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July 15 2011

13:26

July 14 2011

19:31
19:31

July 12 2011

14:11

July 08 2011

12:25

Well-Placed Pixels: Software inspiration

Looking for beautiful software (iPad, iPhone, Mac apps) inspiration? Well-Placed Pixels has you covered with several pages to get those creative juices circulating.

June 09 2011

16:13

The Colors of Mobile Games

When you want your website or business identity's color scheme to be fun, entertaining, or even little outrageous, you need not look any further than those highly addictive mobile games for a little color inspiration. From high flying birds to classic games with new color variations, mobile game's often use color palettes that are bright, funky, primary based and still highly usable. Here are a few games currently on top of the mobile gaming world and their color paletts that add to the fun and keep us all playing over, and over, and over, and...

Tiny Wings

Tiny_Wings

 

Feed Me Oil

Feed_Me_Oil

 

Angry Birds

Angry_Birds_level

 

Cut The Rope

cut_the_rope

 

Pictureka

Pictureka

 

Scrabble

Scrabble_Mobile

 

Doodle Jump

Doodle_Jump

 

geoDefense Swarm

Swarm


May 02 2011

07:00

April 25 2011

17:41

PrintProof iPhone App Winners

Ok, I’m gonna start off this week with the 3 lucky winners of PrintProof, an iPhone app for preparing files for printing. And the winners are Peter L, Jason Owens, and Jerry. Congrats guys! And thanks to PrintProof for the giveaway. You guys should receive an email from me shortly. :)

Free iPhone App Giveaway: PrintProof - Comment to Win

April 15 2011

02:00

Free iPhone App Giveaway: PrintProof – Comment to Win

Hey all you freebie lovers, here’s an opportunity to win an iPhone app. The first BittBox iPhone app contest, but it’s design related so I thought BittBoxers would like it! PrintProof is a simple checklist app geared towards junior designers as a helpful tool to remind you what to check before preparing a document for print. Or as you prepare a document for print, rather. I wish I had this app at my first job, but the iPhone didn’t exist back then… I have 3 copies to give away, YAY! Be sure to read the rules, and good luck :)

Free iPhone App Giveaway: PrintProof - Comment to Win

Free iPhone App Giveaway: PrintProof - Comment to Win

Free iPhone App Giveaway: PrintProof - Comment to Win

Free iPhone App Giveaway: PrintProof - Comment to Win

Contest Rules:

  • All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. (tweeting is appreciated)
  • Only comment once.
  • 3 winners will be randomly chosen from the comments.
  • You must leave an email address in order to win.
  • Comments will remain open for 3 days.

April 13 2011

14:16

60 Useful iPhone Applications

Advertisement in 60 Useful iPhone Applications
 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications  in 60 Useful iPhone Applications  in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Owning an iPhone is a dream for most people nowadays. And why not… it’s equipped with smart apps and softwares that leaves mouths wide open in astonishment. To continue this legacy of the iPhone, we’ve searched for even more applications to make your iPhone your best friend, navigator and adviser.

Gilt for iPad
You can shop for fashion and luxury brands at get up to 70% discounts. Its a member only community. You can check items oline and add to your basket. You will also be getting timely sales alerts.

Ipod-application-39 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

WordPress
Now you can edit, Manage and moderate your WordPress blog and/or website from your iPhone through this wonderful application. Thus now ou can also move around freely without worrying about your work.

Ipod-application-29 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Simultravel GPS
With Simultravel you can locate hotels around your location while you travel. You also get to see their rate list so that you can compare and choose according to your budget and comfort.

Ipod-application-31 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Adobe Ideas
Its your digital sketch book which lets you capture ideas anywhere you go.

Ipod-application-57 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Hey Where Are You : Location Service (HeyWAY)
(HeyWAY) is a location service with which you can keep track of your family, friends or employees and you will get constant updates on their location and they can also request the details from you.

Ipod-application-4 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Mobile Mouse FREE (Remote/Trackpad)
Now you can transform your iPhone in to a mouse or a remote for your computer with this wonderful app.

Ipod-application-63 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

PDF Reader – (File Scanner, File viewer, File Storage)
Now you don’t have to worry about checking your PDF files on iPhone. This app has multi pages PDF support.

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UX Technique
UX Technique is a reference application of methods and techniques for UX practice.

Ipod-application-72 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Text’nDrive
Check your mails, reply the important one with your voice, all this while driving with Text’nDrive app which gives your freedom of handsfree.

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FileApp (Documents & Files reader)
Now quickly copy your documents and files with this user friendly app.

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TeamViewer
Now access your computers anywhere and fix the issues through your iPhone with this amazing app.

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EasyWriter
Now write emails faster and better through EasyWriter. You can also use pinch and zoom features.

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DOCUMENTS 2 FREE (Spreadsheet, Text Edit, Preview, Email, Wi-Fi)
Now increase your productivity with DOCUMENTS 2 FREE. It also has Integrated FTP Server, Google Sync and WiFi HD and works both online and offline.

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iTranslate Plus ~ the universal translator
Now you can translate into 52 Languages and this app also works on speech basis.

Ipod-application-69 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Delivery Status touch, a package tracker
Keep track of your deliverables and packages and get the things ontime when they are actually required. This also helps you further in promising deadlines to your clients.

Ipod-application-70 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Taxi Magic
Booking a taxi could never be easier. You can book taxi nationwide (U.S.& Canada) through this app without even doing a phone call. Both the app as well booking are free that means you just have to pay for the ride.

Ipod-application-46 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

CashTrails – Income and Expense Tracker Lite
Tired of making logbooks or excel sheets to know your income and expenditure details. Make a proper income & expense sheet and bring your money under control through CashTails, an Income and Expense Tracker.

