There’s life in Pebble still

Pebbles growing in work
Me, Jimmy and Alex – Photo credit to Jimmy Lee

Its ironic that since Fitbit bought Pebble and even Vector. There has been a bunch of interesting projects to keep Pebble going. Even Fitbit have been friendly to the idea of keep it going once they switch off their servers later this year.

At least two projects are hot on my task list.

What I find really interesting is the amount of Apple watch users who have switched to Pebble. First it started with my line manager (phil) who bought a pebble 1 a while ago, scratched it then sold it to me. He then bought a Apple Watch to go with his new apple phone; but it wasn’t long till he was frustrated with the charging and not being able to see the screen without the shake. I made clear my reasons for kickstarting the Pebble 2 and left it at that.

One day he totally surprised me one day with a pebble 2 watch in white and green. Good choice I said, even with the fear of what Fitbit would do with Pebble still looming.

I also sold my old pebble 1 watch to Andy at work with the warning of what Fitbit might or rather not do, but he was happy with the price.

Third was Jimmy, who had a old classic Casio watch he use to wear. He one day rocked up with a black pebble 2 watch and suddenly I felt the waters was turning.

Pebble 2.0

But the final surprise recently was with a Apple die-hard, Alex. Alex has apple stamped on his heart; me and Jimmy once had a conversation about the turning tide of pebble watches in work and thought who could be next? Jimmy did suggest Alex and I said nahh never, too tied to Apple. I even remember having a conversation with Alex about the Apple watch vs Pebble. I somehow forgot Alex use to own a Samsung Galaxy S4 plus a long time ago, mainly for VR.

He agreed on the advantages, and as designer to designer we critiqued the design decisions of the LCD screen and wondered if jobs would be happy with the one day battery? (to be fair me and Jimmy had a similar discussion before he turned up with one) Any way, that was a while ago and I almost fell out my chair when recently Jimmy announced Alex had ditched his Apple watch for a Pebble 2. I honestly thought he was kidding then I saw it on him.

Jimmy & Alex also have found services doing interesting custom watch faces, but I’m on the look out for more diverse apps (makers would be a plus). As I’d really like to see more things like ifttt on pebble. For example why not Monzo, Paypal balance status?

Pebble 2

Right now you can buy a Pebble on Amazon for between £40 – £90 depending on which one you get. I’d also say if you were considering a smartwatch, the pebble is still the only one I would consider even now.

Apple store security in racial profiling hot water

Even Steve Jobs himself would be shaking his head…

Honestly when I first saw this video via the guardian, I wasn’t really surprised.

When I was younger, I was regularly followed by security guards in stores. I knew what it was about but I guess at the time we just boycotted the shop and just went elsewhere. Its the same way I was stopped by the police for many dubious reasons.

Like most countries, Australia has its race problems and this isn’t an excuse and I’m glad the young people captured this all on video. The more of this stuff which comes out into the public domain, the more people have to face up the problems in our modern society.

Dare I mention the way the police are killing black people in the states

… I won’t lie, I did shout inside

…2015 right! How can this still be a thing!!!

Of course this caused a wave of postings and comments across the web, even when Apple somewhat apologised. Although I got to say the companies diversity isn’t exactly great either.

Pebble, time to dump Apple?

Pebble time

Iphone users who bought a pebble have been complaining that the pebble smartwatch’s connection with the phone is getting more and more flaky.

While on the other side the connection with Android phones is getting tighter (especially with some support for Android wear). I’m Apple are also going to/has restricted access to more apis since they want exclusive access for the apple watch.

This makes me wonder how long pebble will support the iphone?

Its great they support both operating systems but when one of them wants you off their closed platform? How long do you stay and keep struggling to support it while the walls close in, crushing your development efforts and driving your customers against you?

Food for thought, pebble?

Through the Illusion of the Apple distortion field

iCow Syncing

You got to hand it to Apple, they always have the press eating out their own bowl. You only have to look at the latest apple announcement for the apple watch.  This use to be termed the Steve Jobs distortion field then when Steve died, there was a fear that Apple may not be able to keep things up without their leader.

