Page 2 of 5

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.

Blue: Revolutionizing Baseball Watching with Google Glass

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIVieBzP3gk?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent&w=760&h=428]

First time time I’ve ever been interested in Google Glass. Amazing HUD app Blue for watching MLB games while stats and more are overlaid using glass. Really does look like it could change the way us nerds watch baseball. Bonkers futuristic stuff.

NPR’s Planet Money podcast covers Facebook from a couple interesting sides. First an interesting story of a New Orleans pizza place wanting to do some Facebook advertising and then the second half of the show features a despicable company that sells likes to companies who have no clue why one is valuable.

RIM Reveals Blackberry 10

RIM has finally shown off the long awaited (and delayed) Blackberry 10 and the interface looks like a mix of a little Windows Metro, a little WebOS, and even a little Facebook thrown in for good measure. Overall it looks like there are some solid ideas and a heavy reliance on gestures, but based on the limited reveal it’s hard to tell how well it’s all coming together.

Check out a video overview of Blackberry 10 from The Verge below:

It’s still a ways from launch but right now the home screen tiles, messaging, and phone calls all have different feeling UIs and seem like they could each be from a different operating system. The camera app certainly has a lot of “wow factor.” The reliance on gestures is also interesting, as a tech geek it appeals to me but studies show the average user has an incredibly difficult time with gesture based interfaces and gesture discoverability is low.

From a development side of thing, Blackberry 10 will support apps developed with C/C++ but is also pushing their WebWorks SDK hard. WebWorks will allow devs to build apps that integrate with core Blackberry functionality using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. If WebWorks works as advertised it could lower the barrier of entry and help bring app developers aboard that would otherwise ignore the platform.

Blackberry 10 is awfully late to the party. With WebOS already dead and Windows Phone struggling to make a sales dent, will BB10 be able to be keep up at all with iPhone and Android? It’s going to take great software, hardware, app and media ecosystem, and a whole lot of marketing to spur renewed interest from either consumers or app developers. They’ve got a long way to go and good interface ideas won’t be enough.

Measuring Android Version Fragmentation

android-fragmentationandroid-fragmentation
Comparing Android version market share and adoption rates over time.

Android fragmentation is a dirty little buzzword you’ve likely heard everywhere from Angry Birds to Steve Jobs and probably in strategy meetings with us here at MarketNet about that big app idea your company has.

Just what exactly is fragmentation and how big of a problem is it for Android and your project? Chris Sauve at pxldot has done a great job summarizing and charting the issue on his blog post Android Measuring Stick.

One of the best things about Google’s Android operating system is that it’s open source and available for other developers and device manufacturers to pretty much do whatever they’d like with it. That means we can get cool things like fitness accessories and Fossil watches powered by Android, but it also means that there’s no one true version of Android out there that to develop for.

Right now there are three versions of Android still out there in numbers large enough to require support, and that’s ignoring the brand new Android 4.0 (also called Ice Cream Sandwich) that was released in November and is currently running on about 1% of Android devices. It’s easy to predict that in just a month or two there will be four versions of Android out there, each with huge numbers of users. Even if version 2.1 (Eclair) is “only” at a 7.6% share, with the number of total Android devices out there numbering in the hundreds of millions that is a lot of potential customers you could be turning away if your site or app doesn’t work with that version. Add in the diversity of screen sizes available and you’re starting to understand what a difficult and important issue market fragmentation can be for a mobile project.

Google Chrome Coming to Android Devices*

Google Chrome is finally coming to Android phones and tablets. A beta is available for download now if you’re one of the lucky few already running Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich (hence the asterisk* in the post title.) No word on when (or if) Chrome will come to other Android versions or become the operating system’s default browser.

In general the user interface looks very intuitive and clean, particularly the tab view and tab switching functionality. Chrome for Android will also reportedly bring improved performance and better rendering of pages. Plus if you’re signed in with a Google account you can sync things like tabs and bookmarks across devices (phone, tablet, and desktop.)

Get more information and some hands-on impressions over at The Verge.

Update: Chrome for Android won’t support Flash. From Adobe, “Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android Beta does not support Flash content.”

Microsoft Says Goodbye to IE6

ie6-cake-300x200ie6-cake-300x200
Goodbye IE6!

If you’re a web developer, I hope you’re not all partied out from your New Year’s celebrations because there’s an even better reason to celebrate: Internet Explorer 6 usage in the United States has now officially dropped below 1%!

It depends on the project, but there is often little reason to spend the time and money it takes to attempt to provide the exact same experience for users of a 10-year-old browser. Even Microsoft agrees supporting IE6 should be a “low priority.”

Link: The US Says Goodbye to IE6