All Articles by Seth Clifford

Autism awareness, iPad, and changing lives

I spent six years working with secondary-aged (14-21 years old) students with autism. It was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I've ever had the privilege to do.

At that time, the state of technology for these types of uses was woefully behind where it is today. Granted, we're talking about 1999-2005, but stay with me. The technology that non-verbal students used to communicate, for instance, was a huge, heavy piece of metal and plastic that had barely programmable capabilities for certain words and phrases that would be spoken upon selection through a garish sound system rivaled only by 1980s clock radio speakers. This equipment was exorbitantly priced, and very inflexible. The one thing it did well (arguably) was stand up to some abuse. They were like small tanks. But the kids would have to wear them around their necks and shoulders, which could be extremely uncomfortable. If they didn't have it with them, communication with others became difficult.

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Launch Center Pro for iPhone review

App Cubby's Launch Center Pro is the newer, shinier, big brother to the existing Launch Center app, built with a new kind of power user in mind. The original Launch Center was a great attempt at organizing and enabling URL schemes. URL schemes are a limited way -- and currently the only way -- for apps to send actions to each other in iOS. Many apps support them and the net result is that Launch Center allows users to pre-program certain actions (for instance launching IMDb and immediately grabbing current showtimes for your area) in a list form. In other words, it let you launch actions, not just apps. It was a great start and Launch Center Pro builds on this pedigree, but adds a entirely new level of customization that new users will immediately find accessible, but fiddly (and I mean that in the best way possible) users will dive into and love.

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Making the right choices: How we designed and developed the iMore for iPhone app

Or, why building a solid iMore for iPhone app ain't like dusting crops, boy!

Han Solo's right. People release thousands of apps a week into the App Store, with varying levels of commitment and forethought to the final products. At Nickelfish, we pride ourselves on not being those kinds of people. Which is why when Rene and the Mobile Nations guys came to us and asked us to build them a great iMore app, we said yes. Obviously, as a podcast host and occasional contributor to iMore, on a personal level I'm deeply invested in making iMore and Mobile Nations look as good as possible, so there was a definite component to this project that made the stakes a little higher. It also made making choices that much more difficult. That's what it's all about though -- making the right choices at the right time, and releasing a product of which you can be proud.

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Seth's most used iPhone and iPad accessories of 2011

I generally keep things pretty simple and straightforward when it comes to my 2011 most-used accessories. I stick to things that enhance functionality more than form. I think Apple's done a tremendous design job and I tend to lean more toward items that add an ability to do something or improve some part of my workflow (or enjoyment). Here are a few of my favorites.

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Seth's most-used iPhone and iPad apps of 2011

These are Seth's most used apps of 2011. Others have their own most used apps, but these are Seth's.

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Seth: How I use my iPhone as CIO of a web and app development company

Since I began using smartphones in 2004, they've become an indispensable part of my daily workflow. When I bought my first iPhone (a 3G in 2008), that workflow changed immensely, and for the better. The wide variety of apps available for the platform and the connected nature of the tools Apple provides make iOS a very compelling choice for managing many aspects of our business.

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Advantages of Apple Business for retail customers

On Monday morning I picked up several shiny new iPhone 4S handsets that my Apple Business rep had set aside for me earlier in the week. I knew I would be traveling over the launch weekend and I needed quite a few phones, and my Apple Business rep couldn't have been more helpful in arranging everything.

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Daily Tip: How to use encrypted disk images with Dropbox to Protect your sensitive files

Has all the furor surrounding Dropbox lately made you wonder how you can better protect your private information? It's always a good rule of thumb to assume that any file you store using a service that has any internet connection at all is by its very nature not protected. (For a variety of reasons, legal or otherwise.) However, there's nothing to stop you from making your files as secure as possible, encrypting them before they ever hit Dropbox's servers. We'll show you how, after the break.

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