However this turned out to be not true (to a degree).

How does Apple manipulate the media and press has been a question which many have asked, and very have been brave enough to come forward and explain how. Those who do tend to get put on the blacklist and starved…

Apple can already tell what a review is going to say from [a publication’s] pre-coverage, and they’re not going to give you a review unit if you’re not going to play ball.” In other words, Apple feeds the writers who will do its bidding, and starves the ones who won’t follow its messaging.

One such brave people is Mark Gurman from 9to5mac. Who wrote a super detailed look at the distortion and absolute manipulation Apple roll across the media. 9 indepth pages of stuff everybody kind of guessed or knew but dare not write about? Don’t expect to see Mark at any Apple press events for the next 10 years at least.

Dropbox as furniture design company

This Alabamiana Library Is A Beaut

Dropbox as furniture design company” – @iledigital (Jon Rogers)

When Jon first said this to me, I had to think for a second. Then I got it.

Amazon, ibooks, etc all have their own proprietary ways of holding your ebook. But imagine if you  used many different sources to gather books and organise them. Some digital and some physical (like I do) These are sync’ed using Dropbox or other syncing systems and instead of being displayed as files, appear like dropbox’s photos stream. A far more useful way to display books you have and heck why not make it sharable while your at it?

Next leap… Instead of it being just a digital thing, how about as a physical manifestation? Dropbox could sync the physical and digital together, like a wispersync for binding digital and physical items. Maybe it slots a bookmark into position or folds over the top edge of a page?

But one thing you don’t want is some ugly as sin apple skeuomorphism bookshelf in your living room. It would need to fit with the rest of the furniture and surrounds. Making Dropbox a furniture design company. Not such a massive leap in imagination I would say…

Choose your ecosystem wisely

Android robot-shaped KitKat bars

In my mind the primeconf online dating talk has a lot of parallels with what I have been looking at in regards to  the different stacks and data ethics.

One of my biggest posts was one about the 5 stacks after listening to Bruce Sterling’s talk at SxSw interactive in 2012.  But came across a really interesting piece while looking into the Google IO.

Its time to choose your religion, Android or iOS?

It’s impossible for Google or Apple to introduce a new feature, let alone a whole new revision, to their mobile operating systems without it instantly being compared to the other’s alternative. The sparks that inflame heated discussions about who’s got the better notifications or smarter multitasking come right from the top of both companies. While unveiling Android L yesterday, Google’s Sundar Pichai took a subtle dig at Apple’s new iOS 8 by saying that custom keyboards and widgets “happened in Android four to five years ago.”

Of course this also applies to Amazon with their recent Firephone, Microsoft with Windows Phone and somewhat Facebook too.

Frankly the copying of each other is boring and getting tiresome. But regardless my bets are still with Google. Although I won’t lie, Google Fit although a better thought out proposition than Apple’s Healthkit, worries the heck out of me. Can you even imagine the insane algorithms which will be built?

Although not a foil hat wearing person, I will say I’m one of those people who removing  Moves app from my Nexus5 when Facebook bought them. And that was for a subset of personal data! I didn’t even stick around to see the EULA change because I had a idea of what they might do with that data.

Life will surely be sweeter once every gadget you own relates intelligently to every other, but to get there, you’ll have to decide where your loyalties lie. And the fact that both Android and iOS platforms are set for their biggest updates in years this fall means that the obsessive comparisons between them will be as salient as they’ve ever been. More than ever, your smartphone preference will dictate your choice of tablet, TV, car, watch, and even fitness tracker.

Its a shame things are this way. For example even Ubuntu are following this route with their Ubuntu Cloud, Phone,Tablet, etc. Whats driving all this besides the money, massive collections of data and customer lock in? User experience…

Last year when Aral gave his talk at Thinking Digital about user experience, I was up in arms again (seems everything Aral says, I tend to get up in arms about).The notion of a single user experience winds me up. Each user (in lui of a better word, citizen, person, etc) is different and although you can build experiences for a bulk of people, we have the technology and experience to build  but enlightening and masterful experiences which don’t trap users in a silky web, where you can only emerge a little lighter in regards to personal data.

