Jun 30, 2009 Comments Off
Jun 30, 2009 0
Simply point Mobile Safari to http://help.benm.at, select your country, download the profile for your carrier, and install. The settings menu will add an Internet Tethering toggle in the Network section. Then just pair with your computer over Bluetooth or plug in via USB and go. No restart required. It’s really that easy.
Performance has been rock-solid in my experience, both for tethering Mac and Windows machines. Performance is terrible on EDGE and very nice on 3G, with battery life not noticeably worse than just browsing on Safari. And maybe a little bitter once the display goes to sleep. But I’m not running BitTorrent through the thing, either.
AT&T should have a killer offering on their hands once this actually ships. It would also be nice if AT&T tweaks the interface so you can turn on tethering without pulling your phone out of your pocket. Honestly, the only complaint I have. Anyone tried it outside the US? Really seems like something that should fly under the radar so long as you’re not downloading the whole Internet over it…
And, it goes without saying, this is use at your own risk and Apple will laugh at you if you brick your phone.
(And yes, I know we’re late, but I never recommend running something risky on your hardware if I haven’t done it myself. This is as close to safe as it gets.)
This article is copyright Cultomedia Corp.
Jun 30, 2009 Comments Off
Meeting the altering needs of modern spaces, designer Guillermo Orduna has designed a modular furniture unit that tunes from living room furniture into workspace furniture with minimal arrangements. Hailed as “CUB-ED,” the furniture unit includes a central table with 2 accessories that can be used like work area, or simply like table. The CUB-ED also integrates 4 seats that can either be used separately as a seating in the office or you may combine them to carve out a friendly seating for your living space. To sum up, the multifunctional unit by the Mexican designer allows the users to play with their ideas while meeting their living and workspace furniture requirements.
Jun 29, 2009 0
Kolohe Andino claims the Open Mens crown while Lakey Peterson takes the Womens
Jun 29, 2009 0
Us tech and Sci-Fi aficionados are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. We’re constantly starving for the best, bleeding-edge technology, and we drool when we watch the Star Treks and Minority Reports of the world thinking, “we’ll never get there.” Think again, because here are 10 gadgets from movies that became a reality. Some of these may not be in mass production yet, but if we’ve made it this far, just think of the possibilities.
- Minority Report Style Gesture Based Computers
- Magnetically Tethered Flying Vehicles
- Universal Translator
- Heat Rays/Ray Guns
- Ion Thrusters
- Video Phone Watch
- Invisibility Cloak
- The Iron Man Suit
- Force Fields
This one has been mentioned several times before, and there are plenty of videos showcasing the different advancements in touch/gesture-based computing. All you have to do is Google “minority report computer interface” and you’ll get many hits, including a TED conference video demonstrating different applications for the technology. Find out more here from PopSci.
Yes. Just yes. According to Gizmodo, researchers at Cornell have been playing with superconductors and permanent magnets. They’re looking to use this to keep spacecraft tethered together without touching just like the pod racers in Star Wars. Fast forward a few years though, and we’ve got ourselves magnetically tethered advanced spacecraft.
Obviously this won’t translate alien languages, but it will translate almost any language in the world on the fly, back and forth. We have our handy Mr. Ray Kurweil, futurist, inventor extraordinaire to thank for this. Check out his universal translator.
H.G. Wells was the originator of this concept over 100 years ago in his novel War of the Worlds. Since then, heat rays have been a staple of Sci-Fi films and TV shows. No longer is it science fiction, however, since the military has been testing its own heat ray. They claim the rays do no permanent damage, but make you feel as if your skin is burning. Check out this other ray gun the military has in production and is supposedly testing in Iraq. Image via Daylife.
These guys have been the propellers for every spaceship since who knows when. And we can only dream until we’re able to hit warp speed. Until then, check out NASA’s Deep Space 1, which was launched over 10 years ago in 1998 which uses ion thrusters to propel itself to speeds upwards of 88,000 mph. This spacecraft uses a cathode to fire high-energy electrons into a propellant, converting atoms into positively-charged ions by kicking off electrons.
How many times have we seen James Bond talking to his wrist? Now you can do it too. Enter the LG GD910 3G Watch Phone. They introduced this one at CES 2009. You can check out a video review of it over here, and check out plenty of photos here.
For all you Harry Potter fans, this one’s for you. It’s been several years that Japanese scientists at the University of Tokyo have been working on a real-life invisibility cloak. Their results have been promising. Even more so, scientists at Duke University made claims about 5 months ago that “within six months it’s certainly viable” to have a working model and cloak visible light. Check out this article for more info. Also, National Geographic posted a great article late last year.
