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Since the release of the Google Nexus, Android has enjoyed rapid expansion and success, but is Android a victim of its own success?
There are literally hundreds of Android devices. Each device has a different hardware configuration. The result is a wide disparity of capabilities across the market. CPU, camera, flash, internal memory, Bluetooth, network, screen resolution, and wireless specifications can be vastly different on any two given handsets. To compensate for the diversity of these devices, developers must either abandon devices or develop for the lowest common denominator. The situation is illustrated by Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, who has been forced to officially ignore nearly twenty phones. That's more than the total number of iOS devices.

Carriers and manufacturers have exploited Android's "open" platform as a means to add their own features in an attempt to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Aside from often creating usability problems, these unnecessarily customized versions of Android have delayed firmware updates for older devices, and even resulted in carriers abandoning phones entirely. Presently there are eight versions of Android application framework API that a device can support. With no clear upgrade path for many devices due to UI extensions like HTC Sense, the platform is even further fragmented.

Google's official line on the topic of fragmentation is that it's a non-issue. According to Android's Dan Morrill, "Fragmentation is a bogeyman, a red herring, a story you tell to frighten junior developers. Yawn." Yes, Dan, were Google to enforce their own Compatibility Definition Document with carriers and OEMs, that statement might even be true.
Using 109 post-it notes in 5 different colors, we put up a Christmas tree on the front door to our offices. If you consider each note as a pixel, then our door's resolution is 10x22 pixels.
  1. Do make the user feel important.
  2. Do show interest in the user.
  3. Do consider what the user wants.
  4. Do edit, less is more.
  5. Don't flatter the user, it's insincere.
  6. Don't mention your competition, it suggests they're superior.
  7. Don't talk about your own success, it makes your audience insecure.
  8. Don't force the user to do anything. Ever.
Last Sunday (November 7th) we had the pleasure of attending and photographing Operation: Holiday, a fashion show from 2 Sisters and New Prospects.
View the gallery. The charity event, which benefited the WINGS battered woman's shelter, was made possible by local businesses donating their services. The models were styled by Indira Salon, and wore apparel from 2 Sisters and New Prospects. Baked by Betsy, All on the Road Catering, and Wine Styles catered drink and food. Amphora hosted the event in their spacious store.
Always ready for the Holidays, we've got a fresh wallpaper pack in ten different resolutions for your desktop or iPhone. Reminiscent of the ASCII art from my childhood, this wallpaper features the finest serif typefaces depicting a Christmas tree in a warm vintage color palette. Download the Typograhical Christmas Tree Wallpaper pack now.
Too often have I seen clients agonize over 30 word ad copy while ignoring the importance of photos on their website. If a photo is worth a thousand words, then it's worthwhile to provide customers with great photos that tell your brand story. Through the immediacy of photo-sharing sites, the inclusion of cameras in seemingly all consumer electronics, and the radical improvement in digital cameras in the last decade, there is a heavy burden placed on commercial photography. It is now expected that pack shots, location images, and staff portraits will be nearly perfect if not stunning. No longer can we get away with the photos our nephew took for his high school photo class, or the iPhone photos you took last January. Consider that:
  • Product shots make your item tangible.
  • Pack shots improve product recognition on the store shelf.
  • Location shots give credibility and help customers find you.
  • Staff shots give your business a face.
Providing photos of yourself, your products or your business is a great way to tell the story of your business. Professional photos make your brand shine.
Traditionally, the problem with browser statistics is that the research data is based on developer-biased group of users. To avoid that problem, we used Google Analytics data from a chain of Chicago pizza restaurants as our basis for the average user. With 3,041 unique visitors looking for pizza during the month of September, Gulliver's data should provide a representative sample of Chicago's average user.
Other conclusions suggested by our data:
  1. Dial-up is nearly non-existent.
  2. 1024x768 is the most common resolution by far, which is good news for the 960 grid system.
  3. 1 in 6 computers are Macs.
  4. IE is anything but dead, with IE8 taking the largest individual market share.
  5. 1 in 10 browsers were on an embedded device
  6. 2 out of 3 embedded devices are Apple products.
  7. The web is moving forward!
Along with other local business (including our clients 2 Sisters and Amphora) we're sponsoring Operation Holiday, a fashion show charity event benefiting Wings.
The show will be held at Amphora on Sunday, November 7th starting at 1pm. We're proud to be involved. Found this post helpful? Follow us on Twitter.