The eyes have it: Look up from your phone

People seem genuinely ignorant of how impolite it is to finger a phone while conversing.

People seem genuinely ignorant of how impolite it is to finger a phone while conversing.

Have you ever walked out on a conversation because someone is staring at their bloody phone, texting, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook?

Recently, a friend of mine stood up during a dinner after an hour of this behaviour, calmly paid the bill and farewelled his date, waving to her from the taxi as she stood confused at the restaurant door. Her reaction spoke volumes; it didn’t even occur to her she’d been rude, which might have something to do with age.

“I can’t help it, I’m Gen Y!” is a response I’ve heard from 20-somethings when I’ve hollered at them from the bleak expanse of the real world, interrupting their telephonic reveries. It’s a bizarre rationalisation of poor manners, yet people seem genuinely ignorant of how impolite it is to finger a phone while conversing.

<i>Illustration: michaelmucci.com</i>

Illustration: michaelmucci.com

You wanna stare at your phone at the bus stop or crossing a busy street, knock yourself out … or let a speeding P-plater do it for you. Natural selection needs all the help it can get winnowing out the stupid. The gene pool won’t miss you.

However, if you’re talking to a person and start texting, your phone deserves to be dunked into your schooner or scrambled eggs. I’d prefer a person fart – that at least suggests some kind of internal activity.

Humans are rather unique because of the thing we call the “white of our eye” (sclera). Of the 220 non-human species of primates none have white scleras that are prominently visible. Why? Researchers speculate the white makes it easier to see where another person is looking and thus encourages co-operation.

“Knowing what another person is looking at provides valuable information about what she is thinking and feeling, and what she might do next,” wrote evolutionary anthropologist Michael Tomasello in The New York Times. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au

"Evolutionarily, it is easy to see why it is to your advantage to be able to tell with maximum certainty where I am looking. You may use this information to detect food you wouldn’t otherwise have seen, or the dominant male approaching in a fighting mood.”

Whether or not Tomasello’s hypothesis is eventually borne out, everyday life confirms meeting someone’s eyes is at the core of human communication.

“Look at moy!” might be a joke line from Kath & Kim but it reveals the essence of how we command another’s attention and judge their motives. Even at four years of age, I insist my daughter look people in the eye when she thanks them or asks them questions.

Looking at someone when you talk is not mere convention or custom, it’s an evolutionary imperative. It lets the rest of us know whether you’re sane or a sociopath.

US Vice President Joe Biden said last week of Russian leader Vladimir Putin: "I said, ‘Mr Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul’.

"[Putin] looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.’ "

You don’t get those sort of epiphanies staring at your iPhone.

Fittingly, the internet is now saturated with memes and videos urging people to “look up” from their smart phones and stop being dumb thumbs enslaved by “unsocial media”.

I’d prefer an app called Rude Awakening that freezes phone keypads if used within close proximity of each other, featuring a screenshot of a puckered monkey’s arsehole.

A “selfie” assessment, if you will.

Twitter: @samdebrito

Does Reddme for iPhone – The Reddit Client stack up to the competition?

Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client by Donald Pierre icon

Reddme for iPhone – The Reddit Client ($0.99) by Donald Pierre is a minimalistic app for your Reddit needs. If you are in the market for yet another Reddit app for your iPhone, then perhaps Reddme is worth a look. It’s similar to other apps like Redd and Narwhal, and of course the ever popular Alien Blue.

In my spare time, I love browsing Reddit. It’s the place I go to keep myself entertained for hours at a time when I’m bored, and it’s the one spot on the Internet where everything originates before it hits the masses, like Facebook. I’ve been using Alien Blue for all of my Reddit needs, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to check out the competition, as I’ve tried out plenty of other Reddit apps lately, like Feedworthy. When I saw Reddme hit the App Store, I was curious to give it a spin to see how it stacks up to the competition.

Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client by Donald Pierre screenshot

The interface for Reddme is simple and clean, and definitely one of my favorite things about the app. In this day and age, I like apps that go with the “less is more” philosophy, and Reddme fits that bill. The posts are laid out in a neat and organized manner, and the app is quite easy to navigate around the various sections of Reddit. There are also some unique animations to show when something is loading, which I thought was a nice touch. However, while I like how the app looks, I had some problems with the app overall, which I’ll get into in a bit.

