Apps

Developer Spotlight: James Thomson of TLA Systems

TiPb's developer spotlights are like DVD/iTunes Extras for the App Store -- a weekly look behind the scenes at the programers and designers that bring you the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games you love. This week Rene talks with James Thomson of TLA Systems, and PCalc fame.

What's your name? James Thomson

What's your company called? TLA Systems - and yes, that does stand for "Three Letter Acronym". It was originally a fake company name I made up with friends to get us into trade shows while we were still students. I kept using it, and now it's a real company employing myself and my wife.

Where are you located? We're based in my native Glasgow, on the west coast of Scotland. It can be a bit dark, cold, and wet, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else - you need the dark to appreciate the light.

What's your website address? http://www.tla-systems.co.uk/ and http://www.pcalc.com/

What's your Twitter handle? I'm @jamesthomson - that's my personal account, but I tend to use it for work too.

What are some of your apps? Our main app on iOS is the scientific calculator PCalc, which is in turn based on PCalc for Mac OS X. We're also known for DragThing, the dock app that pre-dates Mac OS X.

What other apps do you currently like? NanoStudio is great for writing music on the move - it's more powerful than GarageBand in many ways, and runs on my phone. I'm not really a musician, but I do enjoy tinkering. Shazam still seems like magic to me - it's invaluable for identifying background music on TV and in shops. RedLaser is the best app I've come across for barcode and QR code scanning. The Chambers Dictionary and The Chambers Thesaurus apps are also both very good. I'm also still playing Game Dev Story - it's a game all developers and journalists should play!

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Monday, April 25

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • Cartoonatic: Record Amazing Videos with awesome cartoon effects! [Free - iTunes link]

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Jailbreak app store Cydia, now restored to full working order

Jailbreak app store Cydia is finally back up and running after 86 hours of downtime. The problems began when Amazon’s EC2 cloud server started suffering problems. This has now been repaired however Cydia app installs were still suffering problems, but not anymore. Saurik, (Jay Freeman) has now confirmed via twitter, that Cydia is now fully functional once more!

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Can’t be bothered to mow the lawn? The My Automower app can help with that!

Sunday is often the day you mow the lawn, with a new app called My Automower it could all become a lot less of a chore. My Automower is an app that allows you to control your lawn mower using your iPhone. The downside however is that you need a specific robotic mower from Husqvarna for this to be of any use. Once you have one of those, this little app is very clever.

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TiPb Picks of the Week

Every week a few of us from team TiPb will bring you our current favorite, most fun and useful App Store apps, WebApps, jailbreak apps, even the occasional accessory, web site, or desktop app if the mood strikes us. As long as they’re iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch related, they’re fair game.

To see what we picked, and to tell us your pick, follow on after the break!

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Twitterrific updates brings iPad 2 camera support and much more

Twitterrific just received a huge update and brings many new features, improvements and bug fixes.

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Friday, April 22

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

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TiPb Asks: Do you update your apps?

Do you update your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad apps? It might sound like a strange questions given Apple's easy "Update All" button, but not everybody does. At least, I don't. I never update an app unless it's added a new feature or game level I want, or fixes a bug that I care about. I'm not a slacker -- okay, I'm not just a slacker -- I've had apps that worked perfectly in the past be totally ruined by a bad update, be it a horrible new feature or a really buggy release. So now I leave well enough alone and don't update until I have to.

Am I the in the minority here? Do all of you update religiously or are some of you more hesitant (or lazy!) like me? At the moment I have 51 app updates pending for my iPhone 4, how many do you have?

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Jailbreak app store, Cydia still suffering post-Amazon EC2 outage

Amazon EC2, their cloud hosting solution, has been struggling with outages over the last day or so, taking down a lot of popular web services including the Cydia Store for Jailbreak users, FourSquare, among others.

While Amazon's EC2 status board shows things are back to normal, a bunch of Jailbreak readers (and some of our own #TeamJailbreak writers) still can't access Cydia.

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Thursday, April 21

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP: Now a universal app for iPhone and iPad! [$4.99 - iTunes link]

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