The best case I found for my iPhone 4 was a simple snap case design from Incase. It had that soft rubberised plastic and left the top and the bottom of the phone almost completely exposed, which looked really nice. While I like to use a case, I don’t like it to be particularly bulky.
When I bought my 5s I just went for Apple’s own case, which I do like a lot. However it’s tricky to take out, which I do fairly often.
Later I saw the ‘Incase Pro Snap Case’ for the 5s and bought one, only to be very disappointed. It feels very cheap, with sharp edges and for some reason it has a larger than necessary hole for the camera. I think they designed it that way to show off the detail which judgmental strangers will be looking for that proves you’re not some schlub using last year’s model. I just think it looks ugly. The worst aspect of this new case though is that the top creeps further up the back, meaning you have to hook your finger over the case to hit the power button. Yeah I know, #firstworldproblems, but it annoyed me enough that I went back to the Apple case.
Today I found this rather snazzy case made by SAEM:
The SAEM iPhone 5/5s case
Slidey in/out action
8GB memory drive reverse
Cutout for volume controls
Yup, it has a small 8GB USB memory card in the back. I’m honestly not entirely sure what I want to use that for, but it’s cool nonetheless. That in itself is a novelty that I could have passed up, but at £20 this case doesn’t cost any more than the other extortinate cases without a USB drive! (Having said that, they seem to have a SRP of £35 on the manufacturer’s site, and I spotted them for even more on Amazon.)
Mostly though I’m happy that I’ve found a case that looks as nice as the old Incase thing I liked so much. Of course, I’ve only had this on my phone for a matter of hours so it may fall apart, scratch the phone, set my flat on fire or something over time, but my initial impressions are very positive.
If you happen to be in Brighton, you can get this case from Zoingimage for £20. They had them in black and white and for the 4/4s and 5/5s iPhone models.
The Telegraph’s Richard Gray has compiled a list of ten apps that Apple does not want you to use. In my view, half of these apps are dumb gimmicks that any curated app store wouldn’t want: A game where you throw your phone as high as you can; titillation apps featuring ‘interactive’ girls in bikinis; an app that did literally nothing except cost $1,000.
However, some of the other rejected apps represent far more serious acts of censorship and monopolistic behaviour on the part of Apple, like the Wikileaks app that let users read the Iraq war logs, or Scratch, an MIT project to help teach children programming. I thought it would be worthwhile to compile a more serious list of apps banned by Apple.
I have difficult news. We’ve learned that Mike Daisey’s story about Apple in China – which we broadcast in January – contained significant fabrications. We’re retracting the story because we can’t vouch for its truth. This is not a story we commissioned. It was an excerpt of Mike Daisey’s acclaimed one-man show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” in which he talks about visiting a factory in China that makes iPhones and other Apple products.
Mike Daisey has employed the ‘I’m not a journalist‘ defence: “My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism, and it’s not journalism. It’s theater.”
The blame really does lie with the journalistic entity though, and in dedicating literally a whole episode of This American Life to apologising for and explaining their mistake, they will surely not lose, but gain trust and respect. Continue reading →
Buyer beware: A recent iOS update seems to have broken the shortcuts this app produces. I haven’t investigated any fixes/alternatives yet. I probably won’t bother.
Icon Project (£0.69) is an iPhone app for designing iOS style icons to use as shortcuts on the homescreen.
These icons can be used as shortcuts for making calls and sending SMS or email messages to specific contacts. You can also create shortcuts to web pages or web apps, just like you can from within Safari, but with your own icon. This is where things get interesting…
I just uploaded this short video comparing the new gesture animations in Google Chrome with those in Safari.
In this video, I navigate through three pages, then use gestures (finger swipes on my Magic Mouse) to show how the animations look. Safari makes the navigation direction (forwards or backwards) clear, while Chrome adds confusion to what should be a really intuitive gesture.
Chrome has also added the little page-bounce animations you see in other native Mac apps when using a touch device, and even used the same linen texture for the empty space.
We have created something that is a new proposition, different to other digital offerings. It works in either orientation and nothing is sacrificed. Instead of it being based on lists, breaking news, and the fastest updates it’s instead designed to be a more reflective, discoverable experience. This gives it the potential to have a design capable of responding to the news… just like a newspaper.
This has been the wallpaper on my 11″ MacBook Air for a few months now. I didn’t make it any larger than the 1366×768 screen. Although there’s not much to it, the other minimal wallpapers I shared on this site … Continue reading →
Back in 1994, Italian novelist Umberto Eco (writer of “Foucault’s Pendulum” and “The Name of The Rose”) published a now-legendary, whimsical piece in the Italian news weekly Espresso, contending that the Microsoft/Apple rivalry is “a religious war.” Eco was “firmly of the opinion” that the Macintosh is Catholic; “It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach — if not the kingdom of heaven — the moment in which their document is printed.” He pointed out that with a Mac you deal with simple formulae and sumptuous icons, and “everyone has a right to salvation.”
On the other hand, Eco contended, the (then mostly DOS-based) PC was Protestant, “or even Calvinistic,” demanding difficult decisions and interpretations, taking “for granted the idea that not all can reach salvation.” The PC user “is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.”
My computer history, briefly, has been Acorn Electron, Amiga 500, various PCs running Windows 95, then ME and finally XP, which brings me to the machines I use now. I have an Eee-PC netbook (which for a year was my only personal computer). I experimented with a few Linux distros and eventually settled on CrunchBang Linux.
I also bought an iPhone 3G in this period, which eventually helped me decide to buy a 27″ iMac, which I think is absolutely fantastic. Continue reading →
I just found out that Apple have a page on their site dedicated to technical drawings of their ‘iProduct’ range, including the iPhone 4. It’s for accessory makers, but would also be handy for creating 3D models, if you like that kind of thing. Which I do.
There’s a goldmine of resources I didn’t realise they had here, including hardware icons and Mac logo, as well as tons of developer stuff, which is really the point of the site.
Update 2012.09.22: Get tall versions of these for your shiny new iPhone 5! If you liked having a plain background on your iPhone, these wallpapers may work for you. I’m using the one with the Apple logo for my lock … Continue reading →
GeekTool is a system monitor for Mac OS X, which will let you display system information or various feeds from the internet on your desktop. It’s like Conky for Linux, if that means anything to you. There are many, many scripts you can use to display weather forecasts, CPU and RAM usage, free HD space, the latest XKCD, unread emails, the track now playing, Twitter messages and pretty much anything else you can think of. As the examples I’ve attached to this post show, you can do some really creative desktops.