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If you’ve bought and downloaded the Quad Camera for the iPhone, you know how it can pretty much turn any scene into something cool. My last blog post was just about the Quad Camera, however Takayuki Fukatsu who created the app left a comment mentioning that there’s now also a Quad Animator that will turn Quad Camera images into an animated gif as I’ve shown above.
Once you download the free flash app from http://labs.artandmobile.com/quadanimator/ you’ll want to experiment with turning your jpgs into mini movies. The only catch that I could find is that I had to import my images into iPhoto before they would work with the app. Emailing the images to myself and downloading them to my desktop didn’t work. Aside from that minor quip it’s a really fun way to extend what you’re shooting.
Every couple weeks it seems like there’s a new photo app for the iPhone to talk about. This week is no different after I saw swissmiss mention the Quad Camera. There’s four different settings to take some lomo like images from. If your familiar w/ grids you’ll see the system in play right away. Everything is divisible by fours as I drew out.
I’ve been experimenting with it for 2 days and have been happy with the results. Between the timing and four formats it took a lot a shots to grab four that I liked though. It’s def. a trial and error kind of app. Almost like film where you don’t know what the results are going to be until it’s been shot. But since no real film or chemicals were used in creating those images the only expendable resource used was time. So if you have plenty of that and a good location you’ll have some fun.
While I’m happy to spread the word about apps that I enjoy, Apple would be wise to start an affiliate program cause the only way iphone app info is spreading is via blogs. Kind of makes you wonder if the app business would survive if no one mentioned the iPhone online.
Over the holidays I installed TweetDeck for my MBP and TwitterFon for my iPhone which in turn made Twitter more interesting to me. I’ve been going through cycles with Twitter where it’s been more social, switched over for some sort of info gathering, switched over again for blog content, switched over as an experiment – you get the idea. Exploring different reason to blast something out on Twitter. As a point of reference this post kind of sums up the framework that Twitter created that allowed for TweetDeck and TwitterFon: The irrestistible future of organizing: think of brand as a living system.
If you’re not familiar w/ TweetDeck, it’s a desktop application that refreshes in pretty close to real time. It’s a constant update and flow. It was pretty overwhelming for the first couple of days trying to keep up. That real time flow for me was fascinating to watch, similar to when Twitter set up that live election Topic Feed. Before installing TweetDeck I was somewhat selective with my sources b/c it’s pretty hard to follow 1000’s of feeds in one stream. The great thing about TD is you can create list filters. What that means is I can create a stream that just flows people I know, another that’s just news and another that is everyone. Down the road I’ll probably create a couple more focused filters, but at the moment what I have works for me. Especially the news feed. The constant flow of headlines is great for a news junky like myself. Collecting that list was a bit of a pain, I kind of wished I had come across this wiki that list an enormous list of Journalists, Bloggers & Media Outlets on Twitter before I started. There’s a couple clunky things with TD, especially the scroll buttons. They’re not bug enough for me to drag, but as a stream system it’s pretty useful.
My Twitter app of the moment for my iPhone TwitterFon. It’s got a pretty nice UI with some simple but effective sections. There’s the main window for content flow, but the greatness is how you can find more info off of one tweet. The biggest failure so far with apps that have a UI for the iPhone is the lack of being able to dig deeper into one particular section. If I click on one particular tweet there’s as many useful options as if I had full openess on my MBP. Actually, I think TwitterFon has a better UI than Twitter itself. Nice additions include geo tagging and allowing to attach images. It’s actually more work to do the same thing on a laptop. Who knew that a mobile app could make things easier than it’s laptop counterpart. I could go on, but I think the above screen shots give you the idea.
After my less than great experience trying to create and decode some QR codes from a past post on my iPhone I had all but given up on grabbing info via a lens and converting that into meaningful information. Sure there was Shazam that could identify music but I’ve never felt the need to use it much. I figured if there was a song on tv I probably didn’t want to know who sang it anyways and most of my music is streamed online so I tend to know who it is. But it’s still cool app. And then I was tipped off to an even cooler app from Callie Neylan when she visited NYC over the weekend. She mentioned SnapTell which allows an iPhone user to take a picture of book, dvd or video game cover and convert that info into something you can save and if you want – purchase online. The fact that there’s an app that can do just that is pretty convenient, but the online info about prices and searches it can do afterwards is pretty dangerous. It’s insanely easy to buy stuff.
I don’t know if there’s already a term out there for those type of ambient search grabs – but if there is please let me know. While I was shooting books I wondered that if an app can grab that type of info, what’s the need for barcodes? Now if only there was a wine app to grab detailed label info we’d be set.
Wanting to take a look back so I can figure out how to proceed with 2009, I grabbed a bunch of notable posts that I thought were worth spending a bit more time with. Below each image I’ve made a note now that I’ve had some time away from each of the original posts. Here’s to the new year and thanks for visiting, and linking and commenting and…
This seemed like a great idea at the time, trade my shuffle with someone else and hear some new music. I ended up trading but due to my own business it took way too long to trade back with her. I learned my lesson – anyone else want to try trading?
