People in the US waiting for passports often have to call the passport info line as their travel date approaches to move things along, but that number is swamped and on many tries plays a long recorded apology before hanging up. This iPhone/iOS shortcut lets you redial the moment that apology starts, so you can immediately try again, with a minimum of effort. [more inside]
For iOS devices, a "shortcut" to quickly create links/quotes from a web page for posting to an HTML-based forum (like MetaFilter.) [more inside]
Good Spirits is a drink tracker for iOS. Ever since learning about the correlation between drinking and various kinds of cancer, I've been meticulous about logging and tracking every drink I consume. Good Spirits makes this process easy: just set a weekly limit, check in your drinks, and the app will let you know when you're in the danger zone. For the craft beer drinkers, you can automatically pull new check-ins from Untappd. Free and soon-to-be open source!
Inspired by a popular art installation I made for Burning Man, I've now crafted the app version! Mission Me encourages you towards creative experiments and real-life adventures for self-growth and hilarity!
I had been looking for an app to help me figure out what cocktails I could make with what I have in my home bar, but just didn't really like any of the ones out there. So I bit the bullet and finally taught myself Swift and created this app. [more inside]
I wrote and programmed a group role-playing app! The gist is everyone playing needs to be in the same room and have the app on their smartphone, and then they perform together a series of challenges. It's for 3-10 players, takes 20-45 min, ages 10+. The app is free, doesn't have ads, and doesn't track your info beyond what is strictly needed to run the game. [more inside]
I've been gathering up some of my sketches (mostly markers and some digital) from past years and organizing them into stickers for iOS Messenger because they seem well-suited to this medium. So far I have a set of random creatures, a set of aliens/robots and a set of ocean-inspired life.
Domains can be more than just letters and numbers. Most people have no idea they can just type a bunch of hearts in their address bar and go to a domain... and yet, it works!
MusicMessages! is a collaborative step sequencer for the iMessage App Store (iPhone, iPad). Using the simple and (hopefully) intuitive interface, you can punch in a few chords or a percussion line and send the message off to your friends, who can then make their own changes and send it back. Five instrument layers and over 40 MIDI instruments are available to use. Bonus: if you have an iPhone 7, the note buttons respond to pressure and "pop" like bubble wrap with the help of the Taptic engine!
I've spent the past 18 months or so slogging away at apprecs.com, an app search engine that can detect review manipulation. You can see the worst offenders here. I posted this back when this was iOS-only, and I'd like to share some major new features I've added. [more inside]
While developing mobile apps, I realized how rife the App Store is with rating/review manipulation. So, I created apprecs.com, a facade for the store that allows you to filter out many of the fake, coerced, or otherwise manipulated reviews. You can also filter by other criteria such as how recently the app was last updated and age/gender of the typical user. What do you think? I'm getting started on adding Android (Google Play) support today. [more inside]
Composer's Sketchpad is an iPad sequencer-ish app for quickly jotting down musical ideas. In brief, the app presents you with a giant pannable and zoomable canvas that you can draw musical notes on. I wanted to create a modern take on sheet music, but without any of the legacy limitations; as a result, you can start each note at any time and bend it to any pitch, giving you the ability sketch out expressive solos and complex rhythms with no extra effort. (You can also turn on time or pitch snapping if you like.) Navigation, editing, and playback are carefully designed to be as frictionless as possible, and over 100 different instruments (as well as a percussion set) are available. Your music is saved automatically without any limit on the total number of sketches. Apple Pencil supported! [more inside]
Approximal is an iOS app that uses Bluetooth to discover people nearby. It can match you using social networks (18 supported so far, including the usual suspects), or any adhoc personal networks you and other people create. [more inside]
Kids can spin the wheel to hear words and songs across 11 different themes. It's aimed at pre-school kids as a fun way to learn new words in English, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. [more inside]
A new app I wrote for the iPhone and iPod Touch to remotely control the MPD open-source networked music playing software, start/stop playback, edit the playlist, browse the music collection and queue up tracks for playing. (App Store link.) [more inside]
I made a custom keyboard for iOS called Translit Keyboard that lets you transliterate English into Russain, Ukranian, Armenian, Belarusian, Georgian, Greek, and Macedonian in real time. (Transliteration is phonetic: you type "raz, dva, tri, chetyre" and get "раз, два, три, четыре".) The keyboard is based on a simplified reproduction of the iOS system keyboard built in Swift, called Tasty Imitation Keyboard, that I have open-sourced. It could be used to build custom keyboards similar to Translit Keyboard fairly easily.
