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Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

How many Kindle Fires will Amazon sell?

Interesting thoughts from Horace Dediu.

Amazon will sell as many Kindles as they make, but the number they will make will not be the most they could make.

His headline just says “Kindles” but should probably say “Kindle Fires”. I think Amazon will sell a lot of Kindles and Kindle Paperwhites.

I like Amazon and the Kindle

I don’t mention Amazon or the Kindle as much as I mention Apple and the iPad on my blog. But don’t let that be any indication of my ignorance of how good the Kindle product line really is.

Eliza has had a Kindle for a long time. Loves it. Adores it. Prefers to read on it more than any other way. And in my limited time playing with it I can say that if it wasn’t for my having an iPad firmly in my grip about 18 hours out of the day I too would own a Kindle for reading.

When the Kindle Fire debuted I purchased one for the Viddler team to use for QA purposes. I had it shipped to my house so that I could do a little testing of my own. And, for a day or so, I gave the Fire a run-through. I wasn’t impressed.

I wasn’t impressed because the Fire was heavy, scrolled slowly, and the content catalog was lacking. So, effectively, it was a heavier, slower, reading device. But that isn’t what Amazon had in mind for the Fire all along.

I think the recent Kindle press event really shows what Amazon’s true vision for the entire Kindle line really has been. An affordable device line that helps you purchase content on Amazon no matter where you are.

I don’t totally buy into Bezos’ rose-colored ideals that Amazon really is trying to create Kindles without any profit whatsoever. He said so himself when he said he didn’t believe in the razor/blade approach wherein the manufacturer of the razor loses money on the razor in hopes of selling blades in bulk. But, they’re obviously slicing the sausage pretty thin in hopes of being able to break even on the positive side with Kindles. The prices speak for themselves. Amazon wants to sell content. A lot of it.

I think the graph that Bezos showed of the growth of book sales on the Kindle in comparison to physical book sales was very telling. The way people are buying books today is on the Kindle (the devices and the applications on iOS/Android). And, in just a few years since the first Kindle, people are buying more books through the Kindle than any other way. So, investing in the Kindle line seems like a no-brainer to me.

I suppose I’m writing all of this to say – I’ve always admired Amazon even though I don’t say it as much as I say that I admire Apple. I like the Kindle even though I don’t say that I do as much as I say that I like the iPad. I think Amazon is investing in exactly the right spot for Amazon and they’re making excellent products that are stiff competition for every company in this space including Apple. And I think that’s great.

How to add personal documents to your Kindle

Somewhat related to my last, Adi Robertson on The Verge provides a quick step-by-step on how to add personal documents to your Kindle.

I’m cataloging these in hopes of one day buying Eliza a new Kindle and I inherit her old one. Shh, don’t tell her.

Send e-books to your Kindle using Calibre

Last night I needed to transfer an EPUB file to Eliza’s Kindle from my Mac. It turns out that Kindles no likey the EPUBs. (I didn’t know this, I’ve never really used one.) So, after a bit of searching I found Calibre that, while it doesn’t have the best looking UI, is sort of the Swiss Army knife of e-book management.

A fair and balanced comparison of the Kindle Fire and iPad 2

Well, not really.

Shawn Blanc on the Kindle Touch

Shawn Blanc on the Kindle Touch:

“For the past year and a half I’ve been reading books on my iPad and never felt a need for a Kindle. However, after now using the Kindle Touch for several hours a day over the past few days, I feel as if all the accolades I ever heard about the Kindle were vast understatements.”

To call this review thorough would be an understatement too.

Best of 2017 as told by me

To create this list I sat down and wrote from the top of my head the things I could remember being awesome in 2017. The list isn’t exhaustive. It is just what made an impression on me as being “the best” in each category.

