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by Oliver - -

This is the last post to the Chronicles.

After almost 10 years, the old Boinx blogging platform is ripe for retirement. Over the last couple of months, we built a new platform and today, we are restarting the Boinx Blog under a new URL and with new gusto!

Go to the new Blog.

Posts from 2004 to today will remain available on this site for reference and permalinks will continue to work.

iStopMotion | FotoMagico | Boinx | Mousepose | BoinxTV | PhotoPresenter | Opinion | iStopMotioniPad | Comments

by Oliver - -

Change. Most of the time it happens gradually. We get older, the kids grow up, flowers grow and bloom. Sometimes change happens more or less over night.

The success of iPhone and iPad have ushered in a new age often referred to as the Post-PC era. Most people are currently unaware of it, but those devices will fundamentally change the way we interact with a computer and even our perception of what a computer is. And most people can't even imagine how fundamental this change is going to be.

Can you feel the difference between using a mouse and a keyboard to manipulate data on a detached screen and the direct interaction on the iPad? If you have not experienced it, go ahead, try it!

But look at this kid which has been born into the "world with iPad":


The iPad user interface is so intuitive that a kid not even old enough to go to the loo by herself, let alone to talk or understand the difference between a touchscreen and a print magazine, can use it.

Think about that.

Opinion | iStopMotioniPad | Comments

by Oliver - -

Is the iPad a creative tool or is it the digital version of a couch potato?

Let's find out.

Recently, I travelled to visit my brother who lives with his family in Austria. It was going to be a work trip. As co-owners of Boinx Software, we need to get together every now and then to talk strategy and make plans for the future. When I arrived at his office, I noticed that I had left my MacBook Air at my desk, about a 4 hours car ride away.

When Apple introduced the iPad, they focused their marketing message on how great it was for consuming media: read a book, watch a movie, browse the web. I thought this didn't feel right at the time – the iPad, I thought, also had to be great for creating this content. You see, I am convinced that people like making things just as much as they like consuming them.

But I understood that the iPad wasn't as great for creating as it was for consuming because of two things: creating takes more horsepower and the apps were not ready. Eventually, with the introduction of the iPad 2, Apple changed this and introduced two great creative apps itself: iMovie for editing movies and Garageband for making music.

But ever since I got my first iPad I wondered when it would be ready to replace my laptop as my travel companion. Now, visiting my brother, with the other two options being an 8 hour car ride to get my MacBook Air or not to get any work done, I decided it was time to give the iPad 2 a chance to prove itself.

The first and most substantial challenge I faced was that most of what I create is text. And this is the iPad's biggest dilemma - the on screen keyboard sucks at typing long texts, but adding a "real" keyboard takes away the immersiveness of the touch interface and the unique magic of the device.

Eventually, maybe, other input methods such as voice (although I can't imagine dictating this text on a busy train like the one I am riding while writing this) or a direct neural connection might solve this problem, but for now a bluetooth enabled keyboard can not be avoided, so I bought a Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG. It works quite well, except for the risk of the iPad falling out of the notch that holds it.

Although there are apps for almost any purpose, the next big challenge is of course that most of the apps I am using on my Mac are not available on the iPad. I was able to find replacements for a lot of the apps I absolutely needed to use that week, but there still seem to be huge gaps in my workflows, especially when it comes to more advanced creative tasks such as creating or editing our web pages.

And this brings me to the last big challenge: data. On a traditional PC or Mac, a lot of workflows rely on multiple apps handling the same file. For example, the FTP program downloads the web page HTML file from the server. To add an image to the web page, you edit the web page in the Text Editor. Both the web page and the image file go back to the FTP program which loads them back up to the web server so that people can browse it.

Remember the ads where Apple said "There is an app for that"? They meant that literally. On iPad, the app owns its files and nobody else is allowed to touch them. If there is no app for that, "that" simply does not exist. You cannot have an FTP program that manages file transfers between your iPad and your website and a Text Editor to edit those files. The only way to do this is to have a Text Editor that has a built-in FTP program. For really complex workflows this means that you either have a gigantic do-everything-and-a-bit app or a bunch of apps who each have their own FTP program.

Somehow this seems to contradict the very idea of "apps." So, is the solution to make the iPad more like a traditional computer? Or will rethinking the workflows and the way we do things make the world a better place? Consider this: in order to create a web page, it is not strictly necessary to download and edit HTML files. Services like Squarespace will eventually be good enough for almost everybody's purpose.

And for some workflows, the iPad will simply become the control surface. (You can already fully remote control your PC with VNC apps like "Desktop Connect"…)

Overall, the experience of relying on the iPad for serious work has rekindled my enthusiasm for the magic of the device and sparked the idea to write a series of essays about "The Creative iPad," which I am going to share over the next couple of weeks on this blog, talking about some of the creative apps.

Opinion | iStopMotioniPad | Comments

by Oliver - -

There are things in life that, although you see them coming, still hit you like a brick wall. And although you were sort of thinking you'd have enough time to deal with them, when they happen, you realize that you are in fact very ill prepared.

One day in early 1977, my father met Steve Jobs. And it was not just a brief handshake, either. The encounter over lunch led to the first Apple 1 computers being brought to Europe, to the basement of my family's house, where my father had his microcomputer lab. I was 7 years old. The miraculous machine captured my imagination and has not let go of it since. Eventually the passion ignited in me and my brother that year led to the creation of Boinx Software, more than 20 years later.

