Posts Tagged ‘ Apple ’

AmbiHue app

AmbiHue, our latest app, has just hit the App Store

You may have seen those high-end televisions that feature ambient backlighting where the TV casts a wash of light on the wall behind itself, changing colour according to what’s on the screen. AmbiHue is designed to help you recreate the same effect in your own home for considerably less!
All you need is a set of PhiIips Hue bulbs. Place one or more bulbs behind your TV, launch AmbiHue and point your device’s camera at the screen. Now watch your bulbs change colour in response to the on-screen action! Of course you don’t need to use AmbiHue with your TV, you can just use it as a fun way to control the colour of your PhiIips Hue bulbs to create dynamic mood lighting effects. Why not point the camera at your clothes to match your lighting to your wardrobe? Or point it out the window so your home lighting changes to match the sunset?

If you’re interested, you can find it here

iPhone 4 AmbiHue Promo strip

Another App Store rip-off story

I’m not having a particularly great day today (I won’t bore you with the details) but the icing on the cake has been the accidental discovery that our Chameleon Clock app has been shamelessly ripped off.

I’ve posted about this sort of thing before but this episode is perhaps even more blatant. Our App Chameleon Clock was released on the 11th of July and although it didn’t change the world it seemed as if a few people liked it’s simple premise.

We’re just in the process of updating it for the iPhone 5 so I did a quick check in the App Store to reference which screenshots would need changing and came across Chameleon Clock™  which was released a couple of months later – plenty of time to code up an app as simple as this… I particularly like the ™ that they’ve added to the name implying that they were somehow the ‘original’.

It’s not just the idea that they’ve copied but the promotional images as well – including the Chameleon sitting in front of the iPad. Check out our app vs theirs.

The developers, Orangeport seem to have a bit of a habit of this sort of thing – a quick search in the App Store for WTHR (a beautiful designed, well reviewed weather app – also brings up WTHR by Orangeport…

It seems to me that if this is happening with Apps of this level – no offence to the guys behind WTHR but we’re not talking about household name apps here – then this practice must be rife throughout the App Store and it’s about time that Apple did something about it.

Surely it’s not too difficult for Apple, as part of the approval process, to do a quick search of their own store and see if there’s already an app with the same name and functionality? There’s obviously a grey area where apps might coincidentally have similar names and functionality, but in other cases (like the above) it’s just blatantly obvious what’s going on… It’s about time they tightened things up – the current situation isn’t good for developers who are seeing their hard work ripped off or for consumers who accidentally end up buying the wrong app. The only people that benefit are the bastards that steal other people’s IP…

Please Apple, sort it out.



Just a quick post to let you know that my latest app is out today – TheWorldClock.

TheWorldClock keeps track of the time in your friends’ & colleagues’ part of the world so you don’t have to. Add multiple clocks displaying different time zones and personalise them by renaming them to something more meaningful – like a friend, relative or client, so you’ll always know the best time to get in touch.

You can tell at a glance whether it’s a convenient time – if a clock is white it’s daytime, black it’s night.

If you’re interested, you can get a copy from the App Store here.

Chameleon Clock

Our new app, Chameleon Clock, has just hit the App Store.

Why Chameleon Clock? The app uses the camera in the back of your iDevice to either a) sample the colour behind it or b) provide a live video feed to sit behind the time. The result? Your clock blends into your environment and all sorts of subtle effects are possible by changing the colour and/or transparency of the time display.

Here’s a link to the App Storelet me know what you think…

ActionNotes 1.6

We’ve just released the latest update to our iPad app, ActionNotes.

This update features shiny new retina display graphics for all the New iPad owners out there – click on the image above to get a full sized look at just how big it is. We’ve also added a new automatic backup feature on top of our existing Dropbox backup support. This new feature works even if you don’t have an internet connection to make local backups on your iPad just incase anything goes wrong…

Plus, we’ve implemented a spellchecker and fixed a couple of bugs – and it’s at a special sale price at the moment, so grab a copy now if you haven’t already picked it up.

iPad retina display – Curtis Knapp app

You may remember that I recently posted about an iPad app I had the pleasure of working on called Icons – The Portrait Photography of Curtis Knapp.

