iPhone

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. šŸ™‚

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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.

Being back in San Francisco means internet is fast again. Farewell #sxsw

The wifi at SXSW was so slow it made you want to pull your hair out. And AT&T completely failed when tons of iPhones entered Austin, they had to tweak their towers to get more throughput. The only thing that saved us was having Sprint 3G cards to fall back on.

 Now back in San Francisco, this is what I’m getting at home. It’s niiiice šŸ™‚

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