iwork for iphone

What the… …what?

I had to double-check to make sure it wasn’t April 1st.

so much for a week of rumors

Apple let the cat out of the bag with plans for next week’s keynote:

Apple® CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

I can’t recall them disclosing a major keynote like this in recent memory. It’s possible they’re still worried about people getting upset that for the first year since 2007 we won’t be seeing a new iPhone in June/July.

ipad usability: year one

Jakob Nielsen followed up his study from last year on iPad usability:

Except for people who lived alone, our study participants uniformly reported sharing their iPads with other family members. When we asked them to walk us through the apps on their tablet, people frequently came across apps that someone else in their family had installed.

It will be interesting to see if/when/how Apple decides to address the multi-user issue.

(via Wired)

slow week

Apple is fighting off patent trolls and malware, Google wants to hold your money in their wallet, Amazon wants to sell you Mac apps, and Microsoft wants to show you their awesome phone update.

Those were some of the bigger tech news items this week. I didn’t find them very interesting, or have anything to add to the stories. That’s why I haven’t posted about them until now. Next week, the rumor mill might start kicking as we lead up to WWDC. Hopefully, there will be more noteworthy items to share.

amputee demonstrates his bionic hand

It’s strange to imagine what will come with advancements to this kind of technology, but it’s an increasingly sci-fi world we’re living in. (via Slashdot)

instapaper redesign by tim van damme

Good developers love to get solid design criticism of their work. But with software that has matured, it’s hard to give suggestions and criticism that take all the angles into account. Here Marco gives some thorough feedback to a proposed redesign of a few parts of Instapaper’s iPad incarnation. It’s very enlightening to the depth of design work that goes into such a well traveled app.

ranking apps

Neven Mrgan talks about the despicable “virtual currency” apps that have ascended the ranks of the Top Grossing section of the App Store:

You will not see Apple promote these apps; they know very well what the score is. If Apple wants the Top Grossing list to be at all useful, they’ll change how it’s calculated.

I fully agree that these apps are terrible, but for Apple to change the Top Grossing ranking, it would no longer be representative of its name.

And here’s my bold statement — there is no purely statistical way to rank good apps.

These poker, etc. apps have actual people continually paying money to use them. As much as we can denigrate these developers, it doesn’t change the fact that someone thinks it’s worth paying them money. Apps that we see as terrible and valueless are statistically telling us a different story. It is unlikely that Apple will ever solve this issue. I’m hoping to see some third parties solve this problem. As it stands, the App Store isn’t really a great place to discover quality software.


Wired just posted an article outlining Google’s new Chromebooks computing solution. For a small monthly fee, Google hopes to manage the needs of many business and education users with light-to-moderate computing needs. Chrome OS is still a far cry from the maturity of platforms like Windows and Macintosh, but however you look at it, $28 per month, per user is a pretty appealing price tag for computer hardware, software, and support.

Back in 2009 after Google first announced Chrome OS, I wrote an article suggesting how it could change things. My main point focused on consumers who primarily use their computers for email, Facebook, and media consumption, but there were a few things to say about the enterprise as well.

The Windows-centric workplace is fading into the internet-centric workplace, and this is exactly where Google is positioning Chrome OS.

It will be interesting to see which institutions will find these laptops sufficient for a meaningful percentage of their users, but internet services and web-based software have only become more central to our workplaces and schools in the past two years.

android sees 400 percent rise in malware

The report noted that enterprise and consumer mobile devices are exposed to a record number of security threats, including a 400 percent increase in Android malware since the summer of 2010.

One of the reasons I’m happy Android is around — it’s helping keep malware off my iPhone.

see through frosted glass

Another nifty trick from Lifehacker. Although, I imagine it only works with glass that is only frosted on one side.

google music beta

Google at its annual I/O conference just announced Music Beta, a music streaming solution similar to the recent Amazon Cloud Player and the alleged, forth coming iTunes Music Locker. What I find most interesting is a phrase near the bottom of the initial splash screen.

Music Beta is available free for a limited time.

This would mark a big departure for Google, the company that has thrived on giving away ad-supported software. Why don’t Android users buy apps? Why would they? They have been accustomed to getting the software that is most important to them for free. I think once Google moves Music to a paid service, it’s going to meet a lot of resistance. People in Google’s ecosystem are just not used to paying with cold hard cash.

recommended reading

Kottke.org is a rare breed of weblog. It’s a place that curates fascinating stories and ideas, all without adherence to any heavy, overarching theme. Jason Kottke posts links that fascinate him, and to his credit and the benefit of readers, he has good taste. My RSS reader is filled with categories, none of which can accommodate Kottke.org. You always find something just a little different there, and that’s why it is one of my favorite spots on the Internet.


Ben Brooks:

Are these things that you could do in other apps? Certainly, but not with the ease and beauty that [app name] gives you.

One could say those same words about Tweetbot.

@skoda on App.net @technochocolate on App.net