Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Color Oracle Review + The Economist’s Red-Green Fixation

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Hisham Abboud over at the Curious Chap blog promo’d Color Oracle, the software that the talented Bernhard Jenny programmed (with my sometimes helpful nagging) for simulating color blindness.

No self-respecting programmer, UX practitioner, or web site designer should be without [Color Oracle]

Nice endorsement, thanks! Hisham uses an Apple iPhone website chart to emphasize his point: “My first brush with what one can do for color blind persons was a 2007 post by Greg Raiz. Greg described how Apple was using red and green circles (same shape) to illustrate which stores had iPhone availability, and how they later switched to using different shapes”:

redgreen

By using shape to reinforce (overload) the color difference, green and red can still be used to take advantage of those hue’s strong cultural significance (green = go, red = stop). The Economist, on the other hand, persists in NOT using shape to amplify the color differences in their charts and maps. Not only does this make it hard to read on my evening subway commute, they are completely illegible for color blind readers. The January 16th, 2010 edition has a particularly egregious example:

cfn742

Fallen Fruit: Mapping Edible Landscapes

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

fallenfruitmap

[Editor’s note: I was listening to the NPR show Splendid Table over the weekend and learned about a program in Los Angeles that maps out fruit trees in several neighborhoods and leads community outings to discover (and harvest) that edible landscape. I show a color map above but it easily reproduces in grayscale by using direct annotation (Fi for fig, etc) to augment the hue color differences. The project remind me of an early mapping project I did for my father locating fruit trees in our small orchard. John has a related post on psychogeography maps.]

Republished from Fallen Fruit. More maps.

A SPECTER is haunting our cities: barren landscapes with foliage and flowers, but nothing to eat. Fruit can grow almost anywhere,  and can be harvested by everyone. Our cities are planted with frivolous and ugly landscaping, sad shrubs and neglected trees, whereas they should burst with ripe produce. Great sums of money are spent on young trees, water and maintenance. While these trees are beautiful, they could be healthy, fruitful and beautiful.

WE ASK all of you to petition your cities and towns to support community gardens and only plant fruit-bearing trees in public parks. Let our streets be lined with apples and pears! Demand that all parking lots be landscaped with fruit trees which provide shade, clean the air and feed the people.

FALLEN FRUIT is a mapping and manifesto for all the free fruit we can find. Every day there is food somewhere going to waste. We encourage you to find it, tend and harvest it. If you own property, plant food on your perimeter. Share with the world and the world will share with you. Barter, don’t buy! Give things away! You have nothing to lose but your hunger!

View more maps . . .

iPhone 3.0′s Magnetometer and A-GPS

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

iphonetomtom

Looks like the iPhone 3.0 firmware plus the new 3Gs hardware will give the dedicated GPS market a run for it’s money. The new hardware includes a magnetometer, otherwise known as a digital compass. Combine that with the A-GPS, which supplements the slow satellite signal with fast WiFi and cell phone tower triangulation, and accurate and timely turn-by-turn navigation is possible. Both TomTomNavigon, , and TeleNav have jumped into the fray, joining X-Roads which was briefly available in a crippled form on the App store. Garmin might be shooting itself in the foot by staying out, but they have their own GPS + phone plans already. Besides the added precision of the new hardware, it’ll be easier for developers to incorporate maps directly into their apps. We should see a whole new class of apps available. Imagine walking along a street and pointing your phone at a building, statue, mountain, road, etc and have reams of helpful information come up about that particular feature. A great wayfinding device in the making!

iPhone SDK 3.0 – Playing with Map Kit (ObjectGraph)

Friday, May 8th, 2009

mapkit3_logo

[Editor's note: Three part series on the new iPhone 3.0 map APIs for aspiring map application developers from the ObjectGraph.blog.]

Republished from the ObjectGraph.blog.

I started looking at the Map Kit API for developing a quick and dirty – Find where you parked your car – application.

There is no programming guide for Map Kit yet on the developer pages for Apple, So I decided to share some some of it here.

UPDATE: Follow the second part here
http://blog.objectgraph.com/index.php/2009/04/03/iphone-sdk-30-playing-with-map-kit-part-2/

I started looking at the Map Kit API for developing a quick and dirty – Find where you parked your car – application.

There is no programming guide for Map Kit yet on the developer pages for Apple, So I decided to share some some of it here.

The main class that supports a Map is called

MKMapView

You need to include the header

MapKit/MapKit.h

Also dont forget to add a reference to the Framework MapKit.Framework

The code is relatively simple. Here are the steps

  • Create a simple project – I chose utility application – Name it whatever you want
  • Go to MainViewController.h
  • Include the header MapKit/MapKit.h

Continue reading at ObjectGraph.blog . . .

Human Clock

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

[Editor’s note: Discovered the Human Clock site when I took my friend to the Apple Store and the genius bar dude used it to test her Airport wireless connection. User submitted photos and found art from around the word that include numbers that spell out the current time. Images updated every minute, with several variations for each. Quite amusing! Sample images below.]

View the Human Clock!

GPS Kit and MotionX for iPhone (Kelso)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

The iPhone GPS war up’d the anti with the 4.0 release of MotionX for the iPhone (above). They claim over 2 million users now and are the top ranked naviation app on the iTunes app store now. New in this version:

  • All new user interface maintaining the same structure that you are used to
    while improving all the graphics and sounds
  • MotionX Open Road Maps
  • MotionX Open Terrain Maps

It seems to have caught up to GPS Kit 3.0 (below) for features and ease of use, though I still prefer GPS Kit’s interface which is a little more refined and iPhone-like and less like a computer arcade game (the developer specializes in those types of games).

