Notes on interaction design & development. Get the Feed.
By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

iOS 7: Hidden Gems and Workarounds

3/22/17ios

Some interesting details, such as the new "appStoreReceiptURL" to get the date of the app purchase. Perfect timing for me, since I'm about to move Capcam from paid to IAP, and having the purchase date lets me keep all features unlocked for users who paid for the app.

Becoming a designer-developer

3/22/17DevelopmentDesign

To share my own experience, I always found design and development inherently connected. For me, it was always about creating the actual thing people use, not just creating a blueprint for it. But the reason I thought this way may have been some of my very early experiences in customizing video games in my teen years. For example, I built levels for Doom and 3D models for Quake. The tools available back then were made by fans, and extremely simple and buggy. So when you're building a level or a game character as a teenager with bare-bones tools, there is nobody to hand anything off to or explain anything to you. If you didn't figure out the whole process, you couldn't do what you wanted to do, it was that simple. And with that, I learned that the process from idea to final product is a long one, with lots of friction-points in between that can affect the result. So it just made sense to me that you needed to be intimately familiar with the whole process.

The Godfather of Apple Design Spots 4 Looming Tech Trends

3/22/17appleDesign

“Today is what’s thought about long ago... Now today we have to we have to project, think, experiment, prototype the future... OK, the future is accelerating. We know that... But look back 40 to 50 years, and make a model of what happened from then until today. That’s what compresses into the next 10 years. Then you know what to expect.”

Design For People

3/22/17Design

If the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the industrial designer has failed. If, on the other hand, people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient—or just plain happier—the designer has succeeded.

Tablets To Edge PCs In Q4

3/22/17Tablets

This year, IDC expects to see shipments of desktop PCs reach 134.4 million, laptops reach 180.9 million, tablets reach 227.3 million and smartphones reach 1.01 billion.

The Sparrow Problem

3/22/17App Store

The age of selling software to users at a fixed, one-time price is coming to an end. It’s just not sustainable at the absurdly low prices users have come to expect. Sure, independent developers may scrap it out one app at a time, and some may even do quite well and be the exception to the rule, but I don’t think Sparrow would have sold-out if the team — and their investors — believed they could build a substantially profitable company on their own. The gold rush is well and truly over.

Ok, so the market matures. Just because the gold rush if over, that doesn't mean selling software at fixed price is over. It just depends on the product. A photo app doesn't require any upkeep, while an RSS reader requires a server that needs to be maintained. Cross-platform apps require even more upkeep, and B2B apps need proper support and service to back up the technical side. And many crappy apps simply aren't worth anything. Especially looking at Google Play, there are lots of solo developers with 100+ apps. Those are likely not very good apps worth paying for, in the same way that nobody will pay for a website I throw together in a few hours. It's a complex market that's slowly maturing, and I don't think it's economy can be summarized in a simple statement like "the gold rush is over". Thinking about Warren Buffet's "be greedy when others are fearful", maybe this is just the right time to build something?

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