Proctele apps in the App Store

Proctele apps in the App Store
Click the picture to see Proctele apps in Apple's App Store

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Social network monopoly

We all know the evil of monopolies. The power created by a monopoly will always be used against its customers, giving them an ever worsening deal. The monopolist will usually maintain there isn't a monopoly situation, while still doing what he can to extend its reach. When disproven he will maintain it's not a bad monopoly, but really a "natural monopoly" and no one is actually getting hurt.
Sooner or later extremely successful companies will be accused of trying to create a monopoly or at least trying to create an oligopoly with others. There are countless examples of this happening and government agencies are working hard to expose the crooks and fine them.
Facebook could be an emerging monopoly. Of course Facebook will behave the same as anyone should they be accused. They might say something like:

  • We are not a monopoly. (Always the first defense).
  • We're big because people like what we provide. Sorry MySpace!
  • People join Facebook, because their friends have done so, and want to keep in touch by being on the same network.
  • It's easier for everyone if there's just one social network. It happens to be Facebook. Everybody benefits from our network.
  • We provide a platform for third party services. That makes us a vital engine in the economy.
  • We do own user data, but the ownership question is unimportant.
  • Users don't need to export their data. Where would they go with it and why?
  • We only use the data in ways that our users are aware of and accept.
  • You can't disconnect a user from Facebook, because the whole network structure would collapse if you did. Most users would not be happy about that.
  • We will continue to improve and expand our services.
  • At best we provide a lot of people with something they need without charging for it. At worst we're a "natural monopoly".
Of course I googled "Facebook monopoly" before writing this. Top hit was a Monopoly game app for Facebook. Google hits do vary with time. Let's see what the same search gives same time next year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where's Google+ ?

It amazes me that I hear and read so little about Google+. Is anyone using it? If so, what do they use it for?
Perhaps I'm being negative. I would actually want Facebook to get some good competition and that's one reason I'm wondering when Google+ is going to climb up the exponential curve. Here is what I wrote about Google+ a couple of months ago, and I still think the same. Google isn't a social company. They understand algorithms and search and that doesn't cut it.
I'm sure there are opportunities in social, in spite of Facebook's strength. One of those is that people will soon start turning away from Facebook. You don't want to be in a club where everyone is a member. That is a very strong driver for change. 
Facebook will soon start to feel the cold. Someone is going to start up a cooler social network. It probably already exists, but hasn't hit the exponential curve yet. Its name is not likely to be Google+.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Alcohol Check - Skills Test

Alcohol Check - Skills Test is a way of determining if you're really feeling Ok. In five mini-games It tests:

  1. the steadiness of your hand
  2. your eye-hand coordination
  3. your visual clarity
  4. your mental agility
  5. and your memory.

The first ability to go when you've had a drink is the memory, at least that's my experience. Fail that and you're ready to hand over the car-keys. The most fun of the games may be the steadiness test: first you have to park a car and then you have to drive it for a few seconds. The nice snarling of raw V8 power accompanies your drive. Enjoy yourself!
Only $0.99 in the App Store.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

NumberWizFP: solution to the problem

Hi all Hexadecimal Wizards,

Here's a solution for the problem I posted a couple of days ago.
The problem was: use 2, 8, 9, e, 80, 100 to get ded hex?

Solution: ded = (100-2) x e + 9

Hat off for those who solved it!

Buy the NumberWizFP game for just $1.99 to enjoy more of this whenever you like.

Monday, November 28, 2011

NumberWiz for Programmers: ded hex

Hi all you Hexadecimal Wizards,
It's time for another sum:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2, 8, 9, e, 80, 100 to get ded hex?
If you like sums like this one, you're NumberWizFP material. Buy it for just $1.99 in the App Store and play with pride.

Monday, November 21, 2011

iOS 5.0.1 radically improves iPhone 4 battery time

Hi tech-friends,

Those of us lucky enough to own an iPhone know by now that the latest iOS5, called iOS5.0.1, improves battery time. The improvement is such that it really makes a difference to how I use the iPhone. Before the update felt I had to limit my iPhone use and instead make more use of my iPod touch. With the new update, that feeling is gone. I can easily use it for two days without charging.
For the iPad I haven't noticed any difference. BTW, I never need to turn it off, because the stand-by power consumption is so low. In general the iPad has very good battery time. With iCloud removing the need to sync with a PC, and seeing iPad's overall performance, I'm sure the netbook will soon turn out to have been a minor parenthesis in PC history. It made sense for until now, because there was room for a computer without the latest in performance. Not anymore. You may not need anything fancier than a netbook, but now the iPad is here, you want that instead. Good battery time, sleek, elegant, light, you can hold it like a magazine, you can read without a night-lamp. It's what most of us need in a computer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MacBook Air copies ... sometime next year

Dear technology friends,
I read in the paper this morning that computers called Ultrabooks are to come to market next year. These presumably attractive pieces are extremely portable being thin, light, low-power, having 11-13 inch screen, powerful CPU and graphics. They are to cost $1000. Sounds great doesn't it.
But, wait a second! Aren't they already on the market? Have you heard of Apple's MacBook Air series? The article writer must have missed this fact, because there isn't a single mention of MacBook Air in the article. See BTW: it costs $999.
Gartner, the collector of IT history, is reported to have said that 64 million pad-computers will have been sold when this year ends, and that 75% of those are Apple's iPad.
Apple must be thinking: Welcome to the future, PC-makers!