Ipod-application-50 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Evernote
You just got an useful video you want to use in your coming project but don’t want to get it mixed with your already soaring to-do list. Well with Evernote you can create text, photo and audio notes and even mark favorites among existing notes for a quick access.

Ipod-application-44 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Messagey
Tired of paying huge bills because you can’t stop yourself to send SMS and MMS to your friends from your iPhone. Don’t worry, with Messagey you can send SMS, MMS for free. So now you can keep your status updated all the time but sending latest updates and pictures to your friends.

Ipod-application-2 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Chase Mobile
With Chase Mobile Mobile Banking App you can make payments, check account balance and transaction history and do wire transfers with your iphone.

Ipod-application-5 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Control4 My Home for iPad
Control your lights, thermostats, audio, video, web cameras, security system, and much more with easy taps and gestures Although you need a Control 4 system running 1.7.4 or above to runn this wonderful application.

Ipod-application-41 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Skype
With Skype on your iPhone,you can make and receive calls, and instant message anyone else on Skype, wherever they are in the world. So your national and international call expenses will cut down and its also very easy to use.

Ipod-application-1 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Yahoo! Finance
The Yahoo! Finance App for the iPhone brings you total coverage including quotes, real time data, comparison and analysis and much more from your favorite financial source. A very significant app for everyone.

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RF
With this Push-to-talk service send your message and your friend can hear you on his or her iPhone. Same ways your friends can also send messages like this.

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Close Call
God forbid but have you thought how will you get your precious iphone if its lost? Fill out your details and save it as a wallpaper beforehand to increase the chances of getting back this gem.

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Amazon Mobile
The Amazon Mobile app allows Amazon iPhone users to quickly search, shop, compare prices, read reviews, and make purchases from the US Amazon store.

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PennyTel Mobile
Access the international PennyTel network from your iPhone. The app automatically detects which call methods are available and shows them as handy buttons. In case of WiFi or 3G connection, you can even talk free with other PennyTel users.

Ipod-application-37 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Yowza!! Mobile Coupons
Yowza instantly goes about finding Yowza deals and coupons in your geographic area. You can choose offers as per your liking. You are relieved of the tension of keeping various discount coupons in your wallet which are difficult to segregate and hold.

Ipod-application-43 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Facebook
Well we really don’t need to explain about Facebook, as its running in our blood. Stay connected with your friends on Facebook, update your status, pics and comments through this app.

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Text Me! – Free SMS & MMS like Messenger
With TEXTme you can send sms and mms without need to log in every time in the application. So just choose a nickname and start chatting with your friends and family. Its available in 9 different languages.

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DRAW 4 FREE
Your creativity will get new place to develop. With this interesting app you can Draw on your screen by simple touch. You get variety of brushes and different shades of colors to choose from.

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Kindle
Are you an avid reader but not finding enough time to catch up with your best pal (books). Now You can read Kindle books on this easy-to-use interface. Amazon Whisper sync automatically syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across devices.

Ipod-application-28 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

TextPics Free
They say one picture says thousand words. TextPics a set of TextPics, Emotes, and Symbols which you can send to your friends as per T&C of your service provider.

Ipod-application-35 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

MobileLinked IM
MobileLinked IM is a lightweight multi-services instant messenger which doubles your message speed by letting you to talk to your IM Server directly. It has multiple account and multi-language support.

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Urbanspoon
If you can’t settle on your eating joint Urbanspoon can help you. Just SHAKE your iPhone and it will pick a good restaurant for you to try. So try your luck and explore good places.

Ipod-application-30 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Nimbuzz: Free Calls & Messaging
Nimbuzz is free calls and messaging for the connected generation. Everything you need to communicate for free. Use it to meet, share, and connect with friends. Stay Connected.

Ipod-application-26 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Carticipate
Do you want to save your Environment as well as your money. Save money on gas while helping the environment by CARticipating with friends, family, groups, or co-workers.

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CenceMe
This app is also to boost your social media interaction and increasing your web presence. It automatically discerns human activity in real-time based on the iPhone’s accelerometer sensor and microphone and shares it through the medium you want.

Ipod-application-22 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Pixelpipe – Post & Upload to the Social Web
You can share your life and work with your near and dear ones on different social media sites through this cool app. It has over 75 supported destinations all over the world.

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Twitfire
You can use Twitfire for posting to Twitter. Check out latest tweets or post new one yourself and you can also add pictures and links.

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SmugShot
Add your photos and videos to your SmugMug account as you shoot them. It gives you 14 day free trail option. This app add locations to photos using iPhone’s location detectors.

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GPS Tracker
Its a real-time GPS tracking service where you can share your location with friends and family, and record tracks for later analysis.

Ipod-application-14 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Shakin’ Faces Morph123 Lite
Its a picture morphing software to create a face from belnding of two different faces. So check out how will you look morphed with your favorite celebrity’s features.

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Joost – Videos at your Fingertips
You can get the latest videos downloaded from Joost under different categories like news, entertainment, sports etc. So get the page 3 news and spread it with some free texting app, which we have featured in this post.

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AroundMe
If you want to check the information at your nearby locations like hospitals, banks, Hotels, Gas Stations and much more, AroundMe is one of the best app.

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EasyTask Manager
Easytask Manager is a personal task manager which is easy to use, supports “Getting things Done” method and can be run on Mac or Windows.

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Echofon for Twitter
As the name suggests its a super fast Twitter app for the iPhone. Get, set and go share with the World what you are doing now.

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Pandora Radio
Its free personalized radio stream music on your iPhone.Enjoy all your existing stations and create new ones right from your iPhone

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YouNote Lite
Now you can take note of whatever you like, when you like, wherever you like in YouNote Lite in so many formats and options. So now you will never forget anything important.

Ipod-application-10 in 60 Useful iPhone Applications

Google Earth
You can check any location of the world with one touch of your finger with this cool application. Get full details of the location and update the status on Twitter or Facebook.