What Apple and Google are building is what Nike, Adidas, and all the fashion brands wish they had: a set of concrete reasons to compel people to use one company for all their needs. It’s brand loyalty based on practicality as much as emotional attachment.

There has to be a better way right? Absolutely!

The utopian scenario would be to have one global ecosystem where the communication between Apple and Google was about device interoperability instead of trash talk among execs. In its absence, a few sprouts of hope come from companies like Nike and the Google-owned (but still independently operated) Nest.

Yes, the utopian scenario is what we should be working towards and to be fair, many are. However its very complex to build a excellent user experience across different data sets, APIs and services. Its alot easier to just build your own and force the user experience you think people should have.  As Ade said, people’s enthusiasm for federated decentralised $WHATEVER tends to be very low. I imagine its ever lower when considering the user experience. Getting things working technically is hard enough, so the user experience tends to get shuffled into a later position. I do agree with Aral on this. I would also agree this is part of the reason why the stacks are able to increase their lead and dictate the terms which suit their business model.

The old specter of Apple’s walled garden remains. And the more unified Google becomes, the more it’s beginning to resemble it. The difference with the latest software from both, however, is in the scale of the closed ecosystems that are being built. They are, by design, big enough to fit your whole life into. While the next phone you buy might not last much longer than a couple of years, the ecosystem it plugs and locks you into will likely be the one you use for a long time to come.

I would say its not just about choosing wisely, but also choosing wisely what you do on their platform. Its clear things are more difficult as a result of not being all in with one of the stacks but for the inconvenience and pain of wiring up your own solution between the gaps. It may in years to come make all the difference?

How can we ever trust the 5 stacks?

There is a lot to be said about Aral Balkan‘s talk from The Next Web conference (I gather his RSA talk had less technical problems). However I heard and saw it live at Thinking Digital 2014 a few days ago. Like when I heard him talk at Thinking Digital 2013, there was so much I wanted to say in return.

I agree on some level that its about the user experience, I disagree open source and free software is a lie, waste of time and not really free (Aral cleared up the fact he was talking about cost not freedom) Picking the low hanging fruit is certainly entertaining but is unfair, for example Mozilla’s dependence on Google is eye watering but there was no mention of Ubuntu, with their own phone, tablet, TV and computer operating system. I mean Ubuntu totally redesigned their operating environments to work consistently across all of them.

Thinking Digital 2014

During Thinking Digital most of the people I spoke to after Aral’s talk were unaware of most of the problems. I was frankly a little shocked and annoyed this was news to many smart people. But thinking about it some more, Aral’s calls to action afterwards were missing, so most people just felt like it was hopeless. (Maybe a little scaremongering?) Just what you want to ponder over at lunch time…?

I don’t blame Aral (although it always sounds like I have beef with him always), he highlighted the problem but if he included a few thoughtful practical actions (Although as Aral points out, his main takeaway/action was to create Indie Tech alternatives), it could be less gloomy and less fearful…

  1. Read the EULA (End User License Agreement) even skimming it will help you understand whats going on. (although I totally understand how verbose and how hard they are to understand.
  2. Take some responsibility for your own actions
  3. Take an interest and set your limits for issues like net neutrality, copyright, security, privacy, etc.
  4. Support the Open Rights Group (and others fighting for your online rights)
  5. Evaluate the services you use on cost in time, cost in privacy and cost in ownership. Everyone has a figure/percentage, if you don’t… get one!

The Big Picture - Open Rights Group

As mentioned in my post from the quantified self 2014, everyday its becoming even more difficult to trust any of the stack/cloud providers. Not only is the EULA changing more times that is reasonable but there’s some seriously messed up (law breaking) things happening.

Google, Facebook and Amazon have shown us again this week why the combination of a quasi-monopoly, vested interests and an inscrutable algorithm can be a dangerous thing for internet users, since it allows them to influence what we see, know and buy.

