Tag Archives: ipad

Apple Gets Serious About The iPad’s Creative Power In New Ad

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Apple aired a new iPad advertisement during the NFL playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers today, and it’s all about creativity. It’s no secret that Apple wants to push the creative aspect of its mobile devices, which are still seen largely as consumption gadgets, and this new ad embraces a grand vision of iOS as fertile ground for inspiration and creation.

“What will your verse be?” is the tagline for the ad, and the idea is that each person gets to contribute one verse to the overall poem of human experience (which is a terrible poem by the way). The iPad in the commercial is used in a number of different creative capacities, including as a filming accessory, as a prototyping tool, as a means for writing, and as a way to 3D prototype and work in the depths of the ocean.

It’s telling that many early iPad commercials depicted users in familiar settings using the gadget on their laps, on their couches or in other similarly mundane situations, while this one takes the tablet to the far corners of the earth. Apple also lists the uses depicted in the commercial in greater detail on its ‘Your Verse’ microsite to give more context.

The message is not only that the iPad is capable of true creativity, but also that it’s an aspirational device: This is a lifestyle ad akin to the kind of thing you see from Lexus and other high-end car manufacturers, and that’s a good marketing strategy for the iPad in terms of capitalizing on Apple’s brand cachet. The perceived superiority of Apple tablets in terms of quality is a key weapon the company retains in its ongoing battle with Android slates, after all.


Longposting: the case of Apple’s iPad

Life on iPad — this is how the text storytelling sells

View story at Medium.com

Apple has recently launched its “Life on iPad” campaign,

This is the brilliant example of how the longposting works:

  • Long-form type of content: stories and examples illustrated
  • Communication: not a direct sell, but a storytelling

Let’s analyze it in few steps.


The campaign runs for all languages.




See the skin-diver in the bottom row? That’s a tile for the campaign.

Cover image

By choosing a cover image Apple signals that it will be showcasing interesting stories, not products technical characteristics.

And we see it by clicking the tile.

“Life on iPad” English page


The title of the story matters. A lot.

First of all, Apple highlights that the tile is about stories. Simply compare: iPad Air — iPad Mini with Retina Display — Life on iPad.

Second, the word “Life” is strong enough to be ready to listen to stories and to express emotions.

Now it’s time for stories

That’s about Apple’s presentation of stories on iPad.

Already familiar with the approach? May be. A collection of stories, big pictures, even more visual power, utilizing cover images, typography, spacing.


The new idea about stories’ pages is that Apple shows it as real stories/articles, the ones we used to on Medium: full-screen text, large quotes, titles and subtitles, left/right aligned images, even more pictures, also with text above.

Just compare it with iPhone 5S Forward thinking page to notice some incremental changes.

And see any of Medium’s Editor’s Picks as well to understand the beauty of long stories.

Full-screen text, large quotes, titles and subtitles, left/right aligned images, even more pictures, also with text above.

So these are the elements of Life on iPad articles.

Cover image and title

Subtitles and short article description


Text illustrations

Smart typography

To sum up.

Apple has used the longposting approach with all the style it has.

And that’s all.

Who’s next?

Written by

Just in case. Business cases. Visual Storyteller. Sarcasm alert! Twitter: @redisflat | The voice of @StepicLab


Happy New Year!

Imagine if you could see the world like Van Gogh

Find a tiny home to write that great masterpiece

Hemingway stayed in boardinghouses, as did many writers.

Or go on tour, staying in homes along the way

Louis Armstrong stayed in homes when he traveled.

Imagine for a day you could live like a king

or be an explorer

or even a kid

Imagine when you arrived, you were made to feel special

Being welcomed in Barcelona.

In a home that is smart

Many Airbnb listings are quite advanced with Nest thermostats, iPads for guests, etc.

and designed to be shared

Dinner party at the Airbnb of one of our top hosts in Brooklyn, Shell.

Where home isn’t just a house

You see, home is anywhere you belong

Host welcoming guest during Hurricane Sandy.

You now have the keys to this new open world

House of Nalin, top host in India.

A world of wonder

Mushroom Dome Cabin.

filled with unexpected surprises

and delicious delights

Eating at Jiro’s sons restaurant in Tokyo while staying on Airbnb.

A world you never even knew existed

Vayable street art tour in San Francisco.

A world with communities of people just like you

Where behind every door is a host

Kimberly, a host in the East Village in NY.

who treats you like family

This is was the first host I ever stayed with in Denver for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

We are a new kind of economy not powered by machines

Not mass-produced dystopias

Not an artificial home

We are powered by people, a world of entrepreneurs

Host Jonathan can now pursue his dream of ceramics.

