Playapod is a new cross-platform mobile app that improves the experience of consuming podcasts on your mobile device. As an avid consumer of podcasts, I was unhappy with the other apps on the market. One of the biggest features of Playapod is syncing to the cloud so all your podcasts are available on all your devices. You can pick up any device and start playback exactly where you left off. It’s a great feature but it’s not my favorite of all–That would be the Playapod Progress Bar.
Playapod’s Precision Progress Bar displays where you have listened (blue), skipped (black), and favorited (red) in addition to your current audio position (turquoise). It also displays what you have listened to since pressing play (bright blue). All of this information is synced across all your devices.
I’ve always wanted a progress bar that displays exactly what you have listened to and skipped over. Have you ever accidentally jumped to the end of your podcast or fumbled with your device and lost your place? It’s happened to me so many times. I never understood why audio book and podcast apps wouldn’t display in a different color the parts I have actually listened so it wouldn’t matter if I lost my playback position. Also, there are many times when I want to replay something later–maybe a good laugh or an interesting piece of news. I added time-coded bookmarks to the progress bar which makes it very easy to go back and share the best moments of a podcast with friends.
There are many more great features in the Playapod app and you can read more about them in the Playapod press release. You can download Playapod for free and try the cloud syncing and progress bar improvements yourself. I think you’ll really enjoy it!
Do you want to get a million downloads? I discussed how to do just that at a MoDev event a few years back. In just 6 easy steps, you’ll be able to boost those app downloads. Now don’t worry because this isn’t an infomercial and I’m not selling anything. It’s just totally free advice with no strings attached.
There was a small group of people at this event (maybe 40), but the video has had over 15,000 views. I just watched it today (3 years later) and found that the concepts and methods still hold up. If you didn’t get discouraged from my last post, Ideas are Worth Nothing, then you have to watch my presentation when you are about to launch your new app.
I’m writing a couple tutorials on how to build your first app, starting with the typical Hello World example. I’ll then show how to take that code and build something a little more useful including a system clock and a stopwatch timer. It will be a total of three articles.
Should you switch to the Verizon iPhone4? I answer this question the same way a nurse asks you about an injury–On a scale between 1 and 10, what level of pain are you in? If you give the nurse a high number, she will give you a shot of morphine, and the pain will go away. In the same manner, if your AT&T pain level is high enough, maybe a shot of Verizon is exactly what you need.
My AT&T pain level is about a 9 right now. I reserve 10 for women in labor trying to get directions to the hospital and their call drops. That would be a solid 10. I put myself at a 9 because I’ve gotten to the point that I scream and yell at my phone when it drops or fails to send a text. The other day I was on an important call when it dropped and I started beating up my car’s steering wheel and screaming irrationally. I should be throwing the iPhone out the window instead of beating up my car. I’m just so tired of dropped calls and the red icon on my text messages prompting me to try again. I’m tired of beginning every call with, “I’m on an AT&T iPhone so if this call drops I will call you back from a land line.”
Should you make the switch? The first factor you need to consider is how much will it cost above the initial $199 for the phone? In my case, I bought the iPhone 3GS on the day it came out so I have about 6 months left in my contract. It will cost me around $75 in early termination fees. If you already bought the iPhone4 then you should know that AT&T changed it’s terms and conditions and placed a much higher penalty on early termination. Pull up your terms on AT&T’s website and calculate what it will cost to get out of your contract.
If you are okay with the early termination fees, we then need to ask the question, how upset will you be if they introduce an iPhone5 in June? History does show that every year a new iPhone gets introduced. My best guess is there won’t be a major new version of the iPhone. Maybe they will introduce the iPhone4S and make the current model faster while fixing the AT&T antenna issue. I don’t think they will support 4G LTE this year. Verizon is just rolling out their LTE network and AT&T hasn’t even announced their 4G strategy other than saying it’s coming. It’s just too early for Apple to jump in.
I think this is going to be the year of iPad and Mac. All the rumors are currently pointing to a new iPad2. The iPad needs a ton of features to bring it up to the feature list of the iPhone4. It can’t take pictures. It can’t FaceTime. It doesn’t have an insane amount of pixels per inch found in the retina display. Compared to the iPhone4, the iPad is outdated technology. That’s why I think the big announcement this year at WWDC will be about the iPad. Steve Jobs has even said it’s time for the rest of the products to catch up.
Some of you may want to hold out until June to see what happens. Or maybe you think AT&T’s network will become better with the mass exodus of people switching to Verizon. All I know is my car will thank me for making the switch. On February 10th, you should ask what level of pain are you in?