One the items that caught my eyes in Apple's WWDC demos was the gaming extension that was layered onto the Apple TV box. Games enabled with Airplay can now mirror and even display separate content on the TV. Think of it as your iPhone and iPad as the controller but also as the gaming machine beaming the game onto your HD TV screen. Demos also showed four iPhone users playing concurrently on the same TV screen, competing with each other. Apple is not making a lot of noise about this yet – as iOS 6 is not out. But the implications can be huge. Graphics and computing power on the iPad and iPhone are respectable to say the least. Kids and adults alike are moving off of Nintendos and Playstation Portables (ok, fewer of those) onto iPod Touch, iPhones, iPads because the games are there and can do more than what they do on the platforms. The Kindle Fire and other Android devices are successful in this domain. But the Android horde lacks the bridge to the big screen that Apple TV brings to the fore with a $100 entry fee (beyond Samsung TV's built-in connectivity). Apple TV Airplay-enabled Game Center will use the iOS device as controller with the accelerometer and also as a second 'private' screen for the player using it. This is like having a Nintendo Dual Screen device where the game screen is 40", 50", 60" big. The local screen, on the iOS device, acts as the private control view. XBOX is built into the Windows Phone platform. But Microsoft did nothing to make it interesting beyond messaging for gamers. There are no mobile, GPS or context-enabled extensions for the XBOX games you love. You cannot use the phone as controller either. Who knows, maybe now the creativity will strike and this will happen. And nobody knows how the next iPhone or Apple TV will take this even further. Fun stuff.
While I am a huge fan of Virtual Box, work supplies us with Parallels and a Windows 7 virtual machine. I find Parallels to be slower but it works overall just fine. Recently I wanted to install a Linux VM so I installed Virtual Box on my Mac. As always, Virtual Box installs virtual network cards (vnic) and makes some modifications to the underlying OS.
My Parallels Windows 7 VM was running using shared networking. I needed to have it be accessible outside the host so I switched it to Bridged Networking using the host's Ethernet device. At that point something weird happened: the VM would connect to the network, get an IP address assigned, but it would report failing to get to the network gateway. It failed to see the outside Internet. Trying all sorts of Windows networking tricks did nothing to alleviate the situation, with Windows reporting that 'unauthenticated domain'.
The solution: removing Virtual Box using the script that comes on its dmg installer, restarting the Mac host and starting Parallels again. Suddenly I was able to connect to the network just fine.
Hope it helps others.
Templates and Design Tools
- Apple's Human Interface Guidelines
- Android UI Guidelines (look into Activities and Tasks) and this version for user experience professionals
- Android Ice Cream Sandwich stencils for Photoshop and Illustrator
- iPad PSD Template
- Teehan & Lax' iPhone PSD Template and Android PSD template
- More PSD Templates
- Keynote iOS Templates ;and another collection for Keynote, PowerPoint and OpenOffice
- MoobileFrames – Wireframe Templates for Mobile
- Flowella – Mobile prototyping tool from Nokia, still Symbian-oriented
- Android UI design resources – slightly outdated, still relevant (avoid old phones in your PSDs)
- Windows Phone PSD templates and also at Microsoft
- Windows Phone 7 UI Design Guidelines
- Windows Phone 7 design tool collection – templates, PSDs and printable sketch sheets
- Galaxy Nexus PSD
- More mobile phone PSDs
inspiration and Design Patterns
- Pttrns – Mostly iPhone
- Landing Pad – iPad
- Mobile Patterns – Mostly iPhone
- Lovely UI – Mostly iPhone
- Mobile Awesomeness
- Moobile Frames – reusable wireframes
- iOS inspires me – icons and iPhone/iPad designs
- Make Better Apps – in German
- Refined Mobile – more mobile web-oriented
- Tapfancy – iPhone
- iOS Inspires Me – iPhone mostly, icons
- App Sites – websites promoting apps and RawApp – a WordPress theme for app promotion
- Building iPhone Apps
- Well Placed Pixels
- Beautiful Pixels – app reviews with a design bent
- Mobile Button design collection
- iOS icon template for app icons
- Mobile Design Patterns on Flickr
- Theresa Neil's Mobile Design Pattern Gallery and book.
- The off canvas layout pattern explained and demoed
- The website supporting the book 'Designing Mobile Interfaces' has a collection of patterns and anti-patterns
- Jonathan Stark's 'Designing for Mobile' presentation
- Designing for Retina screens part 1 and part 2