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Posts tagged ‘iOS’

What’s with Skeuomorphic


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For the last several months now I’ve seen post about skeuomorphic design, specifically in iOS products.  If you don’t happen to know what that is, take a look at the picture.  Boils down to where something looks or acts like something in the physical world usually something recognized by most people.  Like the picture, Even if you never seen the app before or even used an iPhone/iPad I bet you know what it is used for, taking notes.

Apparently a lot of people don’t like it, I should say geeks don’t like it or it’s being used to get peoples attention.  They are saying we don’t need it because people are use to computers now.  I say they are full of it.

People are visual.  Don’t believe me, when your looking for a file on your desktop or in documents folder, do you read every single file name?  No, your looking at the icons first, because if your looking for a spread sheet you don’t need to read the name of a text file or a pdf file.  There was once when all document files looked the same.  Then they changed to show you what program they belong to like adobe reader or MS Word.  Now they show you a small version of what the file looks like along with what program they are associated to.

Some are saying it gets in the way.  Like the notepad looks like there are sheets already torn off, visible on the iPad version.  It only takes up about 10 pixels.  Think your going to get another line of text with those 10 pixels, Nope.  Also it makes it looked like a more polished app with it.  Devil’s in the details.  

Another example are iBooks.  The books are put on a book shelf.  Someone did a mockup of what it would look like without that.  It looks like crap.  The difference is one looks like someone took the time to make it look good and the other didn’t care and didn’t want to take the time.

It’s kinda like things in the real world.  There use to be time when people took time to build and make things with care and details.  Now they just stamp it out in mass production.  Most of the time you don’t even notice the details, but you do notice when they are not there.  Like rounded corners looks much nicer then square ones.  It’s called craftsmanship by an artisan.

One last thing.  Have you seen the new Microsoft’s icons for Windows 8, like for Office or Visual Studio?  OMG, did their art department quite and they used 5th graders to make them.  Actually I’m probably insulting the 5th graders, they could do better.  They are flat, 1 color and no style.  They’ve went square, but I guess, they are kinda of a square company.

Visual studio 2010 logo, nice curves and gradient color with transparency and shadows :

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Visual Studio 2012 logo, sharp corners, straight lines and one color:

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I bet the next version isn’t going to look this bad.  Maybe they did this because they were afraid their surface tablet would be to to handle all the curves, shadows, gradients and transparencies without bring it to a crawl or the nice looking icons looked bad because of the low resolution.  That’s one icon that isn’t going on my work desktop.

That’s my 2 cents worth.

iPad 2 March 11, 2011


iPad 2 will be available on March 11, 2011 starting at 5 pm. If you missed the announcement event from Apple or would just like to watch it, you can find it here.

For a quick recap. It is 1/3 less thinner, lighter, faster with dual core processor, up to 9x faster graphics, front and rear facing cameras, iOS 4.3 and will come in black or white bevel (body still made out of aluminum), allows for smart cover, and it still has 10 hour battery life! Both WiFi only or 3G + WiFi on both AT&T and Verizon networks and kept the same pricing starting at $499. It will have FaceTime and Photo Booth. You will be able to buy Garageband and iMovie for a low price, I can’t wait to try both of those and I know the kids are going to love playing with Photo Booth.

Smart cover is pretty cool. Where to start. It’s a screen cover that snaps into place and aligns itself. It will help clean the screen and it will roll up into a stand for typing or prop it up for watching a movie. Oh, and one more thing. The cover wake up or put the iPad to sleep. I’m wondering how many people are going to test this to see if it works like they do to see if the refrigerator light goes out when you close the door. Smart covers will not work with the iPad 1 as the 2 has magnets built-in. You can find the information here. See the iPad Smart Cover in action.

My take on this, go get one! If you been holding out, now is the time. If you have one already, couldn’t you use a second one? You’ll have to decide that one, I think it’s worth it, you can always sell your first one. If you’re sitting on the fence about getting one, just go get one. Read reviews and opinions all you want it’s not really going to help. Why? Because you need to experience it. I could talk till I’m blue in the face and you’ll hardly hear me. Spend a day with it and you’ll see. Touching makes it so much more personal and the iPad itself is more personal than a laptop. I use the laptop about 80% less now that I have an iPad. Want to look something up, the instant on and the quickness makes it a joy to use. Like I said you need to go use one for a little while, sometimes it doesn’t even take that long.

