A few thoughts on Folders for iOS4
I’ve been using an iPhone since the days of the 1G. During that span, I’ve tried hundreds of apps. Prior to iOS4 it wasn’t practical nor possible to install every app on the device at one time.
The only way to get any sort of organization on an iPhone was to jailbreak the phone and install an app called Categories. This app was extremely popular as it gave users the ability to organize the phone and drop apps inside top-level category folders. This made it possible to consolidate eight pages of apps into one page of folder icons.
However, Categories also made the phone unstable. Some apps, like the camera app, didn’t behave if placed inside a folder. If the phone was restored while Categories was enabled, any app that had been assigned to a category wouldn’t show up after the restore. It wasn’t fun. It was a giant pain in the ass.
Having had access to iOS4 for a few months, I’ve had time to evaluate and experience the discovery & joy of it’s newest features. One of the most significant UI upgrades is folders. Like most software features that Apple develops, it took awhile but the finished product works brilliantly.
Dragging apps in and out of the folder with one finger is easy and intuitive. To get started, Apple lends a hand by suggesting folder titles for apps with similar genres. Folders can be created on the phone and in iTunes but I’d recommend using iTunes to complete the initial organization of your apps as it’s much easier to move them where you want, via the desktop.
Locating obscure apps will be a breeze compared to what previously existed before iOS4. In addition, since similar apps can now be grouped, evaluation and comparison among them becomes easier. I’ve already winnowed a dozen apps from iTunes that I no longer want or feel I need.
With respect to folders, one advantage **jailbreaking** still offers is the option to customize the folder icon. Apple’s icon displays smaller versions of the apps within a folder. Unless the new glass on the iPhone 4 dramatically livens up those tiny icons, I’d rather have the option to choose icons that visually enhance the user experience. Meaning, I’ll probably explore jailbreaking again when George Hotz & friends release their latest exploit.
** jailbreaking is not available for iOS4…..yet
10 Influential Monkeys You Should Follow on Twitter
Highlighting social monkeys on Twitter is a great way to make friends and more importantly get links & web traffic, so here are 10 influential monkeys to follow on Twitter. The foundation for this recommendation; all 10 monkeys have 1000+ followers. Surely any monkey with 1000 followers must be influential. When these monkeys tweet peel a banana, followers go ape shit. Monkey see, monkey do. Three cheers to influence!
If you are a monkey and aren’t on this list yet, don’t despair. Goto wefollow.com, type in “monkey”, and start clicking the button. Other monkeys will follow you back and soon you will have 1000 followers and be eligible for inclusion in the followup to this post, “I’m a Monkey Too”. It’s really that easy. Again, it’s that easy.
One school of thought making it’s way around the inter-web is that follower counts are the foundation for determining influence. Does this account influence you to do anything?
How to setup Remember The Milk as a standalone desktop application using Fluid on a Mac
[Twitter] Improving the user experience
I recently created my fifth Twitter account for an upcoming iPhone project called MortgageZen. Each of my accounts has a specific intended audience. Each one, a loose set of rules that guide decisions on who I follow. Some of my twitter id’s are focused on building a strong following, others I’m less concerned with # of followers.
Because of the multiple accounts, I’ve noticed that “follow” philosophies can be simplified into two main camps. On one hand, there is the “Follow me, Follow you” approach. The network happens on the mutual expectation of a push of the button resulting in a “follow” action. The other, more selective approach is the “If I’m interested, I’ll follow you” technique. This approach is different in that you only follow people that you like or that add value to your life in some way.
For my primary account on Twitter, I’m selective about whom I choose to follow. I keep my follow counts down to a reasonable number that I feel comfortable keeping up with. But as I meet new folks that I’d like to follow, the noise level inevitably ratchets up. Programs like TweetDeck offer temporary relief by allowing me to place people into groups, but these applications (I’m looking at you Nambu) don’t yet support group membership syncing between devices and as follow counts grow, so too, does the noise level.
So what might solve this problem?
My hope is that Twitter will continue to introduce methods for users to optionally reduce noise. Two suggestions, the ability to selectively hide excessive Re-Tweeters and the ability to hide @replies between people I follow. Granular control over aspects of the conversation that I want to toggle off would make Twitter more valuable. More thoughts, ideas, & jokes, less regurgitation & water-cooler banter. Don’t get me wrong, I like the banter but I want the ability to limit the noise.
[Essential Apps] Zipeg: Extract compressed zip files with ease.
Zipeg is a cross-platform utility that extracts zipped files. It tackles zip, 7-zip, rar, BZip2, GNU zip, tgz, tar, arj, LHA/LZH, LZC, cab, chm, ear, war, cbr, and cbz archive formats. The application is free.
The best thing about the utility is the ability to drill down into the contents of any zip package and look at the files before you extract them to their intended destination. For those folks concerned about security, this adds another level of opportunity of protection by giving you the option to see what you are putting on the computer. Great app.
For more information, Dan Frakes at MacWorld wrote about Zipeg back in May.