Joe Cieplinski, a designer with Bombing Brain Interactive, shares his knowledge about design at AltConf 2015.
SAN FRANCISCO — The key to crafting great Apple Watch apps can be summed up with a simple mantra: “Make the user happy.”
That’s designer Joe Cieplinski’s approach to all design, really, but the precept is even more important than ever for developers making apps for Apple’s new wearable. Instead of attempting to cram all the features of an iPhone app onto that tiny screen, devs need to focus as much on what they leave out as what they include.
“That’s how you get a successful product,” Cieplinski, who works for Philadelphia-based Bombing Brain Interactive, told Cult of Mac after his AltConf panel here Tuesday. “It’s not just trying to be philosophical.”
Here are your 12 winners of this year’s Apple Design Awards.
The Apple Design Award winners are in, and they showcase the cutting edge of game and app design.
At a ceremony Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple handed out 12 awards to the best apps of the past year. Games scored half of the nods, with some really cool productivity, finance and utility apps also taking honors.
Here are all of this year’s winning apps — and why they won.
The best calendar app just got way better on the Mac.
Fantastical has been my go-to calendar app for years. It’s interface and ease of use is second to none, especially Apple’s terrible Calendar app.
But Fantastical hasn’t received much love on the Mac in awhile. While the iOS version has continued to steadily iterate, the app’s design and basic feature set on the desktop has basically stayed the same.
Today Fantastical 2 for Mac arrives, bringing a complete design revamp for OS X Yosemite and several major new features.
A Today widget, optimizations for the latest iPhones, and more.
Thanks to how apps can hook into each other with Extensibility in iOS 8, third-party developers are able to rival the systemwide functionality of Apple’s stock apps like never before.
So is the case with Flexibits, maker of the popular calendar app Fantastical. In a big 2.2 update today, Fantastical has not only been optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but it’s received a number of iOS 8-only features.
Today you may have noticed a little teaser page from Flexibits, makers of the beloved calendar app Fantastical.
“Fantastical 2 for iPhone on your iPad is good,” reads the teaser. “Fantastical 2 for iPad on your iPad is even better.” There’s a mailing list where you can sign up to get notified when the app arrives.
We’re itching to tell you more, like exactly when the app is coming out and why it’s awesome, but you’ll have to be patient. All that’s being said at this point is that Fantastical for iPad will be a separate download from the existing Fantastical for iPhone. That means new and existing customers will need to pony up a little change.
I started using Fantastical on my iPhone the day it was released back in November of last year. Like other users of the fantastic (bad pun intended) Mac app, I couldn’t wait to have its natural language parsing on my iPhone. With Fantastical, you can just type “get lunch with Buster at 3 tomorrow” and be done. Far better than the poorly-designed rigamarole that is Apple’s Calendar app.
Today Flexibits, makers of Fantastical, released the biggest update to their iPhone calendar app since its original release. Fantastical 2 for iPhone is a completely new app that works only on iOS 7 and features a new design, new features, and yes, a price.
Chatology is a brand new tool for searching Messages on the Mac without the headaches. If you’ve been experiencing bugs, random crashes, and a lack of search functionality in Apple’s chat software, then this new app is for you.
Have you tried searching in Messages on the Mac? Well don’t try now unless you want to get really frustrated. Among the app’s other numerous bugs, Messages can tend to suddenly throw a tantrum whenever the search bar is invoked.
When Flexibits launched Fantastical on the Mac back in May of 2011, I started actually using iCal to make sense of the hectic mess that is my daily schedule. Fast forward to today, and Fantastical is an app I still can’t live without. I was ecstatic when Flexibits sent me an early copy of Fantastical for iPhone to try out, and I’m pleased to report that it is everything you would expect and more. Apple’s Calendar app just got dethroned again.