“What Happened in the Apple Event Today?”

Get Psyched

That’s a question I get asked, here’s the answer:

  • Apple Watch OS 2 got a release date, September 16th. That’s the one with the native apps instead of the apps running on the iPhone and displaying on the Apple Watch.
  • There are two new colors of Apple Watch, gold and rose gold.
  • The big iPad is real, it’s called iPad Pro, 12.9 inch screen, 2732×2048 resolution. 5.6 million pickles. New system-on-a-chip, A9X. 10 hours of battery life and Apple usually underestimates that figure. I can’t wait to draw and read comics on this thing. Better sound quality with four speakers, more volume. Weighs a little more than the original iPad despite being several inches larger across the screen. Silver, Gold, Space Grey. Price starts at $800. 32GB base model, thank goodness. Ships in November. $950 for the 128GB model. $1080 for 128GB with a cellular data radio built-in.
  • Keyboard cover for iPad Pro, looks a lot like the Surface’s. New connector for it, three pins on the side of the iPad Pro. $170. Ships in November. No mouse/trackpad input.
  • Apple Pencil, it’s the stylus. I really can’t wait to draw with this. Funny, I already have a stylus called the Pencil. Using the new stylus causes the iPad to go into some kind of faster-update mode. It has a lightning connector so that you can charge it in the iPad Pro. You can annotate documents directly in Mail with this. They even have a Microsoft employee on stage telling us how well it works in their Office programs. An Adobe employee came up to tell us how well it’ll work in their Photoshop programs. People are going to quote Jobs on the stylus, this won’t be the first time Apple has walked back a prior statement because they’ve finally figured out how to do a feature justice. $100. Ships in November.
  • iPad Mini 4, $399. iPad Air 2 guts. No new hardware to replace the iPad Air 2.
  • New Apple TV. Uses Siri for interaction as well as a new swipeable Siri remote. System-wide search across iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Showtime and more apps supporting it later on. Mark Gurman is right again. New screensavers with high-definition video of famous places, they actually look pretty great. Another detail that most of the bargain-basement TV sticks and boxes would ignore. Really smart search keywording with Siri, “What did she say?” skips back 15 seconds.
    “Show me that episode of Modern Family with Edward Norton.” does what you would expect.
    “Who stars in this?” displays the actors with icons.
    Other queries you’d expect like ones about weather with custom views that you can swipe up on the new remote and will pause whatever video is playing behind them.
  • New OS for the Apple TV, tvOS. Looks like this was really meant to be announced at WWDC earlier this year.
  • Games are coming to the Apple TV. Console games like Disney Infinity in addition to your mobile games like Crossy Road. Which now has multiplayer, other players use the iPhone or iPad. Harmonix folks come up to tell us about Beat Sports, a game for the Apple TV which has motion (wiimote-style) controls. Four players in this as well with other iOS devices. Third-party controllers will work, too.
  • Capitalism in its most traditional form of exchanging money for physical goods, Gilt is on the Apple TV so that you can shop at home. Where’s the knife show app?
  • MLB At Bat app has 60hz/FPS video, which they couldn’t do before, and the Mets are still the most terrible team in America next to the dispicable Yankees.
  • Apps are universal, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV. A8 system-on-a-chip. Siri remote is bluetooth. Controls your TV’s volume. Switches inputs via HDMI CEC. Lighting port on the remote for charging. 32GB Apple TV for $150. 64GB for $200. Death to 16GB! tvOS is available to developers today.
  • The old 1080p 3rd gen Apple TV is sticking around at $70.
  • New iPhone. 6s and 6s+. Rose gold option added to silver and space gray. A9 system-on-a-chip. New cases and docks available from Apple.
  • 3D Touch on the new iPhones is similar to Force Touch on the watch. Works on the home screen to show you shortcuts. Does all kinds of other cool things like letting you peek into an app to see some information with a gentle touch, or onto a link in a chat to look at a map without going to the maps app. Where’s my wireless 3D Touchpad for the Mac?
  • OS X El Capitan ships September 20th. This was hidden in a super-secret e-mail displayed on the big screen during the event.
  • You can go into the multi-tasking switcher from the side of the iPhone screen with 3D Touch instead of hitting the home button twice in quick succession.
  • Warhammer 40k: Warblade demo shows the improvements with the new A9 and 3D Touch. Framerate looks good.
  • Camera improvements in the 6s and 6s+. 12 megapickles on the back camera. 4k video recording. Panoramas are 63 megapickles. The front-facing Facetime camera is 5 megapickles and now uses the front-facing screen as a flash. That’s a pretty cool re-use of the stuff that was already there.
  • Live Photos. A 3D touch long-press changes your photos into short 1 or 2 second vine-style videos that capture just before and after your press. It’s the default now, but still toggle-able.
  • Up to 866 Mbps Wi-Fi in addition to LTE Advanced and other networking improvements.
  • New Android app helps you switch to the iPhone.
  • iPhone prices are the same. 5s is the new free phone on contract. 6 is $100 on contract. 16GB is sticking around on the iPhone 6s and 6s+ for a bit longer, boo.
  • New iPhone Upgrade program at Apple stores, unlocked phone, starts at $32/month for people who want to get away from subsidies.
  • iCloud storage prices are way, way, down and actually competitive with other storage services. 50GB for $1/month, 200GB for $3/month, 1TB for $10/month.
  • iOS 9 comes out on the 16th of September. New iPhones come out on September 25th. Pre-order goes up this saturday on the 12th.

