I’ve been spending a lot of time on the beautiful campus of The University of Sydney recently and decided to share some of my photos. These were shot using an iPhone4:
As Last 100 points out the recent announcement by Apple that the next version of the iPhone software, 3.0, will enable In App purchasing will be a huge boon for micropayments.
This is a huge step in the evolution of the iPhone platform towards a fully-fledged ecosystem. I also anticipate that it will bring about a boost in virtual goods.
Gizmodo thinks this is bad news, but meh, what do they know!
Two of the most powerful tools for currently mapping how humanity thinks are Google Trends and Twitter Search.
I whipped up an analysis of Google versus Twitter on Google Trends and the result put Twitter far ahead in our collective consciousness. This is a really useful tool for tracking across a timeline, with clear pointers to inflection points, but it does nothing for point of origin or realtime tracking.
This is where Twitter’s Search function shines. I did an exercise last week in which I tracked a number of key words on Twitter. “jobs” not surprisingly brought up a bunch of results, mainly from job board feeds, “Sydney” alerted me to a number of interesting events taking place in the city, but the clear topic du jour was the “iPhone” – the amount of traffic on Twitter related to this device was enormous.
Imagine if we could mash up these two tools, and extend their reach beyond Twitter’s audience – this would be an extremely powerful way for marketers, politicians and many others to map our minds.
Hattip to Erick Schonfeld for getting me thinking about this.
As the cult of Mac gives way to the cult of iPhone, it’s worth putting a peg in the sand around a set of design rules that define what makes an iPhone app work.
John Gruber has posited an excellent starting point with one overarching guideline for iPhone UI design:
Figure out the absolute least you need to do to implement the idea, do just that, and then polish the hell out of the experience.
From this starting point he goes on to list a set of five rules or guidelines to continually parse against:
1. Each screen should display one thing at a time. That “thing” may be a list, but it should just be a list.
2. Minimize the number of on-screen elements.
3. Make UI elements large enough to be easy to tap; place them far enough apart that there is little risk of tapping the wrong target by mistake.
4. Eschew preferences as much as possible, and assume that nearly all users will use the default settings.
5. As you show more detail, conceptually you move from left to right – but it’s best to minimize how deep you can get while drilling down to the right.
Craig Hockenberry, who put me onto John’s “First Law of iPhone Development” reduces this to a one word iPhone principle: simplicity. As he points out, “doing as little as possible” can be your greatest challenge, but it will produce the highest reward – a successful app.
Craig’s methodology is to seek out the core function of your app and keep yourself true to this every time you work on it. He uses the example of Twitterrific, a Mac OS X client for managing your Twitter account. This, however, is not the core function of Twitterrific. Say what?
In fact he sees the core function, or the “nut”, of this app as being reading:
Twitterrific is all about reading what other people are doing, thinking, or experiencing. Even its secondary function, posting tweets, is related to reading. The posting interface functions as a way for you to give your followers something interesting to read.
Knowing this core function, his team at Iconfactory could manifest it within their iPhone app in a number of ways that you can read about in his post.
I really like both John and Craig’s approaches and encourage iPhone developers to adopt their thinking and build upon it.
Back in August I posted a chart from Flickr showing the most popular cameraphones being used to post photos. It’s instructive to compare these charts again some four months later. The iPhone has torn open a huge chunk of white space from other cameraphones. It will, however, be interesting to see how the slight dip in the last week trends.
Apple has released a series of lists showing which apps have been downloaded the most in the 5 months since the App Store launched.
You can read thro the lists over at MobileCrunch.
The key takeout: funware apps rule.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a picture of a book someone is reading in your local coffee shop and before the sugar sinks into your cappucino you have all the data on it and where you can buy it.
Or similarly, what if you could snap a billboard as you hurtle down the 101 (preferably with someone else driving) and before you reach your destination you’ve already pulled up more details on the concert being advertized and bought tickets.
Palo Alto-based SnapTell has the solution. Their image matching technology handles real life photos snapped on the majority of cell phones and parses these against a growing database of products. They are also able to extract text from pictures and use this to drive search.
The company has recently launched an iPhone app – read Jason Kincaid’s review.