Reddme supports multiple Reddit accounts, in case you have more than one. When you log in to your Reddit account, you can easily access all of your subscribed subreddits from the side panel navigational menu, which you can get to with the “hamburger” button in the top left corner. You can also view Reddit by All Recent posts, the Front Page, Recents, Multireddits, and Saved Links. Performing a tap-and-hold on the header text of any view will bring up a contextual menu, where you can filter the posts by New, Hot, and Top.

If you’re in the mood for finding something new, then you can search Reddit by going to the side panel menu, and then typing in your keywords in the text field. Unfortunately, the app does not answer your inquiries in real-time, so you’ll need to actually submit your search before getting results.

I found the search feature to be a bit of a pain, though, because it will erase what you searched for every time you use it, so if you didn’t find what you wanted the first time, you need to keep typing it in. In my opinion, this is bad user experience and makes me think twice about using the search functionality in Reddme.

When viewing a list of posts in a section, you can tap on the post to view the comments and discussion. Swiping to the right on a post will reveal the buttons for an upvote and downvote. However, if you want to view the image or video, it won’t show up at the top of the thread — you need to actually tap on the media thumbnail in the post list, or tap on the original post at the top of the thread. Requiring another step to view the media is annoying, especially since other apps will show the media when you view the entire thread anyway.

Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client by Donald Pierre screenshot

If a thread has a lot of comments and replies to comments, there doesn’t seem to be a way to collapse and expand a long string of comments, which I found to be annoying — you’ll have to go through everything. You can reply to someone by double-tapping though, which is nice, or just tap on the “Reply” button a comment. You can even upvote or downvote a comment, or just view that comment and replies it received in a more focused view.

Adding a new post to a subreddit is easy, as you just tap on the “Compose” button in the top right corner of any section. Users can submit regular text, links, or image posts, and even mark it as NSFW if necessary. There’s even access to sending messages to other Reddit users in Reddme. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au

The settings in the app can be accessed from the side panel menu, and you can toggle settings per account, as well as the general display options. There is a night mode, though I found it pretty difficult to tell when something is toggled in the night mode. Other display options include Dynamic Type for text size, loading indicators, and notification banners. Account settings have options for date format, thumbnails (round or square), NSFW toggles, muted words, and Instapaper/Pocket for saving links.

While I wanted to like Reddme, the app has too many problems for me to consider switching from Alien Blue. I experienced a lot of freezing when scrolling through long discussions, which required me to force quit the app and relaunch it to work again. The voting buttons are pretty small, and I would like a way to collapse long discussions in the comments. I also dislike how the app clears out your previous search, so you’re going to have to keep typing in what you want if you didn’t find what you’re looking for yet. There is still a lot of room for improvement in this app — I’ll be sticking with Alien Blue for the time being, as nothing has been able to top it, at least from my experience.

If you still want to check out Reddme, you can find it on the iPhone App Store for $0.99. Personally, though, I recommend waiting on it to see if it is improved before trying it out for yourself.

How will you fare as a top-secret spy in Revolution 60?

Revolution 60 by Brianna W. Wu icon

Revolution 60 (Free) by Brianna W. Wu is a high-intensity, role-playing adventure game. Think of the action-packed craziness of Secret Files Tunguska, wed with the complex decision-making of games like Mecha Ace and Heroes Rise: HeroFall. Get your thumbs good and ready because you, a special agent named Holiday, will be kicking butt and taking names.

Revolution 60 by Brianna W. Wu screenshot

This game combines an exciting array of playing styles. This is primarily an RPG game, as you will be playing the role of Holiday the spy. Holiday works for an undercover spy agency called Chessboard, along with her crew of heroines: Val the bionic fighter, Amelia the engineer, and Min the leader. Their goal is to commandeer an orbital weapons platform called N313.

You’ll learn fast that Revolution 60 requires great amounts of manual dexterity. Actions such as backflips, karate kicks, and jumps are executed with great precision. By holding down multiple points on the screen, dragging a circle across and around a loop, and other touch gestures, you’ll be able to perform these crazy stunts.

As far as action goes, arguably one of the biggest parts of this game is dueling. With proper timing, you must attack your enemy while dodging his shots. Your character also possesses the ability to execute special attacks. These martial arts-based moves require your stamina bar to be up high, but they greatly weaken the enemy. The winner of the duel is the one who can run the other’s life bar all the way down.

In Revolution 60, there are many decisions to be made, and many of them involve the choice of being professional or being sarcastic to your supervisor. Although you’ll earn bonus professional attitude points for being polite, you can actually talk back to your boss with no consequences. And sometimes, it’s nice to unwind with a curt retort in a game where your supervisor seems to forget you’re dealing with life or death. Your choice of words could also make or break personal relationships and friendships for you though, so be cautious.

