The [Nook app for iOS] has been updated to include assistive technologies of *zoom* and *voiceover*. (H Who knew they had an app? Given Amazon’s DRM and their tendency to nuke your content and ask questions later, Barnes and Noble has an opportunity here to be the “other guy.” Amazon played that role well for years. B&N needs to catch up. Voiceover is a step in the right direction.
**Update**: Oooo, you can lend books to friends. I think B&N just did something there.
**Added note**: Sorry, Amazon, your insistence that voiceover cuts into audiobooks would mean a little bit more if you hadn’t already acquired Audible. Some of the package deals being offered are getting more interesting, but I don’t think consumers are going to make the leap until the packages for a book include the codex, the ebook, and the audio version approach something like the $25 price point. Maybe $29. The codex, the physical book, may be optional in the near future, but until Amazon makes its DRM and licensing more consumer-friendly, I just can’t risk going all in with digital versions of books.
[Nook app for iOS]: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook-mobile-apps/379003593
I’m still thinking about creating an iOS app for field researchers. If I do, then I definitely want it to have a decent-looking icon. [Icon Resources](http://www.iconresource.net) offers a series of tutorials and materials that are useful — and the designer behind them has nice taste.
[Google premières 3D imagery on iOS devices](http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/07/3d-imagery-now-available-on-ipad-and.html). It’s not through the Maps application but through Google Earth for iOS, and it appears only to work on the iPhone 4S, iPad2, and the new retina iPad. (Was I the only person who didn’t know Google Earth was available on iOS?)
I have done a lot of quick design projects in applications like PowerPoint, OmniGraffle, and lately Keynote. (I have Illustrator, but it can be tedious to use for small projects.) Apparently others do, too, and there are some great resources for prototyping with Keynote:
I must be getting old. I can’t find an e-mail link or any other route to offer feedback to the developer of an app of which I am very fond, [Day One](http://dayoneapp.com/). I tweeted the developer, but my tweet got picked up by a service of some kind and the developer came back mostly cranky.
In the mean time, here are my Day One app improvement suggestions:
* Give me a way to edit the style sheet for how my text appears.
* And then make sure my text also appears that way when it prints.
* Then give me a way to export more than one entry at a time: what if I want to print and bind a year’s worth of entries? No way to do that.
* And here’s my cool UI idea for the day: make it possible for a user to make their “inspirational” thought for the day be the post for that day from last year. Implementing that will make you a real leader in the journaling space.
I’ve written about Day One before, both in [comparison to MacJournal][mj] and as part of [how and why I blog][hw].
Sometimes the universe whispers in your ear when you are headed in the right direction. I have been thinking about developing an app for the iPhone which would be built for field researchers like myself, and then I came across this on [Kottke]: [Start Developing iOS Apps Today].
The folks at Rogue Amoeba have a [nice write-up] on the design process for the UI and icon of their latest application, [Piezo]. I’m bookmarking it because I’m thinking about trying my hand at iPhone application development: I want an app for my iPhone that lets me record in the field. They have apps that let you do this, but wouldn’t it be nice if the app also prompted you for some basic metadata or made metadata like GPS coordinates, easy?
[AlertNotes for iPhone](http://www.alertnotesapp.com/). Great app with a really amazing/obvious idea: you write down the reminder the way you think about it and the app translates that into an alert. The only thing this thing is missing is speech recognition.
Apple’s latest update to iOS fixes the problem of making the location services cache easily available on your computer, but before you update, you might still enjoy seeing how much information about you is available. How widely available it is is a matter for a separate discussion.
I tried out the app on myself, just before I updated, to see what the results look like:
It’s pretty much what you expect: it shows that I live most of my life within Lafayette, where I live and work, and the city’s environs, where I do research. What I found interesting, since the app offers this data as an animated timeline, are the brief flowerings that occurred thanks to travel I have done over the past year.
Viewed within a historical perspective, and internally, this information raises no great concerns for me. Viewed from a chance to market to me I have some concerns. Viewed from a particularized and dynamic tracking of my movements … I don’t like it at all.
Design, Then Code is a nice place to begin thinking about making an app for iOS devices. The name is certainly good, in that it stresses thinking about the user experience in advance of building the code that creates the functionality, but the idea that one can do all the design work ahead of the construction is something that I thought we were long past. I understand that they are responding in some fashion to the sort of user experience nightmares that folks often point out as being the great weakness of Google’s application offerings, where there is a lot of functionality, you just can’t figure out how to get to it.
Why does it have to be one or the other? I thought we were beginning to figure out that it has to be both?