CoPilot Live

For all of the App Store restrictions, the lack of proper turn by turn sat nav software seemed to cause the most grief. The iPhone was more than capable of running the software but Apple restricted the sale of turn by turn navigation software until OS 3.0 was launched. Alongside that announcement was the news that Tom Tom would be coming to the iPhone with a software and hardware add-on. Many have waited for Tom tom due to it’s history and market share but I plumped for CoPilot Live, partly due to it’s good reviews and partly it’s price of £25.99, less than half that of Tom Tom.

Even though the price is excellent this isn’t an under featured sat nav. The features include (yes, lazy cut and paste from their website):

  • Full spoken turn-by-turn voice directions
  • Detailed street maps of UK and Ireland with full UK post codes stored on your iPhone
  • Clear 3D and 2D driving views with SmartZoom™ speed-variable zoom and street names
  • Navigate to a house number, street, intersection or address book contact
  • Automatic portrait and landscape display switching
  • Comprehensive multi-stop pre-trip planning and preview
  • Route optimizer works out the best way around multiple stops
  • Intelligent navigation provides guidance in tunnels and underpasses
  • Automatic day/night mode
  • Navigate to thousands of Points of Interest
  • Lane indicator & CoPilot ClearTurn™ provides a more realistic view of motorway exits and junctions
  • Real Signpost display matches real-life signs
  • LiveLink™ location sharing and messaging: keep track of your CoPilot friends, live on-screen!
  • Live 5 day weather forecast for your location or destination
  • Roadside Assistance helps you contact your breakdown company and tell them your location
  • Huge range of customization features to suit the way you travel
  • Customized trip status displays, including eta, distance remaining and more

CoPilotNot a bad list of features but does it work? I tried it last week when I was away on business and driving between Bristol and Bath I had no issues – in fact I was really quite impressed. Once the GPS had locked onto my location I entered the postcode of my destination and CoPilot quickly worked out a route. One issue I do have is that you can’t easily see an overview of your route. You can move around the map and zoom out but it would be nice to see the total route before commencing your journey. For the first journey CoPilot recommended a different route from normal – I trusted the normal route and pleasingly CoPilot recalculated in 2-4 seconds which I was happy with. I read some comments on the App Store reviews that people thought this was slow but I don’t see it as an issue.

The rest of the journey went really well – clear instructions on both vocally and on the screen and the GPS positioning was excellent. Chris also picked up CoPilot and felt that when the car was stopped, CoPilot would ‘shut-down’ and would take 10-20 seconds to start working again once he had started moving. I haven’t noticed this issue but others are reporting it and it will allegedly be addressed in the next CoPilot update.

Other journeys have worked really well. I found the controls a bit odd though. Unlike other app’s on the iphone this doesn’t really take advantage of iPhone controls. It feels like a sat nav – big buttons and a non qwerty keyboard (fix in next version). I’m mixed on the looks – it’s functional but isn’t the best looking. Looking at Tom Tom they seemed to have delivered an ap that looks and feels like other iPhone app’s. Time will tell which design approach makes most sense.

CoPilot 2Despite reservations with the menu’s, I think the map graphics are excellent. Clear in either 3D or 2D modes with support for different colourings and night modes. No complaints there. The audio is also very clear with six different voice options. The maps display Points of Interest and they can also be selected and navigated to. One update for the next version is the ability to call a Point of Interest like a hotel or museum which will be handy. One large omission is speed camera’s which CoPilot’s rivals do have. Again this will be addressed in the next update. It looks like CoPilot decided to get this release into the App Store as quick as possible ahead of Tom Tom. Ultimately this is a smart move as the software is more than capable on this release and at this price is an absolute steal. There are also some Live services included – you can see friends on the maps as long as they let you follow them, see a 5 day weather forecast for current location and also contact emergency services with your current location. One Live Service which will be a paid for (I guess monthly subscription) is traffic reports, similar to other sat nav systems.

After using CoPilot for two weeks I have no regrets picking this over Tom Tom or the other sat nav app’s available on the iPhone. CoPilot works well, it’s location searching hasn’t failed me yet and the software has a lot of features that work well. It also removes the need for separate sat nav hardware and at £26 that a bargain thats hard to ignore. Hopefully the 1.1 update will address the shortfalls mentioned above and there is one niggle that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere – will map updates cost money i.e. yearly updates? Only time will tell.