Who wouldn’t give anything for a suit that gives you superhuman strength, supersonic flight capabilities, the smartest AI visor ever, and most of all, style? The Iron Man suit is still many moons away, but this is a step in the right direction. Inventor Steve Jacobsen and his company Sarcos, are working on an exoskeleton that makes it possible for humans to lift hundreds of pounds without even trying. The suit is still in the rough, and it looks more like something that Sigourney Weaver would wear (it also only runs for 40 minutes on batteries), but who knows… maybe in 15 years?
Coming soon to a military near you, force fields. This one is up there along with hover crafts and warp speeds. Supposedly, the US along with many countries around the world, are pumping plenty of cash in R&D for plasma shields. The theory goes that plasma, which is gas with all its particles ionized, thickens at high temperatures. Not sure it if could stop much of anything yet. It’s still in development and it could take years more to come to fruition, but it’s closer than many other fantasy techs (ie time travel).
Not in the Terminator style sense we tend to think of, but a South Korean conglomerate announced the Intelligent Surveillance and Guard Robot. It looks a bit more like a gatling gun with legs, and it’s stationary, but it can identify humans, trees, and vehicles 2.5 miles away. Each one costs about $200,000. Watch the robot in action.
Jun 28, 2009 0
After using the iPhone 3GS for a week, here’s five of my favorite, non-obvious tricks I’ve picked up.
Show Battery Percentage
The iPhone battery meter is so imprecise as to be useless. But in iPhone 3, you can show the percentage charge. To show the battery percentage, go to Settings>General>Usage and turn on Battery Percentage.
Variable Speed Scrubbing
I listen to a lot of radio shows on the iPhone from my hometown, London. These shows can be a couple of hours long so I often “scrub” through to the best parts. On the iPod with a scroll wheel, this was easy. But on the iPhone, it became an ordeal — the song bar was notoriously fiddly and the track would often jump when you pulled your finger off. But with the 3.0 software, scrubbing can now done be at different speeds. When you hit the song bar it starts glowing, allowing you to scrub through the track from left to right. But the further you drag your finger vertically *down*, toward the “Home” button, the finer you can control the scrolling speed: it goes from “high speed” to “half speed,” “quarter speed,” and finally “fine scrubbing.” No more jumping tracks.
Double Tap “Home” To Launch Camera
I’m using the camera a lot on the new iPhone 3GS. Instead of going to the Home Screen and hunting for the Camera icon, the camera can be launched with a double tap of the Home button. Go to Settings>General>Home and select “Camera.”
(Alternatively, you can map the Home button double-tap to iPod, Phone Favorites, Search or Home).
Easy Email Suffixes
When typing out an email address in the “To” field, there’s a shortcut for adding .net .edu .org .com suffixes. Press and hold the “.” key (the period key) and the suffix options pop up.
This is really an Easter Egg, not a hidden feature, but delightful nonetheless. The new Voice Memos app shows the image of a microphone. Tap the image of the mic, and the VU meter jumps as if you were tapping a real microphone.
This article is copyright Cultomedia Corp.
Jun 28, 2009 Comments Off
Music may sound sweet to the ear, but electronic waste courtesy the music players and speakers is becoming a curse for Mother Nature. Adding meaning to the music designer Jocko Chan has designed a sustainable speaker system dubbed “Forsta” that takes bamboo as the sound box of speaker. To get the better sound quality, all you need to do is to plant the bamboo with water, light source and heart. Bamboos have a timeless beauty that adds elegance and relax to the environment. The Forsta installs speaker inside the bamboo, the space inside the bamboo serve as sound box of a speaker. With the growth of the bamboo, the sound quality can be improved. The bigger the sound box, the richer sound could be produced. The Forsta suggests a new green concept that we are not only make use of natural or renewable materials when designing green products but make use of the natural vitality and utilize their natural feature.
Jun 27, 2009 0
All the episodes of your favorite Volcom videos on Volcom Stone Your Tv.
Jun 27, 2009 0
The U.N. has launched a social media site to inspire international leaders to create a meaningful climate treaty in Copenhagen this December. The site called Hopenhagen, allows people around the world to create a Twitter-like post (45 characters max) answering the question “What gives you hope for a better planet?”
