iPhone 4 Is Top Camera on Flickr

Two of my favorite cameras, the Nikon D90 and the Apple iPhone 4 are vying for the most popular camera spot on Flickr. Judging from the trend seen below, it looks like it’s a matter of days (minutes?) before iPhone 4 surpasses the Nikon. This trend represents huge growth in the use of mobile devices as point and shoot cameras.

The upswing in popularity of mobile cameras seems to be coming at the expense of traditional point and shoots whose popularity are trending down sharply. While it may be debatable, one could argue this trend has a lot to do with the fate of the Flip camera which is aimed at a similar audience. Cisco abruptly axed the cameras last week.

Tech Crunch >

The Flip is No More

Despite my feeling that the Flip’s days were numbered back when the iPhone 3GS was released, I have to say that I was sad to hear that Cisco will be killing the Flip and eliminating 550 jobs. I now own four Flip video cameras. I still have my original camera from back when it was just called Pure Digital. The devices were and are brilliantly simple and fun and it is really a shame to see them go. Clearly the iPhone and other smartphones are encroaching on the Flip’s space and have had the huge advantage of being connected devices, unlike the Flip. But David Pogue says that the Flip team was just about to introduce a connected camera before getting the axe. I’d have to imagine that would have kept Flip in the game for at least another year or two.

The Flip is still available on Amazon.com and the #1 seller in the camcorder category.

Apple Store Selling Square Readers

I’m a big fan of Square, a startup that uses the power and ubiquity of the smartphone paired with an ingenious card-reading device to make accepting credit cards easy and affordable for all businesses. For example, I like to frequent the food trucks near my downtown SF office. Typically these trucks are cash only businesses because it’s a hassle to get a credit card reader by traditional means. Plus, these guys are mobile. They can’t plug in wires every time they stop on the corner.  With square, all they need is a smartphone and they can accept credit cards. Brilliant.

So… Apple will be offering the Square card reader at its retail stores and online. The reader costs $9.95 but comes with a $10 credit on Square so buyers effectively get it for free (you can also head straight to their website for a free reader). This should be a great boost to Square in terms of customer awareness and it helps Apple play up it’s business angle which it has been aggressively pursuing for some time now.

RIM’s Playbook Receives Poor Reviews

Things aren’t looking great for RIM’s Playbook. reviews have started appearing in the last week as journalists were allowed to start writing articles after some hands on time with the device. While many people are citing a nice build quality on the hardware itself, there seem to be many software issues that make the tablet unlikely to seriously take on the iPad, even in the business arena. Wired’s review sums up many of the issues nicely:

RIM says it took over two years of working with Adobe to bring Flash to its tablet.

Two years may not have been enough.

RIM’s WebKit-based browser is about as stable as your bipolar uncle. No native e-mail, calendar or contacts apps. App ecosystem is lacking. You’ll need to install a driver before you can connect it to your PC or Mac. Runs Flash, sorta.

– Wired

Without apps, email and calendar it’s hard to take the Playbook seriously just yet.

Xoom Not Doing So Well Either

Unless you’re Apple, it’s tough to be in the tablet business right now. The Xoom has sold around 100,000 devices so far which many are claiming to be a “disappointing” number. That assessment may or may not be fair, but it appears that there are some significant issues with Google’s Honeycomb OS which many have described as buggy and confusing. According to eWeek, issues include:

  • Google Honeycomb is suffering from frequent application freezes and crashes.
  • The battery life is very inconsistent, sometimes lasting for 2 hours and sometimes for 6 hours.
  • The battery standby life is mere a 10 to 12 hours versus 30 days on Apple iPad.
  • Auto-wrap, if text is magnified, is completely missing, which just shows Google is missing attention to simple details.

Looking for an Android HIG?

Unfortunately, the folks at Google never got around to creating a comprehensive set of Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) like the folks at Apple have. Not to worry, Adam Beckley over at Mutual Mobile has put together a nice little document to fill that need. You can get the PDF below.

Android Design Guidelines v1