In four years, Instagram has gone from having one million to over 150 million users. The app’s reach as a platform for sharing photos is incredible, but for many, the value of what’s posted maxes out at a number of likes.
Many photographers with tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram have little-to-no prior professional experience. Yet they’ve managed to gather huge followings around the photos they take and share from their smartphones.
“My God, these guys have no idea how talented they are,” Chad Newell remembers saying to himself during Instagram’s early days. “We could sell this stuff.”
The lack of commercial opportunity for a new class of mobile photographers led Newell, a veteran of the stock image industry, to create a startup for buying and selling photography called Snapwire. Think of it like 99designs and 500px combined with Shutterstock.
While still in its early days, Snapwire is already drawing big-name advertisers to its growing of library premium stock photography. And it’s filling that library with the kinds of shots you would normally see in your Instagram feed.
While sitting in on a session at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last year, Nick Frey, Chris Galzerano, and Veeral Patel got an itch to make something. As part of iOS 7, Apple had introduced “Multipeer Connectivity,” a framework for communicating with nearby devices.
Frey and his friends were at WWDC on student scholarships given by Apple, a tradition that provides the opportunity for hundreds of grade school and college students to attend the expensive conference for free each year.
Nearly a year later, the result of their shared itch is Audibly, a nifty iPhone app that can chain together iPhones to create a wireless sound system.
Some of last year’s WWDC scholarship winners. Photo: Apple
For any Apple coder, attending the annual Worldwide Developers Conference is a coveted opportunity. But for the young recipients of WWDC 2014 Student Scholarships, a free ticket to the event means more than an adventure in geekery; it’s the crowning achievement of their blossoming careers.
Take Shaan Singh, a 14-year-old developer and designer whose iPhone finance app Budgetize helped him bag a scholarship to WWDC, a prize that’s something like winning a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
“It’s a big honor for me to be selected because I made an app that I feel was creative and smart, and Apple thinks so too,” he told Cult of Mac. “I’ve always admired Apple’s design, and I’m excited that they like mine too.”
Cole Rise has nearly one million followers on Instagram and the hottest new photography app in the App Store. He also made seven of Instagram’s built-in filters, which explains where the name for the “Rise” filter originates.
His app, Litely, is less than a month old with over 3 million downloads. Considering he was one of the first 100 people on Instagram, he really gets mobile photography and where it’s headed. During our conversation, Rise goes behind the scenes of Litely’s development, shares his influence on Instagram during its early days, and gives some great advice on how to take better pictures.
Despite constant criticism from most Apple enthusiasts and its questioned legality, the act of jailbreaking the iPhone has stood the test of time.
In the final months leading up to the next major iOS release, there’s barely enough activity on the jailbreak front to fill a couple of conference rooms. But with the public release of iOS 7 just around the corner, it’s like the calm before the storm as hackers gear up for what may be the toughest system to crack yet.
Developers, hackers, and hardcore fans gathered in late August at JailbreakCon in New York City, an annual summit for the meeting of the minds within the jailbreak community. And while the conference’s founder, Craig Fox, wasn’t “overly pleased” with attendance for the third edition, he still considers the event a success. Why? It fulfilled its mission.
For the past few years, JailbreakCon has played a crucial role in providing face time to code jockeys from different continents who would otherwise only know each other by Twitter handles. Friendships are formed and ideas are shared. This year was no different. And as the release of iOS 7 draws near, jailbreaking’s closely-knit group of hackers and developers is getting back in the game.
iOS 7 has been released in beta form to those who have paid for a developer account with Apple, but the rest of the general public will have to wait. Apple plans to ship iOS 7 to the world later this fall, so for now you’re limited to seeing screenshots online and the occasional GIF.
Unless you have a jailbroken iPhone, that is. Here’s how to create iOS 7 on iOS 6.
There’s a lot you can do with this tiny launch bar.
Alfred is a great shortcut and productivity tool for the Mac that received a huge update last week. In case you don’t know, Alfred allows you to quickly perform tasks with a series of keyboard shortcuts. If you’ve used similar tools like Quicksilver or LaunchBar, then you already have an understanding of how Alfred fundamentally works.
Over the past couple of years, Alfred has matured from a little app launcher into a full-fleged base station for getting things done on the Mac. Alfred 2.0 is a huge step forward with additional features like customizable themes, but the biggest addition is undoubtedly workflows. You can, for instance, hit a keyboard shortcut, type in the name of a new movie, and have related browser windows from IMDB, YouTube and Rotten Tomatoes instantly pop up.
Alfred has built up a community of users who have created some pretty cool Alfred 2.0 workflows you can download and use for free. Whether you’re a coder or a complete novice, it’s easy to get started with workflows and take control of your Mac.
If you are one of the many who were holding off on buying a new smartphone until after Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, it’s now time to make a decision. You’ve seen what the iPhone 5 has to offer and now it’s time to compare it to what’s available on Android. I’ll show you a few options, how they compare to the iPhone 5, and then you can decide what’s the best option for you. Ready to explore?
Perhaps you’ve heard the “great” news about how Verizon has to dish out $1.25 million to the FCC for violating the FCC’s “C Block rules,” requiring licensees of C Block spectrum to allow customers to freely use the devices and applications of their choosing. If you’re just hearing about it, let me give you the gist of things and then you’ll get to hear me rant.