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The Weather Channel
Check out Weather forecasts, weather alerts and more with full screen maps on The Weather Channel. You get interactive radar maps, and Google maps along with seasonal weather. You can also set any location as your favorite one irrespective of your current location.

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Bump
Can sharing with friends be such a fun. Just pick your phone and bump it gently with other bump user and hurray your data is trasmitted.

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Mancala: FS5
This app has multi player support. An interesting game, so pack your bags and starting playing with friends and add your ratings.

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LinkedIn
Now use your iPhone for making and increasing your professional contacts through Linkedin with this useful app.

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IM+
Get connected to GTalk, Yahoo, MSN/Live Messenger, AIM/iChat, ICQ, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and Jabber through this app.

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Free Foto Messenger: FFM
Do you want to send your Text and Photos to your clients all around the world without wasting a panny. Try this app.

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White & Yellow Pages
Now search for your potential clients details like landline numbers and websites etc through this useful app.

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Backgrounds HD
In addition of numerous options under various categories to choose as backgrounds, you can create your own.

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Adobe Photoshop Express
Now quickly edit and share photos and new ideas with your friends and clients.

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Color Splash
Now you can choose which area to be focused more by making the other area of a photo black and white.

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Speller – Free Spell Checker
Don’t take the risk of people taking you lightly because of mis-spelled words. Use this app to check spelling before sending any message.

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Opera Mini Web browser
Get better browsing experience with Opera Mini Web browser.

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Use Your Handwriting
You can choose fom different writing styles and make your own stlye statement.

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(ik)

March 07 2011

19:02

Design Then Code: iPhone, iPad & Mac design / development resources

Here’s a great new resource for those looking to learn iPhone, iPad and Mac development: Design Then Code.

February 25 2011

05:31

Useful Tools and Kits for Android Developers

There’s a huge market for mobile app development. I’m an iPhone user myself, and we’ve posted plenty of stuff here on iOS design and development. But it looks like the popularity of the Android platform isn’t slowing down anytime soon. It’s market share keeps growing. So we thought it was about time that we help out you Android developers out there. Here’s a list of tools and kits that you should find handy.

Android Honeycomb Stencils & Sketchsheets

android tools

Google recently released their OS designed specifically for tablets: Android Honeycomb. This is a set of stencils & sketchsheets to help you get started mocking up your GUI’s.

DroidDraw

android tools

DroidDraw is an online tool to help you easily build graphical user interfaces for the Android cell phone platform. There’s also a standalone executable available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Sensor Simulator

android tools

Sensor simulator is a java standalone application that simulates sensor data and transmits them to the Android emulator.

Fireworks template for Android

android tools

In this Fireworks template the Android user interface elements have been redrawn as vector images. In the folders the elements have been mostly labeled according to the Android vocabulary.

App Inventor

android tools

App Inventor lets you start design an Android app in your browser. Then, like fitting together puzzle pieces, you set your app’s behavior. All the while, through a live connection between your computer and your phone, your app appears on your phone.

Android Phone GUI Kit

android tools

Photoshop file featuring elements of the Android OS 1.5 GUI . Great for application mock-ups and concepting.

Android Sketch Stencil

android tools

The purpose of the sketch style wireframe is to prevent the intended audience from thinking about visual design and encourages them to focus on the functionality and behavior being proposed.

Tags: Tools iphone

January 13 2011

17:12

Smart GWT 2.4 Released

Smart GWT Logo

Smart GWT 2.4 has been released and, as expected, they are jumping on the HTML5 and iOS/Touch bandwagon. The fact that the touch support doesn’t require code changes for existing apps is most welcome. Also, the mention of the upcoming Smart GWT Mobile with “pixel perfect iOS look and feel” sounds intriguing. Many have tried, few have succeeded.

From the release announcement:

  • GWT 2.1.1 Compatible
  • Smart GWT QuickStart Guide
  • Touch & Mobile support : Support for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices with no code changes required.
  • Offline support : The Offline subsystem provides features for storing and retrieving values in persistent browser storage. It is also seamlessly integrated into the normal DataSource request/response cycle. With a single property DataSource.useOfflineStorage you can enable automatic offline caching of recently fetched data so that if a user goes offline they still have access to last data they viewed.
  • User Defined data highlighting allows users to highlight important or unusual data values in a ListGrid or TreeGrid based on dynamic user defined rules instead of hard coding such logic for background and foreground cell colors within code. A Highlight Editor allows end users to fully configure such highlight rules to customize their view of the data.
  • Advanced Hover components allows any UI component to be added as a hover, such as a grid, chart or even a layout combining several components when hovering over a ListGrid or TreeGrid row.
  • Simplicity theme : A new ultralight skin that is easily customizable and virtually image free. This can be viewed by selecting the “Simplicity” theme from the dropdown in the Showcase explorer.
  • IE Performance improvements : Performance improvements have been made across the board but some IE specific performance enhancements have been made and users can expect a significant improvement in responsiveness in IE.
  • 24 hour Calendar support : The Calendar component now supports 24 hour time formatting.

January 11 2011

05:27

Getting Started in iOS User Interface Design

iOS devices are becoming mainstream as avid technology buffs are playing with Apple’s latest technology. The release of the iPad tablet computer along with the HD iPhone 4 retina display has shown an impressive year for company branding.

We’ll be going over a few tips for designing a simple iOS interface in Adobe Photoshop. Out of the graphics software available Photoshop or a similar platform is the easiest option for UI design. With easy access to layers and project icons things become much simpler.

This process is similar to the artist or graphic web designer in that application prototyping requires strong creative energies. To put together an entire storyboard of app screens takes time and patience. With the tools we use today the process is much quicker and simpler than ever before.