The site reads:
On December 7, 2009, leaders from 192 countries will gather at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark to determine the fate of our planet. Let’s turn Copenhagen into Hopenhagen. Hopenhagen is a movement, a moment and a chance at a new beginning. The hope that we can create a global community that will lead our leaders into making the right decisions. The hope that by solving our environmental crisis, we can solve our economic crisis at the same time. Hopenhagen is change – and that change will be powered by all of us.
As people post their responses, a constant moving feed runs down the screen, listing all the statements. Obviously, it will take more than 45-character expressions to produce an effective climate treaty, but the more pressure we can put on the world’s leaders to commit to significant change, the better.
Jun 26, 2009 0
Michael Jackson's albums are storming the charts on iTunes.
Just hours after his untimely death, Michael Jackson’s albums are storming the charts on iTunes.
Jackson’s seminal album Thriller is currently the number one album on iTunes, while The Essential Michael Jackson is number two.
Severel of his other albums are climbing the charts fast. At the time of writing (about 6.45 PST) Jackson has nine albums in the iTunes top 40:
Thriller (25th Anniversary, Zombie Cover) is #7; Off the Wall is #9; The Ultimate Collection is #12; Number Ones is #13; Bad is #22; Greatest Hits is #27; Dangerous is #29; and Thriller (25th Anniversary, Deluxe Edition) is #28.
Jackson is the best-selling artist of all time. He sold more than 750 million albums worldwide, and Thriller, produced by the genius Quincy Jones, sold an estimated 100 million copies worldwide.
I expect Apple to post a homepage tribute, and Jackson’s albums to dominate the chart by the morning.
This article is copyright Cultomedia Corp.
Jun 26, 2009 Comments Off
With the pollution choking us down to the wire and our modern day commuters being the biggest contributors, public transportation and bicycles could serve us some respite. We have designers who could help us know how these bicycles and public commuters can together be used to help us and they are more than capable for their design won a Seymour Powell award for best concept in the “Future City Mobility” design competition. This group involving designers Marten Wallgren, Il Choi, David Seesing, and Miika Hekkinen created multiple vehicles designed to integrate with a special bicycle and an electric scooter. The group considered the estimated traffic congestion in the centre of the London City in 2030.
Read the rest of this entry »
Look out for the 2008 Google Earth Challenge 3 Results in the September Issue of SURFING Magazine.
At a recent shareholders’ meeting in Japan, Toyota executives stated their continued commitment to bringing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to market in the near future. The previous forecast was for production to start in 2014, but they’ve revised their timeline, pushing production back a year to 2015.
That still seems awfully soon for a full-scale production of a hydrogen car, but maybe Toyota knows something we don’t. Hydrogen fuel cells have a lot of potential, but the technology and infrastructure is still way behind electric vehicles.
We’re more optimistic about the plug-in hybrid and all-electric models they’re planning for release much sooner, but we’ll be interested to hear more about the HFC model and to see if they stick to their timeline.
It was in the 1920s when light-emitting diodes were first invented. Today, eighty years later, LEDs come in variable colors, brightness and wavelength – visible, ultraviolet, and infrared. LEDs have a lot of advantages over traditional lighting which include lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, size, and robustness.
In this article, we will cover fifteen LED hacks that are jaw-dropping, eye-catching and overall awesome. I have decided to group the list based on their use, from trivial and entertainment use to medical uses and architectural purposes.
1. Huge Sky Screen at “The Place” in Beijing, China
Imagine strolling down a street, and 25 meters above you is a giant LED screen display… with dragons and marine animals floating! This massive display located at The Place shopping center at the heart of Beijing, China was placed before the Olympics of 2008. Considered as the largest LED screen in Asia, it has dimensions of 250 meters in length and 30 meters in width. The sky screen plays majestic shows like seascapes, a dolphin show, among others. Note that the biggest LED display belongs to the display screen at Fremont St., in Las Vegas which is made of 12.5 million LEDs and has a length of 460 meters.
2. LED Cyclist Jacket
Yes, there are a lot of shirts and pants and other wearable materials out there which make awesome use of LED. Take, for instance, the Iron Man Arc Reactor. But for the usefulness of this next one, I think it should count in my top choices. When she was a Ph.D student at the University of Colorado, Leah Buechley has created an electronic clothing, the signal jacket for cyclists. As you can see from the image above, this is simply ingenious and the usefulness of this goes overboard. The LEDs are powered and programmed by a sewable computer chip which was designed by Leah, herself. For those of you interested in making one, click on the link above for instructions.
