Tag Archive | "Tablet"

Understanding the Microsoft Surface…

Just wanted to “repost” a really good blog post I found that tries to explain the new Microsoft Surface tablets.

This is a review of the Microsoft Surface, though it won’t be like most other reviews you read.  I’m going to focus my effort on positioning the Surface in today’s so-called “post-PC” era.  You want unboxing, descriptions of buttons and connectors, spec comparisons, etc. then this isn’t the review for you.  You want real world insights, then stay tuned.

I found this really useful and maybe it can help others see the Surface and the form factors chosen in a different light…

Read the complete post here: http://hal2020.com/2012/10/28/understanding-the-microsoft-surface-a-sort-of-review/

Thanks to @ckindel for sharing!

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My first app out in Microsoft Windows Store

In the beginning of September 2012 I was called up to come “rescue” a port of a Windows Phone 7 application to a Windows 8 RT NewUI (Metro) application. The project owner was under staffed and in a hurry… This app had to be done in time for the launch of Windows 8 in Stockholm on October 26th. (Later moved to the 25th). The final client was on of the large (if not the largest) retail store chains in Norway ICA/Rimi and their Rimi Pluss service.

Our first deadline was October 1. so there was a lot of work that had to be done before in a very short time. Rimi Pluss already have apps for Iphone, Android and Windows Phone 7 and all the clients is centered around helping you create shopping lists based on dinner recipes and their complete product line. The shopping lists can then be shared between friends and family members.

Luckily most of the planning work had been done in terms of UX and design and because just porting a mobile app to a tablet app is a bad idea, the new Windows app would be more centered around the recipes and as a planning tool for dinner suggestions. We also had some really skilled people from Fullsix in Portugal that came and gave us their insight when it came to UX and design, and what to

We also had a lot of code… that is Windows Phone 7 code that was created in a loose MVVM observable pattern design and the first thing i tried was to copy all the code into my Win 8 app. Not a very good approach :) So what we ended up doing was to copy single methods and logic from the Windows Phone 7 app into the app and porting/upgrading it.

All in all this was  a fun job to do and it brought back the fun in desktop development :) But as always, doing development on early platforms can be some pain…. and this one is no different…..  One thing that surprised me was how fast I realized that Expression Blend is your friend, typing XAML is something I have never enjoyed much :) I still find XAML to be a bit messy but I guess that is somewhat my own fault, I am not (yet) a XAML ninja, but I’ll revisit my Dojo and become master of it :)

Another “puzzle” was the complete and utter lack of built-in support for databases…. Our first thought was ????? nothing??? what now?? Luckily we found that there acutally was a SQLite library available for Windows Store apps (the project template in Visual Studio 2012 is called Windows Store App, not Windows 8 RT) and through nuget we found sqlite-net. Very helpful and with that we had a code first ORM database responding to LINQ queries.

For the coding itself it was not as much porting as it is rewriting… The ViewModels of the WP7 app was heavily chained with event triggers, sometimes it was almost impossible to follow them all :)  Rewriting all of it into async  methods that was awaitable was just sheer pleasure. One of the ViewModel classes from the Windows Phone 7 application had 1800 lines of code in it – it was rewritten down to about 400 in the windows 8 application. I felt I had done a real good job that day :)

We also had help from Microsoft in Norway that advised us on the tiny bits… were we following the guidelines for font sizes, types, etc… The overall feeling in the project team was that the app reviewers for the Windows Store was really picky on this kind of stuff.

On October 1. we submitted our app but it got rejected…… not for bad code but for not having “enough” information in the app. We were missing a FAQ and privacy policy information in the settings charm on every screen. We also “forgot” to add a link to an online privacy policy text that was clearly marked as “Optional”….  But luckily we were told that we were allowed another 15 days of development before the app had to be submitted again so now we could get all the missing bits into the app, and we also implemented search contracts, a bit of customization for snapped, full and filled view.

