A Better Apple Pencil Charging Design

The current Apple Pencil charging method is just stupid.

New design summary:

  • Wireless inductive charging of Apple Pencil from iPad Pro. This would require some way of attaching the Pencil to the iPad, probably with magnets.
  • Wireless inductive charging of Apple Pencil from a USB charging stand. Could be a inductive charging case as well.
  • For less portable use cases, maybe not used with an iPad but more like a touch(-and-pencil)-enabled iMac (Apple, please!), a vertical conductive charging stand could be viable by just adding some metal contact rings to the Pencil.

Timeline – Version Control for MMO Games

When a MMO game updates with tons of great new features, some players just wish they could stay at the old version. What if whenever a new version is launched, it’s going to be a new set of server based on the current game data, a new timeline? And so players can choose to opt-in for the timeline where the new version is released, or the one where nothing happened?

This is just a rough idea. It’s something I would like to see in many games, but I know it’s going to be really hard to execute and maybe the game system needs to be specifically designed to make the timeline branching easy.

One interesting way of loading large data

So with the advancing of HTML5, Web 2.0 and everything, more and more websites are using dynamic loading. One of the more advanced technique is dynamic loading portion by portion, that is, only load the amount of content that fits the consuming context such as depending on where you are looking at/reading and how fast you are reading, only load one screen of content. This further reduces unnecessary data transmission because if you load a whole page of content for the user, the user might find it boring halfway through it and leave and essentially you wasted half of the data that has been transferred.

However, with the dynamic loading by portion technique I find another problem: it’s quite hard to expect how much content there is left. It’s like reading a newspaper or book page by page without knowing how thick it is. Sometimes it gets frustrating if you don’t know how much more time you need to finish it, doesn’t it?

What I think would help this experience, is to load the structure of the content without the data inside. Take a long article as an example, it would be loading a meta data describing how many paragraphs there are in the article and how long each paragraph is. With this data, the whole page could be constructed without the actual content (maybe filled with spaces). And the data will be loaded in when the user actually is going to read it. Now we have the structure of the article built, the scrollbar effectively tells the user how long this article is, and can plan how to consume it accordingly.

Tip by Mood/Rating (App)

Ever struggled with how much to tip? Well there are certainly tons of “smart” apps out there that might “advice” you on that. I’ve personally tried a couple, but never really liked any.

Doesn’t it seem troublesome to take out your smart phone and open a dedicated app that serves as nothing more than a calculator? Doesn’t the final result often differ from your satisfaction? Don’t you hate their super slow serving pace but aren’t sure how much to deduct from the tip?

So here’s the idea: an app (or a feature) that calculates tip based on your rating of Service, Environment, Taste and the base amount may be the average tip of the other customers. In the end, you can choose to post your rating to Yelp, Foursquare or other social networks.

Project “How does this wallpaper look on your mobile device”

So I was looking for wallpapers for my new phone, Xperia Z, and I had tons of trouble trying out every one I found and got disappointed by the fact that most images don’t look as good as a wallpaper as they are as a picture!

I’m aware that there are plenty of wallpaper apps that can “technically” find the “ideal” wallpaper for you. But I believe you know what you are trading for.

So I decided to create this project and hopefully I can finish it by the end of this summer.

What exactly is this?

It’s a website where you can test your own image as the wallpaper for any (supported) device.

You may either provide a URL to an image or upload your own, and the image will be set as the background of a device of your choice. Of course you can drag and zoom the image and make other adjustments. Once you are satisfied with your design, you can now put the image onto your device and be confident that it’s going to look perfect! 😀

What’s more? You can share your “design” with your friends with the link provided!

Could Google Now help shopping reminding?

Screen Shot 2012-12-15 at 5.52.14 AM

So today I was thinking: Google Now tracks lots of things about you; when and where you go, how long you stay at one place regularly, your packages, your flights, and many others. What if, say one day you plan to do some shopping and launch Google Now, it shows your shopping list and maybe wish list also, and everything is sorted by availability in the store you are at, with price comparing with other stores around that place or online, and even better, a in-store turn by turn navigation.

I really wish Google has a plan on making this feature. Almost every time I go shopping I forget to buy something, sometimes I don’t forget to use shopping list apps, sometimes I even forget to bring my phone with me. Well most of these are my fault, but I think Google Now shopping reminding still will be helpful, won’t it?