Friday, November 4, 2011

SMS-Fast is Great!

SMS-Fast is the app for sending your SMSes lightning-fast. Everyone should buy it, but that's not happening, yet.
SMS-Fast helps you quickly get off a text message or e-mail with a few keystrokes.
The app is convenient in situations where you're not supposed to be sending an SMS, but you need to do so anyway. The app helps you send it discretely.
It's fast because you already prepared your most common messages and the people who you have most contact with through SMS.

When it comes to texting, do the following:
-Select one or more messages.
-Select one or more recipients.
-Press the SMS button.
-Press the Send button on the iPhone's message template.


You can prepare 20 messages and five contacts. 

-You can send a message very quickly.
-You send clearer messages by fewer spelling errors, because you do not have to write just before posting.
-You can send both SMS and email. You can decide at the last minute whether to send the message through SMS, email or even both. You lose no time if you change your mind because you don't need to switch to another app.
-You can use so-called wildcards. For example, store the message "I will arrive at # or at #." When you press the SMS button, the app will ask you to complete the message. You can then replace the #-signs with 17 and 17:30 and the message will read "I will arrive at 17 or at 17:30."
-Your message is put into your iPhone's message center, as if you had sent it with the built-in message app.
-Easy to use. Easy to prepare messages and recipients.
-It's flexible. You can add more recipients before you press Send in the iPhone's message template.
-Pleasant graphics.
-Satisfactory sounds.

Example use of wildcards: You have turned off the ringtone and taken your seat in a meeting, when a call arrives from someone you know. The call may be important, so you send: "Hello, I'm sitting in a meeting that ends at 11. Is it OK to call you then?". To quickly send this message, you may have saved these three messages:
I'm sitting in a meeting that ends at #. (Make use of the # symbol as described above)
Is it OK to call you then?

Buy it! It's fantastic and I use it every day. In fact for all my SMSes!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good game: Doodle Jump

There are a few iPhone games I often play. One is Doodle Jump.
I classify DJ as a jump game, a game where you steer a jumping character. The Doodle has what it takes to become a star in the app world. It's cute. It's also important that the steering feels good. I always accept that the death of the Doodle is entirely my own fault and that's a strong indication that the game is fair and the steering is good. This is a very important characteristic of all games.
Further, the sounds are excellent, which is important. Things sound as you would expect them to in this game. The monsters are a laugh and they seem to be saying "very wrong, very wrong".
My kids like to use the different scenes, like the jungle or the football pitch or the Dracula. I don't and I only use them when my kids insist I do. Sadly I'm not a skilled Doodle player. My 6-year old boy's high-score is more than 3 times my own.
I haven't played the game in multi-player mode yet. That's probably because I'm not skilled enough. I need to practice.

Monday, October 17, 2011

iOS5 upgrade problem/panic

Hi App Enthusiasts!
Today I upgraded my iPhone to iOS5. It all went well until I wanted to try out some of the apps I've bought. They all refused to start, except those from Apple itself and one by Proctele. I thought if this is what happens to upgraders, then Apple has screwed up big time.
It turned out they haven't.
I did the following search on the problem: "ios5 none of my apps work" and found this:
There is indeed an upgrade problem. Every upgrader is going to run into it. And it must be fixed as follows: Make a download from the App Store after the upgrade. This means you must either update some app that you already bought or buy one new app. 
So just go to the updating section in the App Store and see if there's an app waiting to be updated. The other option is to buy an app, free or paid.
I got really worried, but I'm glad the fix was that easy.
Apple really needs to address the issue. They must go and tell the world about the fix!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Timestables on 3 wheels for iPad

Hi all lucky iPad owners! Timestables on 3 wheels for iPad is now in the App Store. 
This version is called "Timestables on 3 big wheels" and I'm sure you can guess why. But it's not just the wheels that are bigger, so is everything else, like the strawberry, the bomb, the tomato, etc.
This version is very much like the iPhone/iPod version, but there's more graphics still. Landscape mode is of course supported too and in fact you can hold your iPad any way you like.
The names in the localized App Stores are as follows:

  • Swedish: Multiplikationstabellen på 3 stora hjul
  • Dutch: Vermenigvuldiging op 3 wielen – Big Size
  • French: Table de multiplication sur 3 roues grandes
  • German: Einmaleins 12 mal 12 – Big Size

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SMS-Fast v1.2

Hi App Friends!!
The new version of SMS-Fast is available in the App Store. It features a maximum of 5 speed-dials instead of 3. The selection of phone number and email address is now as clear as can be, and absolutely self-instructive. The sounds are as satisfying as they were in v1.0 and the graphics is eye-candy.
You should give it a try. Only $0.99.
The localized names are as follows:

- Swedish: Snabb SMS
- Dutch: SMS snel
- French: SMS rapide
- German: SMS schnell

