One of those really fun, magical products. Stupid-simple unlocking of your Mac by knocking on your iPhone. The iPhone doesn’t even need to be unlocked or on, just knock the idle phone and it works. Super cool.
I love xPad and am reluctant to upgrade to Mavericks without being sure xPad will work
Amazingly, it seems to work just fine. That will make this the 10th year and 7th major OS X release since I built xPad and it still works effectively perfectly without a single update in nearly a decade. Goes to show you how stable the core AppKit components in OS X have been over the years. Not too shabby considering I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I built xPad.
Also worth noting: Since I reset statistics 3 years ago, xPad has been downloaded over 260,000 times. I don’t even know what to do with that information—it’s insane.
Speaking of awesome iOS apps, Launch Center Pro 2.0 was released this week with an all-new design that looks terrific and they added new features to boot. I use LCP a hundred times a day, it’s fantastic—go buy it.
Touch ID is nice, but it needs improvement. On the plus side, it has never accepted a finger that I didn’t train it with. However, it often fails to accept the two thumbs that I did train. My guess is that it only works 75% of the time on the first try. When trying to test it, it worked 20 times in a row several times. But in everyday use, it often fails three times in a row. If my thumb is sweaty or lotioned, it often doesn’t work at all and I have to type my (now longer) passcode. It doesn’t seem to mind a bit of dampness from hand washing, however.
With the 4S, I only had to enter the passcode a few times per day—based on idle time, I suppose. With the 5s, I have to use Touch ID (or type the passcode) every time. When it works, Touch ID feels slower than swiping to unlock. I’m pretty sure it’s not actually slower, but that second or so where it’s scanning my thumb feels like a long time because I’m not doing anything. The delay is long enough that I feel like there should be some visual feedback that it’s actually doing scanning.
Completely agree with all of this. In daily use, Touch ID fails for me about 25% of the time, often three or four times in a row. I’ve removed and rescanned my fingerprints several times but it doesn’t appear to make a difference. And Touch ID definitely feels slower to me compared to using a standard passcode. Something about the tap-then-hold-then-wait-for-animation-to-finally-finish feels very passive and clunky, whereas entering a passcode feels like it works as quickly as I can do it. It’s all in my head, sure, but it adds up.
Because I’m usually home all day every day, in the past I rarely had passcode turned on, and when I did it was set to a 2- or 5-minute delay, which meant infrequently passcode entry. With Touch ID, every single interaction with the phone requires the aforementioned touch, hold, wait pattern. Feels very slow.
On top of all of this, I’ve only been able to use my fingerprint to purchase from the App Store once—every other time required I first enter my password to “renew Touch ID purchases”, whatever that means.
Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.
Don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never found flipping through magazines and seeing ads enjoyable. In fact, I’d venture to guess most people find that to be least enjoyable part of a magazine. And guess what? It will be just as terrible in Instagram.
You can pretend all you want that ads won’t be intrusive, annoying or awful, but they will be. They’re ads. You’re putting unwanted crap into a feed of photos from people I hand-selected to follow. Call it what it is: You should have monetized by charging for the service from the start, but you wanted users more than money and now that you want money, there’s nothing to do but make those users suffer.
I’d love to have an intern or two because I think it would benefit Karbon and help a young person get an idea for what it’s like to work in this industry, but unfortunately we all work remotely so it would be a bit impractical. After all, how could someone bring me coffee and let me yell demands right into their face if I have to do it all over FaceTime?
The 3DS has been a successful venture for Nintendo so far. Both software and hardware have had a strong first quarter, with the 3DS being the most successful gaming platform. Nintendo isn't doing well, and the Wii U kinda sucks, but the 3DS is a success. With a really strong lineup of first-party titles coming up in the next two quarter, the 2DS is them attempting to milk it.
I would say the Wii U doesn’t “kinda” suck, it completely sucks—nearly every part of the Wii U is poorly designed, slow or altogether a bad idea. But that’s just my opinion and it’s totally fair to disagree with it. Though poor sales and so-so reviews of the console seem to hint I’m not the only person who thinks it’s a dud.
