Oct 22 2010

Favorite iPad Apps

It’s really hard to find really great iPad apps from the hundreds of thousands of apps available from the Apple iTunes appstore. I’ve bought a few apps that I’ve later regretted. In this post I’ll list the top five iPad apps, other than Twitter apps, that I love using on the iPad. I’m always looking for new apps to try out, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to list them in the comments sections.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro – My go to app for drawing a quick sketch for an idea, logo, or design is the Autodesk SketchBook Pro. It’s easy to use, has a nice selection of different brushes and patterns. One of my favorite features is the mirror, drawing one a line will produce a mirrored image of that line. I also like that the produced images can easily be exported at a high resolution. SketchBook Pro also supports multiple layers. There are few features I would like to add to this app. I’ve used images generated from this app in my Tumblr on many occasions.

Penultimate – Another favorite sketch app is Penultimate. This sketch app is a lot simpler and easier to use. Penultimate only has three pen widths and six colors to choose so I used this for rough sketches for ideas. The look of Penultimate feels like a Molskine notepad. Penultimate allows you to have multiple notebooks, each for a different project. You can export a page as an image or a notebook as a PDF document.

Amazon Kindle – I’ve had a Kindle since it was originally released and I have a lot of notes, highlights, and bookmarks for the Kindle ebooks that I’ve read. Even though I have a Kindle, the most common way I read Kindle books is through my iPad via the Kindle for iPad application.

Adobe PS Express – The Adobe PS Express is my favorite app when it comes to cropping pictures on the iPad. PS Express comes with a few commonly used photo manipulations such as cropping, straightening, rotating, and flipping images. It also has a predefined set of borders and filters to apply on your photos or image files.

Strip Design – Strip Design is a very simple iPhone and iPad app that allows you to create comic strip like panels. You can create a strip of one, two, three, or four panels. In each panel you can drop a different image. You can also add thought balloons and different stickers such as crazy looking mustaches or action effects.

Dragon Dictation – Dragon Dictation helps to transcribe to text what you say. This is really useful to record a thought and have it transcribed to text quickly. Dragon has good recognition, at least it has worked for me. I used Dragon Dictation when I want to jot down a idea quickly, then I emailed me the dictated text for final editing.

Sep 6 2010

Amazon Should Buy Blippy for $100 million

Blippy is a site that allows you to automatically share the purchases you’ve made and the products you’ve bought with friends and followers. The way Blippy can detect products and services bought is by monitoring the transactions made on a given credit card. Blippy has been around for a while and many of the questions concerning privacy and security have already been asked. Blippy is just the next logical conclusion of all the information we make public on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. With some common sense, extra precautions, and the correct privacy settings, people feel more and more comfortable posting about the products they purchase, the locations they visit, and their private lives including relationship status and political views. Blippy is one of few companies in the social commerce web space and it complements with the strategy at Amazon that I think Amazon should make an offer of no less $100 million dollars to purchase Blippy before it gets snagged up by a competitor. The social commerce space has just been validated by Apple Ping. Apple Ping complements Apple iTunes by being a social commerce community around music and possibly other entertainment media such as movies and books. Similarly, Blippy can complement Amazon by being a social commerce engine for the products sold by the online retailer giant. Blippy also compliments the large amount of product reviews Amazon has amassed and can easily be turned on for all the users accounts at Amazon with little effort, because essentially every Amazon user has already entered one or more credit card.

More and more companies will have niche social applications around their core business, right now news networks to car companies and everything between are using social sites like Twitter and Facebook, but they will soon ask for more and more control over users data than these sites provide. Instead of being a Twitter or Facebook client to post likes and status updates, large ecommerce sites will develop their own social niche sites around their core competencies, like Apple Ping. Just like Apple has released Ping as a social engine for discovering new music, Amazon needs a similar product to compliment it’s online retail business and it’s social media strategy. The social graph provided by Blippy augments well around the data Amazon already has, such as previous purchases, reviews, and the information to generate recommendations. All things being equal, Blippy adds more value to Amazon which sells product than to Facebook that which impressions.

I’m not an insider, investor, or friends with anyone at Blippy or Amazon, but I just feel that these two businesses compliment each other very well and can take social networking to the next level into social ecommerce. When ecommerce goes social and viral it will mark the beginning of ecommerce 2.0.