Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

TweetDeck iOS App

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A couple days ago, TweetDeck dropped a completely revamped version of their iOS app.

Most of the interface elements make perfect sense, but take a little time getting used to. Pinching columns out for an overhead view works great, but it’s not intuitively obvious. It’d be great to see some kind of overlay when first signing in that shows an example of the gesture. It’s the same problem that plagues Twitter for Mac and Twitter for iPad. They have some awesome three-finger gestures that work brilliantly, but they’re tucked away far too deep.

The inverted scrollbar is a little strange at first; most apps use the center of the bar to indicate your position, but TweetDeck uses the bottom of the bar to show where you are. And when you scroll up, the bar shortens instead of moving. Again, once you get used to it, it’s a great experience. I love the way that column headers are represented when viewing, though – the shadow of the notification light when viewing unread tweets looks really slick.

Performance is also vastly improved – even on my iPhone 3G, scrolling is smooth, and the app locks into your swipe between columns much better. No one enjoys highlighting a tweet when you’re intending to switch columns.

Aside from a few quirks, this app is much more polished than the previous iteration. Hit up the download!

iPad

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Launch Day

I’ve never been to an Apple product launch before, and was excited about experiencing the unique culture surrounding Cupertino’s releases. I arrived at Atlanta’s Lenox Square to be 16th in line – not too bad, considering the hundreds of people that showed up. At first, I was a little hesitant about having to wait a few hours for the doors to open, but the time passed really quickly, fueled by great conversations with Mark Bowling, Taft Watson (the first one to get the original iPhone in Chicago), and other like-minded technology enthusiasts. At 8:30, the doors to the mall were opened, and we were herded to the outside of the Apple Store until 9:00. Right after 9, the lights were turned on, followed by all the store employees running from both directions – clapping, cheering, and high-fiving. It’s about as close to sports and tailgating as I get.

The crazy thing is that very few of the customers were chiming in, but it still felt like a huge deal. Geniuses held HD cameras high above the crowd as the first group of us were filing into the store, scrambling to get a look. I first played with a demo unit, went to grab a case, and then was approached about my reservation. For as many people that were there, the entire process was surprisingly smooth. After getting checked out, I headed home to unbox and start using the device.

Impressions

Unboxing

As with any Apple product, the unboxing was an phenomenal experience. The iPad sat atop a USB cable and power adapter, separated by a few foldout documentations. When first powered on, an iTunes connection was required, although the presence of a full charge got me through the day. There’s been some buzz surrounding issues with USB charging, but I don’t see it as a pressing issue – especially considering the fact that the iPad’s battery life is excellent. I went ahead and synced my music library, podcasts, movies, and a selection of apps I downloaded the previous night. After making sure all content was synced cleanly, I went through the Settings menu to personalize everything to the same configurations as on my iPhone, as well as to enable MobileMe syncing.

Apps

There’s a few great apps for the iPad, a solid amount of good ones, and a lot of bad ones. The majority of the outstanding ones are a bit more expensive than their iPhone counterparts, but (especially with games) the prices aren’t terrible considering the amount of development work involved. My wish list’s currently at around $150 worth of apps – something that’s not happening anytime soon. Here’s a few favorites that I’ve already installed:

  • NetNewsWire
  • Evernote
  • WordPress
  • Twitterific
  • Pandora
  • Netflix
  • Fieldrunners
  • Tap Tap Radiation
  • RealRacingHD

NetNewsWire is much faster than the iPhone version, and Netflix’s streaming capabilities are pretty cool. But as great as the first iteration is, it’d be nice if Netflix would offer a richer experience than just a site-specific-browser.

Running iPhone apps, however, is an overall bad experience. When scaled down, I feel cramped to use the app with the presence of a large screen surrounding it, but enlarging the app yields to pixelation. As suggested by Ajai Karthikeyan, antialiasing would be a great solution.

The Big Picture

The iPad will succeed in extremely general and extremely specific uses. There isn’t a better device for surfing the web on the couch; the same goes for using Twitter at a conference or doing a one-on-one presentation with Keynote.

But when it comes to day-to-day use and significant productivity, there’s still a huge need for the form factor of a desktop/laptop, not to mention their distance from the technical specifications of the iPad. In short, it’s a luxury item right now. Yet the tablet sector’s really starting to take off, and following the release of devices such as the HP Slate and JooJoo, the luxury factor will begin to decrease.

What’s your opinion on the iPad?