Ever since iTunes, Apple has been on a path to move away from the desktop metaphor they pioneered.
It used to be the case that to find a file/document/app, you would start with the Finder and find your thing.
But iTunes changed all of that. Don’t look for a song in the Finder. Find your data in the app. It all starts with the App.
(It’s probably one of the reasons I don’t use iTunes or iPhoto anymore. I use Lightroom so i can keep the file system i want for my photos and videos. )
Apple accelerated this change in iOS. In iOS the file system is completely hidden from the user. For example, text documents live in your various apps like Simplenote or Evernote.
Some third party app developers give users the option when creating content. They keep your content in their app by default but also send it to things like the Camera Roll (apple’s photo app).
As an example, in the preferences, Foursquare allows users to also save photos taken in their app to the Camera Roll as well. Twitter does this by default. (Instagram used to have this feature but I can’t find it anymore)
Unfortunately I’m seeing more and more apps keep their content within the walls of their app. For example, Camera+ is one of the coolest photo apps on iOS. But the reason I won’t use it, is because it saves all photos within their own app. The only way to get them out is the slowly, export them one by one to the camera roll. (Update: @kirklove in the Tumblr notes below, pointed out that Camera+ gives the users a choice)
My new favorite iOS app is VSCO Cam. It’s easy and super fast. I also love their high quality, beautiful grainy-film like filters (been enjoying their filters in Lightroom). But again, photos are locked up in their app. Getting them out to the camera roll is really painful.
Maybe we all needed to move on past the desktop metaphor.
I’m okay starting with the app first and then find your content & data second.
But I miss the days when a .jpg was a .jpg and available to all.
It’s interesting to look at various social networks and communities and how we interact with them — particularly how we interact with services that are by default public as well as private apps. Another interesting dynamic are services where we use our real name vs pseudonyms.
I find it’s interesting some services lend themselves to be more aspirational while others lend themselves to be more “authentic”. I was talking to an entrepreneur the other day and he was telling me that he is extremely careful about what he posts on public networks because hes trying to maintain a particular image & “brand”.
Pinterest has built a very popular service which is aspirational as well as authentic. I’m not an active Pinterest user so it’s not clear to me whether most users tend to use it more aspirationally vs authentically (ie functionally). My casual observation is it’s more aspirational.
If you look at Kik, all of the content is authentic. Content in your messaging isn’t about sharing what you aspire to be, or how your public image/profile is being perceived. It is what it is.
I look at Foursquare as heavily leaning towards the authentic side of things. I’m sharing my location with people I know personally.
Let me start by listing the things I don’t like about the Nexus 7:
-It’s not as fast as the iPad 3. The UI feels laggy at times
-There is no built in LTE
-The screen isn’t retina
-The case google sells for this thing is crazy ugly. I can’t get myself to buy their version so I’m gonna see if I can find a nice sleeve on etsy or svpply.
-Some of my favorite iOS ipad apps don’t work on the Nexus, eg. HBO Go, Simplenote, IA Writer, just to name a few.
Sounds like a pretty bad start, right?
But so far I love this thing.
To make up for the lack of LTE, I enabled the hotspot feature on my iPhone. Yeah, tethering is not as good as built in LTE, but it works fine.
The 7” form factor is the best. It super easy to carry. It’s nice to be able to type on a tablet without having to put it down on a desk or lap. I hold the phone in portait orientation when I type and just use my thumbs — sort of like a big phone. Very easy.
I prefer reading apps (Instapaper, NYT, Kindle, Flipboard) on the Nexus 7 over the iPad because of the form factor.
Battery life is great.
On the weekends, I almost always have my camera with me and I carry it in this bag. The iPad doesn’t fit in this bag but the Nexus 7 does.
I’m very pleased with the Nexus 7. It’s my favorite Android powered device. Let’s see how long it can keep me away from the iPad
“That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.”—
I went a little nuts and bought the top of the line config: 16 gigs of RAM (!) and a 750GB SSD.
This thing is a screamer.
The Retina MacBook Pro replaces my trusty 13” MacBook Air
This display is under hyped. Its absolutely beautiful.
It’s nice having a full, no compromise computer.
Using Lightroom on this thing is wonderful. My photos look stunning.
I have all my photos and home videos on this Retina MBP. I back it all up to the cloud using CrashPlan. I upload all my photos to PictureLife. Videos goto Dropbox and Cloudee. All my work and personal docs are sync’d between the Retina MBP and the iMac in my office using Dropbox. Its nice not use to the “selective sync” dropbox feature anymore.
I’m finding WiFi to be more reliable than the MBA.
My 13” Macbook Air’s fans were very noisy. The Retina MBP is quiet.
I don’t have any plans on installing MS Office.
The only MS desktop app I installed was Skype.
I’ve got Chrome installed but it hasn’t been updated for retina. So I’m using mostly Safari.
It’s such a treat to have 3 retina displays in my life: iPhone 4S, iPad 3, and the Retina MBP. Makes me hate my TV all the more. The flickering Kindle is dead to me.
