Creativity is just connecting things.
— Steve Jobs

Tag Archives: idea

iPhone 3.0 Nits

Some quick notes on what I think can be improved:

1. Why do we now have two separate applications for note taking? One is verbal (Voice Memos) and the other is textual (Notes). I could easily imagine a Notes interface button with the old style microphone as its icon that brings up the audio recording interface.

2. Why does SMS get renamed Messages and still stay separate from Mail?

3. The idea that swiping to the left to get to a simple search function is a sad solution. The ultra tiny magnifying glass icon tucked into the list of open windows blows that UI metaphor apart. Why not have the user pinch the screen? We do* have more than just left/right swipes at our disposal right? The pinch could use the same zoom+fade in motion as found on the desktop OS.

4. Why does the Contacts app support screen rotation and re-orientation but the Phone app doesn’t?

5. Because Mail is such a monstrous piece of shit, I’ll tackle that in a separate post when I have time to redesign the whole fucking thing. I’m tired of that app and wish it was more useful than it is.

6. Can we please have more information in the top status bar throughout the OS? Why do I have to back all the way out to the home screen to see if any Pushed emails are present? Why can’t I tap the battery icon in the top right and get a percentage? I know it’s there because it was shown to be so in a hack. Obviously, don’t repeat info shown when on the Springboard but that goes without saying.

7. Is YouTube still so fucking important that it needs to reside on the home screen? Why can’t this be on a second page of lame apps like Stocks or the Weather widget?

8. Why can’t we hide apps from the Springboard? Sorry Apple but not every app you make is something everyone wants. Let us decide please.

9. Why doesn’t the Calendar app icon on the Springboard display a badge when an appointment is nearing?

10. Why in the iPod app’s Artists and Songs screen do you hide the search field at the top? Same goes for Audiobooks, Composers, Genres.

11. If you don’t have a certain type of content on your iPhone, wouldn’t it make sense to provide a button to the iTunes store from the iPod’s Videos, Audiobooks, and Podcasts screens instead of just saying “You can download something from iTunes.” Guess you’re really not trying to sell content to users.

12. Why not share the same iconography from the iTunes store when browsing Genres in the iPod app? Reading text lists in the iPod app is not sexy or fun.

13. At what point in the future will you standardize the placement of the Edit and Create New Item buttons in your apps?

Messages: Create New is top right and is a Pencil icon in a button.
Calendar: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button.
Mail: Create New is lower right and a Pencil and “paper” shape – no button.
Notes: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button (but it’s brown!)
Contacts: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button.
Clock: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button.
Voice Memos. WTF

14. Photos. Why can’t I create a photo album on the phone and assign photos to it from the camera roll? And why is the “Photo Albums” header background transparent? What is the benefit of doing this?

15. Mail, can we please mark a message as read without having to literally tap into it? One would think that the Edit button would offer this option, but it doesn’t.

So how’s that for a 15 minute evaluation? ;-)

GMNext and BoingBoing Conversations

Soon after I joined Jack Morton, I was asked to provide digital strategy support for my office’s main project, GMNext. GMNext was a massive celebration of GM’s 100th anniversary, and was heavy on social media tactics. I met with top executives in their Global Communications Group to advise them on the program’s metrics and potential for “success.” One amazing outcome of the project was a collaboration with BoingBoing founder Mark Frauenfelder. I pitched to him the idea of a short video series in which he would have conversations with Chris Borroni-Bird, Director, Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts at General Motors.

As part of the collaboration, Mark graciously posted the videos on his website, which generated some lively and educated conversation.

First story on BoingBoing

Second story on BoingBoing

The videos:

A Renaissance In Design:

Boingboing and GM: Innovation Motivation:

Fuel Economy w/ GM and Boingboing:

GM and Boingboing: Rethinking ‘The Grid’:

Extended Battery Life

Because of Apple’s legendary silence (lack of communication), the burgeoning iPhone developer community is wondering aloud why Apple isn’t allowing background apps to exist on their phone. Mike Ash has a great breakdown and why Apple’s current argument just doesn’t add up.

Jon Gruber is happy to explain from an unknown source of authority that the reason for this is that Apple is trying to maximize battery life and performance.

I would be willing to believe that if I could simply apply that theory to the existing Apple-made apps on the iPhone when it comes to battery life. I have noticed a slow decrease in battery life in my iPhone after each update. It has led me to believe that I just need to leave the Brightness down to barely 1/4 of the way up all the time. Also, I would LOVE to see the realtime performance of MobileMail because as far as I can tell, it’s the buggiest app on the phone. It has no ability to understand what “manual” checking for mail really means. Whenever I’m stuck in the endless pit of individually deleting 100 messages in one session, Mail will happily recheck for new messages every so often despite the fact that I’ve never instructed it to do so. Guess what that untimely check counts as? A background process that I’m sure is killing the battery on my phone. The other mind-numbing void on the phone is voice notes. I can’t understand at all why this simple idea escaped Apple.

Blog Weirdness

I am finally getting started on my privately long-discussed business idea and need the extra server space. So, if you experience some broken links throughout this blog, it’s probably because I’ve taken most everything down and archived it. Sorry.

My Superhero Is Dead

God how I loved Evel Knievel. As a young boy I initially thought he was fictional. Later on I realized he was a real guy who was on the fast track to superhero-dom. I had the jumping toy, watched him on TV, and just felt so inspired by his insanely stupid yet important heroic deeds. Recently I watched a cable biography of the man and realized what a bastard he was in his real life. Nevertheless, I still revere his acts of courage as pure greatness. Even though he failed several times attempting fantastic stunts, his will to get up and try it was staggering. He looked death in the eye over and over during statistically impossible long life and always ended up saying I’ll be back. What a sad thing. I watched some of his jumps on YouTube and cringed after every one. You would think that after his injuries he’d just say forget it I can’t take anymore but instead he would pray every night and ask God for the chance to try again. To stand alone. To do what made himself feel alive.

Sometimes when my mind wanders, I play this game where I imagine that for 1 day, no harm could come to me no matter what I did. I would try to think of the wildest stuff I could do knowing I’d feel no pain and just get up and walk around again. Jumping off buildings, driving off cliffs, standing in front of moving trains, etc. My body would get thrown all over the place but I’d just stand up and find something else to do. I imagine that’s similar to Evel Knievel. To me, thinking those thoughts is simply a creative exercise. Learning to keep my mind open to any thought and exploring my imagination. I think Evel helped give me that. I use it every day with my work and in that setting, I try my best to have no fear. Any idea can work. It just takes someone willing to dream and stand behind it.