iPhone

The leaked next generation iPhone looks amazing. But there is one reason why I think it might be a fake

Apple marks all prototypes with a code so that if photos are leaked online, Apple know who leaked it.

The marks are usually indentations around the edge of the iPhone/iPad and are designed to be visible in photos.

Overall the leaked photos and the video of this iPhone look very legitimate. But this detail makes me wonder if the whole thing could be a hoax. I haven’t seen these marking anywhere.

Forcing iPhone developers to write native apps gives Apple the ability to switch architectures more easily

Imagine if Flash was allowed to do this and a year from now let’s say 10% of the apps in the app store are going through Flash rather than writing specifically through x-code to the native SDK and Apple wants to do something with iPhone OS 5 a year from now that isn’t compatible with the output right now of Adobe Flash CS5. Well all of a sudden 10% of the apps in the app store can’t be updated to the latest version until Adobe updates their developer tools. And we’ve seen this before…

A really great point by Louis Gerbarg.

Flashback: 2003 Apple issues a recommendation, advising developers to switch to XCode developer tools. I was working on Final Cut Pro at the time. The switch from CodeWarrior to XCode wasn’t easy, but we knew we had to do it.

2005, Apple announces they are switching to Intel Macs. Developers who switched to XCode can simply flip a switch in the IDE and their application will compile for both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

By forcing all developers to use a single development platform and set of SDKs, Apple was able to change the most basic, critical, low level chip inside the Macintosh computer with minimal effect on developers and users.

Today, we see web development slowed because of compatibility with Internet Explorer. What if in the future, Apple couldn’t make massive, innovative, cutting edge changes to their platform because apps didn’t adhere to strict standards?

I’m all for being a little more strict, and a lot more cutting edge.

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Note: Updated title. Was previously “IE6 caused the web to mature slower than it would have otherwise. Flash would do the same for the iPhone”

The Finder is dead. Soon, a PC won’t have files, folders, or documents. It will have “apps” like an iPhone

There’s a major shift occurring in the way we interact with PCs, applications, and files. It’s being led by Apple with the iPhone, the iPad, and I predict, the next major version of Mac OS.

1. We will no longer interact with applications or files on a desktop PC

When you launch iTunes, you see your music. When you launch iPhoto, you see your photos. When you launch Mail, you see your email. Where is it all stored? Who cares. Apple stores these files on your Mac in a folder or “package” that isn’t meant to be examined or manipulated.

People resisted this model for a while. For some reason, users wanted to manage their files on a desktop, a paradigm that was revolutionary back in 1984. But I always loved Apple’s model. It makes everything easy to organize and backup. I don’t want to deal with the details, just make it work.

Apple used this as the de facto model for the iPhone. Each application has its own sandbox of files and data. The user isn’t aware of or troubled by the concept of files or storage.

The iPad works the same way, and for most people, so will their next PC. In just a few years, everyone but pro users will be using a device centered around “apps” instead of files. If you aren’t a developer, designer, or video editor, this simpler data model is all you need for the web, email, and media.

2. The central point of syncing your data will no longer be your PC, it will be Mobile Me (the cloud)

Right now you sync your iPod, iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV to your computer. Why is the computer the central point of all this? As these other devices evolve and become more powerful, we’ll use our PC less and less. The central point of sync should be the cloud, the internet.

I want to be able to access all my data on my iPhone, iPad, and iCar. And I want them all to be in sync. I want the data to be managed automatically, backed up, secure, and fast. If I buy a video on my iPad, sync it to my TV instantly. If I take a photo on my iPhone, sync it to my iPad. Don’t ask me anything, just make sure everything is everywhere.

The cloud will be the hub for everything, and each device will sync to it. When you want to replace the battery on your iPad, Apple will simply replace your entire iPad. Why not? Just resync all the data.

Back in 1998, Apple killed the floppy drive with one fell swoop. Killing the PC desktop won’t be as quick and easy, but Apple will do it over time. It started with the iPhone, and in a few years we won’t even remember the Finder.

Say goodbye to the desktop.

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PicPosterous 1.1 is out. It does on the iPhone, what I wish iPhoto did on the Mac. Apple doesn’t understand the web

A few years ago I was chatting with some folks at Apple and I told them I wanted iPhoto to sync with a website, my online photo gallery. I didn’t like publishing my photos online manually.

It’s 2009 and this still isn’t possible. I still have to do some set of curation/export/attach/send steps to get my photos online. It’s a pain. How cool would it be if my iPhoto/Aperture was always online? Anytime I make changes on the desktop (add/remove photos, add captions, etc), it would just sync with the web.

At least that’s how it works on my iPhone now. Step 1, create albums. Step 2, add and remove photos and videos to albums. There is no step 3. My photos and videos are just always online, instantly. I don’t have to consciously think about “posting” them.