I wanted to combine some of my photography with a listing of location. Another idea with good intentions, problem was it took a lot of time to map it out and I had no way of exporting the data offline if I wanted to. So after a while I stopped posting to that map.
This was before things really took off with Obama, I had seen the Hope graphic floating around the web but this was the first image I saw of it actually on the streets. A while after that post someone mailed me a couple of the posters. That was a very good day.
There was an interesting discussion after I posted this – unfortunately when I installed Disqus after the fact that comment stayed in the old database of comments. In effect the person was objecting to the commercialization of the idea of the Ghost Bike. At the time I was pretty much on the opposite side thinking that a company shouldn’t have to worry about worry such things. As I’ve walked a lot through the city and seen those white bikes out there, that person may have been correct with their objections.
This project is still going on for a couple weeks, but the number of people that saw it and contacted me after this post was quite amazing. Not sure where this project will end up but up until now it’s been interesting to watch it grow.
There was three events that were sort of art, sort of design that I really enjoyed seeing. One was MoMA’s Design and Elastic Mind Exhibition, Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum and Buckminster Fuller at the Whitney. I would have luved to have blogged more about the last two exhibitions but since they don’t allow photography inside I’ll just mention that it’s a stupid policy that will hurt them more than what it will help. Banksy’s installations would be up there too in really good things to have seen now that I think about it.
Just like the Frietag instruction booklet I mentioned above, Camper’s shoes are a product that other designers should want to strive for. They are perfect for the weather of NYC and never wear out. There’s only two brands of shoes that I buy, Camper and Giraudon.
There’s a lot of really smart stuff in this book. In my top 3 of things to read, and more interestingly I don’t think this book will date itself as much as some of the others along the same genre that came out this year.
For all the chatter of sites that tagged brands, I think Dear Adobe changed the game more so than any other UGC site. If I was wanting to study site concepts for company’s, this is where I would start. And no, Adobe didn’t design the site.
You may or may not be aware that with the latest iPhone update let’s you download podcasts directly from wifi as opposed to having to go through your computer. What’s pretty amazing from my pov is that it took seconds to download 13 mb. I haven’t done any tests but I’m sure it takes longer to do that via my computer. What’s too bad is that as itune’s advances is starting to bloat downloading time from a regular computer. As a friend put it – it’s getting kind of dirty. It’s interesting to take notice that some of the limitations of the iphone are making it as fast to download stuff as it’s tech. superior brother the MBP.
I’ve mentioned some of the podcasts that I regularly listen to here on the blog before, but since a friend asked me this morning what CBC podcasts I listen to, I thought I would post them here again. So if you’re looking for some new culture, tech, art and design ideas – these podcasts might be what you’re looking for.
I was participating in a focus group brainstorm last week for a credit card company that was re-examining their digital and print strategy for 2009. One of the other participants cited www.shifd.com during the evening. Unfortunately we never got passed the log in screen as a bunch of weird things were going on w/ passwords. So after a couple minutes the site was closed w/ out anyone seeing what it did. Fast forward to this week, I was bouncing around twitter when I came across Shifd. Biting the bullet I spent a couple minutes signing up not really knowing what I was going to get. (For the record I’m a fan of first time log in’s where it’s just an email address and password – other info can come later). Once in I was pretty happy w/ what I saw. It was certainly simple, but smart. I’ve been looking at it for a couple days now and I’m actually surprised that I haven’t used it more for simple note taking tasks.
With all that said, the real reason why I wanted to mention this site/app is that it seamlessly integrates both visually and functionally from a MacBook Pro and an iPhone. While cell connection speeds have a long ways to go in terms of data transfer, it’s a pretty smart idea that when a site is designed w/ expectations that someone might use it on their cell. Shifd does a really good job of keeping things consistent and forming to the screen, and even when the cell connection isn’t great it opens quite quickly. I’ll have to revisit this post in a couple months to see if I’m still using it or not, and how the site has actually evolved too.
I’m not sure if it’s a sign that I’m getting older or something else, but I’m slowly finding myself gravitating towards ambient music. Perfect timing as Bloom for the iPhone has just come out. As per usual I was catching up on twitter when I saw this post mentioning Bloom. For four dollars I was curious to see (and hear) what this app was all about.
Just as the Wii makes games easy for everyone, I think Bloom does something similar in creating a mood w/ electronic notes. As someone that knows nothing about music, it’s really impossible to make Bloom sound bad. I really like the simple visual nature of seeing my tapping motion as I make sounds. It’s like playing w/ blocks – you can create an infinite number of patterns or not. Just tape every once in a while makes as much sense as tapping every other second. As a version one it does a lot of nice things. However down the road I’d luv to hear sounds made by dragging or pressure placed on the screen.
Over at Daylife HQ’s this morning in SoHo (444 Broadway for anyone wanting to visit) the building had a fire alarm. At the time I was listening to Portishead in Portishead quite loudly so for the first couple of seconds I thought the siren was part of a song. Once I realized that wasn’t quite the case I said my goodbye’s on IM and proceeded from the top floor to go outside. Hanging out on the street with a couple other people from Daylife I noticed something interesting. Neither of the buildings that were connected to us had to evacuate. More to the point there was a shoe store that was half in our building and half in another. The even bigger picture was that the entire block was essentially connected. If there had been an actual fire I wonder how the other interconnected buildings would have known that there was a fire? I know absolutely nothing about fire alarm systems but I would have hoped that if one alarm had tripped the buildings connected would have sounded the same alarm.
