Albumatic, At Last

Everyone now has a camera in their pocket at all times. That camera is connected to the internet at all times. That camera is capable of being utilized by hundreds of thousands of apps. Those apps all have social graphs that allow you to connect with other internet-connected camera-carrying friends. It’s almost inexplicable that there isn’t a killer social photo album service yet.

And yet, despite many (many, many, many, many) failed attempts, there isn’t. So perhaps I’ll sound foolish thinking that Albumatic is going to be the one. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like it is.

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Haven’t tried the iOS version just yet, but absolutely love this app for the Mac. As a kid, I remember sitting in the car around the top-of-the-hour and waiting for my dad to turn on the radio for the news updates. This is that, but from a wide variety of sources (NPR, BBC, ESPN, etc) and always right there on your desktop. Brilliant idea.

Update: Yep, iOS version just as awesome.


Since the inception of the App Store, there have been no lack of wallpaper apps. Almost all of them are ugly or spammy or both. Deko is the opposite.

It’s a beautiful app that lets you make custom, pattern-based wallpaper for your iPhone/iPad on the fly. Deko is free, but there’s a $1.99 in-app option to allow you to save higher-res versions of the patterns you create.

I’m probably strange in my obsession with changing my iPhone wallpaper all the time (I can’t stand staring at the same thing for weeks or months or even years on end — same with my desktop as well). Deko allows for basically infinite options when you take colors into account. And the interface to manipulate the patterns is brilliant. 

It’s hard to describe how much I like this app. Find it here in the App Store.

[via TheNextWeb]


John Lilly:

What I mean is this: when you try to take one technology — any technology — and have it mimic another one — you’re starting from a tough place. Specifically, taking the technology of the web and making it look like a native app.

You’re always at a disadvantage — we can argue whether it’s possible to get to parity or not. I think it’s generally possible to get to parity in user experience + performance at any given time, but a fact of life is that the owners of the platform — the organization who ships the operating system — is always moving forward and will naturally advantage themselves — parity today means you’re behind tomorrow. More than that, though, once people have established a good way to do things (like getting apps from the app store instead of going to the web), parity doesn’t even really matter. Being as good as a native app isn’t really the point. You’ve got to be a LOT better than what exists.

Great points. All you seem to hear about today (and really, for the past few years) is that web apps are closing the gap quickly versus native apps. But what never seems to be acknowledged is that native apps continue to improve as well with better API access to new, exciting functionality that may or may not be device-specific.

It has long felt like a race that can’t be won. And I’m with Lilly, the truth is that it’s a race that’s foolish to focus on. The web has other strengths that native apps can’t match. That should be the focus. That’s how it “won” the last time. You win a war by making a battle come to you.