A little guide to help you pick out which one to get. Black or white that’s all you. There are 2 hardest decisions and that is storage size and to 3G or not to 3G. Storage size. This will mainly be how much stuff you have and want to keep on the iPad. Mainly it will be how much music and pictures you have and maybe movies. Apps will take up a 1 or 2 Gig, in general. So add up the size of music and video’s you have that you will want to put on it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then you can probably get away with 16G version. If you feel that it might not be enough then spend $100 more and get the 32G. 64G is more for users with a lot of stuff and want it all on the iPad. Don’t forget there is always cloud storage like MobileMe, Dropbox and your machines at home. If possible, I would buy one from an Apple store, put everything you want on there and see how much space is left. If it’s not enough then take it back (within a week or 2) and get the next size or 2 up. Since you’re getting the next model up Apple will not charge you a restock fee. Side note. If you believe your going to shoot a lot of HD video with it or editing, remember that when picking storage size. Storage size cannot be upgraded, what you get is what you have.

3G. Advantages: GPS and access to the internet everywhere (you can get a signal). Disadvantages: Extra $130 and that’s about it. On AT&T it’s a month by month basis if you want to use it or not, you can stop and start it (monthly) all you want so there doesn’t have to be a monthly charge. If you have the AT&T unlimited from iPad 1 you can transfer it to iPad 2 from what I’ve heard but you might want to double check to make sure. You need to look at your life style and how you think you will use it. I’ll give you a few examples to help you out. If you are mostly either at home or work and do the driving you probably don’t need it. If you travel a lot or take the public transportation you probably will want it. You can use a MiFi instead but it’s not going to last as long as the iPad. If your usually at a spot with wi-fi access or hot spot. I have it and it’s mostly off but there are a couple of times it comes in handy. Like I said AT&T it’s monthly and you can start and stop it anytime so that part is a no brainer. As for Verizon I don’t know as the first one used MiFi. As for choosing AT&T or Verizon? AT&T 3G is usually faster than Verizon and you’re not worry about drop calls, so it’s your choice on that. You’ll have to do a little research about Verizon’s pricing and if it’s going to be Monthly.

Maybe your trying to decide about iPad or one of the other tablets. Easy, iPad. 7” is to small, you might as well go with the 10”, besides you have your phone with you. Xoom is too costly and no WiFi only and having a Motorola Android phone has made me lose respect for them. Android itself is a problem, it’s more like beta software and hardly any software has been written to take advantage of tablets. You might say but Android has mostly free software. You get what you pay for and if you didn’t pay for the product YOU and your data are the product. From what I’ve seen apps for iOS is more polished than Android ones. Any updates for Android has to come from the manufacturer and it’s a if and when and how much will it cost type of deal. When Apple comes out with an update it’s available to everyone right then and there and no extra charge. I’m not sure on the battery life of the others but 10 hours on the iPad is GREAT. WebOS isn’t even here yet, RIM is still vaporware and MS is fall of 2012. As of late I’m not liking Googles practices and they are collecting way too much data on people. The sole existence for Android is to collect your data.

Even though I have iPad one I will be getting an iPad 2, they have made enough changes to justifying me to get the new one.

iOS vs Android


Originally posted on 1-30-2011

I’m concerned for the average user.  Since I’ve been using both Android and iOS devices and watching how it’s all unfolding, a lot of people are going to lose out on hard-earned money by buy Android devices.

It all boils down to how long can you use your device and how functional is or will be.  I see Android as being in Beta and the users are the testers the only difference is I don’t see it coming out of beta any time soon.  Android is playing catch up to Apple’s iOS and the users are suffering for it if they know it or not.  Google has version 2.2 and 2.3 out and it still feels like beta.  Now they are coming out with version 3.0 that is for tablets and then maybe put it on the phones.  They needed to do this to catch up to iPads because manufacturers want to come out with tablets to sell, so it will be like version 1 instead of 3.  Just a couple of weeks ago, when Motorola showed their new tablet that is coming out, they couldn’t even demo the OS just videos showing what it will be like.  That sounds like beta to me!  This close to manufacturing a product and they couldn’t even show the actual OS running on it, that is not a good sign.  That’s like RIM and the playbook they thought they could have it out in short order but the release date keeps getting pushed back.  I have to at least acknowledge RIM for not just releasing the product before it’s ready unlike Google.