One thing that I didn’t like about the current stat of Windows Store Apps is that there is limitations to what you can do with your UI controls, things that should be there but looks like it just didn’t make it in time… one of these things is the ability to sort and group data in gridview and listviews. You have to “physically” do that in your data source. – but the new networking api’s more or less make up for it in abundance – working with networked applications in Windows 8 is pure joy :)

Next week I am hired to begin development of my first Windows Phone 8 app. hopefully (Haven’t done any research yet) the whole awaitable async pattern is available there too…. I’ve also decided do do a few more Windows Store Apps on my own, since it is such a new platform and there is a whole range of apps that still hasn’t been created yet and  is up for the taking :)

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Evolution of the Windows Phone

A day later, after Microsoft introduced the Windows Surface tablet in Hollywood they invited to another event in San Francisco to talk about the next version of Windows Phone. You can watch the Windows Phone Summit presentation at Channel9.

There’s a ton of new features coming for Windows Phone 8 and one of the more visual changes will be the new and enhanced start screen. Live tiles can now be resized to fit your needs!

Seeing the video, and reading the list of features put into the Windows Phone 8 on both hardware and for developers, not to mention the reach out for businesses and professional users I truly believe that 2013 can become the year Microsoft reinvented themselves as the innovators of user-friendly technology!

Check out this promo video for the new live tile features you can expect to find in Windows Phone 8.

Here is some info from Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) and the official Windows Phone blog:

With Windows Phone 8, the similarity (with Windows 8 – ed. note) is more than skin deep. We’ve based the next release of Windows Phone on the rock-solid technology core of Windows 8. It means Windows Phone and its bigger sibling will share common networking, security, media and web browser technology, and a common file system. That translates into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster.

This new shared core—along with all the extra work they have done on top of it—opens up a new world of capabilities, which you don’t have to be a techie to appreciate. Here’s a taste:

  • Multi-core processor support: As reviewers have noted, Windows Phone runs buttery smooth on phones with a single processor. But piggybacking on the Windows core provides support for multiple cores—so we’re ready for whatever hardware makers dream up.
  • Bigger, sharper screens: Windows Phone 8 supports two new screen resolutions—1280×768 and 1280×720, opening the door to amazing new handsets with high-definition 720p displays.
  • More flexible storage: Windows Phone 8 supports removable MicroSD cards, so you can stuff your phone with extra photos, music, and whatever else is important to you, and then easily move it all onto your PC.
  • NFC wireless sharing: If you haven’t heard the term “NFC” yet, I’m betting you soon will. This emerging wireless technology lets phones share things over short distances. In Windows Phone 8, it helps make sharing photos, Office docs, and contact info easier—just tap your phone another NFC-equipped device. How cool is that?
  • Internet Explorer 10: The next version of Windows Phone comes with the same web browsing engine that’s headed for Window 8 PCs and tablets. IE10 is faster and more secure, with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen Filter to block dangerous websites and malware.
  • Wallet: Windows Phone 8’s new digital Wallet feature does two great things. It can keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes, and other important info right at your fingertips. And when paired with a secure SIM from your carrier, you can also pay for things with a tap of your phone at compatible checkout counters.
  • Better maps and directions: Windows Phone 8 builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform. Our partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries, plus the ability to store maps offline on your phone so you can work with maps without a data connection.
  • Cooler apps and games: Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games, for reasons I’ll touch on in a moment.

Talking about apps..  Developers can expect some exciting changes that include:

  • Native code support: Windows Phone 8 has full C and C++ support, making it easier to write apps for multiple platforms more quickly. It also means Windows Phone 8 supports popular gaming middleware such as Havok Vision Engine, Autodesk Scaleform, Audiokinetic Wwise, and Firelight FMOD, as well as native DirectX-based game development.
  • In-app payments: In Windows Phone 8 we make it possible for app makers to sell virtual and digital goods within their apps.
  • Integrated Internet calling: In Windows Phone 8, developers can create VoIP apps that plug into our existing calling feature so Internet calls can be answered like traditional phone calls, using the same calling interface.
  • Multitasking enhancements. Windows Phone 8 now allows location-based apps like exercise trackers or navigation aids to run in the background, so they keep working even when you’re doing other things on your phone.

As Windows is at the core of many businesses Windows Phone 8 will also  get capabilities to suit businesses and the professional user.

