File management and iOS apps

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. 

Went to see The Head and The Heart play last night at the Royale in Boston last night with @laurensabet and some good friends.

We saw them last fall when they were in town last and at the same venue.

They played pretty much the entire debut record and some new stuff too. An amazing band and they had us all dancing and singing along. Loved every minute of it.

(Olympus OMD E-M5 | ISO 5000, 50mm, 1/100, f/6.3)

How do you participate on social networks?

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.

People tweet for different reasons. I tend to just let them fly

Same with Tumblr. When you I write down things like this and this, I do it for me first and then for you (if  you care). 

That’s one of the reasons I love Timehop. The value of Timehop increases the more transparent and authentic each user is on various social apps.

I’m not suggesting there is only one way to use social apps. There is something to said for each type of use case. 

But in my own experience, you truly get what you give.