Cocoa and Objective-C: Up and Running (by me) is now available from O'Reilly.

New Entries for Apple Design Awards 2007

Back in March, I suggested some possible contenders for the 2007 Apple Design Awards. Several apps appeared right before the submission deadline, and it turns out this will be a closer race than I first thought.

Coda Screenshot

The new entry from Panic, Coda, is an obvious choice. Not only do they have a strong fan base, but they previously won an ADA for Unison. The app hits the two important marks for a Mac app — unique functionality and high production values. Appropriately, the website itself is beautifully designed.

Cha-Ching Screenshot

Previous versions of Cha-Ching were among the best the independent Mac developer market had to offer, but 1.0 is in another class entirely. I want to do a separate post on this to explore it in more detail, but I think the user experience is really something special. Again, an example of unique functionality — Bonjour sharing, iSight-based inventory, iPod integration — and great presentation. You'd have no trouble convincing somebody that this app was made by Apple.

MemoryMiner Screenshot

I said something about MemoryMiner in the last post, but GroupSmarts has since shipped version 1.5. In addition to some major new features — most notably the fantastic web-based annotation service — the interface has been cleaned up and refined. MemoryMiner already won Best of Show at Macworld SF 2006 so it may be time to pick up another. See the MemoryMiner 1.5 video for more.

iStat Pro Screenshot

There are quite a few Dashboard widgets out there, but very few are anyway near as polished as iStat Pro and iStat Nano from iSlayer. It's hard to explain in the abstract, but when you see how easily the different stat groups can be rearranged, it's clear how much thought went into the creation of these tools.

Delicious Monster Logo

I saved the best for last. Delicious Library 2 does walk amongst us, but it hasn't been shown the general public yet. I've seen it and, simply put, the Delicious guys don't mess around. I'm looking forward to this app for three reasons. One, it's going to be an awesome app for me personally. Two, it's going make Windows users want Macs, and Tiger users want Leopard. Three, it's going to be a major eye-opener for Mac developers.

This last point is important. Whatever you thought was state-of-the-art in Tiger is going to be blown to bits with all of the new API available in Leopard. You'll have Delicious Monster to thank for hacking a path through the jungle for you. The bar is going to be raised even higher for a top-tier Mac app, though, so be ready.
Design Element
New Entries for Apple Design Awards 2007
Posted May 06, 2007 — 25 comments below




 

Caleb — May 06, 07 4053

DL 2 sounds fantastic. I cannot wait to say all of the amazing Core Animation. Can you talk about any of the other API's they have really pushed to the max?

Scott Stevenson — May 06, 07 4054 Scotty the Leopard

@Caleb: Can you talk about any of the other API's they have really pushed to the max?
Nope. That's secret stuff.

Joe Goh — May 06, 07 4055

(wears his web editor hat)

Uhm, why does the Delicious Library 2 link point to the Midnight Apps page? And for point three, "eye-opener" instead of "eye-opened".

(takes down the web editor hat)

Coda also has the most beautiful icon i've ever seen. Its "just" a simple leaf, but it really stands out amongst all the other icons on my dock. Best looking leaf ever presented in a 128x128 bitmap.

Caleb — May 06, 07 4057

Thanks for at least letting us know it is going to be an amazing release. I am so excited to see what other developers can do with Leopard. Core Animation has not recieved as much attention as it I feel it deserves. It has the potential to change the way we think about UI from 2d to a form of 3d that has yet to be seen. If you could share some of your insight it would be much appreciated Scott.

Cheers,
Caleb

Kevin Perry — May 06, 07 4058

It has the potential to change the way we think about UI from 2d to a form of 3d that has yet to be seen.

That may be taking it a little too far if you're speaking of 3D as we normally think of it. Core Animation does indeed have the ability to create effects that appear like true 3D (like the demo at WWDC for example), but that's really not its main purpose at all.

Core Animation will allow us to stop worrying about all the work that goes into making each frame of an animation and it will do it extremely well (and efficientlly to boot). That will result in a lot more animation effects appearing in applications, some of which may give a sort of pseudo-3D look to some interfaces, versus their regular, unanimated 2D counterparts.

That's the feeling I get anyway when I play with some of the other more realistic Core Animation demo apps that I have played with.

Caleb — May 06, 07 4059

Kevin, I agree with you 100%. I did not word it as well as you did.