More from Joe Belfiore:

In Windows Phone 8, we’re also moving into the workplace in a big way, introducing a number of features and capabilities that companies and their IT departments demand. This is just one more benefit of sharing a common core with Windows 8. Some of the new business-friendly features include:

  • Device encryption: To help keep everything from documents to passwords safe, Windows Phone 8 includes built-in technology to encrypt the entire device, including the operating system and data files.
  • Better security: Windows Phone 8 supports the United Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot protocol and features improved app “sandboxing,” so the phone is better protected from malware with multiple layers of security.
  • Remote management: With Windows Phone 8, IT departments can manage apps and phones remotely, with tools similar to ones they now employ for Windows PCs.
  • Company Hub and apps: Companies can create their own Windows Phone 8 Hub for custom employee apps and other critical business info.
One “sad” announcement was that Windows Phone 8 will not become available to existing Windows Phone 7.5 handsets. The Windows Phone 7.5 handsets will get an update that gives them the new live tile start screen in an update that will be called Windows Phone 7.8.
Belfiore explains why:

The new Start screen is so useful and emblematic of what Windows Phone is about that we want everybody to enjoy it. So we’ll be delivering it to existing phones as a software update sometime after Window Phone 8 is released. Let me repeat: If you currently own a Windows Phone 7.5 handset, Microsoft is planning to release an update with the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen. We’re calling it “Windows Phone 7.8.”

Some of you have wondered, “Will we also get Windows Phone 8 as an update?” The answer, unfortunately, is no.

Windows Phone 8 is a generation shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware. BUT we care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh, so we’re providing the new Start screen in this new update.

 

Read the complete blog post at the Windows Phone blog.

 

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And the big announcement was…….

The event started with Steve Ballmer getting onto the stage started to talk about the Cloud, then moved onto talking about Windows and that “Windows is the heart and soul of Microsoft”.

Then talking about the hardware and showing everything from the first mouse from 1884, The keyboard from 1994 the Surface in 2007 and kinect for Xbox 360 in 2010……

Steve comes back and the screen behind him shows the old 1984 mouse.

“we wanted to give Windows 8 its own hardware innovation. It’s something new, something different, it’s a whole new family of computing devices from MS.”

And the announcement is…. A Surface based tablet from Microsoft!

That is potentially really really cool!

You can read more about the device here at Microsoft.

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When size matter, for the professional iPad user

(File)Size does matter!

More and more people rely on tablets for work and productivity. The new iPad doesn’t just bring new predicaments for the app developers, it also introduce a new conundrums for the professional users too.

Bright shining images

Here at Appaloosa AS we create apps and magazines for both smartphones and tablets. We use our devices in customer meetings hooked up to a projector to show presentations using Keynote or for inspirational use show how things can be done and has been done  by others. As a result my 64GB iPad is now more or less filled with Keynote presentations, Pages documents and Numbers spreadsheets, Mind map meeting notes, iMockup app and web sketches not to forget the other ton of apps and magazines I’ve got installed. It’s also filled with research papers and reports stored in iBooks and/or GoodReader, stuff I like to take with me to read anywhere I go or when i need to look up something.

Up until now everything has been fine and 64GB has been enough space to allow me also to have a small collection of music and space enough to purchase or rent a movie through iTunes for when I’m off traveling. For me it is a real problem that apps like Keynote, Pages and Numbers grow 120%  - 180% in file size, or like iMovie that grows 500%. Even a “small” app like Tweetbot gew from 9MB to 25Mb. If each and every of my 150 installed apps grow between 100% and 300% in size I’ll have to start to prioritize apps and uninstall apps that I need to have on it. The rule of thumb is that the more customized the user interface is of an app, the larger it will grow in proportion to it’s original, pre new iPad size.

What does the new iPad bring? Bling! That’s it – It’s got a faster CPU, and a GB of internal memory. This extra CPU and memory is there to make the new iPad render this “blingy”, shiny new graphics a bit faster than the graphics rendered on the old iPad (iPad 2 that is). In my opinion the old iPad was fast enough, I’d rather have an iPad with more storage space than one with shinier graphics because I won’t be able to see this new cool graphics once my iPad is connected to a projector or presentation screen in a meeting room. Another problematic issue will be to see how good my old keynote presentations will be looking when I just show it off the iPad screen with its low-rez graphics snipped from the web?