I’d also say you’re giving the 3DS credit for the DS’s success. The Nintendo DS was definitely a success and sold 154.74 million units making it the second-best-selling console of all time, just behind the PlayStation 2. But if you look at the sales curve for the DS, you’ll note it peaks just after the release of the iPod Touch and continues to fall. Sure, the 3DS is selling, but will its peak be 154 million units? I’m not sure. I am sure the iPod Touch has sold 100 million units since its release in 2007, putting it only 54 million units behind the DS that was release more than 2 full years earlier.
Hell, maybe the 3DS will be the best selling console of all time. Maybe the 2DS will be the second best. Maybe both will sell 150 million units each, just like the DS line did. But it took the DS line 8 years to sell 154 million units—if it takes the 3DS line 8 years as well, where will Apple be with iPod, iPad and iPhone? Will they have sold 200 million iPod Touches? Maybe. Will they release a new iPod Touch model every single year? Certainly. Nintendo’s hardware release cycle is too slow, and when they do release, they’re releasing duds, especially in the living room.
Are your two most recent photos at the Getty Center?
Yes! We love that place and try to go every few months. I always feel ridiculous when we’re there, though, because I mostly just shoot pictures and ignore Stacey and Oliver the whole time. The architecture and the view make for some great photos.
The vignetting you use on your photos looks really good. Do you use it on all of them + why?
I do at least some vignetting on every photo. A few photos receive a lot more of it than others (and there are probably times when I’ve gone overboard and regretted it later). There’s no thoughtful or complicated reason, I simply like the way it looks. Even after color balancing a photo, before I add vignetting I often feel a photo looks flat and vignetting adds the final touch to give it a little dimensionality. It’s anecdotal, but I also feel it helps draw the point of focus more into the center of the frame, which is where the primary subject usually is.
After the announcement of the Nintendo 2DS today and my post about it (and suggestions that Nintendo should instead focus on software), I was innundated by Nintendo fans telling me Nintendo must make their own hardware and that without hardware there is no Nintendo. These fans commonly point out Apple’s struggles in the 90s as an example of Nintendo’s situation: Everyone told Apple to stop making hardware and just sell Mac OS for PCs, but Apple didn’t give in and look how successful they are now!
But here’s the thing: Apple’s successful resurrection and booming business today is a fluke. It’s a 1 in 1,000,000,000 chance. It required coincidences, luck, an insane amount of skill and vision, and the perfect timing of all of those things. It’s one of the rarest moments in business ever. And it’s unlikely to be repeated many more times, especially in the coming years. Apple should have gone out of business in 1997. They didn’t, and I’m thrilled, but it took many years of fanastic work to bring them back and all of it had to come togther perfectly to work out the way it did. Nintendo fans seem to think if Nintendo makes enough hardware, they’ll eventually get better at it. But they’ve been proving for 10+ years that they don’t get hardware anymore. It doesn’t appear that will change. Every other company is building more compelling consoles and handhelds, including Apple.
To take this one step further, I’d even venture to say Nintendo doesn’t get software anymore. They certainly don’t get system software or application development, but that’s no secret (just try using a Wii U’s menus and apps, they’re atrocious). But their games are suffering too. On a whole I don’t think they’re making games that are as fun and unqiue and engaging as they have been in the past. And it takes them far too long to release new titles of their flagship properties—there still does not exist a Wii U version of Zelda, Metroid or a 3-dimensional Mario game. The Wii U has been out for nearly a year.
It would be one thing if Nintendo was insanely profitable. It would be another thing if they were releasing quality hardware. Their only true asset is their software. They need to make some tough decisions about how to move forward and building sub-par handhelds isn’t the answer.
So let me get this straight: Your company is circling the drain, your latest console was a flop, your first-party software comes out way too infrequently and even when it does it’s not nearly as good as it used to be, and all you’ve really got going for you is an awkward, no-one-ever-mentions-wanting-one hand-held gaming device that does 3D at the expense of having graphics one could even possibly call modern in 2013, and so you decide to spend your time building a new version of said hand-held system which does not do that unique 3D feature and instead is big, ugly, clunky and only $40 USD cheaper than the 3D version which is ugly too but less so?
What's your process for coming up with app ideas? How did you get the idea for Ego & Scratch?
Look for software problems that need solving in your daily life and then solve them. With Ego, I needed a way to check all of the various stat software I used daily on my phone without logging into each and having to open 10 tabs. With Scratch, we were all taking notes into lots of different, crummy apps none of which did exactly what we wanted. We needed a way to get ideas down fast and then share that content in a bunch of ways. Our next app (which will hopefully be released sooner than later) came about in the same way—it solves a daily workflow problem.
