April 8th, 2012 by admin.
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The following list was compiled by PGA New Media Council member, Susan Zwerman. It’s meant to be a work-in-progress, and comments and suggestions are welcomed:
AccuWeather ver 2.0: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/accuweather-for-iphone/id300048137?mt=8
Gives video forecasts as well as accurate weather information. Can email weather report directly through your iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Action Log: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/action-log/id316992969?mt=8
Action Log is a film and television-logging tool, designed for use on location or in a studio with up to 25 recording devices. At the touch of a button the logging system keeps track of all reel names and time codes for each recorded piece of action. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Align of Sight: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/align-of-sight/id385134018?mt=8
For Precision Photography, Visual Effects, Match-Moving and Location Scouting. Record and log any view vector in space & time and align live camera angles to previously recorded Lines-Of-Sight and specific sun direction. Used as a digital level on a camera. For iPhone or iPad ($14.99)
A Digital Directors viewfinder. For the iPhone (Free)
Artemis Remote for the iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artemis-remote-for-iPad/id372459098?mt=8
Directors Viewfinder and Remote – Use your iPhone 4 camera as a director’s viewfinder to plan out shots, and feed that information over Wi-Fi to your iPad. You can select the lens size, ratio, etc. For iPad. ($4.99)
Aspect Ratio Calculator: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aspect-ratio-calc/id423170814?mt=8
Calculates video aspect ratios and pixel dimensions. Presets are provided for common formats. Results can be copied to the clipboard or emailed. For iPhone and iPad. ($1.99)
Scans and reads business cards and convert to contacts. Can save contact information in Card Holder or iPhone Address Book. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Camera for iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camera-for-ipad/id366129244?mt=8
Add a camera to your iPad – wirelessly. Easily connects any two devices to send the camera from one to the other. Simply start Camera for iPad on both devices, and they’ll find each other. Your iPad shows what the iPhone’s camera sees. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Celtx Shots: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/celtx-shots/id467370902?mt=8
Celtx Shots is the first app with both storyboarding and set blocking built-in, so you can create storyboards and block scenes in the field or on the set. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Storyboard Composer: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/storyboard-composer/id325697961?mt=8
Storyboard Composer is a mobile story boarding application. No need to know how to draw. This app allows you to portray your vision to others in an easy controllable format. Designed for Directors, Directors of Photography, Producers, Writers, Animators, Art Directors, film students and anyone who wants to be able to visualize their story. For iPhone or iPad. ($14.99)
Display sunrise and sunset times for your current location, at any point in time. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Documents To Go: (Office Suite) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/documents-to-go-office-suite/id317117961?mt=8
Enables you to read and edit Word and Excel docs from your computer on your iPhone i.e. call sheet. This app can also view PowerPoint, PDF, iWork, Text, and RTF files on both the iPad and iPhone. Need to sync iPhone or iPad with a Desktop application to use. ($9.99)
Documents 2: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/documents-2-free-spreadsheet/id314894105?mt=8
Mobile app that lets you see any type of office document on your iPhone, iPad Also can transfer documents to/from your iPhone via FTP or Wi-Fi, Google, or Email. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Doddle Premium: http://www.doddleme.com/registration/pro-preview/
Create Digital Interactive Call Sheets right on your iPhone. Auto Update Weather and Emergency info for your shoot by just adding a location and date. Get interactive Map locations by adding in set address. If you make a change on your call sheet you can send out an email notifying the crew in your address book of that change. For iPhone and iPad. ($2.99)
Calculates depth of field for photography and provides best f-stop and lens combination. For iPhone. ($1.99)
Dropbox: http://www.dropbox.com/iPhoneapp or http://www.dropbox.com/ipad
Save and restore documents for moving to multiple devices. Bring your files with you wherever you go. Easy to upload photos and videos to Dropbox. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Easy Release: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-release-model-release/id360835268?mt=8
Create release forms for talent. There are pre-canned release forms to get you started, simply fill in the blanks, save the form as a template. Hand this form to your talent so they can sign with their finger. Email the PDF to them and yourself. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Movie Slate: http://www.movie-slate.com/
All-in-one digital slate, clapperboard, shot log, and notepad are used for film, TV, documentaries, music videos, and interviews. It records both for the iPhone and iPad all of a shot’s production, GPS location, and time code data and is stored to the MovieSlate’s shot log history. This report can then be exported and viewed on your web browser. iPhone 3GS or later and iPad ($24.99)