Letter from Steve, pre-email. Photo taken with iPhone 4S

The similarities between Steve Jobs and my dad don't end with both being fascinated by technology and both having a profound influence on my life and my company. In April of this year, my father passed away. Incidentally, he died of the same cause as Steve Jobs, respiratory arrest caused by a metastatic tumor in the lungs. Like Steve Jobs, he did what he loved until just days before his death. Like Steve Jobs, what he loved was driving innovation at the company he founded. I was lucky to be at his bedside when he died.

When I saw Steve Jobs take the stage for the keynote at WWDC 2011 back in June, I immediately knew it would be his last keynote. Not only did he look like my father did just weeks before his death, he also had the same weak, almost squeaky voice. That morning I pondered whether I had seen enough Stevenotes and whether it would be worthwhile to jump through the hoops that Apple hands out before a keynote, including long waiting lines and "People Management" like in Kindergarten. But when I saw Steve, I was glad I bothered to take that last chance to see the genius in action once more.


Apple 1. Photo taken with iPhone 4S

On October 5th, 2011, at 3pm I was sitting in a meeting room at 3 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA. I had come more than 5500 miles from my office to demo our latest creation, codenamed Ziegenbart, to a couple of Apple people. They liked it very much and so I left in a good mood. The weather, cold and rainy in the morning, had turned into a bright, nice, sunny Fall afternoon. When he showed me off in front of the building, my contact at Apple briefly wondered about Katie Cotton’s, Apple's PR Manager, car parked seemingly in a hurry at the curb. "Where she is, Steve Jobs is not far away", he said.

When I turned into the rental car return lot at San Francisco International 30 minutes later to return my car and check in for my trip back to Europe, I heard the news on the radio. Steve Jobs had died, an era had come to an end.

I never expected that I would be less than 10 miles away when it happened.

Boinx | Opinion | Comments

by Oliver - -

A customer who had purchased FotoMagico Home on the European Mac App Store recently told us about his experience with the App Store handling his refund request: "I told them I wanted a refund for FotoMagico Home because it was missing a feature I needed which was available in FotoMagico Pro." The response he got from the App Store not only contained a link to our FotoMagico comparison page but the App Store sales agent also said that he should get back to him for a refund of FotoMagico Home once he actually purchased FotoMagico Pro.

We were very positively surprised by this. Not only did the App Store display a certain familiarity with our product, but they also acted in our best interest by encouraging the customer to buy the more expensive version before refunding the original purchase. This active upselling is a positive sign that Apple understands the needs of the third party developers and is acting on them.

Opinion | Comments

by Oliver - -

AppleTell's Kirk Hiner spoke with Oliver Breidenbach at Macworld 2011 about the future of the Expo and how the event needs to focus on being a meeting platform to remain interesting to vendors.

Boinx | Opinion | Comments

by Frank - -

Boinx Software’s co-founder and CEO Oliver Breidenbach joins Christopher Breen at the Macworld Podloft to discuss his company’s software, the advantage of Apple not being at Macworld Expo from the perspective of a third-party developer, and the impact the iPad may have on Breidenbach’s business.

Boinx | Opinion | Comments

by Oliver - -

Karelia Software's Dan Wood interviewed Boinx Software's Oliver Breidenbach on Marketing for small Mac software companies. Read Article...

Boinx | Opinion | Comments

by Oliver - -

The recently announced new MacBook Pros are of course good news for all prospective BoinxTV users. Due to the vastly improved graphics system, they will be great machines to record live events on the road. Add a FireWire ExpressCard to the built-in FireWire 800 and you can have at least 2 cameras. (It is currently not 100% certain that more than one camera on one FireWire bus will work reliably).

Unfortunately, Apple has limited your choice of mobile system quite drastically to one of the 15" MacBook Pro models even though both the new MacBook Air and the new MacBooks feature the new graphics system which would make using BoinxTV on those machines possible. The problem is that both lack a FireWire port. There is also no expansion slot which would allow you to add a FireWire port.

Steve Jobs himself apparently deems the FireWire port unnecessary, citing the fact that the most popular consumer HD camcorders now ship with USB 2.0 instead of FireWire.

We can only hope that this means that Apple will finally get started on supporting those cameras properly. Right now all you can do is download the movies recorded on the camera to your Mac for post-production. And while most of those cameras have a "webcam" mode that allows you to use them for live input, this feature is not supported on the Mac and it usually is a very low resolution on top of that.

Even better, though, would be the addition of an HDMI input which would really take recording video podcasts and the like to another level.

Oliver.

BoinxTV | Opinion | Comments

by Oliver - -

As I head to IBC waiting at the airport, I read in ibce-daily about ITV's Michael Grade giving a keynote at IBC where he stated that "Google and YouTube are just parasites. The day they start spending one billion pounds a year on content is the day I'll start worrying."

I think it may be that Google is already spending a billion a year on content - they are spending it on technology enabling them to collect it. Sooner or later they will start sharing the advertising revenue with people who provide high quality content. Once this model is there, someone with a brilliant idea won't have to go to ITV any more trying to get it sold to them, he or she could try to sell it directly to the consumers, bypassing traditional broadcasters.

BoinxTV will help people who want to do narrowcast studio shows or record live events.

Oliver.

Opinion | Comments


 

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