Monthly Archives: May 2013

The $229, camera-less iPod Touch

Ahead of WWDC, Apple dropped the 4th-generation iPod Touch from their lineup and replaced it with a slimmed down $229 iPod Touch. To achieve this lower price, they made a big sacrifice: no rear-facing camera.

Most surprising to me is that this change comes just weeks after the iPhone’s Photos Every Day commercial, one of the most beautiful ad campaigns Apple has ever run. Removing the camera from the iPod Touch transforms it from a peer of the iPhone, capable of the same kind of photos and videos, to nothing more than a game and internet device. It is the only shipping iOS device that can’t be used as a traditional camera.

As we know, people frequently use even the iPad as a camera, holding it up to take pictures at concerts, their kid’s basketball game, and at any family gathering. When all you have is a cheap phone, you absolutely want to use the iPad as a camera, because it means you can sync and share the photos.

My daughters have the older, smaller-screen iPod Touch and frequently use the camera with friends. Instagram, in fact, has become very popular with teens and pre-teens. Can you imagine how great it would be to have grown up in the 1980s, for example, with the ability to take essentially unlimited photos? Angry Birds may have taken the mobile spotlight when iOS went mainstream, but in a dozen years when these games are just a fun memory, we’ll still have some of the JPEGs, first-hand accounts of life in middle school.

I’m sure dropping the rear camera was a very tough decision for Apple, especially thinking about wanting more memory and speed to run iOS 7. But I’d rather have no FaceTime, slower CPU, less memory, and only 8 GB of storage any day of the week if it meant I could take photos. The rear camera is priceless.

5 years of Core Int

Today is the 5th anniversary of Core Intuition. I’m really proud of what Daniel and I have been able to do with it. In our first episode, we set up a basic structure for the show — the length, segments, and theme music — and we’ve stuck to it for 91 episodes.

About the only significant change was when we added sponsors last year, allowing us to take the podcast weekly. Since then we’ve actually recorded the bulk of the episodes. Sponsorships pretty easily exceeded my expectations, and I’m very thankful to all the small and large companies alike who have helped support the show.

Today’s episode covers my recent server move to Linode, which I’ll write more about here later, and a question about the mix of developers at WWDC. Maybe it’s fitting that our first episode was also about WWDC. I like that every year, when the podcast gets a little older, the timing works out such that we’ll likely be revisiting similar, pre-conference topics. Because these couple weeks, leading up to and including WWDC, really define the best part of being a Mac or iOS developer.

Approaching a year with started 10 months ago as a blog post. I thought it would be interesting to look back on a few things I’ve written on my blog about the service as it has grown.

August 12, 2012, on the potential:

“In less than a month, they went from a mission statement video that seemed just a step away from vaporware, to following through on an API spec and then alpha version web site. They delivered.”

August 28, 2012, when I launched Watermark with support:

“You can now add an account and it will download any posts from your friends, making them available for search. Watermark is already storing tens of millions of tweets, and I’m excited to start adding posts to that archive as well.”

January 11, 2013, with how and why I stopped posting to Twitter:

“Over three months ago I stopped using Twitter. I wanted to make a statement — perhaps in an overly-dramatic way — that the developer-hostile environment that Twitter had evolved into wasn’t something I could support anymore.”

January 21, 2013, reacting to one use of the global feed:

“And that’s the really good news: if what makes ADN special is the people, then it’s because all of the people have something in common. They didn’t chose ADN by accident, or because it was the default choice. They chose it because they wanted something better.”

March 25, 2013, where I review 3 iPhone apps:

“In this post I’m going to briefly review 3 of the most popular iPhone clients: Netbot, Felix, and Riposte. You can’t really go wrong with any of these three apps.”

March 28, 2013, about adopting the file storage API:

“There’s a lot of activity around file storage right now. I think we’re going to see some great things built with this.”

And of course I’ve said much more about this on the Core Intuition podcast. Episodes 50, 65 and 82 are probably good places to start.

If you’ve been thinking about giving a try, you can use this invite link to sign up for free. There’s also a great new iOS app that lets discover apps and sign up directly on the iPhone.

Tweet Library 2.3

Tweet Library 2.3 shipped last week, and I just submitted an update last night to fix a few crashing bugs and other minor problems with the release. I’m pretty happy with this version. In addition to finally switching to Twitter’s v1.1 API — easier said than done; I used several API calls that were changed or completely went away — this release added better gestures, a month filter to the iPhone version, and an updated UI with a lighter, clearer design.

You can see the full changes in the release notes, or listen to episode 88 of Core Intuition. Daniel and I discussed the expedited review process and new versions. Tweet Library 2.3 is available in the App Store for $7.99 as a universal app for both iPhone and iPad.