A few weeks with Xcode4

When I bought OSX Lion I also migrated from the development environment Xcode3 to Xcode4.
I'm running on a MacBook from 2010 and I'm getting used to the news in spite of the many changes.
With Xcode4, Apple has integrated the code development environment with the IB (Interface Builder) and that is an important change. Newcomers to Xcode4 are going to appreciate having just one environment to keep track of. Coming from Xcode3 I was rather confused at first, but now I'm quite happy about it. The IB looks very different. It took some time to find the Objects view, a favorite of mine, because to see it you have to press an obscure button. The icons for the different Inspectors have changed and I'm still wondering what they are supposed to resemble. The project settings are now easier to find and they seem to be fewer.
Another important integration is that of the Source Control. I don't use it, so no comment on it.
For my purposes, Xcode4 is clearly much better than Xcode3, except for one thing: 4 is slower than 3. Sometimes I have to wait for it. This hardly ever happened with Xcode3. I may be looking in the menus or something and suddenly Xcode4 shows the wait-cursor and it can take up to 20 seconds before it returns. If this happens it's important to remain cool. Just wait, don't click! Of course this is annoying, but I trust it will be repaired sometime. Products always mature when they get older as we all know.
Building the target is quick. Provisioning has been taken over by Xcode4. It's quite easy now; almost completely automated.
Quick help is quicker and always present and doesn't obscure the code window. A bug in Xcode3, which annoyed me nearly every day is gone with Xcode4. The bug was that sometimes Xcode3 got lost in the mark-up of the code and would show black, red, green or blue letters in a strange mix. The fix was to save the file (if you had made changes), close it and re-open it.
A disadvantage with the IB integration is that the code window has been slimmed. This has to do with my layout preferences, and anyway it wouldn't show up on an iMac, which has many more pixels on its screen.
Archiving for submission to the App Store is the same. However one thing could have been done better, and I'm sure it will be fixed. It's that the Distribution provisioning has to be set manually. But it could be my own fault, I'm not sure.
Finally: I advise those still using Xcode3 to migrate. "Je ne regrette rien!"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tomorrow fireworks!

Hi all you number lovers,

Twitter Sophy Davin tells us "... that tomorrow at 7 mins and 8 secs past 6 it will be........ 06 07 08 09/10/11 !!"
Thank you Sophy!
However, more importantly, my wife's birthday is tomorrow, and it's all day. Sadly though, she will no longer be 42.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


It's a tragedy we knew would soon happen, that Steve Jobs died. He was a great engineer, esthetician and salesman. His products will be remembered and respected as will his product launch performances. His expression "It just works" I think will stay in the English language.
We will be watching Apple with great interest trying to detect if something has changed and we'll keep waiting for the next generation of products, wondering if they had been different if Steve Jobs had still been in charge.

Friday, September 30, 2011

SMS-Fast new version - v1.1

Dear App friends,

A new version of SMS-Fast is about to arrive in the App Store. The new version is called v1.1. It enables you to select exactly which number and email address to use for a contact.
You now select a contact and see that contact's full data sheet with name phone numbers and email addresses. You press a phone number and an email address and then press the Done button. That's it and you get full control, as it should have been in v1.0.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A few weeks with OSX Lion

Now that I've been using Apple's new OS for a few weeks, I feel I can say something about it. I have a MacBook from 2010, so I upgraded from Snow Leopard. Before buying that PC I had been using Windows since Windows 3.1.
I was worried that the upgrade would result in a slower PC. That used to be the case with Windows. New Windows version meant you would either need to buy a new PC, or at least buy more RAM, or be patient with the PC. Having upgraded to Lion I'm happy to say the MacBook feels as fast as before.
On to the features of the new OS. I appreciate not having to restart all apps after restarting. The PC now does that for me. I also like the Mission Control, which gives an overview of all apps. Would be nice if the web browser windows didn't obscure each other. The Auto-save and version control make me feel safer when editing documents. Very good. Adding multi-touch to the laptops, Apple has done something very Appely. They have copied multi-touch from the iPad and iPhone onto the laptops. It's obvious and hence the right thing to do and it will be popular. Apple understands UI. If they didn't, then no important computer maker would. There may be other planets that aren't lucky enough to have Apple. Pity them.
Another thing they copied from the iPad and iPhone is the LaunchPad. I don't use it a lot, but putting it there was the right thing to do. Sooner or later I'm going to start using it instead of the almost as easily accessible program folder. It's more elegant, so lots of people are going to appreciate it.
The dashboard has become useful. I didn't use it much until Lion, because it felt unresponsive. The clock took several seconds to show the time. With Lion this problem is gone (although the first time after startup it takes as long as before). I often swipe it in just for the pleasure of swiping. That's the sign of a good user interface: you use it for pleasure!
I recommend OSX Lion upgrade. It's worth the money! I may come back with more in a few weeks. Like what I think about Xcode 4.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The hidden advantages of SMS-Fast

Hi App Friends.
Here's a short note to highlight the advantages of the SMS-Fast app. Apart from the obvious one i.e. that you can send a message very quickly, there are some you might not think of when you see it in the App Store.