While I do mention my iPhone a lot on DesignNotes I was happy to see that once again I could take some pictures and upload them to flickr ASAP. Along that same line if there had been some sort of real disaster and people were indeed wondering if I was ok and the cell/wifi towers were working I could send some information both visually and wordy via email, sms that would end up in email, flickr, twitter, facebook and friendfeed in a matter of seconds. Small comfort now if I look back and think that only a couple years ago would have been difficult to do w/ out a laptop and a digital camera.
I found a handy iPhone weather site via EverydayUX (which incidentally is a blog you should check out regualarly) that has a nice relative feature. It gives you an approximation on how the following day will compare to the previous day. The iphone url is pretty tough to find at www.wunderground.com so i’ll save you the trouble and mention the iPhone url is i.wund.com/
Ever since I updated my iPhone’s software to 1.1.3 I’ve noticed that I’ve had to recharge it a lot more. It seems that I get the warning indicator a lot more about having 10% power left. I don’t have any scientific proof that this is actually the case but something that I’ve just noticed happening. If you have an iPhone does it seem like the battery is running lower more quickly too?
Comparing how I integrated blogging with other websites only a couple months ago to what I’m doing now with my iPhone – it’s evolved more then I would have first thought. There’s a number of reasons for this. Part of it has to do with me using more platforms to tell my story. Previously it was just flickr and delicious that I would use to integrate content that I created. A number of new sites have come into the fold for me now; facebook, virb (you’ll notice that friends in facebook and virb are quite different – maybe that’s worth a post in itself…), twitter and Tumblr. I use each of those other sites differently and for different period of times of course. What has me most excited is the quick mobile posts that I can now do with Tumblr via my iPhone.
To this point I haven’t really posted anything that noteworthy to Tumblr. Just simple observations when I’m away from my computer. It’s as simple as taking a picture with my iPhone and emailing it to my Tumblr address with the body of the content written in the subject line. It’s the immediacy plus the simple idea that a message noteworthy enough can be typed in a subject line. I do plan at some point to have my Tumblr feed be readable at DesignNotes as a side bar column – but that’s a little ways off.
The other thing that I noticed about my new diagram is how all the different platforms can feed into each other. My blog posts from DesignNotes and my flickr photos can feed into Virb, twitter can be read in facebook, and with a simple rss I can send feeds anywhere else that I want to. It makes a crazy loop that makes my content very universal. People that wouldn’t normally see my photos from flickr might catch them on Virb or Facebook as an example. What this manages to do is build a base of curious people that have their own way of finding content.
I was going to get one sooner or later, it was just a matter of time. There’s a lot of reviews already out there so I’ll try to keep mine short and sweet. While the iPhone is great it’s not perfect which is interesting to note. The most surprising aspect of the iPhone for me is that I use it to listen to music. I’ve been a huge fan of the iPod shuffle and really didn’t have much use for a screen. I didn’t mind managing my music from my MBP. But know that I have the screen, I’m using it all the time to listen too. But another part of that usage is from the fact that I’m surfing the net a lot from the iPhone. I’ll get more into that in a moment. The beef that I have with the music play is that there’s really no way to advance the track to the next one when you’re not using the screen. (from the instructions – Skip to the next song: Click twice quickly) You can turn the volume up from the side, but not the songs.
I really like the browser, but again it’s not perfect. I had high hopes of being able to blog from my iPhone. I can but it’s not easy. I also want to be able to embed my photos from flickr into a blog post. Something about that isn’t working yet and I’m not sure why. The easy get around would be to copy + paste text from flickr, but I can’t copy + paste at all. That kind of functionality is surprising that it’s not available. I’ve heard that this might be improved through an update, but there’s no time limit for it at this point. I also miss the fact that if I want to add a site to delicious that there’s no button on the toolbar to press for a save. I have to hope that the site has that capability built into each post. Facebook has a really good site that takes the iPhone’s interface into consideration. I suspect other sites will evolve their functionality depending on what type of computer/phone is being used to browse.
Funny how I’ve talked about a couple features though not about the fact that it’s actually a phone too. The sound quality isn’t too bad and works perfectly for me when I have the headphones on. It’s such great feature that there’s a mic on the earbuds. I also like the fact that my Address Book from my computer syncs with my iPhone. Now I just have to make sure my Address Book is clean and up to date with the phone information.
The map function works decently as does the YouTube feature, though I wonder why YouTube doesn’t work when surfing from the browser. The physical iPhone is almost too light for it’s own good so I bought an Incase Protective Cover. I really like it, but I hope some of the reviews of it stretching are isolated. I find that the added rubber makes the iPhone easier to hold. I haven’t really had the chance to explore any additional web apps yet, but so far so good for the iPhone. Once I get most of my contact data of my horrible Treo I’ll have quite the cell phone crushing party. I can not believe how bad my Treo 650 is in comparison to my iPhone.