The awesome native 3D modeling software for Mac is in a new version with even more features than ever. It also got a price cut which makes it even more affordable. Get it here.
Here is all you need to start programming for next cool thing!
Native Development Kit
Not only the new website design is cool, but the Beta for cascades is out. This means that now it is possible to program native apps with a incredible good looking native user interface!
Yea, also good news if you are HTML guy/girl. Get the new Ripple Emulator Beta and start making beautiful apps for the PlayBook or the upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
One of the Administrators in the developer forums pointed out, that there is still active development for the AIR platform. So don’t worry, while they didn’t announce a release for AIR 3.2 it will come!
wants to publish 11 new games for the BlackBerry 10 platform.
Visit the developer blog!
Yea, you didn’t misread. For free as in beer.
But only if you are a student or a unemployed developer (haha, that sounds funny…unemployed developer…err…).
Get it here. Ah, and you shouldn’t use it commercially.
Microsoft has changed some features of its cloud service SkyDrive. If you join now you will get 7GB space which is fully syncable but if you joined earlier you got 25GB with 5GB of syncing space. If you are one of these early birds and you loaded a least one file up you can upgrade your space to 25GB again for free. This is only available for a short time. So hurry up.
New is also the official SkyDrive app for Windows and Mac. At least for me. On the Mac it is a little bit rudimentary but on Windows it is how it should be: Almost invisible but still there.
I have a Playbook for a while now. It waited for writing about it so long because I wanted to learn which parts of it are good and which are not. Now here is my review.
I use the Playbook every day and I have to say that this thing feels very worthy. It is not too light so you doubt of its robustness but it is not too heavy to hold it for a longer time. The back is made out of warm plastic and it feels like you have a good grip. The screen is clear and sharp, colors are good and you can view it from almost every angle without problems. Every touch gets recognized and you can even lay it on the table with the screen facing the ground without fearing a scratch in the glass because of the small rubber line around it.
The front- and back-facing cameras are nice but not the best. For video chatting they are good enough but for photography not, but I really don’t understand the whole “I am so creative and make photos with my phone/tablet/rc-car/ass”-thing. Ok, with your phone you can make some point and shoot photos but do you really run around with a tablet. If so: You’re looking like an idiot!
You charge the device by plugging in the USB charger which is delivered with the Playbook and for media sync with your computer you can use the USB cable or wifi.
On both sides of the screen you can see loudspeakers. They are quite good and also quite loud, so be careful in the library.
The operating system is a real time operating system called QNX which is known for its stability and its good responsiveness. It doesn’t belie expectations with the actual version. Really handy is the bezel around the screen which allows some gestures to change between active programs, getting back to the main screen or hide and show the app menu. You really get used to it fast and after using it some days you miss it on every other device. Overall the OS looks modern and clean and the handling is intuitive.
Big plus for the OS is that you can share documents and other files between apps and you can download documents to the device and browse them without need to open a program: file browser for the win.
3. Installed Apps
After setting up the device you are confronted with some preinstalled apps. You get an emailing app, a browser, calendar, music, newsreader, bing maps, adobe reader, an office suite, weather, calculator, NSF Undercover, Tetris, Kobo Books and some other. The Mail and the Contacts apps are really good. They perfectly integrate with Googlemail or Microsoft Live and if you write an email the program guesses the next word you might want to use so you can type really fast. The Browser is good and you can look at websites with flash which is sometimes really cool.
For your appointments you can use the calendar app. This and the Mail app are my favorites. These to kinds of apps are the reason why Research in Motion was successful in the first way. And man, they got it really right, so much better than every tablet calendar I’ve ever used (I have a friend with an iPad).
The office suite (Docs to Go) is quite nice and you can also do spreadsheet with it. What do you want more?
4. Apps to Buy
After all the positive, here comes the (rather small) downside: There are apps and many of them have a really good quality but sometimes you don’t find the one you need. A full featured tumblr-App. No. An app for writers if you want to use markdown? No. But for all other writers: You have an office suite with you preinstalled! No 9.99$ for a writing app…
Some of the games are more expensive than on other platforms (like Angry Birds) but hey, you paid more than 200 bucks for a device and then you’re whining over some cents?
If you unpack the Playbook, you will find a neoprene bag for the device, an ac-charger and a USB cable for the datasyncing with the computer (yea, and the device is also found in the package). If you want a case for it you have to search, but there are some damn cool things out there.
As you probably expect: I love the thing. As every other tablet owner I don’t need one for living but it is nice to have it. Playing, surfing, reading, learning, email and writing short texts are the things I am doing mostly and this small device is made for it (as I was made for loving you… err… it). Because of its low weight I can have it with me everywhere without noticing it and I don’t miss any apps except one for tumblr and perhaps a small synthesizer, ok and one which allows me to code on the road without logging somewhere in (but I am working on an app for that).
For me this small device offers so many things that I only use my notebook for programming now and I don’t have an aching back after a long day because of a heavy computer. Also for me it is, even as a long time Apple user (now it comes), more professional than an iPad because of the possibility to save documents at a place where other programs have access to, because I need that every time I don’t play games.