Here they are:

  • You send clearer messages with fewer spelling errors, because you don't have to write just before posting.
  • You can decide at the last minute whether to send the message through SMS, email or even both. You lose no time if you change your mind because you don't need to switch to another app.
  • Your message is put into your iPhone's message center, as if you had sent it with the built-in message app.
  • Easy to prepare messages and recipients.
  • You can add more recipients before you press Send in the iPhone's message template.
  • Pleasant graphics.
  • Satisfactory sounds.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SMS-Fast: The App for very fast SMS is here

The App that enables you to throw out an SMS in about 5 seconds is here.
It will be in the App Store any minute now.
It's only $0.99.

The best way to use it, is to place its icon next to the iPhone's green/white messaging icon. Then, if you need to see conversations you can just switch to the standard app. If you need to be quick, you use the SMS-Fast app.

I've been using it for a while now. Make sure you add some useful messages and use the wildcards when necessary.

Monday, September 12, 2011

App for very fast SMS

Hello dear App Friends,
All preparations have now been made for the utility app, which was pre-announced a couple of weeks ago. This app will speed up sms-sending. You'll be able to throw out an sms in about 5 seconds. You will also be able to send e-mail with it.
A little testing remains to be done before uploading for review.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The best game of the last 50 years - Free

Hi lucky owners of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad!
The free version of the NumberWiz app is now available in the App Store. 
Those of you who have watched Countdown on British TV know that this is probably the best maths game ever. You pick six numbers in the range 1 to 10 and the big numbers 25, 50, 75, 100 at random. Then you add, subtract, multiply and divide them to arrive at a result in the range 1 to 999. To succeed in this takes some numerical skills, but above all it takes loads of creativity.
This free version limits the result to the range 150 - 199. That should give you an idea of what the paid version has to offer.
As the headline will tell you, I consider this game to one of the great mind games of our time. The rules are simple as indeed they are in most great games. It's particularly nice to play NumberWiz on an iPad, with the chunky graphics.
====== You've got to try it! ======

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NumberWiz example with the Big numbers freely chosen: 888

Hi fellow NumberWizards, I put to you the question: 
How do you add subtract, multiply and divide 6 9 10 51 69 85 to get 888.

Here's a solution:
888 = (85 + 6) * 9 + 69

Monday, September 5, 2011

NumberWiz example with the Big numbers freely chosen

Here's a NumberWiz problem, where I've replaced the Big numbers with numbers of my own choice. In this case I've replaced 25, 50, 75 and 100 with 31, 51, 69 and 85. 
And now the problem is:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 6 9 10 51 69 85 to get 888?
Would be nice to see a solution in the comments.

This example illustrates the new feature in NumberWiz v2.0.
You can buy NumberWiz for $1.99 in the App Store and enjoy many more of these problems.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

NumberWiz - Free

Hello App Friends,
The free version of NumberWiz is in the App Store approval process. It should be in the App Store within a few days. The important limitation of the free version is that the result is in the interval 150 - 199 instead of 1 - 999.
That's the 3rd App release this week; a new record for Proctele AB.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NumberWiz updated to v2.0

Hi App lovers.
The NumberWiz App for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad has been updated. The new version is v2.0.
The graphics is new and a feature has been added. 
In NumberWiz there are 20 cards with small numbers and 4 cards with big numbers: 1,1,2,2,3,3, ...,10,10 and the big numbers 25,50,75,100. 
The new feature allows you to choose the big numbers freely from the 10 - 100 range. This means you may end up playing with, say 2,4,18,44,67,98 and a result of 456.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Smartphones take the IT evolution further

I'd like to continue on the smartphone capability theme.
All the functionality I mentioned has caused lots of changes in society, but of course the smartphone wasn't the first device to cause them. The changes are foremost an IT phenomenon, but the smartphone takes them further. Why? Because of its versatility and superb mobility.

Consider the functions camera, camcorder, alarm clock, dictaphone, navigator, pedometer. These don't make sense on a laptop PC, but they are great to have on a smartphone. Others are well established on laptops, but to have them on a smartphone makes them even better: notepad, dictionary, newspaper, phone, games, radio, weatherman, post office, etc. Size is key to the smartphone concept and is also a key distinguisher generally in IT.

Size is also the key difference between the desktop PC, the laptop PC, the pad, and the smartphone. They are all general purpose computers, they can all do "anything", but they have different areas of application. You can use a laptop to navigate, but it's not optimal. You can write documents with a smartphone, but it's not optimal. None of the devices are going to kill off the other, becaue they all excel in some area. But what they all have done quite well is transform they way we do things.

The smartphone puts the power of IT into more hands. That enhances the networking effect of all things IT, which further speeds up IT development.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What my Smartphone can do

I sat down today to go through my smartphone and list what functions it has. The functions had to be listed in words that my grandfathers would have understood. The functions are either through web services like Picasaweb or through an app. Here's what I found:
Game platform
Film camera
World radio
Alarm clock
Scientific graphing calculator
Photo album
Video phone
Music store
Post office
School book
TV program guide
Private library
Public library
Guitar teacher
Chess board
Chess teacher, trainer, opponent
TV broadcaster
Multinational text-TV
Safe-deposit box
Music instruments

And that's just my smartphone. BTW, I've probably missed some functions. You readers may have much more on your devices.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Next app is a utility

Hi app enthusiasts!