I made an iPhone and iPad app that creates short, intense workouts to make you tired after strength training. [more inside]
Inspired by the theories of Hans Cousto - the planet tones and the Law of the Octave, I made this iOS app and a web app. Use it for sound healing/meditation/connection with the Eternal/looking at nice colours.
I've finally released an iPhone app I've been working on for four years: The Fridge. It's made to help you remember about your perishable foods so they don't go to waste. It has some unique UI elements that (I hope) are interesting. And of course, it comes with a demo video, but not a usual one (absolutely no soft ukulele music). [more inside]
Augur is an iPhone app that displays random Twitter posts, and attempts to provide both advice and prophesy. Pulling from a growing list of keywords, the app ignores any Twitter posts containing links, images, #hashtags, or @mentions. It also parses out any first person mention (I, Me, Myself) and tries to present Twitter posts containing second personal conditionals (You will, You shall, etc). [more inside]
Vhoto is an app for your iDevice (no Android, sorry) that uses computer vision and machine learning to pull still photos out of video you shoot. You can use the built in camera or import video shot with another app. We also have a social component for sharing your photos, and you can also share to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The app is free, here's a download link: http://vho.to/gettheapp/chris
Do you use Twitter? Instagram? Don't you wish there was a more fun way to look at the feeds than just a list of tweets? With Keepskor, you can build mini-games ("Who said it?" or "Who shot it are our first ones) that allow you to challenge this vs. that. [more inside]
I created SAMi out of a very personal need to monitor my son at night after he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Using a networked IR security camera, I built the first version in 2009. The code was written in python and ran on a dedicated old Dell laptop. Over the years I've refined the design, tweaking the detection algorithm until I had a system that worked reliably for us. With the help of funding from the Epilepsy Foundation (I won their first "Shark Tank" competition) and the support of friends and family I've turned my bespoke python based solution into an iPhone app. www.samialert.com is my new website where we've recently launched SAMi to the public, we are starting to ship cameras worldwide. The response so far has been gratifying.
As part of my work, I help organize a conference for people who enjoy tinkering with their iPhones and developing software that can't be published in the App Store (it turns out there are a lot of us who enjoy this kind of thing). This year it's in South San Francisco on April 12-13. iOS jailbreaking has a big community spread around the world, and it's pretty fun to get to see each other in person. [more inside]
Interesting instant-search dictionary app for iOS and Mac which finds words based on some of the letters they contain irrespective of order. For example you can type KQV and it will find you the only 13 words that contain all those letters (like EQUIVOKE). It's remarkably useful for word games like Letterpress (whose dictionary it is wrapped around) or for checking goes at Scrabble, or for a lot of word-related messing about. [more inside]
Chicago Avenue Moon is a generative music app that responds to date, time, lunar phase, GPS, etc, to determine how its music unfolds, in real-time. The iOS app manipulates, sequences, and layers 1000+ brief musical phrases to create trillions and trillions of variations, unique to the listeners movement and place on the planet. [more inside]
Make large triangles out of four smaller ones. It's a simple concept, but you score more points and earn more time by extending your triangle combos into more complex shapes. A completed combo returns a newly upgraded tile, and you match those up the same way. There's a timer, and you push it back by gathering initial tiles. By making different shapes, you can unlock symmetry, mirror and kaleidoscopic bonuses and even capture other tiles to raise your score multiplier up to 20x or more. Most games take about 5-10 minutes to complete. There are 30+ achievements and 3 leaderboards to measure your skill; Game Center supported on iOS and OSX. [more inside]
I have started a new technical blog, where I will be documenting various projects I have worked on (typically involving code, though not always). [more inside]
In the wake of the recent wiretapping allegations, I thought this might be of interest. Frank is a fairly unique iOS app which we've developed for secure chat. It permits frictionless, accountless, completely anonymous, end-to-end encrypted conversations, voicemails etc. Free at this point, although we will have to start charging for it sooner or later to cover server costs. Elevator pitch below the fold. [more inside]
Make fake iPhone and iPad apps to rickroll your friends (or worse...). More information about the project in this blog post.
A while ago I became minorly obsessed with the aesthetics of digital camouflage. After some initial failures playing around with photoshop, I started exploring ways to replicate these sorts of patterns algorithmically. This eventually turned into PATLAB, an app that generates a colour palette from a user photograph, and uses that to generate an easily-editable camo pattern. Some examples.
