Picture
There are very few companies out there that create a buzz around its products like Apple does. Over the years, the well-orchestrated product announcements have always been more like stockholder meetings with the media occupying seats rather than stockholders.

Whether the buzz occurs from carefully placed rumors or simple announcements, Apple's “Buzz-meter” goes berserk especially around announcement time. That's because there are a lot of interested media outlets that cover just Apple. Once the media sees what Apple has to show them, Apple does an amazing job of detailing their financial success from the previous quarter and their engineering breakthroughs.

As I watched the latest presentation online (iPad Mini), I found myself more excited about these announcements than any previous. I actually found myself fist-pumping as I was watching! Is there an acceptable number of times one can fist-pump?

Steve Jobs , former CEO, was a master at delivery. He was a cult-like God to the Apple community and everyone listened to him intently as he delivered speech after speech of great news every quarter for the last ten years of his life.

Prior to this last event, Tim Cook, Jobs' successor as CEO never had the same effect that Steve did. However this last event, I noticed something about Tim's delivery. He definitely prepared more for this. He was looking more and more like Steve up on stage. And not that he needs to, but Steve had a way of capturing our attention. And I believe Tim has cracked the nut on this one too. I'm a keen observer of people's walks, movements and speech patterns. And Tim has nailed the presentation. Albeit for a few mispronunciations, Tim was spot on. If there was any doubt about who should lead this company, I feel that his performance should ease those concerns. It was like watching the old Steve Jobs up there. Tim even looked a little buff in his long sleeved shirt.

Apple is very smart as they deliver all of their quarterly news wrapped around one big announcement. And because every one and their brother wants to know about this one announcement, they're willing to sit through whatever else Apple has to tell them. And usually it's a potpourri of announcements on Financials, PR, Marketing, Wow Factor. Not only is it a managed audience, it's the right people. It's the “who's who” in the media world. The script pretty much stays the same. The reigning CEO comes out: Enter Tim Cook. Loud Applause from the galley. A general welcome and then a few teasers to the audience about the evening. “We're going to show you something great!” You would think after hearing that phrase over and over again, you would stop thinking it was true, but Apple delivers over and over again. There's a good reason Apple hasn't veered from this method of product announcement since Steve Jobs came back to Apple. It's a winning formula.

On October 23, 2012 in San Jose, Tim Cook presented not one, but an across-the-board unveiling of new products. It was surreal. Most of the hype of the event was the iPad Mini. But there was so much more!

Financials:
100,000,000 iPads sold to date
275,000 apps in the app store
90% of web traffic is for the iPad tablet
$6.5 Billion paid to developers thus far

Product Announcements:
The new iTouch, Nano, and Shuffle (iPod) lineup
The iTouch looks and feels just like the new iPhone 5
The new Mac Book series of Notebooks
A new iPad 4
And the new iMac desktop computer
Oh yea, and the new iPad Mini

The new iMac
I have to say, this was the most impressive announcement for me. With a whole new design, the iMac was redesigned for a slimmer look. With a sleek, super thin edge, new Retina display and faster processors and connectors, this desktop is poised to make a lot of noise. Not only were there engineering advancements, but design advancements as well. You can see why this is so important to Apple. By bridging those two together, you can create wonderful products. What they did with the new iMac is incredible. First they slimmed down the display to almost half. Then they removed the 2 MM air gap between the glass and the display by fusing the two together. What this does is truly incredible. It makes the fonts easier to read. Jim Schiller, Apple's VP of Hardware said it's like the text looks like it's sitting on top of the glass. The computer comes with four USB 3.0 connectors, two Thunderbolt ports, Quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7, as well as different configurations for hard drives and graphic cards.

Fusion Hard Drive
Apple has done it once again. It's built an amazing piece of hardware and software that works transparently that fuzes Flash Hard Drive space with traditional Hard Drive space into one drive. The software is so intelligent that it will decide for you which programs are being used the most and whether they should sit in Flash memory or on the hard drive. Flash memory is 2.5 times faster read and wrote times than traditional memory. And Fusion is really close to what Flash memory does. Each iMac comes with up to 3TB of 7200-rpm hard drive: up to 3TB Fusion Drive; or 768GB flash storage.

And what's really nice about the new announcement, is the price. When I started to look for a desktop alternative to my Macbook Pro laptop, the desktop is actually cheaper than the laptop configuration. And with the new iMac, that hasn't changed much. The base price of the iMac 21 inch is only $1299 and the 27 inch is $1799. As much as I love my MacBook Pro, I find myself wanting another monitor to hook up to it. I've thought about using my 42 inch Flat Screen television as a monitor, but the iMac would actually have a finer resolution. That's something I'm really excited about due to the fact that I do so much illustration work creating children's apps. The detail that I will be able to obtain is mind-boggling.

People used to tell me or ask me why I would plop down $1000+ for a Mac instead of just going out and buying a $300 dollar Windows-based PC. It's like driving a high performance car. Until you've driven one every day and can feel the difference, you can't be a naysayer. Apple has fused performance, with style, and functionality. It's brand is more than just the latest trend. It's elegance at its finest. Some purists might find my comparisons of a computer to a high-performance car ridiculous, but think about it. You probably use your iPhone or your computer all day long. Wouldn't you want something great in your hands or on your eyes. It's like nourishment for the soul. I hope some of you naysayers will go test drive an Apple and I think you will understand.