Don’t even get me started on Facebooks new messenger app which listens and Apple’s EULA which Norway agrees is over convoluted. The 5 stacks just can’t help themselves but comb through our data and when that runs out they want even more. Its certainly the main business model of the early 21st centenary but it doesn’t have to be that way. Very interesting when put in the context of Mariana Mazzucato’s fast paced talk from Thinking Digital 2014.

public vs private sectors

Even quasi-monopolies can be toppled or made to operate within the realms of public good and moral acceptable. We just need to be smart and work together. This is partly why I’m going to make my way down to Brighton for Indie Tech summit.

Although I’m writing about Aral’s talk again, he’s wasn’t the best of the conference. Sure I’ll go into plenty of detail in the next post.

Update – Jo from Indiephone has wrote a follow up piece about this post clearing up some of my points.

The future of TV is coming into focus, and looks diverse

I read Ralph Rivera’s tweet about the future of TV and thought, hummmm…

Not quite sure I totally agree, its very American but I’ll go with it for the mass market.

My instant thought is that TV is going to diverge more than ever before. People are going to be doing a number of things differently, things which work for them. Aka the mass will get smaller and the diverse will expand into the mass.

Yes this means fragmentation people! Get use to it!

The main points seem to be,

It will be cheaper
I agree on this point except maybe sports. Most people will start to use alternative ways to get their TV, aka on demand and that push to have things live will die off in the heat of budget cuts and advertisers revenue decline. Unless advertiser can advertise in realtime against live content? (seen some sights this will be possible)

Limited channel lineup

I think this is a bit of weird one because it depends what you mean by a channel? In the traditional sense yes… You only have to look at the BBC’s decision to move BBC Three to online only soon. Saving a some serious money for other channels. However online there will be a more diverse line up that ever before, and they will be accessible to your TV and Radio with limited messing around.

Organized by subject

Channels have their place and I’m not saying its going away but it will change. My dad loves watching ITV Three because there is little chance there will be anything modern and new on it. I dare say it worries me a little, but maybe thats what I’ll be like in 2050?

But the point i’m making is the channels are already starting to align themselves by genre, subject (history, scifi, drama, bravo channels).

Personal subscriptions

Subscription is outdated but for those who do have a subscription on cable and sky. Yes the fear of those companies has always been the ability to break the packages into personal choices. Well the time has come to offer it or the consumer will go else where (there is plenty of other services offering individual channels, some illegally).

The big part of this is the fact media is just media and can be moved around at will. Don’t blame us hackers for this, blame the likes of Apple with airplay, Google with chromecast/dial, etc… I can pick and choose and once pandora’s box is opened, its too late to try and close the lid.

There is a research question how personal subscriptions work with families and groups of people…

Viewable on any screen

As mentioned previously, the media is movable and more manageable than ever before. In a rush and can’t watch it on your TV at home, why not watch it on your 4G powered smartphone on the train into work? Yes and its easily done now. Heck even if you miss it, theres a whole raft of ways to access it after the fact.

A better remote

This goes without saying, right?

No more switching inputs

I agree somewhat. I tend to have my TV set to my XBMC box and generally only switch when watching Live TV (aka very little) and watching through the Chromecast. I thought about putting a  USB TV tuner on the XBMC box but haven’t actually set it up yet (no time). I imagine when the chromecast comes out in the UK (I suspect May/June) it will support all the channels I have on my freeview smart HDTV. Leading to less switching.

I imagine most people will just plugin something like a Chromecast or AppleTV and be done with the settop box.

Netflix is just another channel

Goes without saying again…

HBO gets more accessible

I could say the same as above, but seriously the pressure is building. HBO has got to go fully ondemand soon. Shareholders will want blood if not.

On-demand that’s not awful

Who said it ever was? I mean besides some very bad examples and the current crop of terrible smart TV apps. The likes of XBMC, Plex, AppleTV, Chromecast, etc have shown great experiences which are a joy to use. On demand has always been a joy to be use for those of us who live in the future, and now the future is going to be more evenly distributed. Come experience what we all have been experiencing for many years.