JailbreakQA is a question-and-answer forum for people interested in iOS jailbreaking (applying exploits to remove restrictions on iOS devices in order to be able to install a wider variety of software). It provides reliable answers for almost any question people can think up about this stuff, and part of its goal is to provide a safety net of helpful problem-solvers for anyone who runs into a problem with a jailbroken device. I'm the head moderator (and FAQ writer) for this forum, part of my work on coordinating ways to make jailbreaking more accessible and friendly instead of seeming confusing and sketchy. Along with value-based reasons for why people care about jailbreaking, it's also a neat opportunity to tinker with making a well-loved device even better through the interface tweaks and customizations developed by the jailbreaking community, and I'm lucky to professionally work on something I care about like this.
Nametrix is an iOS app I created initially for baby naming, but it ended up being way cooler than that. It uses public data on millions of people (US census, US campaign contributions, Wikipedia) to determine what professions, political parties, and other affiliations each name tends toward. For example, Ellen is a disproportionately common name for 1) psychotherapists, 2) librarians, and 3) activists. Ellens also overwhelmingly lean toward the Democrat party and have tended to be most popular in the northeastern part of the US. As far as I know, nobody else has made anything remotely like this... Pretty fascinating stuff, right? What other kinds of metrics would you like to see?
I decided to quit my programming job at Google, start a small company, and write an app with my best friend Graham Bartram. As he's a top flag expert these days, the result was FlagWaver. Watch his beautiful high quality flag artwork ripple in a virtual breeze as you spin and zoom them, even drag the simulated fabric with your finger. [more inside]
Samvada (currently free in the app store) turns your iPhone/iPad into a set of sympathetic strings, tuned to the notes of a raga. Designed for practicing and performing Indian Classical music, Samvada is also fun to use for everyone - it turns everything the microphone picks up into tuneful sound.
We've recently released our first original smartphone game, Zombies, Run! It's a running game and audio adventure for iOS (and soon, Android) where you run in the real world while getting story and instructions through your headphones. As you run, you also get chased by zombies (so you need to speed up) and you automatically collect supplies that you can use to grow your home base, Abel Township. Today, we also launched our free 75 page book, The Runner's Guide, with more background on the world of Zombies, Run! plus the script and audio for Mission 1. [more inside]
I've published my first iOS app! Cell Blast (iPad only, I'm afraid) allows you to simulate John Conway's Game of Life, the classic cellular automaton. You can also create your own (much more complex) automata rules and play them out on a 100x100 - 400x400 grid. [more inside]
Jotunheim is an iPhone app that lets you post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and mlkshk. One at a time or all at once. So, you can keep your people up-to-date, even if they're not all on the same social network. [more inside]
I use Notational Velocity on my laptop to keep plain text notes and store them in Dropbox. I am really attached to its single-text-field interface, and was frustrated that there wasn't a close analogue on the iOS App Store — so I wrote one.
I'm excited to show off my new iPhone app--Q Scan for Netflix! Despite some setbacks with the development process and changes in the Netflix API, I finally have the app live. With Q Scan for Netflix, you can easily scan a retail DVD or Blu-ray barcode to add the title to your Netflix Queue (instant or disc/DVD). Q Scan can come in handy when you're walking through a retail store and notice a new release you've been meaning to watch--now you can quickly check to see if it's already on Netflix! [more inside]
Launch, transport, and boost your diver into the pool. Blast enemy squirt guns and boxes. Fly high, collect coins, and don't miss! The mobile version is free. [more inside]
I made a little free iPad app called Picture Chat. In it, two people (sharing the same iPad) talk not by speaking... but by typing any of the over 500 pictures to form picture sentences. In this video, you can actually see two of the robots (that come with the program) automagically talking to each other -- see robot communication weirdness ensue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBRmL7YXCZ8
Dream. Design. Dig. | The iMyGarden app lets you see your garden design before ever touch the soil in your garden. [more inside]
An iPhone app for browsing your Facebook friends and making and managing friend lists for use as privacy filters. [more inside]
To celebrate the release of the new patch Boom Boat is free all day today! Free Friday! Grab it now! This physics puzzler is probably different than many of the physics games you've played before. [more inside]
OpenEars is an open-source iOS library for implementing round-trip English language speech recognition and text-to-speech on the iPhone and iPad, which uses the CMU Pocketsphinx and CMU Flite libraries. [more inside]
I have recently written a MIDI control surface app for the iPad. It currently has six layouts, consisting of combinations of piano keyboards (with pitch bender), and ribbons and XY pads, which can be configured to send different MIDI control events. It works over WiFi, talking to the open-source DSMIDIWiFi client. [more inside]