PlayStation 5 User Experience Revealed

For the last few months Sony and Microsoft have slowly been revealing more and more information about their next gen consoles, but we hadn’t seen anything at all yet on what the PlayStation 5 would look like once you booted it up. Last week, Sony released a brief video detailing the new experience and some of the new features coming with the PS5 in November.

A prominent feature of the new user experience is a cards-based interface that appears when you press the PS button. The cards allow quick access to recent and suggested content and features and leverage a new concept called “Activities” that Sony hopes will help gamers discover new gameplay features. Some of the activities shown off include party features, social sharing, and highlighting particular in game objectives complete with tasks list, percentage complete, and (for PlayStation Plus users only) in game video hints.

While the cards UI looks great, the success of the feature will be heavily dependent on developers to come up with creative and useful ways to utilize the game-specific activities. I’m not sure yet whether it’ll take off beyond Sony first party titles or if it will be useful for all game genres. If it doesn’t take off within games, the cards could still turn out to be good ways to provide quick contextual options for access system features but only time will tell.

For me personally, as long as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X allow me to get in and out of the games I want to play quickly I am happy to see them experiment with what “next gen” could mean for the rest of the user experience.

LG Wing dual screen rotating phone is surprisingly interesting

This upcoming new phone from LG looks hilariously stupid at first glance, but The Verge’s hands-on actually shows some decently real use cases where the form factor could be nice. I was surprised by the thinness of both the front rotating screen and over the overall device.

I can’t imagine how this thing will hold up after months of use, but pretty cool to see some of the ways companies are reimagining phones thanks to some cool new tech.

apple-sketch-notes

New Apple Pencil Features

Been using the Apple Pencil for almost two years now and am super excited about the new Pencil UI features coming in iOS 14. Between Scribble, paste handwriting as text, smart selection, shape recognition, and more there are big improvements coming for the Pencil both as a UI tool as well as specifically for handwriting and drawing. The Sweet Setup has a great look into the implementation of the new Apple Pencil features both in Apple Notes & GoodNotes.

Worth a look to see what’s coming this Fall.

Apple iWatch concept design

Incredibly appealing design concept for the mythical iWatch by Todd Ham. Looks like a mix of a iOS 7 and an incredible screen on a Nike Fuelband form factor.

Looks fantastic but I’d probably cut another 50% of the functionality demoed and simplify even further. My guess is Apple will too. If they ever do actually release an iWatch my hunch is that it would be a phone companion device focused on health/fitness and won’t tackle tasks such as initiating calls. I also hope it would have a 10x more helpful lock screen than just a clock.

Embeddable, interactive iOS app previews using App.io

App.io (which used to be Kickfolio) allows users to create interactive previews of your iPhone and iPad apps. Not sure exactly how its working but pretty darn cool. Check out Airbnb example below:

I think this will be overkill for a lot of apps where simple screenshots will work, but it’s amazing tech and would be useful for certain types of apps that might need a little more in-depth explanation/preview before a person is willing to plunk down 2 bucks.

I would not recommend using App.io if you’ve got a free app. Get those potential customers to the App Store as quickly as possible to download your app and that can be the “demo”. I will be trying App.io out soon, as much to see how it works as anything and will post my thoughts about it afterwards.

Since iBeacon was (or reannounced) at the iPhone 5s reveal, I’ve been super intrigued by the opportunities it could create for cool app ideas. Major League Baseball is now using iBeacons in their MLB.com At the Ballpark app to provide some cool hyperlocal location stuff for fans when their at the stadium.