I haven’t seen/touched the new iPad yet but sadly I have to buy one as soon as I can to verify how our old magazines and work look on it – Will our magazines, created for the old iPad be as beautiful as when we did them? Will the new iPad expose us and our design flaws with pixellated graphics?

In the future, when everything is stored by default on (i)Cloud and networking is guaranteed 24/7/365 anywhere then we might not need more than 64GB.

Because most external screens that you will be using won’t be able to take advantage of the extra resolution and depth that the retina gives I’d  go for, and recommend the professional user to go for the old iPad.

Since I wrote about the “possible problem” of running out of disk space a week ago I’ve read a lot of follow-up articles that pin point the same problem and i still wonder what Jobs’ view would have been. Go for the bling?

 

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Could retina display on iPad be a really bad move?

I just read an article in Norwegian MacWorld that told me a couple of things that got me a bit “worried”. Both as a developer and a user of iPads… I don’t know if this is in-fact a real world problem yet, but Its something i need to look into. What struck me while reading was: Could adding a high res retina display to the iPad without adding more storage space be the baddest idea ever for the iPad?

I haven’t seen a lot of apps that is ready for Retina iPad 3 yet, but a few clues to the (possible) problem can be found with the existing Apple software that has been updated….

  • iPad  Keynote  app from Apple went from a 127MB download to a 327 MB download.
  • iPad Pages app from Apple  went from a 95MB download to a 269 MB download.
  • iPad Numbers app from Apple went from a 109 MB download to a 283 MB download.
I now that for instance for Keynote got  a few new features and bug fixes in that release as well, but it surely nothing that would justify 154.5% raise in file size?
And how big download would my next issue of Wired for iPad be……?
My 64GB iPad2 is almost already filled to its limits with apps, publications and music. Will it from now on only fit half of my app collection?
AppQuiz:
What should we call the apps that are retina ready? The name “HD” is already used  like {AppName}HD for iPad 1&2 apps, {AppName}ReallyHD?

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Really cool Windows 8 tablet concept image

While browsing i found this really cool images showing a conceptual design for a Windows 8 based Nokia tablet pc. If this is what we’re waiting for I’ll be first in line with a sleeping bag to secure me one :)

This nice design would in my mind kick some serious iPad butt :)

Admit it! It does look good on the coffee table :)

Read more about the images here: http://mynokiablog.com/2012/02/05/my-dream-nokia-43-nokia-lumia-coffee-tab-windows-8-concept/

 

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Getting things started again

So, it has been a while since I have had any time at all to think about the blog, but things are looking better and it is time to get back at it.

It has been a crazy few months and since last writing, I’ve split with Creuna as a result of us having different opinions on what mobility is, how it is done and how you make business out of it. You do it, not only talk about it :)

I found a partner, and old friend that was working as CEO of Bonnier Media in Norway at the time and started our own company. The result after just a couple of months is that we are over worked and employ four full-time super competent developers in India, a business model I’ll be writing a lot about in the future.

The plan; Create mobile and tablet apps and solutions based on lean and agile methods with offshore resources. It’s a win-win situation for both customers in terms of economy and investment cost, and for us, since norwegian developers is starting to become too expensive for the clients we can provide highly capable and experienced developers at a much lower price.

Another thing I’ll be writing more about is my fondness of my HTC Titan Windows Phone 7 device. I tried a social experiment on myself to see if it “was possible” to live without my iPhone and surprisingly enough the answer was a huge YES. I started out with a Samsung Omnia 7 phone but after a month or so I needed bigger screen and more power so, suddenly I was the owner of one of the best phones I’ve ever owned :)

Check out this Monster Magnet gig i went to and recorded a song from using the Titan (a bit bumpy the first couple of minutes but it will settle down…)

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6-qo_BMGRk']

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String augmented reality

One of the more fun things i’ve been looking at lately is the augmented reality technology developed by String Labs Ltd.  They’ve created a really cool framework that lets you put animated 3d objects with the help of “markers” in the form of a printed picture.