One of the most spectacular aspects of the game is the stunning design. The 3-D graphics and original music add to the seamless gameplay. The characters have a very 1960s look to them, and the theme is well-done. I especially appreciate the strong female cast of characters, each individually voiced and crafted to their unique personalities.

Revolution 60 by Brianna W. Wu screenshot

If you want to unwind from a long day with an intense new action game, this is the one for you. Revolution 60 is available on the App Store. It’s free to try, if you’d like to unlock the full game there’s a $5.99 in-app purchase.

PS Storrier family fight

Solomon Lew and his wife Rosie in Melbourne in 2010. She is said to keeping a 'dignified' silence on their split.

Solomon Lew and his wife Rosie in Melbourne in 2010. She is said to keeping a ‘dignified’ silence on their split. Photo: Getty

There was no sign of acclaimed artist Tim Storrier at Moss Vale Local Court on Wednesday where his wife, Janet Storrier, appeared before the local magistrate.

The court was told further police investigations were continuing regarding an alleged incident inside the Storrier’s southern highlands mansion, Hopewood Gardens, a fortnight ago and asked that an interim apprehended violence order to keep Storrier away from her estranged sister, Sandra Marshall, be extended to August 20.

Magistrate Mary Ryan adjourned the matter and Storrier soon left the court house, remaining silent as PS waited outside, her only acknowledgement to take a photo on her iPhone as Sandra emerged from the court house and showed PS the wounds she says she sustained after a champagne glass smashed into her head following a row with her sister, resulting in five stitches to her left eye and a bloody trip to the local Emergency Room after she says she was "evicted" from her sister’s home.

Sandra Marshall outside Moss vale court house today after issuing an AVO against her sister Janet Storrier wife of artist Tim Storrier.

Sandra Marshall outside Moss vale court house today after issuing an AVO against her sister Janet Storrier wife of artist Tim Storrier. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Last week PS revealed that on the same day Tim Storrier received news his portrait of Sir Les Patterson had won the 2014 Archibald Packing Room prize, the seemingly idyllic life the artist and his wife have created in the bucolic Bowral setting took a dramatic turn for the worse.

In another room a fight had broken out between the sisters. Marshall, who lives in Bondi, had been visiting her elderly mother who was living with the Storriers. Since the row, their mother has been relocated to a care facility in Goulburn.

Hopewood Gardens is home to the Storriers along with their blended family of five offspring and a menagerie including a flock of peacocks.  It is also a popular wedding venue, its manicured gardens one of Janet Storrier’s proudest achievements.

Janet Storrier wife of artist Tim Storrier outside Moss vale court.

Janet Storrier wife of artist Tim Storrier outside Moss vale court. Photo: Brendan Esposito

PS understands the argument was over their mother’s will, which had recently been revised to include the Storriers’ extended brood as beneficiaries as well as the two sisters. The exchange became so heated that Marshall ended up with a champagne glass smashed into the side of her head, which is now the subject of a police investigation, that the court was told on Wednesday could result in charges being laid.

Sandra Marshall told PS she was deeply upset by the incident but her main concern was for her mother’s "well being". For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au

Best foot forward as DJs turns on glitz and glamour

Playwright David Williamson's musical Rupert opens in Sydney in November.

Playwright David Williamson’s musical Rupert opens in Sydney in November. Photo: Jason South

Next Wednesday night David Jones will turn on the razzle dazzle for its spring summer fashion collections launch, an event which has become a fixture on the Sydney social calendar.

But for how much longer?

On August 1 David Jones officially comes under the ownership of South African retailer Woolworths, a monumental shift in the grand dame of retailing’s history and one which could have major implications for the store and the wider city.

Paul Zahra and Jessica Gomes celebrate David Jones 175th birthday gala event.

Paul Zahra and Jessica Gomes celebrate David Jones 175th birthday gala event. Photo: Belinda Rolland

The South Africans have already been talking up their mission to increase the number of private label items on their racks, which would not bode well for a fashion show which is all about highlighting the creme de la creme of Australian fashion design which DJs has spent millions of dollars marketing over many years.

The change has already been reflected in the guest list, with the usual line-up of investors and finance journalists who managed an invitation suddenly dropping off the list. With David Jones no longer a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange, the concept of investor relations is somewhat redundant.

It is also unclear which of the existing board of directors of David Jones intend to front. Traditionally several directors would attend but given the board will be redundant 24 hours after the show, it will be interesting to see who turns up for what will be their last hurrah.