Starting Off Generic

Designing for iOS isn’t much different than designing for the web. In fact it’s a bit easier since you’ll be working on a smaller screen with specific access points. Practicing with the native iPhone graphics is the easiest path for newbie designers.

Included is a small list of bells and whistles native to the iOS interface. These are the buttons and toolbars you see most commonly around the App Store.

These elements are commonly found inside Apple’s Interface Builder, which is software used to design resources for iPhone and Mac OS X apps. This is the software application developers can use to connect iOS graphics to backend Objective-C code.

Below is a small list of interface elements. This is not an exhaustive collection but should give you an idea of the basic starting points.

  • status bar
  • navigation bar
  • tabs/tab bar
  • sliders and switches
  • input fields
  • table lists

Many of these are available for free as iPhone and iPad UI kits. They will include layered documents for Photoshop and Fireworks containing all icons and page elements possible. Most developed UI templates will also include a graphic relating to an actual iPhone, screen sized to 480 x 320.

App Prototyping

Before opening Photoshop it can be handy to spend some time sketching out your idea first. This could be on a simple piece of paper or laid over an entire spread. This step all depends on your hand-drawn artistic abilities and how comfortable you feel.

Illustrators will generally sketch out frames for each piece to an iOS application. These are also known as views and can immensely help the app developers down the line by having a contained set of templates. If you are less artistically gifted and wish to jump right into the technology then check out a sample iPhone UI kit. Working from the newest releases Teehan+lax has a fantastic iPhone 4 GUI PSD release for free.

The file includes everything you would expect to find inside a standard application. Once downloaded I’d recommend saving the initial template in a new directory where it can be used as a reference point.

Prototyping is much simpler when you can work through a diagram similar to the iPhone design, included in portrait and landscape. The same goes for iPad kits which include the same framing style.

Best Practices

The suggested practices towards creating individual app prototypes is to save separate view states into a new directory. As an example you could create a new directory labeled myApp and inside create a folder named views.

Within here you can save individual .psd files labeled after which content they contain. This could range to include home.psd or settings.psd. After a bit of work you’ll notice creating complementary views becomes easier once the initial design is set.

Also it’s important to save copies of each file as a .jpg or .png. This alternate is beneficial to those who do not use Photoshop or would be too confused to mess around with layered files. When working on a project with many developers and closing deadlines this can become especially time efficient.

Example iOS UI Sets

Below are just a few examples of some great starter kits. These will include all of the core functionality which lives naively in Interface Builder. Note iOS3 and iOS4 do contain differing graphics as the screen resolution has been updated.

iPhone GUI PSD Version 4

iPhone WireFrames & Stencils

Fireworks toolkit for iPhone UI

iPad GUI Kit(PSD)

iPhone PSD Vector Kit by Smashing Magazine

iPad vector GUI Elements

These are just some of the best tips towards getting into iPhone app design. There’s a large world of mobile graphics out there and iOS is a hugely popular operating system. As the mobile app market advances there will be a huge spike in demand for mobile app UI and icon designers.

Getting started is always the hardest step but returns the greatest rewards. Pick up a few of these PSD kits and mess around for an hour or two to see what you can create. Often times practice does make perfect and designing for the iOS platform can be not only fun but a truly fulfilling learning experience.

Tags: Tips iphone

December 27 2010

06:55

To Resolve Project – Phenomenal New Years Resolution Inspiration

RESOLVE: verb, to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something)

ResolveProjectLogo

Resolutions come and go and some rarely make it past the first week of February. Chris Streger decided to change that by asking several of his designer friends to make their own ‘resolution’ in the form of an iPhone Background. He started the To Resolve project that stemmed from a conversation with his girlfriend. He sent out as many ‘call to arms’ as he could think of to designers he knew or those he didn’t. There’s been some pretty great work come in so far and it’s almost double in the last few days. If you need some inspiration, a new iPhone background or you want to design your own, check out the To Resolve Project.

Mads Burcharth | His Submission

mads burcharth

Tyler Galpin | His Submission

TylerGalpin

Dan Cassaro | His Submission

DCassaro

Bobby McKenna | His Submission

BobbyMcKenna

Matt Payson | His Submission

Matt Payson

Stefanie Pepping | Her Submission

StefaniePeppin

Cassie Stegman | Her Submission

spendlessmoney

Sean Ball | His Submission

SamBall

Michael Spitz | His Submission

ditchgymgainpounds

Travis Fleck | His Submission

TravisFleck

Rich Arnold | His Submission

RichArnold

Paul Wilkes | His Submission

PaulWilkes

Scott Hill | His Submission

ScottHill

Joseph Hughes | His Submission

JosephHughes

Matt Stevens | His Submission

Resolve MattStevens

Jason Hines | His Submission

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Curtis Jenkins | His Submission

CJ_IPHONE

Jenn Lew | Her Submission

JennLew

Chris Streger | His Submission

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To Resolve Project – Phenomenal New Years Resolution Inspiration

December 07 2010

13:00

The Power of Multi-touch

The Wild West of Appville

The Wild West of Appville

The mobile app frontier is vastly un-explored; it is the wild west of the new digital media age. New boundaries are being formed, new territories are being explored and yes, people are making huge amounts of money (sometimes legitimately and sometimes, not so much). So if mobile apps are the new wild west, then multi-touch is the .41 caliber Colt pistol.

The iPhone’s special

The success of the iPhone has been associated with its ease of use and its intuitiveness despite an inevitable learning curve. Like any other gadgets on the market, it does take some time to learn the ins and outs of the iPhone. But why is the iPhone so special? Besides the rabid Apple fans who will line up for ten city blocks to buy any new Apple product, the iPhone re-branded an old technology, polished it up and told us that we needed to have it. The iPhone was the first gadget to take full advantage of the power of multi-touch.

