As I mentioned on Twitter, if you have an iPhone you should check out KitCam. Fantastic, well-designed, and complete camera replacement application.
/via Mike Rundle on Twitter.
Stephen Hackett, who is giving up his iPhone for a feature-phone for a year in an attempt to bring some balance to his digital life:
I think there is a sizable percentage of nerds out there who realize the weight that technology has on our lives, and are uncomfortable with it at times.
Yes, there is. I’m one of them. I’ve tried many different things to help bring some balance to my life between the pull of technology and business and taking care of personal, family, and spiritual matters. Some have worked and others have not. Most of what I enjoy is centered around technology. Even the things I enjoy that have nothing to do with technology I enjoy them more when I bring technology along for the ride.
I’ve always been this way. Fighting against that doesn’t seem to be the course that works for me. Balancing it, limiting it, while finding a way to embrace it has though. Everyone is different, you just need to find what is right for you.
I hope this works for Stephen.
My favorite iPhone application for shooting black and white photos, Hueless by Curious Satellite, just got a massive update. Even though the update would be worth paying for again it is available for free to current customers in the App Store.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Curious Satellite does with the upcoming Huemore.
Horace Dediu on the iPhone’s value to the market:
Therefore, how to tell whether a product is over-serving a market is one of the most important and frequently asked questions I get asked. [...]
If you have to add features and drop prices at the same time then it’s likely that the market does not value the improvement. [...]
As the product has been improved along these dimensions, sales have increased and prices have held steady (even rising occasionally.)
As per usual the entire post is great. I especially like to see how each of the original iPhone’s features (display, storage, ram, camera, cpu, etc) have been improved over the years.
I’d take the time to link to the innumerable tweets and blog posts I’ve read about photogs being burnt out and fed up with carrying tons of photo equipment. But we’re all feeling this. We’re all sick and tired of lugging around these monstrous bags full of our lenses, filters, lights, and bulky cameras and we’re opting to shoot only with our iPhones because it is quick, convenient and the results are nearly good enough.
Rick Poon took some amazing shots in Maui using his iPhone. Here is what he had to say after he returned.
You know, when times were simpler, and all we wanted to do was shoot everything that caught our eye? If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve been a bit addicted to Instagram. The spontaneity that it cultivates has really brought back a little bit of that lost passion, and I find myself excited to shoot and share the things I see. Kind of like the old days.
On the same note, traveling with an SLR, lenses, and such has become more of a hindrance. I don’t have those 2o year old shoulders anymore, and whipping out a big heavy camera every time I see something interesting isn’t really my idea of spontaneity. When I spent a week in beautiful Maui last week, I did pack my trusty 5D with a sparse three lens kit. But I already knew it was a lost cause. Instagram and my iPhone had already ruined it for me. The 5D never made it out of the bag.
In a nutshell here is what every amateur photographer really wants – they want control over how their image will be processed. They want depth of field, light sensitivity, and color saturation to be adjustable. It is why we purchased a SLR, a few lenses, a few filters, etc. Because we want this control. And we were willing to give up our covienience in order to get that control.
Then comes the iPhone. With a little bit of software and a marvel of lens technology we can control what parts of the image are in focus, process the photo using software, and even share that photo instantly if we choose to do so. The iPhone with an app or two has a very similar level of control as a SLR with the added capability that an Internet connection affords.
The only way I can see Canon, Nikon, et al competing at this level would be to create their own apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. Surely they’ve got the expertise and in-house genius to come up with some of the very best ways to take advantage of the lens technology in these devices.
Oh, and by “processing” I don’t mean just Instagram filters (although they are convenient and quite good). I’m talking about apps that let you edit the image without presets. It is pretty obvious that Rick Poon’s photos of Maui were not processes using Instagram alone. They are absolutely gorgeous.
Remember when Facebook’s iOS application was used during an Apple keynote to show how great an app could be built by third parties? In fact, when Apple only allowed mobile web applications on the iPhone and when they began allowing native applications Facebook was used as a shining example for both ways of building an app for iOS.
Fast-forward to today where 21,000 out of 38,000 app reviews for Facebook for iOS are one star due to how slow the application has become.
Thankfully that’s all going to change next month. According to two Facebook engineers who asked not be named because they are not authorized to speak about unreleased products, Facebook has completely rebuilt its iOS application to optimize for one thing: speed.
Thank goodness. Finally.
Adam Curry, arguably one of the two people that invented Podcasting (of course, I’m referring to Dave Winer although there were others), has some thoughts on Apple’s new Podcasting app and how he feels they’ve left the door to discovery wide open and how Podcasting could be rebooted.
Considering that a podcast is no different from a blog with a different payload, this is not the way we have learned to discover content.
Although Podcasting has been around awhile I think it is just getting started. And, I also think Podcasting will continue to be at the forefront of the disruption of mass media and be one of the primary ways audio and video is distributed on the Internet for years to come.