Well the app has just been updated to support the new iPad’s retina display (and dropped in price to just 69p/99c so there’s no excuse not to grab a copy) and as part of that process I had to recreate some of the graphics at the new resolution of 2048 x 1536 and it wasn’t until I did that I realised just how bloody big that really is!

Here's a section from the frontispiece collage at retina display resolution. Compare it to...

...the same image on the old iPad display

But to really get a feel for how big the artwork has to be, click on the image below and make sure you look at it at actual size…

We’re still in the early days of these high resolution displays but I’m pretty sure it won’t be too long until Apple updates all of it’s MacBooks, iMacs & desktop monitors to full retina resolutions. And where Apple leads…

My favourite quotes from the Steve Jobs bio

I’ve finally finished Walter Isaacson’s superb Steve Jobs biography. I know, I know, everybody else finished it months ago, but I’ve been busy…

Anyway, it’s full of great quotes either by or about Steve but I’d read a lot of the best ones before the book even came out so here’s my collection of a few of my favourites that seem to have been less well reported…

Corporate culture clash – when John Scully arrived at Apple he remarked:

“Most people were less formally dressed than Pepsi’s maintenance staff”.

He also had trouble adjusting to the casual atmosphere – at meetings “Jobs would sit on the floor in the lotus position absentmindedly playing with the toes of his bare feet”.

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, had planned to buy Apple and reinstate Steve but Steve came up with an alternate plan which Larry didn’t quite understand…
“But Steve, there’s one thing I don’t understand, if we don’t buy the company, how can we make any money?”. It was a reminder of how different their desires were. Jobs put his hand on Ellison’s left shoulder, pulled him so close that their noses almost touched, and said, “Larry, this is why it’s really important that I’m your friend. You don’t need any more money.” Continue reading

The New iPad is here

Apple have just released the New iPad – yes that’s what it seems to be officially called. Not the iPad 3 or the iPad HD but the New iPad.

Seems like a slightly strange choice of name to me with the obvious problem of what they’re going to call next years – The Even Newer iPad, followed by The Newest iPad yet? There’s no really surprises to be found but then there didn’t need to be – the existing iPad is good enough and selling by the bucket load so just make it even better and you can’t go wrong…

For the same price you get an awesome retina resolution display (more pixels than my 52″ HD TV), faster processor, more RAM, 4G connection if you want it and a bunch of new and updated apps. I think they’ll sell a few of these…

A critical look at the iPad’s Music App

The iPad Music app – what happened?

When iOS 5 was announced there’s was lots of talk of all the exciting shiny new features but very little mention of any update to the iPad Music app – which was OK by me because it seemed to do pretty much everything I expected of it anyway. Then I spotted a few screens here and there and saw that it had had a graphical UI overhaul and caught some people moaning about the skeuomorphic UI design that Apple were busily slapping all over everything with iOS 5.

I’m not a huge fan of the fake leather and wood trim myself but at the end of the day, that’s just eye candy – what really matters is the UX, the user experience, and that’s something that Apple always excel at, isn’t it? So what the hell went wrong with the iPad Music app?

Apple haven’t just changed the look of the app they’ve made numerous changes to the way the app works, pretty much all of which have actually been a step backwards – some have removed existing functionality for no reason and others are just poor UI choices relating to button size, placement etc. Let’s have a look at some of them in more detail… Continue reading

MoodClock for the iPad & iPhone

My new iPad app, MoodClock has just hit the Apple Store.

As you can probably guess from the name it’s a combination clock and mood lamp. It doesn’t do much but what it does do, it does beautifully (well so I’d like to think). You can choose your favourite background colour (any colour you can think of) or just let it fade from one to another and you can choose black or white text and then adjust the transparency of it with a swipe of your finger.

As you can see, you can achieve an almost infinite number of effects, even turning off the time completely to use the iPad as a mood lamp – it’s surprisingly effective when turned against the wall in a darkened room – just like an expensive mood light in fact :) Continue reading

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