This will be quick, but I just had one of those magical experiences where a technology gobsmacks you and moves you to the Happy Dance.
I was in Seattle Wednesday and Thursday for Casual Connect and I was talking with Tony from GREE about the Pacific Northwest. Long story -> short, as I was walking past this gift shop I saw a tee-shirt that perfectly dovetailed with our conversation – it would be this cool joke. But it was after hours and the store was closed and so I couldn’t get it. I got online this morning and was trying to search for the shirt at places like Amazon and Snorg Tees, etc but no joy
But then I thought – I wonder if I could find the store? I don’t know the address, don’t know the name, I only barely know the neighborhood…but I’ve got a pretty good visual memory so lets try Street View. I go to mapps.google.com and enter a nearby address and drag the little guy to the map. Next thing you know I’m retracing my steps from that walk. Down University, right on 1st, past Pikes Market…OK, I think we’re close…wait, that’s too far…
Suddenly I see in the shadows of some trees a window filled with mugs and shirts and embroidered hats…and that T-Shirt. YES!
5 minutes later I’m on the phone with the shop handing over shipping instructions and now I get to make Tony laugh after all. Way to go Google Street View.
We have been using an Asus ZenBook Ultrabook thanks to our friends at Intel like Bob Duffy for about a month now and wanted to share what we think of this new category of mobile computers. Intel has categorized these as ultrasleek, ultralight and ultrapowerful. They really stand up to that in our workflow test and gaming demands. See what Chris and John have to say in this weeks development vlog. You can find out all about Ultrabooks at www.intel.com/ultrabook and see what others are saying using the #ultrabook tag on Twitter.
We will continue to post on our experience as well as our development efforts specifically for Ultrabooks.
So we’re all hard at work getting Wind Up Robots ready for the store and as we were doing that I was thinking we ought to look at the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablets as additional platforms. So I hurried on over to Best Buy and picked up the hardware so we could test it all out.
To cut to the chase, I am quite impressed with the Kindle. (I haven’t had the chance to really dig into the Nook yet but I’ll get to it). First off, the UI that Amazon rolled for the tool is very well done and it’s the first time I’ve been impressed by the design, images, and feel of a tablet UX that wasn’t the iPad. Other tablets have done reasonably well…but also fallen short of the experience that for many people is the default – Apple’s. But Amazon put good effort here and it shows.
Second – Wind Up Robots looks and plays great on the Kindle. The game was made using Unity3D and with the Android plug-in we just exported and run. It was simple and what’s more, the hardware kept up wonderfully with a game that’s designed to be pretty intense on the CPU. I was frankly expecting a noticeable drop in frame-rate but quite to the contrary, the Kindle even performed better in some ways than the iPad, specifically in touch response. You can see us testing the game on the Fire in in the video below.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the 7″ form factor, it’s too small for me, but other guys here like it and if my main activity is reading eBooks, then the smaller form makes for easier reading…so I may not be the target audience here.
But most importantly (to me) this is the first place I’ve been motivated to make the effort to put my product in an Android app store. Now that Amazon has taken a big step toward the moderated, managed and at-least-slightly-walled garden app store, suddenly they have my interest as a developer. For all the Android hardware that’s being sold the dirty little secret among developers is that Android customers simply don’t spend any money which makes for a lousy business model. (see more here) But I for one am very encouraged by the Amazon store and how it looks like a great step toward finding and training a body of customers who aren’t looking for everything to be free. (Not that free is always bad, but always free is bad). Of course time will tell if Kindle Fire customers act more like Amazon customers than Google customers - but I for one am impressed and ready to roll the dice.
I have about eight blog posts I wan to make coming out of the Intel Elements 2011 Conference, most of them positive. BUt one of these seems pretty time sensitive and I want to be part of the conversation out here so I’m going to do this now even if it’s only half baked.
Whoever is in charge – you cannot use the name Tizen – it’s about the worst possible marketing move possible at this moment. Instead – call it MeeGo5 – and you’ll be celebrated instead of mocked.