Evernote is an easy-to-use list maker that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. This app lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
A weather application that uses latest technology to show the current temperature of any location. This app gives you detailed weather information of unlimited cities worldwide with an easy-to-use user interface. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
FDX Reader: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fdx-reader/id437362569?mt=8
Reader for Final Draft scripts for the iPhone and iPad. Final Draft uses a file format called .FDX. If you’ve ever attempted to open one of these files on iOS, you get raw XML. With FDX you get a screenplay nicely formatted. For iPhone and iPad. ($7.99)
FiLMiC Pro: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/filmic-pro/id436577167?mt=8
This app gives you more control over iPhone movie recording. It turns your iPhone into a fullfeatured HD video camera. For iPhone and iPad. ($3.99)
Works like a real small flashlight. This app helps you see when it’s night exterior inside or outside. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Final Draft Reader: http://www.finaldraft.com/products/mobile/reader/
It precisely displays production scripts, including colored production pages exactly as they appear on your desktop – perfectly paginated. You can make script notes directly on your iPad. For iPad only. ($19.99)
For both the iPhone and iPad. Internet access to web, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. Creates a personalized magazine out from shared files. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Genius Scan: PDF Scanner http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/genius-scan-pdf-scanner/id377672876?mt=8
Genius Scan turns your iPhone into a pocket scanner. It enables you to quickly scan documents on the go and email the scans as JPEG or PDF. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
GoodReader for iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/goodreader-for-iPhone/id306277111?mt=8
PDF reader with advanced reading. You can read virtually anything, anywhere: books, movies, maps, and pictures. The ability to mark-up PDFs opens up new doors to GoodReader users who can now use typewriter text boxes, sticky notes, lines, arrows, and freehand drawings on top of a PDF file. This version is free for iPhone. For iPad, get “GoodReader for iPad.” ($4.99)
GPS by TeleNav: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gps-by-telenav/id414817704?mt=8
3D maps with live traffic flow, turn-by-turn directions with manual re-routing, local search, and cheap gas price finder. Now with Facebook integration & enhanced map discovery. For iPhone 3GS, 4, 3G and iPad and iPad 2. (Free)
Group Email: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/groups/id407855546?mt=8
Create and manage groups of contacts . Email a group of contacts as well as attach images to your group emails. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Group Text: (textPlus free texting & group text): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/textplus-free-texting-+-group/id314487667?mt=8
Can use this app for free texting. . For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Helios Sun Position Calculator: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/helios-sun-position-calculator/id311648870?mt=8
This application graphically predicts the path of the sun from dusk to dawn, on any given day, in any given place. Good for Cinematographers and Still Photographers working in natural light. For iPhone and iPad. ($29.99)
iAnnotate PDF: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iannotate-pdf/id363998953?mt=8
This app has a fully searchable library to organize, find, and read your documents. It is used for taking notes on lecture slides, annotating important business documents, revising screenplays, and grading papers. For iPad only. ($9.99)
Specifically for IMDB access on the web. Internet industry database – large connection of movie, TV and celebrity info. For iPhone and iPad (Free)
Great way to do simple edits on the go. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
Save and access web pages to read later when you are without Internet connection. For iPhone and iPad ($4.99)
Simple slate and easy to use as a portable digital clapper board. Digital Slate for Red Camera. For iPhone and iPad. ($2.99)
Now with tons of effects, this app records videos for older iPhones as well. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
A simple light meter. For iPhone and iPad (Free)
Automated Video Playback – LiVE PLAY is a streaming playback tool designed to enhance existing VTR setups on the set. With LiVE PLAY, iPads can be used as monitor for serving an unlimited amount of clips and are completely secure. It lets users view, share, and comment on clips from their LiVE PLAY-equipped iPads. For iPad. ($34.99)
MapQuest 4 Mobile: http://www.macworld.com/appguide/app.html?id=113106&expand=true
FREE voice-guided, turn-by-turn, GPS navigation for iPhone. Your phone speaks to you, telling you when to make a turn. Easily search with a single click while on the go. Stay on schedule by checking live traffic en route. If you take a wrong turn, MapQuest re-routes you automatically. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
This calculator computes the equivalent lens focal length to produce the same field of view between two cameras with different aperture/sensor sizes. It will do a “Match Lens” calculation, and produce the closest equivalent angle of view lens, in millimeters, for both vertical and horizontal frames. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Movie Magic Scheduling To Go for the iPad http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/movie-magic-scheduling-to-go/id428072812?mt=8
