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Tag: Android

Shifty Jelly on building for Android first

Shifty Jelly on building for Android first

Russell Ivanovic of Australia’s Shifty Jelly (developer of my favourite weather app for iOS and OSX) talk about why they developed an Android version of their Pocket Casts 4 app before an iOS version.

There’s no reason not to launch on Android first or iOS first in 2013. Both are massively viable platforms full of users who want to pay for great apps.

This is a mature and reasonable decision for an app developer. Focusing limited resources is critical, and it makes a lot of sense.

I think it also makes sense based on competition. As Russell stated, the Android version has been a bigger seller and more profitable product for them, and there is no native app in the class. I also suspect that relatively few developers are developing "Android first" (for now), so there is an opportunity for them.

I am a committed iOS user, and will be for the foreseeable future. But I’ve made platform shifts in the past, and can say that what makes sense for everyone – developers and users – is to choose the platform that provides you with the most value.

From: Shifty Jelly’s blog of mystery

The best weather app for Australians: Pocket Weather AU

The best weather app for Australians: Pocket Weather AU

There is no shortage of Weather apps available on iPhone, but few do the job in elegant way, particularly for those of us who are outside the US.
Most of the international weather services do a reasonable job of Australian forecasts and data, but few seem to have the consistency and accuracy of the Australian government’s Bureau of Meteorology. Those few apps that use data from BOM too often have a cluttered format.

Apple’s own (pre-loaded) weather app pulls data from Yahoo! weather, and has the main advantage of Siri integration. But the big disadvantage is that the weather data it pulls is descriptive at best, and never detailed enough for me. It also differs from BOM. For example, the forecast for tomorrow in Sydney (6 Feb 2013) from BOM shows a temperature range of 19–26C, whilst Yahoo shows 19–25C.

As the old saying goes:

The man with one watch knows what time it is. The man with two is never sure

As a scuba instructor trainer, I rely on accurate weather forecasts, and the data from BOM has generally been the most reliable for me.

Enter Pocket Weather AU.

Pocket Weather AU
Pocket Weather AU

Pocket Weather AU from Shifty Jelly provides data from BOM in an elegant, intuitive format. With location services enabled, the app provides real time data for your current location, as well as for other locations that you save.

The first screen shows a list of locations (you can have it launch straight to a default location if you prefer). Tapping on a location brings up a summary view for today. Swiping to the left brings a forecast view, while swiping right (from the summary view) brings up the weather radar. Swiping up on each of these screens will bring up more detail.

Aside from the beautiful UI and accurate data, my favourite feature is the free inclusion of tide information. Previously I had to purchase a separate tides app, which I had to repurchase each year. Pocket Weather AU allows the user to download the tide data from within the app, and have direct access to that.

Pocket Weather AU has other important features like access to weather warnings, and push notifications. This last feature allows you to see the current temperature for your default location on the app icon.

Pocket Weather AU is a brilliant app for any Australian who needs accurate weather data in a classy, intuitive app.

The app is available for iOS and Android.

The universal iOS app is $1.99 in the App Store.

Hybrid PC-Tablets – Revival or Desperate Move

Hybrid PC-Tablets – Revival or Desperate Move

Seems that Microsoft and PC manufacturers are trying to drive focus on “hybrid” PC-tablet products to combat the iPad. This article in the SMH talks about this trend based on products introduced at the recent CES show

Call these machines “hybrids”, “convertibles”, or maybe just call them “very weird”.

IMHO, one of Microsoft’s long term mistakes is trying to force-fit a one-size-fits-all approach to OS and devices. They want Windows to run every computer from a smart phone to a high end server. They, along with some of the PC manufacturers who are dependent on the Windows ecosystem, continue to focus on the techology that drives their world, rather than focus on the needs and wants of users (aka “customers”).

This is probably why Acer and Asus are dropping the netbook, and why Samsung USA is not planning to bring Windows RT products to market. Yet each of these companies is pushing forward with Andriod based tablets, and why Acer and Asus are also continuing with Windows 8 based tablets. It will be interesting to see if Acer and Asus follow Samsung away from Windows RT.

Personally, my iPad is my main device away from the office. Only occasionally do I use my MacBook Air, and generally only when needed for specific needs – particularly Keynote presentations that have embedded multimedia (the iOS version of Keynote doesn’t yet support these requirements).

Back in the office, I use my “truck” (an iMac) to do most of my heavy processing, particularly images, videos, building presentations, accounts and heavy duty writing. But for a heck of a lot of people the iPad or other tablet will handle most, if not all, of their requirements.

In the words of Steve Jobs

After all, if you need a truck, you can always borrow one from a friend.

I wouldn’t consider a hybrid PC-tablet. It will likely be the “worst of both worlds” making compromises between power, portability and usability. I think the movements by Microsoft and PC manufacturers to push the hybrid PC-tablet is a sign of desperation to keep their existing view of the tech world, and not to consider the actual needs of users.

Samsung US Not Going to Market With Windows RT Tablets ⟶

Samsung US Not Going to Market With Windows RT Tablets ⟶

According to CNET, the US head of Samsung’s PC & tablet business has indicated that Samsung has dropped plans to bring to market (at least in the US) a Windows RT based tablet.

Abary noted Samsung reached its decision about he device, dubbed the Ativ Tab, for two main reasons. First, feedback from its retail partners indicated demand for such products is only modest. Second, Samsung determined it would take a lot of investment to inform consumers about the benefits of Windows RT

Jim Dalrymple put it best:

Ouch