With String, it’s not only 2d objects that can be added, you can also add and interact with 3d objects. String is a high performance, Software Developer Kit (SDK) for developers who wish to create true augmented reality applications that can be experienced with an iOS device such as iPad 2 or iPhone.  An Android version is due sometime this fall.

Here’s some of the features of String AR technology.

  • Comes in vanilla OpenGL and Unity flavours.
  • Add AR to any iOS project, regardless of 3D engine.
  • Add AR to your Unity iOS project without a single line of code.
  • Unity SDK has preview plugin for lightning fast test cycles.
  • Create your own image markers; they’re just PNGs.
  • Contains hooks to easily create your own native.

When it comes to performance the frame rate limited only by camera hardware. Typically runs internally at ~70FPS on a 3G, excluding video capture. It can track up to 10 images simultaneously. Lets you mimic real-world lighting in your scene by measuring the relative colour and lightness around each marker. Typically uses ~120 kB of memory at runtime, excluding video capture.

String AR is a commercial SDK and is available through Developer, Indie, Pro and Campaign licensing.

I think that adding this to a marketing campaign would really create a huge WOW effect.  Take a look at the video, It’s not the most advanced option, but it shows how it easily could have been used in a printed ad. If you also add linking to online shopping, this could become the coolest online shopping app ever.

We took String®, our new Augmented Reality technology running on iPhone, out on to the streets of East London. This is the reaction of the public to their first glimpse of AR. And seeing a giant virtual sneaker in the middle of the street of course.

More videos with new content coming soon..

For more information, go to http://www.poweredbystring.com

CREDITS:

Soundtrack: “The Daydream” by Tycho | http://www.tychomusic.com

 

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A bright new future

This fall and winter is truly filled with joy for me! I’ve quit my job at Creuna as Chief Consultant Mobility tostart up my own company.

I’ve partnered up with a friend of mine that  did the same in his job, as CEO of Bonnier Media in Norway. Together we’ve started  Appaloosa AS. His expertise is his background in magazine publishing as journalist, editor and business development.

I have for a long time felt that It’s about time to do something on “my own”. That is what I am most comfortable with and enjoy most. I am not saying that working for others has been bad because it hasn’t. I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of people that has become friends, partners and customers, but still, it’s the “be your own boss, do your own thing” I’ve been missing,  and the fact that all I really have done, is trying to make money for some faceless share holders and board also played a role.

So, what will we do? Firstly with our deep “roots” in the publishing business we’ll take our knowledge of content, magazine publishing and technology and offer solutions for digital magazine publishing that doesn’t have a starting cost of $500k. There’s a framework for that, and you most probably have the design skills to do it your self. We’ll teach you about the framework and how to use it, tell you what our experience has thought us about design and layout of tablet content, and then if you need it create some custom code should you want or require it.

The second thing we will be doing is to develop applications for mobile devices, smart phones and tablets based on Android, iOS and Windows.  Android and iOS devices has more or less shared the smart phone and tablet market among themselves so any product provider and/or service provider needs to at least target those two platforms. Traditionally in most app development companies that means a development cost calculation that more or less looks like this “((hours for dev on first platform cost) x 2) – 10% = A lot of money and duplicate application code. If you later  find out that the new Windows Phone devices has taken a third of the market, you need to add the another 90%. In Appaloosa we have decided that it is the features of an application and its ecosystem requirements that decides what development environment to use, but we will as far as possible advice our customers to use cross-platform frameworks like PhoneGap or mono to develop their solutions to save both time and money when there is no technical reason not to use them. 95% of all applications that are being developed for tablets and smart phones will never  meet performance issues that justify the doubled or tripled development cost.

To learn more about the open source framework PhoneGap visit their website. mono is a different kind of framework that let’s you share back end code between platforms and then develop custom UI for each platform, that way you preserver the uniqueness of each platform – it’s user interface. To read more aboutMonoTouch for iOS and Mono for Android visit the Xamarin website.

For developers that want to check out mono I’ve linked to a NDC 2011 season by Jonas Follesø here.

I am really looking forward to spend more time doing development also, I’ve missed it.