It only works with a file that is created in Movie Magic Scheduling 5 and can make changes with the touch of a screen. Movie Magic Scheduling To Go provides a mobile companion solution to the desktop version of Movie Magic Scheduling 5 for use on the iPad. It allows you to make changes to your existing schedule in a simple touch screen interface. For iPad. ($29.99)
Movie Slate http://www.movie-slate.com/
With each closing of the clapper, MovieSlate automatically creates a shot log with your production, timecode, notes, and even the GPS location of your shots. For iPad and iPhone. ($24.99)
Regular MyRadar is free and fast and easy to use. It displays animated weather radar around your current location, allowing you to quickly see weather patterns coming your way. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Notes to Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notes-to-store/id364740608?mt=8
Create notebooks of unlimited pages, type text, import photos, draw on photos or sketch. For iPad. ($1.99)
This is a personal task management app. Keep it all up-to-date and take your to-dos to-in sync your devices. Categorize your tasks by the tool, resource, or location required to accomplish them. For iPhone ($19.99) and for iPad. ($39.99)
Your iPad touch screen is your canvas. It provides stencils full of objects for you to drag and drop, and it can magically organize diagrams so your ideas come to life. For iPad. ($49.99)
Orchestra to-do: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/orchestra-to-do/id459356540?mt=8
This app is a list maker. If everyone has it, you can send out and update to-do lists wirelessly. Good for inter-department app. Automatically syncs between the iPhone and the web for home/work, and can also create tasks with your voice. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
PanaScout –Lite: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/panascout-lite/id371341478?mt=8
For crews scouting locations. This app shows the Cinematographer’s viewpoint from a professional cinema camera. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
This is more advanced than the Lite version, with zoom issue resolved. It allows you to upload your stills to Final Cut. 360 Panorama – take location stills and stitch them together. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
pCAM Film+Digital Calculator: http://www.davideubank.com/Good_Focus/pCAM_Film+Digital_Calculator.html
Many features for Cinematographers, Camera Operators & Assistants, VFX Supervisors, Script Supervisors and Still Photographers. Calculates Depth of Field, Splits-Aperture Finder, Field of View (Picture Sizes), Focal Length, Exposure, and Running Time Length. For iPhone and iPad. ($29.99)
PDF Expert: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-expert-fill-forms annotate/id393316844?mt=8
It lets you read and annotate PDF documents, highlight text, make notes, draw with your finger and save these changes being compatible with Preview and Adobe Acrobat. This iPad application can fill in PDF forms. You can get PDF files from desktop computers, email attachments, documents on Dropbox, MobileMe iDisk, GoogleDocs etc. For iPad ($9.99)
PDF Reader: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-reader-iPad-edition/id367816156?mt=8
PDF Reader can read all PDF files. For iPhone ($1.99) and iPad. ($4.99)
Phone Aid: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phone-aid/id293019352?mt=8
Phone Aid contains real-time slideshows with clear, intuitive pictures and voice instructions that guide you through CPR and how to help a choking person when it really happens. You will also get an A-Z First Aid guide where you will find simple, straight forward advice on how to initially handle the most common injuries and illnesses such as, drowning, convulsions, burn injury, snake bite etc. For iPhone and iPad. ($1.99)
This is a panorama creation app that makes it easy to capture and share interactive panoramas of the locations. Photosynth allows you to make a panorama from left to right, as well as up and down, thus enabling you to capture a full “sphere” (3D image of the location). For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
PlainText: Dropbox text editing http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plaintext-dropbox-text-editing/id391254385?mt=8
This app is a simple text edit and allows you to create and organize your documents in folders and sync everything with Dropbox.com. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
The universal app can sync between iPad and iPhone, so you can use your iPhone to remote control the iPad scrolling. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Remote desktop for mobiles. This uses your computer on your iPhone if both are running. Works with both PC and MAC. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Video editor that can create and edit movies right on the iPhone/iPad and includes a drag-anddrop timeline. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
Writing scripts index card -write up index cards and group, color them accordingly. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
ShotList -Movie Shoot Planning: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shotlist-movie-shoot-planning/id424885833?mt=8
ShotList shows a production stripboard to your mobile device, allowing the planning and tracking of every scene of a shoot as it happens. For iPhone and iPad. ($11.99)
Tests Internet speeds – one tap connection under 30 seconds to find out your upload, download and Ping speeds. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
