My Picture Book 1.4 released

At last, version 1.4 is available for download! Despite our best efforts to provide a release alongside iOS 7, things got delayed. A lot. Well, such is life with kids, right? Anyway, we hope you enjoy the new possibilities to create cards with numbers and letters… Or, why not teach your toddler the meaning of emoticons? 😉

Inside iOS 7 – Reduce motion

The motion effect on the home and lock screens is one of the new features in iOS 7 which instantly annoyed me. The background appears further away than the icons and text. This is accomplished by moving the background countering the device’s movements. While the effect has some air of novelty to it, it really only conveys depth with one eye closed and your head still. But that’s not my issue with it. The problem is that, if you care even the slightest about framing you can’t use anything other than abstract textures as background. Forget about moving and sizing your background picture, it wont end up in the place or with the size you chose anyway.

Luckily, the motion feature can be turned off. Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Reduce Motion

iOS 6.0 performance on 3GS

Last night I decided to upgrade my iPhone 3GS to iOS 6.0 without waiting for reports on performance. Almost every update has caused battery drain issues, but I am pleased to find that this has not been an issue this time. Battery drain seems comparable to iOS 5.1.1. I have not noticed any speed issues either, on the contrary, ithe GUI seems much snappier than before. It makes me remember a time when 3GS was the fastest iPhone ever. 😉

I am sure there will be issues for some, but based on my experience, I’d say go for it.

Apple TV: the simplest user interface you could imagine

Many have speculated how Apple will change the way we use a television set. In the biography by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs is quoted saying that he finally cracked the secret of how to make a television set: “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine”. Most have imagined this to mean voice control in some fashion. I for one, do not believe that for a second – I can imagine a much more simple user interface. There are far too many problems with voice command for it to be a preferred solution in a situation where you:

  1. have your hands free
  2. are looking at the thing you want to interact with
  3. are sitting sill
  4. may want to be quiet (as not to wake other family members)
  5. may want to speak to other people in the room

Tripp and Tyler have brilliantly made fun of some of these issues.

So, what did Steve Jobs mean? I think we will see a television set with eye tracking software. I have already mentioned this when speculating about the new iPhone, but for a television set this technology would make perfect sense. Imagine a single button remote. One click on the remote to bring up a menu to one side of the screen and activate eye tracking. Click again to select the menu item you’re looking at. Repeat until you have selected something to watch. The menu goes away. Now that is simple!