- Revamped profile tab
- Search for users and tags in the Explore tab
- Improvements to commenting
- User search autocompletes based on people you follow
- Visual improvements
- Speed optimizations
- Optionally share likes to Facebook (enable in your Profile > Sharing Settings > Facebook)
This is a decent upgrade and there are a few things to note. Instagram’s rapid growth has been, in part, due to its Popular tab. Even if you were new to the network you could easily see stunning photos. The Popular tab is now called Explore. And this is important for product people to note. Instagram needed an easier way to find photos you might be interested in (such as an event or other interest) and also find users. And many would be scared to “mess with” the Popular tab. However, taking the most popular tab (the Popular tab) and adding those features to it really shows what Instagram considers important. They want people to discover people and photos easier than ever.
Also, cross-network “likes” is an interesting concept that we’re about to see a lot more of. It will even be in Mac OS X Mountain Lion next month.
There are some hidden gems in this release to including this one from Keegan Jones.
If Apple had reimagined the iOS Home screen last week I expect it would have had much in common with the way Launch Center Pro works.
He might be right. I bought Launch Center Pro yesterday and within minutes it made its way onto my iPhone’s Dock. A coveted set of pixels by all applications. I really love this application. Great idea, well executed.
I already have shortcuts to send my wife a text message, open Instagram directly into snapping a photo, and creating a new note in Simplenote. It is already saving me enough time to justify the few dollars it costs.
I do wonder about its longevity though. When/if Siri gets a serious API that third-party developers can take advantage of will this application quickly become not as useful? I suppose, though, there will always be times when you need to do things on your phone when you can’t or do not feel like speaking.
The latest release of Reeder for iPhone has just hit the App Store. All sorts of goodies in this release – copiously described and illustrated by Shawn Blanc.
However, a big, big thing that most posts aren’t mentioning is that Reeder 3 for iPhone supports Shaun Inman’s Fever. Why is this a big, big thing? Because Google Reader could be scuttled at any moment by our friends in Mountain View, California. I’m not calling for that but they’ve added and removed features on a whim and they aren’t charging to use Google Reader so if they wanted to shut it down they could. Fever you have to pay for. Fever you install on your own. I trust Fever to be around far longer than Google Reader. And since I use Reeder on my iPhone, iPad and Mac – every single day – I would like that to stay that way. Looks like I’ll be buying Fever soon.
All photos taken with iPhone 4 using Hueless.
A day into using it, I agree that new Foursquare is a significant improvement in a lot of ways. There’s always been a lot more data than check-ins flowing through Foursquare, but much of it was hidden behind layers of UI. Now those layers have been peeled away.
In addition to these features being hidden in previous versions of the application they were also a lot slower. Now, not only are these features (such as finding interesting places nearby) easier to find, they are really, really snappy. Going to a Google map is no longer an exercise but a pleasure.
After viewing videos and reading reviews I think Liquipel is a great idea that is just not quite there yet. I think it would be great for protecting your phone in the rain or from spills but a toilet or pool, no way! It’s clear that results will vary in every situation and with this being said I just could not feel confident enough to recommend or use Liquipel right now.
Some protection is better than no protection, I always say. However, one shouldn’t expect to go swimming with one’s iPhone either.
/via fellow-Viddler Thomas Kover (TKO).
Danny Nicolas, on the newly-revived Waking Ideas blog, about Liquipel:
The number one complaint that I hear from friends, family and random strangers complaining on the train is that their personal technology devices (mp3 player, phone, watch, etc.) are not waterproof. The number one enemy to their electric devices is water. Be it the humidity in the air, the sweat from a successful exercise session, or devices that just seem to be drawn to pools of standing water, there’s a huge disconnect between the number one feature people want, and the ever increasing feature list of things that don’t matter as much.
I’ve often thought that every single device which is meant to be used daily should also be waterproof. There is a huge benefit to the user even if that device never, ever gets completely submerged in water. I may have to look into Liquipel further.
Be sure to watch the video demonstration at the tail end of Danny’s blog post.
The biggest two changes are the six awesome new reading fonts and the distraction-free, full-screen reading interface.
I just updated Instapaper for my iPad and iPhone. For free. Marco puts a lot of thought and care into this application and it only costs a few dollars. If you’d like to mark things to read later I suggest grabbing Instapaper.
Side note: I’m hoping to integrate the brand-new-not-even-finished-yet Nilai with Instapaper in a future update. I do not foresee Nilai supporting any other read later services.
Since the Mac App Store debut I’ve been disappointed with the way Apple had three unique ways to update the OS, the applications on my Mac, and the applications on my iPhone and iPad.
I’m very much looking forward to Mountain Lion’s consolidation of two of these. Serenity Caldwell for Macworld reports:
Software Update, possibly the slowest Apple program on your Mac, is saying goodbye in Mountain Lion. Instead, the App Store will be handling any system patches, along with updates for your Mac App Store programs. And as a bonus, Notification Center will alert you in the background when updates are available, saving you five minutes of staring at the “Checking for new software” window.
This is great. I hope Notification Center also notifies me of updates that are available in iTunes too; iPhone and iPad applications, Podcasts, episodes of my TV shows, etc.