To see a comparison of all the iPhone sat nav app features, see this comparison chart.

DigitalOutbox Episode 10

DigitalOutbox Episode 10
In this episode the team discuss the latest tech news.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:23 – Feedback
– Not feedback as much as an apology to the residents of Portsmouth! My facts were wrong. The people of Paulsgrove merely staged demonstrations, fire bombed houses and cars and made people flee their homes – often innocent residents – and had 5 year-old kids holding some pretty sick placards and chanting hate messages. It was the people of Newport, Wales, that forced a Paediatrition to leave her home after vandalism thought to have come from confusion over her job title…
– Tam – http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/ – PS3 Media Server
– Installed this and am able to play mkv on PS3. Java, no codecs to install, supported on Windows, Mac and Linux. say goodbye to mkv2vob
– Lewis – We are Apple fanboys – take a look at Windows Media Server PC – Plays everything, Full library of movies, Pictures, Music, High def output, Plays blurays and HD, and downloads, Works with a remote control, Records TV, Even Hi-Def (via Freesat), Costs a lot less than devices to do all that would.
– Jim – volume issues, hopefully fixed this week
4:24 – Facebook buys FriendFeed
– Some duplication but Facebook have bought a great team
– Maybe people will use more of friendfeed
– Will friendfeed remain a seperate service (doubt it) and what of it’s API’s?
– FriendFeed may still live as a seperate site
– Who are Facebook fighting – Twitter? Google? Both. Real time search and feeds becoming hot topic
– Where does Facebook benefit – search, real time, content aggregation, comment tracking, im tracking
– Facebook turns on realtime searching just a few hours later – http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/10/facebook-flips-the-switch-on-real-time-search-goes-after-twitter-where-it-hurts/
– $50 million in stocks and shares
– http://mashable.com/2009/08/10/friendfeed-tips-saved-searches/
– Facebook Lite to launch – simpler, quicker to load, like a mobile site, like friendfeed or a facebook alternative to twitter?
– None of that – for parts of the world where broadband is slow, flaky
8:04 – Google Reader and Search Engine Updates
– Twitter, facebook etc sharing via send to
– Also add custom send to, like send to pdf generation service. Be nice to have evernote – http://lifehacker.com/5336606/convert-google-reader-items-to-pdfs#comments – http://blog.evernote.com/2009/08/14/send-blog-posts-from-google-reader-to-evernote/
– Easily subscribe to people you follow’s blogs, flickr etc
– Mark as read – older than a day, older than a week
13:11 – Mobile Privacy
– iPhone app’s doing the same
– http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/dear_iphone_users_your_apps_are_spying_on_you.php
– Not Apple app’s
– He says applications using Pinch Media track the following information:
iPhone’s unique ID, iPhone Model, OS Version, Application version (in this case, camera zoom 1.x)
If the application is cracked/pirated, If your iPhone is jailbroken, Time & date you start the application
Time & date you close the application, Your current latitude & longitude, Your gender (if Facebook enabled)
Your birth month (if Facebook enabled), Your birth year (if Facebook enabled)
What’s worse is that you’re often never told that the app will be performing this level of detailed tracking and you’re often never given the opportunity to opt-out. The data recorded is continuously tracked every time you use the application. This violation of user privacy is so egregious that the developer even goes so far as to call Pinch Media “iPhone spyware.”

