You may know someone who sends messages with more emojis than words, but chances are they don’t need those symbols to communicate. For some with language disorders such as aphasia, a disorder that can make it difficult to read, talk, or write, emojis can be an ideal way for those with the disorder to communicate with others around them. Samsung Electronics Italia, the company’s Italian subsidiary, just came out with a new app called Wemogee that helps those with language disorders talk to others by using emoji-based messages. READ MORE: Samsung develops emoji-based chat app for people with language disorders | Ars Technica
The Reality Editor is a Minority Report style AR app that makes programming your smart home as easy as connecting the dots. READ MORE: MIT’s Amazing New App Lets You Program Any Object | FastCompany
THE PICKLE INDEX tells the tale of an incompetent circus troupe that sets out to rescue its ringmaster, Zloty Kornblatt, from a dystopian, brine-obsessed government. If that doesn’t pique your interest, maybe this will: The Pickle Index is a paperback. But it’s also a beautifully illustrated, hardcover set of two volumes that tell the story in tandem. Oh, and it’s also an app. Not an e-book, mind you—an app, where a user’s “Citizenship Quotient” points are allocated based on how often you upload actual pickle recipes. Confused? Good. That’s kind of the point.
The fact is, The Pickle Index is not a traditional novel, nor is it a conventional app. When Eli Horowitz and Russell Quinn set out to create the multimedia storytelling experience, they made a conscious decision to eschew hallmarks of design like accessibility and ease of use. Instead, they provide multiple entry-points into an intricate and immersive world. In doing so, they’ve reimagined what a digital literary experience can be.
[O]ver in France, they really are taking the idea of attacking new forms of libraries to incredible new heights. There’s a French startup called Booxup that is taking the above personal lending library concept and making it digital. You get an account, scan your books, upload a list of those you’re willing to lend to others, and the service connects willing lenders with willing borrowers, putting books that would otherwise be collecting dust on shelves to good use actually being read and educating and entertaining the public. Neat. Except… not so neat, according to French authorities who are claiming the whole thing could be illegal: READ MORE: No Library For You: French Authorities Threatening To Close An App That Lets People Share Physical Books | Techdirt
One of the most intense experiences you’ll ever have is visiting a country that speaks a language different than yours. There’s a host of tools you can use, but Google’s Translate product has leapfrogged just about everything out there over the years.
Its most handy, and impressive, tool is the six-month-old instant translation feature, using the goodies from the acquired Word Lens, that lets you point your camera at something written in another language, say a sign, and it’ll translate into your language with ridiculous accuracy in almost real-time.
Today, that feature is expanding today from seven languages to 27 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. The update is rolling out over both iOS and Android.
Some great design app suggestions that I had not heard of before (like Axure, IFTTT and Processing) and a wide range of design books recommended. Something for everyone.
35 Books Every Designer Should Read | Co.Design | business + design We asked some of the world’s top design schools to share their favorite books. Here’s what they recommend for your summer reading list.
27 Apps Designers Can’t Live Without | Co.Design | business + design
Maybe it’s just Gmail, or maybe it’s something more esoteric like Processing, but there are certain apps we rely on so much that if they suddenly went missing, we’d have a hard time getting by. That’s especially true for designers. Their livelihoods depend upon great software. What’s more, as people who dissect design details all day, they have unique insights into what makes an app great. They can see UI/UX friction points the way Superman can see microscopic structural flaws in steel. So we combed out rolodexes and reached out to more than two dozen designers to ask about the apps they couldn’t live without.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion people worldwide have a disability. To Astrid Weber and Jen Devins, Google’s resident accessibility experts, that stat should be stamped on the back of every designer’s hand, because it means that one out of every seven people on the planet is potentially left behind by thoughtless design decisions. At this year’s Google I/O conference in San Francisco, I sat down with the two UX experts and asked them what designers could do to make their apps more accessible. The key, they told me, was using your imagination and having a little more empathy. Here are six ways designers can reach that extra billion.
Deep linking has become one of the hottest topics in mobile over the past year as dozens of startups have launched around using, improving and discovering deep links. All of the big platform companies also have projects to own “the deep linking standard” or the search index for mobile. So, what are deep links and where did they come from?
READ MORE: A Brief History Of Deep Linking | TechCrunch.
The world is tough place to navigate in a wheelchair. But finding ramps and elevators can be easier thanks to this handy map app that anyone can edit.
It’s called Wheelmap, and it tells you the accessibility status of public places all over the world. It’s free and grades locations in a traffic light-style, red-yellow-green scale of wheelchair accessibility. Developed by German nonprofit SOZIALHELDEN e.V., it’s now celebrating five years since launch. Since 2010, users have added nearly half a million entries across the globe.
“Accessible” means you can enter the place without steps, and that all rooms inside a building can be entered without steps, as well. “Limited accessibility” refers to entrances with a max of one step no higher than seven centimeters, and that the “most important rooms” can be entered without steps.
Wheelmap launched back in 2010, and since then, has become available in 22 languages. It’s available for both iOS and Android users.