Review, anthology and some information for Apps and ecosystem of iPhone from Japan

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Safari 4 brings you to next web experience

"How do you tweeting?" seems world most question.
Then, how do you tweet? I love to tweet from Tweetie, I'm Japanese translator staff of it, on iPhone but I have frustrated that I can't feel in tweeting world like as using iPhone. I'm using P3:PeraPeraPrv , I'm English version coordinator of it :), on my Mac. I like this tool for posting like chatting. I've tried many twitter client on Mac but all of them don't make me feel similar with clients works on iPhone.
Then, I decided to make something and made it. The project "pbtweet" works on twitter.com.
pbtweet - pretty good, better tweeting experience for Safari -
Features
  • Showing conversation chain
  • Hiding redundant tweet from timeline
  • Adding photo frame badge from twitpic.com
  • Supports oAutoPagerize
Requirement
  • Safari 3 or later ( Strongly recommended Safari 4 )
  • Mac OS X ( recommended Leopard )
  • SIMBL (Smart Input Manager Bundle Loader)
  • GreaseKit (User script launcher on Safari)
Install and startup
  1. Install SIMBLE read guidance at SIMBLE website.
  2. Install GreaseKit read guidance at GreaseKit website.
  3. Install pbtweet go to pbtweet website and click pbtweet link.
  4. Go to twitter.com
Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kojien updated in standard way

Kojien 6 ver.2 price: ¥8,500($79) developer: LogoVista Corporation size: 684MB iTunes
If I should select dictionary in order to re-build Japanese alone, I select Kojien. Most reliable Japanese-Japanese dictionary for me. Past time, I post a review for this app, now Kojien 6 got update to version 2.0.
Then App Store will be one years old, many application developed into new version, Kojien also.
New Kojien 6 have following feature.
1. New index interface
2. Min-cho style font
3. Search from selected string
New index and interface is well streamlined, but graphical design is boring and kiddy like as Japanese cellphone's app. Why Japanese old man loves to use many color... I hate multi coloring habit. 2nd points, Min-Cho-style font is well. Min-Cho style font is like as Times, traditional glyph design. They implement IPA font distributed by Japanese government information technology department. IPA font is not so stylish but has correct glyph style suites dictionary.
Kojien app smells "translated" application from other OS platform but ver2.0 comes near to iPhone. Some interface image is not well but experience is one that applications on iPhone.
LogoVista is not young company well known Japanese digital booklet application developer. Their products is not cutting-edge but on the way of standard application development.
Kojien ver.2.0 is just standard Japanese application their made. Well hearing user's voice and implement. Yes, this method may not open something new, but think different.
How iPhone OS has rich broad platform. Young fresh independent engineer are well seen on the board, but iPhone OS keeps veteran maker's standard application also.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quiet style font viewer Cédille

Cédille price: FREE! size: 0.2MB developer: Kanotomo iTunes I've dreamed what I feel well if I handle scale able font book on my hand. Cédille is simple font viewer shows in iPhone/iPod touch for it.
Sometime when I'm planning website or presentation style, I launch this simple font viewer on my palm and place on drafting paper in order to feel letters in my physical. Simple and well designed interface of Cédille does not interrupt my plan. And iPhone's clear bright screen show me letters like printed.
Cédille shows font collection list on iPhone/iPod touch at start up. Tapping font name shows letter samples. Sample viewing style is able to selected from Repertory or Sample. Sample is same with Font Book.app on Mac OS X. Japanese font shows a part of poem "The Square of Polano" by Kenji Miyazawa. Repertory view shows all sample shape included font. Blue line on repertory view are baselines.
In sample view, bottom slider changes scale of font size. This feature helps me at web or graphic design in point which how letters are seen in particular size.
When I launch Cédille at first time, I've been surprised that Mobile Safari shows website well, but iPhone/iPod touch does not contain so many fonts. It means I've ignored that Apple's work to take carefully in selecting fonts. Cédille opens me this fact and gave me the result of Apples in clearly anytime.
This is 2nd time to reviewing developer kanotomo's work. At last time, I've reviewed his modern simple designed calender "Quick Calender" in order to know Japanese Holidays. I like his excellent simple, quiet and clear graphic style and waiting next work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taking HDR photo with iPhone