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Welcome to the future and Windows 8

Last night I watched the keynote over the web as an invitee of Microsoft at their auditorium with a handful of others. As the keynote progressed you could almost touch and feel the excitement in the room from everyone and I left the “show” at its end think THIS is how you change the game and create computing for the future.

Talking about future, in january I wrote about the future of computing, “The PC is dead – long live the PC”  and that is exactly what Microsoft have done with Windows 8. Taking the design concepts from Windows Phone, know as Metro and extended it onto their other platforms like the PC and Xbox. Making everything touch and gesture centric but still with your excepted support for interaction through keyboard and mouse.

You can now create applications that behave and look the exact same (if you want to) on all screens and share content across computers and devices without custom adaptation and development for each and every device/form factor.

I applaud this and congratulate Microsoft on their launch. Apple and Google must seriously step up their game to keep up with this because I think that when 450 000 000 copies of Windows 8 is running on PC’s, and then another multi million figure of tablet devices are running windows 8 with seamless integration the platform choice  more or less becomes obvious for most IT Pros and consumers.

From the developer point of view application (or app(s) as it is called nowadays) developers also has a new way of creating Metro style applications for Windows 8 through HTML5, CSS and JavaScript in Visual Studio 11 and Blend. You can still use all of your familiar technologies from .NET if you prefer that, but everyone that can create a web page is now a Windows Application Developer!. And with the possible reach out to 450 000 000+ computers/users with the click of a button for distribution and marketing - the competition to create the coolest app of the universe will be fierce.

The core of Windows 8 comes with a huge array of sensory features built into the operating system and when the next version (beyond 7.5) of the phone os is being released we will probably see a transition to where you just install windows, not really caring if it’s on a PC, tablet or phone - these sensory features, like the support for NFC just becomes available on all your devices.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5.3″ with a stylus

The new 5.3 inch “hybrid” phone from Samsung looks really interesting! It is a 5.3 inch “thing” that places itself in the middle  between the Galaxy Tab 7.7 inch and the Galaxy S2  4.3 inch. Haven’t seen this IRL, but in my mind a 5.3-5.5 inch screen would be perfect for a smartphone.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlgVLblVSu8']

The stylus (or smartpen) looks great too.. Could this phone revive the stylus from its grave? I’ve missed to have a stylus available on my iPad when I am sketching new app ideas or trying to explain things that could easily have been explained with an easy diagram….

Screenshot of features from samsung.com

For me, a perfect screen size and hardware to back it up. I wish that i could have a Windows Phone version of this so I wish it best of luck and hope it becomes a huge success among the Android users.

You can read more on this phone and the announcement made at IFA Berlin on GoMo News and Engadget.

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So, webOS dead already?

A few days ago I was reading that HP is unable to attract customers to its HP TouchPad tablet running webOS. Nobody wants to buy. This was experience from BestBuy, but from other chains like Wal-Mart, Micro Center and Fry’s they’ve got similar experience.

Today, through Mashable I learn that it looks like HP plan to discontinue its tablet and webOS operations altogether, meaning more or less that webOS is as good as dead.

The HP press release regarding this matter say that they plan to discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and all other webOS phones, but that they will explore options to optimize the value of webOS software continuance.

As HP is the ONLY device manufacturer that runs webOS, I find it highly unlikely that they will find any options or ways to optimize the continued life of webOS. I don’t see why a third part device manufacturer would want to choose webOS over Android or Windows Phone.

One laugh from Mashable is that they actually thought it would be an iPad killer ;) nonetheless they write that TouchPad and webOS is the first of more to come that was killed by iPad and iOS.

It was a very short life….. Have there ever been a more short-lived OS?

TechCrunch comments on the HP news here http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/18/apple-wins-without-throwing-a-punch/ There’s also a few posts on This is my next…

 

 

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The Autumn of 2011 looks to be great!

I love my job and what I do, but need to love my job somewhere else when i can't do it where I am.