Who are building a new economy around sharing

Shell serving her guests.

Where cities become villages

One of oldest homes in country I stayed in Philadelphia.

With a friend in every city

Penpals with host Nalin in India.

But as wild as this seems, it’s not a new idea

Nearly half of Americans in the 19th century stayed in boardinghouses.

The romance of travel is back

and it’s here to stay

Wedding at the Mushroom Dome Cabin.

What started with 3 airbeds

Original apartment where Joe and I still live to this day.

is now in 190 countries

and one day in the remaining 4

We are currently not in Cuba, Syria, North Korea, or Iran.

We celebrate the different

and see potential in everything

We think a moonshot is actually booking the moon

We believe in supporting local economies

and being a model to cities

Joe Gebbia with the Mayor of Seoul.

We believe in diplomacy at the street level

Jorge was a border guard in West Germany whose host, Kay, was a border guard in East Germany — same location, same shift.

and honoring those who challenge the status quo

Host Mishelle in Brooklyn, who started a petition to change the NY law.

We are dedicated to sharing with those in need

Hosts who opened their homes during Hurricane Sandy.

We believe the measure of life will be in its meaningful moments

Mom enjoying our Airbnb in Bali with our host, Jeff.

Tonight 252,472 people will have these moments

Us enjoying a New Year’s Eve Bali restaurant.

Happy New Year!

Found this photo on Instagram, from Jared Barnard’s wife.

Written by

Co-founder, CEO of Airbnb

Published December 31, 2013


The Best And Worst Gadgets Of 2013

Posted 23 hours ago by (@drizzled)
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The Best And Worst Gadgets Of 2013

2013 was a heady year: a time of hope; a time for sadness; a time for twerking; and a time for doge.

But it was also a time for gadgets. As we wait for 2013 to come to a close and hope for brighter things for the year to come, here’s a look at the gadgets we loved, the ones we hated, and the ones that we found aesthetically offensive.

The Good


The Fitbit Force

Fitness trackers are many and varied, but Fitbit consistently delivers top-notch hardware. The Fitbit Force is the latest. It takes the successful formula of the wrist-borne Fitbit Flex and adds a basic screen so you can get information right from your wrist, instead of having to open an app on your phone every time you want to check your progress (in more detail than via a few lighted dots).


The Pebble

Many tried to make a smartwatch people wanted to wear and use this year, and many failed. Pebble succeeded. Success for a smartwatch still doesn’t look like massive millions of units sold, but it looks better than when the Pebble team tried this a few years ago with the inPulse smartwatch for BlackBerry. “The what?” you say. Exactly.


iPad mini with Retina Display

The iPad mini with Retina display takes the winning form factor of the original iPad mini and slaps a super high-res screen in there. It’s essentially a no-compromise machine, in that it’s cheaper than the iPad Air, and has the same processor, computing power and battery life. Plus if you have big pockets, it’s pocketable.

raspberry pi CC

Raspberry Pi

Kids need coding skills if they want to survive in our dystopian future. The ability to hack a circuit board could be the difference between eternal servitude and mastery over a private robot army by 2050 and we all know it. This educational tool is the perfect, cheap apocalypse survival kit. It’s technically from last year, but we contend it had more impact this year when production really spooled up.


Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon knows when it’s got a good thing going. Last year’s Kindle Paperwhite was a good thing, and this year’s update keeps all the good and adds some better stuff. Like faster page refresh, greater text/page contrast and more even lighting.

The Bad


Samsung Galaxy Gear

Pebble made a good smartwatch, and Samsung made a dumb one. They made weird ads to try to promote their dumb smartwatch, too, which helped nothing and creeped out the entire world. Plus it only works with a small pool of Galaxy devices, and it has terrible battery life and looks awful. Go home Samsung, you’re drunk.



Android-based game console” is a phrase we wrote so many times this year. So. Many. Times. And it turns out, they mostly blow. Atop the pile of those that miss is the Gamestick, a crowdfunded disaster that no one loves.



The Ouya is like the Gamestick, in that it was a disappointing “Android-based game console,” but to its credit, it isn’t the Gamestick. It’s still not great by any stretch of the imagination, but huge hype didn’t help, and it has decent niche appeal for anyone who really likes emulation and would rather have something permanent instead of plugging their phone into their TV repeatedly.

leap motion

Leap Motion

Speaking of startup gadgets that really blew it in 2013, the Leap Motion Controller doesn’t live up to its massive hype at all. Sure, if you’re a billionaire inventor like Tony Stark or Elon Musk it’s great for designing space ships or giant death airships, but for regular people, trying to, say, browse the web, you’re going to try this once, hate it and stick it in a drawer.