In addition, a recent post on the iPhone Dev Team blog, the site hosted by the developers who release the jailbreaking and unlocking applications for the iPhone, also calls out Pinch Media for tracking your location even when it’s unnecessary to do so. In the example they cited, an tip calculator app was identified as tracking your geographical location through time and uploading that data to Pinch Media.
– Why do they need this? Is this an issue?
16:47 – Microsoft Can’t Sell Word
– Patent infringement on XML structured document storage – ie how Office documents are stored as docx, docm etc.
– Judge in Texas has ruled that a patent held by i4i has been infringed and therefore Microsoft must stop selling Word or importing Word into the USA…
– Some pretty woolly distinctions on what the companies “invention” is – they call it “custom XML”
– There are lots of other products that apparently infringe the “invention” – such as OpenOffice – but they haven’t gone after them.
– Isn’t all XML custom!!?? Isn’t that the whole point!!??
– Looks like i4i may well just be chasing a cheque
– Pretty ironic that MS gets whacked for trying to open up their document formats. After years of proprietary formats.
– Ultimate outcome of ruling unknown… looks for all thr world that i4i are looking for a nice fat cheque.
20:21 – Download the Pirate Bay
– “The index has 873671 torrents, ranging from id 3211594 to 5051940 (2009-08-13).
I only got 873671 torrents, but according to the website the tracker tracks over 2 million torrents.
The discrepancy is most likely due to many torrent files including the TPB tracker but has not been uploaded to the web site.”
– Only a few days to grab the torrent
22:06 – Apple Rumours
– Keynote – September 7th?
– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNQWIDZLyLQ
– iPod’s with camera’s and mic’s
– iTunes 9
– http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/08/08/apple-itunes-9-details-blu-ray-app-organization/
– Blu Ray support
– App organisation
– twitter, facebook, last.fm integration
– iPod event in September?
– iTablet to feature an 8-10″ OLED screen???
– 2010 rather than september or this year?
– Matte screen option now available for an upgrade fee of $50 http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/08/11/apple_again_offers_matte_screen_option_for_15_inch_macbook_pro.html

– RUMOUR but nice if true!!! Apple possibly developing their own social networking app for integration with iTunes, iLife etc?? http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/08/11/more-itunes-9-details-apple-developing-social-networking-application/
– seems to be part of a bigger social networking push by Apple. Apple has plans to tie iTunes 9 into a “Social” application that they plan to release in the future. It was said that the application (separate from iTunes) will be similar to Yahoo’s OneConnect offering and consolidate all your social networking services. (iPhone application? Desktop app?).
– The application will allow you to broadcast what music you’re currently listening to, allow you to share your music with people on your network, connect with your friend’s friends (?), and update all of your statuses at the same time. ITunes 9 will let you broadcast music statuses as well.
– Big Phil’s talking again
– http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/160726521/on-saturday-night-we-drove-up-to-seattle-to
– Apple are listening, realising they have not just a PR issue but an app store with issues and unhapp devs + real competition
– Interesting to understand the changes that ill come from this
– Snow Leopard – Gold Master
– http://www.macrumors.com/2009/08/11/mac-os-x-snow-leopard-build-10a432-designated-gold-master/
– Out before end of the month?
– Packaging – http://www.macrumors.com/2009/08/15/photos-of-snow-leopard-disc-and-retail-packaging/
– Outlook for Mac
– Bye bye entourage
– End of 2010
– Mail’s enough for me
36:15 – Toshiba Eats Humble Pie
– Toshiba finally eats humble pie and moves to blu-ray
– will continue with it’s upscaling technology which no-one really gives a shit about
– still adamant HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray war was necessary
39:06 – Zune HD
Great interface
– 720p playback from the dock to tv
– 16:9 OLED screen
– Zune HD’s launch date (September 15th). Prices are $219.99 for the black 16GB version and $289.99 for the “platinum” 32GB edition.
– Web browser, search by Bing
– HD radio
44:20 – PSP Go
– Not what you think – Nintendo DSi and DS advert

Picks
Ian
CoPilot
– £25.99
– Sat Nav app for the iPhone
– Enter destination – postcode search, street with number, point of interest in city or local
– Stores Home, Work, Recent and fav’s
– Quick stop – pick Gas Station, Restaurant, Hotels, Vehicle Repair
– Can plan a trip or add a detour – avoid a road for example
– 3D and 2D views – clear graphics although zooming in with pinch is slow
– Live Services – Live Link, Live Weather and Roadside Assistance – Live Traffic is there but greyed out – pay for upgrade?
– Driving Views – 3D,2D, Itinerary, 2D Next Turn (can change colours to be most suitable, auto swap at night to something clearer)
– Routing works out quickest route – does this very quickly. Can set vehicle type including walking, avoid tolls, congestion
– Change POI display and alerts
– Speed limit warnings
– Turn warnings can be set to 2 miles, 1 mile etc
– 6 voices
– Test last week – worked 3 out of 3 times in built up and open areas
– Recalculated quickly when I took the printed google maps route…which turned out to be a slower route
– GPS can take a while to lock
– Updated position well – kept up with car without issue
– Interface looks like a sat nav, not an iPhone app which is a bit odd. Keyboard isn’t qwerty – next update
– No speed camera’s – promised for next update
– For me, light sat nav usage, ideal. Tom Tom – £60 – good reviews so far, looks like an iphone app but i’m more than happy with this purchase