This is a paint and image app that can create some sophisticated looking artwork with ease. Take a photo or select an image with your device and then doodle on it. Decorate with many overlay images and special stamp brushes. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Storyboards allows you to create your movie’s storyboard without requiring any drawing ability. Hundreds of characters and props are included inside this library. The free version lets you create up to 2 storyboards of 10 drawings. For iPad. (Free)
Sun Chaser: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-chaser/id428454778?mt=8
SunChaser is an app to calculate sun’s setting and rising time with the use of iPhone that detects your location. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Sun Compass: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-compass-for-iPad-ipod/id367001553?mt=8
This compass app determines your direction by calculating the current sun position. Sun predictor, less advanced than Helios. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Sunrise Sunset Pro http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sunrise-sunset-pro/id319184913?mt=8
Displays sunrise/set times, dawn, dusk, solar noon, sun positions throughout the day. For iPhone and iPad. ($1.99)
Sun Seeker: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-seeker-3d-augmented-reality/id330247123?mt=8
Provides a flat view compass and an augmented reality camera 3D view showing the solar path, its hour intervals, its winter and summer solstice paths, and rise and set times. Find the sun, even when it is hidden by clouds. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
The Weather Channel®: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-weather-channel-for-ipad/id364252504?mt=8
The Weather Channel for iPad combines interactive imagery with weather report. Full screen, customizable weather maps. M Push alerts for severe weather in your selected location. For iPad only (Free)
Time Card 24 Converter http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time-converter-24-free/id444154009?mt=8
A simple application to help convert clock times into decimal times. For example: 6:42pm to 18.7. This helps in filling out time cards. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Keeps track of all your to-do lists. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Toodledo is a powerful task and note manager. It will help organize your to-do list and notes. For iPhone and iPad. ($2.99)
Voxer Walkie-Talkie PPT http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voxer-walkie-talkie-ptt/id377304531?mt=8
This is a Walkie Talkie app for smartphones. Send instant audio, text, photo and location messages to your crew. Your crew can listen to your message if their app is turned on and they are on Wi-Fi otherwise it will save like a text message for you to hear later. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
WiFi HD: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wifi-hd-free-wireless-hard/id311170976?mt=8
Turn your iPhone into a wireless, mobile external hard drive. Works over any WiFi connection. You can now share, copy, and backup your files to and from your PC or Mac. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
WritePad is a text editor that utilizes advanced handwriting recognition input for the English language as well as iPhone keyboard for text entry, and includes spell checker, context analyzer, and standard editing operations such as copy, cut, paste, etc. For iPhone and IPad. ($3.99)
This app allows you to write text files in focus. It uses Dropbox to keep your documents organized. Also has ability to use fonts & colors. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
If you have a suggestion for an app that would be useful to production personnel, or any other feedback, Susan Zwerman will be updating this list regularly, in PDF form. For details, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 10th, 2011 by admin.
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It’s been almost 2 months since I last posted anything here (I have no interest in blogging for the sake of blogging, and I’m sure you have no interest in reading self-important daily ruminations on the state of social media, society, or Steve Jobs (RIP)).
So, beginning today, I will be compiling – in keeping with my commitment to publish only when I have something worth publishing – recaps of a few of the various things I’ve discovered and shared during the previous month, be it via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or whatever other social brand made sense in the moment. I won’t be recapping ALL my postings and discoveries (saints preserve us!), but only those that I think still merit review, one month later. As noted above, I’ll be calling this regular entry “In Case You Missed It…”, and I welcome any feedback or input, as always. So, without further ado, here is the first installment of this regular publication for your enjoyment, information, education, and perhaps even inspiration! (this first posting will cover a little more than the past month, just to get us all caught up):
Fundraising in the New Economy
As many of my readers know, I have been dedicating a big chunk the past couple of years to supporting a small variety of Not-for-Profit Organizations, helping them to strengthen their brand and financial positions during this economic downturn. Many NPOs are still wasting a lot of time pursuing legacy funding channels that no longer deliver the returns they used to bring, at the cost of other revenue generation opportunities. Crowd-sourced and network funding channels abound now, including ProFounder, Kickstarter, Razoo and others. NPOs need to have a dedicated New Funding Director, well-versed in emerging channels (from text-based through Social, and beyond). In July, Mashable published an interesting article offering some tips for NPO mobile campaigning. It was a little simplistic, but a great way to help NPOs start thinking along the right lines.
