HTC's Blink Feed and content services →
The HTC One looks like a great phone. Most interesting, however, is that it signals yet another move by a hardware player into the content services game. Microsoft is providing content through their Bing apps in Windows 8. Samsung has many exclusive deals to provide apps and services across it’s devices*. Now HTC has partnered with publishers to provide content right to the home screen of...
So far behind that RIM is key competitor →
Ben Grubb: Microsoft is so far behind Android and iOS in smartphones that it now sees BlackBerry maker RIM as the main initial rival to Windows Phone 8, which it launched in Sydney today. Not sure which company this statement reads worse for, RIM or Microsoft.
Find photos from any location →
People snap Instagram pics everywhere - bars, restaurants, bathrooms and even secretive company headquarters. Worldcam is an impressive web app that lets you find all the photos taken with Instagram from any location you specify.
Steve Jobs loathed Google at the time of his death →
Brad Stone: At the time of his death, Jobs had come to loathe Google, which he felt was copying features of the iPhone while withholding a key feature of Google Maps that allows smartphones to dictate turn-by-turn directions aloud. Jobs also discussed pulling Google search from the iPhone, but figured that customers would reject that move, according to two former Apple executives. We knew that...
A new App.net third party client from Tapbots that will be very familiar to anyone who uses Tweetbot. This is a marquee app for the fledgling social network, and could help drive adoption among the early adopters. If you’re not familiar with App.net, it’s a Twitter-like social network but the key feature is that there are no ads and never will be as it’s a paid service. As...
More mobile devices equals more news consumption →
The Pew Survey looked at news consumption on smartphones and tablets, and has confirmed some things I had suspected - people who own tablets as well as smartphones are consuming more news, more often. Almost one-third of people who acquire tablets find themselves reading more news from more sources than before. The study paints a bright picture for news consumption on mobile devices. These...
Messaging war between Apple and Facebook →
Ellis Hamburger: Facebook has been rapidly updating its messenger platform, and shows no sign of stopping. Apple needs to release an iMessages client for Windows and Android, and then it will have a fighting chance of becoming the ubiquitous messaging platform to rival SMS. For a messaging system, cross-platform is key. SMS can be relied upon because it works on everyone’s mobile device,...
Animations in mobile interface design →
There are some apps that are truly delightful when you use them, and animations can play a big part in that. Animations can help apps inform, engage or welcome the user. Raizlabs lists some great examples of their effective use.
Australians world’s biggest users of social media →
Nielsen: Average time spend (h:m:s) on social media each month: Australia – 6:52:28 United States -6:09:13 United Kingdom – 6:07:54 Italy – 6:00:07 Spain – 5:30:55 Australians are clearly big users of social media, which is in contrast to the unsophisticated strategies Aussie businesses are using to capitalise on this engagement. We hear more about social media disasters than innovative...
My product feedback →
Don’t build an app based on your website. Build the app that acts as if websites never existed in the first place. If you’re building a product and it’s focused on the desktop, that’s a mistake. MG Siegler makes a good point that it’s a now a mobile-first world, if you’re building for the PC only you are betting on a shrinking platform. We need to build mobile...
iOS 6 thoughts
Apple today released iOS 6 through an over-the-air update and Australian users everywhere are getting ready to upgrade their devices. Apple has updated iOS like clockwork each year, adding marquee new features like iCloud and multitasking. This year, iOS 6 is a relatively modest update. Apple has instead focused on refining the experience, there are a multitude of nips and tucks and the operating...
I was just mentioned by name by Marissa Mayer in her weekly FYI broadcast for our Yahoo!7 Hackday win. It’s nice to see our work in Australia getting recognised over in Sunnyvale.
A new Youtube app from Google → →
Just in time for iOS 6, which won’t include the now 5 year old Apple-made Youtube app.
News discovery startup Prismatic launches iPhone... →
Prismatic is trying to build a personalised newspaper for the masses, and today they’re getting closer to reaching that vision by launching their iPhone app. It’s very smart, and the presentation is gorgeous. The website, and now the app, allows users to effortlessly discover stories based on interests. Once you connect your Twitter or Facebook account, the service starts learning...
Product managers getting some credit → →
Well this is new. CBS News lists 10 job functions that are the most valuable to a typical corporation. It’s not too often that product managers are in the limelight. Steve Tobak describing why a product manager is the fourth most valuable corporate role: I know a lot of you think engineers are responsible for inventing great products that beat the competition. They’re not. As...
