Opinion

Last week Ben Brooks wrote a post about the gamification of iOS apps. In the post he had some harsh things to say about the process of not releasing all the features and and turning it into a game versus an Easter egg.

And gamification bugs me quite a bit, because I think it is disrespectful to users of the app. If I pay for your app, why do I still need to jump through hoops to get all of the features of your app? I can only assume it is because making me jump through hoops amuses the developer in some way.

He received a few negative responses due to his post. I personally fee that these may have been unfairly launched, but regardless Ben told us what he likes and what he does not like and why. Today I find this refreshing because he gave his opinion ! You may not have liked the words, terms or phrases but he gave his authentic voice. I agree with his view and welcome more bloggers to say what they really feel instead of beating around the bush.

Marley

This weekend I had the opportunity to watch a new film called Marley about the life of Bob Marley. As a fan of reggae I have seen quite a few short movies on his life and music. This movie is in theaters as well as on iTunes now. The film is probably the most extensive film I have seen in a long time and weighs in a little over 2 hours 24 min. The film was put out by Magnolia Pictures and executive produced by Ziggy Marley and Chris Blackwell of Island records.

The documentatry is shot beautifully, combining current intereviews and past footage together. Of all of the stories I have seen or read on Marley this is the one that describes the mans lifes the best. Starting in his early years as a youth and the struggles he had with a white father he really did not know, all the way through his career and how those things in the beginning which caused problems brought him full circle. Wanting to escape Trenchtown he turned to music as a way out. Later in his life he came back to Jamica to help reunify the country even if it was just symbolically.

As the film unfolds you can also see the transformation of the man through his words and religion to something much greater. Marley was far from a perfect man, having 11 children with 7 partners. But the importance of his music seemed to outweigh any wrong doings.

Bob died in 1981 at the early age of 36 from Melanoma cancer. His music touched many and continues today as a powerful reminder of what an impact music can have on our lives. As a musician myself there is one line from his music that has always rang true for me -“one good thing about music, is when it hits you feel no pain”.[1]

This movie is worth it !

Idiot Statement of the Day

Rush Limbaugh Says Obama’s Minions Hacked Siri:

Rush Limbaugh’s iPhone 4S has been hacked. Maybe it’s Obama, maybe it’s those pesky Anonymous guys, or even that teenager down the street who just wants the lulz, but one thing for certain is that Rush Limbaugh, one of America’s most polarizing political figures, had some crazy stuff happen to him while using Siri on his drive to work this week, and he thinks the main culprit is Obama’s minions trying to give him the spooks.

(Via Cult of Mac)

One word: Douchebag

Drafts updated to version 1.01

Drafts by Agile Tortoise has only been out a few weeks and is already incredibly popular. It’s fast its clean its simple and supports Markdown. It is the perfect place to write a quick note or list. It’s so simple so easy it is amazing.

Tonight the developer released an update, to version 1.01, with a few great new features.

The first I am thrilled about is support to send a quick note into OmniFocus. Drafts is the perfect tool to add something to your inbox when you quickly think about it and now with OF integration it is even easier. Support for Things for Mac has also been added in this release.


Drafts actions to OmniFocus 

The second thing was better support for “Open with”. Now if you start a draft you can select which application you want to open it in to finish a longer piece.


Drafts Open With Function

The update is fantastic. I am not sure what is on the roadmap for Drafts but here are a few things I would love to see:

  1. The ability able to re-order actions in the send to list
  2. Even though I use Tweetbot I still have the Apple/Twitter integration turned on. I know I can deactivate those and just use Tweetbot but there has been a few times when I have used the native integration. It would be great if you could “hide” an action you do not want to use.
  3. The same example would also hold true for the “open with” action. I would love to be able to hide an app that I do not use frequent without having to delete it from the phone.

The full change log is below and listed on the site blog. Drafts, v1.01

[ADD] “Open in…” action to export to other apps with support text files.
[ADD] Omnifocus action.
[ADD] Things action.
[ADD] Echofon and Echofon Pro actions.
[CHANGE] Reduced time before app assumes you want a new draft after it’s been in the background to 2 minutes. Still tweaking this number and am interested in your input. [CHANGE] Search keyboard can now be hidden with “Done” key to browse results. [CHANGE] Improved display of draft text in lists, allows for longer preview now. [FIX] Better handling of incoming URL create method.

