March 10th, 2014

iOS 7.1 Update Moved Placement of Wallpaper, All Shelf Type Wallpapers Need to be Adjusted.

 

It appears that with the latest update to the OS for the iPhone, IPad and iPod Touch, Apple has made a slight adjustment to the automatic placement of an image when choosing a wallpaper. For most images this slight movement will not matter, but for background images, usually for the home screen and not the lock-screen, that rely on an exact placement to correspond to icon and app title text placement, you many need to adjust your images. The elements of your custom wallpaper that match up with iOS UI elements like app icons and or app name text may be misaligned.

When iOS updated from 6 to 7 there was also a large movement of the automatic placement of background images for the wallpaper, and adjustments to shelf type wallpapers were necessary at that time. This seems to be yet another movement of the automatic placement.

October 29th, 2013

iPhone 6 and the Future of Mobile From Apple, in 20 Seconds.

Visually, somewhat like the current 5th generation iPod Touch, but bigger (and smaller).

From an industrial design point of view, it can easily be argued that the 5th gen iPod Touch is a better hardware design than both the iPhone 5s and 5c.

The French blog Nowhereelse.fr and designer Martin Hajek have put this idea to pictures. The design essentially looks like an iPad mini or iPad Air scaled down to iPhone size, which happens to look almost exactly like a current generation iPod Touch.

This hypothetical new design would work with multiple screen sizes. Imagine an iPod touch but sized for both a 4.7 and 5.7 inch screen…the larger would almost be like a “mini” iPad mini, but its a phone. many colors, and metal, not plastic.

The 5th gen iPod Touch design is so good, it is near “timeless” and could go on for many years (except for the camera “bump”, and lose the strap). Advancement in shrinking component size could make this style work for even a super mini with a 3-4 inch screen, if not smaller.

This device, if done as described above, could and would replace the entire iPod line as well, except maybe the iPod Shuffle, the smallest iPod. Think of the streamlining in production.

August 28th, 2013

iPad Mini is my iPhone Phablet. Only $20 a month.

Simple, yet a bit too convoluted for most people.

iPad Mini (Verizon LTE) + Google Voice + VOIP phoning app (Talkatone).

Double bonus because I have bad eyesight and iPhone screen is too small for me.

Sans all the jokes about carrying it around…I leave it in the car often. Or, Bluetooth/WiFi the free personal hotspot to my old iphone 4. Mini is wrapped in an Otterbox Defender and sometimes just carry it around like a small book. Fits in the pocket of most of my cargo shorts/pants…

Not doing much conventional phoning, anyway.

Done. For $20 bones a month.

August 20th, 2013

Gold iPhones and Automobiles

Driving in my car, I see gold-colored newer model automobiles everywhere. I never saw all of these gold cars, trucks and SUV’s until I mentioned this in a previous “Gold iPhone” thread at a popular Apple rumors website. Look at all the gold cars. This is especially true if looking for various versions of the color gold, and not just one preconceived color of gold. I think only hipsters claim to not like the color gold. I am a hipster myself, I do not like the color of gold, most all versions of it, but loot look at all the gold cars…….

July 11th, 2013

Hover Effects / Mouseover will come to mobile devices in the near future.

Enabled with the use of advanced, wide-angle camera (s) or the screen itself will be able to detect hand &  finger locations.

This will work with websites using ancient code.

You will not need to touch the screen, unless you want to.

People who have used a Wacom or other modern digital drawing tablets with a pen device know this effect already. The pen tip does not need to touch the tablet surface.

We are talking fingers and thumbs here, not stylus pen device.

This is the next killer app.

June 18th, 2013

I could have designed all the iOS 7 stock app icons in 5 days

The title is meant to be alluring—sensationalist, maybe—but not altogether untrue.

I am not a team. I am one person. Many other single persons out there could also have designed better app icons in less than one week. Many already have in the last week, as if in defiance of the less-than-stellar visual design of the app icons.

I am not a huge “skeuomorphic” design fan, I do not even like saying that word or typing it, and I never know if I spelled it correctly. Neither am I a huge “flat” design fan. (flat design is re-branded Swiss-Style, and skeuomorphic is grunge) Much design is an appropriate amount of both types of design…some projects leaning one way and some projects leaning the other.

Of all the things to not fail on—Apple virtually always nails the visual design. A few app icons, front and center on the iOS mobile operating system, and Apple produces a hard visual fail. Even the numbers on the clock icon look rough!

