02 April 2008

bluesky: smugpalm

Don MacAskill recently asked for ideas on what we want in an ideal iPhone SmugMug app. I'd already started to pipe dream on that topic, so I'll dump 'em out here for fun, 'cause the way my current job is going, I'm never going to get a chance to implement these. I've only quickly looked at the SDK docs... I'm not sure some of these are even doable. And I don't even own an iPhone or iPod touch... though I do have a new MBP with multi-touch, and I've had my hands on iPhones and iPod touches a number of times.
  1. Go big, or go home. Get rid of the menu bars and identifiers and other crud that's not my image and just fill the screen with the image, padding the unused space due to format with a nice black or neutral gray. (see note 1)
  2. Let everyone play. Don't tie the application to my account... or anyone's account. Sure it can do a lot more if I'm logged in, but let everyone get it and flip through the public space. (see note 2)
  3. Show me the way (up). If I'm holding the phone in landscape mode and viewing a portrait orientation image, I want to rotate the phone into landscape and have the image fill the screen.
  4. Gesture. Multi-touch is freaking awesome... I want zoom pinches and single finger pans, double finger swipes through images (with coverflow style animation if you can) and tripple finger album skip (or maybe "page" skip a dozen images?). and double scroll ("up/down" as opposed to the "side to side" swipes before) to get up into the category/album tree, the feeds list, the keywords list, community, or however I got there. I want to zoom out past the image to a contact sheet. (much like many cameras on the lcd display... but with multi-touch it might be nice to have a small amount of "resistance" between 100% view and contact sheet view.)
  5. Let me move you. I want to "flick" the iphone like I'm turning over a card and swap the image for a control UI. I'd probably put a tab for image info, another for gallery/category selection, a third for config stuff, and probably a 4th to access other smugmug content (see other items).
  6. Find me. Use the geolocation services to find where I am, and show me the pictures near me. Not only my own, but across all of SmugMug's public space. Show me that google map interface with the photos populated on it.
  7. Entertain me. Show me the random feeds, the popular feeds, the found on smugmug feeds. Let me store keywords I'm interested in and show me the newest images with those keywords in the public space.
  8. Let me share. Build in uploading of images from the iPhone camera (hopefully geo tagged by location services, but if not that's a bug in apple's camera application!) directly to my smugmug account.
  9. Let me connect with other users. Let me vote in photorank, post comments on others images and find other
  10. Let me master my content's destiny. I want to show/hide images, moderate comments, edit captions and organize images all from the phone.
Some Notes:
  1. See the screen shot on Don's post. I'd like to hope all those big honking bars top and bottom are only shown because he did some action. But I fear they're there all the time... that they're required to use the app, kinda like how their current web ui seems to work. That would be the definition of fail.
  2. I'd actually consider two versions of the app. A very cheap, maybe even free, public viewer that anyone can download to see the public images, and a slightly more expensive, like maybe $5 app that allows login to protected galleries and accounts and such. Heck, maybe even a $10 version that has the full smugmug subscriber usefull features, like upload and manipulation of the account. But then I'm looking at it from the perspective of an indie developer that would want to make money. If I were smugmug, I'd still make two versions, but I'd make 'em both free. Only purpose of two versions is to minimize size for the users that don't have accounts and don't need lots of the features, rip it out and save space on their devices.


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