When the first iPod was released, the MP3 player wasn’t exactly new technology either, but it was the first MP3 player that was truly usable. It was even fun to use. The iPod’s steering-wheel-like touch control made it easier and quicker for users to navigate through thousands of songs and albums. This control managed to solve the MP3 players problem. An obvious and persistent problem with smart phones has been their difficulty for the user to quickly navigate through the large amount of information, software, and features on the phone. But a cute little magic steering wheel was just not going to cut it.

Enter multi-touch

Multi-touch is not a new concept. Bell Labs experimented with multi-touch image manipulation back in the 1980s while we were watching E.T. phone home. In 1991, Pierre Weller’s idea of the Digital Desk was really the first time multi-touch editing and information manipulation was used. It was a bit different then today’s sleek touch displays; it used a camera and gesture manipulation, but the idea for a multi-touch display was nevertheless born. Check out his original Digital Desk demo video.

Today, every smart phone has touch technology just as every gunslinger in the wild West had a revolver. Harnessing and perfecting this newfound power will ultimately decide success of failure for any app designer or developer. As developers and mobile device companies explore this new multi-touch frontier, confrontations are inevitable. But for designers this new frontier is an opportunity to push boundaries, re-invent old technologies, and explore new ideas.

The big power behind touch technology is that the user can interact with the device directly, no mouse, no keyboard, no cameras, just the touch of the finger. If you need to select a button, just push it. Simple and elegant. Multi-touch simulates what each of use do everyday, we interact with things directly with the best tools we have, our hands. Because users can now directly interact with the app; this means the designer must directly design with the user in mind. Long gone are the days when a pretty design and flashy images were the only design qualities a software package needed. Now, user interaction is critical to the success of any app.

No assembly required

Tools

No extra tools needed

You don’t need tools anymore, just your hands. Hands are the best tools we have as humans. Tools make our lives easier, just as the phone or mobile device itself makes communication easier. My Macbook is a great tool, but to use it I need other tools like a trackpad and a keyboard. Devices have evolved and we are learning that we don’t need more tools, just better tools. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just build houses out of legos? We wouldn’t need hammers, nails, or hard hats; we could just build our houses with our hands by snapping blocks together. Essentially that is what multi-touch allows us to do: perform complex tasks directly with the device. No middle men.

Multi-touch has enabled these small mobile devices with the ability to rapidly perform complex tasks. The user can take his Droid out of his pocket, snap a picture of a friend, remove red-eye instantly and email it to her in just minutes. Many apps already have the ability for the user to perform complex tasks that once required the use of peripherals.

Guide the user

For designers, the ability to perform complex tasks without the traditional tools can be a difficult thing to design for. It requires a different thinking, a different process. Anything on the screen can be touched and manipulated so a more direct approach is needed when directing the user. For instance, if you need to gather registration information, traditionally a wizard is great easy way to go. But on a touch screen phone, there is no need to reload pages or guide the user through numbered steps. The user can simply “grab” the screen and slide it in any direction. As a designer, you are no longer telling the user where to go; you can now take them by the “hand” and guide them.

One app, one experience

apps

Create unique experiences

Google, Microsoft, and Apple have developed mobile UIs or boundaries that they would like app developers to use in an attempt to control and manage their products. This works for desktop applications because they are restricted to the mouse, keyboard, or any other external peripheral. But as app developers design new user interaction paradigms using multi-touch technology, theses boundaries continue to blur.

Web apps have been tested and used for many years and effective user experiences have been proven. Mobile apps, on the other hand, have new boundries to break and new interaction capabilities that have been enabled. Unlike current web driven apps that are restricted by the untouchable user paradigms, mobile apps can take full advantage of the multi-touch capabilities and thereby create the user experience outside the bounds on the mobile operating system’s UI.

Examples:

Cinder App

Cinder uses a selection dial, like many digital cameras do to capture, tag and title images.

Pulse RSS Reader

The Pulse RSS Reader uses a very unique sliding interface to easily find and read articles from you favorite RSS feeds.

Classics app

The Classics app takes the interface to another level. Instead of an app interface it models a real book with flipping pages.

Known issues

This exploration of new user interaction methods leads to some problems. Allowing each app to have its own interaction can lead to:

  • New learning curves each time an app is downloaded.
  • Difficulty for the user to switch between apps.
  • A lack of consistency for device makers, difficulty for device branding, and unique hardware qualities.

Model life experience

Unlike user experiences that require a keyboard and mouse, multi-touch allows designers and developers to model an interface that exists in real life. Thus far, the Web’s attempt at a true real-life metaphor has lacked enthusiasm. Multi-touch mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) can take full advantage of real-life metaphors. Modeling familiar interfaces in a digital form is only capable because after all, if you can manipulate something in real-life, you can do it on a touch screen. App developers have run with this idea by re-creating familiar user interfaces like dials, steering wheels, planners, books and dashboards.

Multi-touch technology resolves many user problems because it has the uncanny ability to recreate any interface. Some apps have even simulated actual physical experiences, not just interfaces. For designers, the possibility to design an app that simulates an actual experience is huge. This allows the user to truly interact with the software, not just make it do something. With touch technology a designer can create a real experience for the user.

Examples:

Pocket Guitar App

Pocket Guitar really is a pocket guitar. You can play songs on it, add effects and do all kinds of fun stuff. Not quite like playing the real guitar, but playing guitar on your phone is surprisingly awesome.

Todo for iPad

Todo for iPad is modeled after an old school planner. With this planner you can flip pages and customize your planner with different colors or themes.

MIXR

MIXR (to be released fall of 2010) is said to be a multi-touch DJ turntable for your iPad. I’m really stoked for this come out. If it is all it’s cracked up to be, this should really be great user experience.

The UX of multi-touch

When user interaction design took hold in web sites and companies started to consider the user in their designs, websites got much better, much easier to use, and the Web in general became a better place. Right now, the mobile app world is full of many wild apps that need some taming and there really aren’t any solid standards or boundaries. Understanding multi-touch and how the user actually interacts with it will allow designers to create better, more usable apps.

