New York Times’ iPad app: Advertising done right

NYT app iconThere’s a lot to like in this week’s update to the New York Times’ iPad app. The new version has much more content than the previous “Editor’s Choice” app, the navigation is improved and the app feels much more polished. But it’s the handling and placement of the ads that really impresses me.

In-app advertising so far has been a mixed bag. Many apps rely on ad networks and phone-optimized ad units. Some have created custom ad units, including “sponsored by” messages on the app’s splash screen.

The Times appears to have taken a different approach: their ads make excellent use both of the iPad’s form factor and new user interface features in Apple’s iOS. Continue reading “New York Times’ iPad app: Advertising done right”

What’s wrong with the Nexus One?

I picked up a Nexus One to have an Android device for testing our mobile products, and decided to try it out as my primary device for a few days. I’m not unfamiliar with the Android OS; my wife has been using a Droid Eris for the last few months and I’ve had a plenty of opportunity to work with it. The Eris runs Android 1.5, a very outdated version of the OS, and doesn’t have a lot of processing power. Using it has been interesting, but I wanted an Android 2.1 device for testing.

One aspect of the Eris that has bothered me from the beginning is the sensitivity of the touch digitizer. To be blunt: it’s pretty awful. Calibration is not great and it requires what I believe is far too much physical force to complete a touch action. As a result, the Eris’ on screen keyboard is pretty bad, too.

I was hoping, based on reviews, that the Nexus One would be nearly as good as the iPhone. I was wrong. The N1 suffers from a very bad digitizer and very poorly designed keyboard software. As you can see in this test video, the N1’s digitizer is considerably less precise than the iPhone. In daily use, that translates to frustration when trying to click on icons, type, or use the four silkscreened buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Continue reading “What’s wrong with the Nexus One?”