Chief executive officer Paul Zahra has made his commitment – for the time being at least –  to remain at the helm. However in the weeks and months to come PS understands some of the retailer’s most senior executives will be weighing up their options as they see what new ownership brings.

Playwright waits for wolf of Wall Street Journal

He was invited to the opening night in Washington DC but was a no show.

And if he slipped into to see the show during its Melbourne run, well, no one noticed him, which for someone as famous and easily recognisable as Rupert Murdoch would be miraculous.

So sadly, hopes are not high that Murdoch will finally see David Williamson’s stage production based around the 83-year-old media mogul and multi-billionaire’s extraordinary life when it opens in Sydney in November.

Some branches of the Murdoch clan have been to see the show, including Murdoch’s sister Janet Calvert-Jones.

No doubt such keen supporters of the arts in Sydney, Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch, will be itching to see the production, which also features several other characters the family – and the rest of the world – are only all too familiar with, including Murdoch’s ex-wife no.3 Wendi Deng.

In an interview with the Herald’s arts writer Andrew Taylor this week, Williamson said Murdoch’s extended family were invited to view the show in Melbourne where Williamson told about 30 of them there were aspects of the play they would not like.

“The only solace is that the depiction of the Packers is worse and that at least raised a laugh,” he said.

PS understands WIlliamson is yet to hear directly from Murdoch himself on his thoughts of the play though producers hope he will one day go along and see it.

Casting of the titular role in Rupert is not finalised. With two actors playing out his life, it is unclear if hunky Guy Edmonds will again reprise the role of young Rupert (as seen through the eyes of Rupert himself) or whether Bell Shakespeare actor Sean O’Shea will lend his gravitas to the older Rupert, as he did in Melbourne.

“I tried as much as I can to tell the story through his own voice, his own ideology, his own triumphalism, so it’s Rupert’s cabaret,” Williamson said this week.

“He’s telling the audience what a fantastic legacy he has left the world and he truly believes it.”

In Lew of marriage, Rosie may get $300 million

Last week she was known to PS only as billionaire Solomon Lew’s Greek goddess.

But today PS can reveal the pretty blonde a few decades younger than Lew who has been by his side since he ended his 45-year-marriage is Melbourne single mother of two, 40-something, sometime socialite Rosa Prappas.

In February Lew, 69, and his wife Rosie separated. Friends of the couple say she is keeping a "dignified" silence on the matter, though privately she is said to be "extremely bitter" about the end of the marriage.

Rumours have been rife that Rosie Lew will walk away from the marriage with a settlement worth about $300 million.

Prappas is the woman who has been living in Lew’s multi-million dollar penthouse apartment in downtown Melbourne. She will be joining the retailing mogul in the first week of August as they join 80 other guests heading off to Mykonos for the combined birthday celebrations of Lew’s right hand man Mark McInnes and his partner Lisa Kelly.

Several guests are also tipping McInnes and Kelly, who have two children together and have remained solid since McInnes’ resignation from his post as David Jones chief executive office amid sexual harassment claims four years ago, will finally get married during the holiday,

With several parties being planned over three days, Lew and Prappas will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate with their pals and will be hosting one soiree on board his superyacht Maridome, the dress code of which simply reads "shimmer".

 The couple have been relishing in the good life, Prappas accompanying Lew to Mexico in May for the Financial Times Luxury Business Summit, where PS understands they spent several days discussing all things luxurious.

GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES

The sound of 20 or so Maseratis roaring their way in unison around Woolloomooloo on Tuesday was enough to keep the locals entertained. The Italian maker of seriously sexy wheels hosted a celebration lunch at Otto to mark the brand’s centenary, and showcase the new Ghibli model, which priced at about $140,000 is practically a bargain compared to Maserati’s more expensive models, which can set you back around twice that. The Ghibli is intended to open up Maserati’s market to a younger crowd – but that didn’t stop Woolloomooloo’s granddaddy of flash wheels John Laws making a slightly shaky  beeline for the display models parked outside Otto.

A RETURN TO WORK

Indeed, it was quite a blast from the past at Otto, especially at a nearby table which featured former high-flying property developer Gary Baker, husband of Hermes Australia boss Karin Upton Baker. He appeared in high spirits as he caught up with such entrepreneurial types as Joe Coffey, Deke Miskin and Paul Attard. When PS asked Baker if he was ”back in business” following his well documented bankruptcy, when he declared he was homeless and that his only possessions were a $300 Seiko watch and a couple of trailers, Baker confidently indicated such plans were well afoot, though he declined to provide details as he swept past PS.