New channels emerging all the time

Weird, didn’t it say limited channel line up earlier? Well anyway, yes welcome to the world when any developer can write a wrapper for another bunch of media. This means any podcaster can appear on your TV or Radio (lets not forget Radio in this). Any user on Youtube, Vimeo, Blip, etc can be a broadcaster. To be honest we all knew this really, thats why Leo Lapoure was able to setup the Twit network or two guys on a sofa drinking beers (Diggnation) went from no sponsors to the likes of the US Army and Ford sponsoring…

(I can feel Andrew Keen and Tony Churnside screaming against the poorly scripted badly filmed content avalanche of these pro-amatuers (how dare they infect our TV?). This is why we have personal subscriptions! Same reason why you don’t follow everyone on twitter!

Not as reliable

I do agree, its not going to be perfect. The internet and net neutrality is under constant attack. When your TV and Radio is over the internet, your going to feel the pinch. All those, all you can eat data allowances will be tested to the maximum. Is your 3/4g contract really unlimited and whats the quality of service like? Are you going to celebrating 30seconds behind everyone else on the train because your internet service provider is prioritising against the channel your watching? Would it be better to pay more for a decent internet service? Roll on the next point…

Not so cheap

This isn’t going to be cheap, the cost saving you got from dumping cable and sky has been moved on to better internet providers.

I spend just over £30 a month on true unlimited business class internet which gives me low ping times and the ability to do what i choose to do with it. My 4g bill is less but isn’t truly unlimited. I checked the small print and there are fair usage policies, even though I was told in store it was truly unlimited.

We monitor the data usage of every customer who has data access and fair usage specified in the terms of their plan. If a customer consumes data above the monthly fair use limit, and in a way that we consider extreme, we may reduce their connection speeds for a limited time. This will only affect a small number of people, and we will always warn them by text before the speed is reduced. This only applies to non-Business tariffs.

Want to switch to the business account, well thats going to cost you!

No one said this was going to be cheap…

Wired reviews the Pacemaker app

Pacemaker App for Ipad

I already wrote about the Pacemaker App for ipad which to be honest was the worst kept secret. But it was interesting to read Wired’s post about the pacemaker found via Imran.

where most DJ apps waste precious real estate with useless virtual turntables, Pacemaker cleverly integrates both its menus and controls into the same layout. It’s a terrifically elegant solution–and one that never would have had any reason to exist before the touchscreen.

For Jonas Norberg, the inventor of Pacemaker, coming up with a DJ interface that felt native to today’s touch devices was the whole point. As his team was plugging away on the app, designers everywhere were talking about the move away from skeuomorphism and interfaces that relied on visual metaphors from the physical world. It was a conversation he followed closely. While heavy skeuomorphism could make any app gaudy, when it came to DJ software, it posed functional problems. DJ setups are typically the size of a desk, Norberg points out, and cramming every knob and slider on a 10″ screen would never be ideal. “It felt stupid to mimic reality,” Norberg says. “Buttons have to behave like buttons. They can’t swell and move around.”

And Jonas is dead right… All those other DJ interfaces simply take the exact thing and cram it down into a tablet. It makes no sense at all. Touchscreens are a different beast and Jonas knows this too well. Its something I’ve been banging on about for years with my presentation for Dj Hackday.

Norberg has been consumed with the idea of simplifying DJing for the better part of the last decade. The original Pacemaker, debuted in 2008, was a kooky piece of hardware that packed a suite of sophisticated mixing tools into a handheld gadget. It was a triumph of consolidation, but it didn’t exactly bring mixing to the masses. “If you want to democratize DJing, $850 is a pretty high price point,” Norberg admits.

High yes but ever so elegant. I reject the idea of it being Kooky… I’m sure Wired stuck that in because that Kooky piece of hardware still runs and got its update along side the Mobile app. That laid the grounds for what you got now.

Around the time that first incarnation of the company was going bankrupt, the iPhone was taking off, and Norberg was sense that apps could be the way forward. Out of nowhere, BlackBerry got in touch and asked the Pacemaker team to develop a piece of software for the PlayBook tablet, a request that Norberg has heard came directly from Mike Lazaridis himself. Despite that slate’s ignominious fate, the effort laid the foundation for the iPad app that came out this month.

