Path is pretty in the same designy way as our modern museums…These museums are very exciting when they open. You show up and marvel along with all of the other fans of architecture. Maybe you return for one of those nights where they stay open late and there is a band and drinking. “A great space,” you think. Maybe one day you’ll be rich and rent out the atrium for a private party. The art doesn’t get talked about so much at these museums. The museum itself is the “social object,” as it were. Eventually the particulars around which the museum was designed fall out of fashion. A fresh crop of architects finds it to be too flashy, or too dull, or to have been guided by faulty principles. There is congestion where there should be flow. Certain rooms are simply exhausting. Maybe it is even an eyesore. This is good for the museum. Now they can really fuck up the place…Path is a monument to Path. It is no place to scribble in. I wish it longevity so that it might find shabbiness.
This is the best thing I’ve read about Path, and it perfectly articulates something I’ve thought not only about Path, but also a lot of other exemplars of the fussy, post-Apple wave of “high design” in tech products. Khoi Vinh has written about the same phenomenon, arguing that the obsessive design polish we in the industry have come to fetishize can lead to products without the “breathing room” to feel truly lived in by users.
AIR Plays Digital Vinyl (via AIR Plays Digital Vinyl | Wayne’s World)
I install a lot of apps on my iPhone and if a month or so goes by and I haven’t used it, then I uninstall it. There are several apps that I started using frequently last year and I figured I would throw a list together since I find that I’m always turning people on to new apps.
Evernote – I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who don’t at least know about this app. And if you’re a friend of mine, you’ve probably heard me rave about it. As much as I hated giving up my Moleskine, Evernote has replaced it. Every note I take is on Evernote. And because there’s a desktop and web counterpart to the iOS app, everything syncs and my notes are everywhere. This is one of two apps that I absolutely could not be without. While I had installed it previously, I started using it daily this year. I think my co-worker Kris said it best:
Instapaper – This is the only app that I use more than Evernote. I think it’s fair to say I use the hell out of Instapaper. At it’s most basic level, instapaper allows me to save articles and read them later in a nice, easy-to-read format. This app also has a web counterpart, which you’ll need to use in order to get the most out of the app. The killer feature for me is that Instapaper can send you a weekly (or daily) digest of the articles you save directly to your Kindle. Whether I come across an article on Twitter, Google Reader or the New York Times, I just send it to Instapaper and read it when I have time. It’s also worth mentioning that I like the fact that Marco Arment seems to be a cool guy and since he’s actively developing Instapaper on his own, I like to support him. This was another one of those apps that I started using very regularly this year.
Calvetica Calendar – I’m not sure there was anything wrong with Apple’s built-in calendar application, but Calvetica is just better. It looks better and I really enjoy the minimalist approach. I’ve also recently started playing around with Dialvetica Contacts, which is a similar app replacement for the contacts and phone apps. It’s still a little rough, but is being actively developed.
Instagram – I really love Hipstamatic, but I found myself wanting more on the social side of things from it. I somehow wanted an app that was Hipstamatic + Tumblr + Twitter and Instagram is that very app. It’s so simple to use and the ability to apply cool filters to your photos, follow your friends and push your photos out to other social networks at the same time make this one of the best apps of the year. It’s on the tops of everyone’s list, which is a good thing. The more people that know about it, the more friends I will have participating. It’s also worth mentioning that Path is an excellent and similar app. It lacks the extensive social capabilities of Instagram (by design), but is beautiful to use and I recommend you give it try as well.
HeyTell – If you’ve ever wanted a walkie-talkie or two-way for your iPhone, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Honestly, I didn’t know I ever wanted one, but once my buddy @boomcat sent a message to me on it, I was hooked. I’d never heard of the app, didn’t know anyone else that used it, but it’s a blast to use. It even has add-ons that you can purchase that allow you to change your voice in fun ways. I’m sure that more people will be installing this one over the coming months. It’s just too much fun.