Entries in Developer (4)

Kids Making Apps and Inspiration

You have probably seen the video below of Thomas Suarez, a 12 year old student from the South Bay of Los Angeles, who recently spoke at TedxManhattanBeach.

In his presentation Thomas speaks about how he loves computers, how he has been fascinated with them from an early age, how Apple's SDK resources helped him get going to create his first app and even how Apple staff at the App store have encouraged him.


Perhaps his greatest inspiration though can be seen in Thomas' on-stage mannerisms. Take a look at the video and see if you are reminded of anyone (recently departed and sorely missed at Apple) in the way he speaks, poses questions, and even the way he shrugs when the audience is laughing at his comment about students knowing more than their teachers.

Inspiration and Aspiration

Although we have to be honest and say that we probably wouldn't buy any of Thomas' apps (we're not really the target audience), we do think Thomas' approach and attitude is an inspiration, both to other students who are thinking of giving App development a go and to adults who have been dabbling or are doubting that they can do it.

Thomas is obviously a very bright and talented young man, with his own company CarrotCorp and big plans for the future. His example though shows that with a bit of creativity and a passion for developing, age is no barrier to what can be achieved.

Teachers / Educators also have another example to help support investment in subjects such as Computer Studies, App development and including IT in the Curriculum.

What do you think about Thomas' speech?

Calling iPad developers. We need your help! 

We are looking for a developer to assist with an exciting iPad project. Given the nature of this project we believe it will be best suited to a small developer, perhaps even a single person, with a basic understanding of:

  • Open GL, more specifically surface textures and simple reflections
  • Image and PDF handling
  • Accelerometer feedback
  • File access via iTunes

We can't give away too many details at the moment, but we can tell you that the project is unique, as far as well can tell there is currently nothing like it for the iPad. If you are interested and would like to a know more, please get in contact with James as soon as possible.

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago - from your sofa

Whilst we have a lot of great museums and display spaces here in the UK, we know that there is a whole world of Art installations and collections that we will never see.  The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) for example have one of the worlds best collections of French Impressionist paintings apparently and this collection is showcased in the AIC's first app French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The app is interesting because, as well as being a virtual tour of the collection (not all of which is viewable at any one time in the Institute itself) there are additional features that visitors to the Institute would not get on their own, such as extra descriptions of the paintings and artist biographies. The app offers a good deal of information for students of French Impressionism too, with the artwork being viewable on your iPad to study.

The HD version of the app is available with a 33% discount for at least today (we are nearing the end of their two week introductory period) making it just $3.99 (£2.39) in the app store. The iPhone version is offered with 50% off at $1.99 (£1.19).

Below we take a look at the company behind this app and how creative organisations can deliver enhanced content like this to mobile devices. But first, here are some of the key features of the French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago app:

  • High-resolution images of 100+ iconic works—drawn from the original scans that only the Art Institute has—from the museum’s world-renowned collection
  • Informative and engaging entries on each painting by the museum’s curators
  • Biographies of the 22 artists whose works are represented
  • Videos related to the art works and to the history of the collection
  • Narrated virtual tours of select Impressionist galleries at the museum
  • A photo-rich history of the development of this magnificent collection
  • Exclusive detailed descriptions not available in the galleries

The Business Model for Creative Institutions

As well as the app itself, our interest was aroused by the video below regarding the business model and service offered by the Developers of the app Toura, a New York based company who provide a solution called Toura Mobile App Producer. This enables their clients to create multi-media tours and guides which are then distributed via the iTunes App store, as well as to Android, Nokia and BlackBerry platforms.

This method of content creation from existing resources such as current CMS systems is an interesting and developing form of digital publishing, which of course has been given a massive boost by devices such as the iPhone and more specifically the iPad with its larger display.

Watch the video below for more info on how Toura developed this model, how the process works, their funding, and their expansion plans in this industry:

Developing for the iPad? Omnigraffle Stencils for Free

We're not sure why, but this makes us want to develop an app for the iPad just so we can play with these stencils in Omnigraffle.  iA (InformationArchitects) are giving them away free in a bundle that you can use to mock up designs for apps on the iPad.  As an added bonus, "the text is fully editable on the lists, title bars, buttons, and scroll wheels", so you can overlay your own text on those elements, nice.  Check out the site and download the set here.