3. LED Cubes – Cubatron
LED cubes are a dime too many but they are nonetheless interesting and an awesome use of LEDs for trivial and entertainment purposes. LED cubes can be as small as the basic 4×4×4 (pertains to the number of LEDs) or could be more extravagant like that of the Cubatron UV with a 100×100×100 matrix or a total of 1,000,000 LEDs. Surely, this is an expensive project to make. The Cubatron UV has its roots down to the first Cubatron, which is now proudly in display at the ultra chic W Hotel in Dallas. The Cubatron (8×8×8 feet) used to be the world’s largest 3-dimensional full color light sculpture, a title which now belongs to the Big Round Cubatron (40 feet in diameter, ten feet in height). The latter made its debut at Burning Man in 2006 and has since been shown at different festivals, events and places. Led cube are perfectly characterized with these words, “a word of art at rest, a hypnotic experience once the micro-controller takes charge.”
4. Extreme LED Art
It’s a big-brand viral video but the fact still remains that this is one of the most awesome use of LEDs. For this viral campaign, Samsung got the help of The Viral Factory in London. It was directed by James Rouse and a group of sheep dog trainers named Baa-Studs. What did they do? The makers strapped thousands of LED lights to hundreds of sheep and took to the hills of Wales to create amazing displays such as a giant game of pong, Mona Lisa and fireworks. You really have to see the video, aptly titled, “Extreme LED Sheep,” which has ben viewed millions of times on youtube.
5. Plant Growth
Scholarly articles have been written documenting the use of LED as artificial light for plant growth and NASA is at the helm of this technology. It has been found out that by utilizing LEDs, one can only use the light spectrum required for photosynthesis. Through this use of specific spectrum, no light is wasted. Moreover, since LEDs are directional, this ensures that the full 100% of the light can be pointed exactly where needed, eliminating the need for reflective materials to direct light. NASA has actually funded more research on this technology for use on space plant growth as LEDs emit less heat, which will prevent the plants from drying out. A new study from USDA Plant Physiologists also reported that they can now grow lettuce with deeper color, which means more antioxidants, through ultraviolet LEDs.
6. Crown Fountain, Chicago, USA
The Chicago Crown Fountain is a public art installation made up of two glass brick towers. It was designed by Jaume Plensa, a Catalan artist, and are said to cost around $17 million – a very high cost which really payed off with how awesome these displays are! The two towers face each other and stand at 50 feet tall. LEDs are used for the massive screens wherein photos and videos of Chicago residents are randomly being played, apart from the usual landscapes. These glass towers also serve as fountains, aside from the cascading water coming from the top, the displays each have a nozzle where water spouts. These towers where unveiled on July 2004 and have since been a popular landmark for Chicagoans to relax and for tourists to marvel.
7. Lessen Wrinkles, Skin Rejuvenation
Here’s a possible alternative to Botox: LEDs. A published research from Germany, led by Amdrei Sommer and Dan Zhu of the Institute of Micro and Nanomaterial, at the University of Ulm in Germany, reports that the high intensity visible light from LEDs resulted in “rejuvenated skin, reduced wrinkle levels, juvenile complexion and lasting resilience” when applied daily through a course of several weeks. As light penetrates through skin, it has the ability to cause change in the sub-surface tissue. The visible light from the LEDs help in skin rejuvenation and reducing facial wrinkles by changing the molecular structure of a water layer on elactin – a protein that provides elasticity in the skin, blood vessel, the heart and other body parts. The researches even end their conclusion with “we are justified in believing that our approach can be easily converted to deep body rejuvenation programs.” That is something to look forward to.
8. New Year’s Ball, Times Square, New York, USA
In Times Square, New York, at exactly 11:59 PM of New Year’s Eve, all eyes are on the world-reknowned New Year’s Eve Ball, as it begins it decent. This marks the countdown for the celebration of the New Year. In 2008, the co-organizers, Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment has unveiled the “New” New Year’s Eve Ball. It is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, which is double the size of the previous Waterford Crystals Ball, weighs 11,875 pounds, made of 2,668 Waterford Crystals and lighted by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs. This ball just got even better, brighter (a palette of 16 million colors and billions of patterns!), and of course, greener. It was such a sight to behold.
9. LED Throwies
LED Throwies were started by Graffiti Research Lab fellows James Powderly and Evan Roth. They are basically made of a small LED attached to a coin battery and a rare earth magnet by use of epoxy or electrical tape. Some modifications may include designs such as using Velcro instead of magnet; adding an on/off switch; use of flashing LEDs or “blinkies”. Moreover, other creators and DIY guys have made alterations, for instance, “floaties” make use of styrofoam as a floatation device; “sinkies” on the other hand are meant to sink; “flyies” are used as payloads in using helium balloons; while another one are throwies placed inside a balloon or ice cubes with water, frozen overnight. LED throwies are generally used as creative graffiti and light displays but have since been used in various methods.