Best Blog: fuzzy notepad

Evee consistently writes well-researched, readable, diatribes on topics that could otherwise be boring yet are fascinating and I hang on every word. Here are a few posts from 2017 to get you started:

Best blog redesign: Colin Walker

When I awarded this to Jason Santa Maria so many years ago it was due to his use of color, contrast, typography. But design isn’t limited to how something looks but also how it works. Colin Walker has spend much of 2017 tweaking his blog’s features in subtle ways to work just the way he wants it to. I’m sure he’ll continue to fiddle with it throughout 2018 but I think we can all learn from Colin’s iterative approach. Keep tweaking.

Best new (to me) blog: Brand New

I’ve known about Brand New for a long time and have stumbled across a post or two over the years. But this year I’ve been pushing myself to learn more visual design and one way was to subscribe to more blogs like this. I find these posts, and the community, to be an excellent resource.

Best service: Spotify

This year I’ve used both Apple Music and Google Play Music to see if I could move away from Spotify. Spotify is in a league all its own, the other two don’t even compare well. Spotify’s machine learning robots just do an amazing job at surfacing music that I would like. It is so good it is eery.

Notable mention: Google Photos. I’ve switch from Apple iCloud Photo Library to Google Photos and I’m consistently being surprised by how much better it is.

Best book: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This was a tough call. I read some pretty great books this year. But the one that keeps coming up in conversations, the one I’m sharing the most is Ready Player One. I think it is the sci-fi novel that I read this year that most feels like it could happen within a few years.

Notable mention: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough and Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

Best productivity tool: Bullet Journal

Bullet Journaling has made the biggest impact to my productivity and cognitive load than any other app, technique, or method this year. My “version” is slightly different than the default but I’m loving it.

Notable mention: Trello.

Best phone: Google Pixel 2 XL

I’m cobbling together my notes for a “review” of the Pixel 2 XL in the coming weeks but I can say, unequivocally, it is the best phone of the year. For me. I know the Samsung Galaxy Note8 made many people’s list and of course the iPhone X deserves a mention – but for the price, the quality of the hardware, and the software the Pixel 2 XL is an easy winner for me.

Before I get email, know that I have an iPhone X (Eliza’s phone) and I’ve tried the Samsung models. For me it came down to the camera system (which is actually better than the iPhone X in everything but the second lens), the software (Android 8.1 – Samsung is way behind) and the price. The iPhone X will be better next year and, hopefully, iOS 12 will be much, much better than iOS 11. But, as of today, Google is killing it.

One other side note: Google as a personal assistant is so much better than Siri it is jarring. I may have used Siri a few times per month in the past but today I use Google about 10 times per day with nearly zero mistakes.

Notable mention: Samsung Galaxy Note8, iPhone X.

Best podcast: The West Wing Weekly

If you’re not a fan of The West Wing this choice may not land with you at all. So, for you I would suggest Song Exploder. If you haven’t yet listened to TWWW I suggest starting at the beginning and also watching The West Wing along the way.

Notable mention: Song Exploder / Tim Ferriss.

Best platform: Instagram

When I deleted my social media accounts and didn’t even look at them for a few months the one I missed the most was Instagram. The platform continues to be one of the best and they continue to add great new features all the time while somehow keeping the app’s history in tact. The day may come when they add a feature that is terrible but so far they’ve done pretty well.

Side note: The algorithmic timeline almost pushed this one out for me. It is nearly inexcusable that this isn’t optional. I sincerely hope they find a way to allow users this option this year.

Notable mention: Micro.blog.

Best browser: Firefox Quantum

Perhaps this should be “most improved browser”? Quantum is a great name for the strides Mozilla has made with Firefox. They continue to improve the browser.

Oddly, Firefox is not my “daily driver”. I am using Chrome due to my switch to Android. (I’m ecstatic that I now can choose a default browser) I may, though, give Firefox a try across the board again soon.

Notable mention: Safari for turning off auto-play videos and ad tracking by default.

Best app: Apollo for Reddit for iOS

Though I’m now using Android I have to list Apollo as the best app. If you ever kill time by looking at Reddit (which I do a few times per week) I have to suggest you try this app. It is so well made you’ll wish it’s developer made every app you use.

Notable mention: Snapseed and Google PhotoScan (search App Stores).

