What’s on your iPad?

OK, I’ll go first —

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A little while ago, I was asked to put together my top five iPad apps.

So, here they are. Ready?

1. Chrome
I’m so late to the Chrome-across-multiple-devices party it’s ridiculous. I’ve used Chrome on the desktop for yonks, then I added it to my phone (at the moment: the Motorola RAZR i), and then I finally added it to my iPad. Sign-in sync is nothing short of a revelation.

Alright some of you are going to be reading this going ‘OH COME ON WHATLEY! HOW HAVE YOU NOT BEEN USING THIS?!’ – well, I haven’t. Deal with it.

But seriously, it’s ace. I’m on my MacBook Pro at work; I open up some tabs to read later and when I get on the tube on the way home? Boom, there’s my stuff waiting for me on my iPad. Brilliant.

2. Paper by Fifty-Three
I’ve been using Paper since March last year when I spotted an awesome write-up over on Read Write Web. Since downloading it I’ve used it for a TON of things. From sketching superheroes (and super villains) to inventing mind robots that know when you want a cup of tea.

Paper is magnificent. It’s not cheap (if you want all the bells and whistles) but it’s 100% worth the investment.

3. Spotify
When you absolutely positively gotta have music when you’re cooking in the kitchen: accept no substitute. My iPad is my portable stereo system when I’m around the house and Spotify, when linked with a fairly awesome bluetooth speaker (bought from Carphone Warehouse), follows me around the home everywhere. Winner.

4. Reeder
Geez, where do I start? Outside of browsing the web, I’d say this is probably my number one used app on my iPad. Pulling in the feeds from my Google Reader, Reeder is where I consume my web.

The best things about Reeder for iPad are as follows

  • It’s my Google Reader, dammit!
  • It downloads content to read offline (essential for commuting)
  • Awesome sharing options (but no Tumblr – weird)
  • Everyone I know swears by it
  • I feel like it’s my friend – yes, that’s weird; and no, I don’t care.

5. Amazon Kindle
I use this app almost every day. Like Chrome, it’s mostly used on the commute to and from work; it’s the perfect accompaniment. And again like Chrome, I love the sync feature. I’ve got Kindle on all of my devices; I close the app on one device and when I open it on the next, it’s on the same page! It’s such a simple and easy thing but it makes ALL the difference.

And that’s that, in short: browsing, creating, listening, reading, and reading.

What’s on your iPad?

 

Five things on Friday #19

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 11th, 2012

1. Back to the Future Business Card of WIN
Tom Wilson played ‘Biff‘ in the Back to the Future films. Apparently, he carries a business card that he gives to fans to answer all those BTTF questions in one.

Perfect.

2. Some (more) decent lengthy articles
First up, ‘Frequent fliers who flew too much‘ is a brilliant read about unlimited first-class tickets that used to be available from American Airlines.

“Creative uses seemed limitless. When bond broker Willard May of Round Rock, Texas, was forced into retirement after a run-in with federal securities regulators in the early 1990s, he turned to his trusty AAirpass to generate income. Using his companion ticket, he began shuttling a Dallas couple back and forth to Europe for $2,000 a month.”

You can see why they stopped it. Have a read.

Next, I’m halfway through this fantastic interview with Joss Whedon. He directed, amongst a whole host of other things, The Avengers. And he is awesome.

Finally, Kathryn Schulz on ‘Internal Time‘ is proving to be a fantastic read. Purely because I never thought I’d ever read the line ‘Modern human beings are not much like mimosas’. Check it.

3. 100,000 LED Lights Illuminate a Japanese River

4. Retro-active Foursquare tracking
For some reason (and this is proper geeky) I love the idea that you can track your check-ins with GCal. Use case: ‘Had a meeting with Robbie the other week at that cool place on Wardour St., what was it called?’ – which means I now have a 4sq layer in my Google Calendar.

So simple.

Via.

5. Useful Apps / Plug-ins
Attachments.me is a great Chrome plug-in for searching through Gmail attachments. It’s proved to be an absolute life-saver lately. And their CEO, Jesse Miller, is a thoroughly nice chap too.

Build apps in iOS? Take a look at Alau.me. It’s like bit.ly, but for app download tracking.

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Bonuses –  Stunning Star Wars toy photography (click) and Avengers Concept Art (below) have both made my day today. Until next time…

‘Aftermath’ – click to embiggen

1000heads: The Museum of Me

This gorgeous, gorgeous piece of work from the smart chaps at Intel is one of the most perfect uses of the Facebook social graph API that I have ever seen.

Click through to the site, give up virtually all of your Facebook access privileges (we’ll come back to that one later) and just sit back and watch as Intel’s application accesses all of your photos, videos, friends, likes and links and displays them all in a glorious installation that even Getty would be proud of.

If you haven’t done this yet, click through and do it now. Once you’re done, come back again – we need to talk.

Right, welcome back. Done it yet? You have?
Perfect.

So exactly why is this beautiful application so damn good? Let’s explore further.

First, the sticking point: all those access points that the app demands.

I must admit that even I wavered there for a second.

Granting ‘access’ I have no problem with, it’s the ‘Post to my Wall’ part that niggles at me. But, forward you go – why? Because Intel aren’t some start-up off the street, nor are they a second rate newspaper looking for a quick way to proliferate their words and stories and, to be completely fair, if Intel do end up breaking my trust after I hit the ‘Allow’ button, so be it!  I can still go back in afterwards and disable their access, right?

