Saturday, May 12, 2012

iOS 6 guesses

These are hopes and dreams for what Apple is building into iOS 6...

* Rich Text in the text editor.  I want this for selfish reasons for FTP On The Go.  We bought a color-editor, which works well, but one by Apple would work better.

* Allow discounts or upgrades in the App Store.  I'd love to give a discount on FTP On The Go PRO for anybody who has bought the regular version.  We'd probably give discounts on every app for owning another of ours.

* A system for handling all the resources in an app over the many devices.  An iPhone 3GS doesn't need to download graphics that would only be used on a Retina iPad.

* User accounts of some sort.  Only show all-ages games when doing a 0000 "niece borrowing my iPhone" unlock code, show everything when doing a different 1234 "me" unlock code.

1) If the notification center did pages swiping side to side, that would allow more stuff and more organization.  Notifications on page one, widgets on the other pages.

iOS Widget Idea
2) A much cooler idea, instead of the way I'd guessed last year, widgets could also be just like a regular icon on the home screen, and act something like Folders do when tapped to quickly show their information, and exit just like folders too.  My chopped together example looks nice already.

I like it.  Apple would need something different for displaying if a widget could also be within a folder.   Newsstand is an example, it can't be in a folder (grr) and has custom UI for the widget layer.  But I'd sure like to be able to put all those sorts of things in a folder; displaying how they nest deeper would be something for Apple to figure out.

If it's an icon when "minimized", then everything else for moving and deleting works as-is.  Really wouldn't be any new learning curve for anybody using it, no new gestures or swipes to learn.

Dibs on the Flashlight widget!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pawn'd - Icon Evolution

I'm always interested in seeing the steps for how stuff got another for Pawn'd.  (earlier one here)

We bought the cool character set pretty early on, and Pete had done gems too by the time I made a real placeholder icon instead of a white box.

So even the first cut of programmer art turned out pretty good!  I can resize and paste :)

While we did use the queen for a long time, the Pawn fits better with the name of the game, and has the diamond gem shape as his shield which is a nice touch.

Pete did all these pretty quick.  Him in London and Shawn and I in the US means we often wake up with new graphics.

This one is the one we all liked best for the pose and layout.  You can see the character, and the diamond gem is there and obvious it's the shield.
A background rather than black is better too.

Still could be a little better when we put it into the app in the actual icon size.  Things cut off...
And this is it.  Moved over a bit so the sword isn't cut off by the icon's rounded corners.

The background gem texture is moved around so contrasting colors line up so he stands out much better.

I love it!

Windows Phone app design

One of my biggest problems with many Windows Phone apps is how much space they waste.  

This is the official Facebook app from the Marketplace running on a Windows Phone 7 device on the right, and on the left is the Facebook app running on an iPhone.  The yellow covers where the status information shows.  It's hard to miss how much tinier the area is for seeing actual content compared to the iPhone, even with WP7's bigger screen.  Really, Facebook?

And it's even worse: the Facebook app on WP7 does not follow my rules for hiding crap.  What's hidden by the yellow in the picture here on the WP7 side are lots of stupid game requests and other garbage--things I don't see when viewing from either a computer or iPhone.  

Those 2 things make the iPhone version so much more of a pleasure to use than the WP7 one.

Many of the built in apps do the same.  I can see many more email messages at once on the iPhone compared to Windows Phone.

Our own new FTP On The Go for Windows Phone I think does much better.  Still the Windows Phone style, but we really tried to also maximize the amount of space used for things useful for users--like folder listings rather than giant logos of our own.  It does have a logo, but smaller and on the right, with the space on the left for the server, making double use of the same vertical space.

I didn't do a screenshot of the iPhone one, but it shows 7 1/2 lines in its folder view compared to the Windows Phone's 6 1/2.  So a little less, but still good and fits the UI styles for both devices.