Current Flow

Endeavours into the world of programming and electronics

Why is it so Difficult to Think in The Connected Era?

This week I woke up with a awesome idea: Almost an entire first chapter of a sci-fi book, so I decided that I should wrote this book. Also I always had this desire of writing an entire book that would include all my theories about the society.

A week passed and all my progress at the time is 2 pages (A4). What happened? It’s difficult to have more ideas. On the era that we are connected 24/7 and work, studies and all our “offline” activities consume our time, minds and ideas, it’s difficult to think since our minds and thoughts are occupied with other “more important” activities. That’s why most of my great ideas and thoughts come to my mind while I’m not connected or doing any other activity (not that I haven’t mentioned “worried” about the activities), they usually come when I’m going to sleep, taking a bath or on the car. A great example is this article itself, I thought and wrote it on the car.

So here is a tip to end this story: If you want to have more/better ideas all you have to do is go “offline” and try to distract yourself from any other activity that might keep you away of thinking. Listening to a so g you love is also a good idea to have ideas.

Do you have the same problem of having ideas because of all the activities and distractions of the connected era? I would love to hear your opinion.

We Don't Need Another SIM Standard

Three days ago I received my first BlackBerry development device, a Torch. As I said, it will be just a development device, so I have to use it for a while to learn how the apps look like and how they feel, so I can start to develop/port applications to the OS. Why I told all this story? Simple, I use a microSIM on my iPhone, so I had to purchase a converter to use it on my BlackBerry, because it’s the SIM my carrier automatically activated the BlackBerry Internet Services. The day I had to buy the converter I remembered the new nanoSIM project and thought: “The problem isn’t SIM design, it’s the SIM itself”.

We don’t need another SIM design, we need to get rid of the SIM. It’s a 1998 that just got little updates over time. We are moving everything to the cloud (I know a lot of people hate this term, but I don’t care, I like it), our contacts, files, photos, our entire lives, why not all the informations the carrier needs to authenticate our plan?

The idea is fairly simple: Just as I have to register a username and password to have BIS (BlackBerry Internet Services) with my carrier, just make this for everyone on the carrier, as soon as you get your first phone/plan you register a username/password and all your information gets stored on the carrier. When you turn your phone ON, it connects to the carrier and ask you for the credentials, if they are valid it will download all the information and get your plan up and running.

What’s your opinion about this idea? Any thoughts about this topic? Leave a comment, I love to read and respond to them.

We Are Living The $0.99 Application Era

I can still remember like it was yesterday, a time where paid applications never would cost less than $10. Today I can get on the App Store or the Play Store and download an fairly powerful app for no more than $3.99, but even at this prices I think twice before buying it. The App Store effect, as I like to call it, made the app consumer not want to pay more than $0.99 for a decent app, even if it’s just $1.99 it might hesitate buying it.

I would comfortably pay more than $3.99 for a extremely well done, powerful and useful app. The problem is that those kind of applications aren’t very common, but they are an expressive number, but I’m not here to talk about the apps that deserve this price tag, this article is about apps that aren’t deserving their price tag.

In my opinion the best way to actually charge for an app is by using the freemium model, that’s why Paper was such a success, you get the app for free and test it, if you like/need more features, in this case tools, you pay for them using in-app purchases, and if you want to unlock all the potential of the app you pay a discounted price for all the tools. This way the user can feel the app before buying it, which makes me hesitate when I need to buy the app without a way of testing it first.

On this model I’ll start with an Android app called Flick Notes, if you’re a heavily SimpleNote user like me you might know this app. It’s an awesome clean and simple app, the problem is that in order to unlock all the (missing) features of the app: Note and notes list widgets, To-Do list style notes, and remove ads, you must pay a extremely expensive CA$4.99 fee. I think this is to much expensive just to get rid of ads, enable to-do lists, and have the widget of the app. I would comfortably pay $1.99 for those features, and I’m sure the developer would earn a lot more money since a lot more people would buy the full version.

Another example of this, now on the desktop side, is a awesome new app for SimpleNote users that have a Mac OS computer, called MetaNota. It’s a free, ad-supported app, but it’s possible to remove it by paying a $9.99 fee, yeah that’s just to remove the ad.

These are just some small examples of what I’m talking about. If you’re a developer that is planing to monetize your app in some way I suggest you to do the freemium way, but don’t forget: We are living the $0.99 era!

There is Still a Market for Resistive Displays

Since the first iPhone came out, in 2007, the world of touch screens went to capacitive because they were a lot more finger-friendly. Because of this people started to think of resistive screens almost as 90’s technology and forgot that they were good at one key thing: Handwriting and pen recognition.

We, humans, are used to write and draw with pens, not with our fingers. This makes the experience with drawing, sketching, and note taking apps terrible. Some will say that anyone can buy a capacitive stylus that will work on all the modern mobile devices, the problem with those stylus is that they are not precise enough, they help a lot, but humans are precise when they want to draw or take some handwritten notes.Very often I take my HTC Touch Pro2 so I can take notes digitally.

At least this idea, of having a stylus on mobile devices, is still not dead yet. The Samsung Galaxy Note is the proof of this, also I want to mention that their stylus (S-Pen) implementation is very good, they managed to put a fairly precise stylus to work on their capacitive display. If other companies start to see this market and come out with great new ideas to merge the new technologies with the old ones I’m sure they will increase their profit significantly and will make their customers a lot happier.