More than pretty pictures

Standards with touch-user interaction will eventually rise to the top just like Web apps, but as new devices are released using multi-touch, new interactions will be explored. Multi-touch is a powerful and significant tool that has opened up the can of user interaction with a multitude of possibilities. For designers, the significance of multi-touch capabilities means that the user must be taken much more seriously. Because users can now directly interact with the app and device this means the designer must directly design with the user in mind. Long gone are the days when a pretty design and flashy images were the only design qualities an app needed, now, user interaction is critical to the success of any app or device.

December 02 2010

14:24

Designing for the Retina display (part two)

A follow up to a previous article on Designing for the Retina display, the folks over at bjango answer a few left more common questions.

November 30 2010

12:30

Mobile Development Toolkit

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Mobile web design has been around for quite a while. Unfortunately, a lot of mobile design guidelines are out of date and focus on low-resolution, non-touchscreen phones. Despite their popularity, there isn’t a whole lot of information out there for designing websites for the new generation of smartphones (iPhone, Android devices, BlackBerry touchscreens, etc.) — these devices are growing more and more popular in Europe and North America.

Below are some fantastic resources for designing not just mobile websites, but smartphone-friendly sites. We’ve covered everything from basics to tutorials to usability. If there are other resources you’ve found useful, please share them in the comments.

Development Basics

The articles below give a great introduction to designing for mobile devices, plus more in-depth information. There are both basic, theory-driven articles as well as more technical tutorials.

Designing a Mobile Stylesheet for Your Website
This article from Speckyboy Design Magazine goes in-depth into what you need to consider when creating your mobile site design. It covers everything from allowing for fluctuations in your layouts to hiding awkwardly-proportioned content for your mobile visitors.

Mobilestylesheettt in Mobile Development Toolkit

In Depth: How to Make Your Website Mobile Compatible
This article dives into the specifics of mobile site development, including topics like device detection and testing.

Smartphonespda in Mobile Development Toolkit

Website Design for Smartphones – Part 1
This 3 part series from Savvytalk covers all the basics for creating a site optimized for smartphones; also why you’d want to develop for smartphones and how to actually do so.

Savvytalkwebdesign in Mobile Development Toolkit

Tutorial: Making Your WordPress Blog Android and iPhone Friendly
This tutorial gives in-depth instructions on how to make your WP blog show up properly on iPhones and Android devices, without using plug-ins. Androidiphonefriendly in Mobile Development Toolkit

How to Write Web Pages for the iPhone and Other Wireless Devices
This page from About.com talks about the basics of designing sites for smartphones like the iPhone. It’s a good primer for what you need to consider before you actually start designing.

Aboutiphonewebpages in Mobile Development Toolkit
Effective Design for Multiple Screen Sizes
This article from MobiForge talks about some things to keep in mind when designing mobile websites for multiple devices, with multiple screen resolutions. Considering that smartphone screen sizes can range anywhere from a couple hundred pixels square up to the iPhone’s new retina display; it’s a big concern for designers.

Multiplescreensizes in Mobile Development Toolkit
How To: Make Your Mobile Websites Act More Like Native Apps
This Mashable article offers a number of tools for making your mobile website act more like a native application on mobile devices.

Actlikenativeapps in Mobile Development Toolkit
Styling Submit Buttons for Mobile Safari
Here’s a brief tutorial from Think Vitamin about how to style your buttons so they appear correctly in Mobile Safari, including code.

Mobilesafarisubmit in Mobile Development Toolkit
Tutorial: Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Devices
This tutorial shows you how to create a smartphone version of your website that’s based on the regular version. It re-uses elements from the original design to create a site that reinforces your branding and create a unique mobile experience that doesn’t look like just another mobile template.

Optimizingmobiledevices in Mobile Development Toolkit
10 Tips for New iPhone Developers
This article gives in-depth information about creating web apps for the iPhone that work like native apps.

10tipsiphone in Mobile Development Toolkit
Create a Slick iPhone/Mobile Interface from any RSS Feed
This tutorial from CSS-Tricks shows you how to use your site’s RSS feed to create a slick smartphone interface. The end result is highly usable and has extra flair that’s often missing from mobile sites.

Slickmobileinterface in Mobile Development Toolkit
How to Make Your Portfolio iPhone Compatible
This tutorial gives complete instructions for how to make an existing portfolio site work on the iPhone. It even includes instructions for creating a webclip icon, so if users make your site a webclip, it won’t just use a generic screenshot as the icon.

Iphonecompatibleportfolio in Mobile Development Toolkit
Create an iPhone Optimised Website Using jQTouch
Here’s a complete tutorial for creating a smartphone-optimized website using jQuery’s Mobile library. Full code is included.

Jqtouchwebsite in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhone Microsites – Tutorials
This site offers a ton of tutorials for creating iPhone optimized and targeted microsites. Tutorials include how to target content specifically to iPhone visitors, tips for using inline images and also how to create a touch-based sliding UI.

Iphonemicrosites in Mobile Development Toolkit
Build an iPhone-Optimized Website with iUI
This tutorial from Webmonkey teaches you how to optimize your website for iPhone visitors using Joe Hewitt’s iUI.

Iuisite in Mobile Development Toolkit
Mobile Web Design: Best Practices
This article from Six Revisions is a great primer for what you need to know when designing for mobile devices. It covers everything from the complications that arise due to different delivery methods to the specifics of structure and code for your mobile site.

Mobiledesignbestpractices in Mobile Development Toolkit
Web Apps are Becoming the New Legacy Apps
This article talks about the problems many web apps face in regards to being used on smartphones, and what app creators need to do to be more smartphone-friendly.

