Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

The Art of iPhoneography: instructive and inspiring.

I’m increasingly fascinated by iPhoneography as an art form in its own right. The humble camera phone has developed into much more than a handy ‘point and snap’ and the vast number of apps now available for iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets allow you to be as creative as your imagination allows. Sites like Pixels At An Exhibition showcase the stunning work now being produced by mobile photographers.

If you’re looking to get more serious about phone photography, I can highly recommend a couple of items I’ve recently discovered.

The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide To Mobile Creativity is an excellent book by Stephanie C. Roberts that is now an iPad app. It doesn’t just cover the basics but shows you how to get the best out of apps like Hipstamatic, Photo fx and Photoshop Express as well as providing inspiration with interactive profiles of leading iPhoneographers, project ideas and the best sites to share your work on. Beautifully designed and easy to use, it’s a steal at $9.99.

Snap, which launched in June, is a free monthly magazine for iPad and iPhone produced by Hipstamatic that features gorgeous and inspirational work by some of the most creative iPhonoegraphers around as well as tips on getting the most out of Hipstamatic. A great feature is that you can click on every image in the magazine to reveal the specific settings used to take the photo.

Setting a new Standard

Posted: April 20, 2011 in iPad, iPhone, media, Technology

With the plethora of devices on the market, designing a website – especially a news media one – that works well on all platforms is getting to be more of a headache. Many companies are finding themselves having to develop apps for specific devices – PC, smartphone (with separate versions for Blackberry, Android and iPhone) and iPads and tablets.

The recently launched Toronto Standard  however, is an elegant example of a one-stop solution.

The site features a “liquid layout” built by Toronto design firm Playground Digital which automatically adapts content to suit a reader’s device, whether it’s a desktop or an iPad, thus eliminating the need for device-specific apps.

It looks superb and works really well. And it certainly sets “a new Standard” – the original Toronto Standard last published in 1850, as a printed newspaper, having lasted just two years in business!

If you’re interested in finding out more about adding adaptive elements for your website, Net. magazine also has a good tutorial.

Just installed the new Opera Mini browser app for the iPhone – no wonder it’s the No.1 free app on 22 national iTunes charts. Very quick, easy to use – knocks spots off Safari. Free from the iTunes store.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Opera Mini sings on the iPhone“, posted with vodpod

Just how significant are developments like the iPhone and Google Android? Mary Meeker (pictured), the highly respected head of investment ban Morgan Stanley’s global technology research team, says in her latest “State of the Internet” report that mobile net usage and adoption of Apple devices driven by 3G technology is growing far faster than desktop usage did. If you’re interested in the digital economy and how mobile devices, along with social media, are changing the way we communicate and do business, this 87 page report report is a must-read.

If we’re not all swooning enough over the iPad, today’s details of what’s coming in iPhone OS 4.0 (which the iPad will run too). I haven’t time to digest everything Steve Jobs revealed today but according to Macworld:

The ability to run multiple apps, folders for organizing your mobile applications, and Mail improvements lead the major changes coming in the next version of the iPhone operating system.

It continued:

iPhone 4.0 boasts more than 100 new user features, such as playlist creation, 5x digital zoom in the camera app, tap-to-focus for video, auto photo-geotagging, the addition of Places functionality, the ability to change the Home screen wallpaper, improved spell-checking, and support for Bluetooth keyboards. Many of the features added are already available on the iPad, which currently runs iPhone OS 3.2.

The OS update, which is available as a developer build now for app makers, will arrive in consumers’ hands in the summer. Not all devices will be able to reap all the benefits of iPhone 4.0. Owners of the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch should be able to run all the features, but iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch owners will only support some of the features—for instance, those devices will not be able to use the multitasking features that highlight the update.

There’s a full rundown of all the features at You can replay Jobs’ keynote here.

smartphone payoff

Posted: February 24, 2010 in internet, iPhone, Technology

This is one of the most impressive iPhone apps I’ve come across. Square is a smartphone payment system being developed by Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter. They are developing similar systems for Android and Blackberry too. Very cool!

ipad? idunno …

Posted: January 27, 2010 in iPhone, Mac, Technology

So after all the hype and hoopla it’s … an iPad. But what are we to make of Apple’s self-styled “magical” new tablet device?

Maybe it was because so many of the rumours proved pretty spot-on or that we’ve such high expectations of Apple that despite the best efforts of Jobs and Co., this felt distinctly underwhelming in many respects. When Jobs started raving about “really great” Calendar and Contacts features, you could almost hear the sound of straws being grasped.

Obviously until we get one in our hands to play with, it’s impossible to offer a true judgement of the iPad but … well, there was no real “wow” factor that made you want to order one there and then like the iPhone, even before the advent of the App Store.

To be sure, those geek journalists who have played with it say that its speed, touch and vibrant screen have to be seen to be believed and clearly the launch demos of the New York Times, games, books, Brushes and iWork simply hint at the potential of the device. Most of us could not, for example, have imagined the range of apps available at the first iPhone launch.

The gorgeous-looking e-reader and iBooks aspect looks like a potential Kindle killer while its format and flexibility could yet save the newspaper industry from itself. Having video and games in this portable format will clearly be awesome too.

The pricing is certainly competitive but give it a year and capacity will increase and prices will surely drop further. Quite how Bermuda’s carriers will rip us off for data on this remains to be seen or indeed whether we’ll be able to do it on a non-contract basis as Apple has established in the US.

And yet while the iPad fulfills many of the wishes of those of us who, when first picking up an iPhone thought, “this is fantastic – but how much better it would be if you could do all this on a bigger screen”, it still seems lacking in so many areas.

First off the screen just looks ugly – the huge bezel is off-putting and the screen ratio looks odd. Torn between being a book reader and a movie screen, at first glance it seems to fall unsatisfactorily between the two but maybe in the flesh it might not seem as off-putting.

My biggest disappointments were that for an oversized iPod Touch, it repeated many of the same omissions. Something this size should arguably be more of a netbook than a Touch. You still can’t multi-task, you are still restricted to the Safari mobile browser which STILL doesn’t support Flash and there’s no camera. The phone I can live without but to still omit the other features that users have been crying out for seems odd.

The biggest letdown was the content delivery system. Anyone who has used the Kindle is blown away by how easily and seamlessly Whispersync works. The concept of building in WiFi and 3G connectivity costs into the cost of downloaded content seems a smart idea that can only get better. With the iTunes, App and now iBooks stores, you would have thought Apple would be in a very strong position to push this concept further but users will be asked to fork over an extra $130 for 3G functionality and between $15 and $30 a month for data (in the US). Now compared to cell phone data costs, that’s not a bad deal but surely the Amazon model is the way to go?

I’m not au fait with the ins and outs of the US telecom business and Apple’s relationship with AT&T but I would be interested to know why they went with this model – it was amusing to hear the audience audibly sink when Jobs announced Apple was continuing with AT&T which has taken so much flak for its poor 3G network in the US!

Anyway, to sum up, I think the New York Times’ David Pogue said it best: “Like the iPhone, the iPad is really a vessel, a tool, a 1.5-pound sack of potential. It may become many things.”

For now, as with most Apple products, I’m going to sit and salivate until the 2nd generation version hits the stores.

Meanwhile, for more in-depth iPad coverage, go visit MacLife, Engadget or Gizmodo.