The Ugly


CTA Digital iPotty

Kids need to learn to use the toilet, and they should learn early that they also need to use iPads while they’re doing their business. So why not combine potty training and tablet use into a single device? The answer is that you shouldn’t do this because God will never forgive you if you do.


Google Glass

Maybe face-based computing is going to work eventually, but as-is, Google Glass looks like garbage. It makes your face look bad. Don’t try denying it. Google has released plenty of images of models wearing it and none of them look any good, so you with your normal-person face will look plain ol’ stupid.



The LG G2 is a great phone, as it is essentially a slightly improved version of the excellent Nexus 5, albeit with some LG bloatware crud. But LG went out of its mind and put the wake/sleep and volume rocker button on the back, just to infuriate me to the point where I would like to do murder. You couldn’t choose a less ergonomic place to put that button, LG. Not if you ran a thousand focus groups to figure out more inconvenient positioning.


Nintendo 2DS

I ain’t mad at you for dropping one of the ‘D’s Nintendo – you never needed three to begin with. And this device is actually pretty great, and I’d buy this instead of a 3DS if I didn’t already have one. Still, it’s not good-looking. It is, in fact, ugly. Good looks cost money, though, so uglification for a budget device may be strategy, not a stupid mistake.



Apple To Developers: Optimize Your Apps To iOS 7 By February


Apple also rolling out iOS 7.1 beta to developers.

Dan Rowinski December 18, 2013 Mobile

Apple wants all new and updated apps in its App Store to be optimized to iOS 7 starting in 2014.

In a note on its iOS developer portal yesterday, Apple stated:

Starting February 1, new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and must be optimized for iOS 7.

Apple updated iOS this year to include 1,500 new application programming interfaces for developers and a slick new “flat” design. Most app developers have been building apps optimized towards iOS 7 since Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in June 2013. Apple released iOS 7 to the public a week after it introduced the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in September. App developers have had the second half of the year to build new apps optimized towards iOS 7 or update existing apps.

Apple has let developers have two versions of their apps optimized towards both iOS 6 and iOS 7 with the knowledge that many businesses and enterprises must test the new operating system on their networks for security and functionality before rolling out the latest version to their employees.

The next update to iOS—iOS 7.1—is currently in beta for developers through Apple’s portal. iOS 7.1 is currently in beta 2 and there is no clear timetable from Apple when it will be officially released to the public.

iOS 7.1 beta is mostly under-the-hood updates for developers including updates to the Xcode integrated developer environment. Noted areas of change will be in the iOS MapKit that adds and modifies several existing functions including the ability to pin locations on a map, open the camera and annotate items on the map. The Media Player in iOS also has several changes of note adding several different including a specific function for “child items” in the content data source and a new content manager and navigation controls. SpriteKit—Apple’s new game rendering engine in iOS 7—gets a couple new updates as well.



The Next Big Thing You Missed: Watchdox Builds Personal Bodyguard for Your Sensitive Files

Inside private equity firm Blackstone, employees view financial data using Watchdox, rather than email or physical printouts. Image: Watchdox

In the age of cloud computing, companies like Google and Dropbox want to liberate your data. They give you the power to access your digital files from anywhere — via laptop, smartphone, or tablet, whether you’re dealing with personal stuff or corporate info.

Watchdox wants to feed this same revolution, but even more so than Google and Dropbox, it also wants to ensure that all those files don’t fall into the wrong hands. The Israeli company brings a healthy dose of military-grade security to the loosey-goosey world of mobile devices and cloud computing. Given all the recent press over the vulnerability of our digital data, including this weekend’s piece on NSA spying from der Spiegel, the startup’s timing couldn’t be better.

Watchdox has been preparing for this moment for five years. It launched in 2008 with backing from Shlomo Kramer, the founder of firewall pioneer Check Point Software and, apparently, a veteran of Israeli electronic espionage operation Unit 8200. Originally known as Confidela, the company maintained an air of secrecy until the announcement of its flagship product in 2009. Sales of Watchdox commenced a year later.

The idea behind Watchdox is that it’s no longer enough to lock down your corporate network against hackers. In an era of web apps and pervasive internet sharing, data itself must be locked down too.

“If you just secure the box that the information sits in, it’s going to be downloaded, and as soon as you take it onto an unmanaged mobile device and open it in another app, [the security] is gone,” says Ryan Kalember, Watchdox’s chief product officer. “Nobody really wanted to buy a firewall, but everybody wanted to connect to the internet, and the firewall made that safe to do. Because we protect at the level of the data, it makes Dropbox, mobility, and that collaboration experience safe to do.”