Orchestra To-Do App Review
I’ve tried many, many task management apps for iPhone. For some reason or another I don’t stick with them, usually because they’re either too complicated, too simple or too ugly. I recently found Orchestra and so far I think it’s the best I’ve used. It just seems to work how my brain works when I think about tasks. For one thing, it looks quite beautiful....
Hired a social media team? You're doing it wrong → →
Fast Company: To be a good social media person at a brand, you have to have a background not just in digital or marketing but also in your product. Too often I’ve seen companies decide they need a social media strategy and go out and hire a crack team of ‘gurus’. What’s missing here is that in order to effectively achieve true two-way communication and bring value to...
Schematics of the iPad mini → →
It’s looking increasingly likely that a smaller iPad is coming. 9to5Mac has released detailed schematics of the purported iPad mini. It’s sporting a design that sits in between an iPod touch and the current iPad. The smaller vertical bezel give the device a sleeker, narrower profile than the current iPad. It looks very similar to the Nexus 7, the Android device it will be competing...
Ruling puts onus on brands to vet Facebook... →
The Age: In a move that could change the nature of the social networking site forever, companies could be fined or publicly shamed for the comments that appear on their Facebook ”brand” pages. This is a major ruling that will mean companies are directly responsible for comments posted on their Facebook pages. This includes comments that are not just vulgar or discriminatory, but...
Photojournalist covers the Olympics with an iPhone... →
Not satisfied in bringing along his trusty Canon 5D and an assortment of lenses, Guardian photojournalist Dan Chung has used only his iPhone 4S to capture beautiful images taken at the London Olympics. Technology has enabled everyone to capture a story and share it with the whole world, in real-time. We’ve seen powerful images from Libya taken by protesters on their phones and broadcast...
This is now → →
This is Now is a visual real-time feed of Instagram, using geolocation data to organise photos into streams by city. The tool instantly streams photos as they are taken, giving users a glimpse of what people are seeing and sharing in New York, London, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and my city of Sydney. Pick one of the cities and you are instantly transported into the daily life and culture of the city. One...
Partly Cloudy, another beautiful weather app → →
I’ve purchased more iPhone weather apps than coffees this week. WTHR, WeatherNeue, Solar and now Partly Cloudy from the creative minds at Raureif. If you enjoy data visualisation and unique user interface design, I suggest you check it out in the App Store.
An irony of ironies → →
International Olympic Committee: We don’t want to stop people engaging in this by social media and sending updates, but perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates. What a delicious twist. After encouraging fans to tweet copiously, the IOC is now requesting London 2012 attendees reduce their activity to “urgent” updates only. Mobile operator networks are being...
The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge → →
Maria Popova: In an age obsessed with practicality, productivity, and efficiency, I frequently worry that we are leaving little room for abstract knowledge and for the kind of curiosity that invites just enough serendipity to allow for the discovery of ideas we didn’t know we were interested in until we are, ideas that we may later transform into new combinations with applications both...
NeXT Cube makes Olympic cameo, symbol of social... →
Sir Tim Berners-Lee had an appearance at the opening ceremony, alongside a NeXT cube. The machine was used by the Brit to invent the modern Internet protocol upon which the Web is based. Berners-Lee then live-tweeted from the the stage: This is for everyone. And thus the symbolic arrival of social media to the Olympic stage. As NBC has realised, it’s not going anywhere, and it’s...
The Authentically Digital Interface
skeu·o·morph [skyoo-uh-mawrf] noun: A derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original, even when not functionally necessary. Skeuomorphic design refers to digital interface elements mimicing a real world counterpart. Torn paper, wooden bookshelves and stitched leather are all examples of the aesthetic used in modern application design. ...
John Siracusa’s Mountain Lion Review → →
Siracusa’s famously epic Mac OSX reviews do not disappoint. The trend continues with Mountain Lion.
iPad vs Mac, units sold → →
If ever there was confusion about which computing device was most important to Apple, this graph from Asymco following today’s earning call should dispel it.
The 8-inch iPad and the Challenge of Naming...
