As i’ve mentioned previously, i believe Android is a better mobile platform for prototyping & research than the iPhone. But if you intend to earn some money with your applications, it seems there’s no point in developing for Android at all: Larva Labs posts some shockingly low numbers for their Android sales and recent numbers from AdMob suggest that the app store generates 20 times the revenue of the Android market.
In his latest Alertbox, Jakob Nielsen describes how they improved their twitter announcement of upcoming events in five iterative steps. I can appreciate the diligence put into honing the wording (“Text is UI”, as mentioned in the article), but somehow i can’t shake the feeling that this is overkill (probably because it feels untrue to the medium). (via 37signals)
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” By overlaying the real (live video) with the virtual (data, images, 3D models), augmented reality (AR) may be the most convincing example of Arthur C. Clarke’s third law of prediction. When it works, that is.
When we expanded the capabilities of the location bar to search against all history and bookmarks in Firefox 3, a lot of people contacted us to say that they had certain bookmarks they didn’t really want to have displayed. In some cases users had intentionally hidden these bookmarks in deep hierarchies of folders, somewhat similar to how one might hide a physical object. Having something from your previous browsing displayed to someone else who is using your computer (or even worse) to a large audience of people as you are giving a presentation, is really one of the most embarrassing things that Firefox can do to you.
Blanc’s recently completed facade for the Athenaeum hotel in London (shown) could be his most high-profile project yet. Looming over Green Park, it’s an eight-story antigravity forest composed of 12,000 plants.
Lots of geeks started writing about Android in the last few weeks. Whenever i turn to my feedreader, there’s at least one new post about Android waiting. Some people tried switching from their iPhone and the general consensus seems to be that Android is kinda ok, but no match for the iPhone (i tend to agree). It wasn’t surprising that no one noticed when Google opened the platform for development without any shipping handsets back in 2007, but there wasn’t a lot of attention when the first Android handsets started shipping last year either. Now all of a sudden Android seems to be gaining mindshare among developers and geeks and that has to mean something, even if i don’t quite know what exactly. Is it just the lure of an open platform in stark contrast to the locked-down app store?
When rumors came out that iTunes 9 would have some kind of social media integration, i was hoping for something like Spotify (which still isn’t available in Austria, but i keep reading fabulous things about it), especially in light of all these sketchy data center speculations. Alas, it seems this social media thingy will be a whole lot less impressive. Let’s face it, in light of services like Spotify or Last.fm, the iTunes store (and iTunes itself, and even the iPod to some degree) begins to look terribly dated these days.
Taking as its premise the idea that limitations can catalyze creativity, Rhizome & OpenProcessing co-present Tiny Sketch, a 200 Character Processing Competition that will run until September 13, 2009, 11:59pm.
Tiny Sketch is an open challenge to artists and programmers to create the most compelling creative work possible with the programming language Processing using 200 characters or less.
Lukas Mathis posted an amazingly detailed comparison of the iPhone and Android virtual keyboards.
I’ve used both an iPhone (for about 13 months) and an HTC Magic with Android (for about 2 months) and i feel that i need to step up in Android’s defense: in my opinion the Android keyboard really isn’t as much worse than the iPhone’s as the article suggests. Text entry on the HTC Magic is indeed inferior to the iPhone, but not so much for the reasons described in the article, but rather because the HTC Magic’s touchscreen seems far less responsive than the iPhone screen and in my experience quite often doesn’t register a touch. The problem seems especially bad close to the edge of the screen. The lack of touchscreen responsiveness might be more of a software than a hardware problem, so maybe it’ll be fixed some time. It’s probably also related to the lack of multitouch, because you need to have lifted your finger before typing another letter when typing with 2 hands. Aside from this issue, the narrow space bar on the Android keyboard annoys me by far the most with the Android keyboard – unfortunately one typically uses the space bar a lot when entering text.
Interestingly, my first impression of the Android keyboard was that it’s actually slightly better than the iPhone’s, though that impression might have been influenced by my low expectations which were easily exceeded when i actually used the phone. I now believe that the iPhone keyboard is superior, but i’ve heard from other people that they actually prefer the Android onscreen keyboard, so i suppose it’s mostly a matter of taste.
It would be interesting to extend this in-depth comparison to other Android onscreen keyboards, such as HTC’s new keyboard on the Hero.