The killer app on Android was the predictive keyboard, SwiftKey. A lack of SwiftKey on iOS was almost enough to keep me from jumping off of the Android bandwagon (but Android’s terrible carrier-driven software update process became too annoying).
Thankfully, with iOS8’s added support of third party keyboards, SwiftKey is no longer an Android exclusive.
SwiftKey is an alternative digital keyboard for your phone. It doesn’t look too special. It just happens to have a keyboard that is brilliantly designed for ease of use.
Punctuation is where you want it
The keyboard itself shows you letters in the right case (if you’re typing in lowercase the letters are shown in lower case)
It’s awesome predictive language system learns from what you type. If you use it regularly, it get scary good at predicting your language patters.
OS’s pathetic excuse for a keyboard:
Only makes typing periods easy
Always shows letters in upper case making you look to the strikingly confusing shift key to tell what case you’ll be typing in
I don’t know how well their predictive system will work, but I don’t care.
Download “SwiftKey Keyboard” not “Swiftkey Note.”
Then follow these instructions (which are also included in the App’s installation process):
I come from a family where the women are not to be trifled with.
I grew up in a home with an incredibly strong and intelligent mother. My mother was raised by a woman who was tough as nails. My father’s mother was a genius and world class card player. I had a great great aunt who was a nuclear physicist in the 1950s.
Call me naive
It hadn’t crossed my mind that women don’t belong in technology until I saw Twitter shit-storms on the subject. The most noteworthy for me was surrounding this blog post from my coworker Ellie.
Easily half of the most talented designers, developers, and project managers I have worked with over my career in technology are women.
Back in high school computer science class I copied off a girl when I didn’t understand something because she was hands down the best coder in my class.
With rare exception, I haven’t witnessed a ton of brogrammer bullshit, mostly because I deliberately avoid that kind of toxic man-child assholery.
If you’re treating people differently because they don’t have a Y chromosome, then you’re a piece of shit.
If you’re trudging through the Internet leaving comments that include “#NotAllMen” or anything that begins with “as a white man” you’re not helping anyone. Instead try shutting up and treating everyone with respect in your real life.
Once more with feeling… I will be delivering my talk “Amazing Design Through Empathy” at NJ Connect in Redbank, NJ on Tuesday, September 23rd at 6PM.
This is the fourth time that I am delivering this presentation, and the first time that I am doing it locally. So far the reactions from it have been wonderful.
I spoke at NJ Connect about two years ago, and it was a very warm and fun group. I’m excited to do it again.
Here be the description
The difference between a good product and an amazing one boils down to one thing: Empathy. Developing an understanding of your users that is so deep that you can feel what they feel enables you to design products and experiences that will truly resonate with your users.
Through illustrative and entertaining examples, I will take you on a tour of the the highs that are achievable through empathic design, and some of the depths that designers sink to when they design without empathy. You’ll learn how to activate the empathy that is already within you, and how you can use that power to improve all aspects of your product design, from requirements gathering to user research, and everything in between.
PS: Good news! I will not be featuring any cliched examples. You will not hear me mention Apple or Jony Ive once during my presentation, because I have empathy for you.
I’ve waited a long time to write about this. Years. I’ve been waiting for the moment when the knowledge is actionable. That time is now.
Tomorrow, September 10, 2014 is the day that that users of the Internet will protest the telecommunications lobby’s attempt to break the Internet for profit.
Explaining the Problem
I had planned to write a whole lot on the subject, but no one put it better (or funnier or more entertainingly) than John Oliver:
Why This Matters
Our economy is intimately tied to the Internet. Short of a worldwide cataclysm, there’s no going back. Over time we’re going to need faster, more reliable Internet. All of us. Not just the big companies who can afford to pay massive sums of money to telecom companies in return for high-performance connections.
The beauty of the Internet is that anyone can make something, and anyone in the world can use it. You don’t need permission. You don’t need a lot of money. You just need some willpower and skill.
If the telecom companies win, the only services that will be fast enough to make users happy are the ones owned by gigantic companies. Killing net neutrality would seem like a big hit to companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Netflix… But it would actually strengthen their hold on the market because they can afford to pay the telecom companies for high performance. Their upstart competitors won’t have the cash. Killing net neutrality would put a moat around the Internet giants that would further strengthen them at the price of innovation among small businesses.