And of course, let’s be totally clear here: the combination of all of the above along with the fact that perhaps, just maybe, after the clicking of agreement above I might have my very own ‘Museum of Me’, is more than enough to tempt even the most doubtful of Facebook users – the ol’ ego stroke; gets us every time.

Moving on, what makes the The Museum of Me so special in its delivery is that – through the API access you’ve granted above – it delicately creates a uniquely personalised and deeply personal journey through your social graph in a way that one might perhaps hope their life might be celebrated after they’re gone. Through pictures, screens, connections – they whole exhibition is dedicated to you and it could only really be totally appreciated for what it is by you.

Just enough virtual praise to be flattering, just enough branding to be quietly understood and, to top it all, just enough subtlety in the sharing functionality to entice you to push it out to your friends.

You pushed the like button – didn’t you?.

Speaking of which, at the time of writing the app has been liked just shy of 7800 times. 12hrs from now? When it’s gone viral, who knows what number it’ll hit.

For me, the great thing about this work is that the idea is simple, but the execution is flawless. I can’t show you how great it is, because my version wouldn’t work for you. You have to experience it for yourself. And that – in today’s world of mass information and constant personalisation – is definitely worth three minutes of your day.

Go to it.

The Museum of Me YOU awaits…

 

 

STOP PRESS: ShoZu to start charging!

Really Mobile’s favourite sharing application announced today that “going forward”, it will begin charging for its initial download…

There’s a lot going on today at the Really Mobile offices, what with the recent N97 shenanigans and the Mobile Web 2.0 Summit to cover, there’s a lot for us to get through. I myself have two (actually make that three) stories/features that I need to write up and to be honest, there really doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day!

How much will you pay?
Stay connected, but at what cost?

However, sometimes something comes along that simply bumps everything else down the line. Something so important that you simply have to drop everything and get the news up on the site. It happened a few weeks back with the Palm Pre, and today it’s happened again with ShoZu.

That’s right, ShoZu.

Really Mobile’s favourite sharing application announced today that “going forward”, it will begin charging for its initial download. The news, arriving via email this evening, sparks what would seem like a new attempt at monetization from them.
It goes:

Hello,

We’d like to start by saying thank you for using ShoZu. We have had the pleasure of communicating with several of you who have told us about your experiences using ShoZu and your thoughts for improving the service moving forward. That feedback from hundreds of ShoZu users has led us to develop a series of new features and changes to both the ShoZu user experience and the manner in which we distribute ShoZu. We wanted to let you know about a few of these updates.

You’ve got lots of flexibility in using ShoZu to upload photos and video. In addition to using the ShoZu mobile application, you can now use ShoZu to upload in new ways via:

  • picture messaging (MMS)
  • mobile email
  • PC and Mac Desktop application
  • any PC or Mac email client or webmail service

ShoZu’s mobile application takes the uploading experience to higher levels of functionality and two-way interactivity, with:

  • the ability to receive updates as well as read and reply to comments directly on your phone in near real-time
  • the ability to geo-tag uploads automatically
  • the ability to update your status, download feeds, and add tags and descriptions before or after uploading

Going forward, we will begin charging for the mobile application. If you’re already a ShoZu user, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no charge to continue using it. If you’re new to ShoZu’s mobile application, then there is a one-time charge to download the application and join thousands of happy ShoZu users.

ShoZu’s mobile application is available through our website, www.shozu.com and mobile website m.shozu.com, in Apple’s iTunes Store and will be available soon from other leading mobile application stores. We hope you continue to enjoy your ShoZu experience. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

Many Thanks,

The ShoZu team

So there you have it, ShoZu have made their move. As soon as I saw the news I threw it out onto Twitter to get some raw and instant reaction, the verdict?
Nicht Gut.

“Pixelpipe FTW!!!” – Ricky Cadden, Symbian Guru
Nice knowing you, ShoZu” – Carlo Longino, Mob Happy
“I’ve pretty much replaced it with Pixelpipe anyway” – Kevin Neely, Astro Turf Garden
What do they mean by “going forward”? Surely they mean “€5 on Ovi Store now” – Conor O’Neill, Louder Voice
Need it to be stable first guys” – Kip Hakes, KCJH Design

At the time of writing you can still download the app for free from http://m.shozu.com. The iPhone app store also currently lists the app as ‘FREE’, although this may change over the coming weeks. Within the Ovi Store, however, it’s a different story. A quick search returns no results, even though Conor, quoted above, reports that the app is already available for €5. See compare and contrast images below, (we can save the comment on Ovi Store for another day).

Where do we go from here?

This is a shrewd move from ShoZu. Timed with the launch of the Ovi Store, it seems like they wish to capitalise on the global roll out of Nokia’s much commented on venture into the application market. Fingers crossed it’ll pay off for them. We all love them and – in fairness – they do state quite clearly that:

If you’re already a ShoZu user, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no charge to continue using it.”

No doubt if you’re reading this, you’ve heard of ShoZu before. Maybe, just maybe you’ve downloaded the app already.
For you? No charge. Newbies coming in? €5 or, if my memory serves me rightly, £4 in the UK.

Pixelpipe have been mentioned as up and coming competitors and, what with their rather awesome Share Online integration, I’m not surprised.

Only time will tell who will win out.


Comments?
Thoughts?

Ladies and gentlemen the floor, is yours.