Best code editor: Visual Studio Code

VS Code has improved a lot over the last year and has now overtaking Atom as my default text editor and code editor for all projects. While I still build native apps in Visual Studio most of my web work and text editing happens in VS Code.

The shared workspaces are the big feature for me this year. I can combine several code repositories into a single workspace and use Spotlight to launch all code related to a particular project in less than a second. It also has git and terminal integrated so I’m usually able to do all of my work in a single window.

Notable mention: Atom, Visual Studio for Mac.

Best YouTube channel: First We Feast

Specifically, Hot Ones. First We Feast has an interview show called Hot Ones that I just discovered this year and I can’t get enough of it.

Notable mention: MKBHD

Those are all of the categories I wanted to feature this year. Again, I simply pull this list together from the top of my head. Just like all years I saw so many amazing things it’d be very hard to create a real list. I suggest following my blog for all of 2018 because whenever I see something worth linking to I do so.

There are, however, some other companies, people, and products that I think deserve a shout-out. Here they are in no particular order: SpaceX, Khalid, Tom Hanks’ lost gloves tweets, The Last Jedi hype, Chris Stapleton, Joe Rogan’s Powerful JRE Podcast, Amazon Kindle and library loans, letgo, Google Maps, OK Google, Logitech MX Master 2S, USB-C, cast iron pans, Amazon Prime.

See you next year.

 

 

Finished A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Excellent read. Better than Neil de Grasse’s latest. Also, this was my first library loan using Kindle. Great experience. Will do again.

What an iPad Mini, or Air, could weigh

MG Seigler compares the weights of some leading e-readers, phones, and tablets to visualize where the iPad Mini, or Air, may stack up:

As you can see, this new iPad would be closest to the Kindle with a keyboard in weight. It would weigh noticeably less than a Nexus 7. It would weigh less than half of what all of the current iPads weigh. And it would weigh just a third of what a Surface running Windows Pro will weigh.

Yesterday I held a Nexus 7 (thanks Jeff) for the first time. It is incredibly light. Remember, I’m used to lugging around an iPad 2. The iPad 2 is downright heavy when compared to the Nexus 7. Jeff was walking around with the Nexus 7 in his back pants pocket! I’ll admit it, I was jealous.

If the iPad Mini, or Air, or whatever Cook & Co. call it, weighs in anywhere near these estimates, and costs anywhere near $200, and has the features of the existing iPads, it is going to be a smash hit. Even bigger than the iPad is now.

 

(This isn’t to say I’ll be getting one. I do not know if I need the ~8″ form-factor. I use my iPad every single day and while it would be nice to have a smaller, easier to handle, iPad I can’t see springing for one out the gate. I’d probably weight until I retire my current iPad 2 and pick up the second-generation iPad Air (I’ll stick with this, though I doubt Apple will) at that time.)

The price is wrong

I don’t understand reviews like this one about the Kindle Fire from Amazon by Peter Ha at The Daily:

“Like most convergence devices before it, the Kindle Fire doesn’t do anything exceptionally well (except for buying things via Amazon) but the price is right at $200.”

How in the world is the price right when the product “doesn’t do anything exceptionally well”? I’d say the price is wrong.

Why eBooks cost more than paperbacks

Last night I grabbed the sample of a book that I was debating the purchase of from the iBooks Store on my iPad. When I read through only a few pages of the book I knew I wanted to purchase the entire book. But then I saw the price and it confused me. It wasn’t the cost of the eBook that confused me so much as the cost of the eBook when compared to the paperback and hardcover copies of the same book. The eBook would cost more than the paperback or the hardcover.

I couldn’t understand why. Even someone that is relatively unaware of the inner-workings of book publishing would assume that eBooks cost less to produce and distribute than a paperback or hardcover. So why does it cost more? It turns out, eBook sales are outpacing sales of both paperback and hardcover books (and is still growing rapidly). Supply and demand, or more specifically demand alone since supply is unlimited, is making it easy for book publishers to charge more for eBooks than logic would suggest.

