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Archive for January 2009

Apple Moves Oceans

You've heard the term, a rising tide floats all boats, right? And you already knew that the tides on Earth are caused by the rotation of the moon, right?

Well, we think Apple is like the moon. Whatever industry or product segment it sets its mind to, it causes such an impact that it "lifts" everything around it. If you're still not with me, imagine a trampoline that you plunge a hook into and lift upwards. You stretch the whole thing as you pull it upwards. This is what Apple does. And furthermore, it apparently rarely lets go.

Think about it. Before the Mac, there was no popular computer with a graphic interface, pull down menus, mouse, copy and paste, etc. ALL of that was brought into mainstream computing by the Mac.

And do you remember what MP3 devices were like before the iPod? Barely anyone used them and there was certainly no easy way to buy and install music. And do you know what they even looked like before the iPod? In fact, less than 1 in 10 of you reading this now could even remember an MP3 player before the iPod. For most of us, the thing that preceded the iPod was the Sony "Discman" CD Player; remember those? BTW, I love it when I see someone carrying one of those today. It's like seeing a milk man making his rounds.

And, now Apple sets it hook into the mobile phone market. Do you remember what most, if not all, cell phones looked like before June 29th, 2007? I assure you they did not look like the Blackberry Storm, the HTC Touch or Fuze, the Palm Pre or Treo Pro.

This is not another blog post about the iPhone. It's about the gravitational pull inherent in what appears to be most of Apple's big moves. Have there been misfires? Sure... Newton, Lisa, NeXT... But were those really bombs? Or are they just part and parcel to a big move? The wind up to the 100mph pitch? The step back to thrust oneself forward? The price of entry to the doors to greatness?

Whatever it is, it's real. And we're seeing it in action now. Whether you like the iPhone or not, Apple has forever improved the lives of anyone with a mobile phone by revealing to the world a whole new level of design and performance. Never again will you be impressed with a shiny pink "flip phone" or settle for crappy screens, aged interfaces or the lack of now-expected features never expected before June 29, 2007.

Until now, the year most remembered for Apple's single greatest impact on our lives was 1984, the year of the Mac's release and one of the most memorable advertising campaigns of our time. But it appears Apple has eclipsed even that significant moment in computing history. Maybe the greatest ocean Apple has ever moved started on June 29, 2007. Let us know what you think.


Here's to the Crazy Ones

[caption id="attachment_401" align="alignright" width="153" caption="Rooms Available For Rent"]Rooms Available For Rent[/caption]We love crazy ideas, the crazier the better. It's the only way we really stretch ourselves as designers, programmers or professionals. Start with an idea that's nearly impossible to achieve and go to work making it look simple. That's what everyone told us when we set out to release 8 apps in a matter of months, and we ended up doing 9!So when we saw, we grinned from ear to ear. What a great... and crazy... idea. We like these guys.Make a web site that has 1,000 teeny-weeny app icons. A virtual App Store orgy! Sure, why not? We just had to be part of it.Our hats are off to Danilo Yasuno, idea guy and owner of DYS: Translations, and Mika Letki, the creator of the site. Their idea was inspired by The Million Dollar Home Page, which is an amazing story in itself. Are we seeing a new chapter in internet trivia history with think when the site is full, it's going to look beautiful. Apps can be added by contacting them here.In 1997, Apple aired the Emmy Award Winning "Here's to the Crazy Ones" created by Chiat/Day and narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. More than an ad campaign, it was art.So, here's the crazy ones! We salute you Danilo and Mika.


Overnight Getting Rave Reviews

Overnight is one of those apps that's difficult to articulate just how feature-rich, yet intuitive it is. Apple's iTunes App Store is cluttered amongst a see of "one trick pony" apps, or Ringtone Apps, as some other bloggers have called them. These are small offerings with little more than a single gag, some clever description writing and that every-appealing .99 "why not" pricing.So amongst a mess of flatulent Apps we're happy to see some apprecaition for an enterprise-grade offering. 148apps is quickly becoming a respected authority in the industry with handy news feeds and rich-content reviews. They recently reviewed Overnight and this is what they had to say:

The richness of what could have been an oversimplified app makes Overnight really shine. Too often developers fail to consider how users will actually utilize their software, and it’s apparent that Bottle Rocket put some serious thought into their design.
148apps gave Overnight four and a half out of five stars with a an overall "Highly Recommend" rating. This is just a small snipit and encourge you to check out the full article for yourself. Visit us on iTunes to check out Overnight and see what all the hype is about.


Personalize your Ringtones with Voxie

I'm always amazed by the number of unconventional and creative ways people find to use Voxie, and I'm happy to finally contribute one of my own! I was a little behind the curve in getting my iPhone so I relied on the experience of seasoned users to get me up to speed in the beginning. After about a week into getting everything almost completely personalized, I still faced one hanging dilemma - what about ringtones? Now maybe not everyone has the enthusiasm as I do for personalization but I'd rather not have to whip out my phone every time I hear a generic ring in a public place. Also, I can be frugal at times and didn’t want to spend an extra dollar when I had already purchased the song. I don’t call that cheap, I call that smart.I decided to do a little R&D work and look into the matter where I discovered it’s much simpler than expected. On top of that, it’s completely Mac supported, which means that Apple isn’t going to come down on you if you do an update. Thanks to the tips from The Apple Blog fascistic how-to guide, I can now create any ringtone I want. Not just using songs, but using audio I recorded from Voxie!There are a few ways you can do it, but I’ll try to be as basic about it as possible. My process use a Mac with GarageBand, but there is a round-about way of doing it on a PC thanks to CyberNet's easy guide.Here's How Make a Ringtone from a Voxie Recording:

  1. Capture your audio on Voxie.
  2. Use Voxie's Wifi Sync to transfer to your computer
  3.  Open both Garage Band and iTunes
  4. Drag your audio file to Garage Band
  5. Find the part in the audio that you want used (it can’t be more than 40 seconds - I’ve tried). I generally cut the audio so that I can use it like a book mark. To cut the audio, be sure you select it and then press Apple+T.
  6. Once you’ve identified what part of the clip you want to use, click on the Apple Loop button, located at the bottom of Garage Band (it’s to the right of the fast forward button and left of the time display).
  7. You’ll then see a small bar right above the audio. You can move it to any part of the audio file and drag it to make the time longer. Only the area the bar is under will be what’s in your ringtone.
  8. Go to Share and select Send Ringtone to iTunes
  9. It will automatically show up in your ringtones folder
*Note, if it says that your selection is longer than 40 seconds and you think you’ve done your math right, be sure that you’re using the time indicator rather than the measures indicator.If only I had this as a kid! I remember when I first got a recorder, I went around recording all sorts of funny sounds. I guess it’s a good excuse to behave like a kid again. With the ability to set custom tones per person, you can use people's own voice as their ringer! Grab a ringtone of your boss yelling, your specially some one whispering sweet nothings, or any random phrase that fits your caller!



Recent News

One of Bottle Rocket Apps' latest applications has given a fast-food bird some new wings.

Chick-fil-A's latest version of its mobile app, released last week for iOS, allows customers to order and pay via their smartphone. The app allows customers to use the new features at more than 130 locations, with more expected to roll out in 2015.

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