Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Alex Mills Design 2010

It's finally here, the much delayed alex mills design website. The new home of SineWave and Pieces as well as future projects.

Pieces (Brand new iPhone App)

In move to consolidate and upgrade services, I have moved my blog to blog.alexmillsdesign.com. This will be the last post on my much loved google blog but I look forward to a bright future with the new website and wordpress blog.

Please change your RSS subscriptions to the new blog, I hope you enjoy and look forward to sharing it with you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Introducing SineWave

It's been a while but we all know how life can be! I'm very excited to announce the release of my new iPhone application called SineWave. Designed for electrical engineers and students, it makes the common calculations a little faster and less error prone which is always good thing. If you forget how it all works just flip the device on its side and you are greeted with a list of formulas, examples and a little explanation.

This is my first full iPhone app and the first one to be launched worldwide on the App store! It's very exciting to see Alex Mills Design on the iTunes, a place where I spend too much of my time. I will write a post about the whole experience once it all settles down and I have a few moments free.

Please check out the website and it's iTunes page, if you do purchase the app a review/rating would be greatly appreciated :).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

QuickPost and Tr.im update

Recently Tr.im, the URL shortener service built into QuickPost, announced that they will be not continuing operation. This is an incredible shame as it's a premiere service so it's exciting to see that this morning they announced that the tr.im will become open source in the public domain. 

The last few bugs submitted for QuickPost were in relation to what service we will choose to support, the answer to this will evolve over time but we have decided to go with continued use of Tr.Im. We are looking into the cost and effectiveness of using the source code to derive our own shortener service for QuickPost.

A little update for QuickPost: Its been a fair while since Beta 2 came out and I apologize. Work and intense education commitments take a majority of my time, as well as a new hardware project that I will announce later. Beta 3 is nearly finished and will be released within the next few weeks, good things come to those who wait. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

QuickPost Beta 3 Sneak

It's been a substantial amount of time since the release of beta 2 but unfortunately education commitments have taken the important center stage. Beta 3 was meant to be released today but this is not the case and to further annoy the anxious users, the next 3 to 4 weeks will be spent mainly on work and school. It will be a while before Beta 3 will be released, but it will be worth it, as you will see in the demo below it has a whole bunch of slick refinements and exciting new features. 

The demo is what we have built so far, introducing support for Wordpress and further refining the current services as well as making the app simpler and easier to use. Something which I'm proud about with this demo is that every submitted bug from Beta 2 has been fixed and refined. Each request and tester report has been taken very seriously, as you will see there are some massive changes to how the app looks and behaves. Please enjoy the demo and remember that an enormous amount of time has been spent on this project, so I ask for your patience during this busy time of the year. Thankyou!. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

WWDC 09 Predictions

It's now time for my regular pre-event predictions and this time it's the much awaited Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2009, held at the Moscone center in San Francisco. I'm extremely excited as previously the only real announcements from this event were mac hardware and software, while this year we have Mac OS X iPhone (What Apple officially calls it), and Mac OS X Snow Leopard plus a whole bunch of other hardware to go with them. Let's get into it.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

From a consumers point of view this release doesn't appear to be too much but if you are a business person or developer, it's time to get excited. Previous releases, Leopard in particular, were a whole bunch of new features whereas Snow Leopard will be a bunch of new features for developers. New technology to handle multiple core intel processors called Grand Central, the ability to tap into the vast amounts of wasted power in graphics cards and a complete cleanup and streamline of the operating system. This gives developers like myself new tools, technologies and visual features in our own applications, and in true Apple fashion, with little effort.

A couple things I would like to see in particular from an interface designers point of view is the actual tool that was patented to create resolution independent buttons and elements. At the moment to do this in leopard involves subclassing components of buttons etc which is pretty messy. Plus improved toolbars, token fields and easier Core Data migration. It will be interesting to see though if Apple does come through with the new marble interface or something similar, personally if it's going to look anything like the glass in iTunes and iPhoto it will be horrible. They finally got consistent interfaces with Leopard, lets not do a Tiger have 4 please. It would be really sweet if Snow Leopard goes on sale right away.

iPhone V3/Video/Video 3G or whatever it's going to be called

Unfortunately with all the amazing work that's gone into Snow Leopard, any sort of announcement about the iPhone will take center stage. We have already seen the new spotlight and cut/copy/paste in Mac OS iPhone 3.0 so I would believe that it will be mainly about new hardware if the recent rumors have anything to do with it. My requests for a new iPhone would be:

  • Better camera... please a better camera
  • Improved scratch resistance
  • Better bluetooth (Demoed in iPhone 3.0)
  • Improved battery life
  • Better screen!!!!!!
  • More screen colours
  • Cheaper
  • Optus allowing to upgrade at no cost :)
Best of luck to everyone at WWDC this year, my best wishes to Steve Jobs and I hope to see you all next year when QuickPost will make it's conference debut!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Introducing QuickPost Beta 2

Exactly 5 months in the making, I'd like to introduce the second beta of QuickPost for Mac. Beta 2 is one incredible update due to the fact that almost none of the code from the first beta is present in this one, thats right it was built from the ground up. Finished 2 days ago, it's been in private testing while I finish the new website which I'm extremely proud about so go check it out to get the full details on this new release.

New Stuff
  • Offline Post Storage
  • Multiple Blog and User accounts
  • More powerful and stable visual editor
  • Source code editing
  • URL Shortening
  • Tweeting new posts
  • Search and add maps and videos to entries
  • Higher control of web images
  • Powerful hyperlink creator for websites and mail-to links
  • Smoother posting
  • Text formatting
  • Interface
These are just to name a few, head to the website to check out the release notes and download the latest beta. It works with Mac OS X 10.5+ and Google Blogger. Support for wordpress and more coming soon, here's proof.

Please download, if you like, love or hate something about the app, use the built in feedback (In the QuickPost menu) to let me know :). Or just post a comment here. Just remember that this is a beta app so the features, interface, icons and finish are not final and will change over time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Latest Chromium Screenshots

Chromium is the open source project behind the Google Chrome project. For a couple months now you have been able to download nightly builds of the native mac version which is awesome for fans of the windows app. While these are early builds of the browser they show great maturity and stability, even though most of the preference options don't actually work. Many of the main features work including tab dragging (including to new windows) and incognito mode. It's far from complete and suitable for real world use but it's definitely on the way so we should be seeing a Google Chrome beta for Mac soon. 

I love this browser, the fact that the dock icon doesn't even bounce is great indication of the performance during startup and that address bar, just brilliant! When using my current browser Camino, 90% of the time I open a new tab to search so with Chromium I don't have to tab to the search field, I just begin typing. The interface is just stunning, which is not easy on a mac. It's very hard for designers to create interfaces that use different kinds of controls and make it look like it belongs in leopard but  reckon they have succeeded with this one. This is something the ugliest browser on the planet could really spend time doing. Check out the screen shot of how the leopard chrome works with the browser interface. 

Chromium chrome and interface
Something that could be interesting? Maybe the feature by the same name in Safari 4 is actually a webkit project?

Creat application interface
So go check out the latest nightly builds and test, if you find an issue or the browser crashes, make sure you can repeat the steps and submit a bug report. Check out the screenshot of the full app below.

Chromium Browser