21st Century Pop
Later that month, I came across a very compelling site called thesixtyone, where “new artists make music and listeners decide what’s good”. Why it took me so long to check this out, I’ll never know, but I’m glad to see it still going strong, and now there’s another offering, exclusively for the iPad, called Aweditorium, which is similar, yet just different enough to make it worth looking in to. While Spotify, Grooveshark, Pandora, Mog, and Last.fm are hands down the best purveyors of mainstream music over the Net, it’s great to see intuitive, crowdsourced music experience such as thesixtyone and Aweditorium. Kudos to Reid Hoffman and Joi Ito for supporting such truly grassroots musical adventures as thesixtyone, and I’m eager to see what sort of UX the iCloud offers, to mitigate the lousy experience that is currently iTunes.
Gee, Plus or Minus
Also in July, I began using Google+, and I must say I am still struggling to adopt it as a preferred social network. I can see some potential, but it is so specifically reliant on the input of users that one wonders whether “we” are enough to ensure ongoing and continually expanding usefulness, beyond the fraternity of early adopters. This network may end up becoming little more than a glorified techie BBS, which is not a bad thing, just not perhaps what everyone had initially expected or hoped for. I yearn to be proven wrong, though, and see this evolve into a deeply enriching experience for a vast cross section of society, sufficiently differentiated from Facebook that it moves beyond being an “either/or” proposition. Other niche social networks are growing strongly, meanwhile, including photography site 500px (an alternative the increasingly messy deviantart).
I’ve been waging a more than 2-year battle to have a major residential street in Burbank calmed sufficiently to allow for bicycle lanes, a center turn lane, upgraded signalization, and safe pedestrian crossing experiences. Just a few weeks ago, with the help of many friends and professionals, the battle was won, and we now move on to the next street, in this war (at least, that’s what it often feels like!) to make urban living safer, more manageable, and more sustainable. My efforts were quiet and diplomatic (for the most part!), compared to the impressive actions of people like Vilnius Mayor A.Zuokas and Ed Begley Jr. While we may not all have the discipline, vision, & commitment of Mr. Begley, wouldn’t it be nice if we each moved an inch further in the right direction? Standing still on the issue of sustainable living isn’t going to improve air quality, landfill overflows, urban heat island effect, & the host of other challenges bearing down on us. Whoever said “ignorance is bliss” was a fool (Hello, Thomas Gray). As for the tank stunt: Is it all staged? Perhaps. Does it momentarily fulfill the fondest wish of many a pedestrian, bus driver, and bicyclist around the world? Definitely. The streets of our urban areas are supposed to be for ALL forms of transportation, not just cars. Does your city have the legislative tank commanders necessary to ensure you are able to get around a cleaner city, however you wish, and safely? Think about it, and maybe one or two more of us can act upon it…
In the meantime, while we fight to make our cities more inclusive, many among us are worrying about how our privacy is becoming compromised online. Facebook is certainly not to blame, if you are stupid enough to post drunken/naked/awkward pictures of yourself on your profile, or otherwise upload sensitive data. That’s all on you, bubba! However, your phone number, real estate records, social content, name, age, and so much more are easy to find on the web, regardless of your Facebook activity, thanks to a host of sites you may never have heard of. Clearing the data can be a bit of a headache, but finding all those sites has recently become a whole lot easier: Unlistmy.info is a free service that helps you identify those sites and remove your personal data from their records.
Speaking of records, the results from the 2010 Census came online last month, and they’re interesting to wander around, during your coffee/tea break… (some intriguing questions arise, such as: if all designated races experienced population decline in Los Angeles County, how did the overall population in that California county INCREASE by nearly 300,000 people?). Explore the 2010 Census here (courtesy of CNN).
Keeping The Fire Alight
More recently, Lots of new techie toys have been coming out: iPhone 4S, Amazon Fire Tablet, Kindle Touch, Samsung Galaxy S2 for T-Mobile and others, a couple of new Android tablets, some more Windows phones…Despite high unemployment, and a gasping economy, our almost unconscious desire for the newest consumer tech bauble remains as healthy as ever. At some point we will suddenly wake up to the fact that all these devices are nothing more than toys or tools, and as such need to be either mightily entertaining or extremely useful…and, in both cases, firmly reliable.
Let that day come sooner, rather than later.
