Reflection Journal - July 2012

As someone who keeps a close eye on the tech industry in overall and the App Store ecosystem in specific, I feel that our world is moving very fast. Even though I try hard not to be steered by my surroundings, I also believe that there are specific actions I need to take to slow things down and get a better sense of where the world is moving and how my priorites are allocated.

One of the things I try to do is write a personal reflection journal on a regular basis. This is my first attempt at writing one for this website. Hopefully this can become a well-executed plan for many months to come.

Drafts helps you write notes and sync them to Dropbox

July 2, 2012

My wife submitted her first guest review on Drafts while she was treated for typhoid fever in the hospital. It still surprises me how she managed to learn how to use Drafts on her own without my guidance on how to use the app. Today Drafts has become a mainstay in my daily workflow for writing e-mail drafts and blog post skeletons. Most of my drafts ended up being sent to Byword for collaborative blog post editing with Camila or being sent as e-mails to my colleagues via Sparrow. I love the app and it basically replaces the need for the built-in Notes app.

At the same day, Camila posted her first movie review on Brave. Despite the fact that it has earned more than $300 M worldwide, I still haven't managed to squeeze in the time to watch it. If theaters near you are still showing Brave this week, it might be your last chance to enjoy this Pixar masterpiece.

Knowing that these reviews are both the first and only reviews of the categories, I would really love for my wife to write another guest review sometime in the future and for Camila to write more posts about movies she's excited about. I hope I can convince them to do it again.

July 4, 2012

Celebrating the Fourth of July, Camila made a little doodle with all the fireworks. If you appreciate her doodles on this site, you might want to give her a nudge and encourage her to doodle more for us.

Tweetbot for Mac is as good as its iOS version

July 12, 2012

Tweetbot for Mac released a public alpha version. I had been waiting for its release for a few months. Despite being an alpha version, it is fully functional and a great piece of software. It works seamlessly even after I upgraded my MacBook to Mountain Lion. I use this everyday alongside Tweetbot for iPhone as my main Twitter clients.

Not only did I get my favorite and long awaited app, Camila did too. Tiny Wings 2.0 was released and Camila wrote a review for the HD version. She loved the game so much that she also wrote a fan post on 10 Fun Facts about the franchise. The game went on to be a success by reaching the #1 paid apps three days after its release.

The main reason why Tiny Wings HD had to wait for three days before it reached the top paid apps spot was because it was released at the same day as Amazing Alex HD. Even though Amazing Alex is a remake of Casey's Contraptions, being a part of Rovio (the developer of Angry Birds franchise) really help to boost its sales. The iPhone version went straight to the top and stayed there for 10 days. Two weeks after my review of the iPad version, the number of user designed levels submitted to their social sharing site have increased five times over. This confirms how successful the game is.

The new Digg is creating buzz in the tech community

July 13, 2012

Betaworks announced that they had acquired Digg, and that they had been building a new version of Digg. The new Digg launches today, alongside a new iPhone app. I'm looking forward to what the service will turn into after passing this first version.

That same day, a Russian hacker managed to exploit a flaw in the current iOS platform allowing users to get in-app purchases for free. Apple has responded with a permanent fix planned for iOS 6, but apparently the hack has made it into the Mac App Store. The hacker claimed that it will also work in Mountain Lion as long as users set their Gatekeeper settings to allow apps to be downloaded from anywhere.

July 17, 2012

Squarespace 6 was released. This website is hosted at Squarespace and we really love their service. If you're thinking about creating your own websites, blogs, or online portfolios, you should really give Squarespace a try.

Google started shipping their first tablet, Nexus 7. Despite the recent success that they had, I'm curious to how well they will perform in the long run. Will they share the same fate as HP TouchPad which was released at the same July timeframe last year? Will they influence the rumored iPad mini?

July 20, 2012

Two tragic things: Aurora shooting and Sparrow's acquisition by Google.

Momento makes writing journals fun again

July 23, 2012

Camila did a good job of reviewing Momento app for iPhone. It is also my favorite app. Momento is one of the first apps I open each morning and multiple times during the day. In fact, this reflection journal would not have been possible without having Momento.

Cult of Mac reported that the upcoming iOS 6 would no longer required users to enter their iTunes password when downloading updates, previous purchases nor getting new apps (as long as they are free at the time you purchase them). This would reduce the barrier for people to purchase new apps and update their apps to the latest version - which is a good news to developers.

July 25, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion was released. It was a great upgrade from Lion. I've been using it for the past few days on my MacBook and it runs very smoothly. Other than a slight muted sound problem that I encountered, everything is rock solid. Check out John Siracusa's epic review of Mountain Lion if you want to learn all about the new OS X.

Mountain Lion has been a huge success for Apple. It has been downloaded for over three million times within the first four days.

The award-winning board game Cafe International is now available on iOS

July 29, 2012

I published my first review on a board game app for this website. It was for a classic German board game entitled Cafe International which had won the German Family Game of the Year in 1989. This was also the first preview that we did for the website, because the game was released two days after my review was published.

I love to play board games when I had the chance to. Hopefully I can publish more board games reviews in the future, both the iOS versions and the tabletop versions.

What's Next

Doing a personal reflection journal like makes me feel good about what I've done over the past month. I feel satisfied knowing that I can look back to this rather easily in the future and plan my own improvement strategies. I plan to write another reflection journal next month and continue to write it for as long as I can.

I do hope you find some things that might interest you through this reflection of mine. You may also be inspired to do one for yourself.