When I look at my iPhone and list of apps that I use, list of apps that I most frequently use, the thing I see is that they are all simple apps that make one thing great. I don’t want to spend much time on my iPhone working on/with apps, I want to take it and in short amount of time get things done.
Clear is great example of simple app that helps you make things done.
Most of apps that I made, in about 5 years that I have been making iOS apps, are simple apps with focus on one thing, one useful feature.
Some of the books that I really like and had a lot of influence lately on me, on my view on development and business are Rework and Getting Real by guys from 37signals (now just Basecamp). I recommend them to all of you, they are easy and fast to read and give you instant benefits especially when you are small or one man team trying to make something (they are also useful in other cases).
These days we see a lot of “smart” products coming to the market. Smart phones, Smart watches, smart doors, smart thermostats, smart toothbrushes, etc. Every product around us gets prefix smart and it is marketed to us but not every product called “smart” is really smart or does anything smart or even close to that.
Of course, this “smart” prefix in most cases means that some kind of connection between devices is added or just connection to the internet (which is used to send data and add it to your account etc.). What bothers me a lot is the addition of “smart” because let’s face it, these products are really not that smart. They (marketers) put that prefix so they can communicate to us (customers) their product message and sell that product.
The easiest way is to look at this is to look at smartphone and smartwatch examples.
If you look at today’s smartphones you can easily see that these devices are everything but phones. The functionality of the phone takes up the smallest percentage of the functionality of the device. Easier communication to customers and easier marketing made that products name “smartphone”. If somebody told you that there are new cool products called “computerised phones”, I am sure that it would not sound as cool and interesting as “smart phones”.
Smart watches are newer products than a smartphone, but again we have the same story. Existing product that people are accustomed to gets bunch of new functionalities and to sell it better and communicate to customers it gets prefix “smart” and now we have smartwatches. So now we have smartwatches that are everything but the watch.
I really don’t like the fact that today everything gets called “smart”. Of course there are devices that do have additional features that go towards an intelligence and autonomy, but most are far from being smart. “Smart” is a buzzword of modern startup world where young startup companies add that prefix to make them more interesting, to be cool, hip and to follow the trends in the world. Marketing has huge role in this and it seems to me that the word “smart” is prostituted.
If you have some new cool product please be smart and do not add “smart” in front of name of your product if it really isn’t something smart. Thanks 😉
Disclaimer: I reposted (with some changes) this from my other site.
In 2013, June 10–14, Apple had WWDC in San Francisco. For those that do not know what WWDC is, WWDC is short from Worldwide Developers Conference. As Apple says on their website: “The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) gives developers an in-depth look at the latest in iOS and OS X. You can learn from and be inspired by more than 100 sessions led by Apple engineers, get help from Apple experts through an extensive set of hands-on labs, and connect with fellow developers from around the world, giving you the opportunity to create your best apps ever. WWDC 2013 takes place June 10–14, 2013 at Moscone West in San Francisco, California.”
One of the things that they announced that year was Sprite Kit. Apple describes it really great: “Develop high-performance 2D games with the powerful new Sprite Kit framework, which combines everything you need to animate sprites, simulate physics, and create beautiful particle systems all in one easy-to-use set of APIs.” I wanted to start learning Cocos2d (also framework for making 2d games), but I just did not have time to start and play with it. When I saw that Apple released Sprite Kit, their own framework for 2d games, I knew I had to get some free time and play with it. I had some ideas for simple 2d games (see the picture of my sketches) but I just did not have time to play with cocos2d and make them.
As you see on the picture, on July 11 2013, I downloaded the Sprite Kit documentation and created Xcode project for my first game. At WWDC Apple had two sessions for Sprite Kit and they were quite ok, documentation was clear and you could learn really quickly by going thru it. For a week or two I was playing with it, trying out how collision work, how scenes and transitions work etc. As I sad, Sprite Kit also gives you physics, so with one or two lines of code you can get awesome collision and all physics behavior. If you have used Core Animation you will get used to Sprite Kit really fast. Sprite Kit like Core Animation has really great methods for making powerful stuff.
As I sad, I had one idea for a game where there would be circles going around on the screen and user had to tap on the correct color, simple game but interesting. As I was experimenting with circles I realized I should also have triangles and rectangles. With that three elements players should tap on the correct color and corect element type.
A lot of you know about the game Fruit Ninja and you know that you can play against your friends on one screen where one half of screen is yours and other is your friends. So the next step for the game was to make the “battle” playing mode available on the iPad (because of the screen size), so you can play even more.
So the point of the game was to tap on the correct element with the correct color. Main words in the game are “color” and “tap”. I was wondering about the game name, first solution was “TouchACol“, then my mom sugested “ColorTap“, and that name was the winner. 🙂
The plan was to finish the game for the iOS7 release so Apple might promote it a bit because it was made with Sprite Kit. I’ve sent the game for review just when Apple sent us email that iOS7 apps can now be sent for review. ColorTap was released on September 20 2013 and it might be first or second game on the App Store made with Sprite Kit.