
The only usable image from original app, this will now change!
It all seemed like hard work and I only found one image that I could sort of use originally, and even then the result was, well, it did not get shared, let's put it that way!. So, for example, if I wanted to use this iconic Lotus, a brand made famous from the 60's and use its namesake bright yellow Warhol used so much on his screens, there was no much I could do: a black car in a dark street was just not going to work. It also was a pain to edit, I had to use another app to crop the photo (pre iOs 5 camera crop feature) rather than in app. These have both been addressed, as well as another key issue I will get to in a minute.
Editing and cropping in app is an essential addition
So, when the last update came out with exposure control I picked up from where I started: Crop photo instagram style in app - check; 
exposure levels mean you chose the subject you want
Edit the exposure level in app - check... we are now on our way! the next problem, and the reason I left the darkroom work to others, was the trial an error process... before the app was unforgiving of mistakes, and made you start again, it now let's you go back and change exposure levels etc.
fine tuning exposure now does not mean starting again
The only issue I still do have is that I was never good at the underpainting with a brush, on the screen that does not get any better, but to be honest, I am more of a fan of the bass relief style single silkscreen colouring with no underpainting... which is just as well. I have not tried it on a tablet yet, but undepainting on a screen, even one as good as the iPhone's, is not great. So what are the results like? Well, I am still playing with the exposure but will let you know :)

There are also sections explaining the process and a bit more about the museum, etc, so all in all is a great app and well worth paying for.

Monday, 28 January 2013

killer apps - vivino iPhone & android app, snooth iphone

Wine mobile apps

Lifestyle apps do not come more fun than wine apps; while wine can be an exquisite and esoteric affair, there is such a variety and quality of wines available now at all price ranges that, at least here in the UK, where the market is very competitive, and a huge amount of economies of scale in terms of shipping, there is no excuse to not get involved.

Wine Mobile App history

Until recently, the main apps have been the high end likes of Vertu's Berry Brothers and Rudd app and for the rest of us, snooth and a handful of others, however they have not grabbed me for one key reason: the social aspect! Yep, you got it, wine is a social affair, and as such I have just resorted to posting labels on Facebook  emailing certain friends and storing the photos of labels for my own recollection in a folder called, well what else: wines...
The social aspect of lifestyle apps is key: we seldom enjoy life's pleasure alone!
So I then found Vivino for Android, and Vivino for iPhone, yes, via someone posting on Facebook; just like the world found Doodle Jump, Angry Birds, Foursquare (I sense a trend!) and was instantly hooked, scanned 5 or 6 bottles in my store (I cannot call it a cellar, as, well, it is not a cellar!) of wines and invited others to join.

Community & Social key for killer apps

Even more important were two things throughout the experience so far (the weekend); firstly; I did not get the feeling I had to go pro immediately, which I did with Snooth (only to be then slightly disappointed) ; secondly I added a label, could not find it and had to go pro to search the database. This I understand. However a day or so later, I have an update and somebody has manually added my wine to the database - nice! This community sense is key to the mobile app model.
Building a profile is simple with Vivino, unfound bottles get updated by the community!
Having my collective virtual "cellar" with notes is quite handy, while to date, searching other people's cellar has been frustrating to annoying (long story, but involved a dodgy merlot...) but then I do only have one friend so far (you know who you are!).

The only downsides to this app, that have held back other wine apps for me are the fact that wine seems to moving quicker than many of the:
  1. not being able to edit some of the wider elements community style, even if after approval; like for example, I have a strong steer to big, bold full bodied wines that lend themselves to red meat, which can be seen above, yet the food pairing recommendation still had the very outdated recommendation of "suited to pork". Just as well I am not a Rioja and Ribera drinking person of 2 certain faiths that do not eat pork!
  2. having a list of grapes in the bottle is good, but not having a % is not - the subtle additions of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano to the main Tempranillo base can have a huge impact on how well a Rioja will age and/or be ready for drinking!
  3. The old temperature issue - while thank god we have moved away from the "room temperature" model to the fridge, whether its 15 mins or not will depend on the fridge, the previous room temperature and other points. Moreover
I think the best way out of this is moderated community additions? I will be upgrading to pro and will update, but in the meantime, these are the next issues that need to be tackled with these apps.
Grape % would be useful, at the moment all Spanish wines appear to be paired with pork!
These are small gripes, with an otherwise great app, and will now substitute my random posting of pictures of bottles on social networks...

Antisocial drinking apps

When will people learn that creating a community on just one OS does not work! Facebook and twitter check-in is the other key feature that has made Pintererst to Foursquare via Instagram before it was bought (...and did the whole T&Cs debacle). I do not want to create another account on another app!
Snooth: another apps that thinks people need yet another login!
Another key for Vivino is that it is on Android as well; more and more people have a mixed OS tablet/smartphone mix and even a dual smartphone mix and the market has seen iPhoners switch to Android and vice versa: you need to be on both platforms at least to succeed. Any premium app, especially one at the £2.99 end that has not yet adapted to the iPhone5 screen size  six months on almost demands a refund!

Social drinking apps on the other hand, could become the next foursquare????

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

killer apps iphone ipad - Samsung smart tv iphone remote app

The Samsung remote is an app I have been looking at for a while, ever since Samsung phones allowed "sending" video to TVs and then Apple TV came out a few months later back in 2009ish.