Don't waste a milli-second thinking we're not releasing another app soon. It's likely going to happen within the next 2 - 2.5 weeks. This time is going to be different, because the new app will be in the Utility category. Not exactly glamorous, certainly not dull, but hopefully a popular app.
The main theme of the app will be speed. Speed in a utility app? Yes indeed, speed!
We are particularly happy about the icon this time. The help-files in five languages are being written. The graphics is about to receive the final shine. The last stages are the most exciting.
Happy days are here again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

$120 to go back in time

Here's a really funny article about a phone called John's Anti Smart Phone:
Ok, it's not actually time travel, but it's an IT equivalent.
The article features two pictures of it. It's fairly good-looking. So let's look at the top features:
- Quad band
- A ringtone and three volume levels
- A one-line b/w display
- 10 speed-dials
- Hardcopy notebook with accompanying pen stored neatly behind a transparent door
- Excellent battery life with three weeks stand-by time

This phone is not for techies like me, but it would put anyone at the center of attention anywhere. Let's take a look at the features and try to remember when they became commonplace.

- Quad band, in 2001
- A ringtone and three volume levels, in 1989
- A one-line b/w display, in 1989
- 10 speed-dials, in 1992
The one below are distinguishing features, hardly anywhere to be found, at least the first one:
- Hardcopy notebook with accompanying pen stored neatly behind a transparent door
- Excellent battery life with three weeks stand-by time

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Should I buy a laptop or an iPad?

Hi all you tech lovers!
In the beginning of modern computing there was the Desktop PC. It was expensive, but cheaper than previous alternatives. Then came the laptop PC. It was expensive until about five years ago, when prices dropped by about 50% in a few months. Now there's the pads i.e. the iPad and the Androids. The iPad2 can do more than the first iPad, but costs less. That is likely to mean pads can go lower.
Desktop PCs are now about 1/3 of the market in the EU and USA. The desktop has its advantages: it can have a large screen, its screen, keyboard, mouse, graphics card, CPU, and all the rest is easily replaced, it doesn't have legs, it's not attractive.
All the advantages of the desktop PC are the disadvantages of the laptop. The laptop usually stays the way you bought it. You are not going to replace anything, except maybe add some memory. Contrary to the desktop, the laptop has legs and it's sometimes attractive. You may lose it or smash it against the floor. And what do you replace it with? That question is becoming increasingly difficult to answer. Will you pick a pad? 
Well, when iOS5 arrives, the iPad will no longer need to have a PC companion. You will be able to own one without owning a PC. Cheap laptops are often being sold as "the perfect notebook for email, browsing and Facebook". This is a segment where the pads are likely to outsell laptops soon. The portability of laptops is nothing compared to the portability of the pad and the capacity, in any sense, is certainly good enough. This is only the beginning of course. Pads are going to equal laptops in just about every way soon. I'd buy a pad if I needed such a computer. 
A couple of years from now, many laptops may be replaced by pads in docking stations. That means you have a work area with a pad-stand (docking station), which is connected to a keyboard and a mouse. When you're there you place the pad into the pad-stand. When you leave the work area, you leave everything behind except the pad. Of course this is the way it looks in many offices already, but the computer is a laptop. In the home I think most people will not feel they need a pad-stand, but many office workers will prefer a pad in their docking station. The pad is lighter and tougher. 
To conclude I'd say the laptop is here to stay, because it is a strong concept, which many people will continue to favor over pads. However, soon I expect more pads to be sold than laptops.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NumberWiz sum 564: solution

Hi dear NumberWizards,

Here's a solution to the question of how to add, subtract, multiply and divide 1 2 5 25 50 100 to get 564.

In the comments I tipped that (100 - 2) would be part of the solution, and here's the one I had in mind: 564 = (100 - 2) * 5 + 50 + 25 - 1

Saturday, August 13, 2011

NumberWiz sum 564

Hi again NumberWizards. Here's another problem for you:

How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 1 2 5 25 50 100 to get 564 ?
A solution in the comments below would be appreciated. At any rate I'll be back tomorrow.

The NumberWiz app for iPhone/iPad is for sale in the App Store. You can read more about it here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Elephant Memory Challenge - Free version

Hi you lucky iPhone or iPod touch owners!
A free version of the "Elephant Super Memory Challenge - Remember This!" has arrived in the App Store. It is called "Elephant Memory Challenge - Free".
In this free version, the colors and smiley screens have both been removed. It's still a superb game though. The app name in the localized App Stores is as follows:

  • German: "Elefanten Gedächtnis Herausforderung - Frei"
  • French: "Challenge Elephant Memory - Gratuit"
  • Dutch: "Olifant geheugen — Gratis versie"
  • Swedish: "Elefantminne — Gratis version"
This version will not be updated like the paid version will.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Elephant Super Memory Challenge updated again

The Elephant Super Memory Challenge app has been updated again. This time it's a change to the Colors screen, and improved graphics. The new version number is 1.3 and it should be available for download already.
It is now possible to have a smaller collection of colors to remember, which makes memorization easier. You can now select to have only 8 colors instead of always having 14. The selection is done with a switch, which is just barely visible on the first picture in the lower right corner.