Most notable in the GPS Kit 3.0 update is the huge battery saver features of turning off the screen but maintaining track recording while in the pocket just like the screen turns off when the phone is held to the ear during a phone call.

All the GPS apps need to get serious about cacheing maps BEFORE heading out to a trail. Cell phone service, let alone 3g, is spotty out in the mountains. Also allowing user specified tile source, not just Google or OpenMap. Maybe via the ability to setup “trips” (ala Tracks and Waypoints) based on the current visible map extent and then having the app pre-download map tiles down to the lowest zoom-level within a user configureable, say, 50 meg cache limit.

All apps are less than $10 from the iTunes store. MotionX is having a sale at $2.99 right now.

  • If you want Google maps (including terrain) and care more about advanced features and a more sane interface, get GPS Kit.
  • If you want Open Street Map base maps and pretty good advanced features but weird interface, get MotionX.
  • If you are just a casual exerciser get an app like Trails (read New York Times review), RunKeeper, or rubiTrack that function mostly as a data capture and then interfaces with a desktop or web application to catalog your routes and graph progress.

Google shows offline Gmail app running on iPhone (AppleInsider)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Republished from Apple Insider.

Google on Wednesday (Feb. 25, 2009) demonstrated how a future version of Gmail could soon run offline on mobile browsers compatible with HTML5, including the iPhone’s mobile Safari browser.

Continue reading at AppleInsider . . .

Turn-By-Turn Voice Navigation Comes to Jailbroken iPhones (Gizmodo)

Friday, February 20th, 2009

[Editor's note: Not for the faint of hear, but great proof of concept of what the iPhone is capable of.]

Republished from Gizmodo.
By John Herrman
Original: 5:13 AM  on Feb 11 2009

Six months after the App Store was launched, the iPhone app gray market lives on: turn-by-turn navigation has come to jailbroken iPhones in the form of xGPS. UPDATED

xGPS uses Google’s map data and driving directions, adding a real-time navigation readout and a voice engine. You can also select a map area to download ahead of time, just in case you expect to lose your data connection during the drive. As you can see in ModMyi‘s video above, the app also supports a number of external GPS units, so 1st-gen iPhone and iPod Touch users can get in on the monotone fun too.

The project has been gestating for a few months now, but many vital features, including the voice engine, weren’t implemented until this release. xGPS 1.2 is now will soon be available in Cydia. UPDATE: An older version without vocalization in current available in the repositories, but the newest version is expected to be publicly available within the week. [xGPS via ModMyiThanks, Aleksey!]

iPhoto 2009 and Picasa for Mac (Apple and Google)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

[Editor’s note: Both Apple and Google have released new photo management software this week coinciding with MacWorld in San Francisco. Google unveiled a Mac version of their popular Picasa software but their beta lacks maps and geotagging support found in the current Windows version. Apple, meanwhile, released the 2009 version of iPhoto with extensive support for managing geotagged images from cameras like the iPhone. Geotags are imported and can be edited for photos and seen on a map. Photos can be searched by location (lat longs are turned into human readable placenames such as “Paris, France”). And nifty looking map itineraries can be created in photo books.]

Republished from Apple.

Places

iPhoto helps you explore your travel photos with a new feature called Places. This feature uses data from GPS-enabled cameras or the camera on iPhone to categorize photos by location and convert GPS location tags to common, user-friendly names. So without any effort, pictures you took of the Eiffel Tower are labeled with easily searchable names like “France,” “Paris,” and “Eiffel Tower.”

If you don’t have a GPS-enabled camera or iPhone, you can still make the most of Places. Add locations to your photos by typing the name of a place, entering an address, or dropping a pin on a map. Then, when you want to find photos you shot in New York City or the Grand Canyon, just type the place name in the search field. If you feel like exploring, use the Places column browser to navigate your photos by clicking a country, state, city, or point of interest.

Travel Maps

If you’re an iPhoto fan, you already know how fun and easy it is to create professionally printed photo books to show off your vacation pictures. iPhoto ’09 makes your travel books even more special with custom maps that illustrate your journey. iPhoto uses the location data from your photos to generate a beautifully rendered map showing the countries and cities you visited. Or you can type in the names of places you’ve visited to create a travel map in any photo book theme. Every map is fully customizable. Show a point-to-point path of your travels, change the order of the cities, and mark points of interest. Learn more about iPhoto print products

Apple looking to patent iPhone-friendly glove? (iPodNN)

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

[Editor's note: Living in a colder clime, I'm often frustrated that I cannot use the iPhone's touch screen while wearing gloves. If I tilt my finger just right thru the fabric and press hard I can barely get the phone to unlock and place a call. The alternative is frost bite. This patent application demonstrates one solution.]

Republished from iPodNN.

Apple may be exploring the idea of gloves more friendly to touchscreens, an application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals. A problem common to iPhone and iPod users in colder areas, such as Canada and the northern US, is that they must wear gloves when going outside. Because Apple handhelds use capacitive touchscreens however, it may be difficult or impossible for the electrical signals from a person’s fingers to pass through glove fabric.

Apple’s proposed glove design would include inner and outer layers, the former covering the palm and at least one finger. The inner layer would also emulate properties of human skin, namely its electrical resistance. To control a touchscreen, holes in the outer layer would allow one or several fingers to protrude; to keep hands as warm as possible, the holes would be lined with elastic rings and/or some sort of cap, for when fingers are safely tucked back inside.