App Demo Tools

The following works well for doing app demos for protoypes or pre-release apps:

  1. Take an “expendable” iTouch device with iOS4 on it
  2. Launch http://jailbreakme.com in Safari on the iTouch
  3. Install ScreenSplitr on iTouch from the Cydia app (http://cydia.saurik.com/)
  4. Install iDemo on your Mac or PC from http://www.plutinosoft.com/idemo $9.99

Makes an excellent tool for app demos to a room of people using a laptop projector or using gotomeeting for a remote demo.

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GUI Mock Up Tools for iPhone

I posted some information back in August about GUI mock-up tools.  Since then, I have tried a variety of tools, including the hosted Protoshare and the multi-platform desktop application Balsamiq Mockups.    In the end I selected Balsamiq Mockups as the preferred tool to use.

The following shows an example of the type of prototyping that Balsamiq Mockups can deliver.  It also provides the ability to automate the navigation to more easily show the flow and intended behavior of the application.

The following video provides a good overview of the tool and its features:

The reasons for selecting Balsamiq Mockups:

To make it easy to share the mock-up files within the team, we also decided to use dropbox.com.    Dropbox allows seamless sharing of files with a team, provides backups of the files, allows multiple computer access…

Updates:

This blog entry has some good pointers to various templates and stencils that are useful for doing iPhone mockups – http://iphoneized.com/2009/03/roundup-iphone-stencils-graphics-templates/, as well as additional insights into iPhone mockup tools (both computer and pen and paper!) – http://iphoneized.com/2009/11/21-prototyping-mockup-wireframing-tools-iphone-app-development/

Social Networking + Mobile = Next Killer App

Morgan Stanley recently published data on key economy and internet trends.  The presentation is available online at various locations, including SlideShare below:

ms
Some key highlights:
  • Mobile internet usage will be bigger than most think
  • Apple Mobile share should suprise on upside near-term
  • Next generation platforms (social networking + mobile) driving unprecedented change in communications + commerce

Social “Things”

There is a lot of interest these days regarding social “things” and their potential to change how people communicate.   There are currently three main categories of social “things” on the internet today:

  1. Social Bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren’t shared, merely bookmarks that reference them.  Digg, Delicio are current examples of widely used social bookmarking services.
  2. Social Network Services focus on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services. Social Networking has encouraged new ways to communicate and share information.  Social networking services such as Facebook and Linkedin are being used regularly by millions of people.
  3. Social Media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media supports the human need for social interaction, using Internet- and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.   YouTube, Picasa, Flickr are examples of widely used social media services.

Some social networking statistics from 2009 are available here.

Favorite OSX, Windows, Linux, Hosted Free Software

Windows

Mac OSX

OS Independent

Hosted Applications

  • Google Apps – email and office productivity software
  • Ninite – creates install package for user-selected free software (windows only)

Linux Server Applications

COBOL still going strong after more then 50 years?

I took a COBOL course while in University (not sure why I did at the time, other then I found programming languages interesting (and still do)) and also subsequently took a part-time job as teaching assistant for COBOL courses back in the ’80’s.   Unfortunately I  never had occasion to use my COBOL programming skills in any meaningful way — although I found the database/records orientation of the language to be useful in other contexts.

I was recently surprised to read that COBOL – one of the industry’s oldest programming languages – still “equates to 80 percent of the world’s actively used code,” according to Stephen Kelley of Micro Focus.