GREAT DAME, POWERFUL WOMEN

Dame Quentin Bryce will make what could rank as her first major public speech since leaving the governor-general’s chair in Sydney in a few weeks. PS can reveal she has been enlisted by Australian Women’s Weekly editrix Helen McCabe to speak at the Young Women of the Year scholarship presentation and the launch of the magazine’s first ever power list of Australian women. 

Pop into The Pantry app for a healthier lifestyle

Supporting others: The Whole Pantry app creator Belle Gibson.

Supporting others: The Whole Pantry app creator Belle Gibson.

Five years ago Belle Gibson was told she had a brain tumour  that could kill her within four months. Today the tumour is still there, under often personally challenging treatment, and Gibson has founded and is running a Melbourne-based iPhone/iPad app company with a global audience. 

The app, The Whole Pantry, came out of 25-year-old Gibson’s determination not to be crushed by her cancer and to find a way to help people like herself who needed support – with their health and their whole lives. ‘‘I had gone through lots of adversity,’’ Gibson told me while we sat beside an amazing vegetable display in the big Whole Foods Market on 4th Street in San Francisco. It’s just up the road from the Moscone Center, where she was attending Apple’s 2014 World Wide Developer Conference.

‘‘I still have the cancer, but I’m doing really well, considering,’’ she said.

She’d been on her own, with a son – now aged four. ‘‘I was a big user of social media – connecting with people – and I found a tremendous number who were unsupported whether in their health, relationships or their lives generally. I thought if there were so many troubled people in my Facebook and Twitter and Instagram network, that wasn’t OK. How might I help them; tell  them what I had learnt along my journey? I thought of a blog, a website or an ebook, and then I thought, what did these people have in common? Easy, it was an iPhone. So I decided to go to that space and build an app. 

‘‘It’s been a really personal project for me,’’ she said. ‘‘I wanted to share a whole life philosophy. I see my app as a resource, a place to connect and share. We have recommended reading on health, life, and good advice on promoting better living. We are not just about food but what you put on and in your body and about the environment; how we should live, combating  stress, achieving wellness and a healthy, wholesome lifestyle.’’

Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, The Whole Pantry now has copycats, some of which purloined the idea and the style, using flip-over tiles and some of the content. The result has been furious activity to give the app a new look and feel, and new features. It should be out concurrently with the release of iOS8, in mid to late September.

Gibson says her app was the world’s first health, wellness and lifestyle app and, because of that, gained Apple’s attention. It was launched in August last year, was downloaded 200,000 times in the first two weeks, was rated No. 1 in the App Store for that month and has been prominent ever since.

Apple has been known since its beginning in 1976 for taking an interest in healthcare, particularly in providing accessibility to computing for the disabled. Even before the advent of MacOSX 15 years ago, the Mac offered aids for the blind and the physically disabled. The latest version of MacOS X 10, due out in late September, along with iOS8 on mobile devices, continues this development with advanced aids such as VoiceOver, by which ‘‘Alex’’ reads the Mac’s screen, can tell a sight impaired person what is happening on the screen, allow them to use screen gestures and interact with braille displays. VoiceOver is also built into iOS. For the deaf there’s FaceTime for signing, plus useful touches like Screen Flash, a visual beep that flashes the screen at an app alert.  For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au

The Whole Pantry’s aim is to persuade people to live better, healthier lives, by improving their diet, dealing with obesity and food allergies and taking care of their bodies. The app also offers advice on yoga and holistic medicine. Subscribers are encouraged to email their suggestions, recipes and communicate with The Whole Pantry community via the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram links on the website.

That’s the self-help side. There’s also monetary help given from proceeds from app sales to causes such as maternal healthcare in developing nations, funding for schools in sub-Saharan Africa, and cancer research. So far about $300,000 has been donated.

The Whole Pantry costs $3.79 and runs on iOS6.1 or later on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Will sleep-aid device Sense give Kickstarter nightmares?


Sense: A Kickstarter hit — after a screwball pitch.

Sense is a new device that monitors sleep patterns, receiving over $350,000 in startup funds on Kickstarter. But this dreamy success story may take a turn for the worse: parent company Hello Inc., also received VC funding for Sense prior to "Kickstarting." This is surprising news — and the stuff bad dreams are made of — for some Kickstarter investors.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wake up grumpy.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.

 
Ryan Mac makes introductions:

The last time [we] caught up with James Proud, he was 20 and had just sold his first company.

