It took 9 hours, but at least I was right.
It took 9 hours, but at least I was right.
Joost van der Ree has an interview with Andrew S. Allen, the interaction designer of Paper. This quote from the article made me further reflect about the tension between simplicity vs. obviousness & discovery vs. frustration:
My partner Georg Petschnigg and I have a passion for this nebulous phase in creation that happens before you get into productivity. What is the film before you get to Final Cut? What’s the presentation before you get to PowerPoint? Where do those ideas go? You write them down on napkins, you write them down on post-it notes, things are kind off all over the place. It just didn’t seem right, we all have those great ideas that we’ve written down and lost. That’s what kicked off the idea.
While I do believe the first version of Paper has a lot of issues, as Macdrifter neatly summarized, I also think it’s been an eye-opener under many aspects. Perhaps it’s because of the iPad’s larger screen, or the fact that innovation in creativity-focused apps trumps business or productivity software in terms of press exposure – I think Paper made us realize even more that old interface schemes from the PC era belong to another age, and that all the metaphors we were accustomed to will have to be re-imagined.
But I’m also noticing how, in the past five years, developers have followed a common trend in promoting their apps. “You write your notes down on napkins”. “Get rid of all those post-it notes”. “Stop sticking reminders on the fridge”. “Buy our app instead”.
It’s funny, because I haven’t used a post-it note in, I guess, years now. I have never written anything on the fridge either, but maybe that’s because I don’t like to put things on my furniture. I can concede that I did write stuff on napkins, though.
My point being, whilst apps have evolved in the past five years, the “excuse” has remained the same. Developers want us to ditch old, analog ways of managing our information to embrace the digital era. They want us to get rid of the post-it notes to buy a $0.99 todo manager.
But the digital era has already started. And it’s been one giant, massive boom. So wouldn’t it be more appropriate for these new, innovative apps to tell us that we should ditch old, PC-like complicated apps instead?
I know I’m late to the party with this, but episode 4 of the “Everything is a Remix” web series was published in mid-February, and I never had the chance to truly express how much I appreciate Kirby Ferguson’s work. If for some reason you missed Everything is a Remix, to use Kirby’s own words:
You don’t need expensive tools, you don’t need a distributor, you don’t even need skills. Remixing is a folk art — anybody can do it. Yet these techniques — collecting material, combining it, transforming it — are the same ones used at any level of creation. You could even say that everything is a remix.
The art of remixing rings particularly true to me because I can see its results every day. Apps, music – even bundles from Storify could be considered, in fact, remixes.
When not encumbered by patents, many of today’s innovations can flourish because of their very own nature of remixes of previous ideas. Kirby’s series does an excellent job at illustrating this, and I can’t wait for his next work: This is Not a Conspiracy Theory.
Today, Google announced its new futuristic project from the internal Google[X] team - Project Glass. You can read more over at Google’s official Google+ page, where they company is also sharing a video. The Verge and The New York Times are breaking down the interesting bits from today’s news.
As I said, I’m not sure how I feel about Project Glass yet. Specifically, I’ve been reading about the augmented reality glasses, asking myself some questions.
How long until we see the obvious headline “Apple needs to respond to Google’s Project Glass”?
The hardware looks like something from Star Trek, but then again revolutionary technologies always look unfamiliar at first. Two years ago, using an iPad in public was weird, now it’s perfectly normal. The iPad, however, is not a wearable technology. Will the advantages of Google’s glasses outweigh the possible awkwardness of wearing them?
Will the glasses be completely – to quote Apple – “PC-Free”, or will they need some sort of connection to a computer to back up their data and be set up?
And if they are even partially independent from a computer to operate, will they come in 3G versions as well to allow for always-on connectivity?
Assuming Google is going to sell these, eventually, will the company make a profit from them exclusively through retail, or will they fit advertising in the big plan? There is an awful lot of potential for targeted ads on a thing you wear as you walk around town, every day. Think about it for a second.
Will the glasses come with your Google+ credentials already configured, like Amazon’s Kindle? Because if not, I imagine you’d have to dictate your password to log in…or use a keyboard to access your Google account.
Thinking long term – is Google going to eventually allow third-party developers to create apps for the glasses? The opportunities could be huge.
Are we ready to have a constant source of information flowing right next to our heads?
When will Project Glass ship? And how does Android fit in all this?
Right now, I have these questions. I’m torn between “completely freaked out” and “exciting, revolutionary possibility” when I think about Project Glass, and I’m curious to see how development will play out following users' input. One thing, I believe, is certain: Project Glass will either fail big time – because the public is not ready, the device will turn out to be a technical flop, or simply because Google will change its mind – or succeed in creating a whole new market, redefining wearable technology in the process.