Speculation continues to mount that Apple will release a smaller 8-inch iPad. Many pundits have taken to calling the device the iPad mini, following the convention set with the iPod mini. Let’s assume that this device exists and will be launched sometime in the near future. Let’s also assume that this device will be a smaller iPad and not a larger iPod touch. Naming this product will be key...
Early iPad prototype photos surface → →
Jonathan Ive discussing the early prototype photos during the Samsung deposition in December 2011: My recollection of first seeing it is very hazy, but it was, I’m guessing, sometime between 2002 and 2004, some but it was I remember seeing this and perhaps models similar to this when we were first exploring tablet designs that ultimately became the iPad. Aside from thickness, the 2002...
Marissa Mayer is the new CEO of Yahoo! → →
As she hashes out Yahoo’s strategy, Ms. Mayer said she wanted to focus on the Internet company’s strong franchises, including e-mail, finance and sports. She also hopes to do more with its video broadband and its mobile businesses, tapping into its significant base of users. Yahoo! has been a media-centric business of late. This could be the start of a shift in focus to web products and...
Drafts app gets a competitor in Scratch → →
[Karbon](http://gokarbon.com/), a fine iOS development house, have just released an iPhone app for themselves called Scratch. It’s a quick-input notepad app with a markdown keyboard and a nifty append-to-Dropbox file feature. It’s going to go head to head with Drafts, a pioneer in this fast text entry category and one of my favourite apps.
Let's stop glorifying busy → →
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. While recovering from my appendix surgery, I read through a bunch of articles in my never-ending Pocket queue. This one from the New York Times stood out. Sometimes we...
On Sunday last week, I felt nauseous and had strong pangs in the right of my stomach. My doctor told me to rush to the hospital as he suspected appendicitis. He was right. The appendix is a vestigial organ in our body. It once had a functional purpose to our ancestors but is no longer needed by their descendants. Now it remains as a shrunken flap of flesh at the end of our large intestine,...
A little slice of design goodness → →
I stumbled upon this great website covering design and technology news. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to add it to your RSS feeds too. They also do an interesting podcast.
Apple Should Be Afraid of Facebook App Center
Facebook App Center has launched today and some are reporting that Apple should be welcoming the move. It’s true that there are some great benefits to Apple. It will drive people to download more apps through social recommendations. Apple have demonstrated they don’t do social well, so Facebook helping them seems like a smart partnership. But it doesn’t hurt Apple, until it...
Microsoft Launches So.cl - a Social Network For...
Hot on the heels of Google’s red hot social network Google+, Microsoft has also decided to dip it’s toes with a new product trendily named so.cl. The first question I asked myself when I read the news was - why? Microsoft already has a strategic alignment with Facebook to do battle against the forces of Google. They have made a good chunk of change based on Facebook’s IPO. It...
One of the biggest trends that has accelerated the growth of mobile devices over the last decade has been the marriage of technology and the liberal arts. These devices have opened up a myriad of creative avenues to the mass market, from painting applications, music creation tools and photography sharing and enhancement. This decade, the first in the post-PC era, we will witness a symbiosis of...
RSS is More Alive Than Ever
There’s a lot of talk that RSS is done. Dead. You just have to wait a few weeks and a new post will swirl through Hacker News declaring this news reading technology defunct. Not that there isn’t any merit to it. Social media has become the defacto newswire of the Twitter Generation. Both directly through Twitter and Facebook and indirectly through aggregating services such as Flipboard and...
Everyme vs Path
Yet another micro-social-sharing-mobile app has been released, it’s called Everyme. When I first read about it I had to groan. A Path clone? A copy of Google+ circles? Why do I need this when it’s already hard enough to get friends to join those networks. Even their websites look the same. But then I started using it, and I realised it’s a little different. A little useful,...
Facebook Finally Has a Mobile Strategy
And it’s called Instagram. In a status update today, Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company has bought Instagram for a tidy sum of 1 Billion dollars. Billion. Besides the fact that this is higher than the market cap of the The New York Times, a 150 year old company, it’s also the highest price acquisition Facebook has made to date. Instagram is a small startup that employs just...
Almost as if you're talking to a taco → →
Jenneth Orantia from the SMH believes phablets, or as Orantia prefers, “phone-tablets”, are the next big thing. These are devices that are the worst of both worlds, too gargantuan as a phone and too tiny as a tablet. However the author has used a Galaxy Note and believes the much larger screen makes everything better. Well, except you look stupid when making calls. Also,...