10. Medical Treatment for Cancer
Turning our focus away form the trivial and entertaining, we take a look at the use of LED in science, specifically in medical cure research such as cancers and other diseases. Dr. Harry T. Whelan, MD, a Professor of Neurology from the Medical College of Wisconsin, is borrowing the broad spectrum LED technology from NASA to help with cancer treatments and therapies. In his research, he has used LEDs for a popular cancer treatment called photo-dynamic therapy or PDT. It has been found out that through the use of LEDs, patients who have undergone it had only mild or no dermatitis compared to patients who have been treated by the usual laser method had some degree of skin radiation. Less radiation dermatitis means that the doctors and therapists may speed up the treatment process for cancer patients. LEDs are also being used in brain surgery such as LED probes with 144 very tiny pinhead-size diodes which serves as a light source during surgery. Moreover, Dr. Whelan is looking into using LEDs for healing burn victims or those with musculo-skeletal injuries. A leading company, Polymetronics, also claims that a red light LED bandage can help with outpatient skin cancer treatment.
11. Harbin Ice and Snow World
What’s more awesome that ice castles? Ice castles lit by thousands and thousands of LEDs! Harbin Ice and Snow World orchestrates the magnificence its annual show through the use of colorful LEDs lighting the various ice sculptures. One of four of its kind in the whole world (Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival), the Harbin Ice and Snow World covers several parks for the ice sculptures–including the world’s largest snow Santa Claus, castles copied from real world towering wonders, churches, mosques, and a lot more! For 2009, it took 8,000 workers and 32 million gallons of water to make all the blocks! And because this year, they decided to use LEDs, the towers and sculptures are even more majestic at night. Let the picture speak for themselves. Jaw dropping.
12. 2008 Olympics, China
The Olympics 2008 show of China easily trumps most, if not all, of the past Olympic shows. Architectural wonders are the buildings such as The Bird’s Nest and The Water Cube have been build for the Olympic celebrations. And LEDs played a big role in making the celebrations as marvelous as they were. The Bird’s Nest was installed with LEDs while The Water Cube was lit by 500,000 LEDs. However, it was the opening and closing ceremonies which count as the most unforgettable and mesmerizing. Remember that gigantic scroll? It made use of 44,000 colorful LED beads, 600 millimeter apart, in its dimension of 147 meters by 22 meters. LEDs were widely utilized throughout the show, from the performers’ costumes to the massive LED lit globe and the Olympic rings, complete with fairies floating.
13. Optimus Maximus
There are a lot of peripherals wisely using LEDs out there in the market. But when it comes to keyboards, the Optimus Maximus, from its very name, is the king of them all. Coming from the well-respected Art. Lebedev Studio design company in Russia, the Optimus Maximus works by assigning functions to its keys. Its has a full customizable layout and is a perfect companion for design, video editing, gaming. The keys also dynamically change based on user interaction (press shift key and all appropriate keys will change to upper case). For a history tidbit, the first LCD keyboard was developed in Germany during the mid 1980s and was sold until 1999. I personally am hoping to see full-on LED trackpads.
14. Light-Emitting Wallpaper
Jonas Samson is a true creative genius in my book. He has acknowledged the under utilization of organic light emitting diodes or OLEDs to create something other than flexible computer or TV screens, not that such use is not awesome in itself. Jonas Samson is the proud maker of the light-emitting wallpaper, which looks like a plain wallpaper – it has a two-dimensional surface instead of a 3D object. It is the perfect combination of graphic design, textile, and technology. What makes this more awesome than it is? You can easily turn on the part of the graphic/wallpaper you want to light up! In Jonas’ website he writes: “As long as the wallpaper is turned ‘off’, it is indistinguishable as a source of light. Instead, it is just what it appears to be: wallpaper.”
15. LED for Wireless Communication
With their current goal of reaching 10Mbps wireless connection, researchers at Boston University’s Smart lighting Engineering Research Center gained a $18.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Their aim is to replace the current use of wireless routers with lighting access points through LEDs. Wouldn’t it to over the top awesome to just turn on the lights and be able to receive and access wireless signal? This means lower power consumption, convenience, better security because it relies on visible light and greater transmission speeds (no electromagnetic interference). This technology is certainly not yet available to the market, but the ease of changing your light bulbs with LEDs is certainly a good reason to wait for it.
