Week-End Special Part – X
Here we are with our 10th week-end special (little late though)!
It’s really interesting to go back and see, how we have come together on every Saturday with some expectation from this blog. It’s been a live documentation of the Adam Coming to life!
Let’s start with a few updates:
- An additional section on the website is up (I was waiting for this section to go live before clicking on the publish button for this blog)! We have been listening to you and making the required changes. Hope you like the new one too! Here is the link : www.notionink.com/features.php
- Calendar has Entered Beta phase, now it supports contacts management, quick “add-event” (only 6 taps for extremely detailed entries)
- Fonts have improved, and there is no color banding (we solved this issue some 4 weeks ago, but were waiting for some time to give an update on this, some more details given below).
- On FCC, you guys are following much better than us! One heads-up. Earlier we wrote down all the tests which FCC and CE will do and performed them in-house in our labs. Adam passed all the tests, so expecting glitch-free certification.
- There is a LONG LIST of items and tasks one needs to do to get the online payment gateways. We just cleared all, so before time it will be tried & tested and will be available as the default payment option for everyone.
- Panel Engine is in beta since long, multiple instances of application was the last we were testing.
- Now Programmers can do more with CPU Hot Plug feature enabled by default!
- LiveShare by cooliris on Adam! (some more details given below)
- More Document Format Supports (See Below)
I hope many of you have seen “The Prestige”. There is a scene in it there where Christian Bale shows his wife a “bullet catch” magic. It looks incredibly intriguing till the point he explains how it can be done, and from there even the magic looks trivial. We don’t do these many things in a week, it takes months and sometimes quarters to finish applications and develop mature relationships. I can’t explain all everything in one week as well, so will keep this tradition of sharing something every week.
While designing for touch screen devices we need to understand that irrespective of how well we design the keyboard (more on this next week, we have 4 variants!) people won’t like typing a lot. And if in this case you need to enter a Calendar Entry, the fields you’d need to fill up, will be just too many!
We integrated your contact list with the Calendar and entered a list of all possible events (with grammar! :) ), all scrollable, and now in 6 taps you can save an entry like “Meeting with Nikolas Tesla in Missouri on 10th July 1856 : High Priority”. Things are changing because of “touch environments” as we can see in applications, but to see how you can interact with wireless technology is yet to come, and you will have to stretch your imagination a lot!
I haven’t done any formal courses in typography, but I really love fonts and designs which can be created using fonts (like the word cloud). My first presentation to our investor was made on “Prezi” (we are trying hard to get them on Adam, but I think it will take a little more time). Android was designed for phones which in general have higher DPIs and expectation of spending long hours of reading is less. If you take any Android tablet (who has not done R&D on font rendering and most out there fall in the same) you will see that on bigger screen the rendering is really embarrassing. The font hinting is not perfect, and sub-pixel rendering kills whatever sharpness is there in the portrait mode (where the pixel orientation changes physically). Anti-Aliasing do work, but text will not be as crisp. We have spent night-outs fixing and now we finally have. Its beautiful now and better than the rest out there (Android Tablets) but there is still some improvements which have to be done. (I am little out of time today, but will post the images next time).
You all have been following up with FCC a lot better than us here! :) I would let you guys tell us that we have got the same! To ensure that we do get it in time and without any glitch we designed an internal test plan replicating all the tests which FCC labs can perform and ensured that Adam will pass all (same for CE).
The Payment Gateway
Ideally this should have been made available to all the EAPs as well. But the devices are not yet certified and can’t be “sold” as such. That is why the agreement sent to them said ‘its been licensed till we get certification or launch’ and after that they own it. Some laws prevent direct payment gateway solutions for licensed products and that’s the reason of direct wire transfer. Having said that, it’s really sad that the selected ones are not following the Confidentiality Agreement they have signed. Four EAP applicants have already been dis-qualified on the grounds of information disclosures. My investors are really angry at me, and now suspect that before the release in the market, all the images and reviews will be out. I am hoping against it, lets see.
The Panel Engine
Few applications will require multiple instances (have you heard of this on other non-PC devices?) for better functionality, like File Browser for faster file transfer, web browsers in incognito modes, etc. Hence, Panel Engine will support multiple instances.
CPU Hot Plug
This topic will interest geeks more, so I won’t write much about it, but would like to share the fact that its supported and you can do some cool power optimizations. On low battery (and one more area where we are awaiting patent) we are already using it.
Liveshare by cooliris
Real-time collaboration is missing in events, there are multiple applications for various tasks and sponsorship exposure is limited. That’s what Liveshare might change for you. And with the special camera design on Adam, you can definitely do a lot more! You can find more here!
The Format Support
I read a lot of comments on “what all file formats and languages will be supported?”. The Office suite supports 35 Languages, all major formats (including docx, pptx, pdf, etc) and zip files as well. Its pretty handy when it comes to business. We might do some custom templates for you, so it becomes much easier for you to create production quality documents, faster.
You see here the screen shot of the opening page of our photo editing + paint application. The launch screen shows the last art you created. There is a reason why we merged photo-editing and paint. We saw a lot of repeating components and felt the need. Did we tell you it supports layers as well? (We are also working on different brushes for you, specially the ones you see in HTML 5 Canvas examples)
Layers was little difficult for us to implement because of native Android’s memory management (it’s not build for Photoshop kind of applications). We have done little optimization on the way we are handling layers here and you can really do wonders!
Something about Notion Ink and our vision: We believe we are at the transition point where machines will do a lot more for us than we expect them to. Media, office suits, video telephony looks completely trivial as soon as our mind starts imagining the future. We can see developments all around and many firms are striving to integrate the latest, but that’s not what Notion Ink is all about. We wanted Apple to introduce their 3D touch technology in the iPad 1, which would have forced us to work even harder on our technology (both are wonderful yet works quite differently), but everything takes time to reach maturity and production quality. I spend hours looking at the recent patents and if you also do so, you will be as excited as I am, by just adding little extrapolations and imagination.
Notion Ink is about bringing that ‘future’ faster towards us (but not rushing by releasing sub-standard products, we are here to stay for centuries). Its time we start making intelligent machines and companions which can help us do more, learn more, than just creating copies of hot selling products (I wish I could exactly share here what I meant, but..). That is why Adam is not a tablet, it’s a seed for us, the first one which will help us lay the grounds for what is yet to come. I have designed the complete blueprint of an application called “Bliss”. You will find its components and traces on Adam and I think it will help us change our expectations & experiences from the machines we interact with.
(I apologize for being little mystic in this post, but I want to point in the future, back to this post and tell you that I shared a secret and hint with all of you, and it all happened in front of your eyes! :) )
With Warm Regards