Many people are preaching doom and gloom for the publishing industry but I would say it is entering into a brand new heyday. A time where the costs to create and distribute their goods is rapidly decreasing while the amount they can charge is steadily increasing. A boom, if I may.

I’m a proponent of people being paid, and paid well, for the things that they do. I’m not someone who believes that all things will or should be free. But I also believe in logical pricing. Many things can and should logically dictate the price of something. Supply and demand, cost of goods, overhead, delivery, support. However, when an industry sets price without logic is when it is poised for disruption. And I believe that after an initial boom the prices of eBooks will level-out if not decline rapidly.

The music industry went through this with the advent of the MP3. It turns out Apple is right. Single music tracks from our favorite artists can be only $.99 and both the labels and artist can make bundles of money. For some, like Kid Rock and others, this model is far too strict and confining because the artists aren’t allowed to “package” their products the way that they want. This may change (and I think it should) but no one can argue that the iTunes Music Store is a massive success for everyone involved in spite of its flaws.

I also think that the iTunes Music/App Store revolution has trained people into thinking that everything from a single music track to a complex mobile application should cost $.99. As a consumer I’m delighted with this but as a businessman I’m seeing this as a longterm issue. I’ll save this for another post, however.

I don’t pretend to know when the eBook pricing disruption will occur but I feel it is fast approaching. When it is no longer prudent to print hardcover or paperback versions of books, obviously, the amount that eBooks will sell for should dramatically decrease. But we’ll see. So long as people continue to pay for eBooks and continue to buy them at the pace they are now – the eBook boom could continue to swell for some time to come.

The Apple iPad

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So, it has finally been announced.

Now, what do I think about it? I have to admit that since it was announced, about 36 hours ago now, my opinion of the iPad has swung back and forth like a blade of grass in a stiff breeze. I sit here (on the couch no less) wishing I had an iPad to write this on while at the same time thinking the device is utterly frivolous. I have a Macbook Pro and an iPhone, why would I ever need an iPad?

But, who cares if I actually need one. What do I think about it? Here are the surprises, the bad, and the good.

The surprises

  • The price. I have to admit it. Even though I guestimated that a tablet device from Apple would debut at somewhere between $699 and $899 I never thought that it’s base price would be $499.
  • The name. I’ve tried to let iPad sink in and I still think it will (it will have to) but I am still surprised.
  • The 250Mb per month limited 3G price plan. If you are of the sort that only sends a few emails or downloads an app or book a two a month – I suppose 250mb per month is enough. But I’m willing to bet that most will either go the unlimited 3G plan, for only double the price, or with no 3G at all (for no monthly fee and an even cheaper purchase price).
  • The reactions. Overall, I think the reactions I’ve seen across the Web are positive that the iPad is a very cool device. But as far as the device being an easy purchase the sentiment is anything but shared.

There were good surprises too but I’ll just throw most of them into “the good” list.

The bad

  • The aspect ratio. It has been stated that they iPad’s screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio and is probably the result of the device being optimized for portrait use. If I were to have an iPad I could see myself watching a lot of video on the device and so I would have liked to see the aspect ratio at 16:9.
  • The 3G pricing plans. Thirty dollars per month is a lot of money for me. Two hundred and fifty megabytes per month of bandwidth is no where near “enough” for my usage. That leaves me with no option to get 3G.
  • The number of native iPad apps (surprise). This will no doubt increase dramatically prior to launch. Apple obviously spent a considerable amount of time nailing the applications they showed in the announcement. iWork, Mail, and iBooks (and even the iCal redesign) are absolutely incredible UIs such the world has never seen. But I was surprised we didn’t see a point of sale system, educational and healthcare applications, or any other application besides Brushes (which looks great though) and games.
  • That Steve Jobs didn’t also announce a way to convince your wife that you need one.

I haven’t had an opportunity to use the iPad yet – which I presume won’t happen for months – but I didn’t see much that was bad about the device. Nearly everything I saw was incredibly well thought out and looked easy and dare I say fun to do.

