I was invited on for a few minutes with Matt Cooper on TodayFM's Last Word last week, and the piece was broadcast last Thursday at 6.30. Topics include: • What's an 'iPhone App Developer' • What sort of apps I make • How I got into development • What's attractive about the iPhone • What's the attraction for people to download apps • How do I get applications on Apple's store • Apple Test Process • How hard is it to find apps • Pricing / Income • Is the iPhone the way of the future • Touched on iPhoneOS 3.0 announcement • Value for money • How difficult is it to write apps for iPhone In a completely unrelated note, it appears I have 'won' the internet. All your base are belong to me? Thanks Andy Ihnatko!
We're about thirteen hours away from seeing the new iPhone 3.0 software, and excitement is running high. Lots of rumours are saying that Copy/Paste is a certainty. I think they're right. What else could iPhone 3.0 bring to current iPhones? Here's what I think: - A new SpringBoard? A SpringBoard redesign to better handle multiple applications would be nice; multiple categories of apps, with a shelf at the bottom and arrow buttons to navigate through the categories with animations similar to Time Machine. The usual Dock would be visible with a swipe on the center dot in the status bar, and is grown to accommodate two rows of icons. - Background Apps? Possible background apps, up to three; they 'minimize' to the shelf. Here's a Photoshop mockup of how I'd imagine 3.0 to look (drew this myself): - Copy/Paste? Kevin Rose seems to know his stuff; a doubletap on a word would bring up a roundrect loupe with quotation marks that you could drag around a selection and copy/cut. I think it will only work in certain applications, however. - Developer APIs? It would be nice to see a Maps API; although if there is one I'd be pretty sure it's not Google Maps and instead Apple's own renderings due to licensing. A Search API would be possible too, as would Core Data and Cocoa Bindings. There is definitely to be a digital compass in the next iPhone, according to whispers, so CoreLocation will sprout magnetometer support. - SDK? The iPhone 3.0 SDK will likely require Snow Leopard to run, especially if new language features like blocks and GCD come to 3.0. I'm guessing Apple will release a beta SDK for Leopard tomorrow, but only the beta SDKs will run on Leopard, not the final. - Codename? Hearing the word 'Kirkwood' bandied about a bit. Take that as you will… I'm really looking forward to seeing whether any of my wish list above comes true; I have St. Patrick's Day to worry about instead, but hopefully I'll be able to tune into Engadget's liveblog of the event.
I've been lax in blogging about my recent media coverage; ever so sorry! I've been in the Irish Independent and GadgetRepublic a couple of times thanks to the lovely Marie Boran. Check the links out: Playing to win big on the iTunes App Store App Store secrets: what they know that we don't In Programming Mode Also I might possibly be on TodayFM (100-102MHz) in the next couple days; I'm heading over to their recording studios tomorrow afternoon so that should be fun! In other news, I just redesigned my website so that it's a little more visual now. There are some issues with Internet Explorer (that I just haven't bothered to check out as I don't have a Windows machine), but it works great in Safari/Chrome/Firefox. Check it out if you get the chance!
I spent this evening redesigning Nuker for its 2.0 release (used Louie Mantia's latest awesome work on Convert as inspiration). Firstly, I had to redesign the input mechanism. Apple do not supply a keyboard for inputting IP addresses, instead you must use the full keyboard. I went ahead and coded up my own, similar to what I'm planning for the Android version (as sliding open the keyboard on the G1 sucks bigtime). As an added usability bonus, you can now shake the iPhone to erase the IP address instead of using the delete key. Nice time saver that no-one will ever use! For those who aren't sure how it works, I've embedded a demo video of the app in action below. Remember that it only works against the original Windows XP release!
Last weekend I decided to go and order myself a 'proper' monitor for my varying devices and design work instead of putting up with the ancient flat panel I'd been using for the past ten years. Looking around a bit, I found that Dell offered the 1920x1080 beasts that I desired; I wanted to have native HD instead of scaling it to 1920x1200. I went for their budget HD monitor, the S2209W (a 6-bit 21.5" widescreen). When I saw that it was only €185, I just had to go for it. Well it arrived today, and it's simply awesome! The screen quality is good, better than you'd expect for a 6-bit panel - it's hard to notice but you might see some dithering in static images. It's much lighter than I expected - all monitors I've handled up to now have been heavy, but this one is light as a feather in comparison. It doesn't include any special features, no USB, no HDMI, simply a standard VGA and DVI connector, supporting HDCP, naturally, so you can use it with PlayStation 3. The image quality is amazing due to the high pixel density; 1080p movies look really beautiful on it. I can't wait for Bolt's release to Blu-Ray, as I really want to watch it again on this. It's funny, having a HD monitor (or any HD screen) just makes me want to re-enjoy movies I've seen before, if I can find them in HD. It makes even the worst film ("White Chicks" anyone?) seem worth watching! ;-) All in all, I'm really happy with it. It may be a budget monitor, but it just feels great, and is certainly cheaper than Apple's 24".
I'm planning a minor update to Speed at the moment, version 1.1. I've had a lot of feedback saying to bring back the leather stitching, which I'd removed to try and make the app design more cohesive (the app itself matched nicely with the icon), but if it's what you want I'll do it =) I'm also working on other bits and pieces, making the display more legible, and hopefully getting some improved artwork. I'm planning on including an option for warning when you pass a certain (settable) speed - I think I have a nice way of doing that that will not interfere with the streamlined look of the application. Also, just for those interested (aka rwillis3427), Speed v2.0 is planned for late June / early July (and will be dependent on the next version of the iPhone OS), and will be a free upgrade to all existing users of Speed. There's a lot going into the 2.0 release, so keep an eye out for sneak previews on Twitter every now and then. Here's an interim screenshot of Speed 1.1:
Today Apple introduced/refreshed seven products at once: • New iMac • New Mac mini • New Mac Pro • Updated MacBook Pro (speed bump) • New Apple Keyboard • New Airport Extreme • New Time Capsule I can't remember the last time so much was introduced at once, but the company is certainly not the Apple Computer of yore! Random notes: • The baseline iMac now has been demoted to an integrated graphics chip (although it is the acceptable nVidia 9400m) • The Mac Pro and high-end iMac are using the nVidia 9500 and 9600 graphics cards, rebranded the GTS 120 and GTS 130 • The Mac mini can now drive the 30" display (and is a powerful little machine!) • Mac Pro comes with 3GB RAM by default, with only €139 needed to upgrade to 6GB. Seems relatively cheap to me? • Disappointed the black+aluminium theme hasn't come to the Mac Pro or mini All throughout 2008 I was hoping to get the next Mac Pro refresh, but in the end I don't think I will; the graphics card is a generation behind already (I'd fancy a GTX280 in it, naturally) and the design is dated. It's also a lot more expensive than from when I priced my spec machine last year. Oh well =)