This goes right along with our belief in making web publishing easy, natural, and built into the tools we already use. Reducing friction is always the way to go.

At your next party, use iTunes DJ to let *your guests* pick what music is played and vote on the next song

My friend, Al, is responsible for the Remote app [iTunes link] on the iPhone. It’s a great tool that allows you to control the music on your Mac or Apple TV using your iPhone.
 
The latest version added some really great features that aren’t advertised very well. First of all, you can control your Apple TV using your iPhone using swipes and gestures. It’s pretty neat, but the Apple TV hasn’t gained enough traction for this feature to get noticed.
 
But one feature that deserves a lot of attention is iTunes DJ.

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  • Lets say you are having a party. Just select a song in iTunes and choose “iTunes DJ”. This will create a new playlist around that song automatically 
  • Anyone at your party with an iPhone can launch Remote, connect to your iTunes, and see what’s being played 
  • Your friends can click “Request song” to browse *your* music selection and add songs to the playlist 
  • They can also vote on songs in the list. The song with the most vote gets played next

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Al is a DJ on the side and has always been interested in bringing a better DJ experience to bars and clubs.
 
This is the future of the juke box. The democratization of music wherever you are.

Very exciting day! Released our first iPhone app, PicPosterous. Makes it easier than ever to post photos online

PicPosterous was my pet project. I really wanted to do some iPhone development and build a better way to publish photos. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the the workflow of posting photos via email. Yeah, that’s what Posterous is all about, but I felt it needed to be better.

So just as Posterous came about to fill our personal need for better web publishing, PicPosterous was built to solve my own publishing frustrations.

  • Why is my Camera app separate from the app I use to post online (Mail)? 
  • I just want all the photos I take to get posted, automatically 
  • I want to build sets of photos as I take them, not at the end 
  • Basically, I want to remove the explicit “Ok, now I need to post these” 

I designed PicPosterous to replace the Camera app on my iPhone. PicPosterous is my camera in the cloud, it’s connected, it breaks down the separation of shooting photos and posting photos. If I could delete Camera from my phone, I would.
 
I’ve been using the app for a couple months now while it was still under development. When the first Posterous prototype was built, the number of photos on my blog went up 10x. Similarly, I’m now posting more photos thanks to PicPosterous.

You can see my photo site here:

http://sachinhd.posterous.com/

I used the app a ton on my last trip to New York. I created an album for each restaurant/bar/attraction I went to and posted the photos as I took them. By the end of the weekend, my photos were already organized and published online:

http://sachinhd.posterous.com/?page=5
http://sachinhd.posterous.com/?page=6
http://sachinhd.posterous.com/?page=7
http://sachinhd.posterous.com/?page=8
 
Developing for the iPhone was a really great experience. The SDK and development tools are phenomenal. I prefer desktop and mobile development over web stuff. There were some really interesting details to tackle with iPhone development:

  • The iPhone is very resource limited. It’s slow and has little memory 
  • I threaded *everything*. The app basically never blocks 
  • Uploads queue and resume if you quit the app and relaunch (or get a phone call) 
  • PicPosterous was designed to let you shoot as fast as possible, and let everything else happen in the background
  • You can even take photos and video with no internet. They will queue for upload later
  • The app is fast, smooth, and stable

If you haven’t already, please download it here.
 
Many thanks to Kate for designing the awesome icon!

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So many Twitter apps available for the iPhone, which one is the best?

I’ve been playing around with all the different iPhone Twitter applications out there. Lots of really great ones, and each takes a different approach to how they bring Twitter to you. I’m sure each serves a different market quite well. Am I missing any good ones?

 Which Twitter app do you use and why? And if your favorite Twitter app doesn’t support Posterous yet, let them know they should. 🙂

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Why do people think software should be free?

When I was at Apple yesterday, I was describing Posterous and our upcoming iPhone app to many people. Everyone asked me, “How much does Posterous cost?” It’s free. I think people at Apple don’t have an expectation for free software like people on the web do. At a traditional software company, you build something, then you charge for it.

 But people have a hard time paying for software these days. Google has definitely led the way in providing great free alternatives to desktop software, that have become the de facto tools for most users. That’s great, but makes it harder for new companies to charge money. Users aren’t willing to pull out their credit cards on the web (unless it’s at Amazon.com).

 And I never hear about people purchasing traditional desktop software, other than creatives who need Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, or other professional tools. This is partially because most machines these days come with great software (iLife, iWork).

 The exception to all this is the iPhone. The distribution model is magnificent. Every iPhone owner has an iTunes account, and every iTunes account has a credit card on file. Most iPhone owners probably already had one for buying music at the iTunes music store. So now these same people have an iPhone and can buy $0.99 applications with one click. Zero friction, it just appears on your iTunes statement. Even my mom does it. (This, btw, is the same on the Apple TV and it’s brilliant)

 I wonder how many people are buying software for the first time ever, now that Apple has made it so easy.