JONATHAN JK

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Posts Tagged ‘printed

Alrik Swagerman of Viewbook Interviewed

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The twelfth interview from a series of interviews with Photographers and iOS Developers alike.  All of them develop portfolio Apps for Apple’s iPad and iPhone in some way.  This interview is with Alrik Swagerman based in Rotterdam. Co-founder of the online portfolio service Viewbook.com.

Viewbook can be found at any of the links below:

Website, iTunes, Podcast, Twitter, Facebook,

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Amazon Kindle ~ 105 > 100?

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I was amazed and curious about the press release Amazon put out last week regarding eBook sales. For the first time in Amazon’s history, digital books have surpassed both hardback and paperback books in total sales. Amazon state for every 100 printed books sold, they now sell 105 eBooks (not including free Kindle book downloads). Amazon have been selling printed books for 12 years, and eBooks for the last four years, so that’s pretty amazing growth.

The bit that interested me was that those quoted figures have no reflection on the number of titles available for sale. Amazon sell 35,332,807 printed titles vs only 712,187 eBooks.*

That’s an insane difference when you consider the 105/100 ratio. It’s obvious that gap will close over time, it’s just a case of when. All I can say is my iPad is crying out for content. Twelve months ago I couldn’t find what I thought were relatively common photographic theory books on the Kindle Store. These would be books written by photography’s heavy hitters like; John Berger, Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Tom Wolfe and Michel Foucault.

Now a year has gone by, the Kindle Store lists titles from every one of those theorists except for Tom Wolfe – ‘New Journalism’. That’s okay progress, however there are still plenty of titles I still want to buy, and that doesn’t include those in my more spontaneous moments. I have a long list of books saved in my shopping basket where they are patiently waiting for a digital version to replace them. The progress might be slow because it’s clear fiction and celebrity biographies are the most popular types for content in order to attract people to the Kindle homepage.

But if your interests lie elsewhere, there isn’t much beyond the ‘shop window’. The Kindle Store is obviously above and beyond the iBook Store** in content, but as somebody who is actively learning German and Spanish; the second most widely spoken language on the planet, Typography, Journalism and Design, it’s a shame I’m still better served by purchasing physical books.

It’s not so much Amazon’s fault, it’s the book publishers. The press release I’m sure is there to impress them as it is us. I keep noticing the ‘Tell the Publisher’ links that Amazon’s customers should click if they want an eBook version and in my quest to live a more minimal lifestyle I just wish the book publishers would catch on so I can clear some clutter from my apartment and shopping basket!

*Sourced from the Amazon store at time of publishing. Just for comparison, the iBook Store has just over 200,000 titles.

** The iBook Store is functional, clean with everything clearly labelled like an Oxfam bookshop, with a book collection of seemingly random titles of no particular interest, because all the books were donated.

Written by jonathanjk

May 25, 2011 at 23:51

Simon Heys of Minimal Folio Interviewed

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The eleventh interview from a larger series of interviews with Photographers and iOS Developers.  All of them develop portfolio Apps for Apple’s iPad and iPhone.  This interview is with Simon Heys, based in London, England. He is a graphic designer and Programmer. He writes his own iOS Apps.

Minimal Folio is a simple way to present images and video on your iPad or iPhone. The app is unbranded so your portfolio can do the talking.

iTunes, App Shopper, Homepage, Twitter.

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Juan Pablo Mazuera Foschini of PadFolios Interviewed

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The ninth interview from a larger series of interviews with Photographers and iOS Developers.  All of them develop portfolio Apps for Apple’s iPad and iPhone.  This interview is with Juan Mazuera from Bogotá, Colombia in South America. He is a photographer/graphic designer and now writes his own iOS Apps.

“PadFolios is a new application for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that brings you the opportunity to show your portfolio images with an elegant easy-to-use interface. It allows you to add a customized background with your logo and any info you want, so you keep your brand in your customer’s mind while you show the best of your work. PadFolios is the best portfolio manager available.”

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Ryan Britton of Portfolio interviewed

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In my ongoing series of interviews with creators of iPad portfolio Apps, is Portfolio creator, Ryan Britton.

Britton Photography is a Spokane, WA-based wedding and portrait photography studio. It’s run by myself and Amy — I’m the technical one of the two and have been writing software since the early ‘90s. We’ve been doing photography together for about five years now and have been steadily growing both in revenue and the number of shoots we do each year.

Portfolio can be found at any of the links below:

Website, iTunes UK, iTunes US, Facebook, Twitter

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Tiger Ng of Collections for iPad interviewed

The fourth in a series of interview with various Photographers and iOS Developers. All of them develop portfolio Apps for Apple’s iPad. This interview is with Hong Kongese developer Tiger Ng.

Tiger Ng is a developer based in Hong Kong. Tiger is also responsible for other iApps such as PictureGames and PictureSecret. All his Apps involve some element of photography.

Collections for iPad can be found at any of the links here:- Website, iTunes,

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What gave you the inspiration to write Collections?

