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iFolder for iPhone now available!

UPDATE: The first release is now available in the app store. At the moment it’s US only but we expect to do a global release by the end of February 2011.

Available in the US App Store

We’ve just put the finishing touches to our iFolder for iPhone app and are recruiting enterprise beta testers who have their own iFolder installation. The easiest way of describing iFolder is probably to say that it’s dropbox for the enterprise – it’s a cross-platform secure file sharing system originally developed by Novell and now open sourced. There are existing open source clients for Windows, Apple Mac and Linux, but mobile support is currently limited (well, non-existent).

You can check out the app and apply for the beta programme over at ifolder.mindsizzlers.com

Posted in Development, Featured, iPhone, iPhone Development, News0 Comments

MP Finder iPhone app released

MP Finder iPhone app released

Our latest iPhone application is a small demonstration of what can be achieved using the newly released data from The Ordnance Survey under the Open Data initiative combined with public domain data on Members of Parliament and Constituencies.

MP Finder locates where you are and then drops a pin on the map identifying your constituency and MP. No entering postcodes, searching for addresses, simply turn on and find your MP!

Visit the app store

Posted in Featured, iPhone, iPhone Development, News, Products0 Comments

iAd – mobile advertising for iPhone

The announcement from Apple today about the new OS 4 for iPhone was pretty much as expected with the main developer interest being multi-tasking (only on 3GS and newer devices). More interesting was the announcement about iAd, Apple’s new mobile advertising platform that aims to integrate advertising more tightly with the whole iPhone experience.

This is potentially great news for developers. Up to now we’ve been largely limited to advert banners that cause our applications to quit and whizz off to a mobile web page. Since many users are probably clicking the adverts by mistake, as they are often close to a tab or navigation bar, this is really annoying for them since the application has now quit to launch the web browser. This means many developers are reluctant to put advertising on their applications, the users don’t like the experience, and all in all it’s not a recipe made in heaven.

iAd aims to change that by keeping the adverts within the application experience. This is potentially great news. Users won’t be so annoyed because they will now have an easy way to simply click back to where they were in the application. This in turn means developers are more likely to be able to earn a small crust from their free apps (Apple are taking 40% of the advertising revenue and giving you the other 60%). The likelyhood is that the quality of the adverts may also improve to become more engaging and this could lead to a win win situation all round.

What we would not like to see would be ads in PAID apps, that is likely to really alienate users, but I’d be willing to bet that the better the advert experience is for the user, the more we will see careful deployment of advertising in these as well.

It should be an interesting summer …

Posted in iPhone, News0 Comments

iPhone Training Courses

Mindsizzlers are now running London based training courses on iPhone and iPad development for both programmers and business leaders.

Developed over the course of the last few months, courses can be delivered either at The Bridge in East London, or on-site for your own company. Courses can be scheduled in different ways to suit the participants so please do get in touch if this is something you think we can help you with.

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iPhone for Business Leaders

Many companies are looking at the iPhone and other mobile platforms as a business tool, either with staff able to access IT infrastructure, or to develop apps to compliment, extend or advertise existing services. This one day course looks at the practicalities of iPhone as a platform, introduces the application lifecycle and gives participants an insight into how to manage an iPhone project.

More Details

iPhone Programming

This three day course is intended for programmers wishing to learn how to write iPhone applications. Participants should have some programming experience, object oriented programming experience is not a prerequisite. Participants will learn about the iPhone platform, its native programming language, Objective-C, and be introduced to the business processes behind creating and publishing apps in Apple’s app store. By the end of the course, participants should have enough understanding to create and build their own applications, be familiar with the development environment and iPhone API’s, and have an understanding of a broad range of the technologies and concepts underlying iPhone
programming.

Courses are run in association with our friends at The Bridge

Posted in iPhone, News0 Comments

Golden Hour comes to iPhone

Golden Hour comes to iPhone

Mindsizzlers have released their latest iPhone application. The Golden Hour app’ puts a sun clock in your pocket and allows you to plot the position of the sun for any location on earth and time of year. Of particular interest to photographers, the application highlights the so-called “Golden Hour” much appreciated by cinematographers and photographers alike.

Featuring a comprehensive database of over 45,000 locations around the world, accurate astronomical calculations and different views of the data, both graphical and numeric, the application is designed to accompany and augment the existing website at www.golden-hour.com.

Full Features;

Next event alert for the current location.

Sun clock display showing not simply the day-night terminator, but a coloured shadow highlighting the areas of the planet currently in golden hour, civil twilight, nautical twilight etc. Click on the map to instantly change locations.

Sun Angle display showing the Azimuth and Elevation for any time on the current day.

Golden Hour display, familiar to website users this is the core display of the solar altitude during the day. Users can scroll through the year or nudge the current date up/down with a tap. From this screen users can also access a comprehensive numeric data view showing the full range of astronomical,nautical and civil twilight times.

Huge drill down location database complete with full colour flags of the world for each country and population data for each city, town or village.

Particularly noteworthy is that the application does not require any network access and is therefore perfect for iPod touch users.

Posted in Featured, iPhone Development, News, Products0 Comments

How does a large plastic map win a UK innovation award?

