What’s Never Can Tell up to ?
Which Apps are worth it ?
Why stay in touch ?
Last month we headed north past Broken Hill to Mutawintji National Park, which was handed back to it’s traditional owners in 1998. Local indigenous rangers look after the after the park and conduct tour guides to significant sites. The country is reminiscent of the great rocky escarpments and waterholes found in the NT. We went on some fantastic walks before heading off to White Cliffs (think Coober Pedy only smaller). Every forty or so years the Queensland floods slowly seep south and fill this usually parched desert county with lakes and birds. The contrasting green growth on red earth is spectacular - pics.
Six months ago most developers scrambled to convert their iPhone apps into iPad apps for the USA iPad launch. However we hadn’t quite completed our iPhone design and decided, after a few too many coffees at Marios cafe, to do an abrupt U-Turn and design Fiscal for the iPad first. In a week. Hell why not ?
Working late into the night with Darren Ledwich on the interface design and our sensational coder, it involved a lot of guess work. Keep in mind at this stage, we didn’t even own an iPad. Running the iPad simulation software on a MacPro proved to be a whole lot different to running the real thing on an iPad. So we finally caved in and bought one from USA – thanks MacTalk. It was exciting to be among one of the first thousand iPad apps ready in June.
It’s taken another couple of months and a new sync engine to turn Fiscal into the fast little demon Google Finance reader we wanted it to be. The graphs are simply gorgeous. For the rest of the world, who don’t have iPads, you can now buy Fiscal Slim for iPhone. And for the rest of the rest of the world who don’t own an iPhone – ummm get one ?
By the way, if you don’t have a Google account and can’t be bothered putting a few stocks in Google Finance you can use this demo account – Username: firstname.lastname@example.org; Password: nctdemon . Why did we decide to use Google Finance to edit and enter your shares ? Answer – a faster more robust app with less syncing issues. However getting the data from Google’s API, not so simple and the ASX data actually comes from Yahoo.
For those who like their privacy you can opt out of iAds on your iOS 4 device. Apple will not use the information they know about you to display an iAd. Then again you might prefer the ads Big Brother chooses for you.
Go baby go
Our first born baby app is PB Go. It’s still selling all over the world and in the words of the infamous Mike McHugh whose kids participate in Little Athletics he “can be nerdy and watch the kids go for it at the same time”! As PB Go is designed to encourage kids, ALA really likes it too ! Watch this space. We even made a cute trailer. Next we’re adding customised events, so you can add your own 50m egg & spoon race or marathon. PB Go and Heads Up are both designed with the infamous and illustrious Alex Tyres.
If you have a mobile me account you might like to log in online and try it. I like how you can invite people to an event from your phone. Sync before you jump.
Yep we waited five hours for our iPhone4s at Chadstone in the Telstra queue with Gene. Then they told us we had to come back at 10am, as in 6 hours time, to get them. But one look at my fiercest ice queen I don’t think so smile and they buckled. The iPhone4 screen is a work of art and yes its faster.
Lost in the land of Apps
Word of mouth is still the best way to discover good apps. Here’s a selection from a few smiling mouths.
Trippy iPad apps
• Gravitarium recommended by our brilliantly talented website builder
• Quantum an equally trippy one from the hipster Mr Garry Barker macman
• Osmos on the same theme but this one’s actually a real game that goes foof
Miles in his own words reviews in priority order …
• Modern Combat Sandstorm A modern day shoot em up with great online features. (should contain parental warning re addiction, Ed.)
• Angry Birds A great simple app where you try to destroy pigs castles with a range of different birds with different powers.
• Aussie Rules Live is an app that gives live coverage of AFL matches with a lot of stats and past stats. (Aust rules football)
• Pocket God is an amazing app with over 30 updates that add another feature to an already great game. You control the god of 5 islands where you can do painful things to the Pygmies.
Compatriot ozzie developers apps we love + their twitter addresses to follow
• Oz Weather an oldie but a goodie from https://twitter.com/gpdawson
• Cities one of Bjango’s early apps I use all the time to deal with jetlag and to avoid ringing mates OS at 4am http://twitter.com/marcedwards
• Shop Ethical Shopping with a conscience from Outware who make great apps for clever clients http://twitter.com/outware
• The Incident retro groovers from WA http://twitter.com/theincidentapp
• The Early Edition stylish old school http://twitter.com/glasshouseapps
The chrysalis for Fiscal, for iPad v2, has been growing as we wrapped our heads around the iPad and just how different to an iPhone it really is. We were determined not to produce a grubby big iPhone version but something of beauty that sits with the iPad gracefully. So now the butterfly version of Fiscal for iPad is on the store and we think she’s pretty. If you keep like to keep track of your portfolios in Google Finance you’ll find Fiscal now flies faster and has very intricate wing patterns in the graphs. The iPhone caterpillar version will appear on the store shortly.
Less than 50 hours to go to the Apollo like launch of the iPad store and we’re in the countdown. Fiscal is good to go. All the the bloggers are madly bloggin on about which iPad apps have made the grade and who has actually played with an iPad. The irony that they’re two completely different lists of people is not lost on us. OK I admit I did get excited when Fiscal appeared on this site who seem to have trawled the iTunes feed for fresh fish. It’s been a crazy week. From the moment of insanity when we decided to do a massive UTurn in our iPhone development for Fiscal and go down the iPad path it’s been full tilt. May Fiscal’s little LEDs light up everyone’s iPad screen soon.
Over a quiet cup of tea this morning Apple let us know PB Go will be on the store in 3 hours. It’s there. It’s not too shabby. Went public with this site. Then I bought the app. I couldn’t help myself.
After spending a whole month of my life researching on line media I too decided it’s a self fulfilling whirlpool of tossers claiming they can capture and control social media. I joined twitter, linkedin, facebook. I watched fakesteve turkey slap John Gruber. Then un-followed everyone. So check out the top rating forever Doodle Jump’s website. Thats right it’s a page of icons that link to iTunes. That’s Lima’s online media strategy. They don’t have one ! They don’t need to. They’re in Wikipedia, referenced in TV sitcoms and sold over 3 million copies. So whilst we all blog on until our hearts are content remember if it aint a good idea it aint going to fly no matter how many times you sponsor Daring Fireball. That’s it I’m not blogging anymore.
Ode to the office-less office. Now I’m free, no-ones bothering me, with their keynote presentations, board room meetings, spreadsheet, downsizing, rationalising, professional platitudes. Sitting in the park watching the dog play. I smile smugly, looking at the trees, they wave back and say “Hey we’ve been here a long time. Glad to see you made it out OK” …. so I’m going nuts talking to the trees. No more water cooler conversations. Tweets instead. Blogs but sunshine. I’m free and Apple can keep their 30% that’s fine by me.
Apps we love. A clunky old retro camera (with a goldmine of in app purchases) in Hipstamatic. Silly but fun to Bump your iphone into someone else’s and exchange saliva. Find which movie and where it’s screenings with Now Playing. And on a starry night out camping Sky Voyager is truly amazing.
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