Christmas may be over but festivities continue and if you’re anything like me you’ll spending most of this holiday period drinking, eating and catching up with those all important iOS updates, games and apps you’ve been meaning to look at for the past six month. So in this spirit I present to you SwithCity, an iPhone game designed and coded by my friend Mat Ryer (under his new company name Little But Mighty Games), who I met whilst working on David Miliband’s Labour Leadership bid – we were in desperate need of a super coder and Mat came to the rescue.
More importantly though, SwithCity is Mat’s first game and for that reason alone I’d like to plug it. I respect anyone who designs and codes their own app, whilst also being very jealous of the necessary coding skills. However, it also turns out that SwitchCity is both fun and addictive. The game is simple, keep the switches turned ON for as long as possible. As switches short out, the city starts to lose power – but it slowly rebuilds provided all switches remain on. Meanwhile, there are a few special things to collect in the clouds, and a few nasty ones to help or hinder you while you keep the lights on in Switch City.
In Mat’s own words: “Switch City is our first ever app in the App Store, and it’s our first ever game as developers. We wanted to build a very simple (little), but highly addictive (mighty) game that’s easy to pick up but difficult to master… and with Game Center integration, we can’t wait to see some of the scores people can get.”
Have you tried SwithCity, if so what do you think?
16 year old brit genius: Nick D'Aloisio
Last week 16 year-old boy genius Nick D’Aloisio burst onto the tech scene with Summly, a mobile app which could set the standard for web browsing. Summly aims to offer users a simpler way to browse and search online by summarising content, making it easier to consume and ensuring that results are made more efficient and relevant.
We used to struggle to find decent, useful information online because there simply wasn’t enough of it and/or it wasn’t easy to find, yet now there’s simply too much. Indeed, I remember when back in the day (1996 I think) for Christmas I got given a Yellow Pages type directory (it was an actual book with real paper pages) listing the addresses of all ‘the best’ websites. Then search got good, then Google came along and then it all got social. Content now finds us in abundance and it’s simply impossible to consume as much of it as we’d like. It’s this problem of information overload that Summly is hoping to solve. Rather than try and explain in detail how it works here’s a video which will make much more sense…
Amazingly, it can do this in any language and utilises highly specialised algorithms in its process. The new app is integrated into Mobile Safari and other applications through its application programming interface (API), allowing for widespread summarisation across a range of platforms.
Summly, recently received investment from Horizons Ventures, the technology venture firm which was also an early investor in Facebook, Spotify, Waze and Siri, the technology recently integrated into iOS by Apple. Not bad for a 16 year-old!
Have you tried Summly, what do you think? And do you think viewing web pages in summary form is the future?