Newlegacyapps in Mobile Development Toolkit
8 Ways to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Design Reviver discusses a variety of ways to make your existing website more friendly to mobile devices. It includes tips about fluid layouts, centered content, short pages, and more.

Mobilefriendly in Mobile Development Toolkit
Rethinking the Mobile Web
Here’s a brilliant slideshow from UX Magazine that talks about how to approach mobile web design so that it’s accessible on the largest number of devices (not just iPhones or Android phones).

Rethinkingmobileweb in Mobile Development Toolkit

Usability

Usability on smartphones is vital. Usability on the full version of your website might not necessarily translate to good smartphone usability. The articles below can help you fill in the gaps.

Usability Tips for Smartphone Websites
Here’s a brief article that covers usability considerations specific to smartphone website design. It talks about things that aren’t considerations with traditional web design, like leveraging native device capabilities.

Betternetworkusability in Mobile Development Toolkit
Mobile Usability
This article from Jakob Nielsen talks about mobile usability, why it stinks, and how designers and developers can start to make it better. It includes data from real-world studies to back up the claims it makes.

Mobileusabilitynielsen in Mobile Development Toolkit
7 Usability Guidelines for Websites on Mobile Devices
This article covers seven basic usability guidelines you should keep in mind when developing mobile sites, based on real user research. Covered are things like not repeating navigation on every page and using mobile-friendly page layouts. It’s aimed at general mobile development, but the principles also apply specifically to smartphones.

7usabilityguidelines in Mobile Development Toolkit
5 Can’t-Miss Usability Tips for Mobile Website Designs
Here’s another post with some great specific tips on mobile site usability, though this one definitely focuses more on smartphones.

5cantmisstips in Mobile Development Toolkit
A Three Step Guide to Usability on the Mobile Web
This article includes not only steps for improving usability, but also a download link to a PDF best-practices guide for mobile development.

Threestepguide in Mobile Development Toolkit
Mobile Usability Testing
Here’s a slideshow that gives an overview of what goes into usability testing for mobile sites.

Mobileusabilitytestingslides in Mobile Development Toolkit

Development Kits

When creating mockups, it’s sometimes helpful to see your design as it might actually appear on a smartphone screen. The GUI kits and other tools here will help with that.

Perfect Multi-Column CSS Liquid Layouts – iPhone Compatible
This site provides a number of CSS-based liquid layouts that work with the iPhone’s browser. They use no JavaScript, no CSS hacks, and no images.

Cssliquidlayouts in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhone Application Sketch Template v1.3
This printable iPhone template is great for wireframing mobile sites, and includes a grid for accuracy.

Iphonesketchtemplate in Mobile Development Toolkit
RIM BlackBerry PSD
Here’s a free BlackBerry UI template kit PSD file. It has 135 layers included for all aspects of the BlackBerry UI.

Blackberryuikit in Mobile Development Toolkit
Palm Pre GUI PSD
Here’s a PSD file with a variety of Palm Pre UI elements, free from Teehan+Lax.

Palmprepsd in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhone 4 GUI PSD (Retina Display)
Now that the iPhone 4 has a higher-resolution retina display, it’s important to use GUI templates that reflect the higher resolution.

Iphone4gui in Mobile Development Toolkit
Android GUI PSD Vector Kit
Here’s a free Android vector GUI kit with resizeable elements for creating mockups in any size you need.

Androidgui in Mobile Development Toolkit

Testing

You’ll need to test your mobile site to make sure it’s going to appear as you intended. Here are a couple tools to help:

W3C mobileOK Checker
It’s important that your mobile website is W3C compliant, as it makes it more likely to display across a variety of devices and less likely to break as technologies change (just like it is for regular websites).

W3cmobileok in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhoney
iPhoney is a free iPhone simulator from Market Circle. It uses Safari and offers pixel-accurate rendering of web pages. The only downside: it still uses the 320 x 480 pixel canvas, rather than the new retina display size.

Iphoney in Mobile Development Toolkit

10 Awesome Design Examples

What would a roundup of awesome smartphone design tools and resources be without some examples to help inspire your own designs? The designs below are all exceptionally well-done and show just how a smartphone-optimized site should look.

Forever 21
Forever 21, a clothing retailer for young women, do a great job of optimizing their site for mobile viewing. Their navigation is simplified, they put promotions on top but don’t fill the entire screen with them, and include a store locator.

Forever21 in Mobile Development Toolkit
Bloomingdale’s
Clothing retailer Bloomingdale’s places their store locator link prominently on the mobile home page.

Bloomingdales in Mobile Development Toolkit
Tijuana Flats
Tijuana Flats has obviously what mobile visitors are most likely to want to see: the menu and the restaurant locator, and they place links to each front and center.

Tijuanaflats in Mobile Development Toolkit
Babcock Partners
This is a very polished and professional mobile design, with a simplified navigation and strong visual elements.

Babcockpartners in Mobile Development Toolkit
Plank
Web design firm Plank has a great mobile site that emphasizes what they do and is very usable.

Plank in Mobile Development Toolkit
1 Trick Pony
1 Trick Pony removes navigation on sub-pages on their mobile site, instead opting for a simple “Back” button. It’s a great way to unclutter your design but only works well for sites that don’t have deep navigation.

1trickpony in Mobile Development Toolkit
Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha’s mobile site is a simplified version of their full site, with the search bar right up top.

Wolframalpha in Mobile Development Toolkit
Alex Buga
Alex Buga has done a fantastic job of echoing their full site while optimizing it for a mobile browser window. Keeping the same graphic style and using elements of the full design works exceptionally well and reinforces brand identity.

Alexbuga in Mobile Development Toolkit
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster probably has one of the more complex mobile site designs listed here, yet they still keep it very usable. Featured content is prominently displayed, as are options for finding other content.