The speculation surrounding the Amazon tablet release was perhaps the most feverish, with claims being made that the “Fire” was a potential “iPad Killer”. Despite press reports supporting this dramatic contention, nothing could be further from the truth, IMHO. As I said in one of my Quora answers last month, the new device from Amazon certainly opens up the market, with a price point ($199) that will bring fiscal fence-sitters into the arena. However, the feature-set on the Kindle Fire make it more like a juiced-up iPod Touch than an iPad. The Kindle Fire has no camera, no microphone, and no 3G connectivity. That said, it has two things that the iPad does not have: Amazon Silk and a vast content library (remember, Apps are not content, per se, they are applications!). The iPad will continue (for now) to dominate the upper end of the tablet market, with its dominant app collection and solid device performance. Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire represents a price and feature challenge to the rest of the market (Android and Windows8, essentially). To go out on a limb, just for the heck of it, I’m going to predict that that Kindle Fire does very well in the short term, while the new Kindle e-readers do astonishingly well, once they come out in November. Amazon may well take 2nd place in tablet market share, but not for long, as I have to believe the release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet OS will force the Android Tablets and applications communities to mature at an accelerated pace. Amazon will take 1st place in mobile content delivery, and will keep it, so long as they maintain focus on their existing core capabilities.
I don’t think Mr. Jeff Bezos and Co. are looking to secure early advantage in the tablet race. Their objective is loftier. Amazon is in the multiplatform content delivery market for the long haul, as evidenced by their Kindle ecosystem. While the HTCs, Dells, Samsungs, RIMs, and Motorolas of the world (sorry, HP, but a jailbroken tablet can no longer be considered viable competition) fight it out in their respectively scrappy fashions, Amazon would do well to stick to its proven methodologies: manage and enhance a world-leading library of diverse content; produce competitively priced, robust, yet simple-featured devices; tying it all together with a superior (if still prone to outage) cloud infrastructure,
Market analysts have claimed that everyone who was going to buy a Kindle has already bought one, but the new touchscreen functionality and very affordable price point now position the Kindle e-reader as the only game worth playing in town. The Nook is in serious trouble (trapped between the Kindle Touch and Fire, yet costing almost as much as both combined). Watch for massive sales of this new line of Kindle e-readers, assuming the interface is solid, and the Whispernet deal (free wireless content delivery) stays equally secure.
The Kindle Fire represents a widening of the market for tablet users, not so much a direct challenge to the iPad (although it may convince Apple to lower the price on their current model, and keep it on the market when the next iPad iteration comes out, all depending on whether there is sufficient differentiation between their current model and the next release. Most signs point to this not being the case).
The new line of Kindle e-readers positions Amazon to garner such a massive and insurmountable lead over all other book distributors, digital or otherwise, that the Big 5 publishers are going to have to come back to the table soon, with their tails between their legs. Although Apple’s iBook may have better UI, the Kindle App gives readers a degree of mobility and flexibility that is unmatched.
Amazon is pursuing software and hardware innovations in full support of their core competencies, and the company will prosper mightily as a result. If AWS can reduce outages, and their Cloud infrastructure is able to handle the load that might come to bear when 50 million (or more) tablets and e-readers and other devices call for content at the same time, then Amazon will be the new leading entertainment studio of the 21st century: in charge and in control of distribution more content to more people, in more places, on more devices, than any other entity.
That brings me to the end of September, and I haven’t even mentioned my Twitter postings (tweets). So I’ll just post a few from the beginning of July below, to give you a taste of what you can usually find there! In the meantime, I look forward to next month’s recap and, if you prefer to connect in a more timely fashion, I encourage you to follow my regular (almost daily) tweets on Twitter, and/or my weekly short posts on Facebook.
A few Twitter tweets of note for early July:
August 16th, 2011 by admin.
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With economies crumbling, politicians posturing, nations in upheaval, and “Wizards of Waverly Place” canceled, one can’t be blamed for thinking humanity has lost its bearings, and all is lost. However, I believe that nothing could be further from the truth.
After decades of conspicuous consumption, corporate and personal greed, and upended priorities, the double-dip depression (that’s what I’ve been calling it, and I’m sticking by it) is forcing many of us to review our lifestyles, and reconsider what is really important. Statistics suggest that the undeniable financial stresses of late are not increasing divorce rates, but rather reversing the trend (divorce rates are down year-on-year since 2008YE), and families are growing closer, with adults moving back in with parents, resulting in shared costs and shared burdens. The high cost of oil (regardless of recent gimmicky dips) is accelerating the drive toward alternative fuel vehicles (here’s hoping that we blast through the not-so-green hybrid and electric cars currently on offer, and really get it right with 2014 models). Citizens of cities around the world are increasingly clamoring for alternative modes of urban transportation (bicycle, pedestrian, public transport), leading to the exciting redesign of urban landscapes – incorporating complete streets, more green spaces, pedestrian safety, increased access to local retail businesses, air quality improvements, mitigation of obesity rates, and reduction of urban heat island effects. The process is slow, sometimes painfully so, but it is at least progressive, and I believe accelerated by the pressures brought to bear by our collective and individual financial woes.