Today, the Internet is going crazy speculating about Project Glass, and rightfully so. What Google is showing seems impossible, and not just from a technical perspective: it seems unlikely that the product from that video is working that well using today’s technologies. But still, Project Glass is real and, according to Google, it’s already being tested out in the real world. So we wait.
Back in January, when I published my first post for Ticci.org, I wrote that the site was meant to be an experiment to see how a more “personal blog” would fit in my workflow, which is largely based on writing all day for MacStories. With a mix of writing from the iPad, Markdown, Dropbox, and the excellent Calepin service, the first months of Ticci.org have been a success.
In fact, in spite of the very few posts I’ve put out on Ticci.org (16 to date, not including this one), I’ve learnt that I enjoy having a personal space separate from MacStories quite a bit. And so I’m happy to announce that starting today, Ticci.org joins the Svbtle network by Dustin Curtis.
You can read more about Svbtle in Dustin’s original post. I have decided to move Ticci.org to Svbtle for a number of reasons: it looks great, I am confident Dustin is the right person to evolve this idea into a solid, innovative service (more than it already is), and, overall, Svbtle shares many of the underlying concepts that I follow when I’m writing online. Svbtle’s interface is simple, it supports Markdown, and Dustin has big plans for it.
I’m looking forward to writing more. As usual, feel free to send an email, or a tweet, for comments, feedback, and suggestions.
P.S. The site’s icon – the one on the left – looks like a coffee cup, but it actually belongs to a tea icon set. I guess I’m fine with both.
My friends at The Apple Lounge, an Italian weblog about Apple news, published a fake story about Apple acquiring Starbucks on April 1st. Clearly meant to be a hoax – they even linked to Wikipedia’s “Pesce d'Aprile” (April Fool’s) webpage in the via footer – the story gained some traction and, unsurprisingly, some Italian blogs and publications ran with it.
Here comes the comically tragic part. Not only did some renowned outlets like Il Sole 24 Ore run with it, they also didn’t credit The Apple Lounge’s fake story as if the rumor came out of nowhere on April Fool’s. The list of worst offenders includes Leggo.it and AffariItaliani (I’m not giving them pageviews, but make sure to hit The Apple Lounge’s documented series of screenshots and links).
The Italian Apple news scene is in a coma. There are too few good guys, and they are easily forgotten because people prefer to get their news from the deathbed of old media. I have seen enough of other countries' Apple coverage to know that, even with their stupid rumors, at least most outlest do some basic homework. Not so in Italy. We are full of non-credited, misquoted, poorly written articles about Apple. The “good guys” – passionate writers who care about the opposite values, such as crediting, quoting, and quality reporting – don’t get the traffic they deserve, or they choose to write in another language entirely because it’s not worth it. Or, they quit.
The Starbucks story is yet another example of the sad state of Apple news in Italy. My advice to readers is, of course, to change their reading habits and pick carefully the blogs they want to read.
To Apple: I understand that you care about exposure when you invite “old media” to your press events, but you should take a look at their writing during the rest of the year. Seriously, look at it. Close. Read their articles on your new Retina displays.
To old media: grow a pair. And while you’re at it, learn to credit your sources.
If you’re subscribed to the Read & Trust newsletter, my piece about “The Future of Technology” went live this morning. I discuss the issues with ensuring technology and information can advance and evolve at the same pace.
If you’re not subscribed, make sure you don’t miss future Read & Trust articles and subscribe today.
I was interviewed by Macdrifter about my writer workflow for his site’s regular series. I’m honored to be included among such talented, smart folks.
Check it out here.
Today, March 21, my girlfriend and I celebrate our fifth anniversary. She is the love of my life, and I couldn’t be happier. She encouraged me when I was only getting started with MacStories, and she’s still here to listen to my crazy ideas about the site that I constantly try to explain to her. Some of them are good. Others suck and she is not afraid to tell me. That’s why I’m with her today. Happy anniversary.
As I am here typing this in Writing Kit, she is looking at an email I sent her with my attempt at drawing an anniversary card with Adobe Ideas. The app is good, my card is just plain awful. She smiled, appreciated the thought, and promptly made fun of my poor drawing skills. I have always been terrible at drawing. No iPad can change that.
But five years ago, could I have ever imagined a piece of glass with just one button would someday become the device to get my work done? A device that seamlessly changes from work tasks to, yes, sending anniversary cards? Not in my nerdiest dreams. Yet here it is. It did change something. The iPad is changing today – right now – the way people read, create, browse, play, listen. And how they share important moments.
Happy Anniversary (Sent from my iPad).
I joined Ben Brooks on this week’s B&B Podcast to fill in for Shawn. We talked about snow in Italy, the iPad 3, iPhone 5, NFC payments, and washing machines running Android.
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