This week, while traveling, I noticed my smartwatch wasn’t working right. So I launched the app to get it to reconnect, but it insisted on checking for updates. At a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, there wasn’t a strong enough Internet connection, so I got stuck without its working for a few hours. I couldn’t read news while I was waiting for the bill because my favorite news app doesn’t load stories until I launch it.
Later, I went for a trail run at a little park. The main screen of my fitness tracker is largely a map, but in this case. it was totally blank. It hadn’t synced or saved a map while it still had coverage, so when I needed the app, it just complained about there being no coverage at that time. Read More
I’ve read many articles lately that tell us the new iPhone 6 series will force all of us to change the way we approach UI design for mobile phones. Well, it may for designers who still focus only on iOS and pretend the rest of the world does not exist.
But large-screen, portable devices have been around for a long time, and those of us who design for every platform have been considering them in our designs since at least 2011. In fact, larger, touchscreen, handheld devices were available as far back as the Apple Newton, with its 5.25-inch screen. So far in 2014, about a third of all the smartphones sold have screens that are over 5 inches on the diagonal—even before Apple got on the large-screen bandwagon. Not just worldwide sales either. Even in the US, large-screen phones are a huge force, so you can use information about how people use them today. Read More
A few Saturdays ago, I was walking around Greenwich in southeast London when I decided to peruse the local bookshop. Drawn to a display titled “Utopias and Dystopias,” I noticed the book A Brave New World sitting beside George Orwell’s 1984, which I had read and remembered enjoying. Curious about the association between the two, I picked up A Brave New World and glanced over the back cover. I then pulled out my phone and searched Google to see what others were saying about the book and noted that it is often considered one of the top-100 novels of all time. My mind was settled: I wanted to read this book. But rather than walking, book in hand, to the checkout counter, I instead used my phone to navigate to Amazon’s Kindle Store, where I typed in the name of the book and used their 1-click ordering to purchase the book. Leaving the bookshop empty handed, I caught the next bus home. On the way home, I pulled out my tablet device and started reading page 1 of A Brave New World. Figure 1 shows some of the devices on which Amazon Kindle applications run. Read More