The struggles faced by our society are reinvigorating our awareness of the communities within which we live, work, and play. More to the point, they are humanizing an existence that seemed to be losing itself in an entropic vortex of “technology for the sake of it”, rampant consumerism, and material one-upmanship. Individuals are becoming more aware of the truth of our shared reality. Nobody is in this alone, and this noble cliché seems to be reawakening an almost instinctual urge to share what little we have with those around us. The amount of dollars being given to charity may be down, but the number of people making donations is up. This drive is manifesting itself in some wonderfully strange ways, a few cherry-picked examples offered her below, as evidence:
Airbnb is trying, with varying degrees of success, to connect private homeowners with regular travelers, for mutual benefit. Have an extra room (or whole residence) sitting empty at any particular time of the year? Offer it up for rental, and airbnb will help find a tenant. As soon as the service manages to work out how to minimize vandalism and theft, and refine the availability calendaring (hopeless at present), it’s going to be fantastic.
Meanwhile, one wonders what the point of grassroots lodging is, if one doesn’t have a clue what to do in the city one is visiting. MyGuidie to the rescue! This service, still in alpha mode, is building a database of professional tour guides offering their professional services to travelers seeking to explore a destination properly. However, the real clincher about this site is the fact that it is ALSO registering volunteer locals willing to offer up a little guide time in return for a cold brew or friendly meal! Salacious potential aside, this is civic pride in action.
Don’t rely solely on your guide, however, when you consider that restaurants, museums, and many other places to see and be seen are actively pursuing ways to connect with their customers, fans, and clients. The obvious Foursquare and Facebook check-in mechanisms are but the proverbial tip of the iceberg, marking the spot in an ocean of opportunity. Underneath these well documented landmarks in communications and interconnectivity lie some very compelling niche programs worth checking out, such as – to give but one example among an increasing horde – the Connections program from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where staff are sharing their personal histories and perspectives on art, and overlaying these worldviews on the more specific touchpoints offered in the museum’s collections.
While on the subject of taking people out to lunch, or visiting a place of interest, it’s intriguing to note that We&Co, a Foursquare outcrop app, is providing users the ability to leverage the increasingly ubiquitous “check-in” to recognize and thank the people who make a particular moment in our day a pleasant one, be it our waiter, retail clerk, dentist, or tour guide.
These are but a few of the apps, sites, and services cropping up (and growing fast) to accelerate this healthy compulsion many of us are experiencing: now that we have less money, perhaps we’ll focus a little less on building or buying more, and instead take a little more time to show some interest in those things that truly make life worth living: the people and places that comprise our world. As my close personal friend, Henry David Thoreau, once said: What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?
Image via Wikipedia
January 9th, 2011 by admin.
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In January of last year I posted an article about CES, the reality of “innovation” and its place in the marketplace, and a look into where tablets and e-books came from (“A Consummation Devoutly to be Wished” – 01/10/2010).
A couple of months later, I posted a more in-depth review of some of the emerging tablet alternatives to Apple’s iPad (“Tablet Computing: What Should You Do?” – 04/06/2010).
It’s heartening to report, coming out of the 2011 CES, that most of my predictions and reviews have survived the shakeout, and are now being touted as frontrunners in the increasingly crowded race for market share. For a compelling rundown of some of the best tablets on offer at CES, check out Endgadget’s chart and links, highlighting their favorites (including my predicted – though not comprehensively admired – Dell, Kno, Lenovo, Notion Ink, and Vizio picks).
As I said over a year ago, Tablet devices will not only supplant netbooks (done), but also laptops, in time. This will be followed, in short order, by the demise of desktop towers – replaced by tablets and docking systems that integrate them into home and business networks. Ignore them at your peril…
March 25th, 2010 by dewprocess.
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Last week’s LA Street Summit was both inspiring and frustrating.
It was great to see over 500 people in attendance at this free one-day workshop and networking session – nearly double the number from last year. It was wonderful to observe several corporate leaders and sponsors making their presence known, and it was great to see so many people committed to the idea of livable urban centers, in a community that has long enslaved itself to the automotive culture. The workshops I attended were informative and energetic, and I look forward to this event expanding its reach, if only to “keep the dream alive”.
My frustration stems from an observation that our communities are long on energy and “foot soldier commitment”, but short on policy-making leadership. The difference -at least with respect to the issue of implementing complete streets and sustainability initiatives – between Southern California and New York (from whence guest speaker Janette Sadik-Khan hails) is largely in how government and businesses function, relative to their populace.