Watchdox works not just by encrypting data, but by making encryption and decryption as convenient as possible and by layering on additional means of security. On desktop and laptop computers, Watchdox streamlines the encryption process by hooking into programming interfaces provided by the likes of Microsoft and Adobe for certain types of files, such as Word documents or PDFs. Such interfaces more smoothly manage encryption keys and the process of unlocking certain documents. In cases where this isn’t feasible — on iPads, for instance, or with documents that aren’t viewed through Microsoft or Adobe software — Watchdox offers its own app for viewing, editing, and annotating documents.

On top of encryption, Watchdox can monitor document access, showing when and from where a particular file has been opened. It also offers watermarking, so that even if someone takes a picture of a screen showing a protected document, there is some way of knowing where it came from. For the truly paranoid, Watchdox offers a “spotlight” mode, where only a small portion of a document is shown on the screen at any one time.

Yes, there are ways of thwarting some of Watchdox’s non-encryption security tools. For example, a dedicated data thief could simply film the viewing of a “spotlight” protected document and create a composite image using bits from each frame. But many of Watchdox’s tools are intended simply to make it more painful to steal or leak information, not to make it impossible. In places like Hollywood, where Watchdox says it has signed up a majority of the large studios, simply making data theft more difficult can have a big impact.

Watchdox says it has also signed up most of the leading private equity companies (Blackstone among them) and most of the largest insurance companies. The tool has also found success among companies with long supply chains, since such outfits are typically worked with a large number of manufacturing partners located in countries with weak intellectual property protection. Nike, for example, uses Watchdox to share product designs and manufacturing instructions — “everything you would need to counterfeit a product,” Kalember says.

Not only does Watchdox help prevent leaks through manufacturing partners, it can also help with quality control — an unexpected side benefit. To wit, the tool can report whenever manufacturing instructions are accessed. “It turns out,” says Kalember, “you can do a really good job telling how well someone will make shoes based on how often someone is looking at the instructions.”

Despite mounting customer wins, including a slew of seven-figure enterprise deals this year, Watchdox remains unprofitable. But it is clearing somewhere north of $10 million in annual revenue — Kalember will only say “eight figures” — and he claims that the company is “not very far from being a profitable business.”

Watchdox, which has raised $36 million to date from venture capitalists, makes its money by selling server software and optional cloud services to large companies who want to encrypt their data. It gives the viewer away for free. The mobile viewer was only completed this year, according to Kalember, which helps explain why growth has been so strong in recent months.

Even as Watchdox nears profitability, competitors like Dropbox and Box are trying to angle in on its business. Given their large base of customers, and given Dropbox’s popularity among non-business users, both are formidable foes. But neither has experience with Watchdox-level security. Dropbox stores files unencrypted even as it ramps up other security tools, and Box is providing certain Watchdox-like tools via partnerships.

“A lot of them are finally getting around to bolting this security capability on,” Kalember says of competitors like Dropbox. In other words, they didn’t do it like Watchdox. They didn’t build for security from the get-go.



Samsung Got A Bigger Tablet Boost For Christmas Than Apple, According To Onswipe

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Touchscreen publishing company Onswipe has good news for Samsung. As Onswipe’s Chief Marketing Officer Jason Baptiste put it in an email, “Samsung clearly won Christmas when it comes to tablets.”

Specifically, the company looked at visitors to Onswipe-optimized sites for the period of Dec. 26 to Dec. 29 in comparison to Dec. 19-22, as a way to measure the growth that different tablet platforms saw over Christmas. The results? Samsung’s Galaxy tablets grew 50.4 percent, Nexus 6 tablets grew 33.8 percent, iPads grew 20.4 percent, and Kindle Fires grew 19.5 percent.

Now, the fact that Onswipe focused on percentage growth is an important caveat here. After all, Samsung was presumably starting from (much) less, so it didn’t need to sell as many tablets to see significant growth.

It’s also interesting to see the line about Samsung’s victory coming from Baptiste, who recently wrote a blog post telling people to “stop believing the fairy tales about the iPad’s demise.” I asked him if the data made him reconsider the post, and he said no: “Though they enjoyed more growth post Holidays, Samsung is still very tiny compared to the iPad and the same goes for the rest of Android. What will be interesting is seeing whether people still use Android tablets 90 days out from now.”

Baptiste also provided some numbers about usage. He said the average session time from Samsung users was 3 minutes and 9 seconds after Christmas, down from 3:32 before. On iPad, the average session was 4:03, compared to 4:12 before. And the Kindle Fire had the longest session time on average, 4:51.

As for how many people this data represents, Baptiste said Onswipe (which recently upgraded its platform) reaches 31 million unique visitors each month on the mobile web.