Android Honeycomb Stencils and Resources

I have previously posted numerous mobile stencils and wireframes, but with Google’s recent release of the new OS, we designers need the new tools:

Android Honeycomb Stencils & Sketchsheets

android tools

Google recently released their OS designed specifically for tablets: Android Honeycomb. This is a set of stencils & sketchsheets to help you get started mocking up your GUI’s.

DroidDraw

android tools

DroidDraw is an online tool to help you easily build graphical user interfaces for the Android cell phone platform. There’s also a standalone executable available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. This is a really quick way to emulate your application with almost no need to know code and focus strictly on the interface. Continue reading

Verizon iPhone Has Antenna Issues

According to Consumer Reports, the iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless’ network has a similar problem to the AT&T version. If the phone is held in a certain way, it could cause dropped calls or problems dialing out. This is due to blocking of the antenna which is in the band around the phone.

Consumer Reports tested the Verizon iPhone 4 and found that covering tiny gaps in the metal band surrounding the phone’s edge causes “meaningful decline in performance.”

In conditions where cell signal is weak, the iPhone 4 would drop calls when the user covered the gaps by holding the phone in a specific — but natural — way. This issue can also be avoided by using a cover on the phone which prevents contact with the antenna.

Consumer Reports conducted similar tests last summer on the iPhone 4 that runs on AT&T Inc.’s networks. In both cases, the publication has decided not to include the phone on its list of recommended smart phones.

Skype 5.0 Usability Sucks

skype logo

Patrick Neeman writes the top 5 reasons why the new Skype (for Mac) is worse than previous versions. 5 Reasons Skype for Mac Sucks.

I have to agree with everything he writes. In fact, in my personal use of Skype, I talk with people who are using a PC and I am flummoxed as to how to instruct them when they ask for help since the interfaces are so different. Why would that be? and why are the controls so non-intuitive? In fact, Skype seems to have doent he OPPOSITE of good interaction design with this version.

With so many users, one would think that they would have plenty of feedback to help make the newer versions of the application even easier… not harder to use.

All that being said, Skype still does a better job than  Google Video Chat, which is still suffering from lukewarm reviews.

Touchscreen Competition

Here was the June 2009 Top Ten List of iPhone Competitors

The Samsung F700 was released soon after the iPhone so was obviously compared with it (and did well). The LG Prada KE850 Nokia’s concept phone – Aeon

Obviously, HTC, Samsung and Google have released the Android based phones since then, but I thought it worthwhile to take a look at what has come before. As they say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it in the future.

Since the introduction of the Apple iPhone on January the 9th, the world has gone touch pad crazy, touch pad technology is the way of the future and many companies have heard the call and made their own touch pad phones in direct competition with the iPhone. This is a top ten list of iPhone Competitors, some of the phones are the real deal, some are just concepts at the moment, all are cool.

1.

Samsung%20F700-2.jpg Samsung%20F700-3.jpg
Coming in at Number 1 is the recently announced Samsung F700 ultra slim phone, answering the call early Samsung have come up with a splendid touch pad phone. Main features of the phone include a 5 megapixel camera, touch pad technology, impressive downloads speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and a cool slide out QWERTY Keyboard, which is something the iPhone is lacking. With their first deluge into touch pad phones Samsung seem to have hit a home run straight of the bat. Continue reading

$399 for an Open Mac

Psystar is now selling several “Open Computers” that you can get OS X Leopard or Tiger installed on. These are cheaper than even the least expensive Macs and are actually high end machines that you would likely pay around $2000 for if it came from Apple.

Is it legal?…I don’t know, but I’ve heard alot of talk about Apple not following the law when it comes to monopolies on their software. There is a good story in Information Week outlining the possible law suits that may come about.