Here’s what is on my radar today:
Twitter’s Missing Feature
Twitter is awesome. It makes sharing information very easy. Where it still needs improvement is in the consumption of that information. Specifically, I’d like to more easily be able to sift through tweets from friends, family or brands in a segmented way rather than all in one massive feed. The thing is, when I go to Twitter (or access it from an app), I am in different moods. Sometimes I want to find the latest tech articles, sometimes I want commentary, sometimes I am looking for humor. I’m not really a personal Twitter user (meaning I don’t use the site very much to network with friends). I’m more of a power Twitter user. I use it for business, both to find out what is happening in sectors I care about and to promote content for DailyTekk.
I recently got a comment on The Top 100 Twitter Tools of 2012 from someone asking about a better way to dig through their Twitter favorites. I gave them a link to check out, but I do which Twitter would make favorites a little more prominent and accessible as well. Oftentimes I’ll favorite a link that looks interesting that I want to read later or use the favorites as a way to bookmark something. The problem is, Twitter has buried the favorites function a few clicks too many deep and it’s a big ol’ firehouse view when you do get to it. That needs to improve. I’d spend a lot more time on the site if it did.
App.net; Any Good?
Speaking of Twitter… I’ve been hearing a lot about App.net recently. It’s supposed to be an awesome Twitter competitor/alternative. The main difference is that it is a paid service. It costs $50 per year to use the service. Now I know a bunch of tech fanatics out there can’t say enough about how awesome it will be to have a realtime sharing service with no ads or promotions in place calling it a purer, cleaner experience, but… will the masses adopt the service at that price? I kind of doubt it. People are used to paying a couple of bucks at most for a smartphone app these days… it’s not like the old days when software cost a lot more and you picked it up at Best Buy or Office Depot. I’m a tech fanatic and I’m not even sure I can justify paying that. It looks as if they have priced it high because they expect smaller adoption rates and need to make enough to float the service. That’s fine, if it works, but I don’t think it will scale. I predict a lot of pivoting in App.net’s future. I plan on digging into this subject more, so stay tuned.
DeVICEs: Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone?
I think that anyone that owns an iPhone or Android device can basically consider themselves addicted. Don’t agree? Just ask yourself this: could you live without it? I tried a while back to have just a weekend without any of my “devices.” I only lasted half of the weekend, but, that time I spent “off the grid” and totally disconnected from the internet, my iPhone, MacBook Air and iPad were some powerfully creative hours for me. Regardless, the stats about smartphone use pretty much speak for themselves. A full 65% of iPhone users said they can’t live without the device (I bet the number is much higher than that). 40% would rather give up coffee than their iPhone, 18% would rather stop bathing for a day and 15% would give up sex.
A Few Great iPad Accessories
I picked up a few new iPad accessories yesterday. Although I was initially disappointed with the new iPad, I decided it was time to upgrade from the iPad 2 yesterday. I have never been a screen protector fan. It seemed dorky, unnatural and they never really looked good. Not to mention they are a huge pain to apply. Nevertheless, I caved in and tried the invisibleSHIELD HD from Zagg and I have to say I’m pretty impressed so far. It really is glass-like (if you can make sure to dust particles or hairs get attached to the adhesive). Application, as expected, brought a few headaches until I really got the hang of it–then it was almost fun. It comes with a spray that you are supposed to spray on your fingertips and both sides of the shield (but not the device), but the instructions were pretty bad. What I found out was you really have to let loose and spray a TON of the solution. Once you do that, it applies very easily and the squeegee gets rid of all the excess liquid and air pockets in a matter of seconds. I also picked up the Origami Workstation keyboard case from the Apple store to hold a full-sized Apple keyboard for typing on the iPad. I thought about getting a case with a built-in keyboard, but I like to keep things slimmer and a little more low-profile. It seems like a shame to have such a nice thin device get bulked up and covered up with a giant case if you’re not a construction worker or on the battlefield. I like the Origami a lot. It’s very portable and the design is ingenious.
Apple Retail Makes Employees Feel Welcome
While I was at the Apple store yesterday picking up 6 MacBook Pros for a new project, I heard a bunch of clapping out of nowhere. It was loud. Have you heard this before? Do you know what I’m talking about? The store manager came over to thank me for my business and I asked what the hoopla was all about. Turns out they were welcoming a new employee (and they also clap, even louder supposedly, for departing employees). I’ve spoken quite a bit with Apple store managers and it seems they really care about their employees. For instance, they are glad when employees move on to other endeavors that are more fulfilling. One guy left to start his own brewery and people couldn’t be happier, including the management. One manager told me how talented a certain new individual was and how excited he was that they were taking classes and would eventually be moving on to bigger and better things. Pretty cool.