The good

  • The UI. Though some will say that the iPad is simply a big iPhone the user interface is obviously different given its specific size. Being larger means being even more precise and detailed. The UI, from what I’ve seen so far, is second to none. The best user interface for any device in the world.
  • iWork. The amount of work Apple put into bringing iWork to the iPad is obvious. Some of the gestures that Phil Schiller was using to create some quick iWork documents were – if I may say so – perfect and natural. To get a gesture to be perfect and feel natural is – for most people and companies – a near impossibility. Somehow most interface gestures miss the mark. The iPhone got more right than it did wrong but it still got a few things wrong (mostly related to the limitations of the device itself). The iPad leaves all of those mistakes at the door.
  • Typing. My main wish for the iPad was for much better input. Again, I haven’t used the iPad yet but nearly everyone that has remarked that typing on the iPad was much better than they expected.
  • SPEED. Speed is so important. If pressed about what the most important thing in technology was I’d probably say speed. Computers, devices, Web pages, applications, – even cars – are nothing without speed. No matter how good something is, if it is slow, it won’t work. The iPad is remarkably fast.
  • iBooks. I’ve wanted a Kindle from the very first day Amazon announced them. I haven’t bought one because I, like Steve Jobs, couldn’t see owning a device that only allowed me to read books. For the price of a Kindle I could buy 1,000 books at yard sales and give them to friends as gifts. But the iPad, with its incredible screen and ability to do just about everything else you want, is well within the right price range to make buying a Kindle look like a dumb idea.
  • The battery life. 10 hours on a single charge? My 15″ unibody Macbook Pro gets around 6 to 7 hours of battery life right now – which is absolutely amazing. To have a device that you can actually use for 10 hours is remarkable.

All this and I haven’t put so much as a thumb on the device yet. I can’t wait to get my hands all over this thing though I’m still not sure I’ll buy one.

I want a big iPhone too

Photo credit: Eliza Devroe

The speculation about the upcoming product from Apple, presumably some form of tablet computer, is all over the place. The more I read the more I want. The more I want the more I wish. The more I wish the more I desire a big iPhone.

I’ve thought about it a lot over the last several weeks. I began to ask myself  ‘If Apple comes out with a tablet computer what would it have to have for me to buy one and use it?’ I came to the conclusion that I think they could simply hit a homerun by making it a big iPhone.

The iPhone has been a transformative device for me personally. In my link to the L5 remote I wrote this about the utility of the device:

“The utility of an iPhone is something that is being realized over time. It is a simple, extensible touchscreen device that can and will replace many, many other devices. Think of the devices it has already replaced (for those of us that own one). For me the iPhone has already replaced a pocket-sized digital camera for quick photos, an iPod, a phone, a “netbook” like device for Internet access (anything smaller than a laptop), a notebook, a pocket dictionary (not a device I suppose), a photo album, an alarm clock, a calendar, a to do list of some sort, a wireless remote control for my surround sound when playing music through iTunes, a pocket-sized gaming device (like a Nintendo DS or the like), and much more.”

By simply making the iPhone bigger what other voids could the device fill? Because of the size of the iPhone I have never used it to read anything of great length like a book and haven’t ever written anything of great length like a blog post or company memo. However, if the iPhone were larger, presumably, I’d be able to do those things.

But, like the Kindle, that wouldn’t be enough to get me to open my wallet. The way I figure it,  it’d have to let me access the Internet everywhere. This is the moment we’ve all been really waiting for isn’t it? It is what everyone enjoys so much about tethering laptop computers to their Internet connected phones. It will change everything. Having a device that lets you access the Internet from virtually anywhere in the world is the transformative device.

Having the Internet everywhere, even on my small screened iPhone, has changed the way that I live. I no longer print directions, as an example. Heck, I no longer even worry about things like directions. Things like where to eat, or being able to find information about my flight before I get to the airport. I just pack and go. I can do banking on the go, check email, send a photo to my wife before I purchase something, and communicate with people on just about every service imaginable.