Chris
The Edge of Flash
– Some inspiring, highly creative and generally amazing Flash based applications.
– It’s worth going through the back archive of the Adobe Edge magazine: http://www.adobe.com/newsletters/edge/ just to see what’s on offer.
– I’ll pick out one or two memorable ones as:
– http://soytuaire.labuat.com/ An absolutely stunning interactive music application
– http://thankyou.thisisgrow.com/TFWA – how to sell clothing in the modern world

App Store Expense Monitor

Everyone likes the App Store, right? Easy to buy, one click and the app is yours. No credit cards, no fuss – awesome. But how much are these app’s really costing you? If you spin through all your app receipts you can get a total costs but there is an easier way for Mac owners – the free App Store Expense Monitor.

App Store Expense Monitor

The app runs in the menu bar and show a running total of how much you’ve spent so far on app’s. As you can see from the screenshot my total is £189.25. Ouch. The app scans your application directory and gets the current price of each of the app’s you have installed. While that gives you a rough spend it doesn’t cover the changing prices of app’s over time. However Expense Monitor has that covered as you can edit the price for individual app’s.

Nice little app that is simple and free while being scarily informative. So how much have you spent on iPhone app’s? Let us know in the comments.

DigitalOutbox Episode 9

DigitalOutbox Episode 9
In this episode the team discuss the latest tech news.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
– Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, Google DDoS
– Down for a couple of hours plus service impacted rest of the day
– Num 3 story on BBC news….perspective?
– Rumour now is that this was a DDoS against one person – http://mashable.com/2009/08/07/twitter-facebook-2/
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8190786.stm
– Russia to blame? – pro-Georgian blogger, known as Cyxymu, said he had been targeted for “telling the truth about the Russian-Georgian war” in his writings.
– Ev interview on Newsnight – awful journalism and editing – he looked bemused

– End of free news
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8186701.stm
– Will charge customers for news content across all it’s websites
– Would you pay to look at The Sun online?
– $3.4bn loss
– Agree that if they are successful other sites will follow
– Make content “better and differentiate it from other people”
– Google News Archive
– http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/extra-extra-updates-from-our-growing.html
– http://news.google.com/archivesearch
– Quadrupled the amount of newspapers
– Now have articles dating back to mid 1700’s
– All searchable – great resource

– Skype under threat of closure from licence issue
– http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/01/ebay-case-threatens-skype-shutdown
– Turns out eBay only gets issued a licence for the technology underlying the Skype service.
– The Skype founders company, Joltid, who issues the licence looks now as though it’s going to pull the plug on the licence over copyright infringement arguments.
– Skype was bought by eBay for $3.1billion – something which could now be worthless without the licence.
– It’s unclear what this will mean for users – whether eBay will develop it’s own tecnologies to continue to support the platform, whether we’ll all need to find a new service or whether Joltid will buy back Skype for a reduced rate.

– Friends Reunited sold for £25 million
– Bought by ITV for £125 million in 2005
– Bought by BrightSolid (owned by DC Thomson)
– Really bought for Genes Reunited as Brightsolid run Find My Past
– Is it relevant anymore – Facebook, Twitter taken over (London is top twitter using city in the world)

– Delicious.com upgrade
– New homepage – focus on recently bookmarked and tweeted messages
– No longer waits for a volume of bookmarks to show on homepage which takes time
– More focus on realtime
– Adding timelines and tag filtering to search
– Can tweet as you add links, sending to friends etc

– Flickr Search
– Much improved search
– Points to groups, photographers, tag clusters and places as well as photo’s
– Size control on photo’s
– Can search for creative common images as well
– Easily see notes, views, fav’s against each image
– Real opportunity to make flickr the place for quality image searching on the web but…
– Can’t sort by views, comments etc
– Can’t query by any of the camera metadata that flickr currently hold

– Both these show how yahoo can still compete but, is delicious still relevant? Is it too little too late?