Today I was a delegate at the Geovation 2010 awards in London.  According to their own website, “Geovation is a place where innovative thinkers and geographic data can get together for the benefit of developers, entrepreneurs, website owners, end users and the wider community.”

The stress is mine, but you would kind of imagine that the very name “Geovation” would suggest innovative use of Geography … well that’s certainly what I was expecting.

The plan for the day was to listen to some pitches, vote on the candidates and then see who the esteemed judges had chosen to win a share of the prize fund.

So … with much anticipation I turned up to see the presentations about Innovative uses of Geography.  I have to admit to being a little disappointed.  There were some good ideas, and for me, one stood out head and shoulders above the rest … but I am struggling to work out how 2 (yes, TWO)  rather similar large plastic maps made it into the final. Even the Q&A session after the second presentation was asking what the difference was to the other entry (albeit couched in diplomatic language).

So to be clear. The FINAL of a UK Government sponsored (ultimately, since it was funded by the Ordnance Survey) initiative concerning INNOVATION in geography yielded 2, er, large plastic maps. Even better, they were both aimed at use in schools! Nothing wrong with that per se … but basically both “innovations” were conceptually identical and targeting the same group.

OK I thought, it’s a shame we have 2 plastic maps in the final, but the other 7 finalists will surely bring something interesting to the table. Well … yes and no.  There were other ideas, a few of which definitely had some merit, and whilst I quite agree that simply sticking something on the iPhone doesn’t render it innovative, there were some genuinely good ideas about the use of geography and technology that would have filled the brief by being called “innovative”. One of the ideas was exceptional, so much so that on my voting form I only ticked one box (rather than the two I was being asked for) and wrote in the margin, “give all the money to these guys as it was by far the best idea”

But back to the maps.

The first shocker was that the “community award” – ie the one voted for by people in the audience, overwhelmingly went to one of the large plastic maps. I found that hard to believe, and was wondering how many innovators there were in the audience … and then, to my absolute amazement, the judges awarded first place to, wait for it … the very same large plastic map!

Now don’t get me wrong, the people involved were clearly dedicated, passionate, well connected and motivated … but come on guys, we are talking about an INNOVATION award here. Large plastic maps were innovative round about the time we invented PVC in 1872 – although to be fair no practical use for PVC came about until the late 1920′s. But hey, that’s not quite 100 years ago yet so there is still plenty of room for innovation eh ;-)

So I came away not knowing quite what to think. I did have some interesting chats in the pub afterwards (and thank’s for the beer guys) and many of the entrants were both innovative, practical and interesting … but come on Geovation … to award the top prize for geographical innovation in the UK to a LARGE PLASTIC MAP does none of us any favours in UK PLC.

Posted in News, Personal3 Comments

Got a dog? Join DODADOG!

Got a dog? Join DODADOG!

We’re delighted to announce the release of www.dodadog.com which is our new gregarious network for dogs and their owners. The site has discussion groups, breed information, photo galleries, news and articles and uniquely, the ability to track your walks using our related iPhone application.

DODADOG was the brainchild of TV producer / director Colin Brewer and has been developed by Mindsizzlers who are joint partners in the new venture.

Built entirely on Amazon’s compute cloud and utilising Amazon’s SimpleDB infrastructure as opposed to a conventional relational database, DODADOG is at the cutting edge of new web technologies and we wish it every success.

www.dodadog.com

www.dodadog.com

Posted in Featured, News, Products0 Comments

Memcached and Clouds

Memcached and Clouds

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Amazon’s cloud database SimpleDB recently and was invited to give a presentation in July on how Memcached and SimpleDB work really well together. We’ve made a copy of the presentation available online and you can view it below. If you want a PDF copy of the presentation, you can order it for free on the same page.

www.mindsizzlers.com/presentations/amazon_simpledb/

Posted in Cloud Computing, Development, Featured, News, Presentations0 Comments

Announcing Web Trends Now

Announcing Web Trends Now

We’ve been working on a little research tool that helps keep you in the loop of what’s going on in cyberspace and are pleased to launch www.webtrendsnow.com

The site works like this.

Ever hour, Google trends publish data about the hot search terms as determined by analysis of their US based users.

We then run a search against each of the top 100 search terms to find the top sites that web users will be visiting as a result.

We show you this information, together with a thumbnail of the website (made by another mindsizzling service we will soon be launching to the public) which makes it very quick and easy to see if the site is something you are interested in.

If you find it useful, do let us know …

Posted in Featured, News, Products0 Comments

SimpleDB backup solution launched

SimpleDB backup solution launched

We’re a fan of Amazon cloud computing and have been using SimpleDB within some projects that we will be launching soon. The problem though is that there is no backup solution for the service and whilst Amazon’s redundancy etc means that we should never lose any data anyway, that doesn’t protect you against the accidental deletion of data (been there, done that) or the desire to have data in files that you can import into other databases (eg Mysql)etc.

I was a bit surprised that this hadn’t been addressed by the Amazon community at large so I took a few days (well, a week) out of my schedule to pull togetherwww.backupsdb.com – the world’s first online backup solution for Amazon SimpleDB.

We launched it last week and you can read more over at the backupsdb blog

Posted in Featured, News, Products0 Comments

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