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Archive for February, 2010

Photoshop World? There’s an app for that.

February 22nd, 2010 303 comments

I try to make every effort to stay on top of technology trends. I love learning new skills and strongly believe that it can be vital in understanding the breadth of a technology.

To that end I began learning how to develop applications for the iPhone.  In a little “self cross-promotion”, I wanted to link you to my latest creation: Photoshop World for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

The app went live last Friday and has already received rave reviews from Tech/Design legends such as Scott Kelby, and Terry White. Terry had this to say:

If you have an iPhone or iPod touch and you’re going to Photoshop World there is simply NO reason not to have this App! This is a great example on how a conference App should be designed. It’s a must download.

Features

The Photoshop World iPhone app features 5 main sections: MyPSW, News, Schedule, Expo and Instructors. When the app launches it will automatically check with an online database to see if it has the most recent content. If there are changes to schedules, rooms, times, instructors, exhibitors, featured content, or NAPP simply needs to send a message to all users, the app will automatically download and update the resources on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

This process is completely seamless to the user (but can be easily canceled if necessary). Just by launching the application you can be sure you have the latest schedule and room information. This feature has already come in handy

MyPSW

This is the best part.  When the app first launches, “My Schedule” is pre-filled with all of the conference events (opening keynote, Art of Digital Photography, etc). Simply tap the plus button to add a class or an entire track to your schedule from the PSW or Expo class schedules. Classes can be removed with a simple swipe to delete. All classes can be filtered by Date and Time, Session Track, Instructor, and Class Name. Have an empty time slot in your schedule? Tapping on the empty slot will pull up all the events taking place at that time. Best of all, never worry about getting lost or missing a class again. The PSW iPhone app will highlight where each class is located within the conference center and it will launch Google Maps for any event located outside the conference center.

Your home screen will show the start time of each event in the green band leading up to the event. One hour prior to the start of the event, the green band will change red and the start time will change over to a countdown timer.  Classes in session will be indicated by “Class in Session”

I will be posting a video walkthrough and more content relating to this application over at photoshopworld.com later this week.  As always, feel free to follow me (and now the app) at twitter.com/shawnwelch for all the latest news.

Thanks!

-Shawn

Categories: Project Rethink Tags:

Where does the iPad fit?

February 1st, 2010 127 comments

A lot of people are talking about the “revolutionary new iPad” but even more people are talking about where this device fits in the world — why is it so revolutionary?  Is the iPad attacking the netbook market or the eBook market?  Where does this new device fit?

In my mind there are 4 major computer markets:

  1. Computers that fit in your pocket
  2. Computers that are held
  3. Portable computers designed for desk work
  4. Non-portable computers designed for desk work

The first category contains your iPhones, iPod Touches, Nexus One, Palm Pre, etc.  Apple innovated this category by introducing a platform, something that allowed applications — something that took advantage of third-party developers.

Skipping category 2 (because that is where I believe our iPad lives), we’ll go to category 3.  This is where we find laptops and netbooks.  Yes, I believe both of these belong in the same category because I believe the netbook is a sustaining innovation in the laptop market.  Both are designed to give you portability and both are designed for desk oriented workflows (physical keyboard, etc).  The Macbook Air is a response to the netbook in this category — the only metric it missed was cost.

Category 4 is where we find our desktop computers.  Traditional desktop computers have a separate tower and monitor.  The iMac is another example of sustaining innovation in this market.  By combining the tower and monitor into one device you are able to accomplish the same task more efficiently and effectively. In both devices, the target market does not change.

So what devices are in category 2 and why does the iPad innovate this category?  Right now, category 2 includes the Kindle, the Nook, and now the iPad.  Before the iPad, this category — computers designed to be held — was limited to manufacturer designed functionality.  These devices were not platforms.  The iPad, in addition to bringing touch and color capabilities, challenged this market by creating a platform.

Likely in anticipation of this “platform” innovation, a few weeks ago Amazon announced a public beta for an Amazon Kindle SDK.  This will give third-party developers a chance to build on the Kindle, improving the Kindle’s effectiveness in this changing market.

What does this mean?

So is the iPad a crippled netbook with a touch screen, or is it just an oversized iPod Touch? Is the iPad a revolutionary device?  I don’t think it is fair to compare the iPad to the iPhone/Nexus One market, and I don’t think it is fair to compare it to the netbook/laptop market.  In its market, I believe the iPad has changed the rules.  Compared to the Kindle and Nook, the iPad has emphasized the need for a platform in this market.

That being said, as a product the iPad has left us wanting more.  Now that we have a handheld “platform” we expect things like multitasking and external peripherals.  Because the iPad has changed the rules, our expectations of these devices have now changed.

The iPad is not the perfect product, but it is the foundation of disruptive innovation in the handheld computer market.

Categories: Project Rethink Tags: