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You can treat DropBox as a regular folder for any file. Then the program does the rest- sync all the content with the server – hence the files are accessible everywhere, by different browser, any platforms including iPhone.

The biggest difference conceptually is that Dropbox is a folder and iDisk is an connected disk. Hence, there is no copying to create a new copy and no extra effort to take care multiple copies. iDisk in the old Mac is the pain in the ass. Even Copy small files leave the progress bar windows stay open for while, the larger the file the longer it stay open. Dropbox is no different than any moving action in the Finder. You move a file to Dropbox folder. It syncs in the background and he folder or file displayed with a small syncing arrows on the lower left corner. A blue tick when complete, very clear.

Most importantly, iDisk has left me too many times without a file when accessing the file in different computer. The syncing sucks in iDisk but it never happens in Dropbox, at least not yet. Best of all, Dropbox is free for the first 2 GB. Apple should seriously consider to buy the company and replace with it’s aging and annoying iDisk.

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A few technologies is and will be interesting. Attention should be on them:

  • Augmented reality mobile apps
  • Multitouch/gesture device
  • New hardware using flexible OLED for content
  • New battery technology

These hardware will make a difference. How? I am not able put my finger on one PRODUCT that may make a big difference. Will it have the effect of iPod/iTunes/iPhone/AppStore software-hardware combination that transforms the status quo. Will see.

The media has been fixated on the would-be netbook and Kindle killer. Apple table / slate. If history is anything, this piece really help you to put yourself in a new perspective.

The Speculative Prehistory of the iPhone by Technologizer.

Nice

What are the ‘big’ things in the very near future?

  • Magazine in digital form
  • Publishing ‘industry’ in iTunes market style
  • Web productive apps in free/subscription mode (Google, MS, Apple)
  • Educational web apps and portal
  • Music Album

Simply put – reorganization of the old in the not-too-new.

Simply, many people love to operate computer like those in Star Trek. May be, may be not. I have definitely love the regularity and expectedness of pressing buttons.

Until now, all voice recognition program is a great hobby. However, the only one useful use comes to iPhone voice recognition, “call John” – the only voice command I used when on the move – walking on a busy street – too busy doing something else.

Any Star Trek interface in the future ? may be, wait until the centennial of Personal Computer.

A billion iPhone apps download is approaching. People definitely downloading the apps (I have some freebies) and soon page after pages added to the home screen. Until one day, I found out the app I have downloaded didn’t show up. Gee, there is a limit on the number of apps I can install in my iPhone! 9 home screen pages or 148 apps.

Why did Apple care about that and a limits needs to be set? Does Apple consider about how messy the home screen would become once the App Store opened (especially with so many free apps)? Is this a flaw in the home screen design? Alternative? Dose a solution exist but Apple solve it for later updates? Is there a way to solve this mess? Certainly, my answer is “stack”. In this series of posts, I will explore how stack is the answer to current mess in light with other methods, I didn’t think it will work.

The cover flow view is like a virus spreading from iTunes to now Safari. Coverflow is a great way to waste time when you have plenty. This interface is analogous to flipping vinyl records in music store shelves of the good old day. It was a great experience to choose music when browsing nicely designed cover arts one by one. Apple is right trying to duplicate this experience (the idea was not Apple brain child, but invented by Andrew Coulter Enright) in iTunes or iPhone. It was fun to play with, waste time on and feel the concreteness of musics. But as interface (especially for small computer screen) is ineffective.

Coverflow does have one good use for people with bad memory. When you don’t remember the name of a document read or webpage visited, search is no use. Visually browse through the huge thumbnails one by one, slowly, could finally help you reach the target. A very slow and ineffective search method – a last resort.

What made the Coverflow so ineffective is the animation and limited viewing ability of number of files together. A previewed icons view – that is, the icons in a given windows show all their contents – far superior for visual searching. This view show all they have at once, you can go after the suspected target by Quick Look. Previewed icons plus Quick Look is 100 times greater then Coverflow. Apple is losing its edge on UI innovation.  