One of the worst things they could do but to be honest, I imagine Blackberry paid greatly to have it on there platform. Further proving how great the pacemaker really was.

While the decision to ditch skeuomorphism dictated much of the look and feel of the final app, Norberg and his team were constantly asking what they could get rid of to make DJing easier. One thing you won’t find in Pacemaker, for example, is a “cue” button–the tool DJs use for setting loop points in a song. Instead, Pacemaker lets you drag a playhead to a particular point on the wave form itself; to jump back to that point, you just have to tap it. As another example, where previous DJ apps confusingly had two “sync” buttons, one for each turntable, Pacemaker just has one. Touch it and your songs will find their way in sync, no matter which track you’re fiddling with at the moment.

Some experienced DJs might chaff at that level of simplicity, but for the rest of us, it makes for a far friendlier experience. It’s a tradeoff Norberg was more than willing to make. Those circles–which his team cheerfully refers to as “cakes”–are a good example of how the team was willing to compromise. “If you had the controls in a grid instead you could control two parameters at once,” he says. “But a grid is no fun.” And that, in essence, is a tidy explanation of what makes Pacemaker so great. It harnesses the power of truly thoughtful design to give people something fun, in a category that all too often slides into the realm of frustrating.

The pacemaker is back baby! And I can’t wait for dual stereo output… Goodbye Faux 3D knobs and skeuomorphic turntables, where we’re going we don’t need roads…

Reminder that Jobs wasn’t always right

1984-steve-jobs-ipad

Got to love the new Google Nexus 7.

Recently I have seen a lot of people with the Apple ipad mini, so much when I see someone with the ipad full. I can’t help but touch it and lift it. Usually saying something like “wow its really that big and that heavy!

Although I use to get ratty when people confused my Samsung Tab 7+ with the ipad mini

So ironic being the fact the Galaxy 7+ was released in the middle of fight between Samsung and Apple. Apple said the Galaxy tabs looked like the ipad and got the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 7.7 blocked in different parts of the world. Samsung fighting the blocks, decided to make a Galaxy Tab 7+ which I ended up buying.

Back to the point…

People making the mistake of thinking my Galaxy 7+ is a ipad mini… Thats finally starting to go away now the market is flooded with 7inch tablets.

Steve Jobs famously announced, there is no need for a 7inch tablet.

No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone, its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in our pockets is clearly the wrong trade-off. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.

These are among the reasons we think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphan product…

Well he was so wrong, even Apple themselves ended up building the 7.9inch ipad mini. But more interestingly is the overall demand for 7inch tablets is very high.

Apple have lost the plot

iPad 2 as a Video Camera

I have been meaning to write about those disgusting Apple adverts (yes disgusting, I was almost sick in my mouth when I first saw it) but been so busy, then Maggie reminded me at Hacked.io about what I wanted to say.

Fast Design write up pretty much how I feel

Watch the ad closely for me. As we’re told that products are what matter, we see a series of shots in which people actively turn away from life to engage with their technology.

  • A woman closes her eyes on the subway to soak in electronic music.
  • A room of students looks down at their desks instead of at their teacher.
  • A parent and child cuddle, focused on a screen that’s so powerful it illuminates the kid’s face.
  • A couple kisses in the rain, then immediately turn away to look at a phone.
  • A tourist opts to FaceTime instead of bathing in visceral, smoky yakitori.

In what should be a warm, humanizing montage, people are constantly directing their attention away from one another and the real, panoramic world to soak in pixels. They’re choosing the experience of their products over the experience of other people several times in quick succession. And Apple has a warm voice in the background, goading us on.

Now I’m fully aware most adverts are like this but frankly for Apple, this is bad bad news.

On top of that, the fact Apple are advertising this factor, is worst still. So much for creativity…!

Just to be clear the best adverts in this class were the Orange adverts, which never showed the actual device but rather the effect of the device. Now unfortunately Orange or rather EE have switched to another style which isn’t much better than most.