Now 22, Proud is well into his second company, Hello Inc., whose first product promises to track sleep habits better than any current wearable or phone application.  MORE


 
After big meals, Ellis Hamburger gets sleepy:

Sense measures temperature, light, motion, humidity, sound, and even the particle counts for pollen and dust in the air. It also includes a tiny circular "Sleep Pill" that clips onto your pillowcase.

Sense includes a microphone that listens to your room as you sleep, so it can actually play back the noises that woke you.  MORE


 
Straight from Eeyore's mouth:

We created Sense to be simple, uncomplicated and useful.

With Sense's Smart Alarm, it can even wake you up in the morning at the right point in your sleep cycle, to avoid that groggy feeling. … [Available] via our iPhone and Android applications.

Technology has enriched our lives in many ways. But it has its downside, and sleep is one of its biggest victims.

Sense uses technology so we can take back our sleep. Without imposing itself. Without intrusion.  MORE


 
Mike Prospero will get back to us — after he wakes up:

The Sense is an interesting concept. … Will it help you rest easy? As it's still a Kickstarter project, we'll have to sleep on it until we've had a chance to fully test it.  MORE


 
Connie Loizos wakes us up to reality:

Hello raised at least $10.5 million from 44 investors as part of an $18 million round back in January, according to an SEC filing we’d stumbled across earlier this year.

For what it's worth, I think its smart for venture-backed startups to test…products on Kickstarter. But if those companies want to to turn to the public for support, they should be up front about their financing situations, both with reporters and [the public].  MORE For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au


 
Mahendra Palsule examines one side of a Kickstarted coin:

If companies want to to turn to the public for support, they should be up front about their financing situation.  MORE


 
Meanwhile, Ross Rubin looks at the other:

[Hello Inc.] disclosed but irrelevant anyway.  MORE


 

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.

 

Apple watch patent reveals device called

An image from Apple's patent shows the so-called 'iTime' device.

An image from Apple’s patent shows the so-called ‘iTime’ device.

A US patent has been made public that bolsters rumours that Apple has designs on a smartwatch.

"The invention pertains to an electronic wristwatch," said a summary in Apple patent paperwork, filed almost exatly three years ago, on record with the US Patent and Trade Office.

The patent describes a wrist band, possibly with a touch screen, configured to connect wirelessly to a mobile device such as a smartphone.

Disclosure of the patent added fuel to talk that California-based Apple intends to weigh into the blossoming wearable computing market with a smart watch. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au

Apple has remained tight-lipped about product plans, but chief executive Tim Cook has stated repeatedly that impressive new products were in the works, and that he sees the wrist as a preferred spot for a wearable computing gadget.

"The central portion can include a touch screen display, control circuitry and a battery," the smartwatch patent paperwork stated.

"The touch screen display can be configured to present visual information to the user and to receive user input from the user."

Features in the wristband could include sensors for tracking motion and even being able to give it commands with gestures, say the patent paperwork originally filed at the end of January in 2011.

A diagram included in the application referred to the device as "iTime".

Analysts along with Apple devotees have been eagerly watching the company for a new "big thing" that promises to be a must-have device. The Apple watch was all-but confirmed earlier this month with reports the company had poached a top executive from the luxury watch industry.

A watch from Apple would face competition from Google, which recently expanded its Android operating system to wearables like Motorola’s upcoming Moto 360, LG’s G Watch and Samsung’s Gear Live.

Meanwhile in the smartphone space Apple was recenty reported to have ordered up to 80 million large glass phone displays, indicating its initial run of the yet-to-be-confirmed iPhone 6 will be its largest to date.

AFP

Stronghold 3: The Campaigns Review

Developer: Digital Tribe
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Originally a PC release (and one that looked pretty dated even for the time), Stronghold 3: The Campaigns has made its way to the iPad and, well, it’s not really worth taking too much to get to know. While it’s fortunately free of the many in-app purchases that other iOS strategy games might offer, and in theory offers a ‘proper’ experience, it’s not a great example of the genre.

stronghold6To get the one, lone in-app purchase out of the way, Stronghold 3: The Campaigns offers two separate campaigns – economic and military, with the latter only available for $2.99 as a separate purchase. Only the very keen and desperate for a new strategy fix will probably buy this, though.