I found the built-in Photo App in the iPad boring, and other photo album Apps are also used in a similar way to browse photos, i.e. list of albums, list of photos in grid view, etc. There is also no iPhoto (Apple’s iLife) product in the market. Therefore, I would like to write a photos app to make people browse photos like photo books.

Who are you?  Are you a photographer?  Tell us a bit about yourself or the Portfolio team.

I am Tiger Ng, I am based in Hong Kong. I am not photographer. I have been working on iOS platform for 2 years.

Is this your first App for iOS?

My first app is Photo Only, it is an app that grabs any image from any web page, and users can download and view photos offline with it.

Slideshow with time line

How easy was it to code in order to create Collections?  How long did it take to get Collections to Version 1?

It took me four weeks, it has also given me image processing experience.

Do you write any other Apps for iOS?

Yes. Recently I have written an app called “PictureGames”, it allows people to create their own photo games (4 games now) in a few minutes. Another of my Apps is called “PictureSecret”, it provides a new way to share any hidden messages using photos.

Will you write other Apps for iOS devices? More importantly, photography related ones.

Yes.

You released Collections before iOS 4.2. Did coding for iOS 4.2 make much of a difference compared to iOS 3.2?

Big difference. There are no multiple photos selection provided in iOS 3.2 and the image picker cannot be customized. In iOS 4.2, you can customize your own image pickers to provide multiple selections. That’s a major feature for photo Apps.

How long did it take to write Collections?

4 weeks.

Edit Mode

Where do you want to take Collections with future updates, where do you see yourself in a years time?

There is a lot of potential with that. Collections will be going to support videos, integrate with more photo sharing sites, and add sharing capability itself.

What do you as a Developer/Photographer want to see in the next iPad, either to aid your Apps or just for your own pleasure?

Camera. It is the most important feature for creating new photo Apps.

Are you a one man operation or is this a group effort?

One man.

Where are you based and where have you seen the greatest uptake of Collections at the moment?

In the US.

I found the built in Photo Application rather lacking for a Pro Photographer, others will feel it’s good enough. Were you concerned of your App’s uptake by other Photographers before committing yourself to creating Portfolio?

Collections provides new way to organize your photos in iPad. It can be for photo books (collage template), portfolio (edit, view, and slideshow mode), and even an image organizer (global search and folder).

Can you explain anything about the creation process behind your app? Did you involve other photographers or even editors to ask what they would want in a digital portfolio that attempts to replicate the printed portfolio and presentation?

Just do it.

Directly import images from your Computer

Just to wrap up. How do you see this market developing as we go forward?  Are you concerned about the ‘race to the bottom’ and copycat apps affecting this class of applications?

I think the quality is the most important. Less bugs and great performance can attract new users. The market is highly competitive because iPhone and iPad is still becoming popular and many people are coming to develop Apps. To keep growing, extending to other platforms, e.g. android or windows phone may be another solution.

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Collections for iPad at the time of writing is priced at £1.79 and $2.99 on the iOS Apple Store.

Nick Kuh of Portfolio To Go interviewed

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The third in the series of interviews with various Photographers and iOS Developers. All of them develop portfolio Apps for Apple’s iPad. This interview is with UK developer Nick Kuh of Portfolio To Go.

Nick Kuh is a freelance iPhone/iPad Developer based in Brighton, UK. Nick is also responsible for various Apps on the Apple App store, one of them in particular is Tap To Facebook Chat.

Portfolio To Go can be found at any of the links below. A PDF version of this interview can be found here:

Website, iTunes, Twitter, Facebook

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What gave you the inspiration to write Portfolio To Go?

I wrote and submitted the first version of Portfolio To Go before the iPad launched in the UK. I’d already authored a number of iPhone Applications and I wanted to build an app that would run on both iPhone and the new iPad.  My wife, Nicole Carman (www.nicolecarman.com) is a photographer and when she visits new clients she often carries a large portfolio of her printed work. With it’s beautiful large, high res screen I felt the iPad could be the ideal replacement tool for photographers and artists who need to take their portfolio to go!

Who are you?  Are you a photographer?  Tell us a bit about yourself or the Portfolio To Go team.

I’m a freelance iPhone/iPad Developer. My wife is a photographer.

Is this your first App for iOS?

No – I have about 8-10 apps in the App Store, a combination of personal projects and commercial work.

Home Screen

 

Do you write any other Apps for iOS?

My most popular app is also my most recent. Tap To Facebook Chat (http://www.facebook.com/taptochat) enables users to Facebook Chat with Friends all on one screen. Built for iPhone and iPad in partnership with Chris Ross (http://www.hiddenmemory.co.uk) we developed a free, ad supported version and a paid version. Our app has been downloaded 60,000 times in the 3 weeks it’s been live.

Will you write other Apps for iOS devices? More importantly, photography related ones.

I will continue to write apps. I don’t have plans for further Photography apps at this stage although another of my apps – Buddies Facebook Browser also focuses on Photos for Facebook users.

What is notable about the photo function in the Buddies Facebook Browser?  I read a 4 star review on iTunes, it stated that for a facebook app it seemed more concerned about the photo features (and chat) than anything else.