However, until the recent update they always felt a bit like someone had a tick in a box for an app to say "we have an app for that" and that's it. While it is still not as good as, for example, the Sling TV remote experience, they have come a long way and can actually function if you cannot find the remote: Before this you would actually spend a bit of time finding the remote, I say this especially as, while the 3rd generation ipad version worked OK, the version on the iPhone 5 crashed too often to use, at least on my iPhone 5.

The first screen you get is this one, which on first view is not great, however you then realise it has all the buttons you need for the most times you will use this remote: for ad-hoc adjustments to sound when you cannot be bothered getting up/finding the remote.
No iPhone 5 format yet but at least it works
Apart from not being iPhone 5 formatted, the only other issue is the fact that you need to authorise the app every time you use it: guess how? Yep, with the remote the app is supposed to replace anyway. This is a key update that is needed ASAP - one auth, once. If you must have a pop-up, have one saying "this tv is being controlled by..." and have the ability to stop it - if you have annoying people in the house, of any age...

The ability to exit menus, etc is done my using the "simple" tab, which seems strange, but at least makes this function always easy to find, whereas if it were scrolled on the "full" tab it may take more finding.
"simple" menu lets you access menus / settings
So onto the "killer" part, which is the "full" menu: Here you can control pretty much anything, scrolling up and down between the screens
The Screen that gets you around the smart hub
The other of the screens is really all your need, and probably could be the first tab in itself to simplify the app?
The main screen that gets you into smart hub and  main controls
For the more analogue among you, you can still use the following two menus to channel hop and,
Old school channel and source selection

control video and recording and other things you may still do with your TV
old school blah control for ... other things
So why is it a killer app? well, its actually been very well thought out, despite that not being immediately obvious. For those of you who have worked with Koreans, you will notice a lot of Korean thought process in the layout here, which is no bad thing and is very easy to get used to, albeit not the normal layout of other remote controls which have clearly been approached from a Western European or Northern American UE perspective. With the addition of being remembered (at the moment each session requires the real remote to accept the app) and programmable buttons, so I can remove "family story" (don't bother!) and have short-cuts to really useful Smart Hub content like iPlayer, Spotify, Redbull TV, etc this app would be top killer app.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Why iphone 5 apps updated so late?

Slow iPhone 5 app updates

There has been some talk on the world wide gossip web lately that the iPad mini is the beginning of the demise of Apple... obviously there was a band of Apple lovers who took grave offence and blocked sites for saying so on their iRouter, and the other band of iHaters relished the idea...

iPhone 5 beginning of Decline of Apple?

I personally sit in the middle and think it would be a great shame if it were the beginning of the decline, however it did get me thinking more about a casual observation that I have been capturing in screenshots on my iPhone 5 post release; I have noticed that that is the lag in the updates from the major app vendors, longer than iPad 3 (or new iPad) which does make me think Apple is either relaxing or loosing its grip (depending on how most people seem to be able to only look at these Apple issues) or; if we are lucky - that the app environment is finally maturing!
Major apps like Spotify are only just adding iPhone 5 support to their apps

iPhone5 developer roadmap maturity?

So why can this be? Well let's explore the "is it maturing" side first: proper development has a roadmap and cycles, that is; you have a roadmap of what you want to do over the next 6 - 18 months depending on many factors such as size of company, and then monthly or quarterly cycles when these features are added in priority. Unfortunately in app world this has not happened, and to be honest, UE has been impacted as a result. I only have to look as late as the beginning of this year at my Mobile Monday London event digest to see that developers in app world are still running round prioritising customer feedback features over launching new platforms, and adding them in what seems like an ad-hoc manner. Therefore, possibly, hopefully, this is a a sign that the market is maturing and the iPhone 5 new screen size is being put into the next available cycle on the roadmap rather than developers running round like headless chickens for the new ifeature as soon as they can?
4 to 5 days post iPhone 5, a major app release update does not include iPhone 5 support
Further evidence of this maturity could be seen in the shape of the native Google app for iPhone5 taking longer than anybody would have expected to go into the app store after the launch of the iphone 5 and iOS 6 with the dreadful downgrade to maps widely reported would have led to the app being in the store "yesterday" in previous times. So let's move on to:

iPhone Android app roadmap maturity is here!

The other way to look at this is that its the beginning of the decline of Apple and Steve Jobs would have not let this happen! I hope it is not, for many reasons, as Apple has pushed apps, app stores, UE and devices in the last few years further than the entire mobile industry managed beforehand (am not counting Siri in this equation)... However the fact still remains that key apps ar taking time to adapt and some could argue its sloppy management of app stores. It should also be noted people have recently moved jobs in Apple post the iPhone 5 launch: when launching a new device with a major change such as screen size and performance improvement; you do need to look at your ecosystem and identify the apps and app developers that you need to take aside and say in confidence: can I have your apps ready for the launch of my new, and let's add in here, well overdue... iPhone 5. As a user I was left seeing my bigger screen going to waste with apps I would expect to be up the in the wish list. I will also hasten to add, that this has not been during a period of low activity; I have been installing app updates almost daily since the iPhone 5 since release.

For now, I am taking thee high road and seeing it as emerging maturity in app land!