So there you have it, 15 of the most awesome uses of light-emitting diodes. I hope you had a good read. Hit the comments with what ranks as the best for you.
Jun 24, 2009 0
Screenshots from PodTrapper
An intrepid software developer has published a thorough memoir that details many reasons why Apple is so far ahead of the field in the mobile applications game, and why Blackberry, Palm and Android will have a hard time catching up any time soon.
Marcus Watkins found himself developing an application for his mobile phone in much the same way that countless other developers undoubtedly realized their inspirations: he was minding his own business when he realized one day his life would improve if his phone could do something that, at the point of his epiphany, it couldn’t.
He did his research, found out there wasn’t an application to meet his needs, realized the size of the potential market for his app in the many millions of people with his phone – a good percentage of whom might find his application useful – and he went to work.
Unfortunately (perhaps) for Watkins, his phone is a Blackberry, but fortunately (for Blackberry users) he persevered, and his story shows just how far behind Apple the other smartphone makers are as the device category enters its third year in existence.
Right off the bat, the application Watkins found he needed to develop – PodTrapper, a simple podcast player – was included as part of the basic functionality of the iPhone from the very beginning.
True, there has been controversy over third-party podcast players on Apple’s App Store, but the sheer popularity of podcasts today and the fact that there was no way to play them on a Blackberry until Watkins launched his app this past spring speaks to a certain failure of imagination among the executives and engineers at Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the Blackberry.
In planning how to develop his application, Watkins found he had to choose among 5 versions of RIM’s SDK, which was daunting enough, but he also found that “the more features you get the fewer devices you can support … and unfortunately not all operating system revisions are available for all devices.”
After going through a complex algorithm (illustrated with colorful bar charts) to arrive at which SDK might bring him the best chances for success, Watkins looked at the Blackberry mobile UI and said, “I envy the iPhone developers out there.”
To put a Blackberry app “in the same league” as an iPhone app, he said, “a significant portion of the code [must be] dedicated to drawing lines, bezier curves, bitmaps and shading rectangles in just the right way,” whereas “the iPhone SDK provides all sorts of pretty widgets that come pre-made to fit in with the platform. Right out of the box you get a clean UI that looks ‘modern’.”
Adding insult to injury, from the developer’s perspective, “RIM has all sorts of UI widgets they use in their first party applications — rounded corners, sliding screen transitions, gradient list fields, etc. — but they don’t release any of that for use by third party developers. The results are apps with wildly inconsistent UIs, created by developers who had to spend considerable effort making them inconsistent.”
Watkin’s piece is a long one, but he details a dozen different ways in which it becomes clear – for all the bitching and moaning about Apple’s obsessive secrecy and desire for control, about the inconsistency of the App Store approval process and the ‘Big Brother’ nature of Apple’s gatekeeping function – many of the decisions and choices Apple has taken out of 3rd party developers’ hands have meant more success for the iPhone, more success for Apple, and more importantly, more success for at least some developers.
Hate that iPhone is only on one network? Try developing an app for use across carriers with network communications “implemented as a bunch of totally isolated transports that vary by data plan instead of carrier.”
Hate Apple for not allowing apps to run in the background? Watkins relates a tale in High Geek involving a “100K RSS feed that could never be freed” and concluded in the end, “I can definitely see why Apple has been hesitant to open up background processing on the iPhone. It’s really easy for bad developers to make the whole platform look bad.”
His story about selling his app and choosing among distribution channels and trying to get paid and having to combat random discount “promotions” that always seemed to leave him with the short straw makes Apple’s one-stop shop and across-the-board 70/30 split look beautiful in its simplicity.
It also goes a long way toward explaining why there are over 50,000 iPhone applications in the App Store while the stores of competing mobile platforms have bare shelving in comparison.
The sales and marketing data Watkins presents for PodTraper look much like the sales and marketing data we’ve seen for iPhone apps, and the interactions with his customer base sound like the interactions anyone would have in a similar situation. The bottom lines: promotion is good; publicity is good; customer service (listening to your customers) is good.
Time is an avenger and Apple’s competitors may get it together, in time, to support a development ecosystem that will inspire a 3rd party gold rush similar to the one that has helped the iPhone become a smash hit. As Watkin’s well-written, impeccably documented memoir capably shows, that time is not at hand.
It’s no accident that people say, “there’s an app for that!” when they talk about the iPhone. When they talk about other smartphones, it’s more likely to be, “I wish there was an app for that.”
This article is copyright Cultomedia Corp.