As if the icons were designed by this mail-room employee named Mr. Marketing Research.

I do not think Apple will change the design of the app icons, which is a switch from my original opinion. The homescreen is all over Apple’s newest marketing materials. What you see is what you are going to get…hopefully a bit of refinement, but most people will not even notice the changes to icons and other UI aspects as iOS 7 goes from beta to GM.

all this flat vs skeuomorphic debate reminds me of a spec. art piece and bit of mash-up writing I did 6 years ago…yea, six years ago.

Let us make Surrealism and Web 2.0 get along with each other. Swiss Style simple, but what is wrong with visual richness? OK, dumb it down visually if I am paying my bills. Web 2.0 is about interaction, & not about lowest-common-denominator visual design techniques.

Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.

May 31st, 2013

iPhone Iterations and Their Analogous Relationship to Led Zeppelin Albums

Original iPhone to Led Zeppelin I

Led Zeppelin I is the band’s rawest and most blues-based of their studio recordings. It is also, obviously, their first album. The first iPhone is the most low-technology (old, slow CPU, low resolution screen, limited functionality in the software) yet high hardware craftsmanship / durability / build quality to the point of being over-built.

Led Zeppelin I became the template for all future hard rock, even some punk rock—listen to Communication Breakdown. iPhone became the template for all future mobile phones/devices. Apple did not invent multi-touch with the iPhone, but they brought it to the world, as Apple did not invent MP3 players, but the brought them to the world.

Led Zeppelin, and their first album took hard rock to a whole new level of heaviness. Apple, and their first iPhone device took computing to a whole new level of mobile.

With Led Zeppelin’s first album, the undercurrent of “appropriation” of past musicians’ creations without giving credit, or paying royalty, exists. Led Zeppelin, especially on their debut and 2nd albums, borrowed heavily from past musicians from great and famous 1950′s American blues artists to more obscure psychedelic blues artists from the later 1960′s.

The original iPhone did borrow from certain sectors of earlier mobile device creators. Apple did not invent all the ideas that led to the revolutionary mobile device. Apple is mostly credited for bringing multi-touch touch screens to the world, and many think they invented the technology. But a company called Elan invented multi-touch, and they litigated against Apple and won a settlement. LG Electronics claimed the design of the iPhone was copied from the LG Prada—no litigation, no settlement, most likely a far-reaching accusation that could not be proven in a court. There are more examples of Apple paying out to the originators of certain intellectual properties.

Led Zeppelin, as Apple, did pay out to many originators/owners of lyrics/intellectual property, etc. which they happen to “borrow” from. Sorry, Willie Dixon (I Can’t Quit You Baby and You Shook Me), you had no strong copyright attorney back then and Led Zeppelin actually gave you credit. You would get your revenge on Led Zeppelin II, however.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Not many understand exactly what this famous quote by Picasso represents. What it means is…by stealing, one not only copies the idea, song or technology—one makes others think one is the owner and the originator of the idea, concept, music, lyric, lines of code, input technology, etc. Neither Apple or Led Zeppelin are only “stealing.” They incorporate sound, proven, great, older ideas, and from there add new ideas. The end result is a brilliant synergistic combination of proven, old and inventive new—thus bringing forth a truly original beast. This is ultimately how all great things come into being, nothing is created in an intellectual/musical vacuum, everything builds upon the past.

Multi-touch is to “You Shook Me.” iOS is to (oddly enough) “Communication Breakdown,” because both are true original greats! Large screen and (mostly) button-less design standard is to “Good Times Bad Times” It is Apple…and it is a Phone is to “Dazed and Confused.”

 

iPhone 3G to Led Zeppelin II

Huge momentum from first album/phone.

Both extremely good, but not much to say about either. Solid, not as revolutionary as the first, more “borrowing” from others. In comparison here, the album is better than the phone.

GPS or 3G Data as to “Whole Lotta Love.” (reaching here)

 

Phone 3GS to Led Zeppelin III

Led Zeppelin’s sound was maturing and expressing a wide variety of musical influences—same could be said of the iPhone 3GS. Externally, both look the same as their prior offering, internally both have grown in ability. Led Zeppelin showing they have much more than appropriated power-blues-rock, and Apple showing they can substantially increase the internal processing power of their flagship hardware device, while outwardly looking the same.

PowerVR SGX535 graphics is to  “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” ARM Cortex-A  processor is to “Tangerine.”