P.S. Coverflow does let people admire their own “creation” one by one. people need that – a space to think.

After a few days of use, I removed it from my shared computer. The major complaint is that the tag arrangement is so “unnatural”. When old things work for them (to certain degree), people loathe changes. Other than this habitual reason, is there any things prevent people from upgrade? First, upgrade has to be proved having advantages out rate the downside. Safari’s good speed is the good side. If you can feel a great improvement in speed, the downside is may be overcame sooner or later.

Speed vs Habit…. I would choose speed if the site I frequent can actually benefit from it. If I am an hotmail user, no, no, speed is not even an issue. The site just doesn’t work. The upgrade is to be blamed. If sites I frequent is simple HTML site, not much Javascript, the benefit is marginal. I should wait until I am forced to upgrade or stay where I am.

Software interface is still evolving. The great idea can still be possible, even change the course of this evolution. Think of a hammer, the handling interface is fixed and complete. Designers may make more complete by varying the length of the handle, play with the shape or the thickness. Software interface is a different story.

People has been commenting on the Google Chrome’s User Interface refreshing – a fresh start from sketch. Some says it is more like a runtimes or OS. Meanwhile, the iTunes 8 came out, with some two new features – new album view and genius. I observe one thing in common – the recycling of UI strategy with twists.

Google Chrome’s tab feature is just like any tab feature in Firefox, Opera or Safari. Yet, by isolated each tab in their protected space – the tab is not just a tab for different webpage but web-application container, you “launch” new app in the tab, and move it away, creating new windows – all these are Operation System strategies. Google recycled a UI and twist to make its own OS basic units – we get a Application manager and a Finder.

iTunes 8’s new album view is a grid arrangement by category: album, artists, genre… One can quickly skim through what is inside each picture. In Mac terminology, a picture is the representation of an event. In case of sorting by artists, the particular album cover will be presentaton of all ablums you have for artist in your music library. The Mac user will immediately spot the similarity with iPhotos event. You can resize the album Even the sizing bar is the same. The best of iTune 8 implementation involves the small cycle-number indication on the number of new heard downloads (when in Podcast). This cycle-number reminder is not new either, a direct take from the Mail (OS X’s dock or iPhone). Apple has essentially adopted the visual management strategy for the audio management. When the UI element or strategy is good, I don’t mind it appears again and again.

iTunes8 screencap

iTunes 8 screen capture

Background reading: Straight out of Compton.

Why does Java have very limited use? Why did Adobe FLEX (make a runtime environment using Flash) fail? One word: SPEED. Why do I use something run a lot slower when I can run the same thing in my desktop much quicker and snappier?! The instant nature of things surrounding us conditions us to demand the result right of way. No waiting. Patient may be a virtue. When coming to a click to result, patient is overrated and ultimately worthless.

Speaking from the personal experience, clicking the mouse means something will happen right after. I, like many, have been conditioned to react so. When there is nothing happened, my first reaction will be – my computer hangs again. Damn it. Oh, the status bar is still moving… We have the network connection, the server responsiveness or the webapp to blame. However, to an average soul, the distinction among them is non-existing. With everything being equal, the ability to running the complicated JavaScripts with which the load and reload is done in the background is the key. The browser’s speed to execute complicated Javascript or render a page becomes the bottleneck.

Immediacy. That is, the response time of webapp is the same or faster when you click the mouse for local app. Then, the cloud computing and abandoning the fat PC will be an everyday reality.

Let just hope Google Chrome the web browser will smash IE. Let’s hope the competitive environment will nurture innovation. Removing the IE from the browser domination, Let Safari, Firefox, Opera and Chrome reveal their brilliance in a standard compliant web. Perhaps, IE may be come back with standard compliant, light weight, snappy browser. Who knows.