Kevin Perry — May 06, 07 4060

Thank goodness. I get nervous when I hear people talking about trying to imitate the 3D effects they saw in the demo and pounce perhaps too quickly. :-)

Shawn Inman — May 07, 07 4065

I'm just curious to find out what it is that makes the general public so interested in an app like Delicious Library. I downloaded it myself, and I thought it was cool, but I guess I just don't understand the broad appeal aspect of it.

I was stunned when I heard some of the unbelievable sales figures for it. What is it that makes DL a gotta-have?

foljs — May 07, 07 4067

I was stunned when I heard some of the unbelievable sales figures for it. What is it that makes DL a gotta-have?

Emmm,

a) some people want to catalogue their stuff
b) DL is a great cataloguing application, easy and fun to ease and with stunning eye candy

Duh?

Manton Reece — May 07, 07 4068

Delicious Library was one of the first of the modern impulse buy applications. I rarely use it, but I did buy a license almost immediately and will buy the 2.0 as well. The more interesting thing to me with Delicious is that they managed to capture so many customers while maintaining a relatively high $40 price.

As for Cha-Ching, I love the app but think they went a little overboard with the visuals and that will hurt them in the Design Awards. There are some places where standard Aqua controls would have been more appropriate (most of the sheets), or where the gradients are a usability problem (the Reconciled label that looks like a button). Coda is beautiful, but much more restrained in its design (a good thing).

Joe Goh — May 07, 07 4069

After purchasing Delicious Library, i've only ran it 3 - 4 times after that. So like what Manton has said, its an impulse buy application - i'm proof of it. :-)

Shawn Inman — May 07, 07 4070

The more interesting thing to me with Delicious is that they managed to capture so many customers while maintaining a relatively high $40 price.

I guess that's what I was getting at. I hadn't realized so many people would "impulse buy" an app at $40. I do agree though, it looks fantastic.

Manton Reece — May 07, 07 4071

Good point, Shawn. Actually I had to lookup the price to double-check, since I remembered it being closer to $30. The app was so slick, apparently they not only brainwashed us into buying it, but into forgetting how much we paid for it as well. :-)

hmurchison — May 07, 07 4072

I got DL through MacHeist along with other fine apps. I knew I would upgrade to DL2 because cataloging apps are important. If you only have 30 or so DVD then no biggie but I know people with hundreds of discs or books and they literally forget which books or discs they own and are prone to buying duplicates.

I figure DL2 will have some web features so that we can once and for all perish the thought of using DVD Profiler in Bootcamp/Parallels.

Shipley has stated something to the effect of "I know what I want to accomplish even in version 3" so we're now waiting for the second installment in this Epic Trilogy.

I'm glad he's making it Leopard only. Give me the "Wow" factor now.

Gabriel Shahbazian — May 07, 07 4074

I entered my widget Listen.

Think it has any shot???

Shawn Inman — May 07, 07 4075

I'd have to agree that it's a smart choice for DL2 to go Leopard-only. This seems like a product aimed primarily at the enthusiast crowd, who will probably be upgrading anyway. Being one myself, I have to say I'm dying to see what Shipley has up his sleeve!

Wil Shipley — May 07, 07 4076

Scott,

You've got my permission to talk about some of the features that you like in DL2 -- just don't tell 'em EVERYTHING.

-W

Michael Stroeck — May 08, 07 4080

You've got my permission to talk about some of the features that you like in DL2 -- just don't tell 'em EVERYTHING.

I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Is that really Wil, or just some smart-ass trying to trick Scott into spilling the beans on DL2 :-) ?

Perhaps you should offer the abilty to register user-names here, Scott.

Scott Stevenson — May 08, 07 4081 Scotty the Leopard

I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Is that really Wil, or just some smart-ass trying to trick Scott into spilling the beans on DL2

It's really Wil, but I'm glad people don't assume it is.

Michael Stroeck — May 08, 07 4082

It's really Wil, but I'm glad people don't assume it is.[i/]

I assumed it was. Still, the internet can be a funny place, sometimes :-)

Shawn Inman — May 08, 07 4083

It's really Wil

Awesome, so then I'll be back tomorrow for some exclusive details about DL2 then! ;)

Marc Edwards — May 09, 07 4087

Thanks Scott,

It's an honour to be in such fine company. All the best and good luck to everyone who's entered the ADAs.

Oh, and Coda rocks! Can't live without it now.

Frank — May 10, 07 4090

I've played around with Ubercaster recently. Amazing app - would definitely be on my list...

Chuck — May 10, 07 4093

So…are we going to get to hear about some of the cool features in Delicious Library 2? This entry is such a tease.

Jared — May 10, 07 4094

Yeah I was wondering the same thing Chuck :D




 

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