You’re at the mercy of the manufacturer of the device.  If you bought a galaxy tab, will it get updated to V3.0?  Maybe or maybe not.  V3.0 is for a dual core (mainly) processor that the tab doesn’t have.  If it gets the update how will it run, probably not very well.  The manufacturer doesn’t really care too much they would rather have you buy the next version of their product.  For the phones the service provider has to pay manufacturer’s for the update so that’s 2 companies standing in the way.  Google has no say in it.  They told them version 2.x wasn’t for tablets and they came out with it anyway.  Apple on the other hand doesn’t rely on the manufacturer, because they are the manufacturer and the service providers don’t have a say in it.  When they come out with an update they still are supporting over 2 year old equipment, your definitely not going to see that on Android.  Expect to be shelling out money every year for each device.  It will take a while for people to wake up, will that be too late?  By buying Android stuff your showing that you don’t care how you and your money is treated.

What about the market place?  How will you find an app specifically made for a tablet.  Do you know what a headache it is to have an app to run on all these different hardware and different Android version?  You don’t care you just want it to work on what you have well that just doesn’t happen all the time.  On Apple that isn’t the case.  Apps will run on a 3G or iPod or iPhone and even the iPad and it’s easy finding Apps specifically written to take advantage of the larger screen.

You keep hearing from people who Apple is a closed system blah blah blah.  Most of them are just repeating what they heard without thinking about it or even understanding what it means or means to them.  You can always jailbreak the phone if you really need to.  What is it that you want to do with a phone that Apple doesn’t allow?  Apple is concerned about the user and the user’s experience and having control allows them to give you that awesome experience.  With Android there is too many chefs in the kitchen and Google can’t do anything about it.

Google doesn’t pay attention to the details they even seem distracted.  You do know that Google doesn’t sell Android that they give it away?  As a matter of fact it costs them a lot of money.  What?  That’s right, Google is an ad company period.  Everything they do, they do to learn more about you and selling directed ads.  Everything they offer is to gain more information about you.  If you’re using something and didn’t pay for it, then YOU are the Product!!  Here’s a good blog about Google and Android http://pocketnow.com/android/how-does-google-make-money-with-android .

Apple isn’t an ad company the two are very different and it shows in their products.  Even taking out all the tracking and information gathering that Google does of the equation, I’d still pick Apple for quality, experience and satisfaction.  Lets talk dollars since that is what it’s all about and look at it this way.  Apple wants you to have a great experience with their products so you will buy more of their products now and in the future.  Google wants to sell you, or as you know it, sell targeted ads at you, getting you to use their stuff is just a by-product.  Apple has a great eco system to give you more for your money and better experience; their stuff just works.  Android not even close and their eco system, that is just thrown together, and it’s just another piece of data to collect on you.

People are going to realize too late all the information that is collected on them and what it means.  I’ll leave you with this video link on how bad google is/can be, people like free stuff but at what cost:

My take on Flash on iPad and Android


Originally posted on 1-23-2011

I keep reading about people bitching about Steve Jobs not allowing flash on iOS (iPad) like he is some mean dictator, mostly it’s from people who don’t have an iPad, well I have a few things say about that.  First your bitching at the wrong person/company!  You should be complaining to websites to change to non-flash and also Adobe for writing crappy software.  You complain about how they are not an open system, Flash is closed and proprietary, yet you conveniently forget that they are adopting the open HTML 5 format over the closed Flash.  I didn’t see people clamoring at Google because Android didn’t have flash at the time the iPad came out even now it’s still crap.

Apple has great visions and they are willing to stand up and take the hits for their decisions while innovating and moving the industry forward.  One of their main concerns is giving the user a great experience and making it easy for the average consumer to use it along with consistency.  How many of you miss the floppy disk?  Apple was the first one to remove it from their line of computers, big complaints when they did that, Flash will be the same way some day.

Apple gave Adobe a chance to write flash for the iPad and they could make the software run satisfactory, which isn’t surprising.  Do you want something that cuts the battery life almost in half just to view websites?

Flash was good in the early days of the web but now we have CSS and other open standards and soon HTML 5, Flash is hardly needed at all.  Flash is also design for the mouse, like mousing over something, you can’t do that on a touch screen.  So even if you have flash on your pad you still can’t deal with sites that makes use of mouse overs, so the site designers would have to redo their site anyway, so ditch flash then.