The summer is closing to an end and everyone is back from their summer vacations. Life is slowly getting back to normal here in Norway. Myself I started the summer with paternity leave, and saying home with my 9 moths old baby girl called Snø (Snow) We’ll be home together until the end of September, when I’ll be ready to dive head first into what will become the most interesting time of my working career. When I started my leave I took the opportunity to resign and quit my job at Creuna. It was a tough decision but I felt that i did not have any choice in the matter. I really like the people I’m working with and hey are great at what they are doing with front end development for web, but through the last 8-9 months I’ve started to realize (maybe a bit late?) that none of the things I was hired for to do, and was “promised” would ever happen in any foreseeable future, and if I ever was going to get the things done like  I want them to, I had to act now.

As a result, I got in touch with a friend of mine that was stepping down as managing director for a publishing company. He had worked there for several years and felt the time was right to do something new. Together, we made plans to start our own business. It’s time to have more fun at work, and to make money for yourself and not for faceless shareholders eager to make even more money without any understanding of having to spend _some_ money upfront if you want to acquire new knowledge and make business out of that knowledge. It’s like the auto manufacturer one day decides to create jet fighters and hire a few new auto mechanics to design and develop the fighters. Learn by doing, meanwhile we’re selling it.

I was hired to build a kick-ass mobile department and company  awareness around mobile technology, trends and possibilities and I will, only now I’ll do it for ourselves through my own company, in our own image. We’ll build kick-ass smartphone and tablet apps and magazines.

The other great thing happening is for the Windows Phone Developer Community I started two years ago. I had a meeting with Microsoft today talking about how to create an even better community and help it grow, make it interesting to  a wider audience working with Windows Phone as developers and designers. I’ll write more on this later this month but don’t miss out on our upcoming meetup on Thursday 22. September.

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Users don’t want WebOS & TouchPad – it doesn’t sell.

I have never had much belief in webOS  as an operating system on smartphones and tablets from the first time I saw it, and tried it (see the hell-o world post)

Today i came across an article from All Things D called “Ouchpad: Best buy sitting on a pile of unsold HP tablets“. Best Buy have been able to sell less than 10% of their stock of HP TouchPads so I’m not the only one that doesn’t like platform.

“According to one source who’s seen internal HP reports, Best Buy has taken delivery of 270,000 TouchPads and has so far managed to sell only 25,000, or less than 10 percent of the units in its inventory.”

I also found a blog post that said there was around 5000 apps available for WebOS around christmas of 2010, today i had a look at App Gallery and found 6827 apps. That’s 1827 apps in one year, so it isn’t only end users declining to buy, but also developers that won’t build.

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AppWorks 02, One day conference in Oslo

On May 24th the second AppWorks conference takes place at Latter on Aker brygge in Oslo. The “02″ conference program looks promising and is in my opinion better than the “01″ conference that took place in October 2010.  In retrospect it was funny (for all of us that already knew) to see the conference speakers, at least the developer part so heavily influenced by Nokia and Symbian with the “mantra” that if you want to succeed with mobile apps, develop for Symbian :) The highlight of last year was the live video session by Peter Vesterbacka, the creator of Angry Birds where he talked about their way to success, and that ended with an interesting Q&A session.

This year the program is not so much about OS platforms, it’s more about services – Location, billing and frameworks on the main stage. On the “club” stage the program is put together for start-up companies and early stage software ideas.

At the moment i find that AppWorks is the most interesting of the conferences in Oslo that speak to the mobile app/web industry in Norway. Possibly being the only one.

See the complete conference program here, and buy tickets here. They also have a fan page on Facebook you can “like” to possibly win conference tickets. If you use the promo code “AW02FACEBOOK” you can save 20% off the ticket price.

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BlogPress app for iPad

Being an active blogger i’ve been looking hard for good blog writing software. So far no luck.

Since the browser on the iPad doesn’t support the WYSIWYG editor that comes default with a wordpress installation and the to many other really anoying issues that makes iPad and Safari unusable on WordPress I’ve now trying out the BlogPress app for iPad.

The First glimpse looks ok. Setting it up, connecting to my blog and download the existing content is easy. Writing – damn, again, cursed with no WYSIWYG. We’re back to semi-WYSIWYG with linebraks and paragraphs. For everything else I need to dig up my old HTML knowledge. in 2011. Why?