 

iPhone 4 to Led Zeppelin IV (4)

Led Zeppelin IV regarded by most people as Led Zeppelin’s masterpiece. The iPhone 4, from a hardware design point of view—especially for the time, yet still enduring today, also considered Apple’s artistic and technological mobile phone masterpiece.

Led Zeppelin IV was a massive instant seller. It entered the UK chart at No. 1 and stayed on the chart for over 60 weeks. In the US it stayed on the charts longer than any other Led Zeppelin album and was the biggest selling album in the US not to reach number one in the US charts. Apple and its partner carriers received 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 in the first 24 hours, the largest number of pre-orders Apple had received in a single day for any device up to that point.

Teasing the people: Led Zeppelin 4: In the lead-up to the album’s release, a series of teaser advertisements depicting each symbol was placed in the music press. The iPhone 4, two words: “Gizmodo leak,” enough said.

Apple A4 processor is to “Rock and Roll.” Chemically strengthened aluminosilicate glass (Gorilla Glass) on both the front and the back is to “When The Levee Breaks.” 5MP camera, front camera and rear LED flash is to “Black Dog.” 512MB Ram is to “Misty Mountain Hop.”  A stainless steel frame is to “Going to California.” 960×640, 326 PPI “Retina” IPS display is to “Stairway To Heaven.”

 

iPhone 4S to Houses of the Holy:

Both offerings arguably a bit better than their hugely successful former offerings, but most of the non-informed people out there were unaware.  The iPhone 4s looked exactly the same as the former iPhone 4, so only techies would notice the profound differences on the inside, same for Houses of the Holy, which is one of Led Zeppelin most under rated albums, even though most musical “techies” know better.

Apple A5 processor as to “Song Remains The Same.” Siri as to “Dancing Days.” PowerVR SGX543 graphics processing unit (GPU) as to “No Quarter.” 8MP camera as to “The Ocean.”

 

iPhone 5  to Physical Graffiti :

More, bigger yet lighter…double album, many musical styles expressed. 4 inch screen, screaming fast processor and graphics.

Huge commercial success:  Led Zeppelin album was a commercial and critical success.  When  released it reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart. Physical Graffiti was the first album to go platinum on advance orders alone.

Two million iPhone 5 orders had been received in the first 24 hours.  AT&T said that the iPhone 5 was the fastest-selling iPhone the company had ever offered, selling over five million units on launch weekend and exceeding the supply available. Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti  has since proven to be one of the most popular releases by the group, shipping 8 million copies in the United States alone.

Apple A6 processor as to “In My Time of Dying.” 4 inch IPS screen as to “Kashmir.” 1 GB ram as to “In the light.” Lightning connector as to “Ten Years Gone.”

October 28th, 2012

Facebook, Why is the Cover Image an Undersized Width of 851 Pixels?

The current size of a “Cover” image, the optional large photo or other image that runs across almost the entire width of a Facebook page open in a browser window, is 851 X 315 pixels.

Besides the fact that this is an odd size in and of itself, it is vastly too low resolution for a wide variety of current devices displaying Facebook by either a browser window or the Facebook stand-alone app.

We are not talking about only the very new hiDPI, high-resolution or hi PPI devices hitting the market. Using the Facebook app on an old-school iPad 2 with the wimpy resolution of 1024×728, the app stretches the 851 pixel wide cover photo to the full width of the iPad 2, or 1024 pixels, when using the tablet in the horizontal position. This makes all cover images in the Facebook App for iPad look bad, or pixelated.

Therefore you have Facebook creating a new app that now does run on millions (maybe hundreds of millions) of devices, their app developers have the cover photo run the entire length of the device’s screen, and Facebook does not update/up-res the size of the image one can upload for a cover image.

This is not to mention the newer hiDPI (Retina) iPad and all the newer Android-based tablets that are also hiDPI that will want between 1400 and 2048 pixels to render that cover pict in all its visual glory. Even if Facebook were to compress a bit more, they at least need to give their users the needed pixel width in image uploads to allow for proper looking images.

Compounding the oddity of Facebook not upping the available resolution of the all-important cover image, you have all the various “ultrabooks” and other newer laptops with very many pixels per inch or PPI. The entire new line of Macbook Pro’s with Retina display that are 220 PPI. By next year every major manufacturer of laptops will have models with high-resolution displays, and most do right now. Hell, Intel warns of impending high-resolution explosion!

