20 July 2009

Less Flash!

I’d been using Click to Flash for some time, but didn’t realize there has been a lot of improvement (I think I had version 1.0, and it’s now up to 1.4.2).

Click To Flash is a simple plug-in for Safari that handles all Flash content — by not playing it until you click. This means you can visit web sites without running a handful of programs masquerading as ads. The problem is that many (if not most) Flash apps are extremely greedy in their use of the processor. This means the computer heats up, which means the fan runs louder. In fact, Elise’s machine appears to heat up to the point that it abruptly shuts down to prevent damage. And if you’re running on batteries, you run down the charge faster. Click To Flash simply shows the word “Flash” instead of running the app.

But what if you want to actually play a Flash game? That’s where the “Click to” comes in. Click on the blocked Flash content and it loads and runs.

Like I said, I had an older version that was functional, but doesn’t offer the ease of use for white listing sites, or a number of tweaks (such as using H.264 video on YouTube). I don’t know how I missed the update. You shouldn’t.

06 July 2009

The Intention-Behavior Gap

I remember telling my friend Al Tommervik I had a great idea for a game, and him replying that he didn’t want to hear it, otherwise I’d be less likely to complete it. (This was a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure the game was one I did end up completing perhaps 10 years later: King of Dragon Pass.)

I’ve always appreciated that advice, and it’s one reason I don’t talk a whole lot about software I have in development. I just learned that there’s research that shows that people who don’t announce their goals are more likely to achieve them. According to an abstract of four recent studies, “intentions that had been noticed by other people were translated into action less intensively than those that had been ignored.”

So unless something is imminent, I won’t be mentioning it here, as fun as it might be.

01 July 2009

iPhone App Store

Digging through some old notes, I found this link:

According to Anita Hamilton in Time, Apple’s upcoming App Store will be “anything but a bargain.”

She wrote that in July 2008, and since then the App Store has obviously turned out to be an amazing bargain. Seems like almost all apps are $0.99 or free, which is kind of a shame (since I’d like to sell apps). I’m still hoping Apple figures out a way that premium games can sell for a premium price. Right now there’s no differentiation in the App Store. I do see a few of the top 100 paid apps at $4.99 or higher, but most of those are associated with an existing brand (Sims 3, Tiger Woods, Tetris). Games that sell for $19.99 on Windows or Mac are just $0.99 on iPhone (Sally’s Salon).

As others have written, it’s because the easiest way to market on the App Store is to price yourself less than others. I’m not a marketer, but it seems like this is exactly the opposite of the way Apple operates. They sell better than average products for a price that reflects their value.