Mayor Bloomberg runs the City of New York, and – but for the possibility of bureaucratic opposition from his own lieutenants (and the inevitability of fiscal cuts), he is largely able to manifest his vision of a more sustainable urban metropolis. This is in no small part due to the intelligence, passion, charm, and drive of his Transportation Commissioner, Ms. Sadik-Khan. What she has accomplished, over the course of the past 3 years, is a success story likely to propel her into President Obama’s cabinet, or at least in to the history books, as an example of policy-making leadership, urban vision, and community spirit. It is also due to the fact that businesses in Manhattan welcome the idea (albeit sometimes begrudgingly) of making more navigable and accessible the 60% of the city’s real estate that comprises the streets and open spaces. If people can get around more easily, they’ll hang around for longer, they’ll wander around more agreeably and, as statistics are already showing, retail sales will go up, rentals will rise, and home sales will skyrocket. No need to even mention the more obvious social, environmental, and medical benefits.
Meanwhile, back in SoCal, or LA County to be specific (since the OC has made quite a good start, I must admit), policy-making leadership and visionary municipal governance are apparently as welcome in the council chambers of Burbank, Beverly Hills, and Los Angeles (among others) as Universal Health Care Legislation is at a Tea Party Rally. The various municipal councils seem utterly incapable of committing to any endeavor that does not have granular buy-in from 95% of their constituency. They (council members) argue that their role is to represent the people, but I offer the counter-argument that sometimes we, the people, are not in the best position to make and manifest policy. Democracy gives us the right to elect those whose beliefs most closely resemble our own, and to neglect those who do not aspire, or have failed, to deliver on promises which we hold dear. Great change rarely is manifest by a committee, and meanwhile, our streets become gridlocked, our air thickens with smog, our children grow obese, and we increasingly sequester ourselves in our hermetically sealed homes, with our 3 cars sitting in the driveway, and the light from 5 TVs permeating each household.
Yet, we are still far enough from the point of despair suggested by some of my above comments that we – business leaders, political activists, residents, taxpayers, et al – have a great chance to do our part, if we are not doing it already.
If you own a business, have you ensured that it welcomes and supports your employee and customer/client efforts to walk/bike/bus/metro to and from your location? We should focus a little less on building massive parking lots above and beneath our offices, and behind our stores and restaurants. If city ordinances demand it, we must campaign for alternatives. Instead of 3 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet, why not 2 spaces and 12 bicycle stands? Better yet, why not measure and manage community parking spaces from a truly communal perspective. Perhaps metrics should be managed on a neighborhood basis, and not “per-business”…
If you work with, in, on, or within spitting distance of municipal government (especially if you are an engineer), rediscover the joy of innovation! Stop MANAGING the problem of urban sprawl, gridlock, and parking, and start SOLVING it. Putting a lid on a boiling pot of water, does not cool the water, it merely delays, and eventually renders explosive, the challenge.
If you live, work, or play in an urban locale, make 2010 the year when you will (a) ask your employer about alternative transportation options, or offer your employees incentives to explore said alternatives; (b) explore your city’s rail, bus, and pedestrian networks (make it a family adventure!); and (c) challenge your municipal leadership to demonstrate the type of vision and commitment that was so warmly shown at last weekend’s Street Summit.
It needn’t happen overnight. Baby steps. One step at a time. One cycle at a time…but let’s keep moving:
(Links courtesy of lastreetsummit.org):
- Go Play in the Street: New York’s Transportation Commissioner Wants to Re-work Los Angeles (KPCC)
- Streetscast: Full Audio of Janette Sadik-Kahn’s Speech Last Night (L.A. Streetsblog)
- Streetscast: StreetSummit Speakers Inspire, Educate and Rally Livable Streets Advocates (L.A. Streetsblog)
- A New Route to a Better L.A. (Huffington Post)
- Sadik-Khan Packs the House, Then Brings It Down (L.A. Streetsblog)
- NYC Commissioner Says L.A. Should Quickly Move on Transportation Pilot Programs (LAist)
- Streeeeeet-Summiiiiiiiiiit(Urban Adonia)
- Carless Streets and Creative Thinking: What LA Can Learn from NYC (Curbed LA)
- Why StreetSummit was just the 2nd most inspiring thing I saw this weekend (BikingInLA)
- L.A. Street Summit, The Time Is Now, Let’s Kick Some Ass (Gary Rides Bikes)
- Janette Sadik-Khan on Changing the Transportation Game (Urbanophile)