Archive for October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014 [Tweets] [Favorites]


Nate Cook:

Each packet of CMAccelerometerData includes an x, y, and z value -- each of these shows the amount of acceleration in Gs (where G is one unit of gravity) for that axis. That is, if your device were stationary and straight up in portrait orientation, it would have acceleration (0, -1, 0); laying flat on its back on the table would be (0, 0, -1); and tilted forty-five degrees to the right would be something like (0.707, -0.707, 0).

We’re calculating the rotation by computing the arctan2 of the x and y components from the accelerometer data, and then using that rotation in a CGAffineTransform. Our image should stay right-side up no matter how the phone is turned.

The results are not terribly satisfactory -- the image movement is jittery, and moving the device in space affects the accelerometer as much as or even more than rotating. These issues could be mitigated by sampling multiple readings and averaging them together, but instead let’s look at what happens when we involve the gyroscope.

Microsoft Band


Built-in GPS: Go running without your phone and still get your pace and distance data.


Battery life: 48 hours of normal use; advanced functionality like GPS use will impact battery performance

I wonder how many of the features work with iOS. It seems like integration would be difficult given what iPhone apps are allowed to do. I like the idea of GPS tracking without carrying a phone (unlike Apple Watch), but it doesn’t look like it can play music or podcasts. Only $199.

David Pierce:

Simply by virtue of being available to Android, iOS, and Windows Phone users all at once, Microsoft believes it can make inroads in an otherwise terribly siloed marketplace. Health will work with Android Wear watches, Android phones, and the iPhone 6’s motion processor, automatically collecting data from all three. Microsoft’s also been working with Jawbone, MapMyFitness, My Fitness Pal, and Runkeeper to import their data, and plans to incorporate many more.

Something only Microsoft can do?

Update (2014-11-07): David Smith:

The Microsoft band does an admirable job at what it tries to do. The data collection it does seems on par with other fitness trackers I’ve used. The physical design is utilitarian but acceptable. Its integration with my iPhone is basic but still useful. But it is a fundamentally restrained device. It sits right at the cusp of being truly transformative for my daily activities.

Capturing Phone Relay Audio

Paul Kafasis:

The combination of Yosemite and iOS 8.1 on the iPhone now offer a function called Phone Relay. Using Phone Relay, you can use your Mac to make and receive phone calls. That’s very handy on its own, but adding Audio Hijack Pro to the mix makes it even better. By setting FaceTime as the source in Audio Hijack Pro, you can record those calls for later reference!

Towards an Ideal OpenType User Interface

John Gruber:

What I find absurd is that you can use many of these features in TextEdit (Apple’s free text editor), but not in Pages (Apple’s purportedly professional word processor). They worked up through Pages ’09, but were sacrificed in the name of iOS and web app compatibility.