Tyler Barth

iOS developer and UX Designer

Missing Google Reader Sharing

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I really liked Google Reader’s share functionality because it made it very easy for my close friends and me to share links between each other. We were all “following” each other on Reader.

The Joy of Podcasts: Android or Non-Apple Tech Podcasts

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You may have noticed that the bulk of the technology podcasts I listen to are focused on Apple. I admit my strong interest in all things Apple. I use their products and hope to build a career on them.

However, upon realizing that all of the podcasts I listen to are Apple analysis (though they often discuss other parts of the mobile space), I wanted to find some views from the other side.

I went in search of podcasts about Android or non-Apple mobile technology, if only to check my biases and make sure my vision doesn’t become constrained. I wanted to find something like an Android or Windows Mobile version of Marco Arment or John Siracusa. I wanted someone with strong opinions they were willing to defend and someone who would recap recent news stories and provide industry analysis, but less focused on Apple and more focused on the other companies in the tech industry.

Goodbye, Steve.

When Steve Jobs resigned, a lot of us still had hopes that it was temporary. We hoped maybe he would recover and, maybe even a short time later, come back to Apple energized and ready to share some more magic.

Of course, this was wishful thinking. It seems now that Steve understood his fate and stepped down in August to spend time with his family and to help prepare Apple to stand alone.

The Joy of Podcasts: General Interest

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This is the first in a small series of posts about my favorite podcasts. I first began listening to podcasts as a way of keeping up with the news on my bus commute to an internship in Houston. Before ever being interested in technology podcasts, I listened to news and culture podcasts. I’ve added some more in recent years, but some of these I’ve been listening to for quite some time.

I describe these as general interest because they aren’t technology focused and they should appeal to any curious audience.

The Joy of Podcasts

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I’ve compiled a list of my favorite podcasts.

Every once and a while I move somewhere where I have a long daily commute. Suddenly I have a much higher demand in my life for audio content. I have listened to some audio books, but I usually can’t focus on nonfiction audio books while commuting. Also, shorter segments like podcasts can help give a sense of finality to a commute, instead of leaving you excited to continue like an audio book might.

I can understand if you don’t get podcasts or think podcasts are for those other people. Podcasts are probably less efficient as a way of receiving information for most people, because most can read faster than they listen and many podcasts have a lot of extra banter.

On the other hand, in the case of some of these podcasts you get additional thoughts and get to borrow more of these peoples’ time than you would be able to if you only read their blog posts. They don’t write blog posts for every topic they think about, and it’s much easier for them to communicate these thoughts in the informal atmosphere of a podcast.

In that spirit, I have compiled a list of my favorite podcasts. Originally it was one post but the list went on so long that I have split it into sections.

Here is the list:

Note: The title is a play on The Joy of Sex or The Joy of Cooking, but I noticed I wasn’t the only one to think of it, including some people who like the same podcasts as I do.

HK Apple Store Opening

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The brochure they handed out at the entrance

Today, the International Financial Center mall location Apple store on Hong Kong island has opened.

Finding Things in Hong Kong: Body Fat Analyzer

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I was curious about starting a new exercise program in Hong Kong, but first I needed an important tool so I could quantify my progress.

Body fat analyzers are useful if you are starting a new weight loss or exercise program, because weight gain or loss only tells half the story. If you’re trying to gain weight but not paying attention to fat percentage, you might just be getting fatter and not more muscular. Likewise, if your weight loss slow but your body fat percentage goes down, you may still be making a lot of progress.

The Design of Everyday Smartphones

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I know I’m not the first one to point this out, but I found that the modern smartphone solves (though probably also creates) many of the problems discussed in Donald Norman’s “The Design of Everyday Things”

Would you like a pocket-size device that reminded you of each appointment and daily event? […] It has to be small. It has to be convenient to use. And it has to relatively powerful, at least by today’s standards. It has to have a full, standard typewriter keyboard and a reasonably large display. It needs good graphics, because that makes a tremendous difference in usability, and a lot of memory–a huge amount, actually. And it should be easy to hook up to the telephone; I need to connect it to my home and laboratory computers. Of course, it should be relatively inexpensive.

The only unmet feature is the “relatively inexpensive” part, but even that is changing.

I know there is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m pretty happy with how many of the problems of task management, password memorization, and number memorization are solved by smartphones.