And then I come to the iPad Mini. Oh wait. There's more. I forgot to mention the new fourth generation of the iPad. In all the excitement of the iPad Mini, Tim Cook announced that there was a new iPad as well. A fourth-generation iPad. That's even faster than its predecessor. This is incredible. The new iPad has the new Lightning connector, a faster processor, a new ding dong, and a new flip a ma jig.

You're probably wondering when I'm going to talk about the iPad Mini, aren't you? Well this is the time. I saved it for last. I love listening to Jonny Ive talk. When they showed a movie about the iPad Mini, Jonny gave an insight on how it was designed and so on. He too is a remarkable young man who knows his stuff. When he talks, you want to fall in love with anything he says. I hope he never leaves Apple. If Tim ever would step down, I would hope Johnny Ive would take his place. He's amazing, articulate speaker that tugs at your heart strings. His passion for Apple is only outweighed by his genius.

The iPad Mini has the same resolution as that of the latest fourth-generation iPad. And because of that, Apple’s developers won't need to change anything about how they code apps. You can hold it in one hand! That's incredible. At a 7.9 diagonal vs. a 9.7 diagonal on the iPad, it's still 10% larger than any competitor's 7 inch screens.

As I watched the Apple presentation on Apple.com, it was like, the old adage of, “And there's just one more thing” was being said over and over again. The ability for Apple to consistently wow their customers over and over again every quarter amazes me. They're innovation and simplicity of products is a welcome change from the Quadra 410, 400, 450, Performa 100, 200, 400, etc. Centra, What a nightmare that was. Since Steve Jobs came back to the Apple he helped co-found and now with Tim Cook at the helm, Apple has transformed itself and the computing community into something wonderful.

Nick Nebelsky is Publisher and CEO of Intense Media, LLC. Based in Gilbert, AZ, Nick creates, writes, and illustrates apps and printed books for the children's market and also publishes international travel apps. Nick also serves as an Ambassador for Corona Labs, Inc. out of Palo Alto, CA. He's a passionate husband and father of three and a loving friend to his best friend Max, a black labra-goalie retriever.


 
 
Okay, now that you've got some of the logistics out of the way, I have to throw some more at you.
This blog is for anyone who doesn't have the foggiest where to start, is an author or designer and pretty much anyone who wants to or has always wanted to create their own app. In essence become a software studio. That's what I did, and I'll show you how too!

I have little to no background in coding aside from HTML 3.0. But if I see something that is popular and alows me the flexibility to publish something that I've created, I'm going to do my best to figure out how to do it.

Today it's easier than ever to create your own app without the need of a programmer. But that wan't the case in 2009 and 2010 when building apps was in its infancy stage. Since I'm not a programmer, I found one on Craig's list in my area and hired him. He did a great job coding my first app, MyBasketballStats which is available on the app store. I believe it took between 3-6 months to complete. For my second app, I wanted to have more creative control, decrease the production schedule, and save money. I thought about going the route of someone else publishing it for me and their are lots of companies out there that do that, but their terms didn't seem that attractive to me. I wanted complete ownership without paying any royalties to anyone, aside from Apple of course. (By the way, Apple takes 30% off the top. More on that later).

Back in June of this year (2011), my old college roommate asked me how to start making apps. I told him about the Apple Developer program he had to buy ($99), and that he had to own a Mac ($999 -$2,000), and that he needed to learn Objective-C. Although he was a programmer, he didn't know Objective-C and asked me if I had ever heard of Corona. I checked it out and after reading what they were about, my jaw dropped. Yes I reached Nirvana that day. Thanks Mike!

Corona is from a small but quickly growing company called Ansca Mobile in Palo Alto, CA. Started by two ex-Adobe engineers who worked on Flash-lite. They started their company just this year and have a huge following. More on them later. Corona is much like X-Code, but it uses .lua instead of Objective-C as a language to write code. Lua is very easy to learn and was made for newbies and professionals too. In fact, do you know that little app called Angry Birds was built using .lua.
With .lua, you can drastically cut your coding down to minutes in what would normally take weeks! I'll cover Corona more later. So here is the nitty gritty. Corona will help you make apps not only for the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, but also Android apps, the Nook, and other tablets in the market today. So your book/or app can be seen by twice as many people as you thought possible.

I also recommend using Kwik, which is a Photoshop extension. It's great for anyone who doesn't want to write a line of code and still produce their very own interactive book or comic book. Great tech support and new features added all the time. My first book and second app in my store was created using Kwik, Opening Rome!

If you want to do this, you can. And here's your shopping list.

Corona works on Windows too but you will need to have a Mac to compile it in X-Code before you upload it to Apple. Here's the list of items you'll need.

Apple Developer Membership  ($99)* Yearly
Apple Mac, ($699-$2,000)
Corona Subscription ($199 -$349)* Yearly
Kwik ($79)
Photoshop (check prices)
Word Processor (check prices)

Nick Nebelsky, is CEO and Creative Director at Intense Media, LLC. Intense Media focuses on products that entertain, enrich, and empower their customers. They create and publish their own line of books, ebooks, CDs, and software for the iPhone and iPad devices. You can reach them at nick@intensemedia.com or www.intensemedia.com.
 

©Intense Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.