Tag Archives: apple

What will your verse be?

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering — these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love — these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman,

“O me, O life of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

What will your verse be?

The best part of the biography

I pre-ordered the biography in iBooks and started on it as soon as it dropped, and I just finished it last night. I don’t like posts with huge excerpts from the book, but this part right before the coda is great. These were Steve’s words:

I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will still stand for something a generation or two from now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. They created a company to last, not just to make money. That’s what I want Apple to be.

re: section 3.3.1

In developing an iPhone app for Pullfolio, we initially went with Titanium as Ray had used it before at Intridea, and we are familiar with web technologies. With that we were able to almost finish the app within a week. However, we quickly found limitations of the framework, more specifically, it was non-trivial to make a Photos.app-like thumbnails view without using webview, and to make a single photo view with slideshow that supports pinch/zoom gestures, lazy-loading different versions of images off the Internet on-demand, proved to be close to impossible without us implementing more native UIKit components for the framework.

So we learned and switched to Objective-C, and will never look at a cross-compile option for iPhone and iPad apps again. I agree with @gruber and Jobs, cross-compile solutions mostly yield low quality apps. Also, it always takes a short while for 3rd party solutions to catch up with the latest SDK features, so you will be a step behind your competitors. I think cross-compiling is okay if you’re a consultant building apps for clients who wanted iPhone apps. But if you’re a app developer who wants to write something original and something that provides rich UX, going native the the only way to go. Learning new languages, tools, and frameworks is part of the business of being developers. (we all did switch from php to rails/django, or vb to c#, cvs to svn and then to git).

Also, if you don’t like the app store limitations, you can always develop for the web. With the exception of Flash, Safari on iPhone and iPad works great, instead of using Facebook.app I just hit it in Safari, it works much better than their app IMO. A ton of sites have already made themselves iPad-friendly.

iPad apps

I spent the most of the past 2 days playing with my iPad. The apps I’ve tried so far are pretty amazing. Other than the obvious apps such as Netflix and ABC Player, here are some apps that I find really useful:

GoodReader for iPad ($0.99 limited time intro price, iPad-only). This app lets you move and read large PDF documents on the iPad, it has an iPad-optimized reader. You can search, there is even a button to dim the brightness of the display. To transfer files into GoodReader all you have to do is to go into the app and switch on WiFi transfer, and then you can connect to it in Finder on a Mac. You can also transfer files in iTunes, or link up your Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox (I’m a huge user of Dropbox!) accounts and download from them. You can also get to any WebDAV servers inside the app. You can even connect to your Gmail or other email accounts and download your attachments into GoodReader!

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

You get this under the Apps tab in iTunes:

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Kindle (free, universal version for both iPhone/Touch and iPad) and iBooks (free, iPad-only). Books in iBooks look cool, the Delicious Library look-alike bookshelf is a nice touch. But Amazon has a much larger selection of books available for the Kindle. I’d held out not to buy a Kindle for so long, so it’s great to have ebooks options on the iPad. The Kindle iPad app dims the background and the book lids up the kid’s face when you use it at night.

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NewsRack ($4.99, universal version). On the iPhone I use Google Reader in Safari and it works okay, but it doesn’t work as well on an iPad, and an RSS reader with offline sync is important especially because this iPad is wifi-only. NewsRack can sync with my Google Reader account, and by that I mean it can grab my subscriptions, maintain read/unread data, and even share articles back at Google Reader. It also has sharing features to email article, add to Instapaper, Readitlater, Twitter, Delicious, etc. It’s a universal app so I get to use it on my iPhone as well, great deal for $4.99 IMO.

Instapaper Pro ($4.99, universal). I am a long time user of Instapaper, Tweetie has Instapaper support so I save a ton of links in tweets that I want to read later. The Instapaper Free app worked fine for me on the iPhone, but the Pro version is universal and is iPad-optimized. If you don’t use Instapaper you really should.

1Password Pro ($14.99, universal), or 1Password for iPad ($6.99, iPad-only). If you use a Mac, you have to use 1Password. I bought a family pack of the desktop version, and the Pro version after iPhone 3.0 to get the ability to copy password into clipboard easily. I think I paid a lot less than $15, and at some point it was even free for a short while. I am glad Agile Web Solutions did the right thing and made the Pro version universal (unlike Cultered Code with Things, which I’ll talk about later).

Photo Pad: Flickr ($3.99, iPad only). If you use Flickr heavily for photo sharing and storage, you will like this app. It basically helps you sync your photosets on Flickr onto the iPad and displays them in amazing resolutions on the iPad’s gorgeous IPS display. There is no slideshow feature, so you can’t use it as a digital photo frame, and you can’t search photos on Flickr by tags (you can search the photos already downloaded by tags though).

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Bloomberg for iPad (free, iPad-only, but there is an iPhone version too). This app pretty much turns your iPad into a Bloomberg terminal, well, there is no Bloomberg IM and it’s not really the real thing, but it’s pretty damn close, and it’s free!

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

SketchBook Pro ($7.99, iPad-only). This is the best sketching/drawing app on the iPad at the time of this writing. Really amazing app, definitely worth the $7, considering a comparable desktop sketching app will no doubt cost a lot more. I wish iPad was pressure sensitive though, it still can’t replace a Wacom tablet for serious illustrating or photo retouching work.

There is one app that pisses me off – Things for iPad. Things is my GTD app and I use it heavily. I bought a family pack ($75) for the desktop version , as well as the iPhone version ($10). Now instead of releasing a universal version upgrade, they wanted $20 for Things for iPad. $20 is just a bit much even though the app looks gorgeous and I’m sure it works really damn well. For now I’m going to run the iPhone version on the iPad until I can’t stand it anymore.