What is the Future of iOS Notification?

One of the more annoying things about iOS is its notification system. Modal alerts are so arcane, intrusive and annoying, I am actually shocked that they are still the standard method of notification in iOS as of version 4…

Looks like there are some underground movements (requiring jailbreaking, of course) to change that. Here’s a little commentary by Sebastiaan de With (@cocoia) that I found interesting:

Cocoia Blog » Getting Notified:

There’s some discussion on Apple-centric and tech news websites about a video that’s doing the rounds with a new approach to notifications for iOS. While the system in the video is really nothing new (there’s been at least one alternative notification system in the App-Store-for-jailbroken-phones “Cydia” since 2010) it is getting a lot of attention, presumably because iOS users are quite satisfied with almost all the interactions of the OS except those dang stacking modal dialogs that interrupt your game of Angry Birds every time you get a text message.

So while I am not a jailbreaker (and never will be), my hope is that Apple and its designers and developers on the iOS team will take notice of this and do something about it in a future version of iOS.

We shall see…

Ihnatko: Apple iPad 2 is here and tablet rivals need to hit the drawing board

This experience by Andy Ihnatko illustrates the power of the introduction of the iPad 2:

Apple iPad 2 is here and tablet rivals need to hit the drawing board – Chicago Sun-Times:

If one of your company’s goals for 2011 was to introduce a tablet to complete with the iPad, you can expect to struggle.

The second most powerful evidence of this happened just a minute ago, as I pulled out my iPad and keyboard here in my San Francisco hotel lobby to write this very same column.

“Looks like you’re going to have to buy a new one of those,” said an electrician as he passed by me on the way to his truck. “The new one’s coming out on the 11th.”

Since today is launch day, this experience may be more poignant, but alas I probably won’t be purchasing an iPad 2 yet – at least not in the near term. However, the original iPad saved my bacon on taxes last year, so I still have a few months to reconsider!

Free iPhone Design Templates for Keynote and PowerPoint

Free iPhone Keynote and PowerPoint templates help get you from thought to finish:

Mockapp.com has created both Keynote and PowerPoint templates of iPhone UI elements, and has made them available as free downloads. Say you had a dream in the middle of the night about the most awesome iPhone app that, to your surprise, no one has thought of yet. Instead of waking up in a deep sweat and scribbling said ideas on paper, you could dream them up on Keynote.

After mapping out your concept on Keynote, you could then pitch it to others in a Keynote presentation. The Keynote and PowerPoint templates include alerts, the iPhone keyboard, arrow icons, buttons, as well as a host of other UI elements.

Preparing Your Web Content for iPad (Apple Technical Note TN2262)

Apple ~Technical Note TN2262: Preparing Your Web Content for iPad:

Safari on iPad is capable of delivering a “desktop” web experience. iPad has a large, 9.7″ screen and fast network connectivity, and Safari on iPad uses the same WebKit layout engine as Safari on Mac OS X and Windows. You can ensure that your website looks and works great on iPad, and even create new touch-enabled web experiences for your customers, by considering a few specific differences between iPad and other platforms.

If you have access to an iPad, test your website using the iPad. If not, you can test your website in Safari on iPad using the iPhone Simulator (Hardware -> Device -> iPad). iPad is available in the iPhone Simulator in iPhone OS 3.2 SDK beta 2 and later, which is available to iPhone Developer Program members. In cases where it is possible to simulate iPad-like behavior in Safari on a desktop computer, instructions are given below.

The Remote is Dead! Long Live the Remote!

Imagine my dismay when I discovered that my Apple Remote had taken a ride through the clothes washer and dryer a couple of weeks ago… As you may imagine, this journey rendered the remote inoperative and useless (albeit totally dry).

Apple Remote

Apple Remote

Additionally, searching on the Apple Store was a bit more depressing since the device is evidently no longer available… yikes.

eBay to the Rescue

Thankfully there’s eBay.

After nosing around a bit I was able to find several vendors who had very reasonable prices on basically brand-new remotes. I think mine ended up being $6.99 USD.

At any rate, it arrived today and I was very pleased to try it out while listening to iTunes and it works perfectly. At that rate I probably should have purchased a few extras just in case this happens again…

Let’s hope not.

Strange Behavior

My next task was to resolve a very strange and annoying problem if you have more than one Mac in the proximity while using the remote. This happened to me while on vacation — the remote was pointed at my MacBook Pro, but in addition to controlling it, my wife’s MacBook was also responding to the controller, starting and stopping iTunes while a movie was playing on my computer. Very interesting.

Thankfully it is possible to pair up your remote to your computer, and I’ve already paired the new remote with my laptop and will do the same with our other MacBook and its respective controller…

Whew!