Slickwraps Vivid Purple Glow Wrap for iPhone 5 Review

SW-AIP5-GLOWPURPLE-4
Photo Credit: Slickwraps

Obviously, the Slickwraps Vivid Purple Glow Wrap for iPhone 5 isn’t a case. It’s basically just a series of stickers you apply to your iPhone to make it look different. Any protection the stickers might offer is coincidental.

It looks pretty neat, right?

Application is fairly straightforward, everything you need is provided including a screen protector. The only other thing you need is some fairly steady hands.

And it does look good, when your surroundings are dark enough.

When the lights are on it looks a little like a storm-trooper on my Black iPhone with the white stickers.

However, within a few days or a week it’ll start to fall apart.

Here’s what mine looks like after less than a month:

Slickwraps iPhone
Photo Credit: TimeDoctor Dot Org

After less than a week the top piece fell off.

After two weeks the discoloration had gotten pretty bad around the earpiece.

Slickwraps iphone earpiece
Photo Credit: TimeDoctor Dot Org

Finally, the bottom piece has started to disengage from the lower-left hand side of the phone. Once this happens, it gets pocket fuzz covering up the adhesive and is pretty much unfixable.

Slickwraps iphone bottom
Photo Credit: TimeDoctor Dot Org

Do you want your phone to look like this? The glow effect still pretty nifty looking in the dark, but it’s rarely dark enough to trigger the effect unless you’re sleeping. In which case, who cares?

The best part of doing this review was when I took the Slickwrap off my iPhone 5 and it still looked great despite having had stickers all over it for the better part of a month. They’re not using low-quality stuff here, as is evident in the adhesive leaving no residue on the device. The problem instead is that this is the best level of quality you can get until material science makes some kind of ridiculous breakthrough that allows us to stick devices into a cheap home 3D printer and then they come out glowing in the daylight.

I’m throwing this Slickwrap in the trash, because that is what you do with a sticker once you remove it.

0 out of 5 Oil Slicks

An iPhone Case Review: My book is ringing.

 

It’s almost unsettling how many choices you have when deciding what kind of iPhone case you’d like to buy.

Do you get one that charges your phone, or looks cool?

 

Is it a wallet?

Or a steering wheel?

The BookBook fits into the wallet category.

Continue reading “An iPhone Case Review: My book is ringing.”

Game Dev Story Review

Game Dev Story is a business simulation about choices.

What genre, what platform, and what theme do you want for your game?

Is the game cute and simple or realistic and innovative?

Do you want to use an in-house art, story, and audio folks or outsource assets and writing?

There are quite a few choices and you’ve got the freedom to make larger decisions about advertising campaigns and which development path to focus on.