Simonandschuster in Mobile Development Toolkit
Google Finance
Google Finance maintains a very uncluttered, almost minimalist layout that makes information most likely to be of interest to users easily accessible.

Googlefinance in Mobile Development Toolkit

Conclusion

Smartphone design is growing more important on what seems like a daily basis. As more and more people switch to smartphones or upgrade to more powerful versions, smartphone optimization for websites is going to be vital to the success of any website or web-based business.
(ik)

November 02 2010

06:24

PrintProof – using new technology to solve old problems

Creative technology to solve problems
“When I went to school I had to travel up hills both ways in the snow”. This quote has been used by many that have come before us to talk about “how hard” it was before now. The new generations have it easy. They have the new tech, the new gadgets and inventions and the world at their fingertips. Have you ever wished there was a better way to do something? Dave Merrilees-Kelly created an app to eliminate that problem.
From his experience through previous problems, he created a simple checklist app that helps you take the headache of preparing artwork.
“The last studio I worked at the art-stage was always rushed. A courier would turn up for a particular job and my boss would want 2 or 3 other jobs to go off as well (pre broad band days). So hence mistakes would happen, all for the idea of saving money on couriers. So if we had iPhones in those days I would have been using this app. “
The idea of PrintProof is a reference tool for studios and junior designers that reminds you of all the things you need to check to avoid expensive print errors. The app allows you to create separate projects and cross the completed steps off the checklist.
“I work with students on a design degree hence the idea of the app. Artwork was always my biggest headache when I was in the industry so I wanted to make it easier for students and junior designers. The idea of using it on the iPhone was given to me by a student who’s also a good friend (Kate E-M). I’m sure more apps along these lines can be developed for the creative industries especially where a more methodical, logical approach is required.”

“When I went to school I had to travel up hills both ways in the snow”. This quote has been used by many that have come before us to talk about “how hard” the previous generation had it. The new generations have it easy. They have the new tech, the new gadgets and inventions and the world at their fingertips. Dave Merrilees-Kelly tapped into making the new generation even easier for designers and students. From his experience through previous problems, he created a simple checklist app that helps you take the headache of preparing your artwork.

printproof

“The last studio I worked at the art-stage was always rushed. A courier would turn up for a particular job and my boss would want 2 or 3 other jobs to go off as well (pre broad band days). So hence mistakes would happen, all for the idea of saving money on couriers. So if we had iPhones in those days I would have been using this app. “

The idea of PrintProof is a reference tool for studios and junior designers that reminds you of all the things you need to check to avoid expensive print errors. The app allows you to create separate projects and cross the completed steps off the checklist.

printproof-2

“I work with students on a design degree hence the idea of the app. Artwork was always my biggest headache when I was in the industry so I wanted to make it easier for students and junior designers. The idea of using it on the iPhone was given to me by a student who’s also a good friend (Kate E-M). I’m sure more apps along these lines can be developed for the creative industries especially where a more methodical, logical approach is required.”

PrintProof App is simple and easy way to keep track of preparing your artwork. It is available on the iTunes store and it’s creator: Dave Merrilees-Kelly can be found on twitter.

Sponsored by

Made By Tinder

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PrintProof – using new technology to solve old problems

October 14 2010

03:06

Fun Font-Related Applications for the iPhone

The iPhone isn’t yet an indispensable part of the font designer’s tool kit, but it really does make a nifty little font toy, if you find the correct apps for it. You can now use the iPhone to record and ID fonts on the run, sharpen your font skills, and enjoy a few minutes’ diversion. Here are a few apps that will help you turn your idle time into fontastic fun time.

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The Best iPhone Apps That Exist

type-iphone-01

What The Font for iPhone

This font identification tool has proven its worth millions of times on your desktop and laptop; now you can use on the run, directly from your phone. Simply use your phone to take a photo of the font in question, upload it, and the savant gnome who powers MyFont’s identification engine will tell you the font’s name. Easy and helpful!

type-iphone-02
Fontshuffle

For brainstorming on the bus, FontShop’s Fontshuffle is a godsend. It is an extensive catalog of typefaces divided by font taxonomy and letter feature. It can help you identify the perfect font for your design idea, or take you on an inspirational odyssey through others’ lettering masterworks.

type-iphone-03

I Love Typography’s Font Identification Game

So you think you can do What The Font’s job? Prove it with the font identification game. Play against other typophiles, and sharpen your eye for typeface in the process.

The Best iPhone Apps That Do Not Exist

It’s great to see font culture and iPhone culture merge, but why stop at copying Internet tools? The iPhone’s true strengths are its mobility and its amelioration of downtime boredom. In that vein, here are a few apps that might serve the font community well.

Font and sketch training game

For those who sketch their fonts, drawing appealing symmetric freehand curves is a holy grail. The truly great practice as dutifully as a tennis pro. A simple iPhone game could help them all to hone their letterform talent during the daily commute. An alternate mode for the practice of the eight basic brushstrokes of Chinese writing would give this little app an even broader appeal.

The New ASCII Art

Letterform-based patterns and art has become a mini-trend within the design community. Stripped of their symbolic meaning, letters and numbers become the building blocks of tiled patterns or even intricate drawings. Wouldn’t you try your hand at updated ASCII art while waiting for your dentist appointment? At worst, it would be like playing with a letter-based Etch-a-Sketch; at best, it would increase one’s appreciation of letterform, and even jog some design ideas out of the idle moments.

Font Tripod

This “app” is not software, but it would make the font lover’s iPhone significantly more useful. Consider a tiny facedown tripod for the iPhone. It holds the iPhone camera about three inches away from the text while you snap a photo. The resulting image is square, sharp, and perfect for What The Font’s iPhone app.

Typophile iPhone users unite! What do you think the best apps would be for type-related fun?

Sponsored by

Made By Tinder

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Fun Font-Related Applications for the iPhone

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