This picture shows the Colors screen with the new smaller keyboard.

This picture shows the Colors screen with the original bigger keyboard.

The app name varies as follows in the localized App Stores:
English: Elephant Super Memory Challenge: Recall This!
French: Challenge Elephant Super Memory: Rappel Ce!
German: Elefanten Gedächtnis Herausforderung
Swedish: Elefantminne: Memorera detta!
Dutch: Olifant geheugen: Dit memoriseren! 

We intend to keep updating this app. We plan to introduce a 4th screen, probably rather soon.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

NumberWiz sum 658: Solution

Hi, here's a solution to yesterday's 658 sum.

Q: How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2, 5, 25, 50, 75, 100 to get 658 ?

A: Since we have a 2, we start by finding that: 658 = 2 x 329.

Here's how to get 329:
329 = ((5 x 75) - 50) + (100 / 25)

Another beautiful way to get 329 is:
329 = (5 x 50) + 75 + (100 / 25)

Nice hey!

Buy the NumberWiz app in the App Store. Read more about it at

Saturday, July 30, 2011

NumberWiz sum 658

Hi Numberwizards, let's have another sum:

How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2, 5, 25, 50, 75, 100 to get 658 ?

You're very welcome to present a solution in the comments.

NumberWiz is a classic game of arithmetic played on TV-shows in Britain and France for decades. Read more about the NumberWiz app and other Proctele apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

About Google+, again

Hi all social webbers!
In a previous post I was speculating about Google+ and what it looked like. I found out it looks very much like Facebook. Look at this screen-shot from

This looks pretty good. We know from Facebook that the formula works. Whether it will work for Google or not is a matter of outperforming Facebook and attracting enough users. Google already has quite a lot to offer, like Google Docs, search, gmail, buzz, reader, YouTube. If they buy Twitter or integrate it nicely, Google+ will likely have what it take to outperform Facebook. The rest is up to goodwill. Do we like Google enough? A few years ago the answer would have been a YESSSS, but now there's doubt. They are really big and are becoming increasingly controversial. A bit like Microsoft actually.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Elephant Super Memory Challenge iPhone/iPad app updated

The Elephant Super Memory Challenge app has been updated with better navigation and graphics. The new version number is 1.2. 
The app name varies as follows in the localized App Stores:

  • English:  Elephant Super Memory Challenge: Recall This!
  • French: Challenge Elephant Super Memory: Rappel Ce!
  • German: Elefanten Gedächtnis Herausforderung
  • Swedish: Elefantminne: Memorera detta!
  • Dutch: Olifant geheugen: Dit memoriseren!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Has Google hired Jack Byrnes?

Google+ is Google's new attempt to create something social. If successful, it should help Google to remain among the top sites on the web.

If you've seen the brilliant Ben Stiller films "Meet the Parents" or "Meet the Fockers" or "Little Fockers", then you know Jack Byrnes, the father-in-law of Gaylord (Greg) Focker. Jack has his circles of trust and you'd better be in the right circle.
When I first heard of the circles within Google+ I smiled, because I immediately recognized it from those films. The concept makes sense. Jack Byrnes explained it to us all in his first private and very tense talk with Greg Focker, so I'm fairly sure I understand it.

Further Google+ elements are as follows:

  • Huddle is group-chat. 
  • Hangouts seems to be a video-version of Huddle.
  • Instant Upload is auto-upload to the web and picture-sharing.
  • Sparks is Google's version of StumbleUpon. It sends you stuff you're likely to appreciate, to make sure you always have something interesting to read.

The big questions is: will this work?

We'll know it works if Facebook starts to lose its grip on us and we start creating circles and enjoy sparks and start hanging out in the Google way.

Here's what I think, starting with Facebook. When I'm busy with Facebook, I'm Facebooking. That means I go to the site or open the iPad app and I start browsing my Facebook news. I'm constantly aware that I'm Facebooking, because whatever action I take, I will remain within the world of Facebook.
This is quite different from Googling. To google is to search. I go to Google's site and type something and get search results. I click on a result and that takes me to some site, just any site, and it's probably nothing to do with Google. The click took me away from Google and I will only return to Google if I want to search further.

For Google+ to be a success, Google needs to hang on to us somehow. It seems they will not try to copy Facebook and that's good. Instead they will keep throwing as many excellent services at us as they can think of and hope we're interested. If we are then Google increases its relevance to us, which adds extra meaning to googling. That's what I think Google+ may be about.
However, they may be trying something more like Facebook after all. If so, they will collect all those services into one site and try to get you to the point where "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" (Eagles). 
We'll see.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What's a PDA again?