The other day, Soren Johnsen posted a tweet that really caught my interest. He said
“The next console generation will be won by whoever understands why the Xbox Indie Games Channel did not become the iOS App Store.’
This is true in so many ways.
The iOS App store has enjoyed an unparalleled level of success since it launched a few years back largely because it managed to hit a golden combination of approachability by both developers and consumers, while simultaneously lifting the best to the top through a natural feeling review system. For the first time Joe Schmoe could take his idea, build it himself and publish it to millions of potential customers, all from his living room. Customers had access to hundreds of thousands of apps at their fingertips, instantly, anytime and anywhere, for an affordable price.
We’re here at Intel Elements 2011, a “one year later” event from where we first heard Peter Biddle lay out a rather large vision for the Intel AppUp Center. Without going back into the history and our previous thoughts on AppUp I find myself feeling increasingly invested in this thing. Far more than getting tied up in what AppUp is or is not, I’m fascinated by what AppUp wants to become.
If you have hung around with us at any trade shows in the last year you probably would have heard one of us, at some point, as “Where is BlackBerry?”
Ever since the iPhone started to eat into the smartphone space like one my famished coffee-bean-headed farm zombies we kept waiting for RIM to respond and as months turned into years we started to think they’d lost it. “it” being both the HUGE advantage they had worked hard to gain with the brilliance of the click-wheel and also their collective minds. By January this year I had crossed my confidence tipping point and figured BlackBerry for the walking dead – still shambling about but done nonetheless.
It was exactly 1 year ago that we got our first taste of Intel’s AppUp Center when they launched the beta store at CES 2010. It was received with mixed reviews and nobody really knew what to expect from it.
What a difference a year makes.
Note to Intel: Why does this page still say "Moblin?"
Today you look at the AppUp Center and right up front is what must be the biggest runaway hit game of 2010 – Angry Birds. What a huge coup! What a great “I told you so” moment. Congratulations to Intel – Peter, you called it man.
Multitasking and iOs 4.0 – What it is and what it is not.
For a while there it seemed Android phones really had the iPhone beat with a certain feature known as Multi-tasking. It was all over the news and yadda yadda yada. Then Apple announced an upgrade that now includes – wait for it – multitasking. But it may not be what you think it is. We want to take a moment here to answer a few FAQs about the multi-tasking mystique and to speak another obvious question – what’s this got to do with AppUp.
First, lets talk about the concepts here. When an operating system can multitask this is its ability to run more than one program at the same time. (Not to be confused with threads which are different) This gives each running program access to important system resources simultaneously and the user gets the ability to do several things at once. For example an MP3 player bopping along while your email client checks POP3 while you’re editing a text document. When it comes to our desktop systems – we’ve come to expect this kind of behavior as minimal requirements. But prior to iOS4 the iPhone didn’t allow any third party processes (read: your app) to continue running after it lost focus. In fact, the iPhone “single-thread” experience has become a marketing point in many places and people started rediscovering the mental clarity of doing one thing at a time. It should be noted however that Apple always kept certain classes for their own use and apps like iCal were treated as a special case, often behaving in a multi-tasking kind of way. It just was something mere mortals were forbidden to do. Continue Reading…
The app store concept is not a product or a service. It’s a complete reset of the way ALL intellectual property will be sold, shared and distributed. It will completely reshape the world of books, music and software.
How can Intel’s ApUp Center thrive and dominate?
1. Make it Cheap
2. Make it Easy – More importantly, make it LOOK easy.
3. Improve on What Apple has Already Done Well
4. Never Mention MeeGo
5. (After you never mention it) Make MeeGo Beautiful and Bulletproof
6. Apple is Not Your Enemy – Google Is
7. Show Us The Money – But In Secret
8. Support MeeGo and Air. Drop Everything Else
9. Leverage and Cooperate With Existing Services
10. Encourage Other Forms of IP
And 11 – Embrace and celebrate the huddled masses of
disempowered Flash developers – they are your future.