My Macbook Pro is much more usable than my iPhone on a variety of levels yet I don’t take it with me everywhere I go. It is big, doesn’t come with a built-in Internet connection, and is overkill for many of the tasks I need on the go. The speed at which I’m able to accomplish things is much quicker on my laptop than my iPhone for a few reasons – technical specs, screen size, keyboard size, and Internet connection speed. If the tablet could make up ground on any of those fronts I would bring a tablet with me everywhere that I went simply for the ability to access the Internet in a much better fashion than my iPhone.

So that is what I want in a tablet. A big iPhone for reading, writing, and better Internet access. If it does this well than everything else that it will no doubt do will be icing on my cake.

The best of 2009 as told by me

In November 2008 I put forth a list of things I thought were the best Web sites, applications, and various other things that I came across in 2008. I said “They are simply works that I feel should be awarded with the recognition of being the best that I’ve personally found this year.” I’m doing the same this year, and including things not-so-technical also, so lets get started.

In no particular order:

The best blog: A VC by Fred Wilson

Randy Stewart

Credit: Randy Stewart, blog.stewtopia.com

This year’s pick for best blog did not come easy. I’ve chosen Fred Wilson’s blog, A VC, for a number of reasons. First, he writes very often. In a post about his own tips for bloggers he says to write every single day and I believe he comes fairly close. But that isn’t what makes his blog great. Somehow, even though he manages to write nearly every single day, he consistently writes extremely open and revealing posts about the world of venture capital and business in general (with music and other personal interests thrown in for good measure). It isn’t the quality of the writing, per se, it is the quality of the insight. As someone who has been involved in a few strong startups I can say that somehow Fred manages to hit the nail on the head more often than not. Even when he misses (in my opinion) and hits his thumb – he somehow brings the post that he’s writing back into a realm where you can see his point and believe that he’s probably right and you’re probably wrong. It is an art that I have never mastered.

If you are building your own company it is a must-subscribe. No question.

The best podcast: Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

I’ve gushed about Terry Gross so much this past year I’m sure you all think I’m hitting on her at this point. Maybe I am. But she deserves it. But the show isn’t just her. She must have a fairly good team behind-the-scenes that puts together her show each day and, ultimately, packages it for the podcast.

I don’t listen to many audio or video podcasts on a regular basis but I have been subscribed to Fresh Air for a few years now and I don’t see myself unsubscribing any time soon.

The best new blog: Letters of Note

Letters of Note is pretty much the perfect blog. Blogs, unless they are personal journals, should focus on a very specific topic. You’ve probably noticed that the most popular blogs are focused on technology, gadgets, startup companies, knitting, cooking, design, etc. There are very few popular blogs that focus on many things while there are a ton that focus on one thing. Letters of Notes knows where it fits and focuses on a really fascinating topic; letters, notes, memos, and even telegrams that are in some way notable.

I have yet to come across an uninteresting post at Letters of Note.

Honorable mention in this category includes Liz Danzico’s Bobulate (which is a personal blog but one that could have easily won this award this year). I’m hopeful that the Panic blog makes this list next year.

The best blog redesign: Pat Dryburgh.

Pat Dryburgh's logo

Online friend and fellow aspiring thin man Pat Dryburgh recently redesigned his Tumblr-powered Weblog and I think he did a fantastic job. Pat’s simple logo, as an example, is inspiring. The work section on his site is very well done (I like the bit where you can get to any work from any work). I’m not too keen on his heading weights but besides that I really, really appreciate a well designed personal Web site that feels, personal.

More people (myself included) should have a Web site that oozes their personal brand. I believe last year’s winner, Jason Santa Maria, would agree with this year’s pick as well.

The best blogging platform: Tumblr

Although my personal blog is still running well on WordPress I’ve been thoroughly impressed by what the Tumblr team has done this past year. They are continuously rolling out excellent features that help them both catch up to and surpass the competition.

Where does Tumblr fit? I believe that Tumblr is the best choice for new bloggers while WordPress is still the better choice for those of us that like to get our hands dirty. If the Tumblr team keeps up their current pace, I could see that changing in 2010.