Hi you lucky iPhone owners!
Looking back in time I found this article about smartphones: (the link is working now). It was written in September 2006, just a few months before the iPhone was introduced and changed the mobile phone industry. It did so in a big way.
I think it's a good article! However it feels really, really old. It mentions PDA's, a device that is about to be forgotten, and it does so in the first sentence: "Smart phones offer the functions of a mobile phone and a PDA in one device, but they are not for everyone. Here's what you need to know before buying one." Not for everyone? Yes, this was a true statement at the time, but not now.
The article definitely sees smartphones as a tool for professionals that are often away from their office. But it also says: "With increasingly more onboard multimedia features and cheaper flash memory cards, smart phones have become great companions for mobile entertainment, from picture and music playback to games and video.". Pictures are mentioned but not cameras.
Again, it's a good article, but a lot has happened in the five years since it was written. A lot of what has happened is thanks to Apple, the mobile phone industry outsider. I suspect there may be many more industries that need an outsider's help to start developing properly. Let there be more apples!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

App News

Hi App Friends,
This is a short message to inform about our app news. There are three items.
Read it @ this link:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Information organization is crucial

I read an interesting article today called "Why files need to die" by Alex Bowyer. It's about information organization and accessibility. 
Data is stored in files and files are stored in directories. That's a great way for computers to store data, but not so great for humans, the end users of that data. Imagine you're writing some document on the computer. You must save it and that means giving it a filename. You must also tell the computer what directory to store the file in. This is difficult to do in a good way. If you do it right, you'll be able to find the document quickly in the future. For me this is quite difficult and that's why I often have to search for documents on my computer. That usually works Ok for text documents, but for pictures it's different. A directory structure that makes sense today, may not look so brilliant next year when lots of files have been added.
Here's a good problem illustration. I registered on a web site recently and I wanted to use the same picture as I used for another registration some months ago. So how to find it? I knew fairly well when it was taken, with what kind of camera (mobile phone), the situation and what vacation. But I couldn't remember the meaningless filename nor where I stored it. It took me several minutes to find out I didn't have it on my computer, but on picasaweb. Then it was a matter of looking at directory names, which I usually give a time name, say "2011 april vacation". I found it finally among tens of thumbnails in a vacation directory.
There has to be a better way, and that's what the article is about. Tags seem to be pointing towards a solution. As I said above in the example, I knew fairly well: 

  • when the picture was taken (time),
  • with what kind of camera (device), 
  • the situation (on a plane),
  • what vacation (place).

If the picture-file had been tagged with that data, and that data had been accessible to a search engine, the picture would have been much easier to find. (That it was stored outside my computer made it extra difficult.) But it would have had to be an intelligent search engine, which doesn't care about date formats, time formats, place formats and such. Tagging has its difficulties too. The camera I used would have to be pretty clever to know I was on a plane and where I was, and that I was on holiday.
The reason we often say that Information Technology is in its infancy, has a lot to do with the way we handle data. There is a better way and we're going to find it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More home networks, please!

I want more use of networks in my home. Of course I already have Wi-Fi, which enables me to use my iPad and iPod touch and turns every spot in the home into a potential working place. However I want more.
I want sensors in my flower pots to wirelessly tell me when the plants need water. I want to be able to wirelessly set all those clocks and other equipment with clocks in them, and in one go. Why? Daylight saving time requires me to set all my clocks at least twice a year. I want all my thermometers to report their readings wirelessly. I want smoke and alarm sensors to report wirelessly and my PC to send that information on to me wherever I happen to be. I want to get rid of all wires. The wires to my PC speakers and the stereo speakers. Of course I already have wireless keyboard and mouse for the PC, but the USB wire to my backup harddisk is primitive. The wire for the extra screen shouldn't be there. The wiremess behind the TV's be gone! The phone charger's cable be gone! Headphone cables goodbye. All those chargers: AA-battery, walkie-talkie, GPS, toothbrush, battery-driven screwdriver.
Anything that provides information, even if it's only one single occasional bit of information, should be able to send that information wirelessly to some receiver that can inform a user.
Anything that can be controlled should be able to receive commands from a user wirelessly.
I'm sure this is going to happen, but probably not in my lifetime.

Alcohol Check - Skills Test: new version available

A new version of "Alcohol Check - Skills Test" is now available in the app store. Most important change is the addition of a tough mode. 
In the App Store the localized names are:

French: Vérifiez l'alcool – Compétences Test
German: Alkohol Check – Fähigkeiten Test
Dutch: Alcohol Check – Vaardigheden Test

Monday, July 11, 2011

Update to the Elephant Memory Test is coming soon

Dear App Friends,

We're working on an update to the "Elephant Super Memory Challenge - Recall This!". This app is for the iPad as well as those other wonderful Apple devices iPhone and iPod touch.
The most important change will be to the navigation, where we've gone for tabs. The change has made scene change quicker too. There are several changes to the graphics and we've added a share-button on the help-screen, to make it really easy to email info about the application to your friends. A bug related to the sliders has been fixed.
You're welcome to tell us about any other object you'd like to jolt your memory with. Use the comments field here or email to admin at to send us your ideas.