Pano < price: $2.99 (¥350) developer: Debacle Software iTunes Sunset sight from Enoshima
How do your think if HDR images are able to be made on iPhone with using panoramic photo app “Pano”? It's true. Left Image is the one of my HDR works made in iPhone.
Photographer's latest expression method HDR (High Dynamic Ranged Image) is processed from some piece of photos taken in different exposure. PhotoMatix and Photoshop or other software working on Mac /PC build REAL dynamic ranged image inside and compress it into normal range with tone mapping. I like to make HDR with using these software. Peace of photos for HDR should be taken by tripod fixed exposure adjustable cameras. Well processed HDR remind impression of landscape which photographer saw inside his mind.
Taking photos for HDR is so trouble not to be able to take everyday for us because tripod and cameras are heavy to bring everyday and taking process is not so quick to make your wife to wait.
But now, we can get the camera processing "HDR" inside with only one shooting sequence necessary. The camera name is panoramic app “Pano” and following is the way of making HDR photo on iPhone.
I've met great sunset today. In sunset composition, always buildings are too dark if I took sky like as following left image, and If I make building to center, sky will be taken white as right one.
Because I wanted to express both of these, I launched Pano and start sequense. Taking pieces divided into different exposure in each sequence carefully. I sat 1st horizon to bottom border where will be blended with next cut. 2nd shot's composition was automatically sat as sky is placed upper border. And took 3rd with my back-lighted hand which normally photo can't expose color.
After Processed panoramic photo keeps each exposure and blended naturally.
Processed photo tone was ajusted to be normalized. I rotated and touched tone up with using Photogene. If took work was my favorite work, iPhoto 09's is waiting at home.
These are the way of make HDR on iPhone. Of course this method can't compress tones from different exposed cuts manually and not suites complex composition, in addition, resolution of Pano processing is not so large. I don't have idea which Pano handle real range inside. Some person will say it's not HDR. Yes I think so in narrow meaning. I often say this as "pseudo HDR".
But the fact is, if you have iPhone, you can take picture of sky and ground in one picture with impressive color. without tripod and heavy camera.
Pano and iPhone gave us HDR camera which is able to take "HDR" anytime. Following images are my pseudo HDR shots. Enjoy!
Aso panoramaKumamoto panoramaSunset on Pacific oceanSunset at ShinjukuWinter sky
Tokyo TombSunset at ShinjukuSunset at Aso

Communicate with cats the master of the earth

SingingCat price: ¥115($0.99) developer: Daigo Wakabayashi iTunes
The master cute animal of the Earth interrupt their housekeeper's work every day. Their cute voice heals me but sometime, I hope they shut up. Housekeepers of cats may be happy with having SingingCat.
SingingCat is simple mewing tone application.
SingingCat have simple cute interface. Pow shaped bottom key sounds mew in each tone. Tapping keys shows some cute photos.
Only it? Yes, it's only function of SingingCat. It may no work with independent human being from cat. But this cute application makes us to communicate, if you allow me to say it's communication that only cats are searching mewing one like following photo.
If you feel some interest, visit developer Daigo Wakabayashi's website frink*info's Our first iPhone application, SingingCat is going to release from Feb 16. There is some movies of this app. And as he says, this cool application is his first one. I hope him to release more app like make me happy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Professional localizer into Japanese

How to translate your Apps to English. Google translate? it's terrible. Offering Japanese speaking person from your country or your friend translator? Not so good but it's only base of localization. From my experience managing to localize applications, application localize is far from translation. String should be compressed enough to understand, User Interface Guidelines knowledge and many skills handling various data resource necessary.
I suggest you to offer to professional localizer. I introduce my friend E-WA. professional localizer into Japanese.
An entry on his blog invites localize your apps into Japanese with him.
App Store is the market to sell your works all over the world contains Japan. But you may know, because many Japanese can't use English though they understand it, language translation is necessary at there. In past years, handling multi-bytes codes and locally customized OS might you struggle in developing multi-language application. Fortunately, iPhone's modern development environment handle multi language clearly. You may find article tells how to make multi-lingual application in Apple Developer Center. Apple prepares multi-lingual architecture and tutorial, last thing you to do is finding good localization staff.
E-WA is independent professional application localizer and good translator. He have really long experience to make Japanese version of Mac apps for example, BusySinc, ClamXav, Cyberduck, Img2icns, PTHasteboard, Spanning Sync, USB Overdrive and many other. Veteran Mac user might know some of these applications and find these apps are made by not so large companies so as to develop a localization team inside.
And now, E-WA is expanding his work to iPhone apps. Contact Tool, Weightbot and more some come soon. His professional experience for Mac applications works very well in for iPhone apps.
Contact him. You'll have excellent quality localized application.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Drawing on iPhone... ON Safari!

Amount number of applications on AppStore shelf is over 25,000. I've bought and downloaded more 100 apps but how many Web-application on iPhone do you use, further more moved? Apple's Web-Apps collection gather 3,500 applications at their site.
HTML based application for iPhone is easy to make and well streamlined with Dashboard technology. JavaScript, SQL supported off-line-storage, smart and fast HTML engine and canvas drawing layer.
But tech is only tech until user moved by great application comes.
Now, Japanese software development company Shockwise Company's founder Yoshida Yutaka shows cool drawing application on Safari on their site not AppStore.
Access ShockWise.com with using Safari on iPhone. You'll find iPhone wallpaper on your screen.
Sliding to enter, a blackboard is shown. Tap chalk below board, and draw on blackboard. 4 colors chalk is there. Tapping eraser clears all drawing. Chalk drawing opacity reacts with drawing speed.
Right indeed this drawing is not stored, if developer Yoshida interests to implement save function, client-side-database-storage is able to used undo also. Though I don't have idea what is his purpose of releasing this cool application, I'd say he shows infinite potential of web-application on iPhone.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Physical photo in my hand

