Tag Archives: Apple

Articles relating to Apple products or my former employment with Apple, Inc.

CB for iOS

CB: The Worst Mobile App I've Ever Used

You know that feeling when you pass by something on television like Jerry Springer, and its portrayal of humanity is so obtuse you can’t help but immerse yourself? Combine that emotion with one of the most poorly designed iOS interfaces and internet app concepts and you have CB.

cb_screenshot

I have spent a few days on this app, mostly lurking and the most shocking aspect of it has to be that it is apparently inhabited by the same 4 or 5 people continuously, which the occasional preteen troll showing up to flaunt their new-found discovery of vulgar language.

A majority of the people on this app sound like real life incarnations of King of the Hill character Boomhauer, and I would not be too surprised if that assessment was mostly accurate. There are paid features for this app, totaling an absurd $10, you can identify people who were absent minded enough to make this mistake through their green pins identifying them on the map.

Download CB for iOS [and lose faith in humanity completely]

Day One

Day One

I have sharply increased the amount of writing I have done throughout 2012, however not limiting it to contributions online. Enter Day One, which is probably my favorite app in a while; easily the best electronic journaling app I have used.

After messing around with Memento, trying to do it myself with Evernote, and a few other variations, Day One hits the mark of providing a clean interface while still providing a rich feature set  that you can only find through digital journaling.

Day One has a straight-forward, and great looking app on both OS X and iOS, allowing you to add photos, geolocation, and weather to journal entries, additionally providing synchronization between devices by using your iCloud or Dropbox accounts so your posts show up the same regardless of which device you using to create, or subsequently revisiting your entries.

While most of my entries are not incredibly long, or self-reflective I do appreciate the ability to go back and revisit these thoughts and experiences later on. Take a look at the app in-depth with the links below; the feature set is rich, and the UI is great – both of which are important in making sure the app is one I will want to continue to revisit and use as time goes on.

Visit the Day One website
Download Day One for iOS (iPad / iPhone Compatable)
Download Day One for OS X

A Charlie Brown Christmas for iPad

Developer Loud Crow Interactive has created this adaptation of the timeless “A Charlie Brown Christmas” special in an iPad friendly format. Impressed with conventional books on the iPad, and the well accepted quality of iPad video, I’ll definitely pick this up for myself. Say what you will about Christmas hype – I’ll always love watching this, and the animated Frosty The Snowman Christmas special.

A short bump promoting the app is below

Purchase Charlie Brown Christmas (via iTunes App Store)
…also for Android, lol.

groovesalad120

SomaFM OS X App Free for Limited Time

Longtime Internet radio mainstay SomaFM have recently launched a native player to the Mac OS X App Store, while they do also maintain an iOS app, as well as Android and Palm devices, this app is designed for streaming from the computers running the desktop flavor Mac OS X.

Grab it in the next day or two to catch it while it is still a free download, put on some Groove Salad, and float the afternoon away.

Download the Mac OS X native SomaFM Player [via App Store]

SomaFM [ Website | Facebook | Twitter ]

Nerd out on OBD-II Car Data in iOS

UPDATE: A better product has emerged since this post originally appeared. Click here to read about the new Automatic app for iOS

For the few of you out there who are actually hypermiling, or for anybody who thinks that the information from Fuelly isn’t sufficient, Griffin Technologies has developed a Bluetooth enabled OBD-II adapter for tapping into that port sitting beneath your car that you likely forget exists except that one time a year you go to get your emission sticker renewed.

The device, named CarTrip, connects to your automobile’s OBD-II port, which is in all cars made in the past 15 years – giving you a glimpse at fuel consumption, speed and acceleration information, as well as demystifying that nagging “Check Engine” light you’ve been seeing.

Whether you have a legitimate use for something like this, or am just a fan of useless statistics and technology like myself, pretty cool stuff here.

CarTrip from Griffin Technology

Personality Profiling & Customer Service

eLoyalty, a company that builds tools and services for call centers, has created a system that compiles personality profiles of each individual caller and matches them with a customer service representative who works best with that personality type. The system is based on a methodology NASA used [the Process Communication Model] to weed out astronaut candidates and that Bill Clinton used to tailor his speeches. It’s already having a marked impact on reducing call frustration and improving customer satisfaction rates.

[via FastCompany]
Oh how I wish this had been implemented during my tenure as a Genius working for Apple for all those years; I am certain that a majority of my failed customer interactions were based solely on an inability to relate to people who are fundamentally different than myself. That’s not to say that I did not try to approach each customer uniquely and attempt to level with them individually but, as anybody knows, sometimes two people just don’t get along.

A very interesting article on leveraging psychological techniques, and a personality test designed to weed out potential astronauts is being used to create more effective customer support environments. This all seems practical but I wonder how quickly you can be profiled as a new customer before the interaction begins. Granted, being face-to-face like Apple’s Genius Bar is quite a help over doing telephone support and being able to read your customer’s non-verbal cues. Profiling / Privacy crew, where do you stand on profiling to ostensibly provide you a better customer experience?

How a Personality Test Designed to Pick Astronauts is Taking the Pain Out of Customer Support [via FastCompany]
The History of the Process Communication Model in Astronaut Selection [via SSCA]

BBC iPlayer bound for iOS

BBC iPlayerAs reported on MacDailyNews and the FinancialTimes today, the BBC is planning on releasing its popular iPlayer as a standalone / subscription-based app for the iOS operating system that powers Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices.

Between Benji B, The Essential Mix, and Tim Westwood (purely for comedic value) the ability to backtrack old shows at will on these devices will surely be something I will look forward to being able to experience on my iPhone; the dread of having to wait to go home and stream from my desktop is sometimes not worth the wait. While I do not watch as much BBC television programming as I probably should it will be nice to at least have the option to catch up on some of what the myriad British folks I follow on Twitter are talking about, with the exception of X-Factor, sorry guys – unless it’s Star Search, it’s not a talent show I’m interested in watching.