Nothing is free, you’ve got to pay platform holders for devkits, employees their salaries, and fees for everything and everyone in the studio. Game developers won’t choose to grow on their own, you’ve got to prod them forward with research data gathered during development. Once they’re more talented their salary has to rise too. Though at least the game doesn’t simulate headhunters to recruit your developers out from under you. Continue reading “Game Dev Story Review”

How the App Store was won

[Various points of data showing how iPhone OS app, iTeleport generates a ton of revenue despite being priced at $25 snipped…]

We also hope this demonstrates that you can build a business on the App Store.  That doesn’t mean it’s easy, or that you’ll automatically make more money if you raise your price, or that every app should be priced at $25.  It’s just another perspective, albeit one that we haven’t heard in all the discussions of the iPhone developer ecosystem.  This may be because we’re the only ones, but we don’t believe that’s the case.  And we’d like to encourage others to add their voices to the chorus, in the hope that we can change the perception of the App Store.

via Quality over Quantity: How We Built iTeleport into a Profitable Business on the App Store – The iTeleport Blog.

It’s about time

I wandered up to Scott, who was leaning against a table showcasing the new device, introduced myself, and got right down to business.

“Why’s the time changed? Heck, why does the iPhone show 9:42 in the first place?”

Scott looked around conspiratorially, and then chuckled.

“You want to know the real reason for that time?”

I nodded, with no small amount of eager anticipation.

via iPad Day: 9:41 AM  | Secret Lab.

Hook Champ Preview

Rocketcat Games has been running a pre-release adhoc beta of Hook Champ. It is an 8-bit style side-scroller with very simple touch controls.

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You’re an infamous adventurer that starts each mission by swapping out a fancy idol for a fake one, of course it never works and you’re left to run away with your treasure.

hcprev1

Not from a boulder, but from something that seems like a more extreme version of chain chomp from Mario’s games.

The gameplay is more like Sonic. You’ve gotta hook onto the ceiling and various other objects that stick out from the background without stopping or that fellow will eat you.

Make it through a level picking up lesser trophies along the way and you can buy some awesome new hats before heading out on your next adventure.

I’ve enjoyed it so far, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the video:

When it is released Hook Champ will have a 99¢ sale, down from the normal $3 price.

iPhone Doom Classic Progress Report

I have been spending the majority of my time working on iPhone Doom Classic for several weeks now, and the first beta build went out to some external testers a couple days ago. I am moving back on to Rage for a while, but I expect to be able to finish it up for submission to the App Store next month.

Wolfenstein 3D Classic was a quickie project to satisfy my curiosity and test the iPhone waters, but Doom is a more serious effort. In addition to the millions of people with fond memories of the game, there is still an active gaming / development community surrounding the original Doom, and I don’t want to disappoint any of them.

via iPhone Doom Classic Progress Report.

MLB At Bat 2009 Review (iPhone)

mlb-iphone-app

I’ve been listening to MLB.app since the start of the season and as rocky as it has been for the fighting phils, the app has been great.

It streams audio from the Phillies home radio station, even though I’m in San Francisco.

It plays highlight videos from mlb.tv.

It costs $10 per season, whereas the streaming audio feature from mlb.com costs $15.

Most importantly, it gives you a box score and play-by-play text.

Overall, I’ve had few issues with At Bat. Mainly, I’d appreciate it if there were full streaming video of the game, but I suspect they’ll do that for next season and charge $10-$20 more for the app.

The lesser issue is with my connectivity. I live in SF and AT&T’s network stinks, but the inability (on the part of the app or the iPhone) to switch between edge/3G while streaming the in-game audio is terrible. I have to wake my phone up just to get it to realize it should keep trying to get signal.

If you are usually in a wifi-zone like I am, though, you’ll be fine. We’re lucky to have At Bat on the iPhone and it is a steal at $9.99. As far as I know there are no blackouts for the radio stream.

Check out the gallery after the break for all the screens. Then go buy it from the app store.

Continue reading “MLB At Bat 2009 Review (iPhone)”