Judging the Boxee Dev Challenge!

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I’ll be judging the Boxee Dev Challenge along with my friends Cali Lewis, Chris Pirillo and Boxee CEO Avner Ronen. Here are the details:

the new boxee API enables developers to build and publish apps for boxee users. while people are working on a variety of boxee apps, we thought it would be a good idea to provide some extra incentive for the developers.

the boxee dev challenge will have 3 categories: Video, Music and Photos.
in each category we will have a People’s Choice award and a Judge’s Choice award:

People’s Choice Award: Drobo + 4TB from Seagate
Judge’s Choice Award: Sony Bravia XBR9 46″

the deadline for submitting your application is June 14th at 11:59pm PT, but we encourage you to submit early and often as we’ll be talking up cool applications as they come in.
voting will take place between June 15th – June 22nd.

on June 23rd will have a boxee event in San Francisco (RSVP here) announcing the People’s Choice and our esteemed judges will choose a winner from the 10 most popular apps in each category.

Looking for more info on how to develop boxee apps: check out http://developer.boxee.tv and take a look at the sample app (we will publish additional sample apps). please submit your app to dev_challenge@boxee.tv.

I’m excited to see what apps you guys come up with! Good luck!

The iPhone app organizer I would love to see

Back in September I blogged about how an app organizer would have been a nice (and logical) addition to iTunes. Gizmodo posted a concept video today showing how that functionality could be integrated into the existing iTunes design.

I can’t find much more information about the creator of the video (YouTube user svdomer09) but I like the way he thinks! A lot of people would say that it’s already easy to drag and sort apps on the iPhone or iPod touch interface, but being able to do that on the computer seems like it would be a major timesaver for someone with pages of applications.

Poladroid brings some “old skool” to digital photos

Last winter, the world was saddened to learn of the demise of the instant film produced by the Polaroid Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy. In spite of a resurgence of popularity by hipsters and fans (read: everyone) of the Outkast song “Hey Ya!” digital cameras have taken over the market, and people just weren’t buying Polaroid devices like they used to.

Luckily, the Poladroid project has stepped in to fill that void. The software app enables you to drag digital photos into the “camera,” which then “develops” the photos with a Polaroid-like finish. And unlike the real Polaroids, shaking the image as it develops actually has an effect! Or simply leave it alone, and watch as it slowly develops. Like a true Polaroid cartridge, you can only process ten images at a time (how quaint!).

The site has also started a Flickr group, where users post their newly-retroized images and share their feelings about the app. Currently, Poladroid beta is only available for OS X, though it appears that a Windows version is in the works. Now they just need to let you scribble on the film as it develops to leave your signature on the image, just like old times.

Apple in the handheld gaming world

Apple - iPod touch - Features - Games

I was listening to the gdgt roundtable this morning, and they started talking about the iPhone / iPod Touch as a gaming device. Josh Topolsky insisted that Apple was trying to drink Sony and Nintendo’s milkshakes, while Ryan said that Apple is just going for the “value add” of having games.

This got me thinking about my iPhone and the experiences I’ve had using it as a handheld gaming device, especially compared with the Nintendo DS and the PSP. Granted, gaming on my phone has not been my number one priority, but I’ve download a few decent ones: Spore Origins, Tris (which I believe is now unavailable) and Tap Tap Revenge. But at the end of the day, was it more fun for me to play games on my iPhone than if I’d brought along the DS or PSP? Well, no, not especially. Was it more convenient to not have to carry a second device? Of course. Yet the overall experience quality is still going to be better on a standalone gaming platform. I just wonder if people really care all that much about having the absolute best experience… maybe they just don’t need it.

This brings me to another point on the podcast: do mainstream users really care about the nit-pickings of technologists when it comes to their buying decisions? Yes, there can definitely be a trickle effect of opinion that can sway people (“Oh, I’ve heard this phone is very buggy, I’m going to wait for the next version”). But what about mainstream gamers? Are games on the iPod/iPhone ever going to effect the number of handheld devices being purchased, and the amount they’re used? Is it just a nice added benefit to the phone, or a major selling point?

Developers are cranking out some beautiful looking games for the App Store, and I’m sure they’re enjoying the direct-to-buyer system (that is, if their app makes it through the approval process), but I wonder what other frequent gamers are thinking.

Do you think people will eventually buy the iPod or iPhone with the primary function of being their gaming device?

Image courtesy of Apple.com