Paper for iPad creator FiftyThree has today announced that it has secured $15 million in funding to build a suite of “mobile tools for creativity.” It’s quite an achievement for an app startup, particularly one that isn’t a smash-hit game, but if FiftyThree’s upcoming apps are anywhere near as successful as Paper, the investment will surely pay off.
We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again — simply because we enjoy repeating things: STM makes a %@$# great bag. And they’ve just unveiled a revamp of their flagship bags in the form of a new family of gear they’re calling the Velocity Collection. Which is actually pretty damn apt for this line of fast, light, grab-and-go bags.
The Patagonia MiniMass commuter bag ($69) is my first taste of Patagonia’s gear, and I’ve always wondered if their stuff was worth the hype. The company has a bit of a reputation — perhaps fair, perhas not — as the outdoor industry’s bourgeois player, probably due to generally higher prices than the competition, an innovative design ethic and the use of green materials throughout their line.
But Patagonia has also spawned a fanatical following. I once worked with someone who literally camped outside the company’s Southern California headquarters (it sits literally right aross the road from the beach) in the hopes she’d be hired. She wasn’t, but toting around my tablet in the the fantastic little MiniMass let me grasp why she tried.
The MiniMass is the smallest sibling in Patagonia’s family of courier bags (all of which end in “Mass” — a nod to the Critical Mass bicycle movement). This makes the MiniMass a perfect tablet carrier. And even though it isn’t explicitly to ferry tablets, it excels in the task.
Most of you probably remember the mythical Microsoft Courier. Concept videos of the rumored tablet started floating around during the original iPad launch two years ago, and then the project was canned to make way for the upcoming Windows 8 tablets. We all thought that Microsoft was about to make a bold entrance into the tablet market with something fresh and interesting — instead we got this.
The Courier will never see the light of day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a similar interface on your iPad right now. A new app called Taposé bears a striking resemblance to the Courier concept.
Booq’s latest range of bags know that your camera and your MacBook or iPad are intimately related. The Python camera bags not only carry your camera and lenses in safety and comfort, they also have space for your computer or tablet.
The new Timbuk2 Command Messenger 2012 ($140) is nothing like the first Timbuk2 bag I ever owned, some 11 years and 20 pounds ago, back when I was heavily commited to the world of cycling. Timbuk2 called it the Bolo, and it was a real messenger bag — though messengers almost always opted for it’s larger sibling, the Tag Junkie — crafted from a single piece of vinyl and Cordura; just a massive main compartment with not much more than a small pocket sewn on the outer face for coins and maybe a patch kit.
Although it’s just about as tough, the Command Messenger is light years away from my Bolo (and is really as much a messenger bag as a Chevy pickup is an ox cart): It’s sophisticated, uses several advanced materials, has loads of pockets and a trick feature that makes air travel easier for laptop-toting jestsetters. My how you’ve grown, Timbuk2.
Bag-maker STM hails from dehn undah (if you think my Aussie impression sounds bad here, well, it’s even worse in person), where they’re apparently pretty huge. They’re less well-known here in the States — but that’ll likely change thanks to a big marketing push and bags like the fantastic STM Velo ($100), a designed laptop bag stuffed with unusually clever features.
Do you remember Microsoft’s top secret Couriet tablet project? It was a dual screen, book-like tablet first leaked well before Apple unveiled the iPad, created by J. Allard, the mind behind Microsoft’s fantastic Xbox console.
It’s a concept that has aged well, mostly because it’s one of the only tablet designs around that isn’t just trying to rip off Apple’s idea of what a tablet should be wholesale. It’s still, in fact, brought up as an example of how Microsoft could have competed with Apple in the tablet market from the get go.
So what happened to the Courier? Why wasn’t it released? It all came down to the fact that Bill Gates had an “allergic reaction” to the project because it didn’t run Outlook.