The size and weight of the Retina MBP isn’t problematic. Yet the size of this machine is very noticeable which makes the iPad use case more obvious to me.
I haven’t been able to convince Lauren to upgrade her MacBook Pro which means I need to get these silly magsafe adapters.
I haven’t felt this way about a Mac in a long long time.
“Now let’s look at servces where the users provide all the value. Wikipedia, Craigslist, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordpress, etc, etc. There is no value to any of these platforms if the users don’t create the content. The users create the service, curate it, and make it what it is. I do not believe it makes sense to charge users to create the value.”—A VC: In Defense Of Free
The Karelia logo was inspired by events that occurred shortly after Dan Wood created Watson. The application was designed as a complement to Apple’s existing Sherlock 2 application, providing users various plug-ins to view specific internet content. Watson was released in November 2001, and the popularity of the program grew quickly.
Wood was later invited to a meeting at Apple, in which he was shown a demo of Sherlock 3, which incorporated the same look and nearly all of the modules featured in Watson. After voicing his displeasure to Apple Developer Relations, Wood received a phone call from Steve Jobs, during which Jobs indicated that he saw Karelia as the handcar in the way of the steam train that owns the tracks (a very similar experience to that of Cabel Sasser of Panic Software). Despite this setback, Karelia Software has continued to create popular Mac software and has since incorporated the train tracks and handcar into their logo.
The story became known to developers as “Getting Sherlocked”. Third parties getting trounced by the big platform.
Building interesting desktop apps for MacOS or Windows always came with the getting sherlocked risk.
But with the web, developers have learned to build on top of each other. Consider Amazon Web Services, or Twilio, or Mongo.
Yet the desire for the bigco to try and crush the little co seems to be a constant.
Recently, Google launched Google Drive. It’s clear they don’t want Dropbox to be the category leader in file sharing and sync. Even though Dropbox on Android is superior to Dropbox on iOS.
Google basically bolted Google Drive on to their existing popular Google Docs. Here is the big honking Google Drive promotion in my Google Docs dashboard.
If I’m Dropbox, I’m not loving this.
But here’s the thing. Dropbox is still a much better product in my opinion. It just works. And their iOS app is better than Google Drive’s iOS app.
This morning I got up quite early and read through 4 pitch decks from entrepreneurs. All of them contained a Dropbox link. None of them had a Google Drive link.
As I mentioned in this twitter thread, I’m a big fan of Google in general. They have built extraordinary products and have made even more extraordinary acquisitions with Android and YouTube. That’s the Google I love.
I don’t love when a big company bolts on an app to an existing product line specifically to nuke a competitor. That’s what Google Drive feels like to me.
And for that reason I’m a loyal, happily paying Dropbox user.
I’ve been using a Retina MacBook Pro for one week, only as a secondary computer, and I’ve already changed my font, redesigned my narrow layout’s header, and conditionally replaced an image with text. I’ve noticed that fonts, especially, respond extremely differently on the Retina screen: many of my old, non-Retina choices simply didn’t look good, and many fonts and metrics that were previously poor for screen use can be used nicely on Retina screens.
“and so here I am: still standing in the arena, in hand-to-hand combat with demons mostly of my own making, aiming to make a small dent in the universe. nowhere near a great success story, yet fighting the good fight and perhaps helping others to achieve greatness as I attempt a bit of my own. I’ll be 46 in a month, well past the age when most folks have already shown what they’re made of. but I’m still grasping for that brass ring.”—
When we interact with our phones we get to interact with applications that are often built in less than a year. Many times these apps are built within 6months.
That’s the gift Apple gave to the world.
It wasn’t long ago when VCs and entreprenuers dreaded the idea of building software for mobile phones. It was a nightmare. Your app could work on one specific Samsung phone for Verizon but not ATT. And it was if you were lucky and approved.
Today, every time we touch a software product, it’s obvious if the app took 5 years or 6 months.
The built in navigation and user interface on my car? Designed in many years ago and sucks. The app on my mobile phone that tells me where to have lunch coming home on my weekend road trip in a random place? Less than 6 months and awesome.
This afternoon we watched the Spain v Italy Eurocup final on our Verizon DVR box. I set it up last week. It took about 15 clicks through the remote to set it up properly (including selecting all the options just in case the game went long or in case the DVR wanted to delete the game to make room).
And 20 minutes into watching the recorded game, the DVR froze. Then it locked up. I had to restart the box. When the box came back on, the TV tuned to the live game which and we all saw the scoreboard, 2-0. Fuck.
The whole point of recording the game was so we could watch it start to finish.
There is a part of me that feels bad for Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. They are relying on these god-awful designers at dinosaur companies to build them boxes and software designed years ago. And they are dreadful. They can’t be happy to put this stuff in front of their subscribers every day.
I don’t know how you could possibly design a consumer product so many years in advance. The world moves to fast to assume you have a clue about what users want that far off into the future. The only time it works I suppose is if you are building something so audacious where you keep the quality bar obscenely high.
The days of building proprietary apps for proprietary platforms which require broken timelines are over.
We consumers are done with that model and we are moving on.