Shortly after Steve said the reasons behind not supporting flash, one of them being security, Adobe had 3 security holes in Flash and had to come out with patches.  Take a look at PDF reader, Adobe re-wrote that to use sand-boxing so it will be more secure, and they couldn’t even get that right, a hole has been already found.  I have no trust in their abilities.

As for flash being supported on Android tablets, I would be very leery.  I suspect that when there are a lot of these out there hackers will start looking at flash as a way to gain access to your information and given Adobe’s track record it probably wont be too hard.  Since Android is so open, a rouge program has access to everything.  There is even a program that will listen to your credit card number either by touch tone or even if you say your card number.

I for one don’t miss flash and I specially don’t miss those very annoying and stupid ads.  To me battery life is more important than seeing a site with flash.  If i run across a website with flash I just move on.  If it’s something I really need to see then I’ll find it some place else or use the laptop and after 9 months of using the iPad, I haven’t had to do that yet.  As for flash games, what’s the point, there are a lot of games for iOS and I don’t have to be connected to the internet to play it, saving even more power.

Apple sold over 14 Million iPads add to that all the iPhones and iPods that they have sold and probably sell over 40 million more this year, that’s a lot of users.  As a website owner you’re not going to ignore all those users and additional revenue, you’re going to think twice about using Flash.

Tell someone they can’t have something and that’s what they focus on, trust me your not going to miss it or very little and as time goes on Flash will become less important and less used.

Should you get an iPad


Originally posted on 12-19-2010

Whole heartily, YES.  I’m not your average computer user, I’m a geek and a power user, so I fall into the small percentage of the user population and I’m also an early adopter because I love technology.  That being said, after I purchased the iPad in April, when it came out, I found myself using my laptop about 90% less.  In the morning I would grab a cup of coffee and my iPad and sit outside reading news, Facebook, tweets and the odd videos or looking up some information on the web.  I have a laptop and I could have done the same thing with it except I would have to keep an eye on the battery levels and the screen gets very hard to read in bright sunlight and just lugging it around is a hassle.  If you want to show someone something on the web or an app there is no better way you just hand them the iPad.

There is something satisfying about interacting with objects on the screen through touching and if you’re like me, I dislike j-sticks and touch pads on laptops too slow or too much movement.  With touch you don’t need a scroll bar just put your finger on the page and move it up and down and if you want to move faster just flick.  If you’re the type of person that is easily distracted or sidetracked, apps are great because they help you focus more.  You will see reports/blogs about you can do everything on the web that you can do with an app.  Not true at all and they don’t really get it.  Try working on that Google document when you don’t have internet access or it’s down.  As for iPad not having flash, I don’t miss it one bit specially the annoying flash ads.  Right now, HTML 5 has great adoption rate.  Since the iPad is such a success it will only increase.

Who is it not for.  I would say that if your going to create things like movies (although there is iMovie for iPhone), websites, heavy image editing, computer programming and you don’t have a computer then I would skip getting one and get a laptop/desktop first.  If you have a computer already or don’t plan to do the aforementioned things then iPad is the way to go.

iPad is one of those things you don’t think you need until you use it for a while.  It’s more personal than a laptop is.  You can just grab it and plop down in comfortable chair and enjoy your time with it; with about 10 hours of available usage, you don’t have to worry about plugging it in.  If you have kids, they have great apps for teaching them and even 2 year olds get the hang of it in no time.  On the other hand, it means less time for you to use it….maybe buy a another one 😉

Infinity Blade for Apple iOS


Originally posted on 12-9-2010

Infinity Blade is out for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch!  I’m pretty impressed with this game, to sum it up in a word…..wow.  You might have seen Epic Citadel which gave you an idea of the Unreal graphics engine can do and this one takes it to sword battles. This is an RPG game and not FPS, I wonder if it will stay that way if/when it goes multiplayer?

I’ve have only played it for a short time on my iPad but I can see already that it will take some time to master some of the moves.  I did really well with the regular enemies but didn’t fair well against the God Killer although he is level 50 as I was under level 15.  The controls are great and your sword deals cuts in the direction you swipe.  I’ve played a lot of FPS games and the keyboard was my main choice of control but what you can do in this game there is no way you could do it with a mouse, keyboard or both.  I suppose it could be done with a magic trackpad but I don’t think I would want to.

Take a sample video, I think the graphics looks better on the iPad then the HD video of this

So head over to iTunes and get Infinity Blade

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