The crucial problem with Stronghold 3: The Campaigns is it’s not very well explained. There’s a tutorial to start you off, but while it happens to be quite wordy it’s also oddly shallow and assumes a lot of the player. So much so that you’re better off figuring out things as you go along and hoping for the best. It doesn’t explain things like the importance of certain buildings or why it’s more efficient to place things near each other. Perhaps worst of all, it doesn’t make Stronghold 3: The Campaigns seem very interesting.

stronghold2Combined with a messy UI that clutters the screen while still feeling confusing, Stronghold 3: The Campaigns isn’t entirely pleasant. Awkward controls further cloud the issue, especially when it comes to moving the camera around.

Underneath such messiness there’s a not terrible strategy game, but its inferior ways of dealing with micromanagement is a disappointment for fans of the genre. While there might be a careful balancing act when it comes to keeping the economy stable and the peasants happy, odds are you’re never going to be gripped enough to care sufficiently. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au


Posted in: Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Eureka – we have it! Melbourne’s top shelf property

Eureka! At the pinnacle of today's Melbourne apartment living is the Eureka Tower Penthouse.

Eureka! At the pinnacle of today’s Melbourne apartment living is the Eureka Tower Penthouse.

COVER PROPERTY REVIEW
As is expected of a property at this meteoric end of the market, every little touch in Eureka penthouse E82 has been carefully considered.

The blinds, sound system and discreet heating and cooling vents are controlled by iPads and can also be flicked on via an iPhone before the owner arrives home.

For the ultimate indulgence, sparking water flows from the kitchen taps and a secluded butler’s pantry is equipped for fine dining at home.

Eureka Tower Penthouse

Eureka Tower Penthouse

The cosy theatre room, which is one of many living spaces illuminated by a sleek ethanol fireplace, has concert quality SONOS audio, which can be piped through the entire apartment.

The executive office can be shut off so the highest-level wheeling and dealing can take place in private.

First-class security has been installed, including the ability to quickly seal off the private foyer, and a jewellery safe in the master bedroom’s spacious dressing room.

Eureka Tower

Eureka Tower

Also in the master bedroom – which is bigger than the average apartment – are Georg Jensen wall-mounted temperature gauges and clocks, and a bar for mixing a nightcap.

The north-west facing master suite takes in scenes of the bay and the multi-jet tub, nestled in a corner of the en suite bathroom, has better views than any swankyday spa.

The temperature controlled wine cellar, which was created by luxury French designer EuroCave, is lined with top shelf drops, including – appropriately – the finest Dom Perignon champagne and wines from Mr Jreissati’s own Levantine Hill Estate.

Eureka Tower Penthouse

Eureka Tower Penthouse

All of the wines, along with the modern artwork and the imported furniture, including a grand harp that is a centrepiece in the living area and a custom made marble dining table that seats 16, is available for purchase with the apartment – whatever the new owner desires.  

Try These

17/82 Flinders Street, Melbourne

Eureka Tower

Eureka Tower Photo: Supplied

About $1.68 million For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au

The Phoenix is the Linda Evangelista of Melbourne real estate. With its lean proportions, it is the city’s skinniest apartment block.

Level 17 has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with vistas across the city and Birrarung Marr.

Bayside: 17/10 Sandown St, is a penthouse on Brighton's "golden mile" with tenniscourt and Port Phillip Bay vistas.

Bayside: 17/10 Sandown St, is a penthouse on Brighton’s “golden mile” with tenniscourt and Port Phillip Bay vistas.

Neighbours include the upmarket Press Club restaurant, so there is no need to venture far for a top-notch meal if cooking just isn’t your caper.

Agent Chad Arbid is managing the sale for Knight Frank on 9604 4720.

3/133 Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra

Riverside: 3/133 Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra, is a top residence in a striking building on the city's best-known riverside street.

Riverside: 3/133 Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra, is a top residence in a striking building on the city’s best-known riverside street.

Asking price about $5.5m

Located on Melbourne’s most famous riverside street, Alexandra Avenue, this apartment complex cuts a striking line.

Number 3’s sharply tailored interiors and lift-accessed multi levels are in sync with its trendy location near premier fashion boutiques.

Cityside: 17/82 Flinders Street, Melbourne, is in the slender Phoenix Tower, among the city's architectural stars.

Cityside: 17/82 Flinders Street, Melbourne, is in the slender Phoenix Tower, among the city’s architectural stars.

Terraces that take in the CBD vista connect the inside and out.

Kay & Burton’s Tara Goss and Andrew Baines, on 0418 328 407, are handling the private sale.

17/10 Sandown Street, Brighton

Asking price around mid-$3 million

This ultimate bayside pad has a tennis court and views of cresting waves.

