Archives For Technology
- ESV Bible (https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/esv-bible/id361797273?mt=8)
- TeacherKit (https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/teacherkit/id389584618?mt=8)
- Two Ways to Live (https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/two-ways-to-live/id500600854?mt=8)
- Bible (https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/bible/id282935706?mt=8)
- Group Games (https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/group-games/id520107551?mt=8)
One of the reasons I made all the changes last weekend and upgraded to Standard 3.
Today I had the opportunity to head to the shops and check out some new technology that has been released recently. Specifically, I wanted to check out the iPad Mini.
I currently own an iPad 2 and I have no intentions of replacing that device anytime soon, but nonetheless, I was curious. My first impression…
Heaps lighter but not that much smaller.
I really noticed how how much lighter it was than my current iPad. I especially noticed the difference when I then went to pick up one of the new 4th gen iPads. The iPad Mini is less than 50% then weight of the 4th ten! 308 grams vs 652 grams (for Wi-Fi only models).
What really surprised me was the fact that the screen didn’t seem all that much smaller than my current iPad. Now I mostly use my iPad for reading and I found it comfortable to read some of my favourite websites on the Mini.
As I said, I’m not in the market for a new iPad. But in a few years I could see myself switching to the smaller, cheaper iPad Mini. I really liked it, especially the weight!
While I was out, I also had the opportunity to check out a Nexus 7 tablet from Google. Besides taking ages to figure out how to light up the screen (Hint: the sleep/wake button is on the side, not the top), I found the device felt a lot smaller than the iPad Mini.
After this thought, I was reminded of the section in Apple’s most recent keynote, where Phil Schiller ripped on the Nexus 7, saying how much smaller the display was. The video and some of the key numbers are below.
- The display itself is 35% larger on the iPad Mini.
- When viewing a webpage in portrait, when you take away the browser and software buttons, you actually see 49% more website (as a side note, I’m not a fan of the software buttons on the Nexus 7, they take up way too much of the already smallish display).
- When viewing a webpage in landscape, you actually see 67% more website!
Though I initally thought the attack was harsh and drew unnecessary attention to the Nexus 7, the comparison is true. The Nexus 7 seems a lot smaller than the iPad Mini.
A smaller, widescreen display doesn’t leave much space for content when you add in software controls. I think this is why I’m such a fan of Safari’s full-screen mode for the iPhone 5. With controls, you see frustratingly little of the website.
Have you seen an iPad Mini and a Nexus 7? What did you think of their display sizes?
In the past I have decided to design my own project logos myself. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best designer in the world but I can do an alright job.
I’ve designed logos for this site (check out the header – very simple), for FreeHDCountdowns.com and for the Group Games iPhone App among other projects. But for IceBreakers.ME, I wanted to get someone else involved. So I turned to my friend Tim’s company, Tyro Designs.
Tyro Designs aim to do great design at an affordable price. Here’s the blurb from their website:
For too long, good quality design has been out of the reach of the ‘little guys’. We’re hoping to change that with our company!
We are seeking to offer many of the design skills that usually cost thousands of dollars at a reasonable price for people who are just trying to get off the ground.
I decided to request a quote for the logo design and in not much time at all I got the quote back (very reasonable!) and decided to go ahead. All the while trying not to be one of these.
Tim managed to get the project done within the timeframe and I am extremely happy with the result.
I am very happy to recommend Tyro Designs to anyone looking for affordable web and print design. They are professional in communication and efficiently thorough in execution. They even wrote a blog post about the IceBreakers.ME project!
And best of all, I’m a very happy customer!
When I decide to create a website, naturally I look for .com domain names. This is because they are the most common domain name on the web and people will naturally assume that a website finishes with .com.
I really wanted to name my site “IceBreakers”. IceBreakers is a term that is searched for lots on Google and I wanted to have that keyword in my domain name, enough said. Unfortunately icebreakers.com was taken as were other iterations (such as icebreakergames.com). So I had to go for plan B.
I looked around at other possibilities, and one of the possible options was IceBreakers.ME. When I saw it I just had to take it.
I knew that a .me domain name wasn’t going to be as easy to remember as the .com, so I’ve decided to heavily promote the .ME in all the branding. In a few ways:
- Whenever I say my websites name, I always say IceBreakers dot ME.
- I’ve capitalised .ME when writing the web address (as well as the I and the B).
- The tagline, games and questions to get to know YOU, emphasises the ‘YOU’ in order to contrast the ME in the domain name. Hopefully making it easier to remember.
IceBreakers.ME wasn’t my first choice, but I’m really happy to have a domain name with a super hot keyword for SEO purposes. At the moment I’m getting minimal traffic from search engines but I’m hoping that over time, with more games and more links, my site will be able to rank highly for a number of searches relating to IceBreakers.
P.S. If you’re wondering where I host my domain names, I use Crazy Domains from Australia. Partly because of their cheap domain names, and partly because they are one of the few hosts to provide .com.au addresses. I host all of my domain names with them (I consolidated earlier this year).