JellyPics price: ¥230($1.99) size: 0.4MB developer: BeInteravtice! iTunes
Image distortion is one of the most pleasure on iPhone, but if application makes me frustrated in slow processing?
JellyPics is fast and excellent interactive image distortion application.
The way to use JellyPics is easy. Taken or imported photo is able to be shaken like jelly with your finger. With flicking, a part of image will follow to your finger and releasing will spring back with tiny effective animation. In order to freeze image distortion, tap another part of screen during your finger on screen. For example, flicking forefinger and tap with thumb. This feels like push a pin to image. Not only 1 finger, you can use 4 fingers to shaking image.
Shaking iPhone resets image distortion. Basically, I don't like the action shaking iPhone but I enjoy shake to reset with using JellyPics.
JellyPics will make many funny images but quick responsibility is enough to use for artwork. JellyPics make me feel physical photo on my hand. Not so many function-fully software, but it's worth.
Developer BeInteractive! [website] is known skilled ActionScript developer. Not only BeInteractive!, many Flash developer act important position in Japanese iPhone developer cluster. In Japan, Flash is implemented into many Japanese cellphones from early terms of Flash lite and large number of games released. I don't know if many of they worked for developing cellphone games, Flash developer is important in Japan anyway.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Minimum dance moves Japanese

UNIQLOCK price: FREE! developer: UNIQLO CO,. LTD. size: 154MB iTunes
UNIQLOCK is simple clock application shows time and movie. Every 10 second, typography and beauty girls minimum dance sequence loop by 5 seconds turns.
Developer company is UNIQLO. Well know as Japanese casual clothing maker. UNIQLOCK is advertisement application promoting new lightweight fabric HEAT TECH.
Releasing UNIQLOCK surprised Japanese companies rather than famous Chanel's promoting app. One of the most succeed Japanese company UNICLO's quick approach to iPhone knocked Japanese prejudice, because many company doubt Apple and iPhone business in Japan. In fact, I have some experience that person directing company changed opinion after I showed UNIQLOCK.
With having strong sympathy and feel something related with Japanese ones, almost Japanese company think they have no relationship with oversea companies like Google, IBM, Oracle and Apple even if it actually affected.
If you're working in advertisement or graphics in Japan, I suggest install UNIQLOCK though you don't boot for yourself, in order to show your client. With talking, taking out iPhone from pocket, "Yes this is iPhone, BTW, do you know that UNIQLO does promoting HEAT TECH on it? ...". Modern style movie and easy-listening music have no extra message and you are able to build various opinion with it. More quality, simplicity, Japanese Zen style and so.
If only I say that real UNICLO store is not so cool instead.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Free Wi-Fi for iPhone in Japan

How do you feel to hear iPhone contacted user can use 3,500 Wi-Fi hot spots provided by carrier without payment? It's true and I love to use it at McDonald's with charging iPhone with build in AC plug to table.
Wi-Fi network's SSID and WEP key is solved at Softbank service site in MyYahoo. In order to logging account id and password is same as mailing account for Softbank mail service(@i.softbank.jp).
Following step is the way to get SSID WEP key.
Preparing SSID, WEP, id and password, you can connect high speed Wi-Fi network at hotspot. After you've logged in with cookie available Safari, other hotspot's authorized page will automatically make you log in without entering id and password.
As everything has doodle side, this service has large mistaken architecture to authenticationauthorization.
Softbank, authorized iPhone carrier, is not largest cellphone carrier in Japan and their infrastructure of 3G network is not so enough to give away to be used as Internet pipeline for iPhone the huge bytes eater users.
Softbank MobileC.T.O responsible infrastructure said they are afraid of millions iPhone user start to use 3G network in order to access YouTube. Jun-ichi Miyagawa interview (japanese)
In this situation, one of Softbank Mobile's answer was that free Wi-Fi spot for iPhone users. Now they started to cooperation with FON. I feel good about their going to expand Wi-Fi in Japan in these way.
My mention is their tech feeling or geek soul. Free Wi-Fi service has large architecture miss and decrease user experience.
At last 4th Nov the day free Wi-Fi "Automatically" logging in service, I went McDonald's with bad prediction. "Logging in" does not suites Wi-Fi connection. And some person went press party said "Softbank seems to use COOKIE for automatically logging-in". Cookie and "Log in" makes me pessimistic.
I've tried how it works and found automatically logging in worked correctly in word meaning, COOKIE rumor was correct. All processes worked on Safari. This means it's necessary to launch Safari in mobilepoint Wi-Fi area. When I was passing through Wi-Fi network without launching Safari, iPhone will be captured into Wi-Fi without logging in and all applications can't connect Internet. It's very frustrated situation.
Softbank may know all iPhone's MAC address which imported into Japan. Why they not register these MAC address band to their Wi-Fi router....
Additional note
This Y! icon is installed at Softbank shop at early days of iPhone launching. Now softbank does not install this icon on new iPhone.
Go to http://ipn.yahoo.co.jp and find setup.

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Taiyo Fujii,
Novel writer, 35th Japan SF award.