Besides the editor issue I find that I really like BlogPress and It’ll stay my blog writing on IPad first-choice until something new and better presents itself. If the BlogPress dev or product team ever read this: Please att two simple features – first, let me add a featured image to my post and secondly please allow me to add an excerpt to my posts, possibly in the same view where you add tags and categories.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The above is the standard signature. I am going to leave it there in all posts to easier be able to count how many posts I actually manage to write using my iPad. Not super optimistic about iPad blogging yet because my blog theme sort of require a featured image and an excerpt to shine at it’s best, so we’ll see how long it goes

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Windows 8 tablet UI

I am starting to get real exited about all the leaks that Microsoft “releases” about it’s upcoming Windows 8.

The “leaks” are showing more and more of the “alternative” tablet UI, or maybe it’s time to talk of the desktop UI as the alternative one? Anyway… It looks good and regardless of Steve Balmer’s proclamation and the undying love of the stylus that he displayed at the Microsoft MVP global summit in March, Microsoft is pushing forward with it’s Metro design language. I like it.

I am looking forward to more screenshots.

NeoWin.net has a good collection of articles about Windows vNext.

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Head 2 head: Apple iPad and Motorola XOOM

Curious about tablets and looking for the best? One of the new tablets out now is the Android 3.0 based tablet from Motorola called XOOM. It’s got a 10.1″ screen and can (if something can) easily fall into the category of “iPad killers”

I’ve been using the iPad for both work and pleasure since august 2010 and must say i am very satisfied with it. The iPad 2 is out now and as a gadgeteer I’m getting ready to upgrade… But should I stay in the safeness of the Apple world or go where I’ve never been before? Reason for this question is the comparison of the iPad 1 with the XOOM done by phonearea.com, from the looks of it in pure hardware and specs I’d love to try out the XOOM.  Only one tiny problem… I don’t trust Android. Great platform and OS – but i wouldn’t be able to trust the applications I buy and download. See reasons for this here, here or here

Conclusion for me: I love it and I’ll buy it when the Amazon app store is up and running with a volume and verified apps.

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Who’s your reader?

A couple of days ago I tweeted that in 2011, it was time to reinvent the digital magazines from the failures of 2010. By that my meaning was that the news publishing business needs to re-evaluate  their target audience. For whom are they creating their application? with the level of “rich” content and interactivity we see now? In my opinion i believe they need to rethink it all. Figure out what gap there is to be filled between the paper media and the web page.

If you look at all newspapers and magazines available on the Apple iPad – you see that they all mimic the paper version of the publication, and the selling point for  all of them is the “rich” and interactive content. Video, slideshows and audio…  Rich from what point of view one might wonder? It is certainly rich if you compare it to paper, and that is the key issue to the bleak prospects of publishing.

The reports from 2010 are now showing that the sales of digital magazine is on a  downward spiral to failure, magazines have a short boost at launch because  owners of a tablet hope someone has invented the next big thing in digital news and magazine reading, but after trying for a few days/issues/weeks they return to their usual media sources: Either the web because there is yet to be published a magazine or newspaper that is truly rich in the way you experience the web, or back to the “offline” world where people still read their paper based magazines and newspapers, if they wanted interactivity and richness they’d be using the web.

Where does that then leave the digital magazine and newspaper publishing business? They need to make it clear that the target audience for their magazines are the ones that are reading analogue (paper) media, not the ones that already are familiar with the richness of the internet/web. At least if we continue to see “eMagazines” in the form we have today. They also need to make it clear that you have something to gain by transferring from paper to digital, and what value you as a reader get beyond their already ipad/tablet optimized web page.

The online news and magazine audience knows what rich media is. They won’t be “fooled” by a image carousel in the name of richness and interactivity. Being able to read your magazine and/or newspaper while your tablet is offline isn´t really a valid selling point either. – The need for offline digital media is on it’s way of becoming very extinct.

Also, who is most likely to own or be most willing to buy a tablet? The analogue paper reader or the news browsing reader?

Who’s your reader?

Another good article and observation around digital magazines and newspapers is written by Frédéric Filloux in the Monday Note blog.

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