The best service: Instapaper.

On today’s Web new reading material comes from every direction like a barrage of arrows from an invading army. Accept that these arrows are tipped awesome words rather than steel dipped in poison. Twitter, Facebook, your favorite feed reader, your best friend via instant message, and even your mom via email. These are all new sources of great things to read. But this poses a problem. You didn’t have time to read before and you certainly don’t have time to read now. But, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find some time to read later.

And that is where Instapaper comes in. Instapaper is comprised of a simple bookmarklet, a Web site, an iPhone application, and many other small pieces that are loosely joined together to give you a place to keep a stream of things you’d like to read later. Then, when you’ve found the time, you can read them. Wherever you’d like to. When you want to. On your iPhone, Kindle, computer… anywhere. Awesome.

In November I described it as drugs without the side effects. Use it. Abuse it. Become an addict.

The best mobile Twitter client: Tweetie 2.

My pick for best mobile Twitter client is consciously nearsighted, being that I’m an iPhone user and haven’t played much with other mobile platforms, but I’m fairly certain that my pick is still the best. You probably thought that I was going to say Hahlo. Last year I did. And this year Hahlo has seen some incredible updates, with 4.1 being released just this week, and I still think it is absolutely fantastic. But, Tweetie 2 steals the crown for a few simple reasons. On my original iPhone (yes, I still have an original day one iPhone) Hahlo can not perform nearly as well as Tweetie. To no fault of its own. As John Gruber recently covered, in his usual thorough manner, iPhone web applications simply can not perform as well as native applications due to drawbacks within Webkit.

Tweetie 2 for iPhone is brilliant.

The best book: Cesar’s Way by Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer.

If you follow me on Twitter than you probably know that I’m a very big fan of Cesar Milan who is probably better known as The Dog Whisperer. One of the books I read this year was Cesar’s Way. The book chronicles Cesar’s rise to the point he is now; author, TV host, Dog Whisperer. I’m not choosing this book because of Ces
ar’s literary prowess, I’m choosing it because I believe that Cesar Milan understands dog psychology better than anyone and that he does a great job relaying that information through his books and TV show.

Although I do not have any dogs at the moment we had a few dogs growing up. I come across dogs quite a bit in my life now so having the basic knowledge of how to deal with dogs, read their body language, and be calm and assertive has served me well since reading the book.

The best browser: Chrome for Mac.

I’ve been using a nightly build of Chromium for about 2 months now and I’m addicted. Even though the browser is severely crippled feature-wise due to its “beta” status (it is missing a bookmark manager, proper import/export, and has a few UI niggles on the Mac) I’m addicted to the speed. I haven’t seen any benchmarks to support my claim but on my Macbook Pro Chromium seems much faster than Safari.

It shares some drawbacks with Firefox but so far speed is the winning feature of browsers.

All that being said about Chrome on the Mac I could easily see one update from the Safari team getting me to switch back to Safari. No new features needed, just make it faster. Ok, the tabs on top is a nice touch too.

The best Twitter account: @Jon_Favreau

I know, a celebrity Twitter account being the best? Keep in mind, this is my list, not yours. The main reason that I enjoy Jon Favreau’s Twitter stream is because it is really him. There are a number of celebrities that have people “managing” their Twitter accounts or they only use their Twitter accounts strictly for promotion of their projects. Favreau strikes a good mix of personal, business, and communication tweets. We should all aspire to do the same.

The best email client: Mobile Gmail.

Mobile Mail.app on the iPhone is an adequate and capable mail client. However, if you have a Webkit powered browser on your mobile device I suggest giving mobile Gmail a spin. In a pinch, it works remarkably well and is arguably the best email client on any mobile device.

So, this is the best of 2009 as told by me. I’m sure I’ve left a few things out. But subscribe to my site or follow me on Twitter because I’m sure that I’ll be mentioning some great things throughout 2010 too.

Thanks for reading, see you next year.