Google Maps for iPhone Saves the Day. Thanks Santa!

It’s finally here – Google Maps for iPhone! Seriously, thank god.

The Apple maps has gotten allot of flack, and I try to stay out of the bashing business, but man – it kept shoving the fact that it blows in my face for quite some time and it couldn’t be ignored.

On my iPhone4 the new Google maps movement is a bit choppy, but that could very well be my old device struggling to keep up. The funny thing about this app coming out now before christmas is that I was seriously considering upgraind to Android (as I believe 2013 will be the true shift for Google/Android’s supremacy  , but with this app iPhone5 slipped right back into my option pool. Interesting play Google, interesting play…

 

One thing to observe: My home screen of my iPhone has now gone from Apple maps, mail, and safari to now sporting a Google trifecta of Google Maps, Gmail, and Chrome. All with my user account logged in. It is like Google is slowly creating an unatachable symbotic relationship with my iphone. All the apps from Google listed are a bit choppy but I still made them my primary apps for those functions for two reasons, 1) I am ready for a visual/ux refresh and a hybrid of Apple charm with Google power is satisfying 2) I use Google in every other aspect of my life, so why not one more? I see more of this to come in 2013.

Also, cheers to Google for giving into the mobile app revolution and ending their forced fight to “preserve” the HTML5 movement for the better of us all. The goal is always to make great products, and if HTML5 can do that now – use it, if you are giving up quality – don’t. It’s simple. I am glad they and others like Facebook finally realized how to play the game. Although it is a 6 year delayed reaction I am happy it’s here.

Apple stores put their money where their mouth is

Ahhh the checkout line.

I know what I want, I found what I want in your store, AND I want to pay for it. So what do you do? You make me wait in line to give you my money! Man, that system is so archaic. Talk of “self checkout” has been around for a while, but I have seen very few instances of it in practice. Aside from the self checkout in the grocery store, that is still just a line in the end, checking out while picking up items in the store is not a part of our daily lives – yet.

So with all the rumors of our devices one day helping us checkout in our favorite stores, Apple finally made the decision to take the first step and offer self checkout on your iOS device at all Apple stores. Just download the newest version of the Apple Store App and buy til’ your hearts content, or your bank account runs dry, whichever comes first.

I have yet to use it myself, but am anxious to see how the company that is known for defining best practices around new concepts will implement their self checkout. I am also curious to see how they handle a jam packed store, with hundreds of very valuable items, mostly ranging in the $+1K range.

 

        

The ol’ switcherooo

I realized todaythat with the advents of iPhone and Google voice free calling from my computer I now use my phone for computing and my computer for calling more then the other way around.

Maybe this is anoter indicaton that mobile is more about sponetaity and look ups where the computer is used as a momemt in time reserved for an action. I am walking and curious about the weater i am about to enter, check phone. I need to talk to my mom at 8 sit down and use skype or gchat for 30 mins….

Maybe ist just ironic, but it was a funny thing to notice today either way.

The ol' switcherooo

I realized todaythat with the advents of iPhone and Google voice free calling from my computer I now use my phone for computing and my computer for calling more then the other way around.

Maybe this is anoter indicaton that mobile is more about sponetaity and look ups where the computer is used as a momemt in time reserved for an action. I am walking and curious about the weater i am about to enter, check phone. I need to talk to my mom at 8 sit down and use skype or gchat for 30 mins….

Maybe ist just ironic, but it was a funny thing to notice today either way.

iPhone Secret Feature

iPhone Undo
iPhone Undo

Lately I have noticed that I get prompted to “undo typing” or cancel my text. I would hurriedly press cancel and after getting the message a few times I started to think something was becoming buggy with my phone or my fat fingers were accidentally pressing some wrong button. The I realized — wait there is no “undo” button/feature on the phone where the hell is it coming from? After some quick research, I found out there is an unpublished “undo” feature on the iPhone after SDK 3.0.

Ready for it…..and….

Activate Undo Text Feature:
After typing on the iPhone, shake the phone to undo what you have typed.

iPhone, Safari, and HTML5, Oh My!

iPhone Video
iPhone Video

iPhone Safari is purpoted to be trying to release HTML5’s newest spec that allows video tags. This means that we will soon be able to watch video inline easily not only on the web in general but on our pretty little phones.

