Gif It To Me
The humble GIF has seen a renaissance in recent years, even evolving, in some cases, into an arresting artform. Now Gifture, which just hit the App Store today, hopes to make them into an entertaining alternative to the smartphone snap.
When Gifture’s press release first landed in Betabeat’s inbox, the sight of an Instagram-like interface and the prospect of yet another social mobile photo app left us unimpressed. Then we clicked through to a sample post, only to find a charming animated image of Astoria’s elevated train at night, flickering like a silent film. Downloading the app, we discovered an feed filled what appear to be members of the Gifture team: designer James McDonald bellyflopping onto a bed; business development brain Erik Stern doing a goofy dance outside an Apple store.
In a sign of technology’s growing pervasiveness in the cultural ether, Boing Boing pointed us to an upcoming show at the Pace Gallery on West 25th Street will feature art from David Bryne that’s inspired, almost entirely by the looks of it, by Apple’s App Store. The exhibit called “Social Media” (naturally) says will it will focus:
“Contemporary artists exploring public platforms for communication and social networks through an aesthetic and conceptual lens. In an era of increasingly omnipresent new technologies, Social Media examines the impact of these systems as they transform human expression, interaction, and perception.”
Wow, that was almost as obtuse as business jargon. Just throw in a few strats and pivots and this could be a company bio.
So what would the App Store look like if Mr. Byrne was a developer?
The Tao of Steve
The internet has not been kind to traditional newspapers. But the NY Post’s decision to block access to their site through the iPad’s browser is myopic and damaging.
New York Publisher John T. Colby filed a lawsuit against Apple in federal court in Manhattan today for trademark infringement over the use of “iBooks.” Colby’s suit alleges that in 2006 and 2007, he purchased assets owned by another New York publisher, Bryon Preiss, who had published more than 1,000 hardcover and paperback books under the “ibooks” name starting in September 1999.
Apple does have a trademark on “IBOOK,” but according to the suit, it only applies to computers. (Apple once sold a PC known as the “iBook). Colby alleges that Apple didn’t use the term to apply e-books or a means of delivering e-books until the iPad debuted last year. If Apple starts applying it to e-books and apps, the suit says it will render Colby’s trademark worthless. But that’s not the only trademark suit Apple got smacked with this week.
App of the Week
Thanks to the incredibly successful Instapaper, the Apple App Store has become Marco Arment’s bread and butter. But that means he’s at the mercy of Apple’s stringent guidelines and app review process, which have given thousands of developers including Mr. Arment and, more severely, his friends at Readbility, trouble in the past.
It took the team at Hype Machine 18 months to complete their new iPhone app, but just one day to become the #2 program among paid music apps.
“We were working on a lot of different things at once, and with a small team that really slows you down,” says Hype Machine Read More
In Tablet We Trust
Instapaper developer Marco Arment has been battling against what he sees as the unhealthy business of offering apps for free.
Back in the beginning of March he wrote a post about avoiding venture capital funding. His customers, wrote Arment, are his investors.
He even offered up a subscription service, which didn’t offer much Read More
Qwiki turned heads last September when it won the top prize at TechCrunch Disrupt. The service pulls information from around the web to create multimedia presentations on over 3 million people, places and things, a sort of Wikipedia composed of miniature documentaries.
Last week the service launched its iPad app, and within a few days had broken into the top ten list. “We may just end up killing the website altogether,” said Qwiki co-founder Doug Imbruce, only half joking, during a visit to Betabeat’s offices on Friday.
App for That
You might think that the only thing standing between your brilliant idea for an iPhone app and a sweet little beachfront shack on the South Fork is a little technological know-how.
Hang on, hoss. Take off the fingerless programming gloves. Set that Red Bull down. Oh you already opened it? Well you might as well Read More
One of the big problems for folks developing mobile apps is the expensive and random process of promoting the finished product.
“Right now, the only way to get distribution for your application is to pay out the nose on an existing ad network, get “TechCrunched,” or to call in a favor at Read More