Today I purchased a great piece of software! It’s called Reflection and allows you to mirror an iPhone (4S or 5) or iPad (2 or new) to a Mac or PC. It’s even good enough to put an iDevice shell around the mirrored screen. It’s also very easy to use. Just open the software on your Mac, start Airplay mirroring on your device and your Mac will show up as an option. Simple.
I used Reflection, together with ScreenFlow to create a video introduction to Group Games. I’ve wanted to do this for a while but because I’m not using Xcode (I’m using Red Foundry’s Fusion to create Group Games), I can’t use the on screen emulator. Watch the video below to check out Reflection and ScreenFlow in action.
Last week, I picked up an iPhone 5 (yay!). And after two years of lousy data speeds and coverage with Vodafone, I decided to go with Telstra. Now I had a Telstra sim card for my iPad and I always thought the 3G speeds were fast, but I really wanted to see just how quick the 4G coverage was.
In short, it is really really fast! Faster than anything I have ever experienced.
Below are 3 screen shots of data speeds I have had on the three different connections.
I was incredibly impressed with the LTE speeds I picked up in the city, I have never experienced anything like it. And I am quite disappointed that the slowest speed I experience is the Telstra ADSL2+ fixed line connection I have at home.
In reality, I am able to download everything at acceptable speeds at home, and anything faster than that really is a bonus. But I have to say I’m a little excited about the upcoming NBN!
If you are looking to create a website then you need to check out Standard Theme 3 [Affiliate Link].
Standard Theme is a WordPress theme from 8bit, and version 3 has only recently been released. I’ve used Standard Theme to build a number of websites in the past and I decided to take this opportunity to build IceBreakers.ME with the new Standard Theme.
This post is an opportunity for me to tell you how awesome Standard Theme 3 is, as well as share some of the customisations I’ve made. I’ve written about Standard Theme before if you would like to read about my precious experiences. (here and here).
Standard Theme 3 is awesome. You can read about the full feature list here, but below I thought I’d mention some of my favourites.
- Activity tabs – Cool widget to display comments, recent posts and more.
- Improved SEO – Code reviewed by Yoast and Automattic!
- WordPress API Integration – Standard is integrated heavily with WordPress. You don’t even notice a lot of the stuff behind the scenes.
- New Design – It looks great!
I really like Standard Theme and I’m sure I’ll be moving other sites to the new theme when I have time. If you decide to use Standard, then consider getting a support license. The support offered in the forums is amazing! All of that support has allowed me to make the customisations below.
Although Standard Theme 3 looks great out of the box. I wanted to change it around for IceBreakers.ME, to make it individual. Below is a screenshot of the site with customisations, and below that are a list of changes that I made.
- Changed colour of nab bar, bar on activity tab, background colour and various fonts.
- Removed responsive design.
- Modified archive page template.
- Removed dates from posts.
- Changed comment text.
- Added in foot text and links.
There are many more modifications that I’ve made, but they will be covered in more depth in the rest of this series.
If you’re considering making a website and are in the market for a premium theme, then check out Standard Theme [Affiliate Link], you won’t regret it.
I really like using Twitter. But starting full time work this year, the amount of ‘in-between’ time I’ve had to tweet has been dramatically reduced. By that I mean that I don’t have time between classes like I used to at uni. Therefore my Twitter time is reduced to some nights and occasional weekends. So how can I use Twitter without overwhelming my followers at the times I do tweet?
I recently discovered Buffer after reading (listening to) Platform by Michael Hyatt. Michael sometimes uses Buffer to spread out tweets from when he reads blog posts in the morning and I’ve started using Buffer to do the same. This means that I can write a lot of tweets at one time but then spread them out over a day. This is especially useful when reading blog posts and tweeting about the ones I really like.
In the past I have used Social Oomph to schedule tweets. Social Oomph allows you to schedule tweets in the future by choosing the exact time that the tweet would be posted. But that was a lot of effort per tweet. Now I think that I’ll use Buffer a lot more than Social Oomph. And it boils down to one key reason.
Ease of use.
- Buffer allows you to preset times to release tweets throughout the day. I have set it to release tweets up to four times a day, at spread out intervals. Social Oomph requires you to schedule each individual tweet.
- Buffer also has an iPhone App which makes using it just that much easier.
- Lastly, Buffer connects to bit.ly, so if I ever want to set up a custom URL shortener, then I can.
That’s 3-0 in favour of Buffer.
Social Oomph still has it’s uses in being able to specify the exact time of an individual tweet, and being able to schedule tweets far in advance. But for being able to spread tweets out over a day, Buffer is the way of the future for me.
So look forward to more tweets from me, and those tweets will be spread out throughout your Twitter feed. If you want to read my tweets, follow me @calumhenderson.
Have you ever used an App to spread out your tweets through the day?