Some of you may be saying, “I already can playvideo on my phone”. Which although true isnt really the whole picture. Have you noticed that when there is video you must play in in a seperate quicktime panel that pops out. Witht the inclusion of this new spec you will be ale to just press play from within the web  page.

For developers this also menas that including images in a pahge will be as easy as using a simple <video> tag as appose to needing to use a plugin like quicktime or flash. As Isaac put it, we are one step closer to getting rid of flash.

Example:

<video src=”http://www.ananova.com/about/vap_windows_check.wmv”&gt;
your browser does not support the video tag
</video>

Augmented reality: Nearest Subway


iPhone App
iPhone App

Latest coool app that takes augmented reality and makes it practicle for the everyday user using GPS and the New York City Subway.

Augmented reality uses your screen to superimpose CGI or digital media as an overlay to a real life realtime backdrop. The first big example of comercial use I know was by GE  who did thier own version of augemnted rality for thier website. On the site GE asked its users to print a pattern out and hold it up to the camera on thier computer. The site would recognize the pattern and place digital graphics, of a wind mill for instance, on top of that pattern but using the computers camera. They also added an audio feature so that when you blew on the microphone the windmills would start turning. Here are some other exampes of augmeted reality on youtube.

Now the latest augmented reality product is out on iPhone and allows users to not only see the nearest NY metro stops to them but it  overlays a marker in realtime over the video functionailty of the camera so that you can see the marer over the landscape in fornt of you. With teh camer faced town arrows are placed on the ground, through the camera, showing you the direction you need to walk to get to the metro of your choice. Check out more iformation and a video on crunch gear showing off how it works here and learn more about the comapny that produced it called AcrossAir here.

Neo Consumerism

iPhone 3.0
iPhone 3.0

The day of charging directly for goods may be back! People are scrambling to figure out ways to make the new mobile phenomenon lucrative and with apple ingeniously associating a credit card and account for each individual along with their iPhone to handle all transactions apple has masterminded the perfect segway to this new consumerism cost structure. With all your credit info on file apple makes it easy fora business to accept a users purchases with no overhead. A business can focus on thier ocntent and thier app and apple takes care of sales a distributions allowing companies to sell apps for only  a few bucks and hopefully make up for it all in the amount of churn these simple apps produce.  Sort of the same way charging 99cent for a song instead of 15$ for an album in a store apple now has people spending hundreds or even thousands a year on music, the same can go with the new micro payment model for segments of applications and content introduced withe the latest iPhone sdk 3.0.

Now with micro-payemnts that concept of the neo consumer is refining itself yet again. Imagine getting high quality content where more in depth info only costs an additional 10cents. Yeah you’re paying for content when it may have been free but less ads, greater focus and the ability to pick and choose you whats important to you on an adhoc level is way ore costefective and simple the buying a whole newspaper form a stand for over a buck and throiwng half of it away since you only want the sports section.  10 cent is a sneeze for most people and you dont have to open your wallet or input your credit information.  Maybe this is what PayPal envisioned for their future in their earlier more mobile days.

Imagine breaking up cost points by actions where an in depth graph can be download and send to your coworkers for 50 cents, extra weapons in games to help defeat your opponents and extra dollar or ecards that costs only pennies on the dollar. Your finances for all purchases are funneled through a single source and sent as a weekly or monthly statement. Pick and choose what content work best for you and pay almost nothing for the thing you specifically want. This could be an interesting revolution in the online charge model.

Still no calendar API in 3.0/3.1

iPhone Calendar
iPhone Calendar

Seems silly at this point but iPhone SDK is still without an API to push events to a persons calendar on the phone. Really? I mean what could happen that apple is against. You can get a users location based on GPS, which would seem more invasive then allowing a user to click a button to add it to their calendar. Is Kim jung il running apple while Jobs is out sick? — Maybe they are the same person; — I mean I have never seen them in the same place at the same time! Weird.

Anyways, please add this API soon. Thanks.