– Windows 7 ‘E’ Cancelled – sanity prevails
– http://windows7news.com/2009/08/02/windows-7-‘e’-canceled/
– The European – ‘E’ – versions of MS Windows 7, due to be shipped without an internet browser, have been cancelled.
– It now looks as though the only sensible solution to the whole saga has been chosen as the way forward. The user will now be offered a selection of popular browsers to install from a menu.
– The solution still needs to be agreed officially but looks likely to be spread out across the windows suite of operating systems.
– Those who’ve ordered the ‘E’ versions already will most likely receive simply the full version of the operating system.
– This should also open the way for upgrade versions of the software to be sold – rather than forcing users down a full clean install of their computer.

– Palm complain again to USB Implementers Forum
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/05/palm_uses_apples_usb_vendor_id/
– Palm Pre changed vendor ID to Apple to foil latest iTunes update
– Says Apple are being anti competitive
– Should develop their own media player – can’t see how it’s anti competitive
– Get out

– Gary McKinnon
– Lost legal appeal against extradition
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/31/mckinnon_judicial_review_reaction/
– Will try and appeal to Supreme Court and Obama
– Arrested in 2002 hacked into 97 computers
– Hacked from UK, comp’s were in USA
– Now diagnosed with mild form of autism
– Terrorist charges in USA, faces 70 years in jail, fears for his mental health and welfare

– O2 data fail
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/05/o2_data_down_yet_again/
– Third time in three weeks
– Half a million text tweets since launching last week
– No explanation for the outages

– O2 loses iPhone exclusivity
– http://www.9to5mac.com/october_9_o2
– October 9th – other networks to sell 3G

– T-Mobile selling iPhones in the UK
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/03/t_mobile_i_phone/
– No publicity
– Limited to a small amount per week for people spending >£75 a month

– Apple
– Apple try to gag teenager with exploding iPod
– http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/5963015/Apple-tries-to-silence-man-and-his-daughter-over-exploding-iPod.html
– http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/personal_tech/article6736587.ece
– Offered to refund money but denied liability
– Would only payout if owner signed a letter
– “agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential”, and that any breach of confidentiality “may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties”.
– Eric Schmidt resigns from Apple board
– Android and Chrome OS are conflicts of interest
– Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.
– FCC inquiry a factor as he is on the board of two out of the three companies at the centre of the inquiry?

– New hardware reference found in iPhone OS beta
– http://theappleblog.com/2009/08/05/mystery-product-reference-found-in-iphone-os-beta/
– iProd1,1 alongside standardMuxPTPEthernet
– Tablet with high speed wireless internet?
– iMac refresh/new features?
– http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/08/07/apples_next_imacs_rumored_with_compelling_new_features.html
– Blu-ray?
– Price drop?
– September?

– Prolific app developer banned from app store
– http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/08/05/banned-app-store-developer-auctioning-off-business/
– Had 900 app’s, mostly crap
– Planned to grow company and have around 10,000 app’s in app store by year end
– A good app store story
– Apple censors a dictionary
– http://daringfireball.net/2009/08/ninjawords
– Removes objecitonable words
– Still forces a 17+ rating
– Words like ass and screw omitted
– Didn’t apply this to dictionary.com’s app
– http://daringfireball.net/2009/08/phil_schiller_app_store
– Response from Phil Schiller
– Apple insisted on 17+, not the removal of words – that was the developer’s decision
– Developer since agreed
– Apple listening….communicating???
– Sex Offender app removed
– Dev may raise suit against Apple
– Rumour that e-book readers may be removed due to concern over copyright ownership

– Tom Tom for iPhone Priced?
– £113.85
– Includes suction mount for car and software
– Good value?
– CoPilot Live United kingdom – £25.99, lot’s of positive reviews, top 25 (no 11) in UK app store

– Gaming
– 80GB PS3 discontinued in Japan, rumours: either 160GB finally releases in JPN or … PS3 Slim http://gizmodo.com/5329524/80gb-ps3-discontinued-in-japan-one-step-closer-to-the-ps3-slim