Violated Trust

Everyone has trusted people and sources in their life they go for information. A recommendation by a friend, a family member etc. You seek out places and people who have reliable and preferably unbiased knowledge For years people have placed Consumer Reports on that list as well. This was really where Consumer Reports made their mark. I need a new air conditioner–> check out Consumer Reports. I am looking for a new car–> check out Consumer Reports. But what do you do when a trusted source goes away?

Over the last several years I have seen a general decline in the magazine. Products that were reviewed were outdated or not available. Testing seemed to be different – although I can not tell you what changed. It felt different.

A year ago Consumer Reports tested the iPhone 4 and would not give it a recommendation due to antenna issues. This became know as “Antenna Gate”. While your particular issues with the phone varied based on your location and case and grip it was deemed unacceptable. As a result of the report there was a lot of coverage and PR generated by the story. Some accurate some a little less so. Regardless of the report I believe was the biggest selling phone.

A couple of weeks ago Apple released the new iPad (3rd generation). It has chip in it with a Quad Core GPU and a beautiful retina display. A few people noticed that it could run a little warmer than the previous model. This was quickly picked up by the magazine who did a review of the product and basically said it runs HOT. In fact HOT was mentioned several times during the review. It does run warmer in certain situations (none that I have ever experienced) but it is not nearly as HOT as my 15″ MacBook Pro used to run. That machine ran so HOT that if you were wearing shorts you ended up with a burn on your thighs.

9to5mac posted an article titled “Consumer Reports: Forget what we said before, new iPad is the best we’ve ever seen” – while not a retraction it certainly backs away from the initial comments that made all the press.

Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright.

Again more press was generated from this statement. But the cynic in me feels that this was more of a PR ploy and page view grab for the website. So is this still a trustworthy site? Was this merely an attempt to generate ad revenue from the web site? Did they get a lot of new subscriptions? Did they violate your trust? What do you do when that person or service makes you not want to go to them anymore?

I know based on the the earlier points I made I am no longer a customer.

Cantilever shelf

I liked this a lot – very reminiscent of the Sapien bookcase.

Sapien Book case

cantilever shelf:

This staggered shelf by Seth Ellsworth gives you a snazzy book or shoe storage option for right around the $300 mark. There are nine replaceable shelves- not adjustable, mind you- made from solid wood and attached directly to the wall for a floating, clean-lined look. Available in oak, dark stained oak (+$50), or walnut (+$100). Custom configurations are available as well.

Designer: Seth Ellsworth
delivery in two to four weeks
6 ft x 2.5 ft x 1 ft
30 lbs
custom configurations upon request

(Via Better Living Through Design)

Carabiner Key

I love it when someone takes a common everyday item and makes it better.  Looking forward to getting one of these.

Carabiner Key:

Leave it up to Scott Amron to improve the humble key: if the Split Ring Key doesn’t quite suit your fancy, he’s designed a Carabiner Key (Keybrid) that can link independently to keyrings, belt loops, shoelaces… you name it. While there is no price posted currently, orders are being taken, so leave your name and email at the Amron Exptl. website if you’re interested.

(Via Better Living Through Design)

Design is a Job

Design is a Job 

I just finished reading Mike Monteiro “Design is a Job” book. This book is the seventh that has been published by A Book Apart. The tag line of a A Book Apart is “Brief books for people who make websites”.  Mike is the cofounder of Mule Design. And a host of the podcast called “Let’s Make Mistakes“.

The book is certainly geared toward those running design firms.  But I would not say running a design firm it mandatory to read this.  There are many points in here that could be used by a project mananger or a small business owner.  A lot of it is common sense but Mike backs it up with great examples that everyone should be able to relate to regardless of what they do. This certainly should be required reading for anyone in the design field today.  Some real obvious takeaways:
  1. Communication
  2. Contract protection (but not to be used as shield)
  3. Clear project goals

Mike blends the rules  and lessons learned of running a design firm with great humour. His case studies are on point. Considering I don’t run a design firm I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it for others.