Friday, July 8, 2011

New App: Learn the times-tables

Proctele has released a new app called Timestables on 3 Wheels. It is for anyone who wants to learn the timestables up to 12x12.
The app contains a presentation to explain the easiest way to learn the table. Furthermore, there are screens where you study the table and test what you've learned. One screen contains the boom game, which used to be played in schools. Another screen shows two rulers sliding over the times-tables. It tests your multiplication speed.
In total there are 6 screens including the help screen.
There are some nice sounds and graphics to make learning more exciting. The most important screen is the one with three wheels. There you can study the tables one by one and discover the patterns that are going to help you memorize. This screen also offers tests. You can test one table at a time or all tables at once.
Timestables on 3 Wheels is for the iPhone and iPod touch. Also playable on the iPad. Here's the Icon:

Visit to see all Proctele's apps and read more about this app.

Here's a YouTube demo video: 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Internet TV: modular is best

There are different ways to see Internet content on your TV, so I'll only discuss two ways. Both give full Internet access, as you have on your PC or Mac, or iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

  1. TV with everything for Internet access built into the TV screen. Of course the Internet access modem isn't included.
  2. TV connected to a box, which has everything in it for Internet access. The TV is only a screen in this case.
Category 1 includes the Sony NSX-46GT1 with built-in Google TV.
Category 2 includes the Apple TV.

My own TV has Internet access according to point 1. All User Interface (UI) for Internet access is through widgets. In this case they are applications that don't take up the whole surface of the screen, usually about 25%. The reason I don't use it is that it's too slow. Getting the data from the Internet to the TV is quick, but the UI is too slow. After I press a remote control button to get access I must wait for the widgets to load and that takes a minute or more. The widgets, once loaded, are Ok. There's a news widget, a stock widget, a weather widget and more.
However I prefer to use the TV according to point 2, i.e. I have a Windows PC standing next to it and connected via HDMI. That works quite well. Browsing (Chrome browser) is quite pleasant, particularly if I put the zoom-factor above 100% (I use 144%). Zooming puts most of the junk on the page-sides outside the window and makes the text quite readable. The eye-TV distance is 3.3 m = 10 ft and screen size is 46 inches. 
So why don't I use it more for Internet access? The PC has a start-up time of a minute. There are more people who want to use the TV at the same time. I need to make table space for the mouse and put the keyboard on my lap (both are wireless). In fact the PC-TV combination is mostly used for watching the family's photos, and not for internetting.
Another weakness of type 1 is technical and economical. Screen technology and Internet technology develop at different paces. As an example suppose you buy an Internet TV today. The processor may be acceptable today, but will not be so in 10 years. I say acceptable, because no one is going to put a powerful processor into a TV. The screen will be Ok for many years, but the Internet access may become frustrating after 3-4 years. To fix that you'll either stop using the TV for Internet access, or you'll buy a box, and then you have a type 2 solution.
There's a parallel here with TVs with a built-in DVD player. Those devices didn't become feasible until the DVD player component came almost for free.
There's much more to say about this, and that's why I stop here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NumberWiz sum 739: Solution

Hi all NumberWiz friends.

Yesterday's problem was:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2 3 4 7 8 25 to get 739 ?

I thought it was rather difficult.

One solution is:
739 = 8 * 4 * (25 - 2) + 3

Saturday, July 2, 2011

NumberWiz sum 739

Dear number wizards, here's a good NumberWiz sum for us:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2 3 4 7 8 25 to get 739?

I'll be back tomorrow with a solution.

NumberWiz is a great Proctele app for the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nokia's next smartphone

Nokia's next smartphone is the N9. Here's a quite attractive picture of N9:!/image/141942770.jpg
The timing of this phone is awkward, because it's born in difficult times for Nokia. Nokia is re-inventing itself. They have realized that

  • the importance of software in mobile phones has grown. 
  • each user must be encouraged to customize his own phone, because smart-phones are general purpose devices with endless possibilities.
  • independent software developers must be welcomed and treated with great respect.
  • operating systems must be stable, both technically and life-cycle wise.
  • user interfaces must be intuitive and visually attractive.
  • software must be developed with a sense of direction and not as an after-thought.
  • services must be for the user and not just a source of income for the provider.
  • phones and smart-phones are very different devices.
These insights took them several years to find out and act upon. Fortunately for them, they are a rich company, and that means they can afford to take loads of wrong decisions.

The N9 demos and tests I've seen, show that Nokia will eventually release an extremely nice phone with an innovative and attractive user interface. I assume the N9 is just for practice and for market research. I further assume the first Microsoft-Nokia smart-phone will not be on the market until 2012. And that will have Windows Mobile 7 or 8 and a user interface quite similar to what's in the N9. I think it looks great! The device itself seems very Nokianic, which to me means well built with cool Finnish design.

The app-shop for Windows Mobile phones, like Nokia phones will be, is only a starter now, at least if this is it:
Like the App Store, Rome wasn't built in a day. I think it will be a great success.

There's one last thing I'd like to say about the Microsoft and Nokia collaboration. To make it really successful, they should exclude others. By that I mean only Nokia should be allowed to make phones for Windows Mobile. That would make the partnership more Apple-like, and that would be a good thing.