Facebook, fix this now. Flip the switch. Cannot believe this blog article is needing to be written at this time, over a full year after the initial release of the Facebook App for iPad.

 

UPDATED 12-13-13:

Facebook updated their iOS app today and instead of making the upload for the cover image at least 1024 pixels, they shrank the cover image on the iPad app to accommodate the now-always-showing side column, either the right column showing your friends or the left column. Therefore, the cover image is never stretched across the full width of the iPad in the horizontal position, which would require a 1024 pixel image for iPad1 & iPad2 and a 2048 pixel image for iPad3 & iPad4. (Not to mention all the other mega PPI tablets)

A very poor solution, IMO. But at least the cover image is not sized-up as much, so it looks a little less bad.

Facebook, you can do hi-res without much increase in size…hi-res compresses quite well and still looks good. The hi-PPI images on my own website are only about 30% larger in size, yet 200% larger in pixels–and they look great!

Once again, this is a no-brainer and Facebook does less than great for now.

 

August 29th, 2011

Interactive Started with Pong.

It is one thing to be born into an electronic interactive world, it has always been there for you; and it is one thing to have already been an adult, lacking the extreme learning abilities and child-like amazement of a new mind; and it is an entirely other experience to have been a young child EXACTLY when electronic interactive interface was let loose upon the world, and it was not with the personal computer and later the internet.

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August 28th, 2011

Apple’s iTunes Store using lower quality images?

It appears that some of the main graphic images used in Apple’s iTunes Store are of a lower visual quality than in the recent past. Look for some of the classic representations of image compression—noise, loss of edge clarity and tone roughness. Compression artifacts are especially recognizable in small and medium sized text.

Image quality changes appeared sometime around August 24-27, but this date range is unconfirmed. The alteration in image quality is consistent across multiple configurations including OS X, Windows and iOS on the iPad (iPhone images seem to still be very hi res).

The change in quality is obviously based on the amount of compression being applied. Apple may have chosen to forgo a bit of image clarity for a faster user experience. The change is not drastic, and most users may not even notice the subtle compression artifacts. This might speed up iTunes, but at the loss of a great looking experience for those of us who noticed…

Update: It seems this was simply a 48 hour hiccup, and all is back to normal—i.e. high-quality images back on iTunes.

June 25th, 2011

Using a Wacom Tablet and Pen, in Mouse-Mode.

I like to dabble in the visual design arts, and one of the input devices for my computer is a Wacom tablet. Specifically, a Bamboo Pen & Touch, allowing both an Apple-Trackpad-like experience, including all the gestures as well as the typical Pen-Mode input method. The touch interface works satisfactory, but not great or even well. The cursor movement is not smooth as it is with both the Apple Trackpad and with the same Wacom tablet while using the supplied pen. This may be a driver/software issue or it could be hardware. However, for most who buy any of the Wacom tablet line, using the device as a touch device is most likely a secondary concern to the input of the pen, where Wacom and their tablets do it the best.

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April 11th, 2011

Laptop Cable Management & Organization-Perfected.

• Easy set-up.

• Low-cost.

• Highly-configurable.

• 100% Stainless steel (or brass).

• Widespread availability.

• Almost invisible.

• Cable grouping far less likely to fall behind desk.

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December 23rd, 2010

A Not-So-Typical “The Absolute Best iPad Apps” Review.

The iOS apps listed below are simply the best currently available for the iPad and they are all highly rated. Some of these iPad apps are not well known—a few under-appreciated and or rare iOS gems are included in this list. the iPad apps presented here are in no order of importance.

goodreader app, evernote app

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November 8th, 2010

Safari Web Browser on Windows and Font Rendering.

Using Apple’s latest version of its web browser, Safari 4.0 beta in Microsoft Windows, one cannot help but notice the differences in font rendering philosophies (and algorithms) between Apple’s OS X and Windows. With the latest version of Safari for Windows one can switch font rendering methods on the fly–from the Mac OS X style to Window’s font rendering style.

Font Rendering: Apple's OS X and Microsoft's Windows

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September 16th, 2010

He hand-codes postscript files, but he is not better than you or me.

As I continue to hack my way through an attempt to blend my website with a new WordPress-Powered “True” Blog (as opposed to my current non-Blog, or false-Blog,  which is really an Articles section only calling itself a blog because ‘blog’ is currently more trendy of a term than ‘articles’), I find it necessary to throw up a few very quick blog posts for testing purposes. As usual for me, I am once again backing my way into the code from the design…

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