Ooomf looks interesting

I just came across Ooomf, a marketplace for short software projects who’s participants are invited.

Looks promising:

Connecting awesome mobile & web projects withhandpicked developers, designers, & copywriters.

They claim an average of 5 leads per project.

• You’ll reach 500+ handpicked developers, designers, and copywriters.

• Manually curated projects

• An average project budget of $3900

• Projects last 3 weeks or less

From the Ooomf Manifesto:

What’s wrong with the current systems is they tend to pit independent professionals against one another, ultimately landing on price as the determining factor for who wins a contract. This teaches the wrong behavior – that driving the price of a project down is good, so long as you can find someone that get’s the job done, nothing more. This doesn’t necessarily lead to innovation in the resulting products, but rather, mediocrity.
Follow them (@ooomf) for more news and details.

Briefly: O’Reilly PhoneGap webcast, Feb. 21, 1 pm EST

About three weeks ago, I sat in on Jonathan Stark’s O’Reilly Webcast, “Building Hybrid Apps with PhoneGap” (Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013)

Stark covered:

  • How to judge which platform is best for one’s project: HTML5, native dev SDKs or a hybrid approach, such as Phonegap.
  • How to access device APIs with JavaScript – specifically the camera.
  • Packaging apps locally
  • Compiling apps using the PhoneGap web service – pretty cool automagical cloudness.
  • Using native code to extend PhoneGap – the juicy part of the hybrid model.

His arguement was compelling.

IDEs used by the audience included jQuery mobile and Sencha Touch 2Cordova, xCode, PhoneGapKendo UIRhomobile and Air.

To paraphrase the webcast spiel:

Native mobile app dev can be resource intensive. Mobile web apps are a relatively inexpensive alternative, but they can’t access desirable device APIs (e.g., camera, file system). Stark demonstrates how PhoneGap bridges this phone gap by wrapping web apps in native code using PhoneGap Build to create versions for all major smartphone platforms.

Jonathan Stark is author O’Reilly’s of ‘Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript’ and ‘Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript’.

Joined: DC Tech (Meetup)

Just joined Washington, D.C.’s DC Tech Meetup.

Looking forward to connecting with that scene.

As I told DC Tech co-leader Peter Corbett, I’ll be in D.C. from time to time and I would like to connect with the group’s members to build my professional network in the DC Metro area by listening and contributing. I seek to develop new development partners and clients in 2012 and D.C. is one of my targets, along with Boston and New York and San Francisco.

Also recently joined MoDevDC Meetup.

Both look to be thriving groups. I’m looking forward to participating as much as I can from out of town.

iPad as Monitor: Avatron’s AirDisplay app (CNET)

Shiny new iPad.

Lucious new display.

Your Mac glances longingly…

This week Josh LowensohnCNET News Staff Writer reports on an iPad app that enables the new iPad to be a high resolution second monitor using Apple’s obscure new HiDPI mode.

Avatron Software‘s app Air Display allows users to “extend” their Mac desktops to an iPad, essentially turning the tablet into a second monitor. An update to the app now offers an option to enable HiDPI mode, a setting tucked away in Apple’s Mac OS that renders the user interface at four times normal resolution (twice the resolution in each dimension).

That’s well-suited for Apple’s new iPad, which as luck would have it features four times the number of pixels as the iPad 1 and 2, and a higher pixel density than any panel found on Apple’s desktop or notebook computers. At least for now, that is.

In the meantime, the $9.99 app offers a hack-free way to enable the feature and utilize it on the newest iPad’s display.

To use the feature, Air Display users need to be running Lion, the latest publicly available version of Mac OS X. …

Read in full: “Avatron Software has just added a way for users see their Mac desktops at “retina-like” resolution — via the new iPad” by Josh Lowensohn, Staff Writer, CNET News/Apple Talk, April 2nd, 2012 (@Josh)

PayPal at SXSW: Four sides good, three sides better

Breaking news and further coverage below the fold:

From CNET’s Paul Sloan at SXSW Interactive (via Twitter):

1:27 p.m.

@PaulSloan: Looks like PayPal is leap frogging Square: Its device lets people scan

checks, create invoices. #CNET

1:15 p.m.

@PaulSloan: PayPal releases  a blue triangle credit card device to take on Square.

#CNET

1:12 p.m.

@PaulSloan: At PayPal event, listening to eBay CEO John Donahoe talk

about mobile efforts with PayPal. Here comes the Square challenger?

Further coverage

PayPal unveils new Digital Wallet at SXSW 2012eBay Ink

The entire PayPal SXSW demo, split into two videos

From the PayPal Blog

#SXSW: PayPal to Give Attendees First Look at New Digital Wallet

Sam Shrauger, Vice President, Global Product & Experience, PayPal

Friday, March 9th, 2012

We’ve talked a lot here about how PayPal is defining the future of money. On March 13, I’ll be at SXSW giving attendees a sneak peak of PayPal’s re-imagined consumer experience.  This marks the first time in our 13-year history that we’ve completely redesigned and re-architected the PayPal wallet…

Tthe new PayPal make possible:

  • Separating the purchase from the payment
  • Personal Lists
  • Found Money
  • Spending Rules

…Two familiar scenarios PayPal will change:

  • …combine the value of 10,000 airline miles with a $100 gift card…
  • automatically filter into separate “funds” … when I get my paycheck every week…

…We are reimagining money to free it in its digital form so that it can work better for everyone.

Defining a product starting with the UI

I’m helping a startup define it’s product.

We started with the big picture. We’ve discussed the industry they’re entering, the opportunity, their thinking and their business model.

At this point, to really start the business, they need to build their product. So they have to figure out what exactly to build. Not “exactly” ultimately, but “exactly” something specific. That activity will focus everyone, very pragmatically, to concretely define the path of their business in terms what their customers want.

Answering that question can take the form of discussion. Or declaration. We’re going to do something that encourages meaningful feedback: pictures and code. We’re going to define the end-user tablet UI in pictures. Sketches on napkins, on pads, on the screen.

(More later on this project’s design process as it progresses.)

iPad Screen Capture (wikiHow)

I’m helping a startup mock-up it’s tablet app, so we need to share earlier the work team members have done so far. One of us had built some exploratory iPad views.

How to we create images of iPad views to share?

Here’s how to reproduce an iPad view using it’s screen capture facility (from wikiHow)

  1. With the iPad screen arranged as you wish to capture it:
  2. Press the Sleep/Wake (On/Off) and “Home” buttons simultaneously.
  3. The screen will “flash” and a camera shutter “click” will sound.
  4. The screenshot will then appear in your default photo app.
  5. In your photo app: tap “email photo” to attach it to an email.
iPad product photo with power and "home" indicated by red arrows.

Step 2. Simultaneously press and hold power and "home" buttons to make a new image of the screen. (Credit: techtosh.com)

The web UX sucks

Well, I knew that. I just hadn’t thought about it for a while.

Just reading Joe Hewitt’s Twitter rant about web dev.

Clearly, I’ve got some catching up to do vis a vis the power of Cocoa.

I am ranting because I want to drop Cocoa and go back to the web, but I am upset about how much power I have to give up to do that.

@joseph_wanja unfortunately I would recommend Cocoa [rather than web languages] at this point. Wish I didn’t have to say that.

The State Of Web Development Ripped Apart In 25 Tweets By One Man, in TechCrunch, April 30th, 2010.