iPhone App: Movie Ratings

I recently updated my Game of Thrones app to support iPad, and am now looking at a new idea for an application. Basically, I often find myself wanting to know one or more of three things about a movie: Its IMDb rating, its Rotten Tomatoes rating and/or its runtime. As far as I can see, no application on the app store currently does this in any easy way, so I’ve been programming my own. Here’s a prototype screenshot:

Searching works fine, it’s not just a mock-up, it’s just done in a very sluggish way at the moment. And I don’t have a good name for it, any suggestions?

My first iPhone application – The “A Wiki of Ice and Fire” App

I’m currently reading “A Dance with Dragons”, and I find myself wanting to look up characters and places a lot, so I went to look for an iPhone application that could help me, but I only found one, “Game of Thrones Companion“, and I didn’t want to pay 24 kr. So, instead, I ended up programming my own application:

I use “A Wiki of Ice and Fire” to fetch the data. All MediaWiki-powered wikis have an API which easily outputs JSON objects for what ever you want. I found a JSON framework for iOS which allowed me to import JSON objects as dictionaries, and then I used a table view, a search bar and a web view to create the app itself. It was actually meant for just personal use, but I might polish it a bit and put it on the app store.

Workflow

E-Mail & Contacts

All my e-mail accounts (personal, work & school) forward to my main Gmail account, and I use Gmail’s web interface since no application support Gmail’s labels and filters very effectively, as far as I know. Gmail also makes it possible to set the sender of composed e-mails to external e-mail addresses, meaning that I can send e-mails from my student account from within Gmail’s web interface.

I strive to have no more than 20 e-mails in my inbox. To do this I use stars for important e-mails in the following fashion:

Red Star: Needs attention today or tomorrow.
Orange Star: Needs attention within a week.
Green Star:
Needs attention within 1-6 months.
Yellow Star: Needs no attention until reply is received.

Furthermore I use filters and labels extensively, also based on colors:

Reddish Labels: School-related.
Greenish Labels: Work-related.
Blueish Labels: Receipts, invoices, etc.

My contacts are synched from Google to my iPhone, I am however thinking of switching this to iCloud when it becomes available.

To-dos and Project Management

For personal to-dos I use Flow. The interface is amazing and so are the features. The service syncs automatically with their iPhone application and it has a Mac application making it possible to always add to-dos with keyboard shortcuts. My use of it is quite simple, I have different lists depending on the category of the to-do, and I use the “flagged” feature to flag important to-dos such as pressing homework.

For project work I have mostly used Pivotal Tracker. Although it’s designed for software projects, I have also used it for other project-related tasks such as writing reports.

Calendar

I use Google Calendar for all my calendar needs. Within it I have several external calendars added such as upcoming tv shows, Facebook events, and school schedule.

Note-taking

For notes I use Simplenote, another service which automatically syncs up with an iPhone application. I used Evernote for a while but found it to be too cluttered for my needs.

Bookmarking

I use several services for bookmarking. I use Google Reader for my news reading, and within it I star news I want to read later. For websites I want to look at once or twice again I use Instapaper, and for sites I want saved permanently I use delicious.

Android Application: Nightlife


I’m currently developing an Android application as a part of my 6th (and final) semester of the Medialogy bachelor. The application tries to recommend bars (and other nightlife venues) based on the user’s friends who are currently logged in at the bars via Facebook Places. To make the recommendation the application looks at your Facebook relationships with these friends and from there tries to determine which of those friends you’d rather hang out with. The application is finally running on a smartphone, and I thought I’d post a couple of screenshots. At this point, there is no graphical elements implemented, so it probably does not look like much.
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My 5th Semester Paper


As you might’ve noticed I have updated the design of the blog pretty heavily. I don’t think I’ve ever been so satisfied with the look of the site before, so to celebrate it I thought I’d post a small entry about the paper I wrote during my 5th semester of Medialogy in the fall of 2010. While the semester was mainly spent developing an iPhone application, the purpose of the paper was to improve the user experience of a locative media by using lighting that simulated the real lighting at the user’s location, i.e. we made an augmented reality application in which the weather was mimicking the current weather in the real world. We basically concluded that since we did the testing in December, the average lighting differences throughout the day were too small to give us any meaningful results. The paper is written in LaTeX though, which makes it all hot and juicy.

Take a look for yourself right here.