I see from your photography you've used quite a few 'prosumer' cameras, like the X100, NEX-7 etc. Do you have a favourite?
I loved the X100 and photositcaptured, but found the slow, hunting autofocus and the impossible manual focus (the ring is electronic and awful) too much to take after a while. I briefly tried an NEX-5N but wasn’t happy with the touch screen controls and the picture quality. Eventually, I settled on the NEX-7 with Zeiss 24mm f1.8 lens (the lens I picked up at 50% off because someone had just returned it in perfect condition) and I’ve shot lots of great photos with it. The body is light, the software is fast, and it’s very comfortable in the hand. It can be somewhat fringy and noisy, but I’m able to clean most of that up in Lightroom without too much work. I would definitely recommend the NEX-7 (or a similar, more recent model), assuming you put a great lens on it—the kit lens is awful and not worth the money.
What camera(s) do you use for the photos you post here?
Most recent shots are with the Sony NEX-7, a few in the recent past with the Canon 5D Mark II. A year or so ago I was taking many with the Fujifilm X100, but I’ve subsequently sold that camera. Newer photos from this point on will likely be primarily from the Leica M Type 240.
Hey man! I see you use both Flickr & 500px. If you had to choose one (and you do by the way) which would it be?
Difficult question! A few years back, I would have recommended Flickr without hesitation. Everyone was using it and it was the best overall photo-sharing site on the internet. Then Flickr stagnated for years and everyone stopped uploading—it felt for a while like I was the only person I knew who was using it regularly.
Recently, though, Flickr is trying to make a comeback. Their new design is so-so, but it seemed to kickstart friends uploading again—the newer iOS app helped a lot too. These days I worry less about Yahoo! killing off the site entirely. Flickr also has a massive ecosystem of 3rd-party apps and services tied into its API, and their privacy settings for mapping (geofencing) are best-in-class. Their organization and tagging tools are terrific.
500px is my perpetual backup plan, in case Flickr eventually dies. It’s a well-designed site and I enjoy using it, but it has several problems. It never keeps you logged in (even leaving for ten minutes requires re-authenticating), there’s a high emphasis put on getting likes and favorites (including showing an affection meter for each user and a “pulse” for each photo—puke!), and their organizer leaves a lot to be desired. The service is more expensive (I consider this a positive since paying for a service generally leads to that service staying in business), and they nag you to pay more and re-up your subscription constantly (I do not consider this a positive). 500px doesn’t have the same privacy settings for mapping photos, which entirely rules out mapping of any photos you consider location sensitive.
At the end of the day, I’d recommend Flickr. Their mapping features, widely-used API and general feature set make them a solid choice. When you add in the fact that they provide an insane 1TB of free space, it becomes an even easier choice. And you could always upload all of your photos and use another API-based service to show them (like one of my favorites, I Hardly Know Her) if you really wanted to.
Is it not strange editing your everyday photos to "perfection" - I can't decide whether to leave them as they are or edit them. I get the feeling that they would end up looking a bit "fake"...
I enjoy the entire process of photography, from shooting through post-production. Sure, you could point-and-shoot and upload to Facebook and clap your hands and be done, which might be just fine for you (and I’m not judging you if it is, obviously). But I enjoy spending quality time with each photo and hope to make every single shot the best it can be. I don’t consider photos I shoot with my full-size cameras to be “everyday photos”, I consider them creative art. I meticulously tag and categorize them into sets and upload them to Flickr and 500px. I’m continuously learning more and more about the process and trying to get better at it every day. Photography is a hobby for me, sure, but I put a lot of effort into it.
My “everyday photos” are shot with my iPhone, and those I don’t tend to spend a lot of time in post on. I usually just pick a VSCO filter and clean them up a bit, or upload them to Instagram.
Hey Garrett! So I've been listening to the podcast for 6 years now and I realized that I never got a shirt. So I really am a big fat jerk and I would like to make up for it by still getting one. However, seems like the website is down. Do you happen to have any of those shirts left by any chance? Also, I use xPad daily for code snippets and notes and to do lists and ideas and all sorts of crap so thanks for that, so useful. Keep up the amazing work, you're hilarious -Seth