The technology should be the glue not the end point. However Apple want you to marvel at there devices. I’m not certain when this changed but its certainly changed for the worst.

Have to be clear I’m not against devices, heck if you follow this down the line you can end up somewhere with Sherry Turkle.

Our devices and software are great but I have to echo some of the thoughts about using your mobile while dating and dare I say it, some of the Orange Cinema adverts. Don’t let your device get in the way of a great time. No matter how pretty it maybe.

Its not going to take 20 years… Its outdated and shockingly backwards already…

Develop for the platform please

I have been tweeting recently a post which Sam tweeted a while back.

Reading it, reminds me of a quite major company asking me to try out their newly created Android app because they don’t actually have any designers or developers who ran Android regularly. Ok this was a good 3 years ago but still how the heck can you expect to create a Android app with no real understanding what your building for?

Worst still there were so many classic mistakes which clearly pointed to iOS developers just porting the app to Android. Simple things like pressing the menu button did nothing. The back button would take you right to start of the app again instead of a logical back step. There was no sharing button or option just a email this or post to FB/Twitter. The splash screen seemed to take forever and I always thought it was weird and out of place, all the other apps which have splash screens you can disable using a preference if they had one at all.

Syncing wasn’t a big deal in this case because it didn’t do anything so fancy but (if it did this little rant would count) boy oh boy the app went back to the developers and designers with a massive list of wtf’s…

I hate to say it but they lived up to the stereotype of designers being stuck in a bubble, this bubble was the iOS bubble.

As the writer writes…

You can argue about which is easier to use or more polished, but at the end of the day, iOS does not have as many features as Android and that means it should not be used as the “golden standard” that all apps are targeted for. Take advantage of the features and capabilities of a given device. If iOS has a better WebView, use it; if Android has better sharing support, use it. Don’t let a desire for the lowest common denominator harm your app.

In total agreement, yes I know its more expensive and requires more time, etc… but do a proper job otherwise your userbase will tell you exactly what they think by not installing your app. I think I said it before but developers this isn’t good enough sorry.

Shocking to think it was the BBC News app!

Reinvent content and the tools

A number of things on my mind recently centring around narrative again. There also connected (at least in my mind they are)

George Entwhistle today gave a speech to BBC Staff… (read the whole thing) where he mentions reinventing content

In a bold first-day speech, the BBC’s new boss says the corporation must stop thinking that online innovation means repurposing broadcast content and instead ‘create genuinely digital content for the first time’.

As we increasingly make use of a distribution model – the internet – principally characterised by its return path, its capacity for interaction, its hunger for more and more information about the habits and preferences of individual users, then we need to be ready to create content which exploits this new environment – content which shifts the height of our ambition from live output to living output.

Adam Curtis argues TV needs better techniques

Television no longer has the dramatic techniques to explain today’s world, according to leading documentary-maker Adam Curtis.

At a masterclass session at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television festival, Curtis will claim that the traditional techniques television uses, such as the identifying of good and bad guys and a linear narrative, are obsolete.

Apple was awarded a patent on a broadcast device that uses implicit acts to decide if you’re going to be interested in a section of the content (thanks Tony)

A user … may not be interested in every media item provided as part of a broadcast stream. For example, a user may not like a particular song broadcast by a radio station, or may not like a particular segment of a talk radio station (eg, the user does not like the topic or guest of the segment). As another example, a user may not be interested in content originally generated by sources other than the media source (eg, advertisement content). Because the user has no control over the media broadcast, the user can typically only tune to a different media broadcast, or listen to or consume the broadcast content that is not of interest.

Apple vs Samsung, consumers lose…

 

Apple have won their case against Samsung…

A US court has ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05bn (£665m) in damages after upholding allegations that several Samsung devices had infringed Apple’s intellectual property, including design patents and some functionality.

Samsung has promised to appeal against the decision describing it as “a loss for the American consumer”.

I can only say, the consumer will lose out in Steve Jobs legacy to take down Google

The chilling effect will be felt…