Buddies enables users to create Facebook photo galleries and add photos from their iPad. Buddies batch uploads multiple photos in the background while the user continues to browse Facebook. Users can even create Facebook galleries and add photos when they’re not connected to the Internet – Buddies just syncs their changes the next time they connect.

Sharing Content

 

You released Portfolio before iOS 4.2. Did coding for iOS 4.2 make much of a difference compared to iOS 3.2?

There’s not much work involved if you’re a competent iOS developer. You have to be aware of Apps going in and out of the foreground rather than actually shutting down and restarting but Apple makes this process pretty straight forward for developers.

How long did it take to write Portfolio To Go?

Erm… I didn’t really keep count. It’s an ongoing process so the hours will have built up a lot over time. Maybe around 6 weeks development total.

Where do you want to take Portfolio To Go with future updates, where do you see yourself in a years time?

I get a lot of positive feedback from customers about Portfolio To Go which is always nice to receive. I don’t have imminent plans to update this app as it does everything I set out to do with the app. It does provide a beautiful way for photographers to show clients their work.

It’s admirable that you set out and achieved what you wanted to do.  Not many individuals can actually say that. So you don’t feel any pressure from the competition then?

No, I don’t feel any pressure. Personal apps are my secondary source of income – I make my main living from working on commercial projects. Obviously I want my apps to do well though!

Portrait View

 

What do you as a Developer/Photographer want to see in the next iPad, either to aid your Apps or just for your own pleasure?

I’m pretty happy with the current iPad, it’s miles ahead of anything produced by the copycat competitors!

How do you see this market developing as we go forward?  Are you concerned about the ‘race to the bottom’ and copycat apps affecting this class of applications?

Portfolio To Go was about the first Portfolio App specifically for iPad in the App Store I think. Now-a-days there are quite a few competitors. It does amaze me how expensive some of the competitors are pricing their apps. So high in fact that I haven’t checked out most of their products – so who am I to judge!

Some competitors are incorporating features so artists can display video work alongside photographic work.  Other Apps offer the ability to brand a home screen using light editing tools.  Do they sound like something you’d want to implement at some point?

Portfolio To Go is a Playback app. These kind of features would be better suited to an app that also incorporates editing. That’s never been my goal with PTG.

Settings

 

Are you a one-man operation or is this a group effort?

One-man band.

Where are you based and where have you seen the greatest uptake of Portfolio To Go at the moment?

I’m based in Brighton, UK. The US is the strongest market for every App I’ve developed.

Why is the US your biggest market do you think?

The US has the largest base of iPad/iPhone owners out of all the different App Store countries. Unless you’re making a country-specific app such as National Rail or London Tube apps you are likely to see that majority of your sales coming from the US. That’s been my experience.

I found the built in Photo Application rather lacking for a Pro Photographer, others will feel it’s good enough. Were you concerned of your App’s uptake by other Photographers before committing yourself to creating Portfolio To Go?

Portfolio to Go began as a learning experiment. I wanted to make my first iPad App and also something my wife would be able to use to show her work to clients. Portfolio To Go was less business driven (like some of my other apps) and more about learning iPad Dev skills. So no, I wasn’t concerned.

Can you explain anything about the creation process behind your app? Did you involve other photographers or even editors to ask what they would want in a digital portfolio that attempts to replicate the printed portfolio and presentation?

Primarily I see the iPad as a ‘Playback Tool’. It’s a beautiful device and it’s great that there are so many apps out there that enable you to achieve all kinds of complicated functions. However, I like to use the iPad for consuming content – browsing Twitter and Facebook using Flipboard, viewing photos, reading news etc. The default photos app is great but it requires you to connect to iTunes and sync photos each time you take a new set. My wife (and millions of other photographers) use Flickr.com to upload and organise their photos using Flickr’s online sharing service. Portfolio To Go updates itself automatically with your Flickr portfolio so it can be used as a Playback tool and not an Authoring tool. I think it does that really well.

That’s a clever feature because you actually start to spend less time ‘working’ on the iPad, those use to the keyboard and mouse will feel they are more productive.  But Apps in general are trying to get us to do more with our iPads.  So Portfolio To Go goes against the trend of enabling the iPad to do more.  That philosophy also allows Portfolio To Go to literally live up to its name.

I believe in creating good user experiences and Apple encourages that. Less is often more when it comes to user experience if your app achieves its primary purpose well. Portfolio To Go has won an iPad App of the Week Award from Apple BTW!

How do you see Portfolio To Go existing alongside a traditional portfolio?  I think such presentation apps done right are good enough to replace the printed portfolio.  If the photography is good enough then it won’t matter how they are presented.

I think Portfolio To Go serves this process well. Numerous photographers have written to me to let me know how PTG helped them win new clients. Ultimately I see the App’s purpose as an introduction to a Photographer’s work and not a replacement of print in general though.

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Portfolio To Go at the time of writing is priced at £2.99 and $4.99 on the Apple App Store.

A review of Portfolio To Go can be found here: Portfolio To Go.

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Coming soon: Interview and review for ‘Collections for iPad’ by Tiger Ng.

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