Situated on Brighton’s Golden Mile and near elite schools and the Brighton Baths, this third-floor, three bedroom penthouse is ideal for downsizers who don’t want to compromise on fittings and an aura of space.

Six-metre vault ceilings and windows that capture the vista of Port Phillip Bay help to create a bright an airy feel. Nick Johnston is fielding expressions of interest on 0414 276 871.

Relive the best moments of your Camera Roll with MyRoll

MyRoll: Smart Camera Roll Organizer by Flayvr Media Ltd. icon

MyRoll: Smart Camera Roll Organizer (Free) by Flayvr Media Ltd. is an app that claims to help you organize, find, and share the greatest moments within your Camera Roll. It’s similar to other photo library apps like Tidy and Photoful, but with the focus on the “best” moments.

I take a lot of photos — what better way to remember something than by capturing it in a photo or video, right? I’ve acquired quite a lot of photos in my Camera Roll since I got my 64GB iPhone 5s last year (and that’s not even counting the previous five iPhones I’ve had), so it always seems like a big mess when I go back and look at my captures. While other photo album apps bring in neater ways of organizing your images, they don’t necessarily help you find those lost memories you may have forgotten about over time. Fortunately, MyRoll is here to help you out.

MyRoll: Smart Camera Roll Organizer by Flayvr Media Ltd. screenshot

MyRoll is actually a rebranded and rebuilt version of Flayvr, which I actually did not use previously. MyRoll’s interface is pretty simple and clean, which is great, as the focus is placed on your photographs instead. The sky blue accent color of MyRoll is great with the white, and things are laid out in a neat and intuitive manner. The app does have a few introduction screens that you’ll need to swipe through before getting started, although I found the app to be pretty straightforward.

Before you can use MyRoll, though, you’ll need to sign up or log in to your account, or just link your Facebook profile. The account is necessary for sharing the moments that you want to share with others, as these will become uploaded to their secure servers and ready to be viewed by others (who have the link) at any time, anywhere. If you’re concerned about privacy, MyRoll has stated in the description that they do not copy or store your photos and videos. There is also the option of sharing without uploading — these will just be as attachments.

Once you grant the app permission to access your Camera Roll, you will see all of your images loaded up as “moments,” which is basically a group of photos that were taken together on a day. The app uses some kind of algorithm to determine what the “best” shots were that day, depending on the photo content, including faces and smiles. These are served as “highlights” and will show up as the first few images for that date. You can also see how many photos and videos were captured then, thanks to the icons in the bottom right corner of the moment.

You can also switch to the Gallery view, which is similar to how iOS displays your photos — as small thumbnails, though MyRoll has three to four thumbnails per row, depending on image orientation. As you scroll through either view, you’ll see the date appear near the top from the vanishing side scroll bar.

Tapping on the “…” button on moments brings up a contextual menu on the cover, and you have three options: Edit, Favorite, and Share. Edit allows you to change the cover photo, give the moment a name, add or edit the location, and select the images you want to keep in that moment. If you Favorite a moment, it will be saved to your Favorites, and you can view your them through MyRoll’s filters, including hidden images.

MyRoll: Smart Camera Roll Organizer by Flayvr Media Ltd. screenshot

Sharing is where the real magic of MyRoll comes in. You can create a Facebook album right from MyRoll, or share through email or SMS. The chosen photos in a moment will be uploaded to MyRoll’s servers, and your recipient can get a link to view the shared album on the web. If you want to share privately without uploading, you need to do this individually for each image, unfortunately. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane www.snappy-apps.com.au

A tap on a moment brings up the entire event, where you can browse all of the photos you took (and aren’t hidden away). It’s a nice layout, and tapping an image brings it into a larger, focal view. You can even swipe horizontally to go through all of the photos.

By default, MyRoll only chooses your Camera Roll when importing. However, if you access the app’s settings, you can actually choose other photo albums you have in your library, which is nice. But other than this, there isn’t much else to be found in the settings besides a lot of different ways of sharing the app with others and some FAQs.

I like the idea of MyRoll, but the “highlights” of each moment seem pretty random. I also experienced some glitches, where the contextual menu on a moment did not disappear when I tried to get rid of it, and it kept overlapping when I tap on the “…” button again. Other users have left App Store reviews about constant crashing — while I did not experience this on my iPhone 5s, just take it as a word of warning.

MyRoll is definitely a neat idea, but it could be implemented better. Still, it’s free, and it doesn’t hurt to give it a try and see if it works out for you. MyRoll is available on the App Store as a universal download for free.