– Gadgets ‘n Stuff
– Nikon launches S1000pj, first compact camera with built-in VGA projector, 12.1MP, 5x zoom, 2.7” LCD, $430 http://www.europe-nikon.com/product/en_GB/products/broad/1850/overview.html
– Pioneer SC-LX72 £1699, SC-LX82 £1799-£2000 – both with intimidating features: Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio decoding, DLNA audio streaming and internet radio access, and Class D amplification, 1080p up-scaling, 24p support, Five HDMI inputs and two outputs. http://www.trustedreviews.com/home-cinema/news/2009/08/04/Pioneer-Announces-SC-LX72–SC-LX82-AV-Receivers/p1

Picks
– Shakeel – HTML 5 Canvas examples, work with FireFox 3.5 and Safari 4, unable to try in IE but hear it don’t work or some bits do work but veeeeeeery slowwwwwwwwly
– http://www.phpguru.org/static/html5-canvas-examples
– From Ian (I know it’s your pick but try and mention this, slow I guess due to twitter DDoS) – http://9elements.com/io/projects/html5/canvas/ – 0 lines of flash
– Ian – App Store Expense monitor
– http://wetfish.de/
– Free – lets you know how much you’ve spent in the app store – £165.07
– Let’s you edit prices as some prices have changed so you can get the true price of what you’ve paid – I’m nearer £185

LittleSnapper 1.5 and Ember

There are no shortage of screenshot snapping tools on the Mac but one of the best I’ve used is LittleSnapper from Realmac Software which has recently been updated to version 1.5. LittleSnapper makes it easy to snap screenshots and websites in a variety of ways but more importantly it helps you organise your snaps into collections for easy retrieval.

The capture engine has been re-written for 1.5 and allows for full screen and timed captures. The timed capture is a welcome addition as previous to 1.5 it wasn’t included which was frustrating. You can also snap an area instead of the full desktop and also a window. One nice feature is holding down shift when selecting multiple windows will create a separate snapped image for each window. Hold down cmd when selecting windows and only one image containing the selected windows will be created. The webpage snapping doesn’t just snap what is currently visible – LittleSnapper will snap the full web page which is great for keeping screenshots of inspirational sites as you surf. View the webpage within LittleSnapper and you can select individual elements of the page to snap which is far easier than selecting an area.

Your screenshots and images are held in a local library. Within the library you can organise by type (mockup, illustration, screenshot etc), folders and collections. Each image can be tagged too which makes it easy to find an image in a large library. I have a few collections for blog and website designs that I like and also for podcast album art. One tip is that you can move the LittleSnapper library to a disk location of your choosing. I’ve moved mine to my Dropbox account which means I can share my library across mac’s.

LittleSnapper's editing tools, with highlighting and blurred sections used on the image
LittleSnapper's editing tools, with highlighting and blurred sections used on the image

The editing tools allow you to crop the snap’s further and also add non-destructive edits like text, boxes, arrows and also the ability to highlight and blur out area’s. These are all available in one easy to use toolbar and are simple but quick to use.

You can export snap’s into local folders, an FTP account, Flickr or to Ember, the partner service to LittleSnapper. At first I dismissed Ember (formally called QuickSnapper) as a poor man’s Flickr clone in that you can upload images, favourite other images, follow other Ember users and make comments on images. Nothing too ground breaking really.

Explore Ember

The difference is in the content uploaded and the collections that people are making available. The ember homepage will highlight an image liked by the developers and also give you access to popular images, recent images and also access to to groups of images via tags and collections. The screenshot above shows the homepage and also the ability of LittleSnapper to snap the whole web page, not just what’s visible via the browser.

The content is of more interest. It’s more focussed on web and application design with an abundance of great looking websites and applications being highlighted by the Ember community. Since the update I’ve found Ember to be a great go to site for design idea’s, more so than anything I’ve found on Flickr. It’s also easy to browse around the site by collections, tag’s or user and can be a real time sink.

Ember is free to use and upload to but the free account is limited to hosting three online collections and 30 uploads per month. You also see adverts while using Ember but these aren’t intrusive and for me the free account is more than enough. The pro account costs $24.99 per year and allows unlimited uploads and collections, removes the adverts and also gives you free upgrades to LittleSnapper. It’s important to note that you can use Ember without LittleSnapper and it is well worth a visit if your interested in web or application on any platform.

There are many competing screen capture tools like Skitch, Voila and Snapz Pro but I found LittleSnapper to be one of the best. Used alongside Ember it makes for a great capture and design resource.