These are some of my favorite things

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 @ %I:%M %p | Technology

Since doing iPad application development I am noticing an interest I never really had before: an interest in how other developers designed and laid out their apps.

Sure, I’ve been impressed with other people’s apps before but then, especially in the case of desktop apps, it was mainly a technical intrigue: the pixel manipulations in Photoshop, all the lovely fractal work in Bruce, and how on earth can Shazam figure out any song from such a 10 second sample!?

But with iPad I find I am very intrigued by how fellow developers use the screen real estate, landscape vs portrait, the various gestures and swipes, the user interface controls. And I have a great time browsing through the iTunes App Store and collecting apps.

Here are a few of my favorites.

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Cinetap is a front-end to Netflix. There’s a Netflix iPad app too but Cinetap is more visually pleasing to me. I like the bookshelf presentation. You can browse Netflix’s library, manage your queue and play movies (for which it launches the Netflix app).

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Sobees’ My Friends is a similar concept: it’s a Facebook front. A favorite for two reasons. First of all, Facebook hasn’t yet done an iPad app themselves. And perhaps more interestingly, My Friends gives you an entirely different view upon the same information by using a magazine or newspaper approach.

The next two are proof that all apps must have a cloud feature.

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Evernote is my favorite note-keeping app. I have it on my MacBook, my iPhone and the iPad. And they all talk to each other! Notes and updates made in one place show up in the other.

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I like how Amazom.com made use of the differences between their Kindle device and the iPad in how your books are presented. But what I like most of all is that I can read a book during lunch at work on the iPad and then continue reading it on the Kindle at home in the evening. It will ask me “hey, we noticed you’re further along in the book, shall we go there?” Well yes!

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IMDB is a great example of making things look good on and iPhone and on an iPad. The developer makes great use of the extra real estate on the iPad vs the iPhone. Beautiful layout. And yes, Once Upon A Time In The West is my favorite movie.

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Pulse is a newsreader. Most newsreaders are very list-oriented and linear. Pulse shows that needn’t be and I think their horizontal presentation works very well. It enables the user to swipe up and down to check different sources, left and right to see more of the same source. It also shows that all blog entries should have an image!

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Not entirely sure whether I will use Clinometer much but it is gorgeous! Gives a whole new view upon the world of waterbubble tools! And it makes me want to do something with the accelerometer in my iPad!

Speaking of favorite apps and cloud functions, Shazam is the former but doesn’t have the latter. I have Shazam on my iPhone as well. The tags I create and collect on one shall never meet the others. So sad.

But, if you were as puzzled as I was on how Shazam does its magic then the answer is here.

 

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