Posts Tagged iPhone

Cinemagram, a must have app

Well this is not a shameless plug because it is not for me, but actually for a friend of mine. For the past month he has been working very hard on his iPhone application and for having seen the progress along the way, I can say that it is awesome work. The application is called Cinemagram and it is made to easily build cinemagraph with your mobile phone. Cinemagraph are still pictures where only a small part of it is moving.  To do them it would usually require an image editing software and a lot of manipulations, but the app makes it really easy to do right with your phone. Anyway, I think that for 2$ you can have a lot of fun building cinemagraphs, so go buy the app and help some indie devs!

Here are some example of cinemagraphs done with the app:

Blow ball cinemagraph

 

 

If you want to see more you can go to the Cinemagr.am website.

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Analytics for Mobile Applications : a good idea, six months too late

So yesterday I was talking with my friend that does iPhone applications about what data he gets from Apple about the applications he builds. It turns out that aside from the number of sales, he doesn’t have any data. I found this weird and we started talking about how it wouldn’t be that hard to build a kind of Google Analytics for Mobile Applications. In a sense, it would be very similar to the library GA for Flash except that you build a library for every Mobile SDK plus you have a webserver where the data is analysed.

It took so much time for a library of analytics to be made for Flash, I thought there might be a chance that nobody did anything like this for mobiles. So we got all excited (like so many other time), we started thinking how we would build this. But today I searched on the web and found Flurry a company that has an analytics division that does exactly this. Well not exactly how I would do it but about 85% the same. So my bubbles is a bit busted.

Flurry does it mostly right but their interface is a bit complicated and they didn’t make their analytics that specific to mobiles. There are plenty of concepts that exist in the mobile world that are new: what people do in their first and last run of the application, the number of tap (click with fingers) by session, the accelerometer, etc. And they don’t track that, yet. Also they provide an  API for events, but not for navigation (pageViews in the GA world). I think navigation still has an important role in the analytics of an application than in the analytics of a website. You want to know what the users did in a certain section of your app (how many taps in the help section for example).

So all of that could be implemented and would give a better service than what Flurry is offering. The problem is that their platform is already built and even if there is not much competition (they seem to be the only ones doing this), it would still be hard to beat their momentum.

So what do you think? Should I invest time in this project knowing these risks, or should I let this go and wait for another idea?

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The iPad and me

I don’t really like to do opinion pieces. On the subject of technology, like religion, sometimes it doesn’t really matter what you say; both sides never really listen to each other. I don’t want to add another pointless my side is better than yours article. But I think it is sad when people say that such and such is bad and should die. Like it is currently the case with Flash and the whole iPad brouhaha. What I think these people don’t consider is the human impact behind this.

If Flash was to go away tomorrow, I’d find myself without a job. Well, I’d need time to learn another language and then I’d find another job but it wouldn’t be the same thing. I am really glad I found Flash and ActionScript 3. This is what I want to do for at least the next 5-10 years. What I like about it is that it speaks to both my programmer and creative side. It is also fast-paced; in the web agency world, you move from projects to projects really fast and you have to keep up with technology at the same time. It might seems weird but I really like that; no time to get bored. If it wasn’t for Flash, I don’t think think I would love my job as much as I do.

After the iPad announcement I found myself a bit confused and stressed about my future. The future of Flash seemed uncertain so my future seemed uncertain to. Not uncertain because of the evolution of technology (like HTML5) but because a company decided what the outcome should be. If all Apple products stop supporting Flash, this is not good news to me. What possibilities I had would lessen. Some would say that I shouldn’t tie myself to a technology, I know, and if I have too I will learn something knew, but as I said before I really like Flash. That made me think that it’s not only companies that can choose who gets to live or to fade (technology wise). Us, as developers, can put our weight in the balance too. As long as there will be people producing get content for the Flash platform, it will continue to thrive. If I like Flash that much, I must not be alone and from reading all those article that take Flash’s defense, I think I am right. So I feel more at ease now. The future is still uncertain but certainly less gloomy.

One last thing about the iPad. Zeldman in his post states that the computer of tomorrow is a computer that is dead simple but that in return doesn’t give all powers over it for the sake of usability, like the iPhone and the iPad do. I think that a portion of the population in fact wants that. Right now this portion might be big, but I think it will shrink because it doesn’t consider that the children that are raised right now have never seen the time when there was no computers. These will be way more computer literate than my parents lets say. For that I think a device like the iPad is closer to a toy than to a tool. If it wanted to dominate the netbook market, than it will fail. We don’t really know what is the role the netbook is going to take, but by making one that is limited in its usage, you also reduce your chance of getting it right.

Well that’s all I had to say.

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What Steve Jobs really means about the iPhone and Flash

It’s been a hot topic these days and I thought I would add my two bits to it all.

I didn’t think I would write about this but then something struck me. It’s funny the angle this story took because when you step back a bit you knida see something else. The first thing you have to look at is the fact that the iPhone displays a website in its original version (not flash website) not the mobile one. I think that is a really nice feature that the iPhone has. I think that it is because of that fact that the whole story about Flash not being on the iPhone started. Steve Jobs doesn’t want is iPhone to deliver disminished web content, we get that. That rules out FlashLite from being used; also it wouldn’t fit well with HTML content being rendered normally and rich content being rendered with FlashLite instead of Flash. No developper would want to have yet another platform to develop for. Now here is the point I find funny; Steve Jobs says that “the version of Flash formatted to personal computers is too slow on the iPhone” but what that really mean is that the iPhone is not powerfull enough to output Flash content fast enough. From the angle that the media puts it, Flash is not good enough but Flash as nothing to do with it, what it should trully say is that the iPhone is not powerfull enough to render Flash at a decent pace. But I think I would have made the same thing if I was in his shoes, put the finger at somebody else, no one in is rigthfull mind would say is product is not strong enough…

Well that was it, it all came from the fact that the iPhone stands in the middle point, too strong for mobile content but not enough for full web content. I don’t know if will come soon, but I sure hope so

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