If you are interested in design & like playing designer to create original content, Canva is a site you should check out. The technology on the site democratizes design & paves the way for anyone to let their creative juices flowing. The site makes it easy for wannabe designers by making available many inspiring examples, it provides you the infrastructure & tools to get going easily, and it also has professionally designed elements that you could buy as building blocks for creating your own content. Fittingly, my first attempt at the site was with Seth Godin’s wisdom.
As usual, the download of the new version was initiated the minute I got to know it was available. The download & the install went through without a glitch. Everything working as expected.
Clock: Finally the iPad gets a native clock app. No more of trying out different apps to find the right one. Alarm, world clock – check.
Facebook: You like it or not, FB is spreading its tentacles. Integration into the iOS is just another validation of the fact that it is indeed taking over. But why are there two separate entry points to make Twitter & FB status updates? Why no option (like in Hootsuite) to update both at once? I think they’ve missed a trick here.
Camera: The panorama feature in the Camera app is welcome & eliminates another third party app from the device. Apple cleverly leaves it to app ecosystem to find user needs & fill them with apps. And within a few months include the much used features into its own applications as yet another of the 200+ features of the new version. In the process, it also pushes the ecosystem to identify new user needs all the time. Outsourcing of innovation at its best.
Maps: Just not there for India! Folks at Apple clearly weren’t thinking about its customers in certain places. Painful miss!!
One of my favourite features in iOS 5 has been the Reader. This feature strips the usual distractions on web pages (advertisements, widgets, badges, etc.) & provides the reading content in an easily readable format. The same distractions that fund the free content on the web. Another disruptive feature that will have an impact on online advertisers.
It has become my most used new feature on iDevices quickly. And nowadays, I have started missing a similar feature in desktop browsers as well. Got to check on one of those add-in or extensions.
It was a revelation for me to read the background story about Aakash ($35 tablet) in this FastCompany write-up.
Firstly, its impressive to know that the design for this potential-commercial-success is coming from an academic campus (IIT). The design is then sold to a commercial manufacturer (DataWind) with a challenging price target to meet. The challenge for the manufacturer is sweetened with access to a large protected market (subsidized purchases by the government). This sounds like a good example of the value chain making the best of the strengths of the individual players (IIT / design – DataWind / commercial manufacturing – Indian government / distribution with a cause). The understanding of this definitely increases the credibility of the project for me.
Secondly, the fact that the IIT students (& professors) are getting involved in a live product development experience is amazing. And that too a ground breaking product (price point) of a worthy impact (distribution across government schools). Kudos to the people involved.