Finally: Buy it!
Some days ago a friend of mine asked me about my Windows Phone. At first some normal stuff like ‘was it hard to get used to it?’ (no, it was very intuitive) or ‘how is the calendar app?’ (its pretty basic but good enough for me, but there are others to buy if you need it).
Then the next question: ‘What about Angry Birds?’
- Really?? Is this lame game so important? Ok, yeah, you can buy it.
‘Wow it is cheaper on the iPhone’
- What? You paid 300 bucks more for your friggin phone and now you’re bitching because of 2 of them? I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. By the way: Your iPhone does not sync your contacts with your Windows computer (neither does the Windows Phone with the Mac) so how handy is that?
That is only a personal example but I heard that so many times. Modern consumers don’t decide which smartphone to buy by asking which phone fits their needs but by asking: “What is hip?” (to cite a really good funk band everybody should listen to). Conclusion: the consumer is dumb
Ever heard of A Book Apart? If not, you should give it a try. The CSS and the HTML books are really good and quite entertaining written.
Today I learned that you can make pointers to functions in C++. Man, thats fantastic if you want others to get lost when reading your code. With others I mean: You, 5 days later.
I believe, if you give programmers the power to do what ever they want then all they do is producing ugly code… That’s not because they are all tasteless or they doing this intentionally but because they are like little kids. Full of fantasy and curious but not willing to clean the room after playing.
As announced, here it comes: A report about my new Nokia Lumia 710 and its integration with my mac environment. I try to make it short and write only the most important things.
The Phone I bought a black one for ca. 300€ on amazon. The back of the phone is made of softer plastic, the front is glas with a recess for the rocker switch. I feels very solid and durable but not heavy. The screen is clear and every touch is recognized, the camera is only moderate but it has a flash so you can make photos at night (and if you think a camera is that important, buy a good one!). Sound quality is very nice and not muted.
So overall it’s built quality is really good.
Windows 7 Phone I have a new iPod Touch and I have to say that I like iOS. Most of the time it is very easy to use and it looks mostly uncluttered. I think multitasking (if you really need it) is not so good implemented from a users standpoint and the homebutton is a little bit overloaded (press it one time for this action, 2 times for another, and again 1 time for the next action). Android is as far as I can tell not so different to use but I’ve only played half an hour with it, so lets get to WP7:
WP7 has a different approach for using. It has no program icons but tiles for the applications which can be animated. So if you add pictures for your contacts, the specific tile is animated with these images. Or the calendar tile shows you the next event. You still notice that WP7 is a young system because some of the preinstalled applications aren’t that extensive but all of them are quite intuitiv. If you buy a Nokia you get some special application for free: Nokia Maps and Nokia Navigation. These two “little” gems are rocking cool. The navigation is very good and you can download the most used maps so it only needs little of your monthly data to calculate the route (but Nokia promised to enable full offline navigation) and the maps application tells you where next to you places of interest are. Also included is MS Office mobile which is very handy (and it syncs to the cloud), perfect integration with SkyDrive (the cloud service) and you can download a small development tool called Touch Develop (I will write a post about it because it is cool)
Fazit: The whole system is clean and intuitiv. The Nokia apps are really great.
WP7 and the Mac To get music, podcasts, your own ringtones, pictures, etc. on your phone you can download the Windows Phone 7 Connector from the Mac AppStore. While it looks a bit like iTunes it is far from being the same bloatware. Only if it can’t connect to your phone (e. g. if the time on your phone and the time on the mac is very different) it needs too much memory but beside this bug it is a sweet sync software.
Ok, I have to admit that it would be really nice to be able to sync your address book with your phone but if you have your old phone at hand you can transfer them via bluetooth or import them from your old sim directly.
All contact, calendar events and pictures are synced with your LiveID online and with SkyDrive you get 25GB cloud space for free. All this is very good integrated in the system!
Conclusion The Nokia Lumia 710 is the best mobile phone I’ve ever had. It is easy to use, services like facebook, cloud (SkyDrive), etc. are very good integrated and the build quality is very satisfying. As Mac user you don’t have the same integration as an iPhone user with iTunes but on the other hands you also have many benefits: SkyDrive is more useful than iCloud, the system feels fresher than iOS, the price, the navigation software, MS Office and live tiles.
So as far as I can tell you should buy one!
I hadn’t much time the last weeks but I have to get some things about developing for the playbook right.Perhaps someone read my posts about my frustration while coding and my complaining about the documentation and the API.
The truth is, I didn’t know where to look. I have to admit the documentation is quite good for ActionScript, also if you use both the flash and the playbook APIs you have enough material to write cool apps. In my defense I was really new to the whole thing but now with some distance I know that the frustrations were my own fault.
Now you know…
The next days I will write more stuff. The topics will be:
- A Mac user and the Windows 7 Phone from Nokia, the Lumia (710) - Why Apple makes the user, the loser - Windows 8, will be great - How to learn to code, and why the universities are on the wrong road - MarkdownPad, the Markdown editor you should have had - No more rhymes