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ringydingy_ss_3

Forget about the name, Ringy Dingy really stretches the iPhone metaphor too far.

 

Got a handful to give away. If you want one, just leave a comment (be creative!). Remember to comment with the email address you want the invite sent to.

All out for now.

 

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Daring Fireball picks up some truly horrid user interfaces every now and then, though most of them are from the Windows world. I present you with an alternative for the Mac, and you really have to click for the full size image to witness all the glory.

Rainbow Painter “is an advanced image editor aimed at both professionals and amateurs who want to retouch photos, paint and draw” and was also “named as one of “Ten Tools You Shouldn’t Be Without” in the book “Internet For iMacs For Dummies”.” Imagine THAT.

Why is there no menubar? Why is every edge of the screen cluttered with palettes? Why are they all different colors, and even patterns? Why does it remind me of Win 3.1? What’s with the compass-arrow-thingie in the upper-right corner? What’s the button “mouse button color” supposed to do? Can it really change the color of my mouse button? What if I have a multi-button mouse? A trackpad? Why are there no icons? Even the tools are represented by text! What does “paper color” mean, in a digital piece of software? Why doesn’t half of the buttons and options make any sense at all?

If this app is really “aimed at both professionals and amateurs” – which of the two groupings do the developer who made this screenshot belong to?

 

Organic

15Dec08

Not sure if this is new really, but H&M now carry select garments made from organic cotton – or more specifically: 50% organic cotton. Hey, it’s a start I guess.
hmorganic

 

Working as a designer I know a few things about getting content to use in your design work. Stock photos, fonts, vectors… Things like that used to be expensive. Nowadays though, with sites like iStockphoto, everyone can afford quality content. And still some seem too lazy or too cheap to do it…

Photoshop Disasters, one of my favorite blogs, ran a post on this very topic a couple days ago.

That same day, I got a catalog in the mail from upscale stores in the area, and on one page I am presented with some expensive dresses under the headline “modernized 80s style”. But what is this?

28dayslater-full

Where they tried spelling out “80-talls” (80s), there is some weird character in place. Almost looks like a font where some of the characters are missing.

80-tall

The question is: do designers hope that nobody will notice, or do they indeed not even notice it themselves?

28 Days Later font available at dafont. Go crazy. Just don’t try to use any non-alphanumerical chars.

 

Well first off rumors has it that iTunes 8 is causing some minor problems for Vista users (just a few bluescreens) – my Mac unfortunately didn’t fare much better…

Kernel Panic!

Once up and running though, everything was smooth. No need to mention the obvious (and announced) new features, like Genius and the new visualizer. What I was really excited to see is that for the first time, iTunes is half-decent at playing back video. Yes, I no longer have to keep QuickTime Player handy for my video podcasts.

As for how I kept up to date during the press event… for the first few minutes, I was on my Mac, chatting, listening to Cali Live and refreshing Gizmodo and Engadget. Then I got tired and put Cali on the tv and Gizmodo and Engadget on the iPhone 🙂

Cali Live

 

Two nice apps for the iPhone for editing pictures have emerged since the launch of the App Store, and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Mind you neither of these can replace Photoshop, but that is not the point either. Snaps you grab with the terrible 2mpix camera have no need for level adjustments or exposure settings – what we all want is a little fun (I imagine). And in that respect, both Comic Touch and Sketches deliver.

Comic Touch (iTS link) ($4.99) comes from plasq, developers of the quite-so-famous Comic Life for both the Mac and PC – which means we have certain expectations. If your expectation is to be able to make comics, you are in luck. But there isn’t a whole lot else to do.

Comic Touch will allow you to pick a photo, and add various forms of bubbles and captions, change the font size as well as choose between white on black and black on white color schemes. You can move the bubbles around and keep changing your parameters till you are satisfied, after which you can save the picture or send it by email. Oh and you can add the obligatory bulge/dent/squeeze/stretch/light effect, but c’mon, even for a comic they are useless.

It’s a fun little app, no doubt, but even for $5 I would have expected it to do a little… more.

Sketches (iTS link) ($5.99) from LateNiteSoft is more of a general drawing app than just for comics. It’s compromised of 3 main parts:

You start out with a background, which can be any photo on your phone (or from camera), a website, a solid color, a google map or one of the many built-in pictures.

You can then draw with your fingers, change pen color and thickness.

Lastly add objects like speech bubbles, arrows, hats, glasses and so forth. Objects can be resized (by pinching) and rotated.

You can also zoom in when you want to add that tiny handwritten text. Sketches has no copy/paste, but will allow you do undo any action (multiple undos, to be exact).

No text tool at the moment (one point to Comic Touch), but this is promised in the next release, already pending approval from Apple. The next release will also sport a built-in web server for super easy picture sharing. Very cool. For now though, Sketches will allow you to save the picture to the phone, or post it to twitter.

Oh, and in both apps you can shake the phone to erase your work. It’s the little things that count.

So which one should you pick?
Well if you have a paper cup full of coins like I do, get them both. If not, go with Sketches. Even if it’s a whole $1 more, it just has tons more features, and with the almost-released version 1.3, if seems to do pretty much everything that Comic Touch does too.
It’s easy to buy Comic Touch because “it’s from those guys who did that other cool app”, but I personally feel that this version needs a lot more work. It’s not a terrible app by any means, it looks good, works great – but it just doesn’t have enough features to warrant the price tag.

 

So, SimplifyMedia for the iPhone that I talked about a week ago, was released on the app store yesterday. Obviously I didn’t hesitate to grab it (first 100k copies are/were free, after which the price is $3.99). The video below is 5 minutes long, horribly shot and edited, and ehh, umm, eeh…. yeah. Let’s just say the app is better than my video 😉 Still, hopefully you get a glimpse of what you can do with it.

 

List of all installed apps as of today, idea via iJustine.

What apps are your favorites? And did you make any bad decisions yet? (ie. buying something you thought was worth the money but turned out not to be)

 

Yes it’s that time of the year again. Time for a new IKEA catalog.

A couple of products that sparked my interest (not sure if they are new):

BRÄDA laptop stand. Looks alright, and definitely helps with the heat issue. Looks like an earbud cable coming out of it in the first picture? Anyone know more about this product?

DOKUMENT trash can – simple yet stylish. Looks oddly familiar though 😉

The catalog can be read online, or downloaded in pdf form from the IKEA website (for my Norwegian readers, direct link)

 

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